Finding the best BJJ gi is important for any serious martial arts practitioner who wants to be the most comfortable and effective when they are grappling.
Good Jiu Jitsu kimonos, however, are complex uniforms, and there is a lot that goes into making them well suited for heavy-duty use.
In this ultimate guide to finding the best gi for BJJ, we will analyze all of the factors that make a gi great and look at some Jiu Jitsu gi reviews to help you find the best gi for you.
Best BJJ Gi Brands
Part of finding the best gi for BJJ is choosing the best BJJ gi brands. In order to get a well-made gi that will last forever and serve you well, consider narrowing your search to one of these ten brands:
Venum makes some sleek and aggressive looking gis that are some of the most attractive that you will find. The company goes far beyond just looking great, though, with a clear and sharp focus on durability, functionality, and continued innovation.
If you need any proof that Venum has found success in these areas, just look at the number of professional fighters who are wearing Venum gis.
On their website, the company lists sixty-eight different pro fighters who sport their gear, including famous UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva, UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo Junior, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira. It’s an impressive resume, but one that Venum has well-earned.
Their gis are durable, functional, and comfortable as well as being attractive in a sharp and aggressive way that really seems to resonate with today’s fighters. Along with their gis, Venum also provides every other kind of gear necessary for any discipline of martial arts.
It has been said that a fighter could easily go their entire career without ever having to use anything but Venum gear. Given the quality of the products that Venum makes, it’s not surprising to see many fighters doing just that.
Fuji has a concrete focus on maintaining the history and tradition of martial arts and preserving what has made the sport great in their production of gear.
Beyond just keeping the essence of the sport alive, however, Fuji has made strides in designing and manufacturing some of the most popular gloves, fight shorts, bags, and, of course, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gis.
Fuji sports more famous fighters who wear their gear than most any of the other major fight apparel brands. This support by the best fighters in the world is not without reason. Fuji has been in business for over fifty years now, giving them plenty of experience in their field.
Along with this, the company has set a goal for every product they make, demanding that it live up to standards in four key areas—fit, durability, functionality, affordability. Because of this, Fuji gis are the complete package.
They are light enough to be comfortable, built to make it difficult for your opponent to maintain a grip, durable enough to survive years of frequent use, and affordable enough to be purchased by someone who does not have a famous fighter’s income.
Founded in 1997 in Signal Hill, California, Koral USA is a single-location operation dedicated to producing high-quality gis and other equipment for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Despite the fact they only operate out of Signal Hill, Koral has attained international success, selling their products to stores and fighters in twenty-five different countries across the world. Part of what sets Koral apart is their focused manufacturing process.
Koral uses live models to size their gis and create their sizing charts, making it easier for fighters to find a gi that fits them well. All of Koral’s gis are made out of 100% pre-shrunk cotton that is put through a non-disclosed “industrial processing system” that somehow makes the gi fit and feel better than any of their competition.
Finally, Koral gis are outfitted with fast-drying, anti-microbial collars for optimum comfort. Koral is one of the smaller gi manufacturers, with a catalogue of only four gis for men and one for women.
All of these gis, however, are some of the best you will find, with the most popular being the Koral MKM, the Koral Light, and the Koral Classic—all three of which are durable, comfortable gis that are very popular among both amateur and professional fighters.
Vulkan describes their company’s primary goal as maintaining “constant evolution”. Unlike many BJJ gi brands that come up with a few models that work then sit back and watch them grow to become outdated, Vulkan works to continuously advance their products with the latest and greatest innovations.
The result is a catalogue of the best, most innovative gis on the market today. Vulkangis are comfortable to wear, designed to stand up to constant use and abuse, and look great to top it off.
Vulkan has been in business since 2003. Since that time, the company has made strides to not only advance the effectiveness of their gis, but also the safety and environmental friendliness of their manufacturing processes.
Their solid commitment to the environment and to the safety of their workers makes them an even more popular choice among fighters who respect their commitment to these issues.
Along with appreciating their stance on protecting their employees and the environment, BJJ gi reviews praise Vulkangis for being durable, comfortable, and stylish. Of Vulcan’s selection of gis, one of them really stand out as being excellent for both practice and competition grappling.
This is the Vulcan Pro Light—a great, lightweight gi that is as flexible as it is durable and a popular choice for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners.
Tatami may be relatively new in the martial arts world, but they are certainly making a splash, with many of the top fighters today choosing to sport their apparel rather than buying from other, more established brands.
Tatami’s short but illustrious history has seen them going from being founded in 2009 to today being worn by professional fighters such as Fernando ‘Terere’ Augusto, Dean Lister, Robson Moura, and Pablo Popovich.
Despite the fact that they are sponsored by such premier fighters, supporting famous, wealthy fighters is not Tatami’s primary goal. Instead, they have focused on keeping the sport accessible to all people by making their gis incredibly affordable and supporting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools and shops across the world.
Providing ordinary fighters with extraordinary products at a price that they can afford has been a mantra that has taken off for Tatami and has quickly launched them into “brand name” status.
Tatami gis are as good as any you will find. They are lightweight, comfortable, and built to last. Best yet, Tatami does not sell a single gi that they price over $200 and sell several with a price tag under $100.
Gameness is one of the most established names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today, and their selection of gis is arguably the widest and most innovative that you will find.
The company has been in business for a little over fifteen years now, during which time they have made a reputation for themselves as providing some of the finest gis and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gear that money can buy. Ask most any fighter and they will tell you that Gameness is the gold standard of competition BJJ gis.
Gameness gis have earned more awards and recognition than any other gis available, the most recent being the 2013 Quality Award from Jiu Jitsu Magazine for their Pearl Weave gi. In order to maintain the standard they have set four themselves, Gameness focuses on continued improvement in four key areas.
These are the quality of their gis’ construction, the innovation necessary to set themselves apart, a flare of fashion to add a unique appeal to their gis, and a quick and reliable customer service.
It has been a reliable formula thus far, with Gameness currently leading the pack in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gear.
Atama describes their approach to making BJJ gis as having old school charm combined with modern functionality. At just over twenty-five years old, this brand has been producing gis longer than the vast majority of brands still around today, giving them valuable experience in how to make a great gi.
Atama also staffs their sole facility almost exclusively with fighters and martial arts practitioners rather than people who have never trained before. This isn’t the easiest way to run a company, but it does make for a staff of employees that are for more in tune with how to make a gi that fighters will appreciate.
Atama strives to not let a single error pass through and to also have the best customer service of any brand in the industry. Along with their ever popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gis, Atama also produces gear for fighters such as such as gloves, rash guards, and grappling shorts.
Along with having a wide range of products, Atama also provides these products to a wide range of fighters, supporting martial arts practitioners on every single continent except for Antarctica.
Keiko Raca was founded in 1988 and still operates out of Brazil. In the early stages of the company, they did not produce gis under their own brand name but rather helped other top brands such as Red Nose, Alliance Kimonos, Bad Boy Brazil, and Royal Combat.
It was during this time that the company learned many valuable lessons on how to make a great gi from the best in the industry.
Deciding to harness that wide expanse of knowledge, they decided to strike out on their own, and the brand of Keiko Raca was born. Since it’s creation, the brand has done nothing but continue to grow in popularity as more and more fighters begin to appreciate the unique quality of their gis.
Keiko Raca has designed some superb gis and say they are constantly looking for new textile innovations and ways to make the fighters wearing their gis more comfortable and effective.
Keiko Raca is also a big supporter of martial arts, sponsoring events and athletes all over the globe. Of their selection of Keiko Racagis, the best and most popular that they sell is the Keiko Raca Limited Edition Gi.
Very few companies approach their work with the same spirit and attitude as Moya. The company is self-described as being wild, free, and adventurous.
They are active in both surfing and martial arts and produce gear and apparel to support both sports. Although Moya portrays a carefree and adventurous attitude, they are laser focused when it comes to producing a great product.
Moya gis are put together with a superb attention to detail, are constructed using the most modern innovations, and look absolutely stunning.
They are lightweigh, durable, and uniquely attractive, capturing the same sense of adventure and freedom in their design that the company itself embraces. It’s a unique approach that has really caught on with fighters wanting a functional, quality gi that will set them apart on the mat.
In fact, some of the sport’s most renowned fighters have recently switched over to Moya gis, including gold medalist Rolando Samsonand IBJJF world champion Jordan “che” Landry.
Moya is active in preserving the sport of martial arts as well as the sports of surfing, skateboarding, and anything else that happens to pique the company’s sense of adventure. Moya makes several really great gis, but the best in their selection is the ultra-popular Moya Sapphire Kola.
Shoyoroll gis have a reputation of being difficult to find for sale at times due to their popularity and limited supply. If you can find one, however, you will be getting your hands on one excellent BJJ gi. The company Shoyoroll was started as nothing more than a hobby.
Shoyoroll’s founder, Vince Quitugua said that he would make gis out of his garage just for fun, experimenting with what worked and what didn’t but never attempting to make any real profit. It wasn’t long, though, before that changed.
People began to notice how well-made and attractive the gis that Quitugua was making were and the orders started rolling in. It wasn’t long after that that Shoyoroll had laid claim to its very own rags to riches story, becoming wildly popular. So popular, in fact, that Shoyorollgis are a real rarity to find for sale.
This is part of what makes them appealing, but not the main reason. Shoyoroll spares no expense on the design of their gis, focusing on making them attractive in a sleek and subtle way while manufacturing them in a detail-oriented way that leads to a gi that is perfectly sewn together and highly durable.
It’s a popular combination that has earned Shoyoroll a spot among the best BJJ gi brands. Some of the most popular Shoyorollgis are the Shoyoroll White Mamba, the Shoyoroll Yang, and the Shoyoroll Americana.
How a BJJ Gi is Different from a Judo Gi and an Aikido Gi
For many fighters just entering the sport, it may seem that all gis are the same. However, there are some distinct differences between the different types of gis available and several good reasons you will want to choose the gi that is tailored for the martial art you are practicing.
If you are fighting in a competition, then there is no question—you will be required to wear a gi that meets regulation. For practicing, however, some people fail to find the distinction between the three choices available. Of the martial arts that require gis, the main three are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Aikido.
To begin, one of the primary differences between a BJJ gi and a judo or aikido gi is that BJJ gis are much tighter against the body and have shorter skirts. This gives your opponent less to work with when they are going for gi-specific maneuvers. Judo gis are also much heavier than BJJ gis.
This gives them a slight edge in durability, but makes them poorly suited for the type of finesse ground maneuvers that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sometimes requires. An Aikido gi on the other hand, is less durable.
Since BJJ gis are constantly being pulled and tugged on, it is important that they be thick and durable enough to keep from tearing. A gi from another discipline would likely tear apart at the seams after one round of vigorous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sparring.
So, it is important to choose a true BJJ gi if you are a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Get a good one, and it will be light enough to let you maneuver, durable enough to survive years of hard use, and tight-fitting enough to keep from giving your opponent a tactical advantage on the mat.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a BJJ Gi
In order to ensure you get high quality Jiu Jitsu clothing, there are several key factors you will want to keep in mind. These are:
If you are going to purchase a gi that you will be wearing for years to come, it might as well be one whose color and design you find appealing and eye-catching.
Color is also important to consider when thinking of how the gi will look in the long term. If you are going to be rolling on a dirty or dusty mat in your garage, then a white gi is going to get dingy and stained a lot quicker than a black one. For competitions, though, this shouldn’t be as much of a problem.
Getting a gi that fits you well is by far the most important factor. Sadly, many people have a hard time finding a Jiu Jitsu uniform that fits them just right.
Most of the top brands, however, have put a lot of time into making their sizing charts, providing you with plenty of accurate information on how to get a gi that fits you great.
Pay special attention to these charts when you are purchasing your gi. Having a gi that fits you perfectly will make it easier for you to roll and perform maneuvers as well as making it more difficult for your opponent to get a good hold on you.
Like any pair of clothing, BJJ gis are prone to shrinkage after being washed. Unlike normal clothes, however, gis are known to shrink even more drastically due to the weave of their fabric.
To counter this, most companies will pre-shrink their gis completely by washing them several times over before putting them up for sale or before using them to create their sizing chart. This allows you to worry less about shrinkage and not have to factor it in so much yourself, however, it is still important to keep in mind.
Read a few Jiu Jitsu gi reviews to see how much the gi typically shrinks after it has been washed a few times and then factor this into your sizing considerations.
The weave refers to how the fabric in the gi is weaved together. There are several different types of weaves today, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. A single weave is the lightest and most comfortable choice, but it also sacrifices some durability.
A double weave is much more durable, but is also heavier and less comfortable, especially if you are grappling in hot summer conditions. Other more advanced patterns such as a gold weave, a pearl weave, and others attempt to strike a balance between the two and incorporate some of the advantages of both.
Consider what you are wanting to do with the gi, the conditions you are grappling in, and how much durability you need then choose a weave that supports this kind of use.
Weight is an important factor that can really have an effect on how functional your gi is on the mat. If it is too heavy for you to comfortably grapple in then you are going to be at a disadvantage. Some lighter gis, though, are less durable and are easier to get a good grip on.
Despite this, ultra-light gis are still highly popular, especially for competition, while heavier gis are generally preferred for frequent practice since they are able to stand up to a little more abuse.
None of this is a hard rule, since there are some great competition gis that are a little on the heavy side, but as a generalization lighter gis are best suited for competitive use while heavier gis are better for frequent practice.
The weave of the gi has a lot to do with how thick it is, howver, there are other factors that come into play. When considering the thickness of the gi, you are really trying to balance durability with comfort.
A thicker gi is going to be far less likely to rip and tear, but is also going to be heavier and hotter—an especially big thing to keep in mind if you are practicing in the summer.
A less thick gi, on the other hand, is going to breathe better and be comfortable but is going to be more susceptible to damage. Which one is best is really a matter of personal intention and preference.
Many gi specific maneuvers are focused on the collar, so it is especially important for it to be filled with a thick and durable material.
Also, collars on good Jiu Jitsu kimonos are made in such a way as to make it difficult for your opponent to keep a good grip on, making it hard for them to perform a technique such as a lapel choke when you are grappling.
Good collars are also made to wick away sweat and many are treated with an anti-microbial agent to keep them clean and fresh.
Lastly comfort is important as well, and good collars are filled with a rubber that is soft and pliable enough to be comfortable.
The sleeves of a good gi are especially important. They need to be tight fitting enough so that there is not any extra material, especially around the wrists, for your opponent to get a hold on, but also loose enough that they are comfortable and do not restrict your movement.
Since the sleeves of your gi are going to be tugged and pulled on a lot, it is also important that they be durable. A lot of this durability comes of course from the thickness of the material, but it also comes from how tight the seams in the gi sleeve are sewn together.
Gi sleeves also need to have a little padding in the elbows to protect you from injury.
It is important that the trousers of the gi are made of a lightweight material, since they have the biggest impact on your movement.
Many BJJ gis have trousers that are made out of a material called Ripstop—a tough yet lightweight fabric that is designed for maximum durability.
Gi trousers also come with a belt, usually made of either rope or a strip of fabric, to help get the fit right and a number of loops for it to go through.
These loops are an obvious weak area in the trousers of any gi and it is important that extra care has been taken when sewing them on. BJJ gis also have a large padding in the knees to keep you comfortable and safe while grappling.
No matter what you use your gi for, durability is important, though it is especially crucial if you are buying a gi to use for practice on a frequent basis.
A lot of factors play into the durability of a gi, from the type and thickness of the material to the weave that was used to how tight the sewing in the seams are and how many times each seam has been sewn.
The best Jiu Jitsu gi will have seams that are sewn tightly and professionally and be double or even triple sewn in areas that are likely to rip.
Keep in mind that a lighter gi is likely to be less durable than a heavy one, though many companies have taken measures to make their lightweight gis as durable as any you will find.
If you want, you can find a cheap BJJ gi that will serve your purposes just fine or you can go out and spend a few hundred dollars on a flashy gi with all the latest innovations.
Cost is a factor that is really dependent on you and your own budget. Fortunately, there are just as many great, affordable gis as there are expensive ones, giving you plenty of options no matter how much you are looking to spend.
By reading Jiu Jitsu gi reviews, you will be able to tell whether the cheap BJJ gi you are considering is a high quality choice or a poor imitation.
Women’s BJJ Gis
BJJ is a martial art that is especially suited for smaller combatants, making it highly popular among women. There are many famous women Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, including Rhonda Rousey, who has used her background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to launch a highly successful career in the UFC.
Still, finding a good BJJ gi for women can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, many of the top companies have recognized this void in the industry and have begun to fill it with some excellent gis. Today, you can get a womens BJJ gi that will fit you comfortably and be highly durable and functional.
Plus, these gis are often styled differently as well, with some of them being slightly more feminine in their design. It is good news for women Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners and for the sport as a whole.
If you are looking for a great gi that will fit you well, then consider options such as the Tatami Women’s Estilo, the Gameness Women’s Feather, or the Fuji Women’s Blossom, as well as several other great gis made by reputable companies.
Kids BJJ Gi
In a scenario that almost perfectly coincides with the one of women in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are a large number of children now training in this martial art, yet there are fewer options for kids BJJ gis than there are for adults.
While you might not have as many selections to choose from if you are buying a gi for a child, that fortunately does not mean that you will have to purchase a low quality gi.
Several of the top brands have made gis specifically for children that are every bit as good as the ones they design to be used by adults.
A good kids Jiu Jitsu gi should be just as functional and durable as the best adult gis, but in a size that is more comfortable for them to wear. While there are a few cheap, low quality options for sale, there are also a good number of great gis designed with kids and teenagers in mind.
One good kids BJJ gi is the Fuji All Around. This is a well-made gi by a reputable company that comes in a variety of sizes for different ages of children. Other great kids BJJ gis include the Tatami Kids Nova, the Tatami Kids Estilo, and the Venum Kids Challenger.
Tips on Choosing the Best BJJ Gi
Tip #1: Cost Does Not Always Equal Quality
Just because a gi is expensive does not mean that it is the highest quality option you can find. In fact, many of the best brands purposefully try and keep their prices a little on the lower side simply to help further the sport. If you are looking for the best Jiu Jitsu gi that money can buy, don’t just base your choice on price.
Instead, read through Jiu Jitsu gi reviews and look further into the various factors that make a great gi. Often, a cheap BJJ gi that is made by a reputable company is the much better choice than a flashy, expensive one from a less recognizable brand.
Tip #2: Determine whether You Want a Practice Gi or a Competition Gi
There are gis made for everyday use and then there are gis that you pull out once in a while to use at a competition. Very rarely do you find a gi that is highly suitable for both of these applications.
The reason is that the factors that make a gi great for competition (extremely light, thinner material, heavily decorated with patches, etc.) are the same ones that make it less durable and therefore less suited for frequent, everyday use.
Determine what you are wanting to do with your gi and make your selection accordingly. If you are needing a gi for both practice and competition, you will probably be better off buying two.
Tip #3: Read Feedback on the Sizing Charts
Most sizing charts are very accurate in their description of what gis will fit what sized fighters, but there is still a lot of room for differences between the charts, especially when you factor in shrinkage.
To combat this, it is important to read BJJ gi reviews to see just how close the sizing chart really is, and to decide whether it is better to order your gi a little larger or smaller than you normally would.
Often, the sizing chart is right on the money, but it is still best to check customer feedback to be sure.
Jiu Jitsu Belts
Like most all martial arts, belts are used in Jiu Jitsu to signify the level of training that a student has achieved. Jiu Jitsu, however, is unique in how difficult it is to advance through the stages, making the higher-up belts even more prestigious. Students enter Jiu Jitsu as a white belt.
From there, they must train one to two years to obtain their blue belt. A brown belt typically takes a minimum of two years to then achieve a purple belt. Purple belts usually must train for three years to earn their brown belt, and brown belts must train for at least one year to earn a first degree black belt.
From there, it can take an additional ten years of intense training in order for a student to advance to the highest level—a seventh degree black belt.
If you are counting, that is a total of seventeen years minimum time required for a student to advance all the way through the stages of Jiu Jitsu, making it one of the most training-intensive martial arts that you will find.
Other belt colors include a coral or a red and black belt that are given to students who achieve their seventh degree black belt or a red belt that is given to a select few who in addition to having earned their seventh degree black belt have also had a tremendously positive impact on the world of Jiu Jitsu.
Examples of this could include teaching the martial art to a large number of new students, sponsoring Jiu Jitsu events, and other such aids to spreading the sport.
No matter what belt you have earned in Jiu Jitsu, consider a mark of pride. Few people are willing to put in the dedication that Jiu Jitsu requires.
Jiu Jitsu Patches
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu patches are what add uniqueness and character to the gi. Usually, the base patches that a gi comes with are logos of the brand that manufactured it, though they can be other decorative designs as well. From there, you have the option of adding your own patches to your gi.
Patches can be attached to a Jiu Jitsu uniform in order to represent a specific school or team, or they can simply have decorative purposes.
Some patches that people choose to have attached to their gi have no relation to the sport at all. These can include military patches that they or their relatives earned, various symbols or cartoons, and even lines of text.
All of these patches can either be woven into the gi or embroidered into it, although the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation is very specific about where they may be placed.
Patches may be affixed only on certain authorized areas of Jiu Jitsu kimonos. These areas include the collar and shoulders, the side of the hip, and at the end of the pants leg. Even if you are not competing, some instructors will not approve of you even practicing in a gi that does not follow these regulations.
This, however, is not always the case, and many schools (and sometimes competitions) are very loose in their applications of these rules.
Wherever you place your patches, choosing ones that reflect your team, school, or you as an individual can really add a unique bit of flare to your gi and make you stand out from the crowd.
Ultimately, functionality has to be the most important factor, but if you’ve already got a good, durable gi then there is no reason not to bring it alive with a few great looking patches.
Where Can I Buy a BJJ Gi?
BJJ gis, can still be purchased at several types of local shops, but this is quickly becoming the less popular option. Instead, many people are choosing to buy their gi online, either straight from the manufacturer or from retail sites such as Amazon.
This is usually the much more affordable option since both of these outlets often deeply discount their prices. Plus, it gives the buyer direct access to important information such as product specifics, customer reviews, videos of the gi in use, and other things helpful in making a decision.
For these reasons, buying BJJ gis online is most often the best choice.
Making The Right Decision
Finding the best BJJ gi is really a matter of deciding your own intended uses and personal preferences then carefully choosing a gi that suits you best.
Thanks to a number of great companies, there are plenty of good options to consider. However, don’t get so caught up in all the choices that you are unable to choose the one best for you.
Read Jiu Jitsu gi reviews, consider all of the important factors and buying tips, then purchase a gi that will look great and give you a competitive edge over your opponents.