Country of Origin:
Soviet Union (defunct Commies!)
The iconic M88 variant Panamanka Field Hats of the Soviet Army derived originally from large brim Panama styled hats just prior to the Second World War. The original issue Panamanka M-38 variations featured a large sewn red star, with a large enamel Soviet star as an insignia piece. The brim and design were simplified in the 1980s, with the removal of the sewn star and the inclusion of holes on the brim to allow the wearer to utilize the plastic leather strap as either an aesthetic component or functional chinstrap. Constructed from heavyweight cotton in Soviet khaki colours, these hats were hard wearer and intended for Soviet troops on operations in central Asia.
The hats were most famously observed by the Western world when Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979. During the decade long counter-insurgency war, Soviet forces fought a losing battle against Afghan and foreign guerillas in extreme climatic conditions. The M88 Panamaka was often worn in conjunction with the Afghanka uniform sets, which proved effective in both the extreme heat of the day and the bitterly cold nights of Afghanistan. Given the popularity of the Panamanka hats, they became part of the iconic image of the Soviet soldier in Afghanistan. These hats even remarkably found their way to Southern Africa, and photographic evidence seems to indicate that they were even utilized by the Selous Scouts in Rhodesia on pseudo-operations.
These particular hats are vintage from that era, with most seeing either very light or no use at all. They are available with both a black or khaki internal lining, and all feature an original Soviet star, buttoned chin strap and air grommets. We're extremely lucky to have run into a small batch of these from an old Soviet warehouse near Moscow after many years of searching. While they have pretty significant value as a collectors piece since they are Soviet-Afghan War vintage, these hats remain an extremely function piece of kit. The wide brim, Soviet Khaki and Panama style aesthetic make it excellent for outdoorsmen and LARPers alike!
- Medium: 56-59cm, Size 6.5-7 head range
- Large: 59-61cm, Size 7-7.5 head range
All prices are in Canadian Dollars (CAD). We ship internationally!
Note: This product is in "Military Surplus Condition". Please refer to our Shipping and Returns Policy for details.