MARPAT (short for MARine PATtern) is a digital camouflage pattern in use with the United States Marine Corps, introduced with the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU), which replaced the Camouflage Utility Uniform. Its design and concept are based on the Canadian CADPAT pattern. The pattern is formed of small rectangular pixels of color. In theory, it is a far more effective camouflage than standard uniform patterns because it mimics the dappled textures and rough boundaries found in natural settings. It is also known as the "digital pattern" or "digi-cammies" because of its micropattern (pixels) rather than the old macropattern (big blobs).
The United States Marine Corps has patented MARPAT, including specifics of its manufacture. By regulation, the pattern and items incorporating it, such as the MCCUU and ILBE backpack, are to be supplied by authorized manufacturers only and are not for general commercial sale, although imitations are available such as "Digital Woodland Camo" or "Digital Desert Camo".
Design and colors
MARPAT has patterns produced by highly complex equations. The purpose of the digitized pattern is to match the visual texture of typical backgrounds. When compared to a white background the MARPAT does look surprising and would seem to catch attention, but when used in an operative environment, its textured appearance and lack of hard edges make it more effective than traditional patterns. While much was made of the unique design of the pattern when first adopted, it is in fact a recolored version of the Canaian CADPAT. However the Canadians never assited its development contrary to popular belief.
There were initially three MARPAT patterns: Woodland, Desert, and Urban. Currently, only the Woodland and Desert patterns are used by the Marine Corps, replacing the U.S. Woodland pattern and the U.S. Three Color Desert pattern . Webbing and equipment worn with MARPAT Woodland and MARPAT Desert is produced in Coyote Brown, a mid-tone color common to both the woodland and desert patterns. The Urban pattern was not approved for use. Although a digital snow pattern has also been adopted on cold weather training over-garments, this uses a different pattern from the Canadian company Hyperstealth.
Authentic MARPAT material is distinguishable by an Eagle, Globe
, and Anchor emblem incorporated into the pattern, in both the Woodland and Desert patterns.