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Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Review

This one-size-fits-all hat is comfortable, has good ventilation, but stretches easily, and the brim gets floppy quickly
Columbia Bora Bora Booney II
Photo: Columbia
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Price:  $30 List | $22.36 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, breathable
Cons:  Floppy brim, fits very large, not so stylish
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 15, 2021
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Protection - 30% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 7
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 4

Our Verdict

The Columbia Bora Bora Booney II is a lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated, all-purpose sun hat. This jack of all trades, master of none, came out near the bottom of our scoring because of a few key drawbacks. It is not particularly protective or stylish, but does provide good ventilation and is relatively comfortable. Our main complaint is that the one-size-fits-all sizing is on the larger end and the fact that the brim is very floppy and stretches. Overall, this hat would be best for those with larger heads who are looking for something lightweight and affordable.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $22.36 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$35 List
$34.95 at Amazon
$39 List
$39.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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71
Star Rating
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Pros Inexpensive, breathableExcellent protection, removable cape, good in the wind, good valueGreat protection all around, especially on the back; brim is angled for longer protection, good ventilation, comfortableComfortable, very breathable, good color, great valueProtective, breathable, packable, unique, stylish
Cons Floppy brim, fits very large, not so stylishLooks a little funny, can get hot on the back of your neckNot stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easilyNot very stylish, brim could be widerOnly one size, cinch cord could work better
Bottom Line This one-size-fits-all hat is comfortable, has good ventilation, but stretches easily, and the brim gets floppy quicklyThis super protective hat is lightweight, versatile, and an excellent value, winning our Best Buy AwardThis hat has great coverage and is a good choice for any sunny activity, although it is not the most stylishOne of our top choices for a full brim hat that is extremely comfortable and breathable and a great valueA very breathable sun hat with a neck cape, sunlight reflecting material, and unique style
Rating Categories Columbia Bora Bora... Outdoor Research Ru... Sunday Afternoons A... The North Face Hori... Alchemi Labs Desert...
Protection (30%)
6.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
8.0
Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Style (15%)
4.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Columbia Bora Bora... Outdoor Research Ru... Sunday Afternoons A... The North Face Hori... Alchemi Labs Desert...
Weight (ounces) 2.6 oz 2.8 oz 2.6 oz 2.9 oz 3.0 oz
UPF rating 50 50+ 50+ 40+ 50+
Size of Brim (inches) 3" 2.75 brim, 7.25" neck cape 3.75", 7.25" neck cape 2.9" 2.5", 8" neck cape
Material Nylon, polyester mesh 100% Supplex nylon 100% nylon with 100% polyester mesh insets Nylon Ripstop, 97% recycled polyester mesh lined 80% nylon/20% polyester
Cinch Cord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Packable/compressible Yes Yes No - do not fold or compress the brim. Packs Flat Yes Yes
Size tested O/S (6 1/2 - 7 1/2) L M 21" - 23" L/XL OS

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Bora Bora Booney provides decent protection from the sun but will only fit you if you have a larger head. This hat receives high marks for ventilation and scores decently in protection and comfort. It loses points for durability and style. This inexpensive hat is a good choice for hiking and fishing on hot days for those with larger heads.

Performance Comparison


The Bora Bora Booney II is a decent choice for day hikes or fishing.
The Bora Bora Booney II is a decent choice for day hikes or fishing.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Protection


The Bora Bora Booney has a 3-inch full circumference brim, which gives it slightly more coverage than some other hats. It also has 50+ UPF fabric for protection from the sun. The mesh vents are non-UPF rated, so if you're lacking in the hair department, note that it is possible to still get sunburned through the mesh panel. We recommend that you apply sunscreen accordingly.

The Bora Bora's toggle can tighten the hat around a smaller head...
The Bora Bora's toggle can tighten the hat around a smaller head, but it looks a little strange if cinched down a lot.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Comfort


This hat is quite comfortable, mostly because it was very loose on our testers. The Bora Bora Booney comes in one size, which measures up to 24.5 inches in circumference. If your head measures much smaller than that, you will be swimming in this hat. Our testers noticed that the Bora Bora Booney also seems to stretch after it had gotten wet. You can tighten the drawcord for a snugger fit, but this makes the hat look and feel a little awkward.

Breathability


The Bora Bora Booney does well in this category. It has some of the largest mesh panels in the crown, allowing for ample ventilation. The Booney also has a nice sweatband around the crown for wicking away moisture.

The Bora Bora Booney II from Columbia has large mesh panels for...
The Bora Bora Booney II from Columbia has large mesh panels for ventilation.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Durability


Thanks to its flexible material, the Bora Bora Booney II faired well in our crush tests. There were no noticeable creases in the brim. However, we have noticed that the brim is very floppy, especially after getting wet, and will flop over your eyes annoyingly. It also stretches after wearing. For these reasons, we scored the Bora Bora Booney lower in this category.

The Bora Bora Booney II did well in our crush test because the brim...
The Bora Bora Booney II did well in our crush test because the brim is so flexible and floppy already.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Style


We personally think the Bora Bora Booney lacks style. It is very generic looking and comes in fairly dull colors. We especially don't like the way it looks once the brim begins to get floppy. There are definitely more stylish hats out there if that is your goal.

The Bora Bora Booney II's brim got floppy after only one use.
The Bora Bora Booney II's brim got floppy after only one use.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Value


The Bora Bora Booney is one of the most inexpensive sun hats in this review. We would rather spend a few more bucks and pick up something else, but if the price is your number one concern, then this is a reasonable option.

Conclusion


This hat is large and floppy brimmed. It has a decent amount of sun protection and will protect your ears and face from the sun while providing good ventilation through the mesh panels. We think it lacks style and seems to stretch out even bigger than its already large size. If you have a large head and want a hat to wear on sunny excursions, the Columbia Bora Bora Booney could be it. Full brim hats are best worn without large packs, as the back of them annoyingly hits your pack. This could be a good option for slower-paced activities like fishing, hiking, or boating.

This model is a good choice for fishing or just hanging out outside.
This model is a good choice for fishing or just hanging out outside.
Photo: Jessica Haist

Jessica Haist

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