The Sandstorm is a white gi with a 450g pearl weave jacket and 12oz canvas pants. The collar is thick, stiff and EVA foam filled. The gi has toffee colored contrast stitching throughout. The stitching is well done and with extra reinforcement at stress points such as the armpits and the side slits. The pants use the same toffee contrast stitching and are also triple stitched at stress points. The pants have 4 sets of double loops and a rope cord for a drawstring.
The pearl weave jacket is minimally adorned. There is a 4.5” circular patch on the left breast that is securely stitched in place, though it could be removed if you wanted/needed to. There is a small, 1.25” x 2.5”, red patch that says Series V on the right side of the skirt just to anterior side of the side slit. The only other patch is the ever present brand logo patch on the base of the lapel. The jacket’s other design elements include identical embroidery on each shoulder. The embroidery is well done and is an “X” inside of a circle with olive branches encircling that. The embroidery and all of the contrast stitching is toffee in color (think a cup of coffee after you’ve but some cream into it). There is lining on the side slits that are also toffee. The inside of the cuffs have cotton tape sewn into it and there is extra reinforcement as mentioned above. The sewing on the seams, embroidery and patches was all well down and I haven’t seen any loose threads.
The side slits of the pants are sewn over with toffee satin, the belt loops (there are 4 sets of 2) and the drawstring cord are the same color. The cord of the drawstring is tipped in red tape to prevent fraying. There are two patches on the pants. The 1st is on the right upper thigh and it one of X-Guard’s brand logos “Mat Tested/Cage Proven”. This patch is fairly large, 3.25” x 8”, and could be removed with a stitch ripper. The other patch is on the left upper thigh and a bit smaller, 3.75” x 3.75”, and has X-Guard’s “Roll To Finish” branding on it. The reinforced knees start about an inch below the patches and continue down to 7.5” from the cuffs. The larger patch has a little bit of fraying in a few spots from the abrasion of playing a lot of half-guard.
When I was talking with Elmer at X-Guard he pointed out that this series of gi is generously cut and larger than other companies. As you all know I’m not particularly broad of shoulder so I had one of my training partners help me out with the review. Chadd (yep, it has 2 d’s) trained in the gi for a month and gave me his impressions. The jacket and pants were washed once in hot and the jacket was dried thoroughly. After this the sleeve length was great. Subsequent laundering was done in cold with hang drying for both the jacket and pants. Chadd did think the gi was a little baggy and that the skirt was pretty long. He liked the construction and aesthetics of the gi a lot but it was a little loose (he’s 5’10” and 190lb).
X-guard is a bit of a feel good story, the little guy that jumped in with both feet into the cut-throat world of BJJ manufacturing way back in 2010. Their 1st gi was made in November 2010 and only given to their athletes. In just over 2 years they’ve managed to launch 5 series of gis, customized rashguards/shorts, belts and just about anything else you could need. They’ve done this by trying new things, selling good products and providing great service.
X-Guard offers a good product at a fair price($134.00, shipping included) and also provides excellent customer service. If you’re a stocky guy and/or very muscular the Series V gis will fit you well. For those with a slimmer build I’d recommend looking at something cut less generously. Be sure to check them out at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for periodic sales and giveaways.