What is the difference between snapbacks and trucker hats?

Trucker caps vs Snapbacks

Last Updated on 23rd May 2020

Do you know a trucker hat from a snapback cap? A Snapback actually refers to the fastening strap on the back of the headwear. Those little plastic clips that snap into place on the strip. So your favourite streetwear baseball cap could be a snapback or even a strapback, regardless if it’s a mesh trucker cap or ball cap style.

What is classified as a baseball cap?

The History of the baseball cap

Babe Ruth in New York Yankees Base Cap
Babe Ruth in New York Yankees Base Cap

Ballcaps can be in a variety of styles and colloquially are called Snapbacks after the fastener at the back. The Baseball cap dates back to 1860 when baseball players used the rounded top and peak cap to keep the sun out of the eyes for the batter and catcher. The Brooklyn Excelsiors were the first baseball team to make it part of their uniform, and the Brooklyn Style grew in popularity.

The acclaim of Babe Ruth’s New York Yankees saw the demand of replicas for fans to show their support.

In the 1940s the modern appearance was introduced with latex rubber stiffening material in the peak. It was still popular with men’s baseball teams and their supporters with the introduction of logos and team colours.

Magnum PI in Detroit Tigers Baseball cap
Magnum PI in Detroit Tigers Baseball cap

Tom Selleck can claim responsibility for the baseball hats exploding popularity in the 1908’s. His Magnum P.I character is credited with pushing the trend to wear baseball caps as a fashion accessory. Luckily his trademark Hawaiian Shirt didn’t last as long as his Detroit Tigers Baseball cap.

In the 1990s came the association with Hip Hop fashion and they became a big part of popular pop culture.

What are baseball caps made of?

They are usually made one-size fits all from wool or polyester, with an adjustment strap at the back. The style of adjustment can be known as snapback or strapback.

Baseball caps are either unconstructed as floppy caps or held together by a buckram button at the top. The biggest style variation is the stiff bill or peak, which is either flat (popular in hip-hop) or curved like the baseball “dad” hat.

Variations of the Fitted Baseball Cap

The 4 types of baseball caps:

  1. Snapback hats – (a hat with a snap closure in the rear) with flat brim, high profile, adjustable.
  2. Adjustable hats – (a hat with a velcro closure in the rear) unstructured, low profile, curved brim, adjustable.
  3. Fitted caps – curved or flat brim, structured cap, high profile, unadjustable.
  4. “Flexfit” hats – curved or flat brim, structured cap, high profile, adjustable by the use of elastic materials.

What is a Trucker Cap?

trucker hat giveaway
Trucker Caps date back to the 1960s, where the Gimme Hat was a cheap local merchandising promotional giveaway. Commonly associated with automobile companies who used them, they were literally the Trucker’s Hat.
Cheaper to make with plastic mesh and foam, rather than cotton favoured by baseball caps. The increased airflow makes them ideal for hot weather. The ideal fashion accessory for outdoor activities and sports.

What is a Snapback?

scar tissue snapbackThe snapback is the name of the plastic adjustable strap at the back. The plastic snaps into place to lock the right fit.
This can be any style of cap, including trucker or baseball. But the name has become commonplace as a style of hat with a flat peak.


What is a Strapback?


Much like the snapback, it’s named in the same manner based on the fastening. Using a strap made of leather or plastic and a tightener locking technique with a metal bar through a hole.

What is a Flat Peak baseball cap?

white snapback

The Hip-Hip fashion scene favourite has a flat peak rather than curve seen with Baseball caps. Using cardboard or plastic to stiffen the peak, and occasionally high-end PU Leather (leather coated with a layer of polyurethane).

What is a 5 Panel Baseball Cap?

The most common style is straight out of the New York skater parks adapted for fashionistas. The five panels are made up from two top panels, two side panels and a front panel (or 2 on the 6 panels). Usually made from cotton twill, the panels are sewn up and held together by the adding of a buckram button. The hats come with a fastener style like a snapback or strap back.

What is a Baseball Cap?

Also known as the Dad Hat thanks to being favoured by the older generation lamenting after lost youth. The classic and timeless old-school baseball cap style hat has a curved peak, and is stylish and practical.