By: Classy Grappler, Contributing Writer
Classy Grappler’s Summer GI Review
Well summer is here and it’s time to start travelling for vacation, training, and most of all – competitions! With all the gi brands out there, which one is really the best to get out there and roll in? That’s really up to each one of us to decide for our own but I hope this review will assist you in your quest for the perfect gi.
For the purpose of this summer series, I wanted to test out some of the emerging gi brands out there – some of the ones that may not be the most known or well-established but ones that have the potential and quality to get up there one day. Basically I wanted to find companies that are putting out great products without the bias of the masses.
To make it easier, I’ll just break it down by the brands and discuss the positives and negatives of each one I tested.
Here we go…
KAUAI KIMONOS BLACK RIP STOP:
This is the lightest gi I have ever owned! The gi itself (as my brother Piet Wilhelm would say) is similar to a traditional karate gi. Don’t let the light fabric fool you, it’s a 100% rip stop and one of the strongest gis I have ever owned! The jacket and pants are both made from this invincible rip stop fabric. If you travel to train, teach seminars, or just live in a hot/humid climate, this is a great gi. When I do seminars all over the US and Canada, this gi can be folded to the size of a pair of shoes. Most of all, easy to clean and dry. If you are in a hotel with no washer/dryer, than all you need is soap, a shower, and a hanger! I have hand washed this gi and hung dried it in 3-4 hours! This next part I don’t recommend: I have thrown it in a regular wash and speed dry! It did not fade, shrink, or affect the strength of the gi. Crazy thing is, that it dried in 20 minutes via the dryer! Sounds so great, what could possibly be wrong? If you like the feel of a normal gi, this does take a while to get used to! My biggest problem with the gi, is that it’s easy for your competition to get grips and hard for you to break their grips off because of the fabric! Also keep in mind that it may not allowed in IBJJF tournaments due to the fabric. Overall, it’s a great product and you can always carry two gis when you travel because this one is easy to pack, clean, and dry! Price ranges from $155-$160.
CYNERGI COMP GI 450:
This specific gi has a 450 gram pearl weave fabric that feels like your traditional jiu-jitsu gi and a 10 oz twill pant. It is really strong and fits well. There is a lot of attention to detail on the reinforced stitching and reinforced seams throughout the whole gi. The pants have a 6 point loop system with a stretchy drawstring. This is a great gi to roll in, as well as, compete in! I love the fact you can get the gi in grey. The grey doesn’t fade or get dirty, which is a huge plus if you can only afford one gi to train and compete in! Some of the negatives, which really aren’t negatives if you own any pearl weave gi, are long dry time and storage issue. By dry time, I mean you have to hang dry the gi so you don’t get shrinkage (get your heads out the gutter). For the storage, it will take space up in your carry on if you travel long distance to compete, train, and give seminars. Overall, this product holds it appearance and durability for a long period of time. Price ranges from $120-$140.
FREESTYLE CUSTOMS/SUBMISSIONS 101 BLACK HORNET :
This new signature gi is collaborated between Freestyle Customs and Submissions 101. The gi is specially treated and has a soft finish for added comfort. The jacket is a 550 gram pearl weave and the pants are made of pre-shrunk 100% cotton canvas. This particular gi features heavy duty reinforcement and triple stitching in all key areas for durability. This gi is built to with stand the end of the world and protect you from zombies (not really)! This gi reminds me of the old judo days when gis would last you for ten years. It is the strongest gi I have put on since my first Howard gi! I love the fact that I can break my opponent’s grips with ease on the jacket and the pants. The problem with a really strong gi, is that it is like wearing a fireman’s suit. It’s heavier than most gis and might cause a faster fatigue rate. Overall, the gi looks great and will last long time. Prices range from $145-$155.
INVERTED GEAR BLUE PANADA:
This is a beast of a gi! All I can say is that the Panda rocks! This gi is a happy medium of the fabrics you like. The jacket is a 550 gram pearl weave and the 12 oz pants are made from the durable rip stop fabric with a pearl weave crotch. As most high quality gis, a lot of attention to detail on the reinforced stitching and reinforced seams throughout the whole gi. These pants have an elastic rope with 4 loop system. Great custom ribbon jacket edge, as well as, inside pant and sleeve loop. What I really love about this gi is that it comes in special sizes. For example, I have to normally wear an A3, which is very baggy because I’m tall and skinny! Thanks to Inverted Gear, I can sport an A2S, which is an A2 gi with a slim cut. The gi is the closest product to a custom fitted suit. Very durable and has an overall great feel to it. Storage of the gi is actually quite pleasing and comes with an awesome gi bag (nice touch!). As most pearl weaves, the jacket takes a while to dry but pants dry very fast. This gi is awesome for everything from training to competing and attending seminars. Overall this gi was built for all body types to go to war on the mats! I would suggest getting the blue because the white will get dirty from all the training sessions! Price ranges from $120-$135.
In closing, I hope that this has helped you or at least opened your eyes to other gi companies out there! If I had to choose the best all around gi for the best price, you can’t go wrong with Inverted Gear. They give you a top notch gi for a very fair price, plus they are always having huge discount codes and giveaways! This is the company to watch and model your gis after if you plan on get into the gi business! If you have any other companies that you would like for me to test, please feel free to contact me on Facebook. If you are a gi company and want me to test your product, please feel free to contact me via Facebook or email me anytime!