Most of you are
used to using waterproof breathable hardshells as an outer layer but
snipers have to wear ghillie suits for camouflage purposes and are a bit
shy about the accompanying characteristic "whish-whish-whish" noise
of nylon outer garments. During the late 1980s British and Dutch
snipers pioneered the use of the "Stealth Suit". Designed as an
ultra lightweight waterproof breathable drop-liner garment that was
designed to be worn under a ghillie suit or smock during inclement
weather for example consider a British Army sniper in a Northern Ireland
rural hide. If you think that the concept of the stealth suit is
foreign to the US military, they were a component of SOCOM’s Battle
Dress System, a forerunner to PCU in the early 1990s.
Our friends at CPGear have brought this concept over to North America with their Canadian made Stealth Jacket and Trousers. Weighing in at an unbelievably light weight of less than 14 ounces and packing down to a compact 3.5" diameter x 8" roll for the jacket, it can be stowed in most 1 quart canteen pouches. Due to its unique nylon tricot Gore tri-laminate construction the stealth suit also tends to be more breathable than garments with a taslan or supplex nylon face. At $140 Cdn for the jacket and trousers each (jacket and trousers sold separately) this is a bargain for a fully seam taped Gore-Tex garment. If you are a sniper, or recon type with an LRS/LRRP/RSTA organization, the Stealth Suit concept is definitely worth a look. But don’t let that limit you. If you are operating where space and weight are limiting factors, you should consider the Stealth Suit as a replacement for a bulky hardshell. You can slip it on under your uniform and preserve heat as well as keep your body dry.