Baseball Cap vs Snapback – What Are The Differences?

Originally used to protect baseball players’ eyes and faces from the sun, baseball hats are a fashion staple worldwide.

They are worn by everyone, both the young and the old, athletes, musicians, and even politicians.

It’s one fashion item that never seems to go out of style.

Over the years baseball caps have changed and developed and today they are available in a variety of different styles and unique types, with new ones constantly emerging.

Still, the two that remain the most popular are the classic baseball cap and snapback. The two have plenty of similarities and a lot of people own both of these caps.

However, there are some notable distinctions that make each of these cap types special.

I’ll compare baseball cap vs snapback to see what those differences are and which one may be a better fit for your personal style and preferences.

So, let’s dive in!

What Is A Baseball Cap?

No products found.

The baseball cap is a type of soft hat with a crown made of five or six panels and a front-facing curved brim.

Depending on how they’re constructed and adjusted to the head, there are various styles of baseball caps.

Typically they’re made fitted, with one size fitting all, or with an adjustable closure on the back.

Baseball caps date back to the 19th century, and the first version was worn by players of the Brooklyn Excelsiors baseball club.

The modern style of baseball cap was born in the 1940s with the introduction of latex rubber as the stiffening material for the inside part of the hat.

As years passed, besides its functionality, a baseball cap became an important means of identifying with the team and a popular fashion accessory.

In most cases, a baseball cap will feature the colors of a particular team and its logo on the front.

What Is A Snapback?

No products found.

Snapback falls under the umbrella of baseball caps but still has some distinctive characteristics making it a unique type of hat.

Their most recognizable features are a flat and wide brim on the front and a snap closure at the back.

This type of closure makes them very adjustable, so they will suit almost any size or type of head.

Similar to classic baseball caps, snapbacks have been around since the 19th century. The first athletes to wear it was the members of the New Your Knickerbockers club.

The company that was responsible for the first boom of the snapbacks in the early 20th century, the New Era, is still one of the most popular snapback manufacturers.

Snapbacks owe a lot of their modern popularity and prominence to hip-hop artists from the 90s, such as Tupac and Ice Cube.

Why Is It Called A Snapback Hat?

The snapback hats got their name after the closure mechanism on the back that allows the hat owner to adjust it according to the size of the head.

The adjustable strap on the back snaps together when you adjust it. The back straps are commonly made of plastic and work by snapping buttons into holes.

This is different from other baseball caps that usually have a metallic buckle or Velcro strap or no closure at all, as is the case with fitted hats.

The snapping mechanism makes these caps a one-size-fits-all which is important as you don’t have to worry if a particular hat will fit.

This is especially valuable nowadays when we do most of our shopping online, rather than in person.

Baseball Cap vs Snapback – What Are The Differences?

Table could not be displayed.

As I already noted, snapbacks are basically a type of baseball hat, so there are not too many differences between them and classic baseball caps.

However, the differences that exist are rather notable and make each of these types of caps unmistakably unique.


The most obvious difference between baseball caps and snapbacks and the one you’ll notice right away is the shape of the brim on the front of the hat.

The brim of a snapback is flat and wide brim, while with baseball caps, it’s narrower and more curved. The Snapback brim is also at a wider angle relative to the front side of the crown, almost at 90 degrees.

This makes the front of the crown panels more visible, which is great for displaying team logos or any other design.


Baseball caps commonly have adjustable straps made of cloth that can be tightened or loosened by using a metal clasp or buckle.

The snapbacks, on the other hand, have two plastic straps on the back, with holes in one of them.

The other strap has small plastic pieces or buttons that can fit through any of the holes in order to adjust the hat to the wearer’s head.

The plastic straps snap together, securing and closing the hat at the desired width.


Both types of hats are constructed from five or six panels that are sewed together.

Still, snapbacks, in most cases, are comprised of five panels, while baseball caps commonly have six panels.

Another notable difference is that the front panel of a snapback is much stiffer and less malleable to folding compared to the classic baseball cap.

It’s usually pre-shaped and gains its form at the time of making the whole hat.

Style And Design

In general, snapbacks have a much firmer shape, a more rigid fit, and a harder structure. As for the baseball caps, their fit is a much more relaxed fit and softer structure.

Baseball caps can be worn on many occasions, but fit best with the athletic clothes ensemble. Snapbacks are more casual and usually worn with jeans and a T-shirt.

At the moment, snapbacks are considered to be hipper and in trend, mainly thanks to popular music stars sporting this type of hat.


Baseball caps are now probably more popular than ever and this goes for many variants of these hats.

Traditional baseball caps and snapbacks certainly lead the way when it comes to popularity and it’s easy to understand why.

Both kinds of hats are very functional, but also rather stylish and championed by world-famous athletes, musicians, and TV and movie stars.

Baseball caps and snapbacks do have some notable differences which should influence your decision to buy either one.

Still, it’s probably the best idea to try both and see which makes you feel more comfortable and better fits your personal style.

Paul Hall
Paul Hall

Hello, I’m Paul, a 45 year old passionate baseball fan and the owner of this website. I hope my article could help to answer your questions.

Little Ballparks