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Boonie Hats

By Edited Mar 9, 2014 1 1

Boonie Hat

Boonie hats are often though of as head wear for military use, especially elite forces such as the army Rangers and Navy SEAL teams. This is true that our military forces use the boonie hat, and have worn it since the Vietnam War era,but you do not have to be in the military to enjoy the benefits of wearing a boonie hat.

The boonie hat proved to be a useful tool for military members during the Vietnam war. The bright hot sun could be blocked from the soldiers eyes by the large brim. The same brim could also help keep the rain from obstructing their vision. When it rained it Vietnam it could rain for weeks at a time. The Boonie hat proved it’s versatility in multiple weather conditions.

The basic design of the boonie hat has remained relatively unchanged. The structure and venting of the the boonie cap is basically the same as it was during the Vietnam war when our military guys and even gals began to wear this headgear.

The wide brim of this military classic headgear can help keep the sun out of the eyes and the rain from pounding the face. The brim is made of stiffer materials than similar shaped hats such as a fishing bucket hat.

The ring of fabric around the hat is not there for the stylish look. That ring around the hat is called a foliage ring, and it is designed to hold shrubs, sticks, and other vegetation in order to help camouflage the person wearing the hat. The foliage ring is also called a branch ring.

The crown of the boonie hat will have steel eyelets on the side. The eyelets help to ventilate the head. On a warm day it allows the head to breathe and not sweat as much. On a cool day is performs the same function. If the hat had no ventilation then a soldier would be building up heat on a cold day, and the core body temperature would drop drastically. A sweaty head in cold weather conditions is not only no fun, but also dangerous. You can buy boonie hats that have a mesh style ventilation panels on the side, but the eyelets are the most common and traditional type of ventilation on a boonie hat.

In addition to the eyelets you will also find a small snap on either side of the boonie noggintopper. The snaps allow the brims to be snapped up to waer it “Aussie” style if a wearer so chooses.

The eyelets are very common, but you can also find most military specs call for a screened side vent. The screened side vent is basically the same as a rivet, but is covered with a small screen. The original boonie hats manufactured had screened side vents, but it seems that many either came loose, or were removed.

Originally the boonie hat was manufactured with Poplin and cotton materials. This blend of material was used to ensure the hat was windproof. Today you can buy boonie hats in numerous fabrics depending upon the conditions you will be wearing the hat in.

Jungle hats are another name for the boonie. If you are not going to be in a jungle or tropical climate, you may choose to have your fabric different. There are numerous fabrics and blends of fabric available. Each has their benefits and downsides. The hat you choose should be to fit your climate and needs. Are you only going to wear the boonie while you are mowing your lawn or will you be wearing a boonie as you cross country ski through the base of the Alps?

Poplin of 100% cotton tends to be the most popular fabric use din modern day boonie hats. Poplin can be any type of fabric. Poplin refers to the weave of the fabric. The fabric strands are in a plain weave, and the cross-stranded to give it a different appearance. If the cross-strands are further apart it is what is called “rip stop”. If the cross-strand sections are narrower then it gives the fabric the appearance and texture of canvas.

A canvas feeling boonie hat is rarely made of canvas, but rather is 100% cotton with a Poplin weave that creates the texture. 100% Cotton and a cotton/rip stop polyester blend are typically the most common fabric blends you will find in boonie caps.

You can buy boonie hats that are made to current military specs as well as reproduction militray spec hats. Reproductions of the original Tiger Stripes Jungle hat are very popular. In addition to the military spec boonies, you can also find boonie caps designed for the civilian market.

These civilian boonies may be made with a UV protected fabric to help stop some of the cancer causing UV rays from the sun to bore down on your neck and upper face. You may also find civilian boonies in many fashionable patterns and colors including pink camouflage.
Other features of boonie caps include a neck strap,

Boonie hats are not adjustable. You buy them in a size to match your head.The most common sizes for a mans head size is between 7” and 7 3/4 “ If you order a boonie cap online and do not know you head size then take a tape measure and measure around the widest part of your head. This will give you the size of your head. It is advisable to order up one size. Most people prfer their boonie hats to be slightly loose and not firm or tight. In addition the cotton material tends to shrink a tiny bit when you wash and dry it. By ordering a larger size you can always shrink it in the dryer if it is too large for you. The longer you keep it in the dryer on high heat the more it wil shrink.

If you do not want you hat to shrink then wash it only in cold water and then hang it up to air dry.

Comsider the conditions you will be wearing the hat in. If you are looking for a winter time hat then you can buy a boonie made of thicker and heavier material. You can also find boonies that do not have the side ventilation. If you need it for hot weather then 100% cotton with the screened ventilation rings may be your best option.

Boonie hats are inexpensive, versatile, and fun and stylish to wear. Find a boonie hat today and make your presence felt wherever you go.

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Comments

May 31, 2011 12:08pm
Lynsuz
My husband likes boonie hats. Great article ernie.
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