When you’ve started to find your feet in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the next thing to think about is the stresses of making weight and competing. Competing in any sport can be one of the most difficult experiences in anyone’s life, but when you make that a combat sport, increase the stress by tenfold when you have to make weight.
Best BJJ Gi Reviewed
Tatami Zero G v4
From one of the most popular BJJ gi designers comes one of the original competition gi’s on the market. The Zero G changed the shape of the market forever and got BJJ Gi designers hankering for a slice of the lightweight competition pie. The Zero G was designed after months of long testing and the Version 3 edition of this kimono is one of the best in the world. An A2 sized Zero G V4 jacket and pants comes in at 1.5kg, weights will vary dependant on sizes.
- Zero G V4 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
EDITOR'S CHOICE - Scramble Athlete
- Rubber collar
- 550 GSM Pearl Weave Jacket
- 280 GSM Ripstop Pants
- Meets IBJJF guidelines
Venum Elite Light
The Zero G opened the market for lightweight competition gi’s and Venum broke the market by designing a bjj gi that is the lightest ever on the market. The Venum Elite Light kimono offers the best weight to strength ratio that goes unmatched by other competitors on the market. Designed with a high-quality 350 GSM weave that’s super strong the Venum Elite Light is also reinforced in all the right places.
- Extremely durable yet light material.
- Jacket 340 gsm with rounded, reinforced slots.
- Col EVA foam soft: better resistance to bottlenecks.
- Optimal moisture management.
- Pants 250 gsm Ripstop with reinforced stitching at the inside of the leg and ankle circumference.
- Gi preshrunk.
Gameness Feather Gi
The new Gameness Feather gi takes everything great about the original gi and makes it better. Worn by world champions such as Caio Terra, the Feather Gi has become a firm favourite for competitors around the world. This gi is a fantastic mix of durability, comfort and performance, it features a preshrunk 450 GSM pearl weave jacket inlayed with a rubber collar and 250 GSM ripstop pants. This 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
Hayabusa Lightweight Gi
The Hayabusa Lightweight 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 Hayabusa’s strong pearl weave fabric, which is a 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
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 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 breaking your opponents grip, however the light weight 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 BJJ 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 most popular Jiu-Jitsu 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. Peal weave combines the lightweight properties of a single weave with the strength of of the gold weave. The weave’s properties allow quick and easy airflow to keep fighter’s cooler during the hot training months and helps wick sweat off the fighter quickly and efficiently.
Before the pearl weave, came the single weave. Before the pearl 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 gi weave would become baggy and difficult to wear. It would also be a lot easier to grip onto and keep a hold of. This is why the pearl weave was invented, since it had the same lightweight properties of the single weave but was more durable.
The double weave 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 heavy weight gis, especially in Judo, where it’s perfect to withstand the gripping and aggressive pulling nature of the sport. A double weave 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 a single or pearl weave kimono.
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 gi’s that come come onto the market include a honeycomb weave and Platinum Weave
BJJ Gi Pants Material
A BJJ gi is more than the jacket however, there are also pants to consider. Normally Jiu-Jitsu Gi Pants wont be made of a weave, this would be too uncomfortable, but are made of a more lighterweight 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. Cotton drill can be verified by it’s trademark diagonal material lines, however 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 maybe 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 are 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 BJJ collars are made, normally the outside will be a 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 their 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 bjj gi
BJJ Gi Weight
For 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 judos. All have they 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 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
Middleweight BJJ Gi
- An excellent all rounder
- Perfect for regular training
- Comes in a variety of colours
- Normally luxury-end gi’s
Heavyweight Jiu-jitsu Gi
- Great if you’re underweight
- Difficult for opponent to grip
- Doesn’t stretch like lightweight gis
- Normally expensive
- Made from Double Weave or Gold Weave
All Jiu-jitsu gi’s can enchance 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 washing machine shrinkage into consideration. Over time the weaves will shrink and tighten with warm and hot washes, leaving you with a perfectly fitted gi.
How to Shrink a BJJ Gi
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 affect 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 you 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 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 (IBJJF).
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 a cotton twill, or ripstop fabric. Collars must be made with EVA or a similar rubber fabric.
The best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi’s 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 that 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 Gi’s with contrasting coloured collars.
BJJ Gi Patches
Many bjj gi’s are sold with very little decoration, as competitions like to add patches from their clubs and sponsors for when they compete. The IBJJF are very specific on patch placement of the gi’s to ensure that no patches interfere with competitions gripping the jacket or pants. Patches can be placed in the following areas.
IBJJF – Uniform Requirements
Gi Reviews – How to Wash and Shrink Your Gi