As many of you know, I live in West Texas – where the sun shines brighter and
the summer days are hotter than flowing lava. I have been reminded by my mother
for about as long as I can remember, to put on a hat when I was going to be
outdoors for any length of time. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I
have been wearing ball caps since I was a child. Through trial and error over
the years, I have learned which types of caps suit me and which styles make me
look like a total dork. I know what materials will make my head bake, and I know
which bands will leave me with irreparable "hat-head." I take pride in getting
just the right face-framing curl to my brim, and no matter what they are wearing
in Hollywood – I would never be caught dead in a trucker’s hat.

With summer in full swing, I was quite interested when I saw that
SCOTTeVEST has added a
TEC Hat to their
clothing line. This low-slung ball cap features hidden pockets for stowing gear,
just like their marvelous line of jackets. SCOTTeVEST bills this as "The
Greatest Ball Cap Ever!
" Is it?
Let’s take a look…

X-Ray photo courtesy of SCOTTeVEST website

The Tec Hat is available in gray, blue, hunter green, stone, gold and brick
red. I was sent two hats – the stone and hunter green.

tec hat1

Composed of cotton and lined in
, the TEC Hat has many features that I like to see in a cap. For
starters, the cushy inner band is plenty wide and covered in Coolmax – as is the
entire interior of the cap.

tec hat2

The soft cotton fabric comprising the body is the type that wears well and
looks vintage from the get-go, and it will get even softer as time goes by.
There is an embroidered SeV logo on the front and an embroidered TEC logo on the
rear. I know that many of you don’t like logos on your SCOTTeVEST products, but
come on, what ball cap doesn’t have a logo? By any standard, these are discrete
and I think they look appropriate.

tec hat3   
tec hat4

The size adjuster on the back is leather instead of plastic or cloth and it
fastens with an aged brass grabber with the excess sliding into a brass lined

tec hat5

There are also strategically placed vents to help keep your head cool.

tec hat6

Of course, the TEC Hat has several secret pockets – otherwise it would not be
worthy of the SCOTTeVEST designation, much less a Gadgeteer review. Included are
a zippered pocket on the right side panel which can hold a couple of credit

tec hat7   
tec hat8
It’s a slightly tight fit, but you can keep an ID or credit
card in the zippered pocket

…and a Velcro-secured slash pocket built into the brim which is good for a
couple of very small flat items, such as keys or bills. Actually – scratch the
keys because they cause the brim to flatten out and the Velcro doesn’t want to
shut properly. Keys might best be kept in the zippered pocket.

tec hat9   
tec hat10
Note how the key lays across the brim’s curl causing it to
flatten, and note the uneven Velcro when Steve wore the hat after the Velcro had
been disturbed.

In addition, there are stretchy elastic loops on either side of the cap which
are made to secure earbuds.

tec hat11

When you add up all of the components of the Tec Hat, it should be a
no-brainer that this hat could be far-superior to any other ball cap on the
market today…but it isn’t, and here is why.

Right away, when I unpacked my caps I noticed that they were slightly
different than the X-Ray photo on the site, which I have posted above. Instead
of two metal grommet vents above the zippered pocket, my caps had stitched vents
placed one per six-panel. This would be a non-issue, except that when coupled
with the fact that my zippered pocket was nowhere near as spacious as the X-Ray
pocket that was pictured, I started to think that I was dealing with two very
similar yet very different hats.

Once I placed the green cap on my head, I was disappointed to realize that
its dome was way too small and way too tight – it fit me like a beanie,
literally a skull-cap. I was also surprised that the leather adjuster on the
back had to be let out more than usual. Now before you get it in your mind that
I have some Neanderthal sized cranium, I measured its circumference at 22.75".
Just for comparison’s sake, Steve’s is 23". As you can see I have hair, but
Steve wears his very closely cropped.

The crown of the hat literally lies on my head – fitting like a glove with no
space or slack whatsoever…which is not the look I generally aim for when
wearing a ball cap. It also feels like it is perched on my skull. It does not
feel secure – even though the strap is tightened to fit my head. A good gust of
wind would blow this hat right off my head, and I would never consider riding my
4-wheeler or being on a boat while wearing this cap. Can you imagine if my ID
was in the zippered pocket and the hat blew off while I was at the lake? No

tec hat12   
tec hat13
Note how the TEC Hat is perched on top of my head and looks
too small. You can’t really see it, but maybe you can tell – it is laying on my
scalp like a skull-cap.

tec hat14   
tec hat15
One of my typical ball caps – Note how the hat fits my head
and doesn’t look like a "beanie."

Steve had to let the stone cap out even more – which not only caused the rear
sizing gap to look slightly freakish, but also caused the cap to lay even
flatter than it already did. Once again – the effect was that of a skull cap –
but in Steve’s case, it was even worse as the hat barely covered the sides of
his skull.

tec hat16   
tec hat17
Note how much space is between the top of Steve’s ear and the
TEC Hat – also note how there is nothing left to the strap to tuck in the
keeper. Note how the fabric is also buckling on the side of his head.

tec hat18   
tec hat19
This is one of Steve’s typical low-profile ball caps. 
Note how much closer it sits to his ear and how smoothly the side of the cap
lays against his head.

What happened here? If I had only received one hat or even two of the same
color, I might have believed that they were victims of a bad batch. However, I
have two and they are different colors, leading me to believe that all of the
TEC Hats must fit this way.

tec hat20
For comparison, here are all of the caps laid out
side-by-side. It’s hard to capture, but there is definitely a size difference
between the TEC Hats and our ball caps.

I did find a member of my family that the hat fit correctly and actually
looked very good upon – my 14 year old daughter, Sarah. Her head measures 21.5",
and as you can see the hat looks great and fits her teen-sized head perfectly.

tec hat21   
tec hat22
While the hat fits perfectly, do note the buckling from the
Velcro strip under the brim.

In any case, if you have a very small head or you are a teen, then this hat
should fit and you will be the proud owner of a truly innovative ball cap. If
you have a medium to large sized head, then you had better pass. Even though the
hat’s features are many and the construction can’t otherwise be faulted, you
will look like a total dweeb in the TEC Hat’s current incarnation. Perhaps
SCOTTeVEST could offer this size for those under 22", and a different hat for
22" and up?

"The Greatest Ball Cap Ever!ô"?
Not quite. But if SCOTTeVEST would make it fit properly, then it could be.

Price: $29.99 (on special for $19.99)

Hidden pockets
Quality materials
Innovative design

Fits like a small, tight skull-cap
Sized more like a child’s or teen’s cap


Product Information

  • Hidden pockets
  • Quality materials
  • Innovative design
  • Fits like a small, tight skull-cap
  • Sized more like a child's or teen's cap

15 thoughts on “SCOTTeVEST TEC Hat Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I’ve noticed this trend with other hats. I am like you guys in that I feel a hat should go down to or very close to where your ear connects to your head. It should almost wear like a pair of glasses, resting on your ears.

    Just my two cents.

  3. HI, Judie and reviewers.
    Thanks for the detailed review of the ScotteVest hat! As a hat “collector” with a very large head, I am grateful that your photographs indicate that the cap is more of a “beanie” than a proper-fitting baseball cap! It would barely cover the bald spot on the back of my head! 🙁
    And your point about your credit card or license disappearing with the first wind gust is well-taken!
    As usual, your reviews are complete, honest, and to-the-point, which I why I subscribe to your site!
    Thanks again,
    [email protected]

  4. One of the ‘better’ hat reviews I’ve seen….I usually have to find out the hard way if a hat will fit my big head. 😉

    Even my parents can’t get it right…I’m one of those kids that still forgets to wear a hat….a few years back I said that I lost my good hat when I totalled my car (well, I could’ve gotten it from the wreckers…but it was full of broken glass so I didn’t feel like reaching in for it.)

    Anyways…for Xmas they bought me a new hat….only they chickened out on getting the largest size available….so the hat isn’t big enough for me, and too big for anybody else. 🙁

    Meanwhile, I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like trying clothes on…which kind of makes it hard to find hats to fit….

    The Dreamer.

  5. I noticed this on the ScotteVest site and i’m glad I read your review. First off, I know badge/name recognition is important for ScotteVest, but two things bug me about their logo on the front. 1) you can’t personalize the hat which to me limits its usefullness. And 2) anyone who see’s that logo knows that you have something hidden in there that might just be worh swiping. Unlike a wallet, vest or pants, knocking someones hat off and running is a hell of a lot easier.

    The other thing that made me wonder is what you said about the key. I was thinking it’d be nice to keep SD/CF cards handy but now i’m wondering if that would work.

    As for the size, I keep my hair (whats left of it) close cropped, but i like a hat to fit low and snug. I’ve got about 3 favorite hats I wear all the time, and its because they fit so nicely. ScotteVest will hopefully realize that while pockets are nice, when it comes to hats, wearability comes first and foremost, even more so then with a vest.

  6. Mountain – you should be able to store memory cards in the zippered compartment with no problem. 🙂

    Dreamer – How big is your head? I didn’t think I had a big one until I couldn’t wear this hat. 😉

    All – Since I am usually doing something when wearing a cap (riding a horse, 4-wheeler, hiking, or riding with the truck windows down, etc.), it is second nature to want the cap to feel like it is almost – for lack of a better phrase – “screwed on.” The TEC Hat just didn’t feel that way at all. I am seriously hoping there might be a future larger version because I really think it would be a FAB hat if it just fit me.

    In any case, if you have a smaller head – get this hat! The material feels and looks good, and the pockets (the zippered one in particular) are a neat addition!

    Judie :0)

  7. Thank you for the great review on the hat, I too need a hat for rain over here in London, when I don’t want to carry an umbrella!

    One other consideration for all hats.. The little button on the top is a safety hazard. Bump your head on something and it will cause a laceration. My old Little League coach taught me that one and since then I yank off the little button with a pair of pliers..

    Thanks, Drew

  8. I do appreciate the review and the opportunity to reply. Personally, I have a big head, at least that’s what I have been told. It measures 23″ in circumference. The hat fits perfectly on me. There are many different designs of hats available nowadays. I really like the way the hat looks on Judie. I agree that the flash demo is wrong in the orientation of the way the pocket is shaped, but that is not intentional. You can easily fit a credit card and some cash in that side pocket but you need to place it vertically, instead of horizonatally.

    I tried to upload some pics of me wearing the cap. Please excuse the hair. I know I need a haircut.

    Please let me know if you have any other comments.


  9. In my opinion this hat is like any other article of clothing. It will look good on some people and not so good on others. Scott looks fine in the cap, as does a friend of mine that I gave one too. I also saw another review of the cap on and that reviewer looked fine. The cap doesn’t look as good on Judie and Steve though…

  10. The cap doesn’t look as good on Judie and Steve though…

    As a professional photographer I feel compelled to point out that we cannot all be hat models. Although I look extremely good in hats and people often stop me on the street to say as much, some people just can’t pull off the look. It is really nothing to be ashamed of . . . .

    Perhaps Judie and Steve should stick to swimsuit and lingerie modeling? While we are on the subject, why don’t you post some of your latest pics?:cool:

  11. As a professional, I am going to recommend that you try to get some kind of contrast — perhaps you could get a shot with you wearing the hat alongside Beldor in a similar hat.

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