An American Cap in Europe

An American Cap in Europe

Nexbelt’s New Ratchet Cap


I’m a cap guy. It’s because of all of those years playing baseball from Little League to college. It’s so Americana that in a recent survey on how to tell an American traveling abroad, one of the tell-tale-sign is that person is wearing a baseball cap.

So recently, I was that American in Europe. My wife and I took a river cruise on the Danube which took us through 4 countries – Germany. Austria, Slovakia and Hungary – in that order.

It’s November and the weather is cold - especially for a Californian. Temperatures ranged from high 30’s at night to high 40’s during the day for the most part. Occasionally the sun would peak its head out, but we got mostly grey skies and light sprinkles.

We just redesigned our ratchet cap and grabbed one for Europe. We have 4 colors: White, Black, Grey and Navy. I figured black would go with anything especially with by winter coat. We made some minor improvements from the previous design. We took the words Nexbelt off the front and we used a new material. Also, we designed a deeper sitting cavity to better fit the larger heads. I love the new design because it has a higher center face that sits more upright. I know I’m prejudiced, but this is the most comfortable cap I’ve worn. I said the same thing about our belts in the past and in the beginning, people thought I was prejudiced then too!

Besides hiding by bad hair days, the cap offered protection against the light rain and cold air that grabbed my ears. You’re probably thinking “how does a baseball cap keep your ears warm?”. Well, we also have a thin beanie that we match with the cap in color schemes. So, when it got really cold, I would slip on the beanie to cover the ears and then slide the cap over it. With a flex style cap, you can’t do that unless you have a size larger cap and when it gets warm and you don’t wear a beanie, you’ll have a cap that is too big for your head. With a snap style cap, you’ll have the inconvenience of making a couple of adjustments of putting the cap on and taking it off to make it fit correctly. And the fit won’t be the same as using the ratchet system on our caps because you can really cinch it down – while it’s on your head for the exact fit.

So, Germany was really cold because I was trying to adjust to a 40 degrees difference in temperature. Austria was milder but Slovakia brought the cold back again. Budapest, Hungary with its impressive architecture and is referred to as the Paris of East Europe brought the rain for a few days – but through it all, my head staid warm and dry.

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