Columbia PFG Super Tamiami Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Traditional cut, bulletproof construction, lots of pockets
Cons: Not suited for intense activities, baggy and loose, too many pockets and accessories for casual wear
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The PFG Super Tamiami is just as wide and relaxed as its name is lengthy. This ultra easy-going cut is comfortable in casual circumstances but really isn't designed for high-intensity activities. The fabric is a tightly knit, 100% polyester with a UPF rating of 40, that's antimicrobial, and features special wicking properties Columbia dubs, "Omni-Wick." The fabric is more durable than breathable, but the shirt has a fair balance of both. If you can get over the fact that the fabric and pattern are more reminiscent of a summer tablecloth than a serious technical shirt, this garment could find its way into your summer rotation with ease.
Comfort and Fit
This Tampa to Miami ride absolutely owns its loose, billowy, traditionally blousy fit, even though the cool kids will snicker. Function over form is the mantra for this shirt — there must be a reason those on the water all day prefer a shirt like this over more contemporary cuts.
The tightly knitted, 100% polyester fabric has little give and by itself isn't as breathable as other shirts we've tested, but the fit is so loose, there's little reason to think one could possibly find any pinch points when wearing this layer. Even in stiffly muggy air, breezes will find a way into this shirt to help cool down the body and transport perspiration away from the wearer.
The relaxed fit of the Super Tamiami works better than most any other button-up sun shirt we've tested in covering up most of your upper body. Pair the shirt with a big floppy hat, neck gaiter, and even perhaps sun gloves, and you'll have sun protection ne plus ultra, even though this will invalidate you from entering any hipster fashion shows. Sleeves and hem length are generously long to help keep you out of the sun while allowing air to circulate.
The 100% polyester fabric is tightly knit, but thinner than some of the other button-ups we've tested out, and is reflected on the UPF 40 rating, which is lower than most other shirts in our tests, but certainly good enough for all but the most sun-scorched uses.
Although the fabric itself is more durable than breathable on its own, the exceptionally relaxed fit does the job in circulating air throughout this shirt. If more breathability is desired, you're just a few unbuttoned buttons away from enhancing that. Mesh panels on the upper back and chest pockets also help in transferring perspiration away from the body and onto the fabric itself.
The fabric, like many Columbia products, features an Omni-Wick technology, which helps spread out moisture so that it evaporates quicker. Compared to other button-up shirts, the Super Tamiami feels middle of the road when it comes to breathability. Not bad, but not a standout. This wouldn't be the next shirt to run a middle of the summer marathon in, but that should be obvious.
The Super Tamiami can make a fine choice for a thru-hike, if looking hip while doing so isn't a top priority. It's comfortable enough when hiking on trail, while being able to take a decent amount of abuse and look presentably adult in town on your 0 day. This shirt also scores high with activities in the concrete jungle; the Super Tamiami wouldn't look out of place at your next business meeting, either in-person or Zoom'd-in.
Of all the shirts we've tested and reviewed, you could best pair this shirt with a tie in the morning, then duck out early afternoon for an extended walk with your best four-legged friend. There's also good potential as a travel shirt. A generous amount of pockets are found on the Tamiami to help keep important documents in order, and at least the white-based patterned shirt we used in our testing didn't let on too much when we were heavily perspiring. The built-in antimicrobial treatment should also keep funk at bay if your flight gets delayed.
But for very high-intensity activities, the shirt is just a little less breathable and stretchy than we'd like, and the fit is not as athletic as we'd expect. But for all-day sunshine activities like fishing on the creek, these are not big issues. Throw your flies out for a few hours, and come back to the clubhouse for a smooth summer beer — they'll have it cracked open before you even get to the door; your PFG Super Tamiami will precede your intentions.
The Super Tamiami is one of the highest-rated button-up shirts we've tested when looking at durability, and that comes down to quality materials and stitching. The tough, 100% polyester material of the garment is also thin enough to be breathable, sparing you from feeling baked alive while hiking to your favorite fishing spot. The tightly woven material isn't so tight that it doesn't also have an ever so slight bit of stretch, which scores it higher when it comes to comfort as well. There's nothing about the Super Tamiami that would make one feel that the shirt won't survive for years without more than a lost button to replace.
The tightly knit fabric isn't all that stretchy, but it is durable. It comes rated at UPF 40, which isn't as high as others but is certainly more than passable. The lower rating comes with the desirable effect of being a little lighter when worn, and it will dry just a smidge faster. Durability seems not to be all that affected and is actually a good balance with breathability. No wear can be seen on the garment at all after months of testing, using, and abusing. The fabric itself is treated with a silver chloride antimicrobial treatment, as well as featuring Columbia's Omni-Wick, which should help with the earned funk of a good adventure.
As far as pockets and buttons, the Super Tamiami literally wins the competition. Each chest pocket has not just one, but two separate pockets that are kept closed by either a plastic snap or velcro. The bottom left-hand pocket is divided in the middle, bringing the actual number of pockets up to five. The Columbia logo on the left side also is on a velcroed rod holder, just in case you weren't sure that this shirt is for fishin' (the "PFG" stands for Performance Fishing Gear.) We found this useful to keep our safety glasses at the ready at our busy job site.
Gilled vents are found on the side of the upper back and tunnel straight through. A layer of mesh is found on the shirt itself next to your skin to help with moving perspiration away from the body, to the shirt, and finally to be evaporated. Sleeves keep with the theme of the shirt, being long, and blousy. A simple tab button is used to hold together rolled-up sleeves, using what looks like a loop of tactical accessory chord — some of the beefiest accessories for the job we've seen on a shirt.
The Super Tamiami is fairly priced, given all the features and build quality. Like the rest of the conservative, traditional design decisions, the price won't rock the boat, and its versatility as just a regular shirt that's also bomb-proof can come in handy. This is a shirt your father would most likely be proud that you've purchased and may try to unexpectedly borrow when they visit you on their way to the family cabin.
If you're looking for an old school, traditional, button-up fishing shirt with loads of features, while sporting some pretty technical fabric that still looks like it came into being before the space age, the Columbia PFG Super Tamiami is a great option to go out and get before your next fishing trip with the boys. Meant to last more than a few years of fishing, foul weather, and perhaps one night out lost looking for that damn canoe that someone forgot to tie up before the beers were brought out, you'll be happier with, than without this useful later.
— Justin Simoni