Introduction Not so long ago the guys at Airball Supplies aka AirCombat dropped me a line to say hello, and looking through their stock one item rather shone out as being rather unique. The concept is quite simple really it’s a fairly standard baseball cap, but with a protective “skull cap” insert. Nigel at AirCombat was kind enough to send one over for me to have a look at.
How much protection? Whilst not designed as complete protection from all impacts it does afford some protection against the knocks and thumps normally associated with military simulation gaming such as Paintball and Airsoft.
Protection is three quarter, as the plastic insert does not extend to the rear area of the cap. The material isn’t ballistic or ANSI rated in any form but at point blank range you can’t feel a direct hit to the protective areas of the cap. As for nocks and thumps, blunt force induced trauma is reduced drastically. A simple punch to the head is fairly unnoticeable.
Obviously this cap is not going to save your life if you decide to dye your hair green and jump off a cliff in a purple long jacket however it does greatly reduce the chances of any uncomfortable marks that could be caused by Airsoft related risks to the upper head area.
Design: There are 5 holes around the brim of the plastic insert, and two at the top which allow some air flow around the head plus ensures that there’s no vacuum formed with anyone’s head that may be shall we say ‘follicly challenged’. There’s also a thick foam rubber pad at the top underneath the button area of the cap.
The rear of the cap features the standard buckle fastening system that allows easy adjustment in sizing, plus features the a-c.uk.com logo.
The cap is available in camo, black and a bright orange colour. The first two are obvious choices for normal use, and the orange cap has uses for marshalling or anywhere where the wearer needs to be highlighted for whatever reasons.
Wearing the cap: The first concern about wearing something like this is to how comfortable it is. Apart from the obvious rigid nature to the cap it is very comfy, the banding around the temple area ensures a nice fit around the sides, and the padding at the top avoids any uncomfortable rubbing.
The only other concern I can think of is looks. After all there’s no real point wearing a cap like this if you look like you’ve come down with a nasty case of space-mumps. Apart from the cap being thicker at the the sides than you’d expect (by literally only a couple of millimetres) this cap virtually is indistinguishable from a standard baseball cap.
Conclusion: If you’re after a protective cap/hat that gives you better protection than a normal baseball cap yet subtlety in it’s design then I think you’ll find this a handy accessory. Obviously it can’t protect your ears from damage or anywhere below the band, however it’s unique and well made. Personally I rather like the idea, the cap is well made (it’s nicely formed too – can’t stand caps with straight peaks myself) and a I think bit more appealing than the standard brain bucket.
External links: Links to external sites of interest: