At $110 MSRP, the Columbia Airgill Chill Long-Sleeve Shirt is one of the most expensive fishing shirts on the market. And the Airgill Chill definitely looks the part too. Columbia employs a range of design cues and features that make the Airgill Chill handsome, cool to wear, technically adept, and very comfortable. But is it really worth the hefty price tag?
Columbia builds the Airgill Chill around two key elements. The first is made up of six slanted vents that line the sides of the product. These gills – along with the substantial back vent – allow for lots of airflow through the garment. We found this to be a major advantage in our test. The Airgill Chill never felt too hot in our trials.
The second element Columbia employs in the Airgill Chill is the company’s Omni-Freeze ICE fabric. As noted in our previous review of the Columbia Baselayer Lightweight Top, this technology doesn’t quite live up to its marketing. Most lightweight nylon fabrics feel cooler to the touch when they become wet from sweat, salt spray or a good dunking in your favorite trout stream. The Omni-Freeze ICE fabric felt no different to us than other fabrics in this regard.
In addition to the cooling features of the shirt, the Airgill Chill includes two pockets on the upper chest. Both are zippered. The right-side pocket zips horizontally and comes outlined in a good-looking gray accent. The left-side zips vertically and hides stealth-fully under a nondescript fabric flap. Nicely done. The pockets are large enough for tippet spools and other small items, but not substantial enough for standard-size fly boxes.
Fabric: 100% nylon
Weight: 9.625 oz
Other features include a hook-and-loop tab for securing your fly rod; a three-stage collar that can be worn buttoned down, flipped up and extended with an additional fabric panel; and an eyeglass cleaning patch under the right shirt tail. The sleeves roll up and secure with fabric tabs.
Columbia cuts the Airgill Chill generously but sizing was accurate, no need to size up or down. Sleeve length on our men’s medium sample was perfect at approximately 32-33 inches. Order your normal size.
The Columbia Airgill Chill delivers good looks and solid fishing features. We’d like to see larger pockets and a bigger cooling payoff from the company’s Omni-Freeze technology. So is it really worth the premium price? Frankly, no. There are a number of very well-designed alternatives for $20 or $30 less. Find it on sale, however, and the Columbia Airgill Chill is definitely worth another look.