Columbia PFG Tidal Tee Hoodie - Women's Review
Cons: Wide neck, loose hood, thumbholes a bit tight, runs large
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Columbia Tidal is part of a line of Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) designed to be at its best when used on and around water. This hoody carries a UPF 50 rating and features a wide-neck opening and very long sleeves with thumbholes.
Comfort and Fit
Like much of Columbia's PFG line, the Tidal Tee is large and roomy. Our 5'4", 120 lb main tester has plenty of room to spare in the XS. This loose, relaxed shirt is a similar silky smooth material to many other tops we tested, offering a decent stretch to let you move. Along with a long torso and some of the longest sleeves we've ever seen on a shirt, the Tidal is well-equipped to keep you covered no matter how you move. The thumbholes in these exceptionally long sleeves are a bit on the small side for our preferences, but we appreciate the extra length even when we're not using said holes. The hood is also a unique feature, with a wide neck, wide opening, and loose fit. It's sewn on underneath a wide crew neck, giving it a unique appearance and feel. It's great for keeping you cool while you wear it, but don't expect it to stay put in the wind.
Like the majority of sun shirts we tested, the Tidal is rated UPF 50. Those extra long sleeves, long torso, and hood all help add to the sun protection powers of this garment. However, the neck is a bit wider than is ideal for sun protection if you're not wearing the hood. Columbia helpfully made the sleeves wider at the cuffs than a normal shirt, which makes them even easier to wear over your hands, with or without the thumbholes.
With about average thickness fabric, the Tidal gets most of its breathability from the combination of a loose fit and a hopeful breeze. It's available in numerous colors — some dark and some light. It features Columbia's wicking technology and dries reasonably quickly — quicker if the aforementioned breeze actually exists. However, because of the long sleeve coverage, they're not ideal for pushing up your arms when you're really hot. The relatively heavy hood also helps exclude this model from being a true competitor as a running top. It's really built under the assumption that you'll wear it while fishing. That is to say, it's breathability is ideal for standing on a boat or dock in the sun with a breeze off the water, but not a great choice for hiking through the stifling wood on a hot summer day.
The Tidal Tee Hoodie comes across as a shirt created for a specific purpose — and it is. And while it is a great choice for that purpose (fishing), it's less versatile for other uses. Its interesting, wide hood and very long sleeves that lay over your hands even when not using the thumbholes lend it a very casual vibe that may look out of place in certain situations. The "classic fit" is rather loose, which will appeal to some women and turn others away. It's not a particularly flattering top, but we think it makes up for it with solid — if rather specific — function. It's also available in quite a few colors.
Made of 100% polyester, the construction of the PFG Tidal is just shy of what we expect from a shirt. It seems fine enough, but the model we tested had numerous thread ends poking out and crooked seams. Much of it is also held together with just a single line of stitching, rather than a double row. However, nothing came apart during our several months of testing, though we did pick up several stains from both dirt and coffee, marring the bright blue option we were wearing.
The features of the Tidal are in the specifics of its design. Not only does it have thumbholes, but they're on the ends of extremely long sleeves that are wider to fit over your hands and cover your knuckles. It also has a hood, but that hood has a very wide neck to allow the wind to enter and cool your neck even while you wear it. It doesn't have any adjustability features or pockets.
As one of the less expensive options we tested, we think this shirt has the potential to be of high value — depending on what your purpose is in buying a sun shirt. If you're after an everyday option that you can hike and paddle and run in, this one isn't our top choice. But if you're an avid fisherwoman or even just someone who loves a good beach day, this shirt is made for you and won't break the bank.
The Columbia PFG Tidal Hoodie is a sun shirt entirely designed around the idea of you holding a fishing rod or hanging at the beach while you wear it. It has particularly long sleeves and a very wide-necked hood to keep you covered on the water without trapping a bunch of heat. It's not particularly versatile for other uses and has a relaxed, loose fit that may or may not be your cup of tea. But if feeling the breeze in your shirt on the beach is a line in your bio, this may be exactly the sun shirt you've been searching for.
— Maggie Brandenburg