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Friday, 12 April 2013 01:00

Gi Review: Manto "X" Pro Ultralight (A3)

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Manto has been around for quite a while and is considered by most to be one of the “big boys” of BJJ and MMA gear.  Their current line of products include: clothes, kimonos, rashguards and fight gear.  As athletes are getting bigger and stronger Manto has created a gi created specifically for competitors and those that need to keep the weight of their gi as low as possible.  I was sent a Manto “X” Pro Ultra-light A3 a few months ago and have been using it regularly ever since.  The gi is very light (the A3 weighs just less than 2 kg) and has a very slim cut.  From the time I opened the package I knew that this might turn into one of my favorite gis to train in.

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 Design/Features/Construction:
The X Pro kimono consists of a 450g pearl weave jacket and ripstop pants.  The jacket and pants are royal blue with white contrast stitching.  There is also a white model without contrast stitching.  The lapel is covered in ripstop for easier grip breaking.  The stitching is reinforced at all stress points.  The gi uses embroidery for adornment with only a small patch on the pants at the shin and a single manufacturer’s identification patch at the base of the lapel.  Two things stand out from a construction standpoint.  The first is how light the gi is and secondly how long and lanky the cut it.  Both of these are pluses for me but not everyone is built like I am.  This gi is IBJJF legal.

manto x pro jacket skirt interior               manto x pro jacket sleeve interior

Jacket:
As mentioned earlier the only embellishment on the outside of the gi is embroidery.  The inside of the jacket has a very large “manto 24/7/365” printed on it.  The shoulders have MANTO embroidered in large letters (11.375” x 2.375”).  Just a bit further down the right arm, near the elbow, you’ll find the interior illustration embroidered (~3” x 3”).  These sections of embroidery are well done and have no signs of wear & tear.  There is also a small “MANTO” embroidered on the back just below the collar.  This logo is 0.75” x 3” and showed some signs of loose stitching.  The collar is covered in ripstop and there is also ripstop covering the bottom seams of the skirt.  The interior of the collar, the bottom of the interior skirt and the inside of the cuff are all lined with satin tape that says “Manto/24/7/365/ALL DAY/EVERYDAY”.  Aesthetically the gi comes together very well and I have one training partner in particular that tells me how much he likes the gi every time that I wear it.

manto x pro jacket sleeve               manto x pro jacket shoulder

Pants:
The ripstop pants are pretty straightforward.  The have 4 belt loops and use a cord at the waist.  The waist is off-set with the back half being slightly higher.  The off-set helps them to stay in place better when being grabbed from behind.  There is reinforced stitching at the stress points and extra materials at the side slits.  The inside of waist and cuffs use the same satin tape as the jacket.  There is additional reinforcement at the knees.  The reinforcement starts at mid-thigh, is 13.75” x 10.25”.  The only embellishment on the pants is a small patch (~2.25” circle) with the Manto/24/7/365 logo in it.

manto x pro pants interior waist               manto x pro pants waist

manto x pro pants waist offset               manto x pro pants patch

Test Run:
Out of the bag I was very surprised at how well it fit and this is one of the best fitting gis that I have right now.  It's even better than many of my slim/long gis.  The gi is very light and comfortable while rolling and drilling.  The pants have good length and don’t stick to my legs when playing open guard, the sleeves are a good diameter and the gi fits the way a competition gi should fit.  The interior artwork still looks good after a dozen or so washes and wasn’t scratchy at all.  When I’m not reviewing other gis this gi is in heavy rotation for training.

After washing and rolling in it for a few months I have noticed a few things.  The first is the embroidery on the back came loose.  I’ve since trimmed and burned the loose threads to fix this.  The patch on the lower leg also popped a few of the stitches but it hasn’t gotten worse since the initial incident.  Lastly, I popped a few stitches on the left side of the collar near my throat.  These stitches are used to keep the satin tape on the interior collar in place.  I actually remember when this happened; I was being stacked very hard by a training partner and as he was pushing me into the mat it popped.  The stitching hasn't unravelled further since the initial contact.

manto x pro jacket full

manto x pro pants full

Special Considerations:
Read the size chart, it’s accurate and you may need a different size than you usually use.  For long and lanky guys this fits very well, better than some gis that are specifically designated as slim/long.  The gi is also very light, which is always a blessing if you’re cutting weight, and one the most comfortable pearl weave gis that I own.

manto sizing

Wrap Up:
I’m a little torn with this review.  From a performance perspective this is very close to one of my favorite gis and one that I would definitely use in a competition.  From a durability stand point I still have a few questions.  I’ve found a few reviews (including this is one) and he had no issues with the stitching or durability.  I did follow up with Robert, the reviewer from the link, and he and his training partner have been beating theirs up and he says it going strong with no durability issues.  Since speaking to Robert I've recommended this gi to someone with a similar build to me and would likely do so again.  The blue gi is $174.95 and the white gi is $154.95 which are very competitive prices for premium gis.  Be sure to check out Manto at their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Read 6143 times Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2013 07:28
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.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MappingMyBjjJourney

Contact: matt(at)bjjlegends.com

Twitter: @matthewdcorley