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Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Gi Review: Redstar Stamp A2L

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Intro:

Redstar is a Canadian based gi company that has been focused on making high-quality gis for competitors of every size.  Their flagship gi, the Stamp, is available in three colors (grey, white and navy blue) and nine different sizes.  Redstar was one of the first gi companies to make gis specifically for the taller and leaner athlete and their experience really shows.  Egor has recently expanded their lineup to include fight shorts, belts and t-shirts.

The Stamp is a lightweight, competition style gi consisting of a 450g pearl weave jacket and 12oz cotton pants.  The collar is EVA foam filled and the “L” models are specially cut for a slimmer build and longer arms.

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 Design/Features/Construction:

As mentioned earlier the jacket is constructed of 450g pearl weave and the pants are 12oz cotton canvas.  There is one small patch at the bottom of the lapel identifying the brand.  The only other adornment is embroidery.  The patch and embroidery are well done and had no loose stitches.  There is reinforced stitching at stress points and as before the stitching found on the jacket or pants was of high quality.  The overall quality of craftsmanship is consistent with other premium gis such as Bull Terrier and Lucky gi.

I think that it's worth saying that I've seen two of these gi that are over a year old and have seen very heavy usage.  In both cases they've held up very well.  The stitches and seams are still as solid as they were initially and they've both held the size very well.

Gi Pearl Crystal Gold Weaves   Collar-Comparison

Jacket:

The cut is noticeably slimmer than other gis that are marketed for someone my height (typically A4).  This is especially evident in the overlap on the jacket.  Most stock gis have so much overlap on the front that the top flap goes all the way to my opposite waist.  The jacket is constructed of a single piece of fabric with a thick foam filled collar.  There is canvas tape sewn inside the cuffs to cover those seams and contrast stitching rounds out the overall design of the gi.

The jacket has a simple and straightforward design with plenty of room for team patches.  The word “REDSTAR” is embroidered vertically on the left side and the only other embroidery is the Redstar logo on the upper half of both sleeves.  The inside patch also contains full directions on gi washing and care.  This is a great detail and something that I wish other companies would incorporate.  The gi is trimmed in red satin tape that has the Redstar logo incorporated in it. 

Redstar Stamp Front Embroidery  

Redstar Stamp Inside Instructions

   Redstar Stamp Open Jacket

Pants:

Starting at the top and working my down.  The pants have an offset waist, similar to the Bull Terrier Super Gold, to prevent them from sliding down.  There are four belt loops and a cord drawstring.  There is extra reinforcement at the side slit and the stress points are triple stitched.  The gusset is the same material as the rest of the gi and the reinforced knees start at mid-thigh continuing down to a few inches below the knees.

The pants don’t have much in the way of bling, just a small patch on the left lower hip with the company logo and size on it.  The only other design features are contrast stitching and red satin tape at the cuffs.

Redstar Stamp Belt Loops   Redstar Stamp Offset Waist  Redstar Stamp Pants Cuff

 

Redstar Jacket Full 

Redstar Stamp Pants Full

 

Kimono Top

Initial

Wash & Hang Dry

Pants

Initial

Wash & Hang Dry

A - Cuff

6.75"

6.75”

A - Cuff

8.875"

8.875”

B - Wingspan

70.75"

70”

B - Waist

22.5"

22”

C - Length

31.125"

31”

C - Length

40.25"

39.5”

D - Chest

24"

24”

D - Inseam

31.5"

30.875”

 

Test Run:

I’ll be honest with you…I really like this gi, a lot.  I’ve used it regularly since getting it, including in competitions and will continue to have it in my regular rotation moving forward.  If I had to gripe about anything I’d say that the pearl weave can be stiff and crunchy, especially if you hang dry your jackets.  For me personally, this wasn’t an issue with overall comfort but something to be aware of.  I’d also really like to have an option for ripstop pants.

I’ve worn the gi both with and without a rashguard and didn’t get excessively hot in it.  Something that I really like about pearl weave is that it doesn’t stretch as much as some weaves.  I have a training partner that loves spider guard and the sleeves have maintained their shape and proportions even after spending entirely too much time trapped in his grips.  For those wondering, I'm 6'4" and 190lb.

Redstar Stamp Full

Special Considerations:

Why would you wear a tall/slim gi?  My question is why wouldn’t you?  Do you buy jeans or shirts knowing that they won’t fit until you’ve had them altered or shrunk them down?  If you have a six-pack and/or long arms you should look into gis that are made specifically for the slimmer athlete.  It wasn’t too long ago that the options were very limited but now there are companies like Redstar that offer a great gi that will actually fit you without having to wash it and dry it a few dozen times.  Trust me when I say that once you start wearing a kimono that fits you’ll never go back to regular stock sizes. 

I’ve seen two Stamps that over a year old have seen very heavy usage.  Both of the gis still look great, have no loose seams and have maintained their initial sizing.  To back up his product Egor offers phenomenal service.  I’ve emailed him on a Saturday night and gotten a response back within the hour.  He makes certain that his gi will fit you and that you’ll be happy with your purchase.  Redstar also has an active FB fan page with regular sales and Treasure Chest section on his website that has his clearance items (there’s a $70 clean gi that includes shipping right now). 

Wrap Up:

The Stamp generally comes in at $159.99 (shipping included), which is at the bottom end of the premium gi market.  The special edition Marcio “Pe’ de Pano” Cruz is a little more ($179.95) and select sizes of each can be found for $20 off.   I would happily pay $160 for a gi that fit me well and would last me for a few years.  If ~$160 is out of your price range I’d follow Redstar on FB and check their clearance chest regularly as Egor has sales a few times a year (last year the Stamp got down $126 before Christmas and the black Stamp was $100 in the chest for a little while) and you can find some great deals.

 

Read 6902 times Last modified on Friday, 23 November 2012 10:55
Matthew Corley

I'm a 37 year old husband and father to two girls.  I train under Ezra Lenon (black belt under Kiko France of American Top Team) in St Louis MO.  I drag my two little girls with me to the gym every chance that I get and usually end up training 5 days a week.  I'm a huge gear junkie, spend entirely too much time watching BJJ videos and am fascinated with the cerebral side of our sport.  When I'm not training or hanging with my family I work as a clinical pharmacist.

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Contact: matt(at)bjjlegends.com

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