Always be careful when you buy a lightweight BJJ gi. They can be too flimsy and weak, or way too premium and expensive, depending on what you need. To find the best BJJ gi, I reviewed over 30 BJJ gis that are classified as (ultra) lightweight, and in this post I’ll give you my selection of the best lightweight BJJ gis for competition, hot weather and comfort.
Contents of this article
When is a BJJ Gi Lightweight?
Before we can crown the best lightweight BJJ gi, we need to establish which gis count as lightweight. There’s no official rules for this, but I’ll use the following definition:
A lightweight BJJ gi is a gi that weighs 350 grams per square meter (gsm) or less.
This definition is not perfect, but it covers the vast majority of lightweight gis in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
For your reference: a normal BJJ gi is typically between 450gsm and 550gsm. So lightweight gis are usually about 30% lighter than normal BJJ gis, which I think you’ll agree is a substantial difference.
How is the weight of a bjj gi reported?
The weight of a BJJ gi jacket is expressed in grams per square meter (gsm) of fabric.
To make things confusing, the weight of gi pants is typically expressed in ounces per square yard, which always gets abbreviated to simply ounces (oz). You can convert ounces per square yart to grams per square meter by multiplying them by 34; so gi pants that weigh 9oz, also weigh 306gsm.
Because gi weights are not expressed in absolute terms, you should also always look for a gi that’s slim fit, because if 2 gis have the same grams per square meter (gsm), but one has more meters because it’s more loose fitting, it’s still going to be heavier in terms of absolute weight.
What is the lightest BJJ gi?
The lightest BJJ gi is the Gold BJJ Ultra Lightweight Aeroweave gi, at 275gsm. This is substantially lighter than the standard lightweight gi, which is 350gsm. This is why I ranked it number one in my lightweight BJJ gi ranking below (but read the whole ranking, as there might still be other gis that suit your needs better).
Two types of lightweight BJJ gis
Before I tell you what the best lightweight BJJ gi is, let me share what I think is the most important consideration when you buy a lightweight gi:
There’s two types of lightweight gis: cheap lightweight gis, and premium lightweight gis.
Their functions are completely different.
Premium lightweight bjj gis 💎
Premium lightweight gis are high quality, strong and durable gis, manufactured by major bjj gi brands.
The premium lightweight gi mainly suits the needs of competitors, as in competition a lightweight gi is a major advantage during the weight cut.
Additionally, these gis suit the needs of those that predominantly train BJJ in hot weather conditions.
Finally, some people think that lightweight BJJ gis are more comfortable than heavier gis; but that’s a matter of personal preference.
Cheap lightweight bjj gis 💲
Cheap lightweight gis are lower quality gis, manufactured by minor BJJ brands. But, they’re not terrible quality, and they should be durable enough for those that train Brazilian jiu jitsu casually.
The funny thing is that manufacturers of cheap lightweight gis, don’t really try to accomplish any other goal than to make cheap gis, but in the process they find out that they can cut costs by using less fabric. So the fact that these gis are lightweight is a byproduct, rather than their purpose.
Cheap lightweight gis are not suitable for competition, as they’re not really sturdy enough to handle that kind of intensity.
But, cheap lightweight gis are not a bad choice for those that predominantly train in hot weather, or even for those that want an extra summer gi. And they’re also suitable for those that want a lightweight gi because they find it more comfortable.
The Best Lightweight BJJ Gis
The Gold BJJ Ultra Lightweight Aeroweave is by far the lightest BJJ gi on the market. It’s 275gsm, which is 22% lighter than all the other lightweight BJJ gis (which are 350gsm). And it’s equally strong as other lightweight BJJ gis so you can feel secure if you compete in it.
I calculated that this gi is about 2 pounds lighter than regular gis and 1 pound lighter than the other lightweight gis for an A2 size (assuming an A2 gi is made of 5 square meters of fabric, which I think is on the low side). And I have been disqualified twice because I just missed my weight cut over less than a pound over the allowance, so if you compete, I think you should respect those two pounds!
So if you want the lightest and highest quality BJJ gi, for competition or just your normal training, this is the gi you should get.
The Elite Sports BJJ GI is a cheap ultra lightweight gi. It’s not the highest quality, but maybe you don’t need that.
First off, this gi is really cheap, and it’s actually decent quality for its price. So I recommend this gi to anyone who’s looking for a cheap BJJ gi: lightweight or not.
Secondly, not everybody needs a premium gi. If you just want a gi to train in hot weather and not to compete in, I think this gi is fine. I got one for that exact reason. I’m going to only use it during summers and I won’t compete in it (maybe I’ll cheat and only put it on for the weight cut 😉 ), and I expect it to last multiple summers.
So if you want a lightweight gi and you don’t need premium quality for competition or anything like that, I think this might just be the best lightweight BJJ gi for you (I saved you some money there! ;p)
The WarTribe Ice Weave gi is the best lightweight BJJ gi for those training in hot weather. If you sometimes feel like you’re overheating during training, this is the gi for you.
This gi uses a new ‘Ice’ weave to cool you down during training. This weave breathes more and allows sweat to evaporate more quickly from your skin, which cools you down on hot summer days.
The effects of overheating in BJJ can hardly be overstated. We normally work out in thick cloth jackets and pants, which overheats us and ruins our ability to keep training hard. Obviously, in all other sports they figured out before us that you should make your sports clothes of specially designed lightweight material. Thanks to WarTribe, we’re finally catching up.
This Ice Weave technology is patent pending, so if you train BJJ in hot weather, WarTribe will be your gi brand of choice for the foreseeable future.
The Fuji Suparaito BJJ Gi is a good quality, normal lightweight gi from a well known BJJ brand.
At 350gsm, the Suparaito is the same weight as other lightweight gis. I myself don’t actually own one, but some of my training partners do, and they like it.
I honestly don’t think there are any major differences between this lightweight gi and the other ‘standard’ lightweight gis I mention below in this list. The only reason I mention the Suparaito as the best among them is because I know people that own it and like it, and because all my other Fuji gis are very durable.
(And I like Fuji as a brand because it’s well known, so I never feel insecure about whether I’m wearing a weird gi or not – am I the only one who feels that way?)
The Hayabusa Ultra-lightweight Pearlweave jiu jitsu gi is actually a normal lightweight gi at 350gsm, rather than an ultra lightweight gi, so I find the name a bit misleading (but there are no official rules for when you can call a gi lightweight or ultra lightweight).
This gi is in all regards very similar to the Fuji Suparaito. It’s the same weight, and it’s also nice for warm weather conditions and competitions.
Sadly I don’t train with anybody who owns this gi, but the customer reviews are positive.
The Sanabul Essentials V2 Ultra light BJJ gi is another budget gi that’s lightweight because the manufacturer tried to cut cost by using less fabric. It’s similar to the Elite sports ultra lightweight gi, but I like it a bit less because it’s single weave instead of pearlweave, which makes it a bit weaker.
The Gameness Air gi falls into the same category as the Fuji Suparaito and the Hayabusa: 350gsm, from a reliable brand.
I don’t have a strong reason to prefer this Gameness gi over the Suparaito or the Hayabusa, but I’m mentioning this one because its sizes are a bit different from the other brands. So if you fall in between sizes for the other gis, you can check if this one fits you better.
Conclusion: What's the best lightweight bjj gi?
To summarize, I think the Gold BJJ Aeroweave gi is far and away the best lightweight BJJ gi, simply because it’s lighter than all the other lightweight BJJ gis.
If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a lightweight BJJ gi that you aren’t necessarily going to compete with or train hard in every day, I think the Elite sports ultra lightweight gi a good budget option.
What Does GSM Mean for a BJJ Gi?
GSM stands for Grams per square meter, which measures the weight of the fabric (or more exactly: the density times the thickness). It’s often used to measure the weight of a gi, because it’s independent of the gi size.
What is a Pearl Weave Gi?
A ‘weave’ refers to how the fabric in the gi is interlaced together, and the Pearl Weave is the most popular way to do this for BJJ Gis nowadays. It has surpassed single weaves, double weaves and gold weaves in popularity because of its light weight and toughness.