Always be careful when you buy a lightweight BJJ gi. They can be too flimsy and weak like a karate gi, or way too premium and expensive for your needs. 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
What is a lightweight gi for BJJ?
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 a lightweight gi is 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 kimono or 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. It’s substantially lighter than the standard lightweight jiu jitsu gi, which is 350gsm. This is why I ranked this ultra light gi 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).
Why do I Need a lightweight gi for BJJ?
There are three main reasons for buying a lightweight gi for BJJ:
- Competition: the best BJJ competition gi is always a lightweight gi, because that helps you make weight more easily, and gives your opponent less to grab.
- Hot weather: The best BJJ gi for hot weather is always a lightweight gi, just because it’s less hot to wear.
- Comfort: this is subjective, but most people find that their most comfortable BJJ gi is made of lighter material.
- Value for money: some lightweight gis are cheaper than normal, because they use less fabric.
However, even the best lightweight gi does not meet all 4 of these requirements. Instead, lightweight gis can be divided in 2 groups, where each group meets some of these requirements but not all of them.
The 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. The best BJJ competition gi will always be a premium lightweight gi.
Additionally, these gis suit the needs of those that predominantly train BJJ in hot weather conditions. The best BJJ gi for hot weather will be a premium lightweight gi, if you train more than twice a week and still want your lightweight gi to be durable.
Finally, some people think that a lightweight BJJ gi is more comfortable than a heavier gi. Of course, this is subjective, but I definitely think my most comfortable BJJ gi is my lightest BJJ gi.
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. The best competition gi for BJJ is always a premium gi.
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. The best BJJ gi for hot weather is still a premium one, but if you train twice a week or less, even a budget lightweight gi will last you quite long.
And they’re also suitable for those that want a lightweight gi because they find it more comfortable (again, comfort is a matter of preference).
The Best Lightweight BJJ Gis
Now that you know what to look for in a lightweight gi for BJJ, let’s get into my top rated lightweight BJJ gis and what I think is the very best lightweight BJJ gi.
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 any other lightweight jiu jitsu gi 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 any other lightweight gi 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 Pearl weave 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. This Sanabul essentials gi is 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 the single weave, double weave and gold weave in popularity because of its light weight and toughness.
Is a judo gi lighter than a Brazilian jiu jitsu gi?
No, a judo gi is actually heavier than a jiu jitsu gi. That’s because in Judo they pull even more and even harder on their gi jacket than we do. For some models, the gi pants of a judo gi actually are lighter than those of a jiu jitsu gi, because the pants don’t get pulled on as much.
Is a karate gi lighter than a Brazilian jiu jitsu gi?
Yes, but that doesn’t make it a good lightweight gi for jiu jitsu. A karate gi is too flimsy and weak for jiu jitsu. They’re not made to be grabbed onto and they will break quickly.