The béret Chasseurs Alpins (Alpine Hunter's beret), typically referred to as ‘Tarte’ (‘Pie’), is a large beret worn by the French mountain troops since 1891. Copied from the Pyrenean shepherds, the tarte became regulation uniform in 1891 after the French Government created 12 specialized mountain battalions in 1888, feeling threatened after Italy created 6 Alpini regiments of mountain troops, positioned close to the French border. Traditionally navy, these days black and covered with a white cotton cover for winter wear, it is worn tilted on the left, the badge carried on the right side. The beret was large enough to protect a good part of the body from rain and snow during long sentries in the mountains and just as much protects the wearer from the sun. During the First World War, Chasseurs Alpins were known to often abandon the regulatory helmet to wear their tarte during battle. The tarte remains the prerogative of the mountain troops, although there are some other units that are allowed to wear this beret: the Gendarmerie Nationale Haute Montagne (Military Mountain Police), legionnaires of the Foreign Legion Engineering Regiment and the Mountain Artillery Troops.

The Originals - WW1 Replica's in Navy and Bleu Horizon


WW1 Tarte Bleu Horizon


WW1 Chasseur Alpin Navy

South Pacific Berets is proud to present two new "old" berets: the exact, handmade, replicas of the original Tartes of 1888 and 1915. 

In the early days, berets typically exceeded the later formally sanctioned plateau (diameter) of 33.6cm. While officers often bought their smaller "luxurious" berets privately, troops were issued berets that came from a large number of suppliers - some traditional beret manufacturers, others made by regular uniform makers in woven wool cloth, typically consisting of 3 or 4 parts sewn together and measuring 36cm.

In July 1915, the French high command proposed to replace the stiff, unpractical kepi of the infantry troops by a beret, similar to the Chasseurs Alpins. General Joffre accepted but instantly, the Chasseurs formed a protest movement, wanting to maintain the monopoly of their berets. General Joffre accepted their (loud) concerns and changed from berets to side caps, but meanwhile, several thousand berets were issued in the standard WW1 uniform colour 'bleu horizon' (it was reasoned that in the flat lands of Northern France and Flanders, the light blue uniforms would be perfect camouflage against the horizon).

Despite a relatively short production, the light blue beret became very popular, and many soldiers wore it until the end of the war and after. 

Now available at South Pacific Berets in a limited number, exact replica's of these illustrious berets, or Tartes, in navy and 'bleu horizon' in sizes 58 - 64. 36cm, 100% wool fitted with the traditional unbleached cotton lining and size-stamped. The navy models come with a replica of the traditional badge of the Chasseurs' hunting horn in daffodil (Chasseur slang for 'yellow') in felt (with an iron-on backing).

Foulards Alpin Auloronesa - Universel

Foulard (Tarte) Alpin

$94.50 - 99.50

Boneteria Auloronesa is a small, artisan company based in the historical Béarnaise city of Orthez in the French Pyrenees and the only manufacturer to make berets following the traditional, pre-Industrial Revolution method.  These berets are fitted with a liguette for easy adjustment of size and available in black and a range of colours. 

Also available under the 'Ortez' label, here and the Merino d'Arles 1st Nation Australia here

Foulards Alpin Aotearoa - Universel

Grand Foulards Alpin


The Boneteria Aotearoa label is found only in the world's best quality, most comfortable berets. 

These berets are made by Boneteria Auloronesa in Oloron Sainte Marie, the birthplace of the beret in the French Béarn. The Aotearoa Foulards Alpins are made of the softest merino wool, fitted with a liguette for easy adjustment of size and available in black and a range of colours.

July 2024: Navy Sold Out.

Couvre Béret Blanc – Winter Beret Cover

Winter Beret Cover


Only  in  combination  with beret  purchase

These Couvres Béret Blanc / Winter Beret Covers are the genuine winter beret covers as used by the Chasseurs Alpins for winter warfare. Original surplus in good (and clean) used condition at $14.80 (in combination with any beret purchase).

Insigne 6e Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins

Insigne 6e Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins
Free postage with any beret order or pay $4.50 extra for international postage. 

Gendarmerie Peloton Haute Montagne

The high mountain squads are units of the French Gendarmerie Nationale specializing in aid to victims in hazardous mountain environments.These specialized units were created in 1958, after a dreadful incident on Mont Blanc in 1957, where two young mountaineers were unable to be rescued.

The highly specialized members of the Gendarmerie Haute Montagne are the only units within the Gendarmerie Nationale who wear the Tarte of the Chasseurs Alpins


Polo Gendarmerie Nationale

These polo shirts are part of the genuine uniform of the Gendarmerie Haute Montagne (and it is not recommended to wear this shirt in France if you are not an officer of the Gendarmerie). 

The 500 grams polo is constructed from a unique, thick poly/cotton fabric with excellent insulating and moisture absorption properties. Velcro tabs on each arm and the chest allow for rank and emblem attachments (but can be easily removed). Great for outdoor enthusiasts and casual enough for everyday use - just not in France.