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Cabela's New Colorphase: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Camo in Decades

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September 26, 2013

Cabela's New Colorphase: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Camo in Decades

By Dave Hurteau

As I have written recently in the magazine, I typically don't give a hoot about the latest camo patterns. All anyone need know on this topic is to wear something that breaks up the human form given the surroundings. The rest is just fashion. (I know some folks argue that fashion is art. But I have trouble believing there's anything profound about fashion when fashionistas are so dependably shallow.)

Anyway, Cabela's new Zonz Camo with Colorphase is different because it actually does something—and something none other has done before. It changes colors, depending (more or less) on the ambient temperature. According to the product literature and the promotional video above, when air temps are above roughly 65 degrees, the pattern's "leaves" and "grasses" are the green of spring, summer, and early fall. When it cools off to under 65 or so, the fabric's temperature-sensitive dyes change to the browns of fall and winter.

So the question is, does it work as advertised? And the answer is unequivocally yes—like magic. But it's important to understand, as Cabela's clearly states in the promotional materials, that "body heat, sunlight, moisture, and wind can affect the color-change process." With a constant outside temp of 52, for example, I moved mine from the shade to the sun and the brown colors turned green. On the other hand, I couldn't work up enough "body heat" to affect the process. With my Zonz hoodie on, did enough calisthenics (Damn I hate calisthenics!) to work up a good sweat, but it didn't turn the browns green.

Also, for the purposes of this blog, it's important to note that whitetails, as we understand them, cannot distinguish between the same shades of brown and green. On the other hand, turkeys and waterfowl and non-nocturnal birds in general can.

In the end, if you are a crappy hunter and dumb enough to think this stuff will make you a good one, you will be disappointed. Otherwise, Zonz camo with Colorphase will change colors as advertised (if not perfectly for every situation) and is without a doubt the most innovative, novel, and damn-cool thing to happen to camo in decades.

Comments (12)

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from Bryan01 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

They should win the 2013 gimmickry award for this one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abiddle013 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Does the clothing change its insulation properties as well? Because I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to wear my heavy hunting clothes when it's warm out just because it changed to a greener shade of camo.

However, this is some pretty cool technology. Just a tad unnecessary.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

"In the end if you are a crappy hunter..."
I have never worn camo while fishing for crappies.
:)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Don't quit your day job, Doug.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

I agree with the first 2 posts.

My questions are. What's the price?(I'm sure it's more than I'd ever be willing to pay) And second, what does the washer and dryer do to this stuff? I could see after a couple rounds in the dryer it would just quit working.

Douglas- That made me laugh out loud!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

If you put it in the dryer, it turns blaze orange.

(Don't worry, I won't quit my day job, either.)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Kind of like the sun glasses that get darker as it gets sunnier. My question is how long will the properties last?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Looking across my campsite this fall I spied 3 things hanging from my clothes line. One, a solid brown wool fedora which stood out like a sore thumb. Two, a camouflaged t-shirt well hidden against the pine tree. Three, very well hidden and hardly noticeable tucked into the shade of the tree was a 6-pack of Coors Light in bright aluminum cans.

Moral of the story, stay in the shadows.

Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if it's the same technology which makes the mountains turn blue?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

That is pretty cool, but like others, I have my doubts as to how long these clothes will retain their properties. Not to say they will be useless if they lose their properties, because you're still left with a camo pattern, but still, I cannot justify spending extra money on a camo pattern just because it changes colors the first few times I use it. Heck, we already do that with solid camo patterns (they fade as they get washed and used over time).

If Cabela's wants to invent something useful with regard to camo...they should invent camo that never fades.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

Dave:
Enough about camo, I want to hear about your elk hunt!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

Pass.......As you aptly pointed out Dave, the deer don't give a crap so why should I?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from skyhunter44 wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

movement or the lack of it is more important than color when it comes to concealment. you could bowhunt in blue and white stripes and still be successful if you make your move at the right time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Douglas wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

"In the end if you are a crappy hunter..."
I have never worn camo while fishing for crappies.
:)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

I agree with the first 2 posts.

My questions are. What's the price?(I'm sure it's more than I'd ever be willing to pay) And second, what does the washer and dryer do to this stuff? I could see after a couple rounds in the dryer it would just quit working.

Douglas- That made me laugh out loud!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

If you put it in the dryer, it turns blaze orange.

(Don't worry, I won't quit my day job, either.)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

They should win the 2013 gimmickry award for this one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abiddle013 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Does the clothing change its insulation properties as well? Because I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to wear my heavy hunting clothes when it's warm out just because it changed to a greener shade of camo.

However, this is some pretty cool technology. Just a tad unnecessary.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Don't quit your day job, Doug.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Looking across my campsite this fall I spied 3 things hanging from my clothes line. One, a solid brown wool fedora which stood out like a sore thumb. Two, a camouflaged t-shirt well hidden against the pine tree. Three, very well hidden and hardly noticeable tucked into the shade of the tree was a 6-pack of Coors Light in bright aluminum cans.

Moral of the story, stay in the shadows.

Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if it's the same technology which makes the mountains turn blue?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

Dave:
Enough about camo, I want to hear about your elk hunt!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from skyhunter44 wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

movement or the lack of it is more important than color when it comes to concealment. you could bowhunt in blue and white stripes and still be successful if you make your move at the right time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 29 weeks 3 days ago

Kind of like the sun glasses that get darker as it gets sunnier. My question is how long will the properties last?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

That is pretty cool, but like others, I have my doubts as to how long these clothes will retain their properties. Not to say they will be useless if they lose their properties, because you're still left with a camo pattern, but still, I cannot justify spending extra money on a camo pattern just because it changes colors the first few times I use it. Heck, we already do that with solid camo patterns (they fade as they get washed and used over time).

If Cabela's wants to invent something useful with regard to camo...they should invent camo that never fades.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 29 weeks 2 days ago

Pass.......As you aptly pointed out Dave, the deer don't give a crap so why should I?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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