Colombia Boatdrainer PFG Boat Shoes – Product Review


A week ago at our Demo Days I noticed that our Austin store manager Justin was wearing a new pair of the Columbia PFG Boatdrainer Boat Shoes. These are a fairly new product that we started carrying back in February as part of Columbia’s new lineup of water shoes – which includes the Drainmaker II, Powerdrain, Drainslip & Boatdrainer. I decided to ask Justin a few questions about what made him choose these as his new watershoe and how he was liking them.

Justin says the main reason behind his choice in shoe was the mix of style and utility. They look just like a typical leather boat shoe but the key difference is that they dry out quick and are very breathable. He says the mix is perfect for an all day outing on the water with dinner plans afterwards – without having to change shoes.

As far as performance goes, Justin reminded me that these aren’t full out wet shoes like an NRS Desperado or Cross-4. Instead, he recommends them for recreational paddlers who don’t mind getting a little sand/mud in their shoe, as both can come through the ankle slit. When this does happen, it’s easy to clean them out – just give them a quick rinse under the hose  and let them dry out!

So if you’re looking for mix of style and recreational utility, the Columbia Boatdrainer just might be the ones for you. Let us know if you’ve had a chance to use them or if you have any questions by commenting below! Also, check out the other shoes from Comlumbia’s new line including the Drainmaker II, Powerdrain & Powerslip shoes.

Drainmaker II, Powerdrain & Powerslip Shoes

No More Soggy Shoes!

Columbia has expanded their popular Drainmaker shoe line to include some unique new styles this year with design improvements.

Here are the styles we will be carrying:

These are great shoes for anyone who wants a multi-functional shoe that they do not have to worry about taking off when stepping into water. Excess water drains out of the shoe quickly through the sole and the materials are fast drying. The Boatdrain even incorporates Columbia’s Omni-Shield technology to resist stains on the upper part of the shoe!
Tired of always having to change from your nice everyday shoes into a pair of those annoying and uncomfortable water socks? Pick up a pair of Columbia water shoes and kiss that unwanted inconvenience goodbye!
Jerron @ACK

Yep, It’s Hot.

This heat is slowing me down, no time to write a lengthy intro today. Instead, I’ll simply get right to it. It’s HOT! Yeah, really, really hot. You’ve heard it all before, drink plenty of fluids, limit outdoor physical activity and stay in the shade. So no need to preach the same story again. If you are like me, you’ll tend to ignore the heat and continue doing the things you enjoy like paddling. However, I do take all necessary precautions to make sure that I avoid dehydration or even worse, heat stroke.

For instance, keeping hydrated is priority number one. When paddling longer distances, I tend to utilize a CamelBak Hydration Backpack such as the Octane XCT. This one in particular is perfect for paddling since it is made for “minimalist trail running or riding” meaning that it has a sleeker design that doesn’t get in the way. It’s great for paddling because I don’t have to stop and open a bottle whenever I need a drink. It’s just there and produces no trash. As an extra precautionary measure, I also pack a Platy Water Tank. It holds 4 liters of water and I can easily hide it away inside the cockpit.

I have to admit, I am more of a cap guy so you’ll rarely see me wearing big-rimmed hats. However, caps alone don’t provide the protection you need in extreme conditions. That’s why I use the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap — it’s  a cap but also offers full protection over my ears and down to my neck. When I am finished paddling, I simply remove the shield and keep the cap on, it’s perfect!

I have dark skin and rarely get sun burned but it doesn’t free me from using sunscreen. Regardless of how dark or light your skin is, sunscreen is key when it comes to protecting your skin for harmful sun rays. If I plan on staying out in the sun longer that a few hours, I shed the t-shirt and shorts for apparel made specifically to keep me cool and protect me from the sun. Columbia has it all figured out with the PFG Blood and Guts Superlight Long Sleeve Shirt. Not only does it offer UPF 50 sun protection but with a vented mesh-lined back, the breeze sure feels good. Together with a pair of Backcountry Convertible pants, Columbia has you covered…literally.

And of course, we can’t forget about our eyes. How about a pair of quality sunglasses by Costa? Whether fishing or simply paddling for joy, protecting your eyes is just as important as anything else. Also helps deter the reflection from the sun off the water so you can see where you are going and what’s beneath you.

I invite you to browse our website to see all the other products we offer made specifically to protect you from the sun and keep you cool. Also, if you have any other recommendations you’d l like to share, comment below.

Stay cool!

Don’t Be Me. Be Protected.

It’s summer in Texas and if you haven’t noticed, it’s HOT. With summer comes long sunny days and UV exposure can be extremely dangerous. Since I’m an outdoor enthusiast, I should know better but apparently I wasn’t thinking straight.

July 4th was a great day. I was off from work and decided to go tubing down the San Marcos River with a group of close friends. It was only supposed to be an hour or two float but because of all the tubers congesting the waterways, it ended up being a 3 hour float with no shade.

I had my Aloe Gator Suncreen, my ACK hat, and my Columbia Tamiami Shirt with 40 UPF Sun Protection built in. Did I use any of it? Nope, I left it all in the truck. I was dumb enough to say “I want to tan” and I didn’t even use my Man O War Costas because I didn’t want to get a “raccoon tan”. Boy did I ever get my “tan” on. I ended up looking like a blown up red balloon.

People, don’t be me. Whether you’re kayaking, tubing, fishing or whatever else you enjoy doing outdoors – protect yourself from the sun or you’ll end up looking like this (It’s not a pretty sight – NSFW): CLICK HERE

Dave Graves
Assistant Manager
ACK – San Marcos


Quality Gear…Because it’s worth it.

Lately I’ve been on a binge of purchasing products THAT ACTUALLY WORK! For years, especially in this economy, I spent my money on bargain products only to discover that these products either didn’t work well or simply didn’t last.

One item that quickly comes to mind are my shirts. My closet is lined with clothes that I can only wear for specific activities because they got ruined or stained at some point. One of these activities of course is fishing which ironically is the root cause of many of those stains.

When I learned that we would be carrying Columbia brand shirts, I was quick to get some for myself and what better line than the Columbia PFG Blood & Guts Shirt. They repel liquid like nothing else — even the disgusting stuff like fish blood and guts (hence the name). Sure, I specifically bought them for fishing but quickly discovered that even after a long day of fishing and quick wash they are good as new! In fact, you’ll often see me wearing them while cruising around town, at family holiday events and yes, even as dinner attire. Nothing can stain these shirts as long as it’s less than 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The shirts repelling ability was actually tested in a tub full of fish blood and guts but don’t worry, we sell them fish-smell free.

Another product that comes to mind is a tent. I have at least 6 tents in my collection, however I refuse to use four of the lower end designs since they have a number of problems including inadequate pole structure, leaking seams and susceptibility to condensation. Instead, I rely on my Mountain Hardware Lightpath 3 as well as my Kelty Trail Ridge 4 tents. I’ve used the Mountain Hardware tent more times than I can count on both hands since I’ve had it for well over 6 years. Both of these tents have proven themselves time after time, which says a lot coming from me — I’m not gentle with my equipment.

Good equipment doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg but you’ll find that by spending a little more, you’ll save a lot in the long run. Speaking of good equipment, what higher-end products have you purchased that have proven themselves? Maybe it’s somehting we should be carrying. We want to know, comment below!

Dave Graves
Assistant Manager
ACK – San Marcos