5.11 Flag Bearer Cap - Long Term Review
I'm a cap guy, no getting away from it!
The good lord gifted me with many (well several, maybe one or two) things but a full head of flowing locks was not one of them. It gets cold on the old swede when you are out on the side of a hill, open range or generally in the middle of nowhere, so I learned from a relatively early age that a caps were my friends!
I've had possibly a hundred caps in my life, going away back of course, of every style shape and fastening. I've just had a scout around and I reckon I currently have 40 serviceable baseball caps at my disposal, thats not including beanie hats, round rimmed hats and other bits of headgear.
Of all these (lets call them) baseball caps, I have a range of makes and designs, based on what I use them for. I have VERY expensive caps made by Harkila that turn inside out and turn by head orange so I don't get shot when I'm on driven boar, all the way down to the 'cheap and cheerful', a free gift when I bought a rifle or scope or something work gave me with a torch on the end of the peak (yeah really)!
I've come across some good hats thats for sure, Hazard 4, Harkila, Helicon Tex, even some of the NFL stretch fit caps made by US brand Forty Seven have served me well but one cap has stood out amongst all the competition!
For context I'm a very active sporting shooter. I hunt in the middle of nowhere, often for many days at a time, I spend a lot of time on ranges from 50m to 1500m, even recently out to a mile and a half. in ALL conditions, I'm not put off by a bit of sideways rain! I am also fortunate enough to be able to travel to shoot, traversing airports and hotels en route to remote hunting lodges spread across the globe.
And when all this goes on I literally LIVE in the cap I have with me! So i get to know them quite well.
I found a common issue with a lot of caps I owned was the rivet on the top of the head which holds a lot of modern caps together. Those of you that shoot with cans on, ear defenders, Peltors, whatever you want to call them, will understand what I mean when I talk about this! This rivet makes using cans uncomfortable and for me, ultimately impossible!
So it was finding the brands, and there are plenty, which don't have rivets. Helicon Tex do a fantastic one, with a folding peak (very clever) which I have and use but it was too lightweight and the folding peak became annoying after a while! Great cap and I have one for work which folds away into a bag, but for heavy use on a range in the rain, nah!
I don't know how I came about it but I found myself trying out the 5.11 Flag Bearer cap in multicam. I'd had a 5.11 cap a long time ago, pretty much when the brand first hit the UK and I'm not gonna lie it was awful! It had a rivet and the stitching was in a funny place, the fastener (one of those belt things) was cheap and it pretty much put me off the idea of ever buying one of their caps ever again.
Lets be clear though, I was using 5.11's bags extensively at this time, they were beyond question a great and exceptionally well made bag and thats what made that cap so frustrating back then, it didn't come anywhere near the quality of the bags!
Anyway, I pulled the trigger and bought a multicam one, from Tactree in the UK (a great company to deal with for 5.11 - they are in the links) and it arrived quick etc etc. Lets not forget that this is coming along for 2 years ago now so the detail is a bit hazy!
So, I've lived with this thing for that long and all I can say is it is by far the best cap I have ever tried, worn or owned! This is down to a number of reasons but the first and most important is the material!
It has not sagged, stretched or discoloured, as many of my other hats have, with excessive rain, sun and sweat! I have been through heavy bush and used it as a valuables holder on the floor, shell case catcher and used it to wipe things clean of mud! This thing is bomb proof! And it washes off in the sink with some hot water a treat!
The velcro fastener at the rear is solid, perfect in length and the velcro outer (not that I use it) is clever for those people who want to remind the guy behind them that they know their own blood group! :-/
There is no rivet! Even more impressive than that is that instead of the rivet they have overstitched the main join (where the rivet would be)! Now thats what I call belt and braces, this thing is rock solid!
The peak is solid, despite getting VERY wet it has not changed shape and still moulds easily to where i want it. I've no idea whats in there, it used to be cardboard back in the day, but whatever it is it works!
There is a big velcro patch on the front, I don't use it but its solid and people love them so why not! I may well put a patch on there reminding people that I'm wearing a hat or similar, whatever floats your boat, but it once again is solid and stitched on well.
The branding is subdued too which I like. Small 5.11 logo's, no large gregarious badges showing off the brand, which is a big plus for me!
I love this multicam hat, at the range or out in the field it fits in, but it gets the odd disapproving look from joe public. I've got a beard and wear 'earth-tones' a lot so I do look a bit 'redneck-ish' on occasion. So I went and bought a grey one, exact same hat but it a light to mid grey.
The grey one looks great and goes with pretty much anything! I looked at black but black caps stand out more than camo in my experience. the public are used to seeing neutral colours as they go about their life and black has become widely regarded as tactical and associated with law enforcement across the globe so I try and avoid it in civilian life where I can.
Ive had the grey for about 12 months, worn it daily and aside of the colour it ticks exactly the same boxes as the multicam! Its safe to say that quality control with 5.11 isn't an issue as these hats are both made to the exact same high standard!
I just sat and thought back when I last went out without a cap on, it was for a meal with Mrs Jackal, a dark evening. I then thought when I'd been out in the daytime, no matter what I was doing, without a cap on and I genuinely could not recall an occasion.
And that hat has ALWAYS been either the grey or camo 5.11 Flag Bearer, with all the others sat on the hat hooks. Pretty much says it all doesn't it!
Oh yeah and these things are value too! Around £18 in the UK and possibly less if you shop around, I've paid a lot more for much lesser quality over the years thats for sure!
5.11 Flag Bearer Cap.......10/10 ! Go get one, or two!