Ball caps don’t really have to do much to fulfill their purpose. If they keep the sun out of our eyes, we are usually pretty satisfied with them. The Blasting Cap from RE Factor Tactical is a ball cap, but it does a lot more than keep the sun out of your eyes. It might just change what you expect from a cap.
It seems like everyone makes a tactical hat these days. Many are basically identical low crown, unstructured hats with a Velcro panel on the front. Others have incrementally introduced innovative, end user centric features like ventilation and interior signal panels. However, few have so successfully combined these features into something that feels completely new like the RE Factor Tactical Blasting Cap.
The cap itself starts out as a Flexfit ball cap with mesh side and back panels. The Blasting Cap has features that you expect from a “tactical” cap. It has front and rear Velcro panels for attaching patches and identification. The edges of these panels are embroidered for durability. It has a 1”x1” Velcro panel that replaces the button on the crown. This allows for comfortable use of over-the-head hearing protection and attaching IR glint tape. Additionally, there is a second 1”x1” Velcro panel on the inside of the cap for storing your IR glint tape when not in use.
The interior of that cap contains still more functionality. The binding tape on the interior of the cap is printed with the RE Factors of various Es as a reference for those who need this sort of thing (which is not me). The front most two panels are lined with high visibility orange material that can be used for signaling which I find to be extremely useful.
Basically, this cap has many more features that you would typically expect from a cap.
Observations from Use
Caps must be comfortable to wear or they are useless. Since the Blasting Cap starts with a genuine Flexfit cap, it is extremely comfortable. The fact that it has mesh panels to greatly increase ventilation improves the comfort exponentially in warm weather.
The embroidered edges on the Velcro panels are a nice touch. It should help extend the life of the panels by preventing the edges from pulling when you remove a patch.
The signaling panel is the kind of feature that you will get more use out of than you realize. You can get someone’s attention in a crowd, get noticed if you find yourself in an emergency in the woods, or use it as a reference point for land navigation while using the leap frog technique. Of course, there are military uses for the panel that I am not qualified to comment on.
I have been struck with the thoughtful touches that can found in this cap. Things like the embroidered edges on the Velcro panels and the interior glint tape storage panel show attention to detail from the types of people who wear these caps on the job. Many of these features can be found on other caps but you will only find all of them in the Blasting Cap.
Check out the Blasting Cap on REFactorTactical.com.
Disclosure: RE Factor Tactical provided me this cap for review, free of charge.