We have long seen classic baseball caps on the heads of special forces and marksmen. Despite their versatility, utility and aesthetics, they never find their way into the elements of the mandatory uniform in any army and are being supplanted by patrol boats – probably due to the cost of production. However, what fits on the head of an infantry soldier or a South American dictator is not necessarily suitable for a marksman.
The general purpose of a tactical baseball cap, like any other cap, is to protect the user from the sun. Depending on the climate and the season, sunstroke can threaten us to a greater or lesser extent, while the harsh rays in our eyes are always a nuisance. When choosing a hat, it is worth paying attention to a few things – in the case of sun protection, it is the right material and a well-formed canopy.
As we’ve said many times before, the fear of synthetic materials is diametrically opposed to the differences between the various materials – wrongly so. Cotton – skin-friendly, moisture-absorbing, polyester – perfect moisture transport and much more hygienic. In our opinion, the best choice is a hat with a hybrid construction – cotton on the front where it comes in contact with the skin on the forehead, and synthetic material on the sides and back that wicks away moisture well. On some models, in the front zone, there are inserts made of a synthetic fabric that absorbs moisture from the forehead so that perspiration does not limit our vision.
Depending on the temperature, we can think of three possibilities. The first, for the warmest days or during high exertion – the front zone is closed, the others are made of airy mesh fabric. Depending on the materials used and construction, it is either a rigid, large mesh mesh (found in tall trucker hats) or a flexible, openwork material. The second type is of course the classic type made up of identical snapback panels (with strap adjustment) and will be a universal choice. The third type – models equipped with an elastic Flex-Fit band will work better at slightly lower temperatures due to the “sealing” of the head cap.
As for the cap profile mentioned earlier – the modern trend is towards short, highly curved caps. This type of profile combines functionality and versatility with an attractive look – over the years we have seen examples of caps with too short, non-functional hoods, such as WW1 Russian models. It’s good the way it is now. Some hoods have a velor lining on the underside. This solution allows the use of accessories such as Velcro microflaps that allow, for example, a comfortable reading of maps.
Assuming we’re buying a peaked cap for “tactical” purposes, we must also assume that hearing protectors, possibly a communications kit, will end up on the head outside of that. Of course, modern models are relatively light and comfortable, but a properly selected cap can make it a little easier for us to use. First of all, baseball cap manufacturers stubbornly place a button – called the squatchee – on the cap.
The theories about its functionality aside, it will be placed right where our headband goes. It may seem like an unimportant detail, but assuming that the headband mount dictates the layout of the entire headphone, it would be good if it rested on a flat surface and didn’t press any hard elements into our head. So let’s choose caps without squatcheeee or remove them ourselves. Fortunately, on a large proportion of tactical caps, this button is replaced with a small velcro used to attach an infrared-reflecting patch.
The second interesting solution is the undercut on the cap around the ears, thanks to which the protector pads do not rest on the cap. The tight adhesion of the headphone shell to the head not only guarantees comfort, but also allows the maximum use of the damping properties of the headphone, regardless of whether it is an active or passive model. Of course, if we use dock shelters, such a cap will not make any difference.
The last point – panels with Velcro. As we all know, a tactical hat must have at least one panel that allows you to attach a patch with a Punisher skull image or humorous slogan. An exception is the Oakley tactical hat, where the designers incorporated the embroidered logo into the beet structure – so we have to make a choice: the Punisher skull or the splendor emanating from the company logo. The seemingly invisible panel at the top of the hat, as we mentioned earlier, is used to attach the infrared visible patches.