Product Review: California Cowboy

By: Members, Partners, Product Review

American Sailing has a new partner in its member benefits program and it may be one of the most useful products that casual sailors will utilize.  If you are a racer and you do not need superfluous stuff on your boat, you may think I am wrong.  If you are a racer and you love to celebrate your Wednesday night victories with Champagne, I suggest you stick around and take advantage of this new American Sailing Member Benefit.

California Cowboy makes fun apparel that is ideal for the beach and for the sailor who loves to jump in the water and then dry off while on deck.  With that said, I walked around the dock wearing California Cowboys El Girabladi Robe and I raised a few eyebrows. 

The California Cowboy products were tested while sailing in Santa Monica Bay and as I hijacked my son’s convertible Jeep and drove PCH on a blustery evening in Southern California. I may have attempted to Stand Up Paddle Board while wearing a robe and their lined products make for great conversation pieces on evening walks on the beach. I also need to apologize to my wife because I have been using an annoying voice when I walk around the house wearing the El Garibaldi. Also, I had to agree to wear more than just underwear when strutting around in the robe.

Why Do I Need A Robe To Sail?

The El Girabaldi Robe is the alternative to your favorite boat towel. It also doubles as a light sweater if you are sitting on the boat when the sun goes down.  The robe has a handy pocket for your phone, it is lined with terry cloth and it has one very large pocket that fits either a beer bottle or your race celebrating champagne bottle. 

I went for a quick swim in the middle of a California winter in order to test not only the absorbancy of this robe but its ability to keep me warm as we sailed back to the slip. First, the robe does a good job of absorbing water as any towel would. It is pretty much dry to the touch on the outside but it will remain wet for longer than you may be comfortable with on the inside. 

It still kept me warm and I looked great wearing it. So great in fact that I am pretty sure I caught my wife giving me one of those glances that she used to give me when we were in college. I would suggest a quick toweling off before pi\utting on the robe if the sun is going down and you are prone to getting cold. If you take a midday dip the El Girabaldi will not only dry you off but it will slowly dry as well. 

This robe is ideal for a bareboat charter in St. Barts.  Let’s say you are anchored in Anse de Colombier and decide to drop in for a quick splash. You hop back on board and want to lounge with your favorite beverage of choice. This is the robe that would tie the entire experience together.  This robe is not a sailing essential it is a style essential.  The sailor in your life will thank you when you hand them this robe because it is the sailing accessory that you never knew you needed. 

Do You Wear Flannel While Sailing?

This is a stretch for a sailing accessory but I have to mention the Men’s High Sierra Shirt from California Cowboy. This is a lined flannel shirt that looks stylish and casual at the same time. It’s warm and you can easily store it in your sail bag. The main reason it worked for me is simply that so often our afternoons turn into evenings on our boat. The sun goes down and it gets cold. California has cool evenings even in the middle of summer. We typically walk over to a local spot for dinner and then I am sitting there with my sailing jacket.  The flannel hands me the option to not wear my sailing fleece or jacket. These products all have a multitude of pockets for your phone, a beer bottle, and a bottle opener that comes with the shirt!

In case you need to be reminded of this, Sailors enjoy their beverages at the end of a long day on the water.  

The Aloha Sailing Shirt

Califonia Cowboy calls these High Water Shirts but I am going with Aloha Sailing Shirts. This lined Hawaiian-themed shirt also features water-absorbent terry-cloth lining and special pockets for a beverage and your phone.   If there was ever a shirt that must be worn sailing it is this article of clothing. My board shorts and flip-flops finally found a friend that is not a crusty old t-shirt. The prints are flowery and beachy and they will inspire you to seek out a tiki bar.  

This shirt with its terry cloth lining can get warm in the middle of the day but I drove up PCH in the early evening with the top down and I was quite comfortable. I took a stroll on the beach as the sun dropped over the horizon and I was still warm. I may have stumbled into the surf while playfully modeling this shirt. The shirt was a bit moist and this classic button-down still looked good enough to have dinner at a nice beachside restaurant. 

Features of the California Cowboy Products

  • Beverage Pocket – The pocket can hold a botte or a can and in my case my wife was collecting smooth stones on the beach. If you need to be hands free the pocket comes in handy. The El Garibaldi Robe ha a pocket large enough to stash a Champagne Bottle.
  • Terry Cloth Lining – Yes, thi shirt doubles as a towel and it does not end up looking wrinkled. California Cowboy calls it their Better Cotton Initiative. I call it genius asyou never know when you might get a little wet.
  • Zippered Dry Tech Pocket – Your phone is tucked away in a safe zippered pocket and it will let you take in the moment.  No need to check email when you are sailing, your phone is close enough to ease anxiety but tucked away so that you can easily ignore those annoying messages.


Simply apply the secret member-only discount code at checkout. Members can find the secret member-only discount code in the ASA Members Portal. Not a member? Then join ASA today!