The 6 Best Winter Ghillie Suits Guide (2020 Reviews)
Anyone who hunts or photographs wildlife knows that wearing camouflage is vital. By being able to break up your outline and disguise your position provides more success. One way to camouflage yourself is to wear a the best winter ghillie suit you can buy over your base layers.
But for some, finding the best winter ghillie is daunting. This is because a ghillie suit is a niche item used mostly by military or police. As such it can be hard to find consumer reviews.
To help you find the best snow ghillie suit I decided to review the most popular snow ghillie suits. First there is six comprehensive reviews and second is a quick step-by-step buyers guide. One thing to note: to clean every single winter ghillie suit in this article you have to hand wash them.
For ease of use included is a comparison chart of each reviewed model below. Or if you want to search out a specific review there is a clickable table of contents. Alright, let’s get started.
We updated this article in April 2020 to reevaluate the ghillies that we recommend to ensure they meet today’s standards for superior concealment. For this year a new model hits our “best of” list, from the CamoSystems brand. Read on to discover the best winter ghillie suits for 2020.
Repeating in 2020 as the best winter ghillie is the Red Rock Outdoor Gear Ghillie Suit. The layers of concealment are second to none as the coloring is a blend of off-white and darker shades. Using different colors helps to create effective camouflage on and around snowy terrain.
First Look: Best Winter Ghillie Suit
Opening the packaging the first time I was a bit worried I ordered the wrong type of ghillie. The supplied suit had dark streaking that’s almost black. Pulling the suit out of the box it’s a tangled mess. Although anyone familiar with this manufacturer knows you have to brush out these infamous tangles.
After getting the strands untangled I tried on the suit and headed outside. The base layer netting is comfortable and makes for easy on/off ability. For durability the base layer threads get looped over and double stitched in 6″ increments.
I like that it has these stitched openings on either side of both the pants and the jacket. Giving me access to pockets in clothing underneath. Another bonus is the mesh vision panel which provides excellent protection from insects.
Wearing it, the entire suit felt roomy and the included hood with a mesh front provides good visibility. I can move around with ease and it is seems to breathe well.
Top Advantage: Stealth Concealment
If you hunt or are stalking your targets during a game of airsoft or paintball this suit will hide you. In fact, as long as the terrain has a decent amount of foliage and snow this ghillie is unbeatable for the price. The color blend of the strands is realistic and dull to mimic nature.
In total, you get five pieces with this ghillie suit including: jacket pants, hood, gun wrap and stuff sack. For the price this is a good deal. Made from 98% polyester and 2% spandex this winter ghillie suit is lightweight. Plus the synthetic materials don’t wick up moisture from the snow. For ensuring a secure fit the jacket comes with snap closures. While the pants have an elastic waist/drawstring to accommodate layered clothing underneath.
The gun wrap is a basic white wrap that measures around 4 feet. While I wish it had more strands, it does do the job. Otherwise the stuff sack fits the suit, gun wrap and some other stuff you might have on hand.
All in all, the Red Rock Outdoor Ghillie does a good job of blending the wearer into their surroundings. I don’t like the maintenance of the strands needed, but for the price I can live with brushing it out.
For 2020, a new winter ghillie sparks my interest and takes winter camouflage to the next level. This is the CamoSystems Jackal Sniper ghillie suit. Not familiar with the brand? CamoSystems is an industry leader in manufacturing camouflage netting and hunting blinds. While it didn’t take top spot for best winter ghillie this year, I imagine if it the Velcro holds up, it could next year. More about the Velcro below.
Pulling out the Jackal ghillie from it’s shipping box, I see a stark difference to every other ghillie. First, no tangles! I attribute this to the two kinds of strands that make up this snow ghillie. Unlike the other winter ghillies, the Jackal uses a a mix of straight cut threads and 3-D leaf cut foliage. Made of 100% polyester with a polyurethane coating, the dense coverage is perfect. For safety the Jackal ghillie is rot, mold, and fire resistant.
Real World Feel
On first wear the suit it’s a tad heavier than the others, but I would still classify it as lightweight. Although my opinion might change after hunting for a full day. The full ghillie comes in three distinct pieces. It has a two piece jacket with a detachable hood and pants. The jacket closes with front buttons and comes with Velcro straps at the wrists. On top the hood has a mesh veil with decent visibility.
Next, the pants have suspenders and a drawstring waist to keep them snug on my body. Although the ankles do use Velcro for closures. That’s it, it doesn’t come with gun wrap or stuff sack which is disappointing at this price.
I like that both the threads and leaves lay flat but still intertwine a little. This increases the effective concealment and prevents snags on brush. Better yet, walking around with the ghillie on its quiet, rustle free and comfortable. As for the color pattern is a mix of white and light gray which delivers great concealment for any alpine area.
The big advantage for this ghillie over others in the reviews is the waterproof fabric. You can lay down in snow all day and it won’t become waterlogged, that’s amazing!
Disadvantages Of The CamoSystems Jackal Snow Ghille?
My biggest gripe with this ghillie is the Velcro closures, this is a personal nuisance. I find the feel of Velcro uncomfortable and it has a tendency to wear out fast.
The second downside is the heavy weight of this winter ghillie weighing in at 5 pounds. If you wear it for short periods the weight won’t matter but over a day you have to factor in fatigue.
Third, as I mentioned before, all you get is the three piece suit. For the price it should come with a rifle wrap and stuff sack.
Last but not least, the price, to get a pro level winter ghillie suit like this you need to shell out over $150.
In total, the CamoSystems Jackal Sniper Ghillie elevates you into professional level camouflage. It’s comfortable, snag proof, waterproof and blends you into any local alpine terrain. But to reach the next level of camouflage you need to pay quite a bit more money.
For hunters, air soft players or Halloween this is the best affordable ghillie in 2020. It costs less than all the others and you get a one that provides decent winter concealment. As long as you use it in fresh white snow as it doesn’t blend colors. This isn’t the suit to buy if you stalk in the forest, you will stick out like a sore thumb.
Another factor that makes it lose points is due to it snagging in small brush. But getting it out isn’t that much of a hassle. This becomes more and more annoying overtime compared to the Red Rock ghillie suit.
At First Glance
Out of the box, the coverage is okay and the thin white strands are free flowing. The coloring is bright white and camouflaging in anything but sunny fresh snow is out of its depth. It might be a great wildlife suit or Halloween costume.
On first wear it feels great, but note you need to wear light shade clothing as it’s a bit see through. Something I need to note is the waist is elastic, this means the specs listed in the table above are a misnomer. For example, I have a 32″ waist and these pants fit fine.
Alright let’s move on to the coverage for this ghillie suit. Yes there are a couple bare patches but I found none of the shedding problems some of the other suits experience. The mesh of this suit is it a bit thin, don’t expect a durable suit, especially if you wear heavy layers underneath.
Advantages Of This Ghillie Suit
Next, the two best things about this ghillie suit are the weight and cost. First it’s a super lightweight suit, weighing in at 1.75 pounds. As a result, you don’t have to worry about onset fatigue with it. Being polyester it provides rustle-free movement for stalking your prey. Plus it won’t ignite as the material is fire-retardant.
Second, the price is simply awesome, for under $40 you get the full suit with hood, a gun wrap and stuff sack.
For the price, this is the best winter ghillie for the budget minded wearer. I just wish it didn’t pick up every twig and snag against bushes.
Are you are looking for a basic snow ghillie for bird watching? Well, the Vbestlife ghillie suit is a decent choice in 2020.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the ghillie for serious hunters or air-soft snipers. But it will do a decent job for bird watchers or as a party costume.
Out Of The Box
Wow this is a bright white ghillie suit, it’s almost blinding. The suit weighs about three pounds in total, so it’s the lightest out there, but it isn’t cumbersome either. Its made of polyester and is a one size fits all, five piece ghillie suit. The strands don’t tangle as much as others, but there aren’t actually that many strands to get tangled.
Standing Concealment Only
With this in mind, the lack of coverage in this ghillie is actually my biggest complaint. There number of bare patches removes this suit as a contender for best winter ghillie. While I expect bare spots at my joints (elbows & knees), this suit has massive areas of see through mesh.
The best coverage this ghillie provides is if the user stands straight and looks up. Since this is a general position for birdwatchers it makes sense that this one is a good choice.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, you have to hand wash these ghillie suits. I did get some dirt and twigs in it walking around in the forest. To clean it, I sprayed it with the garden hose and let it hang dry, which did a good job.
If you aren’t moving around a lot and prefer to spend time stationary. Like searching for birds in bright snowy terrains, try out this snow ghillie, it delivers adequate camouflaging but it costs more than others.
If you are searching for a white ghillie for a party costume and have no other options, then buy this one. Last year VGEBY held this spot but have since run out of stock. Resulting in this Dilwe suit taking its place. Although both of these manufacturers adverts are the are the exact same, weird right?! Anyways, you won’t find any other customer reviews either, nor much information at all. To fix this, below is my review of what this manufacturer calls a “ghillie” suit.
My First Look
Opening the box my initial look of this “hunting” ghillie shows tons of bare patches and base layer mesh. The polyester strands are brilliant white and some threads fell off right out of the box. Due to poor quality control this isn’t suitable for hunting. In fact it’s so bright that if hunting in this,you could actually alert the prey instead of blending in to the background.
Trying on the Dilwe ghillie, it’s near identical to the Vbestlife ghillie suit, but much worse. On the day I wore it, the weather was windy and my neck felt exposed. It’s such a distracting feeling to have wind blowing down into the suit via a gap at your neck.
Maybe this snow ghillie suit is best for an “abominable snowman” costume. Or as a starter suit that you could customize? You could add dark polyester stands to the many bare spots?
Anyways, wearing it inside feels pretty comfortable as the inner mesh is soft and the pants are drawstring for easy on/off. For the jacket, it closes with snaps and keeps out the elements. In total the suit weighs about 3 pounds, so it’s “medium heavy.” Another bonus, is that the manufacturer does offer a guarantee if you aren’t satisfied, though I didn’t test it.
Would I consider this winter ghillie for any use other than a holiday costume? Nope, but if you haven’t any other option, it’s cheap and makes for a good start to a costume idea.
Capturing the perfect photo of your favorite wildlife is amazing during winter. The snow provides a great neutral backdrop for every animal. So being able to stalk or blend into your surrounding is crucial.
For 2020, I love the JUMPEAK ghillie suit due to its beautiful blend of white coloring. Unlike the Red Rock Ghillie, this one doesn’t have any dark streaking, instead the polyester strands are a dull white. As a result is gives off a slight dirty snow look, that blends my contours better as I crawl on the snowy terrain. This is a great advantage for disappearing to get the perfect hidden shot.
Trying this suit on I notice less bare spots than the Vbestlife or the Dilwe suits. While the coverage is excellent, doesn’t beat the Red Rock Outdoors or CamoSystems models. To help fix coverage problems you can brush out the 100% polyester strands. Doing this makes a big difference at bare areas like your elbows and knees.
As for weight, it’s 3.2 Pounds or 1452 Grams which is 91 grams more than the Red Rock suit. At this weight, it’s best suited for long periods of little movement, like waiting for a perfect picture. I like that the suit doesn’t rustle much as I crouch or stand, a bonus to reduce alerting wildlife.
Comfort wise the trousers are drawstring with elastic ankles. They feel roomy and I can wear heavy pants underneath. While the jacket is like a poncho which mean you don’t have to bother with closures. Although this may be a problem if you need to reach for something in you clothing underneath.
Hood Mesh Is Great For Cameras
This ghillie suit comes with an large hood that has good mesh. I found visibility to be fine for looking at a camera viewfinder. Likewise it comes with a rifle wrap that while basic it works. It should come with a stuff sack, although mine didn’t, either way no big deal to me.
Understand that this ghillie is a basic model at best and won’t take heavy long term use. But for the most part, this is a good albeit basic snow ghillie. While is does have coverage issues in its top layer and can’t match my best winter ghillie pick. If you aren’t hunting, then price wise the JUMPEAK is a great deal for a winter wildlife photographer.
7 Step Buyers Guide: Choosing A Winter Ghillie Suit
Before you attempt to buy a winter ghillie suit it’s important to follow these 7 steps. By completing these steps you avoid buying the wrong ghillie for your needs. But first let’s discuss the difference between a regular ghillie and a winter version.
What’s Different About A Winter Ghillie Suit?
Unlike a woodland or desert ghillie suit a winter version is an aid to conceal a person in a snowy area. This version uses white, gray or black strands to help you disappear into winter terrain. Think of a winter ghillie as wearing a blanket made of snow and muddy debris. Unlike leafy ghillies that rely being lightweight, winter ghillies don’t as much. Since in snow it’s better to lessen movements as entire environment blends together.
Alright, let’s get started on the 7 steps to consider for choosing a winter ghillie.
1. Determine The Use Of Your New Winter Ghillie
Consider what type of winter activity you are using your ghillie suit. As well think about what extent of mobility you need. If you move around a lot, for example playing paintball or airsoft a ghillie jacket or poncho might be all you need. Although some players prefer to use sniper techniques, here a full ghillie suit is best.
Hunters of wildlife photographer should use a full ghillie suit with hood. Because having total camouflage is vital for success.
Regardless of your intended use it’s in your best interests to buy a full ghillie suit. Because this type will create as much of a barrier as possible between you and the winter terrain. Creating a barrier helps to insulate your body from the cold elements.
2. Choose The Proper Material For Your Ghillie
Ghillies come in two different materials, either natural jute or synthetics like polyester. While both of these material create effective concealment, synthetics make the best winter ghillie.
Synthetic materials are hand washable, rot resistant, fire resistant, non-allergenic and odorless. An added bonus of a material like polyester is it weighs almost half of jute material.
Another material to consider is the inner side of a ghillie. Traditional military grade suits use BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) canvas material. BDU canvas is tight weaved hence it doesn’t breathe but it’s the strongest material. It’s also an expensive material which increases the total cost of a ghillie.
For hunters, photographers or airsoft users, look for lightweight mesh or netting. Some brands will list the size of the mesh used in their ghillies, for those that do look for a 3/4″ mesh. Nylon is a common inner mesh material because it lets air pass through the suit to help keep you cool. As well, it’s less expensive and bug-proof.
4. Factor In The Color Pattern
To pick the right color for your ghillie suit, consider your local landscape in winter. Picture the shades of trees and land cover after it snows.
Are you in open alpine areas without shade from hills or trees? Choose a ghillie with brighter white colors.
If your local environment is near forests its best to look for a model with dull white and gray/black strands. This color pattern is great because it mimics dirty snow and natural outcroppings.
5. Consider Winter Ghille Weight & Size
Weight is an vital factor for ghillies because it has a direct correlation to fatigue. Think about your local area in winter, do you have to trudge though deep snow? Every extra pound of gear weight contributes to tiredness. The best hunting/air-soft winter ghillie suits will weigh around five pounds or less.
For which winter ghillie size to pick, keep in mind that in winter temperatures drop. This means you need to wear heavier insulated clothing under the ghillie. It’s best to choose a larger size than a form fitting smaller size. A large ghillie is roomier to accommodate insulated clothing and deliver better camouflage.
6. Choose Quality Ghillie Construction: “Pay Now Save Later”
Like anything else you get what you pay for and this rings true for winter ghillies. Pay attention to ghillie suppliers that use high quality construction methods. Such as durable double stitching, innovative thread weaving and breathable mesh materials. If you cheap out on your winter ghillie, expect at best a party costume quality product.
7. Look For Ghillie Suit Accessories
If you are a serious hunter or photographer you will want to pick a ghillie suit with accessories.
Professional grade ghillies may have added: chest/knee pads, crawl covers and more. For hunting, airsoft, or paintball look for at least a gun wrap and stuff sack.
A gun wrap is like a matching ghillie for you rifle or a camera. The stuff sack is for storing your winter ghillie. Having total camouflage for you and your equipment, equals greater concealment.
All things considered, at this point you should be able to make an informed choice about the best winter ghillie for you. Consider what color/coverage is best for your activity, weight, and which is most comfortable. Keep in mind that the heavier a ghillie is, the harder it is to move around in it.
Whichever winter ghillie you choose, Outdoors Informed is happy to aid with the research. Our mission is to help you spend more time outdoors capturing your prey.