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Thursday, 11 October 2012 14:18

Tatami Flex Rashguard and Atom Fight Shorts Review

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 Intro:

Tatami Fightwear was founded in the United Kingdom in 2009 and in three short years have become one of the premier brands for Brazilian jiu jitsu gis and submission grappling gear.  Tatami has a reputation for putting out quality products at reasonable prices and are continually expanding their product line as the needs of their customers evolve.

Their latest additions include the Flex Rashguard and Atom Series of NoGi board shorts.  The Atom shorts are available in Black/Yellow and Black/White with reinforced stitching and fully embroidered logos.  The Flex rashguard, currently only in yellow/black but white/black will be available soon, is the same as the one worn recently by Pablo Popovitch (picture above in the short-sleeve version) at the IBJJF NoGi Pans and has features that I’ve never seen before in a rashguard.

Be sure to check out the full review for a 15% off promo code.

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 Rashguard Design:

Tatami Flex Rashguard Front  Tatami Flex Rashguard Back

Right out of the bag you’ll notice a few things.  First, it’s pretty darn yellow.  Somewhat surprising to myself, I like it quite a bit and got several compliments (and a few comments about killer bees) but the overwhelming consensus was that it’s a good looking rashguard.  The graphics are fully sublimated throughout and should last as long as you have the rashguard.  With the sublimated graphics you’ll never have to worry about peeling, which is pretty common in lesser quality rashguards.  The graphics themselves are pretty straightforward.  There is a “TFW” circle graphic on the chest and at the base of the neck.  “Tatami” is emblazoned on both forearms and flanking the stomach.  The most unique graphic is the yellow digital camouflage on the upper two-thirds of the left arm (for long-sleeved versions).

The next feature that I noticed was the profuse stitching throughout the rashguard.  All the seams in the rashguard are heavily reinforced, which is a great thing for durability.  The potential down side is that you can feel the stitching as well when you’re wearing it.  It wasn’t itchy per-se but I did know that I was wearing something with seams on the inside.  Hopefully in subsequent designs they’ll find a way to cover the stitching to minimize that feeling.

Tatami Flex Rashguard Bottom Seam  Tatami Flex Rashguard Inside Wrists

The final feature that I’ll cover is the something that I really like and hope becomes standard on all rashguards.  Tatami has included breathable mesh material under the armpits, which I’ve seen in a few high-end compression shirts, and also on the back at both shoulder blades, which is a first for me.  The intent is that these mesh areas and the lightweight materials used in construction will make the rashguard cooler and more comfortable.

Tatami Flex Rashguard Pit Vent  Tatami Flex Rashguard Back Vents

The sleeves have plenty of length for someone with my wingspan (almost 80 inches from fingertip to fingertip) and the length is also more than sufficient.  If I had to do it again I’d probably order a medium because the length isn’t an issue and I prefer to have my rashguards tight.  The large was a good fit for my chest but the arms were a little baggy (too bad we can’t all be built like Pablo J).  The compression was pretty much non-existent due to the size that I chose.  The material is an 80/20 polyester/spandex blend and more sturdy than what I usually see in typical rashguards.

NoGi Shorts Design:

 Tatami Atom Shorts Front  Tatami Atom Shorts Rear

The Atom shorts were also yellow/black and have recently been made available in white/black.  The shorts feature the now standard three-way Velcro closure system at the waist with an internal drawstring for further tightening.  The sizing runs true and the Large, 32-34” waist, fits me perfectly.  For the Atom shorts Tatami has completely gone away from sublimated graphics and instead uses embroidered logos exclusively.  “Tatami Fightwear” is at the center of the waist and then “Tatami” is on each side on the upper-outer thigh.  The embroidery is of high quality and has no loose threads or visible defects.

Tatami Atom Shorts Waist  Tatami Atom Shorts Side

The seams of the shorts are reinforced throughout and triple stitched at stress points.  The shorts themselves are a little heavier than most of my other shorts. There is a 3.5 inch slit on the outer leg to allow for increased movement.  The shorts themselves have a more tapered cut than typical board shorts and fit closer to the leg.

Test Run:

The rashguard was very comfortable throughout my training and rolling.  Despite my initial concerns about the stitching being itchy that wasn’t the case once I started to move around in it and I completely forgot about the seams while in class.  I’ve worn the rashguard by itself and under my gi and in each instance I didn’t notice it making me hot.  The fabric seems to breathe better than other long-sleeve rashguards and is quite comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.   The fact that I can wear it under my gi and/or without a gi makes it much more versatile for me and means that it will be in be in gear bag more often than not.

I really like the shorts and they performed very well.  The material of the shorts is just slightly stretchy and never bunched up or hindered my movement in any way.  A training partner has an older pair of Tatami shorts and mentioned that they were his favorite shorts.  After using these I can see why.  The shorts are more substantial than my other board shorts while maintaining a high level of comfort.  The cut of the shorts is such that you can feel that you’re wearing them on the upper half of the shorts but the legs don’t bind or hinder movement.  These are definitely shorts that I’ll be wearing regularly from now on.  I’ve even started to wear them around the house, much to the amusement of my kids.

Wrap Up:

Tatami’s new line of rashguards and shorts offer new features and a product that is very comfortable to use.  The construction of the shorts and shirt are solid and suggest that this gear is built to last and will be used for a long time.  At $48.00 for the shorts they are in the lower end of price scale for premium board shorts.   The rashguard comes in at $56.01 and is near the mid-point for premium rashguards (compared to brands such as Hayabusa, Luta, Manto and Scramble).

Tatami has also recently made available a coupon code:  PROMOJ15 that gives you 15% off.  Already at a reasonable price, the additional discount puts these firmly in the category of quality gear and an affordable price.  And if you’re not a huge fan of the yellow the white/black versions should be available very soon.


Read 7736 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 00:06
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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