So you just started BJJ and you need a gi. Don’t worry!
On this website I’ve covered everything under the sun about BJJ gis: how should it fit, which color to get, which brand, lightweight gis, premium gis, gis for short guys, gis for tall guys, taking your gi to the tailor, etc. and so forth.
But as a BJJ beginner you don’t need all that. All you need is a solid, affordable, plain white gi. You can pick one from my list of best bJJ gis for beginners below or read on…
What makes a Great BJJ gi for beginners?
The best beginner BJJ gi has the following properties:
- Affordable: as a beginner in BJJ you don’t need to get a fancy gi right away – let’s start with a cheaper model while you try out if this martial art is for you.
- Durable: although you want your gi to be affordable, you should avoid the cheapest of BJJ gis, because they won’t last you long.
- Plain white: as a beginner I strongly recommend buying a plain white gi, for two reasons:
- Widely accepted: not all gi colors and brands are accepted in all dojo’s. As a beginner you might still switch gyms so you want a gi that’s widely accepted (this means it will be a plain, classic, white gi).
- Legal for competitions: As a beginner you probably won’t compete for a while, but if you want to compete in a year from now, it’s nice if your gi allows for it. Therefore, you need a white or blue gi, of the right size.
The best BJJ Gi for beginners
1. Best beginner BJJ gi: Sanabul Essentials
The Sanabul Essentials is the most popular BJJ gi among white belts and beginners.
The reason is clear: it’s super cheap and surprisingly high quality for its price.
Now, you should understand that this is not the highest quality BJJ gi out there. It’s kind of thin. It’s definitely not a premium gi.
But for a beginner I think this gi has the best combination of affordability and quality. I recommend it highly.
2. GoldBJJ Aeroweave
The GoldBJJ Aeroweave is my favorite BJJ gi of all time. It’s ultra light, very strong and very comfortable.
I’ll admit though: this gi may be a bit much for a beginner in BJJ.
It’s actually a premium BJJ gi, but a pretty affordable one in my opinion, which is why I mention it here.
I think that if you expect to keep training BJJ for 2 years or more, it makes sense to buy this gi.
It’s stronger and more durable than the Sanabul so you probably break even in terms of cost, and you’ll be wearing a more comfortable gi in the process.
3. Fuji BJJ Uniform
The Fuji BJJ Uniform has always been a popular beginners gi in BJJ.
It’s actually the second gi I ever bought (I bought it in purple, but if you’re shopping for your first BJJ gi, I recommend getting a white one).
The difference with the Sanabul Essentials gi is that this Fuji BJJ uniform is much thicker and therefore more durable.
This Fuji gi is 550 grams per square meter, the Sanabul is only 35 grams per square meter.
So I think this BJJ gi is great for beginners that want a more sturdy gi than the Sanabul.
4. Elite sports bjj gi
- Less durable
Keep in mind that this gi is made of lighter material. Therefore it’s less expensive, but also less durable.
I would put this gi in the same category as the Sanabul Essentials, in that it’s a little thin but very affordable. It’s a good option for your first BJJ gi.
5. Tatami Nova Absolute
- Best value
- Free white belt included
The Tatami Nova Absolute is the first BJJ gi I ever thought.
At the time I think it was widely considered the best BJJ gi for beginners, but I think it’s now been surpassed by its competitors who make similar quality gis for a lower price.
However, it’s still a great example of what you should look for in a beginner gi for BJJ:
- Durable: I got the Tatami Nova as my first gi and it lasted me well into my blue belt.
- Widely accepted: Tatami is one of the oldest and most established gi brands in BJJ. It’s very commonly worn, and everybody in your dojo will recognize it instanty. It’s a classic.
- Affordable: It has a good price to quality ratio. It’s not the absolute cheapest BJJ gi, but it’s sturdy (similar to the Fuji bJJ Uniform).
- Legal: This gi is also legal in all BJJ competitions, as long as you get it in white or blue (just pick white – that’s even more widely acceptable), and you get the correct size.
Therefore, it’sa great option for your first BJJ gi. If you don’t do anything crazy with it, it should last you until you get your blue belt.
Conclusion: What’s The Best BJJ Gi for Beginners?
I find the Tatami Nova the best BJJ gi for beginners, because of its durability and great price to quality ration.
If you want a slightly cheaper and lighter BJJ gi to get started with, I recommend the Elite Sports BJJ gi.
If you’re already willing to invest a bit more, you can also begin with the Fuji All Around BJJ gi, which is just a great quality BJJ gi that’s still quite affordable. It will last you a long time. (I’ve had mine for more than 3 years now and it’s still good.)
FAQ About BJJ Beginner Gis
WHAT COLOR GI SHOULD I GET AS A BJJ BEGINNER?
As a beginner in BJJ you should get a plain white BJJ gi. There’s multiple reasons for this, but the most important one is that a white gi is accepted at every BJJ gym and tournament on earth.
Also read: What color bjj gi should I get?
How do I choose the right BJJ gi size?
The size of a BJJ gi depends on your height and weight. You can use my size calculator to calculate your BJJ gi size. But note that gi sizes vary a liitle bit across different BJJ brands, so always check the size chart of the gi that you’re buying.
Also read: The Complete BJJ Gi Size Guide | Gi Size Calculator & 3 Gi Size Charts
Will a BJJ gi shrink?
Yes, a BJJ gi will shrink 1 or 2 inches when you wash it. A pre-shrunk BJJ gi will shrink much less, only a fraction of an inch. To avoid more shrinkage you should wash your BJJ gi relatively cold and hang dry it.
Also read: How to shrink a BJJ gi
Can I use a judo gi for BJJ?
You can use a Judo gi for BJJ, but it’s not ideal. Judo gis are heavier and they fit much looser. Both martial arts adapted their gi to suit the needs of their martial art perfectly, so you’re better off buying a real BJJ gi.
Also read: BJJ Gi Vs Judo Gi | 6 Secret Differences To Love
Can I use a karate gi for BJJ?
No, you can’t use a karate gi for BJJ. Karate gis are much, much thinner than BJJ gis. The chance that your karate gi will get ripped apart in the first 10 minutes of your BJJ training session is approximately 100%.
Also read: BJJ Gi Vs Karate Gi | 7 Secret Differences To Love
HOW MUCH DOES A BJJ GI COST?
A BJJ gi ranges in cost between $60 and upwards of $250 on the very high end. You can buy a good BJJ gi for around $120.