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by Bill Mills
For years, paintball players in scenarios and big games, looking to take advantage of the ultimate camouflage have looked to ghillie suits. The suits, usually made from jute or burlap strips attached to clothing break up the shape of the body, making it harder to identify and leaving the player looking much more like a bush than a person.
Ghillie suits do have their drawbacks. They are heavy, usually very warm or hot to wear. As a lighter weight alternative, the hunting industry has developed 3d camouflage fabrics. These fabrics use a breathable nylon mesh base, and overlay it with a light nylon fabric that is printed in a camouflage pattern. The overlay fabric is then cut with jagged edges that hand out and protrude similar to leaves.
The GHOST RCS from United Paintball is designed as a 3D concealment system for paintball that takes advantage of the newer 3d camo technology, and utilizes a design that makes it very convenient.
It is basically a large poncho with a full head hood. The main body of the RCS is large enough to fit over most players, and their pack, and even a small backpack. The hood is attached at the back, and covers the whole head and mask, with single cutout to leave a field of vision for both eyes. An elastic band underneath the hood loops under the chin or front of the mask, and even when moving and running keeps it centered, so the eye space doesn’t shift out of the way leaving the player blinded. They eye cutout means that the hood covers and conceals the front of the mask, and hides much of the tell tale reflective goggle lens from view. Even then in testing it was found that a bit of lens was still visible. That, however could easily be further concealed with GoggleSkinz lens camo.
With different masks, the hood can be a snug fit, but none tested in reviewing had a problem, as long as they did not have a visor attached. This included Sott, JT Spectra and Proteus, V Force Shield, Skull and DYE Invision.
The cuffs on the RCS arms also feature elastic bands, which keep them in place, while a flared section covers the backs of the hands and the thumbs.
What makes the RCS most unique is the pouch from which it gets its name – Rapid Concealment System. The RCS has a pouch on the inside of the stomach area, and the entire poncho can be rolled, folded, or simply stuffed (which is more likely to keep the 3d camo material good and ruffled.) inside. The pouch is held closed with three metal snaps. On the back of the pouch are elastic cinch straps. The loops are large enough to accommodate a web belt or military harness belt, while the cinch straps are large enough to attach to a paintball harness.
The RCS can be worn out on the field
in the pouch, so as not to get in the way, or restrict the player’s movements
(depending on belt placement, it also can offer extra groin protection.)
Then, when a time comes where extra camo is wanted, such as a crawl to
an enemy base, or a scenario mission to set up an ambush, the poncho comes
out of the pouch and goes over the player without needing to be detached
from the belt or harness. While testing for review the entire process
of donning the RCS, and getting the hood adjusted and snugged took less
than 20 seconds.
For players wanting the concealment of a ghillie, or other 3d camo, but without the hassle, weight and heat, or being stuck in it after walking out on the field suited up, the GHOST RCS presents an attractive alternative, at a price that is less expensive than a professionally made ghillie. The convenience of wearing it on a belt, or slipping it on mid-game is a definite plus for big game or scenario use.
Author’s notes – in writing this article it was quite painstaking to avoid comments about using concealment to snipe at a tournament field from the woods.
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