I recently had the chance to use Hyde Definition's Badlands pattern in the field as I detailed in part one of this two part review. While part one reviewed SOD's uniform, part two will cover the badlands pattern itself.
Badlands is certainly the most complex camouflage pattern I have ever seen. Despite being a 4-color pattern (Mirage for instance is 10-color), the level of pixelation is extremely small. Using a flat earth tone as something of a base color, green, dark brown, and a beige/whiteish color are blended throughout the uniform. The dark brown is present in larger blocks as seen in current issue military uniforms but then the white and green squares are so small as to resemble white noise on a television screen. The distortion effect this creates is plenty impressive, in fact it looked as if it were deliberately made for the fall season in New York where I tested it, even though Badlands is marketed as being for semi-arid environments.
I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures but Hyde Definition did a great job at balancing light and dark colors. This is always a big debate in sniper courses, where you hear that lighter colors are better, there is no such thing as black in nature, and so on. The truth is, although the color black is rarely found in nature, various levels of darkness exist in the shadows. The presence of a darker color in the pattern gives it a three dimensional aspect, creating the sensation of looking through the person wearing the uniform rather than at them. Multicam also has darker color elements but it always struck me that Multicam was a little too light for many environments. Badlands excels at this and appeared equally effective in direct sunlight as it did in the shadows.
I am going to have to continue to experiment with the badlands pattern in different seasons and situations to get a better feel for it, but so far I have been thoroughly impressed. Debates about camouflage patterns rage on the internet, the debate being highly subjective on all sides. All most can say is how they feel the pattern works based on pictures on the internet. Real scientific and human testing needs to be done to find out which pattern is the most effective, something I can't accomplish on my own in this review. However, I hope this gives a good thumb nail sketch and convinces people that Hyde Definition should not be disregarded as a viable option.
Will the Badlands pattern save democracy and the free world? Probably not. But it would be a shame if the militaries of the free world did not include this pattern in their test sets as the US Army and others search for a new, more effective pattern for our troops.
*Update 1, to show this pattern at a distance. This picture comes from Hyde Definition rather than the reviewer. I will work on getting some more pictures for you in the next week or two. If you have any addition requests, feel free to ask in the comments box below.