Columbia Omni-Freeze Sun Shirt Review

Columbia Omni-Freeze Sun Shirt Review

Just like everyone else, I’ve been lusting after all the pretty show shirts that are becoming super popular.  Being really light skinned (I’m essentially Norweigan) and living in the land of 300 days of sunshine, I feel like a sun shirt is a fair purchase.  That being said, I’m also broke.  I have a $50 cap for how much I’m willing to spend on a riding shirt for schooling purposes only.

That knocks out all the major brands that everyone is in love with including Kastel, Tailored Sportsman, EIS, etc.  Lower your prices people… please?

When I was reading a thread on Coth about sun shirts, someone mentioned they really liked the Columbia Omni-Freeze sun shirts… that person also said they were on sale right now.  $40 and free shipping?  Sold!


I bought mine from Sports Authority for that price, but Columbia has them on sale right now for $50.  The full price of this shirt is $70, so still not outrageous compared to some brands.

So we established they’re priced well, onto the review!  Omni-Freeze refers to Columbia’s sun fabric, which is SPF 50 and has “super cooling technology.”  They have lots of shirts with this fabric, but I choose the Women’s Half-Zip since it had a zip collar and long sleeves.


The fit is a little more form fitting than some of the equestrian sunshirts I tried on.  It would probably fit some of you skinny minnies a bit better, but on me it’s form fitting without being tight.  I do think it looks better not tucked in with athletic pants than it does tucked in with breeches.  The sleeves are quite long, so a good choice for those with long arms.


One thing I don’t love, is the sleeves aren’t vented.  This combined with the shirt being a bit form fitting makes it feel slightly clingy while riding.  Also, this shirt has holes in the sleeves for your thumbs.  A neat feature for running perhaps, but not so sure about riding.

What about the super cooling technology?  That my friends is amazing.  If you sweat a lot (or happen to get soaked hosing off your horse like me) this shirt turns any slight breeze into air conditioning.  Seriously.  If the fabric is wet, it genuinely feels cold.  When I drive home in my car, I need far less air conditioning than I would with a t-shirt.

Overall?  I think it’s a good buy for $40.  I wish the sleeves were vented, and I wish it was a bit looser fitting on me.  If it had either of those features, I’d definitely buy another.  As it stands, I like mine but probably won’t purchase anymore.

14 thoughts on “Columbia Omni-Freeze Sun Shirt Review

  1. I have the sun protection”arms” from Columbia – I wear them on with a regular short sleeve shirt… same cooling/sun protection. I sort of found out by accident that they work better when wet! lol

    I was thinking of ordering one of the shirts, but was concerned about the fit – based on your review, I made a good decision… I love the teal/turqoise/green-ish colour on you – looks great!

  2. Very interesting review. Retail these shirts are only $5 less than the Kastel. Too bad the bigger brands tend to have more sales than the newer Eq focused brands.

    I’m not sure I would be willing to try a shirt that doesn’t have vents under the arms. I feel like it would just be too restricting. And hot. And uncomfortable. That said I’m really glad the shirt worked out for you! Definitely seems like a good option if you are willing to sacrifice some of the features of the pricier “sister sun shirts” if you will.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yup, the full retail price on these shirts is not worth it in my opinion. I wouldn’t buy one at full price, and if I had $70 to spend on a sun shirt I would choose an equestrian brand. Priced like I have seem them for sale though, they’re a good and cheaper option to equestrian brands.

  3. I have a few shirts like this that I got on super sale that were made for running/working out and I’ve been quite pleased with them! I like the extra sun protection of the long sleeves, and they are light enough that I’m not hot when I ride.

  4. I’ve been looking at those online and was wondering if they work. I’m kind of like you, I’m not that excited about spending so much on a shirt (the equestrian ones) just for everyday use. I think it looks really good on you and love the color! Thanks for doing a great review 🙂

  5. I have the kerrits ice fill shirt and while I like it, it certainly isn’t the most flattering thing ever. I wish I could get more into this trend. I do like long sleeves and sun protection, but I have other things to spend money on right now. Maybe I’ll hit the clearance racks this fall and make out like a bandit for next year!

  6. REI offers a similar shirt for $60, usually on sale for $40. The REI Venturi Shirt. I have one and it does not have mesh under the arms, but there are vent in the arm pits. It sounds very similar to this shirt, a little more form fitting, cool fabric that is awesome with even the slightest breeze and thumb holes. It does wick really well and I don’t feel the need to roll up my sleeves while I am riding.

  7. Does this mean that there’s n alternative to the gloves/farmers tan summer look for equestrians? Instead of super white legs, I can be super white all over!
    Seriously though, it was 39 here last night. I wish I needed a sun shirt….

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