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

Columbia PFG Bahama Long Sleeve Review

If you value organization over style, the Columbia Bahama might be just your shirt.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $45 List | $29.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Many pockets to keep organized, large, breathable vents, feature-filled
Cons:  Boxy cut/fit, bulky chest pockets, wrinkles easily
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 11, 2018
  • Share this article:
50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Comfort & Fit - 30% 4
  • Sun Protection - 25% 5
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Style - 15% 2

The Skinny

The Columbia PFG Bahama did not top our charts for "most stylish sun shirt" by a long shot. This shirt has an odd mixture of features, from thick, noisy fabric and a button-down collar to double chest pockets and side slits. We found this shirt to be rather boxy and full of specific features that earn it Columbia's Professional Fishing Gear label.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Four of the shirts in this review are button-down, collared shirts, but all four we found to be strikingly different from one another. To learn how the Columbia Bahama stacked up, read on!

Performance Comparison


Columbia PFG Bahama - the PFG stands for Professional Fishing Gear  which came in handy during one of our reviewers' trip to Baja!
Columbia PFG Bahama - the PFG stands for Professional Fishing Gear, which came in handy during one of our reviewers' trip to Baja!

Comfort & Fit


Compared to all the other sun shirts in this review, we found this one to be the least comfortable. The fabric is stiff and swishy, and the overall fit is boxy and runs large. This shirt has seams in odd places, and the sleeve tabs hold the sleeves quite high, just hitting the crease of our elbows. After spending a day in a suitcase en route to our reviewer's beach vacation spot, this shirt also acquired quite a few wrinkles and was one of the easiest shirts to wrinkle in this review. Our reviewers also felt that the double chest pockets of this model, while useful for organizing small objects like fishing lures, stood out from the shirt in a way they didn't enjoy. We gave this shirt a 4 out of 10.

Both our 5'4" reviewers found this shirt in XS to be large  boxy  and not overly flattering.
Both our 5'4" reviewers found this shirt in XS to be large, boxy, and not overly flattering.

Sun Protection


Of all the sun shirts we reviewed, this one had the lowest UPF rating of just 30. Still enough to avoid wearing so much sunscreen, but less than impressive when compared to the other sun shirts. The sleeves of the Bahama are nice and long, which may help provide a small amount of protection for the base of your hand. The collar can also be open for air flow or buttoned higher to protect your chest V from too much sun. Overall we gave it a 5 out of 10.

We weren't the biggest fans of this sleeve tab on the Bahama as it was so long  it tended to dangle out the bottom of the sleeve when they were rolled 3/4. You can also see the placement of the sunglasses loop on the bottom of the right chest pocket.
We weren't the biggest fans of this sleeve tab on the Bahama as it was so long, it tended to dangle out the bottom of the sleeve when they were rolled 3/4. You can also see the placement of the sunglasses loop on the bottom of the right chest pocket.

Breathability


Though the fabric of this shirt is much thicker than most of the sun shirts we reviewed, including the lightweight Columbia Silver Ridge Lite, we also found it to have the largest vents and loosest fit of all the sun shirts. The Bahama is made of quick-dry 100% nylon fabric that does keep you comfortable and cool even in an equatorial sun. We gave it an 8 out of 10 for breathability.

With so many back and shoulder vents  and a roomie fit  we found the slightest breeze was invited right inside the Bahama!
With so many back and shoulder vents, and a roomie fit, we found the slightest breeze was invited right inside the Bahama!

Durability


Our reviewers found no durability issues during testing and felt that the material this shirt is made of was sturdy. The one complaint they had was the sheer number of seams crisscrossing this shirt, most of which weren't reinforced very strongly - particularly the seams of the featured loops, straps, and pockets. We gave it a 6 out of 10.

Protecting your chest from the sun doesn't have to mean choking yourself on extremely high buttons!
Protecting your chest from the sun doesn't have to mean choking yourself on extremely high buttons!

Style


This was the category in which the Columbia Bahama performed the worst compared to the other sun shirts in this review. With a boxy fit and covered with all the bells and whistles Columbia put on for their Professional Fishing Gear tag, our reviewers felt the only place this shirt would be stylish is on a fishing boat! However, this shirt comes in a wide array of colors, which is more than most of the other sun shirts in this review can say about their selections! Overall though, we gave this shirt a 2 out of 10 for style.

See how the Columbia PFG Bahama compares to the other button up shirts in this review on our 5'4"  115lb. gear tester. From left to right: Columbia PFG Bahama (size XS)  Marmot Bridget Flannel (size XS)  REI Co-op Sahara (size XS)  Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (size S).
See how the Columbia PFG Bahama compares to the other button up shirts in this review on our 5'4", 115lb. gear tester. From left to right: Columbia PFG Bahama (size XS), Marmot Bridget Flannel (size XS), REI Co-op Sahara (size XS), Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (size S).

Features


This shirt is chalked full of features. It includes buttons for the collar, tabs for the sleeves, double chest pockets with velcro closures to stay organized, a sunglasses loop (though oddly placed), a velcro chest strap, and full-shoulder mesh with both bottom and side vents.

Pockets on Pockets! The Bahama has two layers of chest pockets  to help you stay organized.
Pockets on Pockets! The Bahama has two layers of chest pockets, to help you stay organized.

Best Applications


Our reviewers felt that this shirt is best used for keeping organized and fishing (probably at the same time). Not a particularly stylish shirt, we felt it was less versatile than other shirts we reviewed, and wouldn't be our top pick for the next long paddle/backpacking trip/big climb. However, if you seek a shirt for deep-sea fishing or casting off a dock all day, perhaps this shirt is for you.

Value


Retailing for around $40, this shirt is right in the middle of the price range of all sun shirts we reviewed. However, our reviewers felt that unless you spend a LOT of time fishing, or really love the boxy, feature-happy style of this shirt, there are far more versatile sun shirts available for a similar price.

Conclusion


At the end of the day, this shirt is all about the features. Our reviewers felt that this shirt focused on the features instead of the comfort of the fabric or fit of the shirt. However, if features are what you're after, then this shirt might just be right for you!

Keep it extra classy even in that stiff ocean breeze with the Bahama's collar buttons.
Keep it extra classy even in that stiff ocean breeze with the Bahama's collar buttons.


Maggie Brandenburg