The trucker hat. Could it be any more iconic? From 1960s…
Baseball caps come in an almost infinite number of colors and designs: sticker, no sticker, adjustment band, fitted, five-panel, six-panel, customized, plain – you name it, and it’s out there somewhere. Two of the most popular kinds of baseball caps are the fitted and the snapback, but which is better?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here because, in the long run, the style of hat that you choose will depend on your preferences and needs. That said, there are distinct pros and cons for each style of hat that you will read about below.
The snapback hat definitely takes the point in this category. The adjustable piece of plastic on the back of each snapback means it can be adjusted to fit almost anybody’s head. This is particularly helpful if multiple people within the same household use the same hat. In my experience growing up in a house with five kids and a lot of yardwork, the snapback was a necessary quality for our headgear. There wasn’t time to ponder on which hat you wore – you just grabbed one, slathered on sunscreen, and headed outside.
The fitted cap, on the other hand, is not very versatile, though there are still varying degrees of fit. Some fitted hats come in more broad sizing like S/M and L/XL so that they can accommodate more noggins. Other fitted hats are designed to fit just one size of head, making them, perhaps, the least versatile of all.
The fitted hat gets the point for comfort because it is designed to fit your head perfectly. It has smooth fabric all the way around on the inside of the hat, so there isn’t anything pressing into or catching on your head. You also don’t have to worry about it slipping around on your head because it was made specifically for your size.
The snapback loses this point because, let’s face it, that plastic piece in back is not very comfortable. If you’re adjusting it while you’re wearing it, sometimes hair will get caught in the snaps which can be painful. Additionally, wearing the hat backwards can be uncomfortable because that plastic piece can dig into your forehead and get itchy.
Ease of Use
This could seem like a silly category (I mean, it’s a hat – not rocket science), but there is something to be said for picking up a hat at random and being able to wear it. The snapback wins this point because it will fit almost any size head right out of the gate.
The fitted hat either requires you to test multiple sizes of hat or get measured in order to find your correct fit. While your head will probably stay the same size once you’re an adult, figuring out your hat size for the first time can be a hassle.
Because the fitted hat isn’t intended to be adjusted frequently, the front panels are often made with stiffer material, which makes it the winner in this category. The stiffer material can yield more impressive custom baseball caps and also withstand the test of time. Additionally, the lack of an adjustment piece in the back means that you can add custom logos there.
The snapback is still an excellent choice for customization, and its five or six panels can handle both heavy and light customization. The adjustment piece makes it more difficult – but not impossible – to add customization to the back part of the hat.
Both the fitted and the snapback have pros and cons in the fashion category. The fitted cap, because of its very nature, has a cleaner, more finished look, which can make it a good choice when you’re dressing up a bit. The snapback, on the other hand, can give off a more informal and carefree vibe.
The snapback also lets you do more with your hairstyle than the fitted hat because you have that extra space in the back. With a snapback, you can wear your hair down, in a low bun under the adjustment piece, or in a high bun or ponytail pulled through the opening in the back. Unfortunately, the fitted cap makes it very hard to do anything but wear your hair down or in a low bun or ponytail.
Cost and Durability
Fitted caps are typically a little more expensive than snapbacks because they aren’t considered one-size-fits-all. Their stretchable fabric fits snugly against the head for a more personalized feel. That said, they are usually also a little more durable because they don’t have as many extra pieces compromising the integrity of the hat.
The snapback is usually less expensive than fitted caps because it isn’t as personalized and labor-intensive to produce. The extra adjustment pieces in back are great for making sure the hat fits, but they can also deteriorate at a faster rate than the rest of the hat, which makes them a little less durable than a fitted cap.
Both the fitted and snapback caps are incredibly popular with celebrities and influencers wearing both styles equally. If you’re trying to decide which is best for you, get one in each style and give them a thorough test run.