The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Review

This one-size-fits-all hat has good ventilation; it's comfortable but stretches easily and the brim gets floppy quickly.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $30 List | $20.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, breathable
Cons:  Floppy brim, fits very large, not stylish
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 24, 2017
  • Share this article:
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Protection - 30% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 4

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 near 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.

New Colors

The Bora Bora Booney II isn't offered any longer in the color combo we tested.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $20.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$42.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$41.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$26.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$26.73 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
66
100
0
84
100
0
81
100
0
80
100
0
77
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Inexpensive, breathableLightweight, durable, good sun protectionGood protection, comfortable, good in wind, breathableTotal protection, removable cape, good in the wind, good valueGreat protection all around, especially on the back; brim is angled for longer protection, good ventilation, comfortable
Cons Floppy brim, fits very large, not stylishNot super stylishLess durable than Tilley, not great for backpackingLooks a little funny, can get hot on the back of your neckNot stylish, brim is not crushable, shows stains easily
Bottom Line This one-size-fits-all hat has good ventilation; it's comfortable but stretches easily and the brim gets floppy quickly.The Ultra Adventure wins our Editors' Choice for Technical Use for being the highest performing, most versatile hat of the bunch.Good protection from the sun and excellent wind performance makes this a great choice for days spent out on the water.This super protective hat is versatile and an excellent value, winning our Best Buy Award. It lacks in the style department.This hat has great coverage and is a good choice for any sunny activity, although it is quite dorky looking.
Rating Categories Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Ultra Adventure Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat
Protection (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Breathability (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Durability (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Style (15%)
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
4
Specs Columbia Bora Bora... Ultra Adventure Outdoor Research... Sun Runner Cap Adventure Hat
Weight (ounces) 2.64 oz 2.6 oz 3.1 oz 2.8 oz 2.64 oz
Size of Brim (inches) 3" 3.25", with 6" neck cape 4" front/back, 3.25" sides 2.75 brim, 7.25" neck cape 3.75", with 7.25" neck cape
Material Nylon, polyester mesh 88% nylon, 12% polyester dobby 86% nylon, 14% polyester double weave ripstop 100% Supplex nylon 100% nylon with 100% polyester mesh insets
UPF rating 50 50+ 50+ 50+ 50+
Cinch Cord Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Packable/compressible Yes Yes Yes Yes No - do not fold or compress the brim. Packs Flat
Size tested O/S (6 1/2 - 7 1/2) L L L M 21" - 23"

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

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 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, or either of our Best Buy Award winners, the cape-style OR Sun Runner Cap or the full-brim OR Helios. 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