Some of you may be familiar with Flow Kimonos from my previous review of their hemp gi earlier this year. Flow also has an ultra-light competition gi. The Pro Series 2.0 is made in China, available in black ($144.99) & white ($134.99), has long AND husky sizing and weighs just a little more than 2 iPads. Seriously, this thing weighs nothing. Before this gi my Manto X Pro was the lightest gi I’ve ever had at just under 4.5 pounds. The Pro Series 2.0 is a pound less and for anyone that cuts weight you know just how nice that can be.
Intro: I train and compete in the Midwest, specifically in St Louis. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete fairly frequently and it was at one of these competitions, the IBJJF Chicago International Open, that I saw my first Quantum Kimono. I saw about half a dozen that day, many of them with Comprido/BRASA patches. The gis fit the athletes very well, especially the long and lanky ones. I’d never head of this brand before and was curious what they were about. A friend of mine is a brown belt under Comprido so with the help of a little Facebook stalking and I was able to track them down and beg them for their Comp gi to review.
"We started our gi company because it was so hard and expensive to the get the kimonos that we wanted. We decided to make our well-built gi at a reasonable price.” Quantum Kimonos
"Inverted Gear was founded in February of 2012. We had grown tired of the current trend of high price pre-order limited edition gis, which meant months of waiting and small window of purchase. We strive to bring a high quality product at an affordable price… We are not for the tough guys, our logo is a clear indication of what we are about. We are for the guys and girls that want to be on the mat… Be part of the Panda Nation”
I was introduced to Inverted Gear about a year ago. I was competing in my first IBJJF tournament and kept seeing these gis with upside down pandas on them. They were everywhere, seemed to fit well and the panda logo is pretty cool. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was able to finally get my hands on one of these gis and see what all the fuss was about. BTW, Inverted Gear has the nicest gi bag that I’ve ever seen. My oldest daughter fell in love with it instantly and has claimed it as her own.
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.
Intro: Apollo FG is the product of Mark Finlay and his desire to make a gi that will actually fit thinner/leaner athletes. As anyone that’s read my reviews knows I’m a tall and lean guy myself and the reason I started to really get interested in gis is because it was so hard to find out that actually fit me. The Omega series is a heavy-duty 550g gold weave jacket with 9.5 oz ripstop fabric. The Omega is available in white, black and blue. The gi has regular and slim sizes and most important of all you can have it for $120 (which includes shipping).
Intro: Flow Kimonos is a Boston based gear manufacturer that was created last year by Jonathan Leung. I stumbled across Flow Kimonos while searching thru Facebook for new gear manufacturers and after seeing some of their pictures and sizing chart (they have slim/tall cuts) I contacted them about a review. Fast forward 3 months. I’ve been training in their prototype unbleached hemp gi since mid-December and in that time it has become one of my favorite gis and a staple of my training. Flow Kimono’s hemp gi is manufactured in China and they are transitioning their other gis, the Pro Series White & Black, to China as well. The Navy Blue Hemp gi (production version of my prototype) is available for pre-order and should be available in late-April or early May.
Intro: Roots Kimonos came onto the gi manufacturer’s scene a few months ago with their Tide kimono. Mike is starting 2013 with a new batch of gis and the first to be released is the Carnivale. The Carnivale is a white gi, available in tall sizes and available for $144.99. The Carnivale will be shipping out to customers in early February. I was lucky enough to get a prototype in December and am glad to see that the Roots has made another high-quality gi at a reasonable price. Something that I was particularly excited to see is the inclusion of tall sizes (A1L and A3L) for us lanky guys. If you're familiar with Roots' other gis the design will be familiar with some aesthetic changes (color palette mosty) and some cuts to the cut as well.
Intro: Lucky Gi was founded by Scotty Nelson who also brought us On The Mat (OTM) way back in the Stone Age of BJJ. Scotty’s obsession with gis began in the 90’s while training in Brazil and has been growing ever since. After years of traveling, training and researching he decided to make his own gis and to break with tradition by using factories in China, instead of Pakistan, and to experiment with other fabrics, notably bamboo.
Lucky’s gis have included the bamboo Fleur-De-Lis and signature fighter gis such as the Raphael Lovato Jr, Jeff Glover and currently the Diaz Brothers gi (also in black). For this review we’ll be looking at the Diaz Bros gi. The gi has a 550gm pearl weave top, 12oz bull denim pants, sizing options for everyone (tall & husky sizes are available and you can mix & match the jacket to pants) and comes with a travel bag.
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.
Intro: Gorilla fight gear is starting to make a name for themselves by offering a high quality, competition ready gis in so many different sizes that everyone will find something to fit them. I’m reviewing the Slim Cut Apeman crystal weave in A4S. They also have offerings for more traditional sizes and for stockier athletes.
The gi top is made out of a 550gr crystal weave jacket (similar to pearl weave but a little softer and heavier), triple stitching throughout, includes a mouth guard pocket and a thick rubber core lapel. The 12oz twill pants feature 5 loops, a crystal weave gusset and knee reinforcements that go all the way to the cuff.