PDA

View Full Version : Best Civilian Color



revelation2012
06-17-2009, 06:54 PM
Okay I think I may pull the plug on an xray for edc. I have a multicam ZXR but am now wishing I had not gone camo. But since I will most likely be in the bush with that . . . oh well. What color you think would not be conspicuous or stand out as odd in typical urban ot airport setting? I am partial to Coyote but am looking to perhaps snag a used xray or G1 Xray off the G1 series left. Coyote is not available. I was then considering foliage or black. Which do you think would not scream military pack? I know the pals are a giveaway for military.

I was going to go with an express but I am going to primarily use this in town and usual day hikes. Plus it looks like the xray only added the raised torso pads when G2 came out. plus I am looking to get out under $300.

straps
06-17-2009, 07:29 PM
Black.

I bought a FG X-Ray in a foolhardy, ill-informed attempt at a low-signature pack. FAIL. Might "pass" as civvie with some contrasting Coyote Brown pouches, however...

When Patrick & Co. stop with the sleeping bags and the clothing and the G2 insanity and all, I'll get a Black MOLLEx with an Organizer and a couple mini-longs and be done with it.

A possibility I continue to entertain is a MC base pack (X-Ray or Express) with custom civvie-colored (red?) Cordura MOLLE pouches, and possibly a cool extreme sports-type graphic velcroed onto a Grab-It--sort of like what Camelbak has experimented with on occasion...

JasonB
06-17-2009, 08:10 PM
I was going to go with an express but I am going to primarily use this in town and usual day hikes. .


I have a foliage express w/PALS belt that is roughly the same color as a Lowe Alpine Ophir lightweight pack I have and didn't get any looks the last time I was in the Smokies. Unless you are in an area that has people weirding out when they see a pack period (that seems to be most of Kentucky other than larger college towns) it shouldn't draw any more attention than anything else.

steveb
06-17-2009, 08:27 PM
Unless you get your X-Ray in 'Brotzie purple', it will look somewhat tactical/military, with the pals and design features. Maybe a Spike Camp in foliage would look less that way. If you want to blend in completely with sheeple, get an Osprey, Gregory, etc. If you want a pack that looks only somewhat paramilitary, and blends in well in an urban area, then a Coyote or Foliage pack is GTG. Another big factor to consider, that some overlook, is the size of the pack. I've noticed during my extensive time in airports and cities, that the larger the pack (.mil or even civvie), the more the 'shock and awe' effect amongst sheeple. You can 'get away' with a more tactical/camo pack if it is smaller (an E&E comes to mind). It may even look 'cool' instead of intimidating.

steveb
06-17-2009, 08:33 PM
JasonB you just reminded me of something. It seems that unless your in the Rockies or Pacific Northwest, our sheeple don't seem to take too kindly to backpacks in general. What the *bleep*? When I was in the Air Force and traveled thru Europe, lots more folks had them, even though we have a lot more 'outdoorsmen'. Any explanations?

Cameron
06-17-2009, 09:14 PM
I have traveled all over the world with a MOLLE Express in MultiCam no one even has batted an eyelid.

That said, Foliage is a nice subdued urban sheeple colour that also works well in the bush.

Cameron

Ralph
06-17-2009, 09:26 PM
Maybe because I'm getting old and curmudgenly but if some jerk "wierds out" because I'm carrying a pack rather than a suitcase I could care less. My regular luggage is black Eagle Creek - a large, wheeled case, a trifold garment back with hidden backpack straps and a small bag also with hidden backpack straps.

All my outdoors gear is OD, because I like it that way and I'm waiting to get a few yards of FG Cordura to make a small pack to carry stream fishing gear. If the sheeple don't approve of my taste in equipment they will just have to tough it out. I'm a pretty compassionate guy but I really don't suffer fools gladly.

adi
06-18-2009, 08:51 AM
Perhaps the way you carry yourself as well as physical presence and appearance plays a part when selecting color.

I consciously avoid camouflage for urban use yet still (on occassions) gets salutes when walking around with my Foliage Green daypack (with PALS webbing). I have short cropped hair (not even military cut) and happen to be built bigger than most of my compatriots but am a civilian.

A military personnel would become much easier to spot with a camo (or any other military color) pack not just because of the pattern/color but because of their gait and mannerism due to training. So it's a 1+1=2 situation.

Black would be the most anonymous color for urban use. The PALS and the shape of the pack might still be a giveaway for people who knows or look closer. Otherwise, for most people, it's just a blur. :)

revelation2012
06-18-2009, 05:52 PM
Any of you who have an Xray what type of belt do you have for it? Padded or unpadded? Any benifit of one over the other in this type of pack? Thanks for all the help. I am going to probably start filling the shopping cart tonight so want to get some final questions in and one of them will be a black Xray.

JasonB
06-18-2009, 07:15 PM
Maybe because I'm getting old and curmudgenly but if some jerk "wierds out" because I'm carrying a pack rather than a suitcase I could care less. My regular luggage is black Eagle Creek - a large, wheeled case, a trifold garment back with hidden backpack straps and a small bag also with hidden backpack straps.



I don't care either, but it does noticeably upset some people. Perhaps the oddest is at Cumberland Falls which sits right on the 268 mile long Sheltowee Trace trail. As SteveB pointed out, daypacks don't always (just sometimes) get to people there, but the 3 or 4 times I have came through there while backpacking had just about everyone there actively avoiding getting anywhere near us.

I always carry some sort of pack to gunshows to toss my finds in. Prior to 2003-2004 the only questions my ALICE pack raised was from people wanting to buy one, but in the last few years even my sport Camelbak has people acting noticeably worried.

steveb
06-18-2009, 08:30 PM
Any explanation for this behavior amongst the sheep? The only thing I can think of is, so many are dependent on the automobile to the point where they associate backpack(ers) with no-wheel, n'er-do-well vagabonds and drifters. That, and maybe borderline mass paranoia.

ryanusmc
06-18-2009, 09:04 PM
I like OD...but then again I like makeing sheeple nervous, that way I don't have to talk to them.

I agree with the manurisms(sp?) theory. My EAS was 4 years ago but a high and tight(only way I know how to cut my hair and to cheap to pay for a haircut) and muscular/lean build has people asking me who I'm with.

adi
06-19-2009, 12:02 AM
Any explanation for this behavior amongst the sheep? The only thing I can think of is, so many are dependent on the automobile to the point where they associate backpack(ers) with no-wheel, n'er-do-well vagabonds and drifters. That, and maybe borderline mass paranoia.

IMHO it's just the urban "fashion" sense. Most cams and mil color are "deemed" not fit for urban use unless you live within the proximity of the great outdoors or a military base.

Something I personally wouldn't worry about if you're comfortable and like whatever you're carrying (if it's a Kif then why worry :) )

Still there are caveats and exceptions to some parts of the world (maybe locality as well?)

Military colors may raise the flags in some urban dwellers especially if they're not used to seeing personnels walking around. I live in a country where it's a normal part of the day seeing soldiers in their DPMs but in a country like the US and Australia (where I lived for a long time) it's quite unusual unless you happen to be close to their base.

I experience a similar kinda of feeling during transit in Atlanta, Georgia (If I remember correctly) on the way to NYC in the late 90's. Seeing so many personnel going about their business at the airport made me think something was going on until I realized there is a military base nearby.


I don't care either, but it does noticeably upset some people. Perhaps the oddest is at Cumberland Falls which sits right on the 268 mile long Sheltowee Trace trail. As SteveB pointed out, daypacks don't always (just sometimes) get to people there, but the 3 or 4 times I have came through there while backpacking had just about everyone there actively avoiding getting anywhere near us.


Have you tried non-military looking pack? Some towns might just have an aversion to strangers, weird I know but us humans are strange sometimes :)




I agree with the manurisms(sp?) theory.

:D Love the spelling. No offense, It cracks me up! Reminds me of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Back to mannerism, It's difficult to be rid of what you're trained to do and how you conduct yourself daily for years, it becomes second nature.

JasonB
06-19-2009, 04:54 AM
Have you tried non-military looking pack? Some towns might just have an aversion to strangers, weird I know but us humans are strange sometimes :)


Yup, and I was wearing nylon zip off leg cargo pants and a t-shirt that looked fairly hippy-ish as well. Considering it is a resort area and I live about 45 minutes away I was probably less of a stranger than half or more of the people there.

Took a PALS OD green Spec Ops THE Pack (which I wondered about) to the Smokies (couple hundred miles away) and no one gave me a second look, nor had they with any packs I used before it or the Camelbak Talon or Kifaru Express that came after it.

The perceived normal/comfort thing might play a role as well. Most people that know me can't understand how anyone would want to sleep outside from October-May and, in many cases, can't comprehend how you can do so without literally freezing to death.

docw
06-19-2009, 09:27 AM
The best color for an EDC pack that will not get field use is Black. For travel or EDC and field use I like FG and then CB.

andyoz
06-19-2009, 09:43 AM
Well the only comments I've had lately in the UK was a question (from a very cute lass) as to why I such a huge bag, I'm not joking. I think it was just an innocent choice words on her part but it made me laugh.
I did have my CB ZXR chock to the eyeballs so I guess it's not unusual to draw attention with a pack that seems large to the "uninitiated". I've got more attention when using some very heavily loaded civie (blue or red)mountaineering packs when heading out in the winter.
My EDC/hand luggage is a CB E&E never had a "problem" even with the cylume's and smoke hood in it at the airport security check.

I guess size does count after all. :P

jadias
06-19-2009, 11:21 AM
Well the only comments I've had lately in the UK was a question (from a very cute lass) as to why I such a huge bag, I'm not joking. I think it was just an innocent choice words on her part but it made me laugh.
I did have my CB ZXR chock to the eyeballs so I guess it's not unusual to draw attention with a pack that seems large to the "uninitiated". I've got more attention when using some very heavily loaded civie (blue or red)mountaineering packs when heading out in the winter.
My EDC/hand luggage is a CB E&E never had a "problem" even with the cylume's and smoke hood in it at the airport security check.

I guess size does count after all. :P
Andy? TheWacoKid? I didn't know you were on here. Should have guessed though... ;)

I had the same in Japan - my EMR was more of a curio than a problem. The women seemed to love it. I'm not complaining - it was just a bit odd!

DavidLewis
06-19-2009, 11:32 AM
I don't care either, but it does noticeably upset some people. Perhaps the oddest is at Cumberland Falls which sits right on the 268 mile long Sheltowee Trace trail. As SteveB pointed out, daypacks don't always (just sometimes) get to people there, but the 3 or 4 times I have came through there while backpacking had just about everyone there actively avoiding getting anywhere near us.
I always carry some sort of pack to gunshows to toss my finds in. Prior to 2003-2004 the only questions my ALICE pack raised was from people wanting to buy one, but in the last few years even my sport Camelbak has people acting noticeably worried.

Could it be they were downwind? :D

We're just starting to go on longer hikes & bike rides with the kids. So far, in the city & state parks we've visited (and also Big South Fork NSRRA), I've not noticed anyone showing aversion to my pack, whether it was a black CamelBack military HAWG, or a MS Tour Lumbar pack (also black--in fact, I had it in a pretty big crowd at the Country Music Marathon when my kids ran the mini-version--& no one looked twice, as far as I could tell.). The few times I've had my OD Marauder out, we haven't run into anyone else.

I've used a tri-color desert CamelBack Thermobak with a black pouch zip-tied onto the rings (home-made Mule, I guess) on greenways biking with the family. Only looks I got were because of the hydration capabilities--most people I see still aren't familiar with the type.

Had to have been the smell, Jason...

David

AndyL
06-19-2009, 12:39 PM
Well the only comments I've had lately in the UK was a question (from a very cute lass) as to why I such a huge bag, I'm not joking.
Not had any comments with the Marauder yet. Infact the only time I've had comments when wearing a DPM coat and a large lowe alpine pack (OG)

maybe the UK are jjust more ok with bags (or people don't know about Molle so don't think military when they see it)

revelation2012
06-19-2009, 12:55 PM
I immediately got a response as my bag as "military" when I started carrying my scout on my car. Then again it is Multicam.

I just want an efficient EDC + carry for in the suburban setting and to take for day hike. Black seems to be a common carry color in urban setting. I am definately leaning toward Black or Foliage.

rhunter424
06-19-2009, 01:07 PM
My Foliage E&E and Scout get the most opportunities for comments (EDC and biking) and I've been good to go. If anyone says something about my pack its normally just asking where they can get one like it or something of that nature.

I don't think it's a safe assumption that if someone is looking at your oddly, its because of your pack. There are MANY other factors to it.

Although I've never tried it, I would imagine a black Kifaru with some red/green/orange/etc 550 weaved throughout the PALS would be very 'civi'.

DavidLewis
06-19-2009, 03:02 PM
Though my Marauder & pouches are all OD, I think black works well & doesn't attract attention. Almost every other piece of my nylon gear/luggage is black Cordura. the Kelty Redwing 3100 is black & dark green (I've darkened the white embroidered logo to lessen the visual impact), & one suitcase is black & charcoal.

David

JasonB
06-19-2009, 09:42 PM
Could it be they were downwind? :D

We're just starting to go on longer hikes & bike rides with the kids. So far, in the city & state parks we've visited (and also Big South Fork NSRRA),

David


Big South Fork section of the Sheltowee didn't raise any eyebrows from anyone including at the campsite we were dropped off at just north of the TN line. Out in the woods I have never had anyone appear antsy over wearing a pack (other than the occasional horse,) just curiosity/surprise among horseback riders/atv'ers that anyone would be out walking rather than riding.

Speaking of, have you ever hit the trail head at Pickett State Park for the Sheltowee? Haven't looked recently, but all the times I looked online and in handouts from the ranger stations here in KY I never have found good directions on getting there.

DavidLewis
06-19-2009, 10:31 PM
No; as I said, we've just started getting out with the kids, & the other hikes
I've done in that area have all been day hikes, and didn't include the Sheltowee Trace. My wife used to camp at Pickett as a kid, but I'd never been there until last spring, when we drove through as we left BSF, just so I could see the place.

There's a ranger at BSF named Brenda...I think her last name is Coleman, but it might be different now (divorce). She literally wrote the book on hiking in BSF, and may also be familiar with other trails in the area. She's a wealth of information. Could be worth a phone call, if you're not in the area.

I just remembered that the younger brother of one of my camping buddies has done a lot of camping in the area with his college buddies...I'll try to remember to ask him about it, too.

Sorry I'm not more help.

David

JasonB
06-20-2009, 05:16 AM
I just remembered that the younger brother of one of my camping buddies has done a lot of camping in the area with his college buddies...I'll try to remember to ask him about it, too.

Sorry I'm not more help.

David

Hey that is 2 or 3 more points closer to possibly knowing than I was before. :)

Alpha Dingo
06-20-2009, 12:52 PM
After some hesitations (http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=16695) regarding pack and colour, I ordered an Express G2 in black (EDC and traveling) with 2 long pockets and a medium pod in OD (camping, trekking and training).

I will replace the black bungie cord of the Express with a different colour to avoid the all black, ninja, look.
I ordered an extra bungie kit in OD to see how it'll look.

The 24.06, it'll be 8 weeks that I placed the order so, considering that I am in Switzerland, it might take until end of July for me to get it, although I hope it'll arrive before :p

If you can wait until then, I'll shoot you some pics.

Best,
A.D.

moho
06-20-2009, 03:01 PM
I have a Longhunter, special order in CB. Also another lesser brand day pack in CB. Neither looks particularly military and if anyone has given me strange looks, I haven't noticed. Most of my recreation is in semi-remote areas, flying is generally between AK and MT, and my work cohorts only think the stuff is cool. I don't spend much time in the urban environment.

I went with CB because it seemed the least military, other than black, but still disappears into a lot of landscapes if needed. On those rare occasions when I do want to camo out, I pack a few yards of inexpensive nylon camo net you can get in a lot of sporting goods stores for blinds and such. When draped over the pack and tucked into the straps, it actually produces a better camo effect than a camo pattern on the pack itself. Sorta translucent around the edges that breaks up outline very well.

It's a little odd that some of you mention saluting lately. I've been out for decades but still have a semi-military bearing in some circumstances, when clean and sober. On several occasions in the last six months or so, someone has saluted me in passing, usually a youngish, semi-military looking fellow. Mostly it's so unexpected that I don't respond, but I'm beginning to wonder if there is something going on I don't know about. OK, of course there is a LOT. But the saluting thing. What's that about? Is there a growing, underground, de-facto fraternity of non-sheeple? Whatever, it sort of kicks me up a notch for a while.

BuckarooMedic
06-21-2009, 10:08 PM
I agree with Moho, if I had to to it all over again, I would get one of the hunting packs in either black or FG. I would add an old MountainSmith, external pocket to the front that I have and most people would not be able to tell it from any other civy pack.

Of course, if I was really going covert, I would just use my old MountainSmith Bugaboo, grow a beard and wear whatever the kids are wearing. Oh wait, I'm already doing that! :)

Aimless
06-28-2009, 11:50 AM
I paid too much attention to the "watch out for camo" crowd and bought a foliage express to use in Switzerland. The cab driver in Buffalo slammed the door on the quick release buckle on one shoulder strap and snapped it in half. I was able to tie it off but in the end I used my wife's coyote scout attached to the black molle belt I had for the express with a bunch of pouches. No one looked at it twice in Switzerland. My wife did have a couple of american soldiers stop her in the airports on that trip and ask what kind of pack it was and where they could get one.

Prior to that I had used multicam scout, Zulu and E&E all over the east coast and for years no one said anything. I did have a traffic cop ask about my zulu when I got pulled over for speeding, I think he was just trying to figure out if I was in the military.

I have seen quite a few commercial packs with military-ish camo patterns that are just made up stylish patterns. I saw a woman in Canada last week with a low end commercial day pack that had some pixelated pattern of various greens, except I think there was an actual black grid around the pixels. I have seen packs with knock offs of russian water drop camo, I think those were snowboard packs or something else "XTREME." Lots of shoulder bags in Manhatten a few years ago with stylized fake military camo, some pants also.

Ralph
06-28-2009, 02:03 PM
Virtually all my stuff is OD - with PALS - now, and I get no odd looks though that seems to be losing the military edge with the new camos and such. CB or FG are both civilianish if you don't want black. FG gets the edge if you are afield during the big game seasons since CB looks a bit deerish.

XOGA
07-17-2009, 04:45 PM
This is a question that I have struggled with as well.

Several of the paradoxes of my experience are evident in the threads.

Black has become 'tactical black' in many places. There is a lot of luggage in black, there are very few backpacks made in black. In many environments, it screams 'cop', worse, it can scream 'DEA' south of the Rio Grande.

I have been knocking around the planet carrying a foliage X-Ray. No one bats an eye.

Coyote or tan used to be pretty unremarkable, but since the USMC went to Coyote brown, the hoplophobes about the sheeple know this. Your bearing will have a lot to do with how you are perceived.

I basically never wear camo in the civilian world. I am impressed at how much of it I see worn - mostly some variant of RealTree or some Target flavor. The current prevalence of camo in fashion has made Multicam, which is not widely known to be US military issue, very passable, far more so than ACU or any flavor of MARPAT.

Foliage would be my number 1, Coyote my number 2 choice. The surprise of my experience has been the black (backpacks only). Has anyone else had this experience?

Super Chicken
07-17-2009, 08:18 PM
I had been leaning towards a Coyote pack till reading from a few Gent's here that it is a bit "deerish" color. Since nothing would suck more than to exit this world due to a buck fever sharpshooter shooting me in the back I will now get Foliage!

revelation2012
07-17-2009, 11:05 PM
I had been leaning towards a Coyote pack till reading from a few Gent's here that it is a bit "deerish" color. Since nothing would suck more than to exit this world due to a buck fever sharpshooter shooting me in the back I will now get Foliage!

I picked up a second hand Foliage Mollex and it seems to be the best "fit in for color" for civy. However I am getting looks about having this pack about and toting it from the office to the car etc. I personally think it is a little big for just carrying around. But really to carry everything I have with me in one container it fits it all. My get an E&E here shortly for just quick carry in and out of the vehicle.

JasonB
07-18-2009, 05:41 AM
I had been leaning towards a Coyote pack till reading from a few Gent's here that it is a bit "deerish" color. Since nothing would suck more than to exit this world due to a buck fever sharpshooter shooting me in the back I will now get Foliage!

In spring/summer coyote does look deerish, but the greyish look of foliage green also looks deerish in fall and winter. Seems like there is a post where Patrick mentioned the foliage was a similar shade to cow elk as well.

Was thinking the same thing when I ordered my Express in August (arrived in October) after watching "brown" deer for several months and reading the cons on coyote brown. Then came November and I was reminded that I had forgot something.