Boonie Hats, although around as long as the modern era of warfare, weren’t made popular until the Vietnam conflict. Many slight variations of that classic hat have been produced over the last few decades, but the basic hat itself has remained virtually unchanged.
The most common variation was to make the brim wider than the Vietnam version. Which interestingly, many thought was too big at that time. At first glance one would assume a large brim would be a good idea, as it would add more protection from the elements. Unfortunately this extra protection from the elements interferes with peripheral vision as well as sight picture when shooting.
A wide brimmed boonie is great for the rear echelon, but dangerous for those on the pointy end.
The quick fix for the over size boonie hat brim was to cut it down. A common modification, as evidenced by photos of combat soldiers during Vietnam War. These photos often showed a soldier wearing his boonie with a ragged, frayed, brim as though it was chopped off in a fit of frustration by a dull and rusty Ka-Bar!
In fact, even in Canada, Canuck soldiers would bring their issue boonie hats into Drop Zone to have us carefully cut down the brim and refinish it so that this unauthorized modification to government property would not be noticed by the Sergeant Major!
A noble but somewhat dicey plan.
The solution seemed simple enough to us.
Build a boonie with a short brim!
The Drop Zone Stubby™ Boonie Hat was born!
The first thing we did was cut the brim down nice and short. Real short. Not so short that the hat would not offer some protection from the elements, but certainly short enough to offer a heap of increased vision for the wearer.
The next thing our designers tackled was the stupid leather drawstring neck toggle. The toggle is a throw back from the 1940’s. Once we started to change the toggle, we decided to redesign the whole drawstring.
Another big complaint with boonie hats is that the drawstring was always in the way when not required for hat retention. Some would stuff the drawstring and toggle up under crown to get it away but the string and toggle would prove uncomfortable. Some would run the drawstring over top of the crown giving the boonie the look of a child’s cowboy hat. Unfortunately the toggle would work loose and the drawstring would fall back down.
Something just had to be done to this dated drawstring design.
We made the drawstring adjustable and removable! We mounted a Duraflex™ Muglock at the rear of the Stubby on one of the camo bandoleers. We then ran the drawstring through the rear mounted cord lock and secured it with a simple overhand knot. To adjust the drawstring, just pull at the back. To remove it, simply untie the overhand knot and stow the drawstring in the pocket our designers thoughtfully provided in the crown.
Being the perfectionists that we are often accused of being, we changed the camouflage bandoleer as well. Doubling it up so it would hold foliage with greater security.
We also added Velcro® Ir marker, mounting patches. They are placed on the top and rear of the crown. A feature we suspect will become standard for boonie hats soon. Paying homage to the original design, ventilation of the crown is provided by mil-spec, black oxide, screened vents.
Get rid of your old obsolete boonie and order a Drop Zone Stubby™ today.
Current Colors and Part Numbers:
Pencott Green Zone