Columbia PFG Bahama Long Sleeve Review
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More