New Cabela’s ColorPhase camo a game changer

The hottest topic in outdoors hunting wear isn’t hot at all, although it changes color when it does get hot.

Cabela’s, renowned among hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts for its extensive line of outdoors clothes, recently released the company’s new line of “ColorPhase” camouflage, designed to change colors as temperatures change.

According to Cabela’s, the camouflage pattern changes from greens to browns and grays according to the temperature.

The press release said the pattern, which currently is available only in a select line of clothing, works because it is printed with “rapid-change, temperature-activated dye.”

Under normal conditions, the company said, ColorPhase camo begins changing colors at 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

This purportedly allows a hunter to have one set of camouflage that is suitable for both early season turkey hunting when the air is cool and the woods are mostly brown and gray and for later in the spring when it’s warmer and the green is the more-dominant color.

A hunter is better able to “match the environment and to extend their hunting season,” said Ev Terrel, hunting apparel merchandising director for the Sydney, Neb.–based Cabela’s. “Hunters are in a lot of different situations through the hunting season and will do whatever it takes to get close to game.

“But one thing they couldn’t do is change with the environment,” said Terrell. “At least until now.”

As any hunter can imagine, the claims of a color-changing camouflage already have been met with lively discussion.

The benefit of any camouflage, whether it’s the leafy green and grey bark of southern woods or desert-sand brown, is to blend in.

And since most animals we hunt don’t see color but rather the outline or movement from a hunter, no camo pattern will do you any good if you can’t stop fidgeting.

Camouflage may make it more difficult for the animal to pick you out from the background, but any unnatural (to the deer) movement will give you away.

The role of camouflage is to break up your outline, which means if you don’t move, you actually might blend into the background.

Ever since Jim Crumley came out with his Trebark camouflage in 1979 and made obsolete all of our hunting clothes, and as printing technology has improved, various realistic camouflage patterns have taken over the hunting and fishing industries.

Cabela’s, for example, lists 29 different camouflage patterns just in the section for “Botttomland/ Deciduous Trees” patterns.

Do they all work? Probably.

To paraphrase what renowned angler Al Lindner of Lindner Media Productions once said, if you are comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, you’ll be more successful hunting or catching fish.

No matter what the temperature is outside.


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