When you’re looking for the best BJJ Gi, the cut, style, and quality of your Jiu Jitsu Gi will not only affect your look on the mat, but can greatly impact your comfort and mobility while practicing the gentle art.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to research exactly what you want in a gi. There are several well-known brands that consistently produce high quality gis, but they usually stick to traditional cuts and fabrics. The most traditional version of the gi, often called a kimono, is composed of plain cotton jacket and pants.
Nowadays, there are several companies bringing fabric innovation and design to the traditional martial arts garb. This guide will help you navigate the waters and find the best BJJ gi for your body type, fashion sense, and wallet.
Aspects of the Best BJJ Gi
The foundation of a quality BJJ gi is high quality fabric. Cheap fabrics will tear, rendering your gi worthless, not to mention illegal for competition.
Strong fabrics will stand the test of time even under the most intense training regimen. Cotton, bamboo, and hemp are all fantastic starting materials for a BJJ Gi. The majority of Gis are still made from cotton, but these alternative fabrics offer several advantages making them attractive starting materials for Gi makers.
Cotton is an inexpensive starting material, but does not wick away sweat very well. Absorbing sweat will make your Gi heavier and less breathable which can affect your performance during a long sparring session. For a beginner a cotton Gi is fine, but more advanced grapplers often opt for alternative materials.
Bamboo and Hemp are the most popular starting materials for the next generation of the best BJJ Gis. These Gis offer several performance advantages.
First of all, they are stronger than cotton, meaning they will last longer, stretch less, and can be woven into thinner fabrics than cotton.
Since the materials can be woven into thinner fabrics they are often more breathable, comfortable and lightweight. If these advantages are not enough, both bamboo and hemp are naturally moisture wicking and antimicrobial which helps keep these Gis from absorbing sweat, becoming heavy and starting to stink.
BJJ Gi materials can have other properties with little relation to durability or mobility. Having a Jiu Jitsu Gi with antimicrobial fabric reduces the risk of bringing home germs found on BJJ mats.
Some Gis are treated to retain their color, so that washing and drying them in a machine will not cause them to fade. Finally, you want a Gi that is going to feel comfortable every time you put it on.
The last thing you want is a Gi so rough that it leaves you with a rash after a tough rolling session. You will be sore enough from the workout, the least you can do is have a Gi that you look forward to practicing in.
Choose your Weave
The raw materials chosen for your Gi must be woven into useable fabrics. The choice of weave can make a big difference in fabric’s weight, grip and durability.
There are advantages to every weave type, but as a beginner it is best to choose something affordable and figure out what you like in other people’s Gis before you choose to go for something more high-end.
That being said, many people choose a high quality Gi straight from the start and end up using it for several years.
Single Weave is the oldest, lightest, most affordable and least durable of all the best BJJ Gi weave options. Sacrificing weight for durability is only worth it if you cannot lose the additional ounces that a thicker gi adds to your fight weight.
Double Weave is a double of the single weave; twice as dense, twice as heavy and twice as durable. Not ideal for those needing to drop weight to meet specific weight classes, but they do provide the advantage of being tough to grab and extremely durable to easily break your opponents grip.
Gold Weave was the standard BJJ Gi weave for a long time. The best BJJ Gis of the early 2000’s used gold weave. This weave was designed to be both lightweight and strong, but it is easy do grip and does not wick away moisture well.
Pearl Weave is the new standard, as it has the light weight and durability of the gold weave, but is more breathable. It is more difficult to grip due to the fabric being composed of little “pearls” which also make it smooth and comfortable to wear.
Ripstop Weave is a special design deemed so good that it has been banned from most BJJ competition. Its smoothness and lack of stretch makes it impossible to get a good grip, yet it’s nearly indestructible. It is incredibly lightweight and breathable, but without the cheap feeling found with Single Weave.
Platinum Weave is a derivative of the Pearl Weave and Ripstop that uses antimicrobial reinforcement fibers to make it some of the most ridiculous fabric used to make a Jiu Jitsu Gi.
A Note about Stitching
Make sure you take a careful look at the stitching of your prospective Gi. It does not matter how high quality the fabric of your Gi is if there is weak stitching holding it all together. Without at least a double stitch, your Gi will literally fall apart at the seams.
Most of the best BJJ Gis have upwards of 5 lines of stitches holding the collar of the jacket together, and at least a triple stitch around the cuffs of the jacket and pants.
Choose a Cut and Size That Fits Your Body
When you’re shopping for the best BJJ Gi, the cut of your BJJ Gi will definitely impact your game. A Gi that is too lose will allow your opponent a good handle on you, while one that is too tight will limit your mobility and inhibit your ability to execute certain moves.
The cut of your Jiu Jitsu Gi jacket will either allow for or prevent it from becoming untucked, which will then allow you or your opponent to take advantage of these additional grips when they become available.
The cut of your Gi pants should mirror the shape of your legs to prevent excess material from being available for grips, and to prevent the pants from being so tight you lose range of motion.
BJJ Gi sizes are generally listed as A1-A6, increasing in size as the number get larger. Extra-long BJJ Gi jackets are available from some companies, and are generally denoted with an “L” after the size (ex. A2-L).
Size charts are a great tool for online ordering, but the best way to make sure your BJJ Gi jacket fits is to try it on. A2 by one company can be an A3 in another company.
Some companies offer custom cuts, but I would not recommend spending that kind of money on a gi until you are a black belt.
People with thin legs should opt for a boot-cut style pants to reduce grips while remaining mobile, but bigger guys may be inhibited by this cut and should therefore opt for a straight-cut pair of Gi pants.
Like with Jiu Jitsu Gi jackets, the only way to truly tell if the pants will fit is to try them on. Do not be shy about trying on several brands and finding what fits you best. Taking the time to try these all out will benefit you for a long time to come.
What Companies Make The Best BJJ Gis?
Like most industries, the BJJ Gi market is dominated by a few large companies offering a wide variety of Gis. The best BJJ Gi companies offer a basic beginner Gi along with more advanced (and expensive) Gi styles.
Venum has a strong reputation and many different Gi styles.
Let’s take a look at some of the best BJJ Gis from Venum:
Their Venum Contender Gi ($89.99) is a reasonably priced beginner BJJ Gi durable enough withstand your first few years of Jiu Jitsu.
Click here to check out the Venum Contender Gi on Amazon.
The Venum Koi Absolute (219.99) is the other end of the spectrum; an advanced level BJJ Gi featuring reinforcements at the wrist and ankle cuffs to increase fabric longevity.
Click here to check out the Venum Koi Absolute BJJ Gi on Amazon.
Fuji offers several Gi styles including beginner, advanced and a children’s line.
Let’s take a look at the best BJJ Gis offered by Fuji:
The Fuji All Around ($99.00) is one of the best beginner BJJ Gis available. It is an absolute classic that will definitely last until you are ready for something more aggressive.
On that note, the Fuji Suparaito ($134.00) and Sekai ($169.00) Gis are both fantastic and relatively inexpensive for a lightweight, high quality Gi.
These BJJ Gis are offered in several unique color schemes making them a favorite for people who enjoy standing out.
Hayabusa offers some of the coolest and highest quality BJJ Gis on the market.
For the price, they are some of the best BJJ Gis available anywhere. Let’s have a look at some of the top Jiu Jitsu Gis from Hayabusa:
The Lightweight Jiu Jitsu Gi by Hayabusa ($99.99) is probably the best beginner BJJ Gi that you could ask for. The material is very lightweight, but reinforced at points which receive the most stress in order to maximize longevity.
The Shinju 3 Pearl Weave ($129.99) is one of the best BJJ Gis on the market. If you are looking for a pearl weave Gi, this may very well be the one for you.
3. The Goorudo 3 Gold Weave Gi
The Goorudo 3 Gold Weave ($129.99) is an absolute masterpiece. This Gi is super durable due to the gold weave, but still breathes like a lightweight Gi. Their style, quality and performance are top notch and should definitely be in consideration for your next (or first) Gi.
The conversation of the best BJJ Gi would not be complete without the mention of Tatami. Everything put out by this company is high quality and they frequently have sales making them very affordable.
The Gi pants made by Tatami are our absolute favorite because they feature an exterior loop system with several more loops than any other brand.
This helps keep your pants from falling down during intense rolling sessions, which is a huge advantage for anyone with a big butt.
The Estilo 5.0 (check it out on Amazon here) is offered in standard and ultralight varieties, meaning they have a high performance Gi for any Jiu Jitsu practitioner.
The Gi jackets are reinforced at the cuffs and collar and the pants have extra stitching down the front to reduce wear and tear.
The best BJJ gi offered by Tatami is the Estilo 50 Premier, and it is a work of art. We highly recommend this brand for Gis and any other piece of BJJ gear that you may need.
Closing Thoughts on the Best BJJ Gi
Whether you’re new to the BJJ world, or you’re a veteran just looking for a fresh new Gi, we have provided you with great choices for the BJJ Gi.
No matter what Gi you choose, do your homework, and get your ass on the mats! Worry about what Gi will make you look best is a waste of time.
Get something that fits and moves well. Stop wasting time, and go get yourself a Gi today. The benefits of training BJJ are innumerable.
If you’re simply looking to step up your Gi game, then try out a few of the best brands and see what you like best. A great Gi will improve your training, and give you an edge over the competition, so get out there and find the best BJJ Gi for you.
Until next time.
– Team MMA TC