While not very subtle in appearance, the popular, affordably-priced hooded sun shirt lives up to its promise of keeping its wearer UV-free while in use, thanks to its Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 protection. It wears baggy though and feels heavier than it looks. It's almost more poncho than a shirt. Reviews found on other sites suggest ordering a size down; this is strong advice. To that end, the hood is massive, and would easily fit over a helmet, possibly a sombrero. In most use-cases, the hood size is a bit much, but it does offer additional protection to the forehead and nose when the sun is directly overhead. It's not the most breathable product in this test, despite its Omni-Wick™ material. Of all the shirts tested this round, sweat built up the fastest under the PFG Terminal Tackle while moving consistently in the hot sun, but it dries faster than the Eddie Bauer Atlas Exploration. Thus, it may not be as ideal for extended physical activity, such as hiking or rock climbing for some users. For more static activities that demand only periodic bouts of sweat—such as fishing or lifeguarding—this shirt would be a smart choice.
Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie Review
Cons: Large fit, breathability, style
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Comfort & Fit
The shirt isn't uncomfortable to wear. It's simply big. At 5'9'', 170lbs., I floated in the medium. The seams were never evident, and no part of the large, flowing shirt bunched in the wrong places. Oddly enough, it's back length, at 27.7',' is shorter than its sister garment in the test, the long-sleeved Columbia Silver Ridge button-down. The PFG entry feels bigger.
The hood is no doubt functional, providing coverage to the face as much as the head if pulled up fully. The sleeves are long and stretch a bit at the wrist when needed, a nice benefit to have if you also prefer UPF gloves over sunscreen, or just don't want to worry about re-applying.
It feels as if the PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie (PFG = professional fishing gear) Hoodie is resting on your shoulders, as opposed to being properly fit throughout. This became very evident when used while surfing. It's not heavy enough to restrict movement at all, but it was quite heavy when soaked. When dry, the shirt tends to flow around the body. That leads it to sticking to parts of the body where sweat accumulates, creating some breathability and drying issues.
The other hoody in this test, the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody, offers a total body fit without feeling as though the garment is swallowing you, and felt natural as a rash guard while surfing. This allows for it to function better as an all-around active garment, or even in social settings. Keep in mind, This shirt has a tendency to reveal any semblance of a lower-body paunch, whereas those more inclined to skip ab-day will find the Columbia a better fit.
The PFG Terminal Tackle could be a decent alternative for climbers given its helmet-compatible hood, below-harness hem, and adequate stretch. While Columbia is targeting anglers with this product, it shouldn't be limited to one activity when sold as an effective alternative to sunscreen, and buyers today should expect multiple uses for their investment.
The polyester Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie does as it should in terms of general sun protection. Built with the company's 50+ UPF Omni-Shade™ polyester, this shirt is designed for mid- to extreme sun exposure and will repel both UVA (more prevalent, causes photoaging) and UVB (surface level, sunburn-causing) rays.
The hood all but swallows the head and adds protection to the face and nose, and the longer sleeves help cover the wrists and tops of the hands. Patagonia's Capilene Cool Daily is a similar, lightweight-hoody design and boasts the same 50+ UPF rating, its hood and overall fit is more snug and cooling, but it doesn't necessarily blanket the body as well as the Columbia, if that's your preference. In essence, this shirt is for modern-day Bedouins.
This is where the PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie struggled a bit in testing. It didn't dry as quickly as others in practical testing and it seems as if the garment's "poncho" design is compensating for the fabric's inability to let warm air escape. Still, in a controlled dry test, which entailed 30 minutes of outside drying after a dip in a washing machine, it performed equally with all others except the Eddie Bauer, which remained damp under the arms.
Sunshirt shoppers should know, however, that this piece isn't intended to cool during aerobic activities, it's not specifically a performance fabric in that regard. Nevertheless, Columbia should expect this category of garment to be used in multiple settings given that they are marketed first as sun shirts.
To test odor protection, an aspect of breathability, each shirt in the test was subjected to five minutes above a campfire. The Terminal Tackle didn't fare well, clearly holding on to a thick coating of campfire funk well after being removed. Still, the Eddie Bauer was last in this test.
In cool breezes, the shirt felt nice, even airy. But when things turned humid during a test week in Costa Rica, it felt somewhat suffocating and sticky until it dried again. Breathability is going to be a natural advantage to most products in this test, given their overall purpose, but some will be better at it than others. The button-down samples in this test have more opportunity for air to pass through, especially those with back and yoke vents, such as Columbia's other Omni-Shade entry, the long-sleeved Silver Ridge, Patagonia's Sol Patrol II, and Mountain Hardwear's Canyon.
In the same way that the button-down sun shirts for men are more prone to breathability, the simple hoodies are intrinsically more durable. By nature, there is little chance of a button falling off, a sleeve strap tearing, or getting a hole in the vent mesh. The polyester PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie at no point showed signs of significant use, even after multiple hand-washes, being stuffed in packs, and in general, put through the rigors of every-day use. The stretch capacity of Columbia's polyester remained intact, even around the sleeves where the stitching is evident. It also cleaned easily, resisting stains and debris build-up.
Unless you want to let everyone know you're auditioning for a commercial fishing reality show, there's little reason to don the PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie outside of whatever activity in which you intend to use it. It's not a flattering fit, the hood is very large, and its bold sleeve logo is simply too much, especially if you're not a professional fisherman. Moreover, there is nothing subdued about the green of the sample we tested. Some outdoor garments are best left in your backpack after the adventure is over, especially when you're not living on a tuna boat for the summer.
Columbia's PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie smartly lacks in external features. It simply doesn't need them. However, the large hood, long-sleeves, and flowy design are what contribute to its effectiveness, and as such, it doesn't need sleeve straps, high-button collars, back vents, or hidden pockets. That said, this shirt could benefit significantly from hood and hem drawcords, and even thumb-loops. Such features would immediately put it into a higher technical category.
The PFG is best suited for its namesake: fishing. Why? Well, few sports demand as much time in open, exposed sun without being consistently aerobic as fly fishing, surf-casting, or other forms of the sport. The large hood keeps the sun rays at bay during the hottest parts of the day, removes the need for a Buff® or other such fabric cover, and is most comfortable in the constant breezes of the open ocean.
For its best application, this men's sun shirt a terrific value at under $45 in almost all online retail destinations found on Google. It's durable and does its job: protects you from the sun. If you're looking for an all-around hiker or multi-use sun-shirt, the lack of features suggests the value isn't there, even at that average price.
The Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie is a non-technical, limited use top for long periods of sun exposure. In terms of blocking sun rays, it performs as promised. It doesn't wick sweat as well as others tested, is difficult to size correctly, and its massive sleeve brand turns everyone into a Columbia ambassador.
— Craig Rowe