Anatomy of a Browning Cap

YOU GOTTA' WEAR A CAP. That is pretty much a given if you are going to be a hunter or a shooter -- or even just an outdoors person. And for most of the year, you are going to be wearing a baseball-style cap. Now, it would be easy if you only wore your hat when hunting . . . just match your camo. But Browning makes hats that say all sorts of things about you during the offseason.

And whether you wear your cap frontwards, sidewards or facing to the back, we have a hat that fits your style. If you don't know much about hats, below is a bit of a description of the features that make them work.

Several Browning caps all lined up.

CLOSURE

In the world of cap making, the way a cap closes in the back has become a big thing. Over the years there have been many fancy systems. In recent years most caps have returned to the popular plastic snap closure. Most Browning caps have plastic snaps. 

These are the basic choices:

  1. Plastic snap (easy, fast, durable, comfortable)
  2. Adjustable hook and loop (it offers precise adjustments to fit)
  3. Adjustable fabric tuck strap with slide closure (you often see this on caps for golfers)
  4. Leather strap with metal buckle and grommet. 
  5. Fitted caps. No closure type. Most of our fitted caps have some significant elastic "give" but you still need to be close to your head size for the best comfort. 

Caps generally have a half-circle opening to allow for the strap on whatever adjustment system is used. 

Hook & Loop Closure

Hoop and Loop hat closure

Hook and loop closures allow for exact fitting as they can be physically repositioned by the user to any size within the hook and loop bands on the back of the cap/hat.

Snapback

Snapback hat closure

This classic cap fastening system allows the user to adjust their cap size using a series of plastic snaps to hold the cap in place at the user-adjusted size. These fasteners have a proven history of wear and reliability.

Stretch Fabrics

Stretch fabrics beanie

Many other Browning headwear products are made using stretchable fabrics. Not only do these allow for sizing to many different heads, they hug the hair and scalp to keep warmth in and cold wind out.

Flex Fit

Flex Fit cap

Flex Fit hats have an internal elastic design that offers a comfortable, snug fit for a more specific range of head sizes. Most Flex Fit hats fit Small to Medium. Some are Medium only. The back of the hat is fully closed with no visble adjustment system. 

PANELS

Most of any Browning cap is made up of the panels of fabric or mesh. Each hat has a "structure" it conforms too. Some are totally round . . . a half-circle. Others use the panels to create a larger front of the hat, called the crown. The shape is created by the shape and size of the panels and how you sew the panels together.

If you want to create a round shape you join usually six panels together with durable thread.  with a suitable thread. You probably have noticed that our back panels are often constructed with mesh fabric. This is purely for ventilation. In the heat of the summer, a mesh back simple keeps you cooler. Several of our hats, especially the fitted caps, uses fabrics with elastic give which allows them to form to the shape and size of your head. They look great. Today's "stretch-fit" hats, as they are called, have a truly fitted look. 

Six panel cap

Six Panel Cap

CROWN

You would think that the "crown" would be the top. But on a cap, it is the front area that comes in contact with your forehead. According to the hat experts, there are really two types of crowns, 1) structured and 2) unstructured. A structured cap is different and holds its shape well because it has backing fabric along the crown. It holds its shape very well. The unstructured cap is missing this backing. It will fit lower on your brow and match the contours of your head. How the crown attaches to the bill determines whether the hat will be high or low profile. Many classic styles with patches are high profile. The rounder style has come and gone over the years. Both styles are popular today. 

Cap crown

The Crown starts where the bill meets the front panel and goes upward. Some crowns round back while others shoot straight up. Your preference. 

EYELETS

Eyelets are one of the cool parts of a Browning camp. Not all hats have them but when they do you should know that the original intent, many decades ago was to provide ventilation to keep your head cool provide. They are usually small holes surrounded by a stitched edge. Sometimes they are produced with small metal eyelets. All of these add extra style to your cap and can make it more comfortable when you are hot. 

Cap eyelet

Originally for ventilation, now they are mostly for decoration

BUTTON

Most Browning caps have a button. The button is at the top of the hat. But what does it do? Originally it was just a nice touch for the point where the panels meet at the top. Today, having a button on your cap is part of the tradition and it does offer a neater, classier look. The color of the button matches different panels on different hats. Take a close look. It is all part of the style. 

Cap button

A cap would not always look right without a button on top

SWEATBAND

The sweatband is exactly that. On most hats, there is a little cloth band along the inside edge of the hat where it contacts your head. It goes along the crown then -- in many cases -- circles completely around and meets up again. Why a sweatband. It helps keep sweat from dripping into your eyes, which is good. But most of all it has become a traditional part of a quality cap. Some sweatbands are made from the same fabric as the hat and some are extra absorbent (hats designed for summer). 

UNDER VISOR

The under visor is, of course, under the visor. In some cases, it is a different color than the top of the bill. For most Browning caps it is a complementary color and is usually a darker, matte color to reduce glare in your eyes. When two types of fabrics are used, one type (or color) on the top and one on the bottom, it is sometimes called the "sandwich." There may be piping along the edge between them. Sandwiching looks pretty good and gives a little more beefy look to the cap. 

Cap sweatband

The Sweatband circles the inside of the hat where it contacts your head

PATCH

The patch on a Browning hat can be either embroidered or printed. The effects are different and it is all up to you. Durability is a prime concern. Some embroidery --  like the word "Browning" or a side Browning Buckmark logo --  is often found on the back or side of our caps, and is applied directly to the fabric panels themselves. 

Direct embroidery cap example

Direct to hat embroidery

Embroidered patch cap

Embroidered patch

BUCKRAM & CONSTRUCTED CAPS

The buckram is a special lining that is found on the inside of the cap in front. It usually is found on what are called "constructed" caps. Extra buckram-specific fabric is used to line the two front panels of the crown. It is usually a very stiff lining. The purpose of the lining is to make the front of the cap stiffer and to stand up straighter --  keeping its shape and not sagging down, collapsing or denting. If there is no buckram, the hat is considered an "unconstructed" hat: Unconstructed hats sometimes have a lower height that needs your head for support and shape.

Buckram lining on cap

"Buckram" lining helps support the crown.