IWA Report – part 1: The CAMO wars continue?

Die deutsche Version dieses Beitrages kann im Tacticalforum nachgelesen werden.

Just like every other year, huge masses of people visited Nuremberg to witness the madness of the IWA Outdoor Fair this time of the year. And like always the onrush was massive to say the least and one could witness the full spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, dealers, tacticool operators and normal human beings.

The micro cosmos of IWA…

Subsequently I would like to give you my impressions of the show and tell you about some of the news which caught my eye. Of course this can only be an example of my own personal preferences since I am not able to report on every booth in every hall. Nevertheless I am hoping to give you something of interest.

Camo wars

Last year this was my final topic of my IWA report, this year I would like to start with it.

Contrary to the year before you couldn’t feel the fight for the market shares that much. The end of the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort put an end to the competition for now and you get the feeling that everyone marked his territory and stuck with it.

VERTX booth with Kryptek and Multicam

Kryptec and A-TACS were not so omnipresent this year. While you could still find A-TACS at their own booth, Kryptek was only to be found at a few particular dealers. Vertx showcased some pieces of course and so did Helikon with some jackets and pants. Other than that you could only find Kryptek at Tacticaltrim’s booth were there were materials as such.

Helikon booth

Tacticaltrim had different materials showcased for stitch bitches

A-TACS did only showcase the old patterns and not the new one, they started to advertise in the US. The latter pattern is supposed to fill the gap between the existing ones.

Multicam, the top dog of the last few years was omnipresent as always – after all it starts to become the inofficial NATO Standard since all treaty members appear to follow suit to the American camo or at least try to match the colorways in their own patterns. The new variants of Multicam (Tropic, Arid, Alpine and Black) were not as present as one might think though. If it is a problem of availability, or the general overkill of not knowing which of the various camo patterns to choose from is not mine to say.
In various conversations I could however determine that most companies chose to wait and not follow any trends. Multicam Tropic was the one of the four new colorways which could be seen more regularly.

Leo Köhler showcasing Multicam Tropic and PenCott Greenzone

Last but not least I have to mention PenCott. Slowly but firmly more and more companies are joining the PenCott Club and realize that it might be more effective than most people think.

Apparel companies like UF PRO, Leo Köhler or Helikon are offering nearly all colorways now and even showed them during IWA.

UF PRO showcasing the Striker HT pants in PenCott Badlands

Helikon Tex showing PenCott Greenzone next to Kryptek

Leo Köhler

While most of the tactical gear in PenCott was made in the USA in the last few years, you can now get it also from European companies. There are packs and tactical gear made by Tasmanian Tiger, ZentauroN and KarrimorSF (the latter didn’t show something during the fair, but they have something in the works). Also the polish company Wisport had packs on PenCott on display. Interesting stuff from Direct Action is also in the works – more on that later on.

Tasmanian Tiger Mission Bag and MKII Chest rig on display



Direct Action

Insofar one can say that at least with this pattern family something is happening on the market. If they could have satisfied the demand for fabric there would be alot more available right now. This issue has been taken care of if you can count on the statements of the responsible persons – which you can in my humble opinion.

At least in Europe PenCott has taken its place beside the top dog Multicam. Kryptek and A-TACS seem to disappear slowly after the initial hype. Nevertheless one can be curious about the transitional pattern of A-TACS and how it wll perform.

I wasn’t able to take pictures of every PenCott piece at IWA – here is a link with further details:


This is the end of part 1 of my IWA Report – thank you for stopping by!