One of the first things we are usually asked to get even before our first practice of any sort of Martial Arts is its gear.
This is because the gear is essential for you to train accurately and also protect you from injuries during your training period. If you are a beginner looking to buy your first GI or you are a skilled practitioner of the sport seeking the right equipment for training and participating then we are here to help you out.
We have compiled a list of 10 of the best Jiu-Jitsu Kimonos or GIs along with a buying guide that will take you through the process of picking out the perfect item for you.
Let us start with 10 of the best GIs on the market.
Best Gi’s for BJJ Reviewed
You can probably tell by the name that this is a very lightweight kimono. It offers you protection against bacterial and fungal infections with its quick-drying material and is approved by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
The GI is available in a range of sizes and colors, fit for both males and females aged 18 to 55 years old.
If you are going to be taking part in competitions then sticking to the traditional colors of black, white and blue will be a good idea as these colors are usually recommended ( but check with the institution first).
Along with keeping you clean, dry and safe from infection, the GI also comes with an anti-odor treatment which means you will not have to worry about bad smells distracting you or causing any embarrassment.
Another thing that you will not have to worry about is shrinking because the material is pre-shrunk. As sizing is very crucial here, a pre-shrink fabric is ideal for the best fit even after multiple washes.
The kimono also comes with a FREE WHITE BELT with STRIPE BAR for beginners to show off strips as they work their way up. Elite has taken extra care in the stitching and tampering of their GIs so you can enjoy training in comfort for long.
- Approved by IBJJ
- Available in various sizes (Unisex)
- Anti-odor and protection against a bacterial and fungal build-up
- Pre-shrunk fabric
- Includes free belt with strips
- Some customers had problems with the correct sizing; some said their GIs were too big while some complained of them being too small.
- A received complaint of the jacket’s seams coming off.
If you are looking for a blank kimono then this one might be perfect for you.
A lot of the plain kimonos in the market do not last very long as they are not made from durable materials but this premium GI by Your Jiu Jitsu Gear is something you can rely on during your training days. You can customize the GI as you like and attach patches to support your institution or club.
The GI is available in two different kinds of fabrics- Standard 450 and Light 350 and can also be ordered in various colors such as gray, blue, pink, black and white. Some also have contrast designs on them to give them a unique look.
The rubberized collar prevents a build-up of bacteria and is very popular in competitions when you cannot control how much you sweat.
The reinforced pants are comfortable and come with stretch drawstrings for a well-secured fit. The fabric used to make the whole set is pre-shrunk but since it is 100% cotton, there might still be a bit of shrinking after the first couple of washes.
The seams are reinforced for added strength. If you order one of these gears you will receive a free white or blue belt that promises to stay tied with just the right amount of thickness.
- Plain and fully customizable
- Durable material with reinforced seams
- Available in multiple colors and sizes from A1 to A5
- Pre-shrink cotton fabric
- Comes with a free belt
- Although it says ‘blank’ kimono, it does have the company’s logo printed on a small area.
The Verus Ultra Light GI delivers the perfect balance between being comfortable enough for everyday training as well as being strong and durable enough to withstand rough usage and beating in tournaments.
The manufacturers of this well-produced gear have used the ideas incorporated by the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mitsuyo Maeda, who believed that reinforced knee fabric, rope lace fastening system and non-stretchy threads were the three key factors in the making of a GI for perfect tackle and effective functionality.
Verus also uses the NANO THREAD CORAL WEAVE TECHNOLOGY in which the material is very durable yet lightweight and capable of enduring all sorts of roughness on the mat. The quick-dry fabric will not weigh you down as you sweat so you can perform better. It is available in various sizes ranging from A0 to A5 and comes in the traditional colors black, blue, gray, navy and white.
The overall look of the gear is very good, with first-rate embroideries and no cheaply made patches, you can show off your skills in style.
The makers wanted to design an all-purpose GI that martial artists of all skill levels could use as a daily-wear and also for tournaments and by the looks of things they did a pretty good job with this item.
- Comfortable for everyday training
- Can be used all year round, for all seasons
- Strong enough for tournaments
- Lightweight and quick-dry fabric
- IBJJF approved
- The fabric may shrink after washing
- Some customers mentioned that the GI could not offer them a perfect fit.
Sanabul has its own special sizing chart which does not match other general GI sizes.
If you do go for their GIs then keep in mind that their gears are a little larger than the standard sizes and it is recommended to follow their size chart carefully.
The Version 2 Ultra Light GI is perfect for training in summer and this updated model is made from preshrunk fabric. It seems that their previous GIs were not preshrunk and after receiving some reviews concerning that matter from customers they have improved on the design with this item.
However, as Sanabul GIs are larger than usual, you can shrink them by washing them first in hot water and then placing them in the dryer. With a tapered athletic cut, the GI has a reduced amount of bagginess and almost no excess material to weigh you down.
It is a single weave kimono that is very durable and also tailored to keep you healthy and clean by incorporating the antimicrobial and anti-odor treatment. Available in the sizes A0-A5 and in 5 traditional colors, you can surely find something that will fit you well and suit your personal style.
- Preshrunk fabric
- Antimicrobial and anti-odor treatment incorporated
- Great for summer
- The sizing can be a little complicated and a few customers had received GIs either too small or too big for them
You cannot practice or train well until and unless you feel comfortable in your gear and the Hayabusa Lightweight GI promises to give you utmost comfort as well as top-notch style with its elaborated stitches and fine details.
High grade 420 gsm PEARL weave cotton material is used in the making with extra care and strength added to the areas that will take the most beating like around the knees and sleeves.
If you have trained in GIs before you will probably agree that the pants need to be extra durable and comfortable for better functioning and thankfully the 8oz ripstop cotton-polyester blend keeps the pants in great condition even when things get rough.
You can pick your favorite from 7 different colors: black, black/gold, blue, green, grey, stone white and white. Keep in mind that the colors will determine a slight change in price so check that out before ordering. The GIs are also certified by IBJJf, except the grey color. Choose from sizes A0 to A5.
- Light weight GI
- Ideal for training and competitions
- IBJJF certified (except the grey color)
- Well stitched with reinforced lapel and stress areas
- Great for beginners and advanced artists
- Some customers reported that the GIs were too baggy for them and that the sizes only altered the lengths not the widths of the legs and arms
This is a limited edition of men’s BJJ kimono by Hawk.
The GIs are available only in 3 traditional colors; white, black and blue and are designed to comply with IBJJF regulations. For comfort and durability, Hawk utilizes 450gsm lightweight pearl weave on their jackets and 10oz ripstop pants with rope drawstrings.
The fabric is preshrunk but you can expect a bit of shrinking after the first wash. With triple stitches and toughened tape in all the stress areas, you can worry less about rips and tears and concentrate on your performance with confidence.
Any sport that involves heavy physical training will leave you sweating a lot and it is no different with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so the gears must have some sort of protection to take care of that. Luckily this GI is anti-microbial, meaning it will not allow any build-up of bacteria or fungus thus keeping you healthy by preventing infections.
You can order this limited edition GI in sizes A1 to A4.
- IBJJF certified
- Pearl weave jackets and ripstop pants
- Reinforced stress areas
- Preshrunk for minimum shrinking
- Some reports of the pants ripping during training
The Air is an extremely light GI designed to help you stay dry and quick on your feet during intense training and completion.
The fabric used is extra soft and breathable so no matter how much you sweat the material will dry off fast. It is made from 100% combed cotton which is a more superior grade when compared to carded cotton due to its better strength and suppleness.
All that goes into the making of the jacket whereas the pants are 10oz ripstop and stitched to endure maximum beating on the mat.
Four extra-wide belt loops and thick foam filled drawcord is added to complete this well-made gear.
You can pick your desired size from 9 different sizes: A0, A1, A1L A2, A2L, A2H, A3, A3L, A3H, A4 and A5, providing for individuals within the weight range of 115lbs to 265lbs.
- Breathable and lightweight fabric
- Tonal stitching
- Available in a wide range of sizes to fit most body types
- Preshrunk fabric
- Some say the material seemed too ‘scratchy’ or stiff for them
- Not for heavyweight competitions
The FUJI All-Around GI is one of the best quality GIs out there. It is the company’s best seller and the official gear worn by the Olympic medalist & BJJ Black Belt holder Travis Stevens.
It is made from thick fabric with medium weight so it is not your regular lightweight GI. Made from FUJI Special Weave, a premium cotton blend, the GI offers upmost comfort and durability to users who are serious about the sport.
It may be a little too heavy for beginners but it is great for the skilled.
You can get a superior fit and with their line of women and children’s GIs, everyone can find something that suits their body type. With a cotton twill/soft comfortable collared jacket and cotton twill pants, you will enjoy a great deal of comfort during your performance. The GI is available in 7 colors and is of course IBJJF certified.
- Thick fabric
- Premium quality cotton blend
- Great fit
- Caters to men, women, and children
- May shrink
This GI has a lot of mixed reviews from customers but we decided to include it on our list because of its high-quality fabric and classic design.
It is also a great GI for beginners as well as the highly skilled practitioners, so it is not specifically for only one category of users. Made from 100% cotton and available in the 3 traditional colors: black, white and blue, the GI is ideal for training and competition.
If you wish to use this GI for your everyday practice sessions then you will love its durable construction and comfortable fit. It comes in 7 different sizes, offering a wide range of options for people weighing around 120 lbs to 220 lbs., with heights between 5 feet 2 inches to 6 feet 5 inches maximum.
- Comfortable and durable
- Perfect for daily training
- Wide range of available sizes
- Does not come with too many patches, offering you enough space to add your own patches if required.
- Will shrink quite a bit
An upgraded version from the previous GIs by TATAMI, the Nova has being improvised with a 450gsm Hybrid weave jacket that has really tight cotton reinforcements in all the areas that are likely to take the most beating.
The 9oz cotton-polyester blends on the pants make them quite heavy and resistant to damage so you can train with confidence.
As this gear is tampered in all the right areas, no matter how hard you train or perform on the mat, your gear will have your back. As for the styling, you will be happy to know that the GI isn’t really crowded with multiple patches, only the company name and logo is visible on the shoulders and front corner of the jacket.
TATAMI Nova is available in 3 traditional colors of black, blue and white and several sizes. You will get a free belt with this item.
- Great for beginners and experts
- Strong construction with tight stitching
- Hybrid weave
- Not over done with patches
- The jacket is expected to shrink after a few washes
BJJ Buying Tips and Thing You Need to Know
So now that you are familiar with the best GIs on the market, we are going to guide you through some important factors which must be considered if you wish to select the best out of the lot.
Consider a lighter GI for training during the hot seasons and well, for training in general because you are bound to get hot and sweat anyway with the intense training that is required from the sport. Most of the popular GIs are made from ultra-light fabrics which allow easy movement and a higher level of comfort.
Do not confuse this with weight. A lightweight GI with thicker fabric is the way to go if you wish to make it hard for your opponent to keep a firm grip on you. With thickness it becomes difficult for your opponent to hold on to your gear so you can prevent being under their control for long with the help of a thick gear.
The weave determines the durability of a GI. The common weaves are a single weave, double weave and gold weave, with special weaves also making rounds in the market in the modern times.
Single weave– Ideal for beginners, this kind of weave uses less fabric and is the most affordable kind. It is thinner and not as durable but will keep you cooler. The main drawback with this weave is that due to the thin fabric, your opponent can maintain a stronger grip on your gear.
Double weave– This weave is no different from the single weave but is much more durable and thicker due to the plait been done twice over. If you can get the right size and accurate fit then GIs with double weaves with give you the advantage over your opponent who will find it difficult to hold on to your gear for long. Double weave GIs are also considerably more expensive.
Gold weave– Very popular among martial artists who prefer the perfect balance between strength and lightness, the gold weave is a combination of the single and double weave. If you are planning on participating in competitions then this is the kind of weave you must be looking out for.
Special weaves- You will often find GIs with unique weave names such as ‘Pearl weave’ or ‘Platinum weave’ or some other. These are weaves which do not necessarily match up to the properties of the standard weaves completely but fall somewhere in between. They are also strong and durable, with some being really comfortable and high grade.
GIs are like any random uniforms you can get- they are available in all sorts of colors but you have to keep in mind whether you are getting a GI for simple training or taking part in competitions. Your school or institution may also have some restrictions regarding the colors so do consult them before purchasing anything. If you are going to compete officially then be informed that only blue, black and white GIs are approved by the IBJJF.
White collars are always cotton on the outside, they can either be filled with rubber or cotton inside. Cotton fills are the traditional way to go but rubber fills are more popular as they do not absorb sweat and are quick drying. They are also much lighter and not very easy for your opponent to grab hold of.
Pre-Shrunk OR Shrink-to-Fit
If your GI is made from pre-shrunk cotton then you don’t have to worry much about the gear shrinking after drying. If you can get a good fit in the first place, chances are you can keep your GI that way.
However, some people also prefer the shrink-to-fit fabrics as it gives them the freedom to shrink the GI to a better fit by washing and drying until the desired fit is achieved. Both pre-shrunk and shrink-to-fit fabrics have their advantages and disadvantages.
Can I use these GIs for other types of martial arts?
Yes, some of the GIs mentioned on this list can also be used for Judo. Check with your institution on the kind of GIs they require.
How can I get the perfect fit?
Please use the size chart that the products come with because companies have different size charts so no one size will be the same.
Are the GIs for both men and women?
Some are unisex while some are specified. You can get the information from the product description of the particular item chosen.
Your performance will be greatly affected by the gear you choose to train or compete in. Simply because the right GI can help you move freely and also tackle your opponent well.
While a poorly made GI can ruin things for you by being uncomfortable and prone to damage from intense workouts.
So it is important to get all geared up and ready in the best possible manner to really improve and impress with your skills.