Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Platatac GBH-R hat

Since getting myself a tandem AquaYak, we've been getting out on the Bay a lot more, and I wanted to get myself some sun-protection for under my bump-helmet.

My dad had kept his US GI Boonie hat when he left Viet Nam, and I swiped it, but it seems as I've grown both up and out, and it's too tight to really be comfortable these days. I'm guessing his short-back-and-sides gave him a bit more room than my ponytail does, too.

I'd seen the Platatac GBH and GBH-R and thought it was time that I updated my cover. (1968 boonie on right, for scale and reference.)

I went in and after some back and forth to get the right fit, I settled on the GBH-R (which has a narrower brim).

This is a feature packed hat. Hats have features, you ask? Yes indeed. so, apart from the obvious; fit and cover, which the GBH-R provides with a circular stitched brim to add stiffness, it also features a sew-in cord chin-strap, with a traditional leather cord-lock (I remember teething on my dads). Inside, a mesh lining with hidden vents adds heat dissipation and wicking to keep hot heads cool.

I chose the pre-dirty looking ATACS-AU for mine, which is made of the windproof Nyco ripstop (the Multicam version is 100% Crye cotton ripstop). You can see it here up against my Multicam First Strike Snatch Bag  which shows off the subtle patterns of the ATACS-AU, this is my first piece of this particular camo scheme and it is "street capable", in that it doesn't particularly -look- like camouflage, in the way Multicam or Auscam DPCU does.

The GBH-R also features a hidden internal shock cord retention around the brim, with cord-k at the rear to adjust tightness. 

There are a very robust set of branch-loops around the side band, which are bartacked onto the hat, and these are both well spaces and generous enough to stuff a variety of items, be they local foliage, spares, or even lures.  I plan on rolling a coil of paracord around mine, following Stormdrane's fine examples

Lastly, the GBH-R features a 35mm x 35mm loop field on the crown for IFF patches and badges. I have a glow in the dark patch on mine currently, helping me find it in the dark of a tent overnight, or the bottom of a kit bag. 

I tend to wear mine "sides up" with the chin-strap acting as a retention loop. The hat has stretched to fit nicely, especially helped by some hot weather tree-cutting I did, getting good and sweaty, which also proved the quick cooling and drying properties of the Nyco ripstop. The other thing I like is that the whole hat is fabric, meaning it is both lightweight and crushable; when not being worn it can be mashed into a pocket, or into a pack, then pulled out, flipped open and it's ready to wear. 


  1. Great hat. I wish they made solid colours as well.

    1. yeah, Timothy, I thought that too, which is why i opted for the ATACS-AU, the closest to a plain pattern, to my mind.

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