When you are choosing a BJJ Gi, the manufacturer’s first(s) spec will be the type of weave that Gi has. Weaves will determine the weight of the Gi as well as it’s rigidity and breathability.
If you are new to Jiu Jitsu, choosing a BJJ Gi can be confusing.
With all the weave types, sizes and styles, what are the factors really worth considering when buying a BJJ Gi? We’ve got you covered….read on!
1. Weave Types.
Some of the most common weave types are:
This tends to be the least expensive type of material you can get, It is great for hot weather since it is light, due to the thinner construction of the material, it is easier for your opponent to grab.
Single weaves are light, (300-550 g) yet not very durable. However, they are perfect for light duty or beginners. Single weave gis typically have a smoother feel to the fabric.
Double Weave is exactly what the name describes, the doubling of the single weave. This type of weave is popular due to its durability, material density, and heavy weight.
As you can imagine, more fabric means it is harder to grab. The downside of double weaves is the heat retention. I do not recommend this if you are competing and you are close to the category’s limit weight, or you train in hot weather. This weave is usually rough on the skin.
Gold Weave is the middle ground of a Single and a Double Weave,
It is relatively light (500-1050 g) yet as durable as double weave. They tend to shrink more than a pearl as the weave is “loose”.
This is the most common material used in lightweight gis, due to the durability yet lightweight feel similar to a single weave. This weave results in a soft and moderately lightweight material. (350-550 g)
Pearl Weave is usually a material that allows some air flow. It is distinguished by its tight weave. Because of the tight weave they also usually have minimal shrinkage.
Ripstop is the lightest and thinnest material currently available for BJJ Gis, it is mainly used on the Gi Pants and collar.
However, some companies started incorporating it on Gi tops to reinforce certain easy to rip spots.
One of the main advantages of ripstop besides its ultra lightweight is that it is designed to stop rips and tears before they spread through the weave.
Unfortunately, this material is easier to grab (unless you choose a fitted gi cut) and the tight weave does not allow much breathing room. On the flip side, it’s slippery when wet! That can work to your advantage.
2. Size, Fit and Cut
Sizes in BJJ Gis generally go from A0 to A6,(A for Adult, F for female).
Some brands and Gis implement variations to the typical sizes allowing you to choose longer or shorter variations.
This is commonly depicted by a letter L (for long), S (for short) or H (for heavy) by the end of the regular size, for example, A1L= Adult 1 Long.
A general overview of the size chart is:
- A0: under 5’4″ (1.60m)
- A1: under 5’8” (1.70m )
- A2: under 5’9” (1.80m)
- A3: under 6’2” (1.90m)
- A4: under 6’6” (2.0m)
- A5: over 6’6” (2.0m)
However, As seen in the chart, every company and sometimes even every Gi has its own chart.
Make sure to consult that specific chart before buying a Gi. As a recommendation, when using a size chart if you are in between ranges (i.e. you are 5 ft) always choose the size above. You’re more likely to shrink your Gi and you certainly can’t make it bigger!
This type of BJJ Gis are great if your body type is on the smaller side of the spectrum.
For instance, Fitted Cuts tend to be harder to grab for your opponent and if you buy the right size they will feel almost like a custom-made Gi.
Commonly, Fitted Cut Gis allow you to move easier, and it’s a huge plus if designed with a lightweight material.
Fitted Cuts are a competition favorite, but beware that they can fall into the gray areas of legality in the IBJJF, so make sure to get the right size for you.
See more about IBJJF Gi Regulations
Another thing to consider when choosing a BJJ Gi is the collar construction. As you can imagine, a thicker collar makes it harder for your opponent to grip and control your upper body. In the same fashion, since the collar is a critical gripping area, they tend to be reinforced by a plastic copolymer called EVA. This reinforcement also helps your gi to dry faster and makes the collar more rigid. For training and light duty situations, softer collar options like cotton might be more comfortable and soft.
4.Color and Design
Lately wearing a Gi has become a fashion statement more than just a training tool for BJJ lovers.
And as for fashion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I personally try to keep my Gi design selection clean and I stick to the Black and White classics.
This gives me room if I ever want to add a team or a other patch I like. Since I am working with a neutral color canvas I dont need to worry about color clash of the patch.
When choosing a BJJ Gi design, be mindful of the IBJJ Uniform Regulations if your main objective is competing (or check your local tournament regulations regarding Gi colors and design).
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing the IBJJF legal color scheme is restricted to white, blue and black.
Many of us can’t wait until this regulation changes so we can compete in our fluorescent Green Gis again!