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When you’ve started to find your feet in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the next thing to think about is what is the best BJJ gi to buy? But have not fear, we have made this question a much simpler and less stressful experience for you! Check out our guide on what we think is the best BJJ Gi on the market today.
Top 3 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gis
Best BJJ Gi Reviewed
Below we have handpicked some of the best bjj gi’s that are popular with competitions are hobbyists alike.
While this is one of our lightest gi’s in the review it is also one of the most durable. When you’re looking at buying a gi, the guys at Tatami have knocked it out of the park with their 3rd version of their Elements gi. The Gi features a modern slim-fit tailored style that is still competition legal. Their Rubber collared 250 GSM Pearl Weave jacket and 7oz cotton twill trousers weigh in around 1.3kg. This Gi also comes pre shrunk.
- Rubber collar
- 550 GSM Pearl Weave Jacket
- 7oz Cotton Twill
- Meets IBJJF guidelines
Comfort and Breathability
The Tatami Elements truly focuses its superior pearl weave gi to achieve a level comfort and breathability not seen in other gis. This, in turn, applies to performance during rolling. The Athlete is perfect for any hot weather rolling and hot climates and keeps your body dry with its natural moisture-wicking features to prevent any bacterial infections from sweat. Overall, the quality fabric weave of this Gi is what makes it superior to all others, despite it being a bit pricier.
High-Density Foam Collar
The collar is the part of the Gi that goes under-appreciated for its vital role. Having a quality collar prevents any unwanted gripping during training or competition. The Nova is a quality gi and incorporates a foam collar to complete its guarantee of lightness and durability. The high-quality gi collar is another small piece that sets the Athlete above the competition.
Cost and Value
The Tatami Nova gi is at an excellent price range compared to it’s competition, but the price is worth it for a quality training Gi that could potentially have a lifetime of training. The features of a high-quality pearl weave fabric and a suitable and excellent collar truly makes the Tatami gi a secret weapon to beat the competition and why we think it’s one of the best bjj gi brands around.
The Tatami Zero Gi and now the Elements opened the market for competition gi’s and Scramble broke the market by designing a BJJ gi that is an absolute beater on the market. Looking at buying a gi? The Scramble Athlete kimono offers the best weight to strength ratio that goes unmatched by other competitors on the market. Designed with a high-quality, pre-shrunk, 450 GSM weave that’s super strong the Scramble gi is also reinforced in all the right places. This is definitely a quality gi.
- Extremely durable yet light material.
- Jacket 450 gsm with rounded, reinforced slots.
- Col EVA foam soft: better resistance to bottlenecks.
- Optimal moisture management.
- Pants 290 gsm Ripstop with reinforced stitching at the inside of the leg and ankle circumference.
- Gi preshrunk.
Having a breathable, and antimicrobial Gi is always important as you’ll be able to move a lot easier and you will never have to worry about sweat build up and causing problems. The Scramble Athlete Gi is equipped with everything possible to ensure you have a comfortable and performing Kimono. Its anti-odour features mean that you can train harder without your gi starting to stink after prolonged sessions.
IBJJF Tournament Approved
With the Scramble BJJ gi, you never have to worry if the Jiu-jitsu Gi can be used in competitions, as it is an IBJJF Tournament approved kimono. The Scramble Athlete’s attention to detail and quality features makes it a dependable Gi for the competition season. It is also perfect for an everyday training kimono in the hot summer months.
Cost and Value
The Scramble Athlete is one of the best BJJ gi you can buy at this reasonable price. The features that it offers, including it’s patented antimicrobial and anti-odour technology, along with its certified IBJJF approval sets this Gi far above its competition in terms of value for the price. You’ll never go wrong with a decision to go with the Scramble Athlete Gi.
The new Sanabul Essentials v2 gi takes everything great about the original gi and makes it better. Worn by world champions, the Essentials Gi has become a firm favourite for competitors around the world. This gi is a fantastic mix of performace, comfort and durability, it features a pre-shrunk 450 GSM pearl weave jacket inlayed with a rubber collar and 250 GSM ripstop pants. This bjj gi comes with minimal patches, so you can add your own club patches.
- 450 gsm ultra-quality preshrunk cotton for a lighter, softer Gi
- Pearl Weave
- Rubber collar with ripstop material
- Ripstop pants
- Seamless back
Durable Pearl Weave
One of the most impressive things about the Sanabul Essentials is that it’s surprisingly lightweight jiu-jitsu gi despite its strong and durable jacket. The reinforced knees on the trousers and foam rubber inner collar on the jacket make this one of the most durable, yet easily wearable Gi out there right now. The pearl weave of the jacket also shows off Sanabul’s attention to detail in their most popular bjj gi. Sanabul uses terrific material, which is both lightweight and strong.
Reinforced Ripstop Pants
The high-drying and super-lightweight material Ripstop fabric used in the Gi is what makes it unique in the list. The polyblend fabric mixed with ripstop design makes this Gi one of the lightest and toughest on the market.
Cost and Value
With the Sanabul Essentials, you’re always guaranteed to get the best bang for your buck. The moderate-to-cheap price is a good selling point for those who want to shell out a bit more for a Gi which meets all criteria in our best bjj gi round up.
From one of the most popular BJJ gi designers comes one of the original competition gi’s on the market. The Estilochanged the shape of the market forever and got BJJ Gi designers hankering for a slice of the lightweight competition pie. The Estilo was designed after months of long testing and the Version 6 edition of this kimono is one of the best in the world. An A2 sized Estilo jacket and pants comes in at 2kg, weights will vary dependant on sizes.
- Estilo brand patches are placed in areas compiling to IBJJF GI standards and adding a fantastic look to this NEW range of superlight competition BJJ’s GI’s
- Jacket made from 475gsm Pearl Weave reinforced GI material
- Rubberised collar to stop moisture absorption during training and competition.
- Collar covered in ripstop material for added durability
- Single piece jacket for reinforced strength and comfort
- 10oz heavy cotton stitching on ALL areas of the jacket and pants
The Original Gi
Tatami Fightwear were the originators of the premium Jiu-jitsu gi. Before the Estilo BJJ gi’s were heavyweight, redesigned Judo Gis. Tatami focused heavily on Estilo G’s construction, so it can take the day-to-day beating of regular training and competition.
An A2 size of Tatami’s Estilo weights a mere 2kgs. So there’s less weight for you to cut, meaning you can be in the best athletic capabilities ahead of your competition.
The amazing fabric and weave of the Estilo is what makes this an amazing Gi. The tried and tested pearl weave fabric has a new and improved preshrunk treatment that can withstand the toughest of rolls and hot training sessions. The athletic cut is also precise in detail and features exact contrast cobalt blue stitching will keep you nicely protected from wear and tear as you practice the gentle art.
The Elite Sports Ultra light gi is the perfect first-time competition gi. Light enough so you don’t need to spend your last hours in a sauna, strong enough to withstand the toughest fights and difficult to grip so you can control the pace of the fight. This gi features strong pearl weave fabric, which is a 450 GSM weaved fabric that is comfortable enough to wear on the inside but rough to stop gripping on the outside. Featuring an athletic fit, this is also the perfect summer training partner.
- Perfect competition gi
- Strong Peal Weave Fabric
- Athletic Cut and Fit
- Perfect for summer training
- IBJJF competition approved
Twill Cotton with Reinforced Stress Area
The fabric for the Lightweight Gi is composed of a pearl weave jacket and Twill Cotton Trousers. A fine choice which works well to improve the softness of the Gi while reducing weight and optimizing performance. The reinforced areas of the jacket and trousers offer extra toughness to stress points that may be targeted during a competitive match.
The Ultra light Gi is not only a premium gi but it is also 100% tournament certified, making it an exceptional choice over other non-certified gis. This gi delivers incredible performance for athletes who need a kimono that can last throughout the most intense training and competition.
Cost and Value
The Gi does run expensive, which is normal for a premium Gi or this quality. The value of having a premium tournament Gi, however, is well worth the cost which makes the Elite Sports Ultralight a safe and exceptional buy.
Other BJJ Gi’s We’ve Reviewed
The Hayabusa Pearl Weave is perfect for anyone looking for a BJJ gi from one of the best martial arts brands around. Sponsors of the great George St Pierre, this gi is the staple of his UFC walkouts.
The jacket is built with a 230gsm pearl weave jacket while the trousers are made from 8oz ripstop material, meaning it’s the perfect combination of lightweight material and structure.
The gi comes in numerous colours including the IBJJF legal colours of white, blue and black, and all the embroided labels on the gi have legal placements.
Sponsors of some of the best grapplers in the world, Kingz are one of the staple BJJ brands in any wardrobe.
The One Gi is Kingz’s basic brand but it’s far from it. Featuring a tailored fit perfect for any body type, Kingz is known for their quality.
The One is IBJJF approved and is designed to withstand all of the rough and tumble Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu throws at it. All the seams are triple reinforced and all the weak points on the gi are fully reinforced.
Since 2011 Kingz have been on a mission to provide quality grappling goods for the consumer market.
The ultrastrong Gi from Gold BJJ is a premium heavyweight Gi, perfect for those gruelling hours.
Made from a gold weave cotton fabric the Ultrastrong is perfect for BJJ and Judo. This premium gi features a rashguard lining on the neck to protect the user from unsightly gi burn, it also has the ability to wick moisture away, keeping you cool.
This Gi is backed by Gold BJJ’s guarantee of excellence. As a small family-ran jiu-jitsu company Gold offer you a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your product.
The Your Jiu-Jitsu Gi brand is a relatively new kid on the block but it’s customer feedback already shows it could be tipped for the top spot.
Featuring a free BJJ belt when you buy their gi, this is perfect for beginners looking to start their journey. This gi comes in four colours, white, blue, black and grey.
This Gi is completely blank meaning you can customise this to your heart’s content, so go crazy with the patches! It also comes in two different weight, from a premium 450gsm jacket to a lightweight 350gsm summer training gi.
The Fuji Lightweight BJJ Gi is an excellent lightweight option for anyone looking to shed those extra grams when they compete.
The preshrank gi look excellent on the mats and the fact it won’t shrink means you can wash it on a higher heat without fear. High heat means better hygiene.
The jacket is made from a modern pearl weave and it’s designed for superior fit, comfort and breathability.
About Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi’s
BJJ gi’s are designed with weight in mind, they are designed to be lightweight, durable and make sure that when you stand on those scales, all those weeks of skipping seconds will make it all worth it. Competitions gi’s don’t just help you shave the pounds at a competition, they are also great for keeping cool in the summer months when temperatures in the gym are hot enough to boil an egg.
Modern gi’s are normally made from single weave or the more modern pearl weave and will have a GSM of around 400, to help shave off those extra grams. The Gi’s are tapered and slim cut to help to break your opponent’s grip, however, the lightweight structure of the gi does tend to it stretching a bit.
How To Choose The Best BJJ Gi
As you can see choosing the best BJJ gi for your needs can be a difficult procedure. Modern BJJ gi’s come with some many different weaves, cuts, sizes, materials and weights.
When it comes to choosing the best jiu-jitsu Gi for yourself there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration. Let’s go through some of the criteria you should be thinking about when choosing the right BJJ gi.
BJJ Gi Weave
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi has been described by many as the flashier cousin of the original Judo gi. With the evolution of the gi, also came the evolution of the gi weave. How the fibres are weaved together can also determine how heavy a jiu-jitsu gi can be, so it’s also important to consider this into your decision. We will go through the best bjj gi weaves available on the market.
While this is the newest weave on the market, it quickly became one of the most popular. Most modern Jiu-Jitsu gi’s will all be created using the peal weave cotton. This weave combines the lightweight properties of a single weave with the strength of the gold weave and why it’s one of the best jiu-jitsu gi weaves to use.
Before the pearl weave cotton, came the single weave gi. Before this weave was invented this was the most popular weave for Jiu-Jitsu gis. A single weaves major benefit was it’s weight, many competition gi’s were made from single weave materials to help a fighter stay under the weight limit when they were close. However, the benefit of a lightweight gi also meant it was more prevalent to tearing and stretching. Over time a single weave gi would become baggy and difficult to wear. It would also be a lot easier to grip onto and keep a hold of.
The double weave gi was the answer to the fragile nature of the single weave. Simply put this material was two single weaves weaved together. This doubled fabric added more weight to the gi, while creating a far more durable and difficult to grip jiu-jitsu kimono. Double Weave is used a lot in heavyweight gis, especially in Judo, where it’s perfect to withstand the gripping and aggressive pulling nature of the sport. A double weave gi rarely shrinks, so it’s important to get a gi that fights right otherwise it will inhibit movement since you don’t get the flexibility of other weaves.
The gold weave was designed when there was a need for something strong like a double weave but lighter and manoeuvrable like a single weave kimono. The gold weave was designed to take the best of both worlds from each weave and can be seen used is numerous competition gis. Many Olympic judo gi’s are made with gold weave as they are lighter and tougher than single weaves. However with these properties, comes a price tag, gold weave is probably one of the most expensive jiu-jitsu gi weaves and there’s a reason for that.
With the evolution of the sport has also come the evolution of weaves. Companies have innovated to weaves to come up with their own unique twist of the standard kimono. New weaves coming onto the market include Do or Die’s Star Weave, which is a super durable and lightweight weave that doesn’t have the stretching properties. Other bjj gis that come onto the market include a honeycomb weave and Platinum Weave
BJJ Gi Pants Material
BJJ gis are more than the jacket however, there are also pants to consider. Normally Jiu-Jitsu Gi Pants won’t be made of a weave, this would be too uncomfortable but are made of more lightweight cotton material. this is because they take far less punishment. Let’s take a look at the two most popular pants materials
The cotton drill material is a flat, strong, durable weave, which is most popular for jiu-jitsu pants and not used for jackets. This material can take lots of punishment that jiu-jitsu can throw at it. The cotton drill can be verified by its trademark diagonal material lines, however, the cotton drill is known for stretching during training, which is why a number of companies have moved away from it.
Invented in the early 2000’s Ripstop quickly because a staple in Jiu-Jitsu training wear. Ripstop is very lightweight and while it can be 100% cotton, many manufacturers offer a polyester blend. This gives ripstop is signature waxy feel, which is equally loved and hated by the community. Ripstop gets it’s name from the 0.5mm intervals of reinforcement threads, which give it it’s characteristic 3d square pattern. Ripstop doesn’t stretch during training and has very little shrinkage, so make sure you get a gi that is the right size, otherwise, it may be too baggy for training. Ripstop has also been used for gi jacket material due to it’s lightweight and strength. It’s the perfect travel companion for travelling jiu-jitsu practitioners. However Ripstop jacket gis is not IBJJF legal.
BJJ Collar Material
Many modern BJJ Gi collars have a cotton, foam or rubber core, with rubber recently becoming the most popular
Over the years, there has been a recent shift in how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi collars are made, normally the outside will be drill cotton or a ripstop material filled with cotton or foam to pad it out. However more and more gi’s are moving to rubber-filled collars due to hygiene and costing options.
However, each collar has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Cotton filled collars are comfortable but easy to grip, rubber collars are more difficult to grip but are more uncomfortable in the choke. So also think about the collar when you’re choosing the best Jiu-Jitsu Gi.
BJJ Gi Weight
For the competition, you can choose to get a lightweight gi, but there are also gi’s which are a more normal weight and also heavyweight gi’s designed for judo. All have their own advantages.
Ultra Lightweight Competition Gi
- Perfect for meeting competition weight limits
- Lightweight means it’s perfect for summer and hot training
- Washes easily
- Normally made from Pearl Weave Cotton and Single Weave
Hybrid Lightweight Gi
- Combines the benefits of the ultra-lightweight gi with the benefits of the middleweight gi.
- More durable than the ultra-lightweight
- Very popular with competition
- Normally made with Pearl Weave Cotton
Middleweight BJJ Gi
- An excellent all-rounder
- Perfect for regular training
- Comes in a variety of colours
- Normally luxury-end gi’s
Heavyweight Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Gis
- Great if you’re underweight
- Difficult for an opponent to grip
- Doesn’t stretch like lightweight gis
- Normally expensive
- Made from Double Weave or Gold Weave
All Jiu-jitsu gi brands can enhance our abilities or hinder them so make sure you pick the right gi for your needs.
BJJ Gi Sizes
When you first look at how to size you BJJ gi, it can often be confusing. BJJ gi’s are often sizes using an alphanumeric system, with letters including A, F and M. These stand the following, A, adults, normally male. F, represent female jiu-jitsu cuts and M stands for a child’s size. Numbers can range from 000 to 6. You can also have variations including S, H, L XL, which stand for Short, Husky, Long, Extra Long. These intermediate sizes cater for fighters who may have long limbs but have a thin torso, or have a wide torso but short limbs. Many jiu-Jitsu companies have catered for intermediate sizes to help the practitioner choose their perfect fit.
But how to do know if your gi is the right size? The easiest way is by checking the sleeves and the cuffs. When you buy a BJJ gi, you want to be looking for cuffs that are just slightly longer than your wrist. This is so you can take the washing machine shrinkage into consideration. Over time the weaves will shrink and tighten with warm and hot washes, leaving you with a perfectly fitting gi.
How to Shrink Jiu-Jitsu Gis
If you do buy a gi that is too big for you, there are a few things you can do to get it to the right size quickly and safely. Firstly, you should wash it on as hot as you can stand, normally gi’s can withstand hot washes of 90 degrees, however, keep an eye on any fixed nylon patches, which may not shrink and will spoil the effect of the gi. Once you have washed the gi, check the sleeve and skirt lengths on your body, if they are still too long you can then tumble dry your gi. Be careful as gi collars normally have a foam or rubber collar, which can be affected. Tumble dry the gi for 10 minutes at a time, taking it out and checking the size. Once you are happy with the sizing to take it out of the machine and leave it to hang dry. In the future, you will need to wash the gi on a cool wash to minimise shrinkage.
BJJ Gi Colours and the IBJJF
These days Jiu-Jitsu Gi’s can come in a huge variety of colours, However, not all colours are competition. These days on the mats you’ll see plain white gi’s rolling with pink tie-dyed gi’s and camo colour kimonos. However most gi’s are sold in the competition regulated White, Blue and Black, these three are the only legal competition colours for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Competition Legal BJJ Gi
In order to stop people gaming the system, the IBJJF set up a number of rules in order to make sure that all gi’s in competitions are deemed legal. Like Judo competition, the sleeve must reach the wrist of the fighter and the trousers must reach the ankles, tell that to the Miyao Brothers.
Gi jackets must be made of cotton or a cotton hybrid weave and should not be too thick that it might stop your opponent from gripping it. For Juvenile adult and masters categories, gi jackets must be made from a woven fabric, where as trousers can be made from cotton twill or ripstop fabric. Collars must be made with EVA or a similar rubber fabric.
The best jiu-jitsu gi should have a sleeve width that is wide enough to slip in 4 fingers easily without any resistance and the sleeve length should be no longer than 5cm away from the wrist when the arms are stretched out wide.
Competition Gi’s should come in white, black or royal blue. Different colour trousers and jackets are not permitted, as well as Gis with contrasting coloured collars.
5 Reasons Why You Must Train In A Gi
1. Having something to hold onto while training makes everything slow down. Your progression into a position and the ability to strike and submit your opponent diminishes. Following the traditional guidelines of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as self-defence will mean fighting opponents with clothes on most the time. That means you have multiplied your ability and knowledge of attacking ten times by training in a Gi.
Some people have made the argument that a t-shirt does not hold up to choke someone. Have you tried it? Have you drilled ways of grabbing a t-shirt to provide extra grip? It works, so your excuse is void. Also take into consideration where you live. In the mean streets of Brazil, you may find a lot of the population at the beach enjoying the water. Do you really think that is all they do? Job environments provide a great opportunity for disagreement and sometimes altercations. Grab a hold of someone’s sport jacket and choke him with it if you have too. But how are you supposed to know what to do with the technique if you do not train it?
2. When you train in a Gi your defense has to start long before you are actually in trouble. If you do not think through your technique and make sure it is sound you cannot just “yank” out of something to get a better position. Is this not a valid reason to train in a Gi?
Your technique will improve so that you do not get beat plus it allows your training prevention at a greater percentage than getting smashed up without a Gi. Do not sit around and waste another day without training in the Gi for this reason alone. Technique truly does overpower strength when drilled and applied the way it is supposed to be done. I am not the best No Gi grappler on the planet but I do hold my own against guys my level just from mainly training in the Gi.
3. Everything you do in Nogi can be done in a Gi – YES!! All your favorite submissions can still be applied when you are wearing a Gi! So why would you not want to challenge yourself with something that will keep you gaining knowledge and help you to keep yourself at the top of your game? I understand 99% of it is not wanting to lose and feel like you have to relearn or start over at the bottom but think of it this way, you can only go up from here. There is no pressure to walk out there and be the best right away.
I have rolled with some great MMA fighters and convinced them to put on a Gi. Gi’s change everything just like punching in MMA can change your effectiveness with your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Get out and do it in a Gi.
4. Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a lot less ego and a lot more chilled – I have always appreciated the fine art of “fighting without fighting” – Bruce Lee. I think Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just that with my experience rolling with all types of people including Judo, Wrestling, MMA, Sambo and even Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. I can promise you will not feel as beat up rolling with a great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Someone who has all their techniques fine tuned and understands that it is not about how bad you make the other person feel after you roll with him but simply letting you defeat yourself.
No Gi jiu-jitsu can sometimes take away from the technique because you do not have to try as hard to escape. Take a chance and put yourself out there to learn how to beat someone without throwing a punch and utilizing all the tools you have available which means the Gi.
5. You will have something to show for it – It is not all about rank when you speak about training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; it is simply about the knowledge that comes along with the rank. I was once the guy that did not care about getting rank in anything but just learning to fight and defend myself. Then I met a guy that really put things into perspective for me by informing me that Gi Jiu-Jitsu no matter what academy you train has a ranking system that dates back many years ago. You start at a white belt and end at a black belt and for some even a higher belt.
Many people put the time in for their belt and they display it around their waist as a symbol of accomplishment that can never be taken away from them. It is a sense of pride and years upon years of bleeding and sweating in the gym. No-Gi training in some academies have levels to award for progression but to my knowledge growing up in martial arts, is a fairly newer concept. Respect your lineage and what it is to have a “ belt” It does not make sense for someone to say, “I am a black belt in No Gi jiu-jitsu.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Gi brand?
Personally, we think the best BJJ Gi on the list is the Tatami Fightwear Essentials Gi. It's the perfect combo of lightweight, durability and price.
What BJJ Gi Colour is IBJJF Approved
If you compete in IBJJF competitions then you can only have three colours. White, Blue or Black, all other colours are banned under IBJJF rules
What does Gi mean in BJJ
The word 'Gi' is derived from the Japanese words 'Keikogi' or 'dogi' which means 'uniform for training'.
Is Gi or NoGi harder
Gi or NoGi are two different styles under the same banner of BJJ. While Gi can be slower and more technical, NoGi can be faster paced and more explosive. So it really depends on your style.
The market is full of some of the best bjj gis since the sport started, with so many to choose from you would be hard-pressed to find a kimono that will do you wrong.
IBJJF – Uniform Requirements
Gi Reviews – How to Wash and Shrink Your Gi