The Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis of 2019
The Gi is a vital component in any martial arts discipline, including Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One must wear the Gi whenever they enter the arena to do practice or sparring.
To the untrained eye, all Gi are alike. It’s a novice mistake to wear a Karate Gi for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as there’s a significant difference in weight, durability and sleeve size. If you’re really serious about taking up the discipline, then it’s of utmost importance that you get the best BJJ Gi available.
We’ve created a comprehensive list of the top 10 Jiu Jitsu Gi you can buy and what to look for when choosing the best BJJ and Jiu Jitsu Gi. This should give you a guide on picking the best Gi for your needs, whether you’re an aspiring athlete or a seasoned veteran.
What To Look For When Choosing The Best Standard Jiu-Jitsu And BJJ Gi
Perhaps the single most important element of a Jiu-Jitsu Gi is the weave, which gives you an idea of how it was sewn and what materials were used.
High-quality Gi helps you during your time in the mat in more ways than one. You’ll want a Gi that won’t tear apart after a few rounds of sparring. A good Gi is one that fits your frame and size well and isn’t too heavy nor too light. You definitely wouldn’t want your opponent to gain an advantage just because they can grab more material, or have better leverage than you, so choose carefully and don’t skimp out on the details.
Several other options come into play when you’re shopping for the best BJJ Gi, including the color and whether you want a shrink-to-fit or pre-shrunk Gi. Keep in mind that you can only use black, blue or white Gi for official competitions as per the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules, but for training and sparring matches any color is allowed.
For Jiu-Jitsu Gi, sizes can range from A0 to A6, with A6 being the largest option. The only problem is, not all Gi sizing is the same due to different manufacturer standards. This means that an A4 may be the perfect size for you when buying a Hayabusa branded Gi but not when you’re getting a Sanabul. A good rule of thumb is to always look at the product’s sizing charts for an accurate estimate, then taking into account your weight and height.
The Gi’s cuffs are one way to ensure you’re getting the right fit. Wear the Gi and see where the cuff lands in relation to your wrist. If it’s at least 2 inches short, then it’s considered too small for you. If it’s 2 to 3 inches over, then it’s too large for your size.
You can, however, try to shrink it down by washing the Gi using hot water and a dryer. Here’s how you do it- put the Gi in the wash and take it out every 10 minutes or so. Stop the machine when the cuffs land in the right position. Moving forward, you should only wash your Gi with cold water to keep its size.
A quick look reveals that Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ Gis are either pre-shrunk or shrink-to-fit.
Pre-Shrunk. The term “pre-shrunk” simply means that the Gi’s material won’t shrink down in size even after washing multiple times. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to suffer the consequences of making the wrong move when you threw it in hot water. A perfect fit at the beginning will mean you get to wear your Gi for a long time.
Shrink-To-Fit. A “shrink-to-fit” label means the Gi will get smaller as you wash them. While this may sound bad in theory, there are benefits to choosing a Gi that has shrink-to-fit material. When done right, you’ll have a Gi that’s custom-made in terms of fit, looks, and measurement. There’s a downside, though- after you’ve shrunk them to the perfect size, it can be a pain to maintain and wash them.
Weight, Material, And Weave
In layman’s terms, the weave is the sewing pattern or technique used to create the final clothing product. It may seem trivial, but weave actually dictates a Gi’s overall thickness, weight, and durability, among others. Therefore, it’s absolutely important to check out a Gi’s weave as part of a good buying process.
Today’s top Gis have various weave methods, including single, double, gold and innovative ones such as pearl. Let’s take a look at each one and see what they do.
Single Weave. Single woven Gis are practical, affordable and lightweight. They’re the perfect option for Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ novices who don’t want to spend all their money on a top-quality Gi. Understandably, single weave Gi has fewer amounts of material, which gives them their characteristic lightweight form. If you’re prone to sweating or live in a hot and humid environment, single weaves are a good choice. They’re great for practicing and everyday training but they’re less durable and prone to tearing, especially during heated competition matches.
Double Weave. Just like what it says, double woven Gis have twice the weave of their single weave counterparts. This aspect gives them better durability at the expense of added weight. In competitions, double weave Gi is like double-edged swords in that they aren’t easy to grab (thereby giving you an advantage) but you’ll find them much harder to maneuver in. Moreover, due to the extra material, they’re pricier than their single weave cousins.
Gold Weave. A gold weave is the title given to Gis that have both single and double weaves integrated into the fabric, thereby making it stronger but lighter than double-woven Gis. You get the durability and thickness of a double weave with the thinness and lightness of a single weave, making it somewhat like a jack-of-all-trades kind of Gi.
Pearl Weave. The Pearl weave combines both Gold and single weave to provide the wearer incredible lightness and durability. It’s currently the lightest Gi allowed in official competition, and wearing one gives you a superb weightless feel and optimized airflow.
Weight is also a major factor to consider, especially if you’re aiming to spend most of your time competing against the best. Currently, there are four weight categories of a BJJ Gi – Heavyweight, Midweight, Lightweight and Ultralight. Most single weave products belong to the Ultralight category; Pearl and Gold weaves belong to Lightweight, and double (or even sometimes Triple) weave belong to the Heavyweight and Midweight category.
Here’s a quick outline of each weight class and how they affect performance on the mat:
Heavyweight. Heavyweight Gis have the most material and weave and are the most durable of all weight classes. Due to the premium material, they’re relatively expensive and that thickness can give you a definitive advantage in matches and tournaments.
Midweight. Midweight Gi are characterized by a thick weave that offers both lightness and durability at the same time. Most Gi in this category have excellent embroidery, quality stitching and premium features such as stretchable inseams and the like.
Hybrid. Sort of a cross between Ultralight and heavier Gi types. Hybrids aim to make you light on your feet while offering suitable protection, which makes them favorites within competitive arenas.
Ultralight. Ultralight Gi are primarily composed of single woven material, which gives you unbelievable lightness at the cost of durability. They’re great to use but don’t tend to last too long.
IBJJF Certification and Color
Casual Jiu-Jitsu training and gyms may allow you to wear your favorite color, but when it comes to professional competition you’ll have to stick with the allowed ones.
White, Black, and Royal Blue Gi are classified as IBJJF compliant, which means that the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation allows these Gis to be worn by tournament participants. Moreover, the IBJJF has created a list of Gi rules for tournament use, which we outline below:
– Pre-tournament Gi inspections are often carried out in order to make sure that all participants are following IBJJF-certified Gi for the sake of sportsmanship and fairness.
– No paint or intricate designs allowed unless it’s an academy or company logo.
– Acceptable Gi colors include Royal Blue, Black or White, and the top color must match the bottom.
– Acceptable Gi fabric are those that are made of cotton or cotton-like material.
Knowing these guidelines and your goal as a BJJ or Jiu Jitsu practitioner should give you an idea of your Gi’s color and type (whether certified or non-certified). Roughly speaking, non-certified Gi are great for everyday training purposes and are more affordable. They’re lighter and allow more air to pass through, thereby making them the preferred Gi for hotter environments. On the other hand, an IBJJF-certified Gi is a must-have if you’re planning to spend most of your time in competition.
Determine how you want to move through your martial arts journey and choose your Gi from there. Weigh the pros and cons of both certified and non-certified Gi before making the final choice.
The 10 Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis
1. Tatami Nova
Tatami is a relative newcomer to the BJJ Gi industry, but the brand has managed to turn heads and give the competition a run for its money due to great material quality and performance.
The Nova is a pretty decent Gi that offers a no-frills product you can use. The Gi itself is devoid of excessive design and markings, which makes it a great starter gear for no-nonsense practitioners. A closer look at the Nova reveals quality triple stitching on areas that get the most wear and tear. Moreover, you get a rubberized collar for wicking away sweat and moisture and shoulder patches bearing the brand logo.
Here are the features that make the Tatami Nova stand out:
Rubberized Collar. The rubberized collar functions as well as it looks when you’re wearing it. You won’t have to worry about bacteria and sweat as you train on the mat. In tournaments, the negative effects of excessive moisture and sweat can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Triple Stitching On Stress Areas. Triple stitching on points that get the most stress makes it more durable than other Gi. Moreover, the fabric and material are top-notch and you won’t ever feel uncomfortable from the time you put it on until the moment you take it off.
Value. The Tatami Nova offers all-around performance and durability at an excellent price. You get a free white belt along with the purchase, further punctuating the product’s value.
– High-tech Weave Design
– Rubberized Collar
– Triple-Stitched For Maximum Durability
– Only available in shrink-to-fit material.
2. Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0
The Goorudo 3.0 is the third iteration in Hayabusa’s illustrious line of Gis, and it’s safe to say that they may have the perfected it! The product is an excellent mix of weight, durability, and performance. Several elements stand out, such as the Gold weave stitching for extra sturdiness without compromising performance and the twill cotton material for maximum comfort.
All those premium features come from a brand that’s known to produce quality Gis. Check out the following standouts and see if it’s worth your money:
IBJJF Certified. The Goorudo 3.0 is 100% IBJJF tournament-certified, and it’s one that you must get if you’re well on the road to competing for Jiu-Jitsu glory. Tournament-caliber notwithstanding, this Gi is an excellent all-rounder for beginners and veterans who want a tough Gi they can depend on day in and day out.
Twill Cotton & Reinforcement. Wearers get an awesome combination of twill cotton material and gold weaving, giving them unbelievable softness along with superior performance. Weight is reduced and yet stress points are given extra reinforcement. Hayabusa has created the Goorudo with maximum durability and performance in mind and has managed to make it work.
Value. Granted, the Goorudo 3.0 is more expensive than the other Gis in the list but you’ll be sure to have a tournament-grade Gi whenever you need it. That convenience, along with great Gi features make the Hayabusa Goorudo 3.0 a worthy buy.
– Gold weave & twill cotton combination
– Superior comfort
– Comes with traditional kanji and embroideries
– Some loose stitching
3. Sanabul Highlights Professional
Sanabul is a popular brand that specializes in BJJ Gi products. Their latest offering, the Highlights Professional has the same kind of features as the Essential V2 but with a few notable additions and a higher price tag. Jiu Jitsu practitioners can look forward to the trademark precision fit, the sharp athletic cuts and the fact that the Gi is fully certified for competitive matches and tournaments.
The Highlights Professional is noticeably heavier than the Essentials V2, which makes it more durable than its predecessor. Moreover, you get to enjoy a quality of life improvements such as reinforced seams and a drawstring mechanism when you get the versatile Gi.
Here are some of the things we love about the Sanabul Highlights Professional:
Custom-Like Fit. The Highlights Professional sports a neat athletic cut that gives you a custom-like fit when you know your size. There’s virtually zero excess baggage material, which can give you the definite advantage to win the match. Moreover, compact stitching ensures there won’t be any loose ends to this performance-themed Gi.
Preshrunk Santic Material. Make sure to get a Highlights Professional of the right size as the pre-shrunk aspect ensures it won’t be changing no matter how much you wash it. Santic fabric means you’ll be very comfortable and depend on this Gi day in and day out.
Value. Highlights Professional is unlike other Sanabul Gis in that it was mostly created for competing in tournaments. The premium features and improved durability have upped the product’s cost, but you’re sure to get a high-quality Gi that can last a long time. All in all, it offers immense value for your money.
– Preshrunk material
– Lightweight Santic fabric
– Great athletic cut
– Too much washing can cause shrinkage
4. Gameness Air
Gameness Air may sound like a toy but their Gi is anything but. You get top-notch performance and Gi quality whether you’re practicing moves or facing off against an opponent. It’s one of the few Gis that tout both Ripstop pants and pearl weave. Moreover, manufacturers have made a bold claim that the Air is one of the lightest Gi you can buy today.
That feathery-light material is an added bonus when you’re competing on a hot, sunny day. The kicker is that the Gameness Air is sturdier and more durable than it looks when you put it through the wringer!
Take a peek at what makes Gameness Air so special:
Ripstop Pants. The ripstop material meshes perfectly well with the Gi’s design. It’s both light and tough, which is the holy grail of BJJ performance wear.
Pearl Weave. The manufacturer didn’t stop with the polyblend fabric and ripstop design; they made the Gi using pearl weave, which gave it added toughness without sacrificing mobility, comfort, and weight. Moreover, there’s added padding on the inner collar and knee area for extra protection during heated matches.
Value. The reasonable price tag makes the Gameness Air a popular choice for those who want an amazing Gi with great features. It’s not surprising that the Gi is selling well, given its excellent durability and performance.
5. Hayabusa Lightweight
It’s sleek and almost feels like a second skin. The Hayabusa Lightweight is faithful to its namesake, and Jiu Jitsu practitioners will find the Gi extremely comfortable and ready for action. The color options and fabric type make it 100% IBJJF compliant for competition and everyday training. Hayabusa is a household name when it comes to BJJ Gi, and their Lightweight is a testament to the brand’s dedication to quality and attention to detail.
Hayabusa has somehow managed to create a near-perfect Gi that has an excellent range of motion and premium performance. Their secret? Combining ripstop cotton and reinforced fabric to make their Gi maneuverable and tough. Check out the standout features below:
Ultra Lightweight, Yet Superbly Durable. The polyester and cotton fabric combo is what makes the Hayabusa Lightweight so unique among other products. When you put the Lightweight on, you get superior comfort and range of motion for attacking, defending and grappling.
Ripstop Feature & Pearl Weave. Hayabusa wanted to make a better BJJ Gi than their previous ones, and for that reason, they employed the pearl weave and ripstop fabric technology. The result is a smooth and comfortable Gi that’s reinforced in the right places, allowing you to train and fight without holding back.
Value. The Hayabusa Lightweight’s price is smack dab in the middle of the other Gi in this list. What’s worthy to note is that you can get premium Gi features such as reinforced stress padding, a cotton-polyester blend and gold, and pearl weave when you choose to buy the Lightweight.
– Detailed pearl & gold weave
– Stress areas are reinforced
– IBJJF Certified
– The bottom may feel a bit stiff, especially at first
6. Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear Premium
Another relative newcomer to the Jiu Jitsu apparel market, Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear offers quality-fabric Gi at an affordable price. The Premium Gi stands as the brand’s lightweight offering for those who want maneuverability with high levels of durability and performance.
A closer look reveals great features such as pre-shrunk aspects, reinforced fabric, and optimized design. If you’re wanting to get a Gi that’s not a mainstream brand, Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear is a good place to start. Here are the product’s highlights:
Reinforced Bottom. The founder of Your Jiu-Jitsu Gear has practiced competitive Jiu Jitsu for many years, and as a result, the features you see on the Gi mainly comes from experience. Don’t let the simplistic design fool you- beneath the surface lies innovations such as bottom reinforcements that add a layer of protection where it matters most.
Preshrunk, Contrast Stitching. The brand’s fabric material is just great in terms of feel and performance. The rubberized collar wicks away the sweat, while the contrast stitching gives it that extra-tough durability. The preshrunk aspect makes it easy for Jiu Jitsu practitioners to wash their athletic gear without having to worry about shrinkage.
Value. The Gear Premium is a steal as it’s priced way below what established brands are offering. You get great quality, great performance and remarkable lifespan for a Gi that’s a fraction of the price compared to the big boys.
– Preshrunk fabric material
– Reinforced pants
– Top value for money
– The collar may be a bit uncomfortable
7. FUJI All-Around
FUJI’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi is one of the best BJJ Gi brands you can wear today. The All-Around has been recognized in many circles as an excellent Gi that does Jiu-Jitsu Gi right. At its core, the midweight-classified Gi is made from premium, full cotton blend, and reinforcement on the usual wear-and-tear points. It’s worthy to note that the All-Around is 100% IBJJF compliant, which means you can take it with you to competitions and training, even under hot conditions.
We like the FUJI All-Around because of the following features:
Premium Cotton Material. The All-Around is known for having some of the lightest yet most durable fabric ever known. The midweight classification gives you a good balance of movement, comfort, and performance. Unlike other soft fabrics, the All-Around sports a somewhat stiffer material and a starched collar for a more solid feel.
Quality Reinforcement. FUJI takes the BJJ Gi to heart and recognizes it as the primary protection for when you’re training, sparring and competing on the mat. Therefore, the manufacturer has focused its attention to bringing you the best reinforcement on various stress points. You’ll come to rely on the Gi’s quality from the time you start training till you’re competing with the best.
Value. The FUJI All-Around has a higher price tag than the rest, but with that extra cost comes features that make the purchase well worth it. You can be sure that the Gi will last a long time and serve you well whenever you need it.
– Premium cotton blend
– Certified for IBJJF tournaments
– Thick collar
– No sweat-proofing
8. Elite Sports Ultra Light
The Elite Sports Ultra Light is perhaps the best value Gi on the list, and with good reason. The pre-shrunk, IBJJF-approved Gi is reliable the moment you buy it and will last through many cold rounds in the washer. Being an ultralight means you can wear it during the hottest days of the year and still be comfortable enough to focus and compete. Moreover, Elite Sports has employed an anti-sweat, anti-odor technology that also staves off bacteria and possible rash or skin infections. Last but not least, the stylish design and the Elite logo on the front may very well be the main draw for Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who want to look good in a Gi.
Here’s a list of the notable standouts with the Ultra Light:
IBJJF Approved. Get the Elite Sports Ultra Light and you won’t have to worry about being disqualified for not wearing a proper Gi ever again. The included belt has a slot in it you can use to display your stripes. Being an ultralight category, the lightness and quality of fabric will give you an edge each and every time.
Anti-Microbial, Anti-Sweat Technology. BJJ practitioners who tend to sweat a lot must get the Ultra Light for that very reason. The anti-microbial and anti-odor allows you to focus on training without having to think about possible infections and rank odors.
Value. The Elite Sports Ultra Light sports a reasonable price tag while giving you useful features such as anti-odor technology. It’s also one of the best IBJJF-compliant Gis that belong to the ultralight category.
– Stripe bar on the belt
– Snazzy design
– Pre-shrunk, anti-odor, and anti-microbial
– Can shrink if you’re not careful
9. Flow Kimono Air
Flow Kimono Air is a lightweight Gi that shines in training conditions. The pre-shrunk material is 100 percent cotton that uses a pearl weave for ultimate durability, comfort, and performance. A quick look also reveals the Gi to have the Ripstop technology to wick away sweat and moisture while you’re competing on the mat.
Airflow is optimized whenever you put on this Gi. Here are some more features you should know about:
Foam Drawstring. Having a Gi with a high-density foam drawstring can’t be overstated enough. For hardcore BJJ practitioners, the ability to continue training or sparring without having their Gi come apart is at the top when shopping for Jiu-Jitsu Gi. With the Kimono Air, one tying is enough to last for hours, which makes it stand out from the rest.
Superior Comfort. The “Air” in the Kimono Air is well-represented by the choice of fabric and materials that make up the Gi. You won’t believe how you’re kept dry and comfortable all throughout training, thanks to the anti-sweat technology and the breathability of the material. The superior fabric may lead to increased pricing but it’s very well worth every cent.
Value. The Air is more expensive but that’s just the cost of premium materials and features. If you want the best Gi and money is no matter, then the Flow Kimono Air is just what you’re looking for.
– Ripstop technology
– Lightweight yet sturdy
– High-density drawstring
– Don’t use for heavyweight training
10. Sanabul Essentials V2
Sanabul claims to have discovered the secret on how to be better at BJJ and Jiu Jitsu and instilled that in their Gis. Enter the Essentials V2, a fine Gi that features a pre-shrunk fabric along with a lightweight weave. Once you get a perfect size you won’t have to worry about shrinkage after a wash or dry. The V2 means version 2, which equals improvements and newer features.
Aside from the premium fabric and top stitching, wearers can rely on the anti-odor and anti-microbial treatment to keep them away from possible infections. The Essentials V2 stand out because of their unique features, listed below:
Tough, Lightweight Material. Sanabul claims that their Essentials V2 can weather the usual wear and tear that comes from training and intense tournaments. The precise cut and exact stitching bring out your natural form and physique while lending extraordinary comfort and performance.
Anti-odor, Anti-microbial Treatment. Inconveniences such as odor and sweat are wicked away in the most intense matches. The Essentials V2 has strategic points where air flow is improved for maximum ventilation.
Value. A top-of-the-line Gi that’s not the most expensive item on this list. You get solid performance with all the right features thrown in. The Essentials V2 is priced very attractively for novice Jiu Jitsu practitioners and long-time veterans who need a reliable Gi.
– Great price
– Use it for training and sparring
– Pre-shrunk aspect
– May have sizing inconsistencies