Hands-on Gear Review

Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Review

Price:  $30 List | $22.49 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, breathable
Cons:  Floppy brim, fits very large, not stylish
Bottom line:  This one-size-fits-all hat has good ventilation; it's comfortable but stretches easily and the brim gets floppy quickly.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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UPF rating:  50
Weight (ounces):  2.64 oz
Size of Brim (inches):  3"
Manufacturer:   Columbia

Our Verdict

The Columbia Bora Bora Booney II is a generic, all-purpose sun hat. This jack of all trades, master of none, came out at the bottom of our scoring. It is not particularly protective or stylish, but does provide good ventilation and is relatively comfortable. Our main complaint is the one-size-fits-all sizing and the fact that it is very floppy and stretches.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 24, 2017

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The Bora Bora Booney has decent protection but will only fit you if you have a large head. This inexpensive hat is a good choice for hiking and fishing on hot days.

Performance Comparison


The Bora Bora gets high marks for ventilation and scores decently in protection and comfort. It loses points for durability and style.

The Bora Bora Booney II is a decent choice for day hikes of fishing.
The Bora Bora Booney II is a decent choice for day hikes of fishing.

Protection


The Bora Bora Booney has a 3" full circumference brim, which gives it slightly more coverage than the Outdoor Research Sun Bucket at 2.4". 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 users have reported sunburn through the mesh. Apply sunscreen accordingly!

The Bora Bora's toggle can tighten the hat around a smaller head  but it looks strange.
The Bora Bora's toggle can tighten the hat around a smaller head, but it looks strange.

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" 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 strange. Hats like the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure have webbing drawcords that are more comfortable and look better when tightened. The Arc'teryx Sinsola was the most comfortable sun hat tested.

Breathability


The Bora Bora Booney does well in this category. It has some of the larges mesh panels in the crown, allowing for ample ventilation. The Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat has similarly sized mesh panels. The Booney also has a nice sweat band around the crown for wicking moisture. The Tilley model has a comfortable sweatband and ventilation panel around the top of the crown that works well for ventilation, while the Ultra Adventure is one of the most breathable hats we tested.

The Bora Bora Booney II from Columbia has large mesh panels for ventilation.
The Bora Bora Booney II from Columbia has large mesh panels for ventilation.

Durability


The Bora Bora Booney II faired well in our crush tests, thanks to its flexible material. 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 LTM6 Airflo holds its shape very well and is very durable.

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

Style


We think the Bora Bora Booney lacks style. It is very generic looking and comes in dull colors. The Outdoor Research Sun Runner is also not stylish but comes in a great variety of colors. We especially don't like the way it looks once the brim begins to get floppy. The Outdoor Research Sombriolet and the Tilley LTM6 are stylish full brim hats.

Best Applications


If you have a large head and want a hat to wear on sunny excursions, the 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 fishing, hiking, or boating hat.

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.

Value


The Bora Bora Booney is the cheapest hat in this review. We would rather spend a few more bucks and pick up the Sombriolet for $42 or just $36 for our Best Buy Award winner the OR Sun Runner Cap for major sun protection. If you're looking for a much more durable and stylish hat with a similar amount of protection, spring for the $90 lifetime guaranteed Tilley LTM6 Airflo.

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.

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.

Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: October 24, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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