As you deftly pass your opponents guard, you begin to twist into the perfect submission when suddenly your gi catches your own leg, stopping your perfect execution.
The momentary stumble ultimately losing you the match.
It’s a scenario anyone with significant time on the mat has seen or experienced. It can be a heartbreaking reminder that choosing the best BJJ gi can make all the difference.
With the rise in popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are hundreds of companies marketing gis to the public, ranging from professional quality tournament gis to shoddily produced cash-grabs preying on new practitioners.
Making sure you choose the right gi that fits your style, body, and performance needs can require exhaustive research and painstaking trial and error. We aim to eliminate that uncertainty when picking the best BJJ gi.
A heavy Gi intended for heavy use in both training and competition. The Flow Kimonos Hemp Series Gi is both durable and comfortable. After a few uses, the hemp material will feel soft and refuses to wear out even with intense training. It sits at the higher end of the Best BJJ Gi price range.
The Flow Kimonos Air BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi focuses on breathable fabric and comfort for long and hot training sessions. Its combed cotton pearl weave remains strong and light, and feels far more durable than competing gis using the same material. It’s in the middle of the pack for price.
An ultra-lightweight gi with great value for the money, the Sanabul Essentials Version 2 Ultra Light BJJ Gi offers one of the most comfortable BJJ Gis in its price-range. The cotton fabric is incredibly soft and comes pre-shrunk, ready to go out-of-the-box.
Similar to the above Flow Kimonos Air Gi, it’s meant for long sessions in hot environments and is designed to keep you cool throughout your training. The fabric is less durable than heavier weaves, a trade-off for its comfortable feel. It sits at the lower end of the price-range.
Made of hemp for long-lasting durability and comfort, the Flow Kimonos Hemp Series BJJ Gi stands out for its comfort and real-world practicality.
Out-of-the-box, the gi feels stiff and heavy, but after a wash and a few rolls on the mat it will loosen up and becomes one of the most comfortable heavy gis we’ve worn.
More importantly, once washed, it doesn’t offer many surfaces for your opponents to grip on. The material feels strong without being a grip magnet.
The badges present on the gi don’t offer a handhold for your opponent to begin a grapple or leverage for a submission.
The drawstring on the Flow Kimonos Hemp Gi is made of a high-density foam to help eliminate the need to retie your drawstring.
Flow Kimonos offers a range of sizes and is machine washable, though they point out that like most gis it should be hang dried. Flow Kimonos is quick to respond to questions about their product for new customers interested in a purchase.
Another offering from Flow Kimonos, the Air BJJ Gi is an ultra-lightweight training Gi made from combed cotton. It’s designed for maximum comfort and performance even in intense training conditions or hot environments.
The breathability of the cotton fabric will help keep you cool even after long hours spent rolling on the mat.
Like other products made by Flow Kimonos, the grippable surfaces here are kept at a minimum, with no large badges to help your opponent get a hold of you.
The fabric itself, though lightweight, is made of a pearl weave to increase its durability. The gi itself is meant to last through many long training sessions despite its cotton fabric.
The cotton fabric itself feels more coarse than other products made from this material, but it also feels much stronger and less subject to wear and tear.
As with other Flow Kimonos products, the Air BJJ Gi comes in a range of sizes and is machine washable. It also comes pre-shrunk, but expect a bit of shrinkage in the wash anyway. Flow Kimonos customer service is, again, top-notch.
Sitting at the lower end of the gi price range, the Sanabul Essentials Version 2 Ultra Light Gi is great value for the money spent.
It’s a pre-shrunk cotton pearl weave with a focus on comfort and breathability. The Sanabul Essentials is ready to go right out of the box and will feel broken in after your first roll on the mat.
It’s by far one of the softest pearl weave gis and feels incredibly light when worn. It’s so lightweight that the pants are partially transparent, so be aware of this before purchasing.
The thin fabric will keep you cool after many long hours of training even in intense heat, and it’s machine washable. Be sure to cold-water wash and hang dry it because even though it’s pre-shrunk, some shrinkage will occur in a hot water wash/dry.
The Sanabul Essentials Version 2 Gi has fair durability for such a thin fabric. It will wear out faster than a heavier gi but after many hours spent on the mat it still holds up well without any critical tearing or rips.
One distinct disadvantage is the rubberized collar provides more grip than it should, allowing opponents an easy hand hold.
What makes the best BJJ gi is a subjective question that will vary depending on who you ask. When looking at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi reviews, what’s important is to decide what makes a good BJJ gi for you.
After some time on the mat it will become apparent which qualities you prefer to have in your gear. There are a few things to look for in your gi to help evaluate whether it will “fit” your style:
Due to the nuances that comes with the BJJ fighting style, selecting the proper fit is essential when choosing a gi. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to picking gis that have a tighter fit versus a loose fitting gi.
A tight-fitting gi will limit your opponents options for transitions and passing, as well as restrict their ability to work their way into a submission. On the other hand, it may also restrict your own movement and hinder your range of motion. There is nothing worse than being submitted because you were unable to twist out of a lock!
A loose-fitting gi that offers a more dynamic range of motion eliminates this issue, but can open your defense up to unorthodox submissions and passes using your gi as leverage! Choose a gi that strikes a balance between these two extremes and works for your fighting style.
Choosing a Gi that you are comfortable fighting in is just as important as the overall fit. This is a piece of clothing you will be working hard in and wearing often. Be sure to choose a material that won’t irritate your skin or chaff!
The durability of a gi mostly comes down to its weave and fabric. A heavier Gi will tend to last longer while weighing more due to its thicker weave. A lighter Gi can wear out faster but may make you feel lighter and allow for quicker movements.
Practitioners who train multiple times a week may want to consider a heavier Gi that will last longer. Be sure to take into account the weight of your Gi if participating in tournaments that you have to weigh in with your Gi on!
Our favorite by far for its rugged durability, versatile use, and exceptional performance, the Flow Kimonos Hemp Series BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi is a real standout, and is our pick for the best BJJ gi. The hemp material is incredibly strong and long-lasting, and doesn’t feel that much heavier than the other products listed here.
The few available points of grip for opponents reduces the need to worry about grappling points that would otherwise be unavailable. The large range of offered sizes and exceptional customer service ensure it’s easy to find the right fit for you.
It can function just as well in BJJ as it does in other martial arts, and works equally well as one of the best karate gi, or one of the best judo gi.
The only downside we can find is the heavier fabric and weave won’t help regulate temperature as well as a lighter gi, but hemp is surprisingly lightweight and breathable.
If you absolutely must have a gi that supports a cooler temperature, this may not be the choice for you, but for the majority of practitioners this will be hard to beat.
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