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Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Era: Made in USA vs. China

USA vs. China
I have been purchasing New Era caps ever since 1999, my first cap was the original purple Arizona Diamondbacks, I ordered it from the Dbacks own website and I loved that hat to death.  To this date, I own more than 40 New Era caps, and I don't plan on discontinuing my love of them any time soon.
New Era was always a company that prided itself in advertizing that their caps were made in the USA, but up until about 2007 however, New Era started to outsource their cap manufacturing to China.  New Era still does produce some of their stock in the United States, but since the caps are made of the same materials and basically the same way, you wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference, but there is.
Currently as it seems, most of the MLB On-Field caps are made in America, but some of them are Chinese made, especially the god awful Stars and Stripes collection.  Come to think of it.... why the fuck are the STARS AND STRIPES hats made in fucking China?  Minor League Baseball hats are also currently made in China, and it appears that most custom logo/colour hats are Chinese also.

New Era caps have always been subject to debate when it comes to quality and sizing, but when I see a cap that's made in China, I really don't know what to think.  When I buy American caps, I know that I will fit somewhere between a size 7 and a size 7-1/8, but when it comes to Chinese hats, I can fit between a size 6-7/8 and 7-1/4, that's a huge difference, thankfully the sizing for me hasn't caused too much of a problem, but it makes me feel like it's impossible to order a cap online, not knowing what it will fit like when it gets here.

The size of the crown is also subject of distortion, in American caps the crown sits somewhat high, and will allow for it to fall as the user wears it so that it will conform to his/her head, but with Chinese caps the goal seems to be to make the crown as high and boxy as possible, and it is nearly impossible to remove the shape even through alterations to the cap's crown.

USA on Left, Chinese "Stars and Stripes" on right.

Now here are two identical caps located next to each other on the shelf at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ; home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

There are major differences between the two caps, the cap on the left is made in the USA and the cap on the right is made in China.

1. Colour Difference
The colour of the two caps are noticeably different, and the picture doesn't do it justice; The American made cap has a lot more colour to it, a much deeper red to it while the Chinese made cap is extremely faded and just looks dusty, overall disappointing.

2. Material Difference
Both of the caps claim to be 100% "performance" polyester, but they are most definitely two different materials. The American cap is much softer whereas the Chinese cap feels extremely stiff, as if it was soaking in starch all day; almost helmet like.

3. Embroidery Detail
The American embroidery is pristine and fantastic, the detail of the snake is awesome and everything is clean without stray strings ruining the overall look.  As you can see in the Chinese cap, there are some loose strings which ruin the overall look and would easily be pulled upon and could destroy the logo.  The Chinese logo also has poor detail such as if you look into the eye of the snake.....where is it on the Chinese cap?

The sizing between the two are awful.  The hats pictured are not the ones I tried on, trying on two size 7-1/8 caps the Chinese cap was noticabley larger, and trying on a 2nd one it felt smaller; trying a size 7 and it fit right.

Bottom line is, the Chinese caps have no quality control and should be discontinued immediately.  The only time I can tolerate Chinese caps are when it comes to Customs and Minor League Baseball caps.  I advise everyone who buys New Era to avoid these Chinese caps if at all possible.


  1. That is the nature of most things made in china, haha.

  2. I don't generally buy caps, but I've tended to avoid the Chinese made ones.

  3. Its almost impossible to avoid the Chinese made ones... There are a thousand of em on the market for every cap of high quality.

  4. hahaha :D Chinese copy everything :D

    follow :)

  5. Yep, thats the new world we live in for ya.

  6. It looks like a knockoff, not a real outsourced american product.

    The Diamondbacks probably just bought those in bulk from a chinese street vendor...

  7. You know a lot to say about caps:D! Too bad I dont wear era caps!

  8. china = 1 mil caps in a hour
    USA = 1 mil caps in a month.

    i think that's the biggest difference ) i know it may be too much but it's just to tell you my point.

  9. China always copying everything.

  10. Hahaha well you know what they say about "made in China".... :P

  11. Eventually everything will be made in China :P

  12. LOL picture, it's the same cap, no way
    cool post
    hope you visit my blog

  13. Wow, that is a big difference in length.

  14. Really different. But... China is growing up fast! In all ways.

  15. I can also tell the stitching difference. In the one made by USA, you can see it isn't covered up like the Chinese one.

  16. It's different but so the price is.

  17. I always prefer to buy USA made things but there is hardly anything in clothing that is anymore, I have been lucky so far to find a couple shirts that were made right here in the US, and what quality they are

  18. yeah the chinese one looks pretty poor quality side by side with the american one.

  19. It isn't just Made in China vs Made in USA, It Made in Anywhere vs. Made in China. This happens everywhere

  20. I dare to correct you.

    "Designed in US (California to be exact)" -- yeah, you guessed it, APPLE WAY!

    "Made in China".


  21. well..they're in the business not to be pathriotic, but to make money...they probable found it more cheap to send the cotton to be worked in china, so they do...they still make great caps!

  22. that's the prolem with outsourcing, how do they expect to keep their rock solid rep?

  23. It's almost unavoidable for the accountants of the world, manufacturing costs just cannot be reduced so much without this kind of cynical move.

  24. wow, real interesting post. never really though much about where caps were made/

  25. Im from Aruba and im buying new era hats from a store that gets em from the states and their made in china, this is what ive found on the yankees website selling the new era hats; look below! all the way down youl see made in china,...DAMN

    For the first time in over 50 years, the on-field caps have been altered to improve performance!

    Moisture management takes away moisture away from the skin and moves it into the fabric, resulting in a cap that is cool and dry.

    Two-component performance sweatband including a performance foam and moisture-wicking material.

    Performance undervisor is made of performance fabric and is black to reduce glare.

    Country Of Origin: China

  26. USA and china hats both are nice thanks for share it please visit us......

    Buy Hat In China

  27. Actually I agreed with your point that US made better than made in China, BUT not every Chinese factory! We made original New era caps for US before, not fake not copy but real New era. Check it out you will see
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