You're looking for the best BJJ gi...but stumbling across a bjj clearance sales is a rare occasion, therefore you have to search online.
....only problem is, there are over 260 on the market, and likely just a handful of those will be the right choice for you.
So many choices leaves you overwhelmed, and the chance of wasting your money on the wrong gi is high. We’ve rounded up ten of the best Jiu Jitsu Gis of 2018 right here in this post to make life easier.
We've chosen something for everyone - whether you need something for a specific body type, or something that will last longer than you do.
First we'll make sense of the typical jargon you see when buying a gi. This helps in making the right choice. If you just want to see this list, click here now.
Here are 5 terms you need to understand when looking at gi's. You may be tempted to skip this section, but you shouldn't.
Understanding exactly what you are buying when choosing a gi is important. If you don't, the whole process will confuse you and you'll probably make the wrong choice.
Your gi will be your most expensive item of your BJJ gear, so it makes sense to learn about what you're buying.
The three main materials you will find in gi construction are cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
Cotton was the original gi material and still remains the most popular gi material by far. Since it is such a commonly used material, it is the most cost effective.
Further, cotton is also a strong and breathable material; very important factors when it comes to choosing a gi.
That said, cotton has a tendency to shrink quite a bit and future shrinkage should always be kept in mind when buying a gi.
Bamboo and hemp gis have recently entered the market. These are said to be stronger, more durable, and more breathable compared to cotton with natural anti-microbial properties.
The anti-microbial properties are a big selling point considering the risk of skin infections from grappling. However, these gis tend to occupy a very premium price point as well.
The weave of the gi refers to the method that the material threads are woven together.
IMPORTANT: The weave of the gi will influence its weight and durability, and some weave types are NOT suitable for IBJJF competitions...
The common types of weaves that you will encounter are:
Cheapest and lightest weaves. Light? Yes. Durable? Nope.
Great starter gis for those who aren’t sure if they will be training BJJ for the long term
Heaviest type of weave. This results in a thick and heavy gi, almost like a competition judo gi.
Very durable and heavy - great for long term use and cold climates.
Cross between single and double weaves.
More expensive than either single or double weaves. But they last the distance - so a great all rounder gi for home use.
Most popular weaves around today. It makes for a lightweight, flexible, and breathable yet durable gi; perfect for training. This is a fast drying gi too!
Comes pre-shrunk, but costs more.
Great all rounder gi for home based training and hotter climates.
Speciallly interwoven nylon fabric - very resistant to tearing.
Extremely lightweight and are thus ideal as a travel gi or training in very hot climates.
Not all ripstop gis are IBJJF legal as the weave gives the gi a very slippery feeling.
Best for travelling and hot climates.
GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter and gives you a gauge of just how heavy a gi is.
And while this seems like something you can use to calculate a gi’s precise weight, that is not the case.
Use a gi’s GSM number as a general indicator, not a precise measurement. Often you will see gis with similar weaves but different GSM values.
Some gis are reinforced at the points where tears commonly happen.
The most common point of reinforcement is at the knees of the gi pants and the shoulder / neck area. However some gis may reinforce other areas such as the collar as well.
Many gi companies offer different cuts for gis. The most common are slim, lanky, and husky; these will usually be denoted by a letter at the end of the gi size.
For example A2L for lanky and A3H for husky.
A cool Bjj gi is not enough...you'll likely spend lots of your life in this thing!
Spend 5 minutes asking yourself the following questions before choosing a gi.
At most academies, you’ll have people who train as little as once a week to the mat rats who hit seven or more training sessions a week.
If you lean toward the casual side, something a bit more lightweight and comfortable may be more up your alley.
On the other hand, if you are on the mats every day, then a thicker and more durable gi that you can use multiple times per week may be more ideal.
Even the lightest gi is thicker than the average sweater. Adjust the type of your gi according to the local temperature.
In the summer or if you’re in a tropical climate, opt for lightweight gis, such as pearl weaves. This is important, especially as not all academies have air conditioning. If you’ve ever trained in a thick and heavy gi in a hot and humid climate, you know just how torturous it can be.
Jiu-jitsu is hard enough as is; no need to make it even more difficult!
Choosing the wrong cut of gi for your body type may result in sleeves and lapels that are too long for your body and pants that hang too high or low on your ankles.
In addition to simply making you look unfashionable, it may make your gi illegal for tournaments.
...Which brings us to our next point....
Most BJJ athletes have designated ‘competition gis’ that they favor. Often, these competition gis are simply gis that have been patched up with the logos of their team and sponsors.
However, there are some things you have to be meticulous on when buying a competition gi; namely the length of sleeves and lapels.
Most tournaments perform gi checks before a match and the IBJJF is notorious for being strict in this area. Refer to their official gi guidelines here.
While most BJJ academies are pretty lax when it comes to gi policy, many academies also have an official uniform policy.
The strictest form of this is only allowing ‘official academy gis’ on the mat (a controversial policy as it is clearly a profit-based motive).
Looser forms also apply, for example, Gracie Humaita schools only allow white and blue gis while the Mendes brothers’ Art of Jiu-Jitsu academy only allows white ones.
Make sure you know your academy’s uniform policy, if any, before making a purchase.
All Around BJJ Gi
Essentials Version 2 Gi
Zero G V3 BJJ Gi
Datsusara Hemp Combat Gi
Pro 2.0 Gi
Base Jiu-jitsu Gi
Hayabusa Goorudo 3 Gi
Now that we’ve clarified the gi terminology and the common questions you should ask yourself before buying one, let’s move on to the next question:
Which gi should you buy?
Even after understanding the jargon and answering those questions, you still have way too many options.
Fortunately, after hours of careful research perusing dozens of gis both online and in person, we have identified the ten most loved BJJ gi's of 2018. And to make things even easier, we’ve separated them into different categories as well.
No question about it, BJJ gis aren’t cheap. But these budget gis will give you the best price to quality ratios out there.
The 2 most budget friendly gi's are reviewed below; the Fuji all round BJJ gi, and the Sanabul essentials 2.0 gi.
Coming in at a highly affordable price point, this single weave gi is the most recommended ‘value gi’ on the market.
Don’t mistake the affordable price for a lack of quality.
The material might be only single weave and the design plain, but this gi is highly reinforced.
The cuffs are triple stitched and taped with a strip of twill cotton. Each seam in the jacket is also reinforced with twill tape, something most other gis neglect. The base jacket hems and side vents are also similarly reinforced.
The pants are reinforced by a double layer covering the knee to ankle area. This is contrast to most reinforced gi pants in which only the knees are reinforced. When kneeling, the entire area from the knee to the ankle is in contact with the ground, making the entire area a stress point. The cuff of the pants is also reinforced with twill tape and triple stitched.
Finally, while this gi is not as light as you would think (~1.7 to 2kg), it is soft and comfortable for extended training. That being said, this gi is known to experience significant shrinkage, so consider ‘sizing up’ when buying this one.
Sanabul is a newer gi company that almost exclusively sells via Amazon. One of the lowest price gis on the market, period.
Despite this low price, the material isn’t single weave but rather an ultra-lightweight pearl weave. The lightweight weave brings the total weight of the gi in around the 1.5kg to 1.7kg range.
The gi is reinforced in the typical areas in the jacket and the pants to compensate for the ultra-lightweight material. However, some users have noted that the gi material is extremely easy to grip, which would be a plus for your opponent. Hence, this may not be the best gi to use for a competition. It is more suited for travelling and hot climates, however.
Sanabul advertises this gi as having a tapered and athletic cut with little to on bagginess. While this makes for a snazzy fit, it also means that this gi tends to run a little small. Further, other users have noted that the embroidery on the gi tends to fray rather quickly.
If you train in a hot climate or simply a gym with no air-conditioning, you’ll want a lightweight gi.
See our top picks below for lightweight gis that are also strong and durable. We've taken a look at the 3 best lightweight gi's, being:
The Zero G V3 is Tatami’s third incarnation of their popular Zero G line and by all accounts it’s the best one yet. The jacket is made out of 475gsm pearl weave with ripstop cotton covering the collar and lapels. The areas under the armpits and behind the side vents are also reinforced.
The jacket uses contrast stitching, giving it a stylish look. The cuffs are also lined with folded seam tape bearing the Zero G logo, adding to the stylish look.
In the V3, Tatami has opted to make their gi pants out of 11oz ripstop cotton instead of the standard twill cotton. The pants are also double reinforced.
Weight-wise, you should understand that 475gsm for the jacket and 11oz for the pants makes this slightly heavier than most lightweight gis. This is the slight tradeoff you get for having such a sturdy and well-constructed gi. A minor tradeoff, but a tradeoff nonetheless. The gi weighs in the 1.5kg range.
As for fit, many have commented that the Tatami is a ‘roomier’ fit, which may or may not be to your liking. The skirt of the gi is also a little longer than standard. One bonus however is that you can throw this gi in the dryer and experience minimal shrinkage.
Fuji is a very well known jiu jitsu gi brand for good reason; they consistently make quality gis at fair prices. So it’s no surprise to see another Fuji gi in our top picks. The Suparaito (superlight in Japanese) gi is Fuji’s lightweight offering and is made from a pearl weave fabric that is about a 420gsm.
The jacket’s side vents are reinforced with both tape and ripstop material, while the collar is covered in ripstop cotton as well. The interior of the cuffs is also lined with tape with the Suparaito logo. The popular contrast stitching design applies here, giving the gi a sharp look although the overall aesthetic is quite minimalist.
The pants are ripstop cotton and are triple reinforced from the knee down. The crotch area is also reinforced.
Fit wise, this gi is very tapered. The skirt is definitely on the shorter side, which some competitors perceive as an advantage but may be a disadvantage depending on your body type. The gi also exhibits one of the least amount of shrinkage when compared to the market.
The material of the gi is also noted not to stretch when wet, making grip breaking much easier. It also allows the gi to maintain its tapered form during sweaty rolling sessions. However, some minor fraying at the seams has been mentioned by various users after some use, although this did not affect the functionality of the gi.
Hemp gis are relatively new on the gi market. But as the public becomes more and more aware of the beneficial properties of hemp, they are quickly gaining in popularity.
Our two best picks for hemp gis are the Datsusura hemp combat gi, and the Flow Kimonos Hemp Gi
Datsusara is the pioneer in the market when it comes to hemp gis and they’ve only been improving their product offering since. By the way, Datsusara is Japanese for ‘to leave the corporate worker’s life’.
The gi itself is a 580gsm 100% hemp weave, so don’t expect a light gi. This is a sturdy construction that comes with reinforced areas at the front breast and the interior of the armpit. The stitching is hemp as well, meaning that this is one strong gi!
Due to the properties of hemp, this gi starts off on the rougher side. However, it actually gets softer and more comfortable with each wash, in contrast to cotton gis. The gi feels soft; it has been described as ‘heavy linen’. However, some training partners have complained about the rough feeling of rolling with someone with a hemp gi. This should go away after a few washes.
Being naturally anti-microbial, this gi will not stink as much as your cotton gi. That doesn’t mean you can just leave it in your car after a session, but you will probably find the smell a little more palatable if you do. In addition, this gi feels more breathable compared to a cotton gi of similar weight.
The hemp gi by Flow Kimonos is a premium product. The jacket is 550gsm 100% hemp with 11oz hemp twill pants. The jacket is reinforced in the side vent areas while the cuff has four rows of stitching. Similarly, the pants’ cuffs have six rows of stitching plus double reinforcement from the mid-thigh to mid-shin area.
This gi is lighter compared to the Datsusara, ranging from 1.3kg to 1.7kg. However, we should note that both Datsusara and Flow are known to have collaborated on the hemp gis so there are plenty of similarities. Reviewers have noted that the Flow hemp gi has less lint shedding issues compared to the Datsusara, however. The Flow design is also slightly flashier.
Flow also offers varying fits for the gi with nine different sizes including specific cuts for lanky and husky builds. You should be aware that just like the Datsusara, the Flow hemp gi also experiences significant shrinkage.
Other than that, the Flow hemp gi has all the attributes of a good hemp gi: a soft and comfortable feel that gets better with every wash, naturally anti-microbial properties, and extra breathability.
If you’re of the stocky build, wearing a poorly fitted gi is a nightmare. Your hands may be stuck inside the sleeves and you can look like a kid in oversized pajamas.
Lanky people are a terror to deal with on the mats, especially in the gi! However, they also find it tough finding a gi that fits them well.
Lanky or stocky, either way, we've found the perfect fit for your body type below:
The Hypnotik Pro 2.0 Gi is the MMA Warehouse in-store gi brand. Made from 550gsm pearl weave fabric for the jacket and a heavy 12oz canvas pants, this is a heavy and durable gi. All stress points across the gi are reinforced with triple stitching and overlapping seams. The heavy pants also come with double reinforced knee padding.
What makes this gi suitable for stocky athletes is the fit. Multiple customers have reported that this gi is a ‘baggy’ fit, making it perfect for our stocky brethren! And since most stocky people tend to be top players, they need a heavy durable gi for smashing guard players.
While the design of this gi isn’t that flashy, some people may find the large prominent Hypnotik logo somewhat off-putting. Some users have also reported excessive fading for the colored versions of the gi. (side note - bjj gi colors sometimes have meanings based on the academy)
As you can tell by the name, this is Hypnotik’s base level gi. Made out of 425gsm pearl weave fabric with 10oz twill pants, this gi is definitely on the lighter side. Nevertheless it comes with adequate reinforcements: fabric taping around the side vents and sleeve cuffs, with everything triple stitched.
The pants, being 10oz, are on the lighter side and those used to heavier pants might find it a little strange at first. It comes with double reinforced knee padding.
Many users have noted just how long the fit can be. While this resulted in a lot mismatched sizing for average people, lanky people found it fit just fine. A word of caution, despite the length, many have reported that it feels a little snug around the chest area.
While this gi is of decent quality, there have been issues with some loose threads and stitches, although none that affected the overall performance of the gi. And just like the Hypnotik Pro 2.0 gi, some users have also reported excessive color fading, especially for the navy models.
Finally we come to the best Jiu Jitsu gi's if your body type is average. We’re talking about build of course, we have no doubt that you are far above average when it comes to fitness. See our top picks below.
The Gameness Elite Gi has been the company’s premium offering for quite a few years now, and the 2015 version is its best yet. Make no mistake about it, this is a premium gi offered at a premium price. The jacket is a 550gsm pearl weave but it comes with a stylish inner rashguard lining which adds to its overall weight.
The inner rashguard lining, which covers the entire inner gi jacket up to the elbows, makes this gi stand out almost as a luxury gi. Not only does it help wick away sweat, it brings an extra level of comfort when rolling. The rashguard lining is also made to stretch alongside the gi and many users have reported rolling for years in the gi with no tears in the lining.
While this gi is not as heavily reinforced as some of the more premium gis on the market, the reinforcements are more than adequate. Durability is not an issue with this gi, it is ideal for both everyday training and competition.
The pants are also heavy; 12oz ripstop pants with stretch cord drawstring. The material is a cotton/polyester blend as polyester provides it with a higher resistance to shrinkage.
The Goruudo is one of Hayabusa’s signature gis and is now in its third incarnation. This is their premium gi, made from a 550gsm gold weave with 12oz twill cotton pants. This means that this is a heavy gi, and Hayabusa specifically markets it as a competition gi.
As befits a competition gi, the Goruudo has reinforced stress points throughout the jacket and pants to resist pulling and tugging. The choice of gold weave over the more common pearl weave also gives the gi an element of extra durability, but also adds to its weight.
If you don’t like flashy gis, you won’t like this one. Other than the standard contrast stitching, the gi comes embroidered with bold kanji characters. The kanjis are the Japanese words for courage, strength, pride, and respect.
We’ve now shown you ten of the best jiu-jitsu gi' of 2018. If you read our reviews and the pros and cons carefully, you won’t go wrong.
That being said, everyone likes a clear winner. So which is the best gi?
Our number one pick has got to be the Gameness Elite Gi.
Yes, this is premium gi and comes with premium pricing.
But this is a supremely high quality gi that will last you for years; a gi you can use in both training and competition.
And because it’s also probably one of the most comfortable gis ever made due to the inner lining, it will likely end up as a top pick in your personal gi rotation.