Best BJJ Gi and Jiu Jitsu Gi Reviews Guide for 2019
For both Brazilian and standard Jiu Jitsu, the most essential component is the Gi. The Gi is a lightweight garment worn in almost all martial arts; basically, it acts as your armor as you step onto the mat. It’s extremely important to know the both importance and the difference of Gi. For example, a common mistake is to use a Judo or Karate Gi for Jiu Jitsu. The sleeve size, durability, and weight are all completely different for the Gi of various martial arts. That’s why picking a Gi that is specifically made for your martial art is crucial. Thankfully, we’ve got the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu Gi of 2018 for you to take into combat. Whether you’re picking out your first Gi or are a veteran athlete, these Gi are designed with the most optimized material and are your best options in the new year.
- Elite Sports Ultra Light
- Lightweight and Antimicrobial
- IBJJF Tournament Approved
- Flow Kimonos Air
- Comfort and Breathability
- High Density Foam Drawstring
- Sanabul Essentials V.2
- Antimicrobial and Anti-odor Treatment
- Preshrunk Lightweight Fabric
What makes BJJ and Jiu Jitsu Gi unique? The most important attribute is the weave which determines what material was used and how the Gi is sowed. A poor quality Gi can tear apart easily, which is never ideal when performing martial arts. A well-made Gi, however, uses high-quality fabrics and optimizes for a weight that feels neither too light or too heavy for the fighter. Size is also an important factor, as you never want to have a Gi that doesn’t fit you—the opponent can just grab any extra material and gain leverage, giving them an advantage. As you can see, a good Gi is correlated with performance, and any BJJ or Jiu Jitsu fighter should look for a quality Gi that optimizes their combat. It’s also important to consider other details, such as the color of the Gi and whether to have a “pre-shrunk” Gi or a “shrink-to-fit” Gi. For competitions, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation only approves white, blue, and black Gi. It’s imperative when selecting a Gi to know whether it’s for competition or just for training. If you’re still feeling uncertain, fear not, we’ll guide you through our 10 Best BJJ and Jiu Jitsu Gi.
10 Best BJJ Gi
1. Sanabul Essentials V2
The Gi is equipped with features that prevent odors and sweat from causing too many problems. A Gi that doesn’t have a good ventilation can cause fungal and bacterial infections to emerge. Luckily, the Essentials V2 has all the tools to keep your comfortable and light.
Preshrunk Lightweight Fabric
The incredible fabric for the Essentials V2 is what tops it over the competition. The tested fabric employs new and improved preshrunk feature and can withstand the toughest of training sessions and hot days. The aesthetic cut is also precise in detail and features exact stitching that will keep your nicely covered from wear and tear as you practice the art of Jiu-Jitsu.
Cost and Value
Although the Sanabul Essentials V2 Gi is a top-of-the-line choice, it doesn’t run expensive. That’s primarily because one of Sanabul’s goals for the new year is to make a competitive Gi that changes the market completely. Their V2 does exactly that as it provides everything you need at a price anyone can afford.
Varies in sizing
Shrinks when hot washed
2. Flow Kimono Air
The Air emphasizes its superior fabric in terms of comfort and breathability, which in turn applies to performance in combat. The Air delivers in any hot climates and keeps you dry with its moisture-wicking feature to prevent any bacterial infections from sweat. Overall, the quality fabric of this Gi is what makes it superior to all others, despite its heavier price.
High Density Foam Drawstring
The drawstring is the part of the Gi that goes under-appreciated for its vital role. Having a quality drawstring prevents any unwanted pauses during training or combat in order to tie it, and the Air incorporates a foam drawstring to complete its guarantee of lightness and durable. The drawstring is another small piece that sets the Flow Kimono Air above the competition.
Cost and Value
The Air is pricier than our other options, but the label is worth it for a quality training Gi that could potentially have a lifetime duration. The features of a high-quality fabric and a suitable and redesigned drawstring truly makes the Flow Kimono Air a secret weapon for beat the competition.
High density foam drawstringTonal Stitching Pearl Weave
Scratchy after Washing
Not for Heavyweight Training
3. Elite Sports Ultra Light
Having a lightweight, breathable, and antimicrobial Gi is always important as you’ll be able to move with ease and never have to worry about sweat building up and causing problems. The Elite Sports Ultra Light Gi is equipped with everything possible to ensure you have a comfortable and performing Gi. Its anti-odor and antimicrobial features mean that you can train harder without worry for infections or smell.
IBJJF Tournament Approved
With the Elite Sports Ultra Light, you never have to worry if the Gi can be used in competitions, as it is an IBJJF Tournament approved kimono. The belt also comes with a striped bar, allowing you to show your earned stripes. The Elite Sports Ultra Light’s attention to detail and quality features makes it a dependable Gi for the tournament season.
Cost and Value
The Elite Sports Ultra Light Gi is one of the best Gi you can buy at its reasonable price. The features that it offers—including antimicrobial and anti-odor 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 Elite Sports Ultra Light.
- Lightweight & Preshrunk Fabric
- Antimicrobial & Anti-odor
- Stripe Bar included with belt
- Stiff & Stitched Collar
- Stylish Design
- Shrinkage after Heavy Washing
4. FUJI All-Around
If the Gi is armor to the body in martial arts, then you want your armor to have as much protection and durability as possible. Luckily, the FUJI All-Around comes equipped with multi-layered reinforced stress points design to emphasize durability, fit, and comfort. Any experienced fighter can quickly see that the FUJI All-Around will give them an edge over the competition.
Premium Cotton Blend
The full premium cotton blend in the FUJI All-Around adds further to the luxury of the mid-weight Gi. Although the Gi is a heavier set, it effectively uses the cotton blend to ensure comfort and movement, which is imperative for Jiu Jitsu. It’s rare to find Gi that efficiently creates this blend of comfort and performance in an heavy-build Gi. The quality collar and stiff material also add to the excellent presentation of the FUJI All-Around.
Cost and Value
Although the FUJI All-Around is pricier than regular Gi, its ranges vary and a single purchase of the All-Around can very well last a considerable amount of time, giving you quality training and tournament performance. The cost is certainly worth the value as the Gi provides more than enough features to keep you content with its execution.
- Full Cotton Blend
- Thick Collar
- Comfort & Good Fit
- IBJJF Certified
- Reinforced Stress Points
- Lacks sweat-proof Technology
- Heavier than standard Midweight
5. Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear Premium
The Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear Gi is another Gi that focuses its efforts on the high-quality fabric that feels and performs great. The rubberized collar held to the contrast stitch of the Gi makes it a high-quality Gi for its generous price. Its preshrunk method is also of great importance for those who value easily-washable Gi that won’t cause a headache.
Since the Gi was created by a Jiu-Jitsu veteran, there are tons of features that also apply to the performance of the Gi rather than its aesthetics (which is why the Gi is completely blank). The reinforced fabric on the pants is a great example of this, as it adds that extra layer of armor that will be meaningful without making the Gi heavy or uncomfortable.
Cost and Value
The Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear Premium Gi places on the lower end of the spectrum, and its strongest asset is its cheap yet reliable price. The company’s slogan of “profiting little while you benefit more” is a bold and commemorable statement. This quality Gi can easily compete with those twice its price and is one of our most valuable Gi for the price on this list.
- Completely Blank & Customizable
- Quality Preshrunk Fabric
- Stretch Drawstring & Contrast Stitching
- Reinforced Pants and Material
- Lacks Durability over Performance
- Uncomfortable Collar
6. Hayabusa Lightweight
Being better today than yesterday is one of the main goals Hayabusa hoped to accomplish with their new Gi. They’ve refined and redeveloped to create an excellent Gi that employs comfort alongside performance. The Lightweight not only performs precisely, but it also feels as consistently light and smooth as its design. This is because Hayabusa uses top-of-the-line gold and pearl weaves to design their reinforced fabric, giving you the optimal performance and comfort.
Ultra lightweight and Maneuverable
The name speaks for itself in the Hayabusa Lightweight Gi. The extreme movability and lightweight feel of this Gi are what gives it its distinctive edge. Its cotton-polyester blend of fabric is an excellent choice that emphasizes both movement and superior comfort.
Cost and Value
The Hayabusa Lightweight Gi is one that runs at a moderately average price. This doesn’t mean it falls behind the competition in terms of value, however, as the Lightweight provides exclusive features such as cotton blend and its reinforced areas, ensuring optimal performance for what you pay.
- Intricate Stitching and Detailing
- Ripstop Polyester cotton
- Reinforced Stress Areas
- 100& IBJJF Certified
- Sleek in Style
- Bottom feels Stiff
- Not Preshrunk
7. Gameness Air
One of the most impressive aspects of the Gameness Air is its surprisingly lightweight body despite its strong and durable body. The reinforced knees and foam rubber inner collar makes this one of the most durable, yet easily maneuverable Gi out there right now. The Pearl Weave also expresses the Gameness attention to detail in their new and popular Gi. Gameness employs a terrific material that’s both lightweight and strong.
Reinforced Ripstop Pants
The high-drying and lightweight Ripstop fabric used in the Gi is what makes it unique to its competition. The polyblend fabric mixed with ripstop design makes this Gi one of the lightest and toughest we’ve seen.
Cost and Value
With the Gameness Air, you’re always guaranteed to get what you pay for. The moderate-to-cheap price is reliable for those who want to shell out a bit more for a Gi that meets all criteria. The Gameness Air—equipped with its competitive features to optimize performance—is surely worth the cost.
- Stiff Foam Rubber Collar
- Reinforced Knees and Fabric
- Lightweight Body
- Excellent Durability
- Inadequate for Heavyweight
- Inconsistent Sizing
8. Sanabul Highlights Professional
The preshrunk Santic fabric on the Sanabul Highlights Professional is designed to be light and comfortable on the inside while rough and durable on the outside so that opponents won’t be able to maintain necessary grip.
Athletic Cut and Fit
The tapered athletic cut ensures that this Gi will fit perfectly and won’t change once you find the perfect size. The cut makes sure that there’s no extra baggy material that can give your opponents an advantage. The compact stitching completes the cut and produces a very functional and durable Gi.
Cost and Value
Different than its successive predecessor, the Sanabul Highlights focuses instead on the competition aspect of the Gi. This causes a slightly heavier price tag as the Gi is more durable, more functional, thicker, and heavier. This means a higher-quality Gi that won’t tear or wear down during your tournaments. The Sanabul Highlights Professional has great value for its affordable price tag.
- Antimicrobial & Anti-odor treatment
- Tapered Athletic Cut
- Reinforced Double Stitching
- Lightweight Santic Weave
- Preshrunk Fabric
- Shrinkage with Excessive Washing
9. Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0
The fabric for the Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 is composed of Gold Weave and Twill Cotton, a unique choice but one that works spectacularly to improve the softness of the Gi while reducing weight and optimizing performance. The reinforced areas add extra toughness to stress points which may be targeted during a competitive match. The fabric for the Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 is second to none with the perfect combination of softness and weight.
The Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 is not only a premium Gi but it is also 100% tournament certified, making it an exceptional choice over other non-certified Gi. This Gi delivers for athletes who need a kimono that can last throughout the most intense training and competition.
Cost and Value
The Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 runs expensive, which is normal for a premium Gi that includes all the features and needs. The value of having a premium tournament Gi, however, is well worth the cost which makes the Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 a safe and exceptional buy.
- Adorned with Traditional Kanjis
- Stylish Embroideries
- Twill Cotton and Gold Weave
- Superior Comfort
- Loose Stitching
- Not Pre-shrunk
10. Tatami Nova
A triple stitching across stress points can be crucial for protection and durability. The Nova employs excellent design and fabric that feels generally comfortable but excels in movement and durability from wear and tear.
A stiff, rubberized collar not only supports an athletic cut, it also prevents sweat and unnecessary bacterial buildup. The Rubberized Collar on the Tatami Nova is perfect for long training or tournament play where sweat inevitably becomes a crucial problem.
Cost and Value
The Tatami Nova provides a basic performance Gi while being moderately affordable, making it a great buy for anyone who is interested in Jiu Jitsu or is a veteran in the art. The Gi also comes with a free white belt, adding to its value and outweighing its insubstantial cost.
- Triple Stitched
- Rubberized Collar & Sweat Prevention
- Shoulder Patches
- High Tech weave Jacket
- May shrink
As you can see, choosing the correct Gi can be a challenging process. There are so many factors to consider, such as whether the Gi is for lightweight, middleweight, or heavyweight, and whether a Gi should be “preshrunk”. Knowing the material is also beneficial as you know exactly what type of durability, lightness, and fabric you’ll be getting with your Gi. Each Gi optimizes for a certain attribute and knowing those attributes can be a huge advantage when looking to buy a Gi. We hope that our Top 10 Best BJJ and Jiu Jitsu Guide has made the process easier and more efficient for you. Now, go out there and hit the mat with confidence with your new Gi!
Criteria for Evaluating the Best BJJ and Jiu-Jitsu Gi
Weave and Weight
One of the most important aspects of the Gi is the weight and material—specifically the weave. The weave of a Gi in any martial art is the amount of material used and the way the material is sewn together to make a compact and consistent layer of fabric. The weave of the Gi can determine so many imperative attributes such as weight, thickness, and even the durability of the Gi, making it one of the most crucial parts to think about in the Gi buying process.
Since the weave determines weight, what determines the weave? Currently, the standard weave methods for various numbers of Gi, go by single weave, double weave, gold weave, and other variations such as the pearl weave. If this all sounds confusing, don’t worry! We’ll go through these different types of weaves one by one.
- Single Weave –
This is often the most popular choice of weave for a Gi since they are extremely lightweight and affordable. Single weave Gi is a great choice for beginners that are just starting out in Jiu Jitsu and don’t wish to shell out a ton of money on a quality Gi just yet. Since a single weave Gi uses lesser amounts of fabric than a standard Gi, it causes them to be lighter and thinner than other weaves, making them ideal for hot temperature training. However, a single weave Gi is often way less durable and can easily tear, making them less ideal for competition.
- Double Weave –
Simply put this is just a single weave done twice. The doubled fabric adds much more durability and weight to the Gi, allowing them to be thicker and much more resistant to tear. A double weave Gi is also advantageous in competitions compared to single weave Gi because they make it harder for the opponent to grab onto any extra fabric. This may also make the Gi harder to maneuver if it is not the right fit. Since there are tons of extra material used in the double weave Gi, they are often much more expensive than their single weave counterpart.
- Gold Weave-
This type of Gi is like a combination of the single and double weave Gi. The main goal of a Gold Weave is to maintain the strength and thickness of the double weave while having the lightness of the single weave. The Gold Weave is the best of both worlds.
- Pearl Weave –
Although single, double, and Gold weave Gi are the most popular, there are also other variants that are usually known as a Pearl Weave Gi. A Pearl weave is usually somewhere between a single weave and a gold weave Gi. A Pearl weave Gi is now the lightest Gi allowed in competition; even so, they are still durable and their weave allows air to pass through, easing movement and preventing sweat. Thanks to these attributes, the Pearl weave has quickly become among one of the popular variants of weaves.
Now, why is the weight important? As we know, there are different types of weaves but there are also different types of weight sections for Gi. There’s generally the Ultralight, Lightweight, Midweight, and Heavyweight Gi. The Ultralight weight consists of Gi that is composed strictly of single weave fabric. Lightweight Gi is usually Gold and Pearl weaves, while Midweight and Heavyweight Gi are often double weaves or—at times—even triple weave Gi.
- Ultralight –
Each type of weight has its advantages and disadvantages. The Ultralight Gi are special in that they use a special single weave that allows them to incorporate far less fabric for a lighter feel. They tend to be less durable than other types of Gi.
- Hybrid –
The Hybrid Gi, which can also be called Lightweight Gi, combine the lightness of the Ultralight Gi with the durability of heavier Gi, making them extremely popular for competition.
- Midweight –
Midweight Gi are often similar to Lightweight Gi in that they are light and durable but Midweight Gi often incorporate thicker weaves without adding a ton of weight. Midweight Gi often also have higher quality stitching and embroidery and can incorporate features such as stretched inseams.
- Heavyweight –
Finally, Heavyweight Gi are ones that use an excessive amount of material to create the thickest weave. Heavyweight Gi often cost more due to their excessive use of premium material, but they are also the most durable of all the Gi and can give you a real advantage on the mat.
It’s important to know that Jiu Jitsu Gi often comes in sizes from A0 to A6, with A0 being the smallest size and A6 being the biggest. The “A” stands for adult, so sizing for kids will often be in different notation. Although you know the sizing term, be wary that different manufacturers make the sizes differently, so one brand’s A3 can be another brand’s A4. This means that there is no consistent way of knowing which size fits perfectly, but the sizing terms can give you a good estimate. It’s always crucial to check the sizing charts before you make a purchase and base your choice on your height and your weight.
How can you know if your Gi is the correct size? Easy, just check the cuffs. If the Gi cuffs are two inches shorter than your wrist, they are considered too short and you should buy a larger size. If the Gi cuffs are two to three inches over your wrist, machine wash them with hot water and use a hot dryer. Every ten minutes, take the Gi out of the dryer to see if it has shrunk enough to the correct size. After you find the best length, subsequent washes should be light and with cold water to retain that size.
Many Jiu Jitsu Gi these days are also made with Pre-shrunk cotton. What does this mean?
- Pre-shrunk – means that you won’t have to worry about the material or fabric shrinking after a light wash. These Gi can stay consistent in size for long periods of time, making them reliable for those who don’t want to overly worry about the fit of their Gi.
- Shrink-to-fit – however, are often Gi that doesn’t have this “Pre-shrunk” label. Shrink-to-fit Gi becomes smaller and tighter after you wash them. The general process is that they are washed and dried over and over until they become the perfect size for you; then, you never dry them again. Shrink-to-fit Gi comes with the advantage that they will end up being more exact for your size, which is important when looking for a meticulously precise fitting Gi. This comes with a price, however, as they often become a hassle to wash and maintain, even after you’ve shrunk and fitted them perfectly.
Color and IBJJF Certified
Although your favorite colors like green, red, and pink might look fashionable, the truth is that there are limitations as to what competitions and gyms will allow. It’s often safest to buy the standard blue, black, or classic white Gi which are IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) compliant, meaning that they will most often be allowed at tournaments.
The IBJJF has strict rules on which Gi are and aren’t allowed in their competitions in order to keep everything competitive and fair.
- The Gi material for IBJJF Certified Gi must be a cotton or cotton-like fabric, which are hard for opponents to grip.
- The Gi must be either black, royal blue, or white, and the color of the top and bottom must be the same.
- There also can’t be any intricate designs or paint unless it is a company logo or an academy logo.
- There is often an inspection before tournaments to ensure that all participants have IBJJF conforming Gi and no one has an unfair advantage.
Therefore, depending on your situation it can be argued for which color and which type of Gi (certified or uncertified) you should be buying. Gi that are not IBJJF certified are often training Gi, and are cheaper as the material isn’t meant to last through intense competitions. These training Gi can often be of great use to get ready for competition and they usually are composed of light fabric that can withstand hotter temperatures. If you are looking to enter competitions then you should definitely always look for an IBJJF Certified tag before buying the Gi, even if they are the right colors. Knowing the difference between certified and uncertified Gi can make the buying process a lot easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of weaves are there?
A: A weave is a layer of fabric in a Gi. There are many different types of weaves, but the prominent ones are a single weave, double weave, gold weave, and pearl weave.
Q: What are the different weights of Gi?
A: The weight-types of Gi are the Ultralight, Lightweight, Midweight, and Heavyweight. Each set of weight-type has its advantages and disadvantages. Ultralight Gi are cheaper and lighter but wear down easily, Lightweight Gi lightweight as well as durable, but are more expensive. Midweight and Heavyweight Gi incorporate multiple layers of weaves, which makes them the most durable, but are hard to maneuver.
Q: How should a Jiu Jitsu Gi fit?
A: You don’t want your Gi to feel too baggy or too tight. The Gi should be snug but allow easy movement. Use the 4-finger rule when measuring Gi length. Hold your arms out in front of you and make sure there is space for four fingers between the wrist and the sleeve of the Gi.
Q: How do I tie a Jiu Jitsu Gi?
A: To tie the belt, wrap both sides of the belt around you and cross at the back, keeping both sides even. Now, holding both ends out in front of you, cross the right end over the left and make a general square knot. After tying, make sure both ends of the belt are fairly even in length.
Q: What are Pre-shrunk and Shrink-to-Fit?
A: Pre-shrunk is a Gi that has already been shrunk to its ideal size while Shrink-to-Fit means that the Gi will shrink after every wash and dry until you find the best size for you.
Q: How do I clean/wash a Jiu Jitsu Gi?
A: Depending on the Gi, there are different ways you should wash them. For most Gi, however, you should wash heavy with warm water. You should never use bleach, as they weaken the fabric over time. Vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice are all good alternatives to remove stains.
Q: How does the sizing chart for Gi work?
A: The sizing chart goes from A0 to A6, with A0 being the smallest and A6 being the largest. The sizing often varies with each brand or manufacture.
Q: How do I shrink a Jiu Jitsu Gi?
A: For non-preshrunk Gi, the proper way to shrink a Gi to fit you perfectly is to first wash the Gi and then place it in the dryer at a very low heat. Stop the dryer every 5-10 minutes to try the Gi on. Once it fits, finish by air drying.
Q: What is IBJJF Certified mean?
A: The IBJJF stands for the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation and they set all the rules for competitive tournaments and matches. IBJJF Certified means that the Gi can be used in IBJJF tournaments. IBJJF Colors are white, black, and royal blue.