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.