INFRARED REFLECTANCE AND SAVOTTA GEAR

  • Efficient concealment against surveillance is the sum of many factors. Near infrared signature reduction, the ability to hide from surveillance by common night vision devices, is an important one.


    To reduce the NIR signature of a piece of gear the visible parts of it must reflect near infrared light similarly to its surroundings, just like a camouflage pattern must reflect visual light similarly to its background when viewed with naked eyes. Specific NIR reflectance properties are achieved through various manufacturing processes, dyes and finishes etc. These manufacturing tricks vary depending on the material (fabric, webbing, plastic, metal) and the demanded performance.

  • Besides the common NIR (approx. 750-1000 nm) night vision devices there are also SWIR (short-wave infrared, approx. 1000-2500 nm) devices. Materials which are made to work in the NIR spectrum may offer weak signature reduction in the SWIR spectrum. SWIR night vision devices are practically quite rare but may become more common in the future.

    Just because a piece of gear “looks military-like” or it has a camouflage print doesn’t mean it offers any concealment from night vision surveillance. That piece of gear may shine like a neon sign when viewed through a night vision device. This is one thing that sets “real gear” apart from “lookalike” stuff.

    The NIR signature of a piece of gear or clothing is easily ruined by using detergents with optical brighteners. This is one of the reasons why we recommend our gear to be hand washed with water only.

BASIC INFO FOR THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER

    • Many gear manufactures call their stuff “IRR” (infrared reflective) or “NIR compliant”, by which they mean that said product offers some sort of infrared signature reduction capabilities. Unfortunately these terms do not as such really tell you anything specific, and similar “NIR compliant” gear from different manufacturers may actually perform very differently. All materials reflect infrared light and “NIR compliant” gear is just as good as the specs they comply with.

      And what about materials which are not specifically NIR-anything? These may or may not work well. Such materials do not have a specified NIR reflectance performance that it needs to meet. The slightest changes in the manufacturing process (coatings, finishing, dyes, threads etc.) may affect the materials NIR reflectance. You can never really trust a “non-NIR-spec-compliant” material to perform in any specific way, it is not even meant to. You just need to to use it sensibly.

      Unless the manufacturer offers solid technical info and/or photos depicting the near-infrared performance of their gear the best way to find out how it performs is by checking it yourself using a night vision device.

1. China made "looks military-like" assault pack, green.
2. Savotta Hatka 12L, M05 woodland
3. Savotta Jääkäri M, green
4. Savotta Keikka 30L, black
5. Savotta FDF sleeping pad

NIR PERFORMANCE OF OUR MATERIALS

  • Due to our close-knit relationship with the Finnish Defence Forces most of the materials we use are by default compliant with strict FDF technical specs. The Finnish Defence Forces demand very high infrared reflectance performance from their gear, materials need to meet very strict reflectance specs to be approved for use. Working with this sort of materials means that most of our gear offers top of the line NIR signature reduction performance.


    We make gear in various colours and for different uses. Most of the materials we use are made according to some specific NIR reflectance specs, but some of our materials offer no specified NIR performance whatsoever.

Green: almost all green materials we use are compliant with FDF specs.


Brown: almost all brown materials we use are compliant with FDF specs.


White: almost all white materials we use are compliant with FDF specs.


Black: some black materials we use are compliant with FDF specs, some are not.


M05 camouflage: all our M05 camo materials are compliant with FDF specs.


Multicam: we use official Multicam materials, made according to official Multicam specs.

  • Not all materials we use are made to any particular NIR specs. When making military gear we use such materials in ways that do not compromise the NIR signature of the finished product, considering the intended use of said piece of gear. This can mean they are used in very minor exterior details or as interior lining.

1. Cordura, green
2. Cordura, brown
3. Cordura, black
4. Cordura, M05 woodland
5. Cordura, Multicam Tropic
6. Cordura, Multicam
7. 210D PA, green
8. 210D PA, brown
9. 210D PA, black
10. 210D PA, orange

  • Rule of thumb: any of our green, brown and any camouflage pattern gear made with Cordura or webbing as the main material offers good NIR performance. Some black materials we use are not made according to any NIR reflectance specs, but then as black is not a visually camouflaging colour we don’t regard it as a colour which needs to offer high signature reduction performance in the NIR spectrum.

    Remember that even in military use not all your stuff needs to be NIR specced. However, all visible gear such as load carrying gear and uniforms should always offer NIR signature management, this is the logic by which we operate when designing our gear.