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Love these shirts: Overview of the Bonehead, Baitcaster, Bahama, Low-Drag and Tamiami
on October 1, 2015
I'm a big fan of Columbia "breather-back" shirts. In the hot Texas summers these things are no joke- they really do keep you cool. For no good reason, I only had one of these for many years and I only used it for fishing. This past summer I snapped out of that nonsense and started buying more and wearing them all over. Here's my take on the different shirts, hope this helps you. (for reference I am 5'8", 175#, 32" waist and usually wear either an athletic-cut large shirt or a medium if it's cut normally...yes, I live in size hell)
Bonehead: This shirt is 100% cotton and is very tough. Makes a great work shirt. It wrinkles easily and has the traditional PFG assortment of pockets on the front. It is the quintessential PFG shirt. It does not fly under the radar but it looks fine for what it is. I have several of these and if you can get them less than $15 that's a great deal. Given the pros of the other shirts, however, I must say this style is my least favorite (but still a great shirt, and my go-to work shirt). I always get a small in this style and it's still roomy at that. It's cut VERY large.
Bahama II: Much like the Bonehead in terms of pockets, but it's made of a synthetic fabric. Breathes better and wrinkles less but can still wrinkle. The "Super Bahama" version has a print rather than solid colors. Heavier material than the Tamiami. I wear a small in this shirt as well. Not super lightweight but tougher and can be used as a work shirt.
Tamiami II: This seems like a refinement of the Bonehead and Bahama. Very light cloth, kind of parachute-like. Different pockets. This, to me, is the coolest (temperature-wise) shirt of the bunch. The "Super Tamiami" is the printed version. I wear a small in this one as well and it's my favorite for very hot weather but I would be very hesitant to wear it for work applications. Not as tough as the Bonehead or Bahama. Pretty much wrinkle-free.
Baitcaster: Lightweight like the Tamiami but different cut and different pockets. It's kind of a cleaner version of the Tamiami, however, because of the cut I wear a medium in this rather than the small in most of the others. I tried a small and it would button but was tight in the shoulders.
Low-Drag Offshore: Another lightweight version with far more conventional pockets and a very clean look. Some colors have contrasting stitching which, in my opinion, looks sharp. The sizing on this is smaller than the Bonehead/Bahama/Tamiami but slightly larger than the Baitcaster. I ordered a small and it fits, barely. By far my favorite design. When I order another I may or may not order up a size to a medium.
So there you go. If I seem addicted to these shirts it's because I am. In a hot climate you may be able to find a cooler shirt but if one exists I don't know about it. Retail you can expect to pay anywhere from $30-$60 for these but if you keep an eye out on Amazon getting them as cheap as $11 isn't unheard of. Money well-spent if you spend a lot of time outside.