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The Arc’teryx LEAF B.A.C. (Bad Ass Cap) Cap has been one of my “go to” caps for everything from range trips to EDC. Arc’teryx gained their notoriety from providing top of the line performance in a lightweight, but durable package, which was instantly picked up by numerous special forces units. The B.A.C. lives up to the Arc’teryx brand image and provides the expected quality. The above Limited Edition Law Enforcement blue color B.A.C. LEAF cap I purchased roughly four to five years ago through their LEAF catalog and wore nearly daily until I purchased the below newer B.A.C.
One of my few complaints about the blue B.A.C. was that it had hook/loop on it. While some people really enjoy that and require it, I did not, but at the time the only variant in the LEAF catalog was that version. Soon the above version came and I jumped on the Arc’teryx WOLF/grey color about two years ago.
Both generations of B.A.C. have a breathable synthetic/polyester mesh back, specifically designed to allow the head to cool down but still providing protection from the elements (sun/rain).
Both generation of B.A.C. have reinforced front brim/panel so that the cap does not lose its position but also protects your face if you go head first into something. I have used this as a blunt impact weapon before and it works well due to the stiffness. It also helps with rain water to not pool in the front of your cap, but move to sides.
I very much dislike the button which many caps have. The B.A.C. was designed without one, which is fantastic. That means you can run over the head earpro and not worry about button bite or a headache afterwards. As you can see the stitching on both generations of the B.A.C. is good to go, even after years of EDC hard use.
As you can see both Patent numbers are the same from the Flexfit brand and both B.A.C.’s were made in Bangladesh. They have care instructions on the tag as well as the expected composition. Though it says “surface clean only” I have cold water only washed the B.A.C.’s several times and left them to air dry. No issues with the material coming apart and no issues with the caps becoming flat or mushy which may occur with other baseball type caps.
The logo embroidery changed through the generations, not the dead bird design, but the detail. The blue B.A.C. has hook/loop which is why, in my opinion, the detail is not as apparent as the newer generation B.A.C. which only has the dead bird logo.
The eyelets on the grey B.A.C. are slightly larger than the blue B.A.C. They did not get larger with wear or use/cleaning, they were this way right out of the box.
Both B.A.C. generations are nearly identical and have worked for me anywhere from 100 degree days in the summer to the high 40 degree days in the winter. Of course mission will always dictate requirements, the B.A.C. fits many different roles and requirements. The overall hat fit is pretty generous for a S/M/L type sizing. Medium will fit the range of larger small and smaller large (it makes sense, read it again). The Flexfit non-adjustable sizing is pretty dead on and stays tight around the head. The blue B.A.C. actually warped a little bit over time and is no longer a medium, more of a lower end large size now, which is unwearable for me as it is too loose and will move randomly, giving me the 90’s rapper look. For $25-35, depending on where you find it, it is well worth the investment. Also remember that while there may be other brands out there that have stake in the same market as Arc’teryx, the B.A.C. series of generations is pretty much the Porsche 911 of the cap world. They seem to improve on the design slightly (logo placement/combination of materials) each generation and the fact the cap is multi-weather purposed is extremely applicable for most people.
I opted for the non-hook/loop version this time around as I never used the hook/loop of the blue B.A.C. I am not into the hook/loop look or patched up EDC type, but to each their own. The non-hook/loop version blends in fairly easily with a non-obnoxious/non-bold dead bird logo off center and still gives you all the material attributes which you can expect from this cap.
My only suggestions for improvement would be for Arc’teryx LEAF to release two versions of the B.A.C. at the same time with each generation, one with hook/loop and one without. I like the centered dead bird embroidery and would actually like a LEAF specific type of embroidery, like a thin blue line or something of that nature. Maybe even just a LEAF text under or subdued in the dead bird.
Where to find it:
Amazon (Non velcro “Bird”)
Amazon (Velcro version)