I always assumed the best BJJ gis doesn’t need to cost much, and that ‘premium’ BJJ gis were a waist of money. But I looked into it, and some premium gis actually have some really cool specs (like anti-gripping fabric
:-o). And in this post I want to share the best premium BJJ gi selection I found during my research. (I wasn’t able to buy all these high end BJJ gis for myself – obviously – but I gathered reviews from training partners and online to form a solid opinion about the gis in this list.)
Contents of this article
The Best Premium BJJ Gis
The Tatami Premium Classic BJJ Gi is by far the best premium BJJ gi for normal people, and it’s also way cheaper than the other premium gis. If you just want an extremely high quality and durable gi for a good price, get this one.
What’s amazing is that Tatami was able to combine three desirable qualities into one gi, whereas you normally would have to pick one of them. The jacket of this gi has a:
- Heavy top half to make it stronger
- Light bottom half so that it’s still light and it fits better
- Slippery collars so your opponent won’t be able to hold you down
Those slippery collars are a pretty awesome feature in my opinion, I didn’t know they could do that. How it works is that normal gis actually make the collars from the same fabric as the pants, which is more grippy than the fabric from the rest of the gi. In this gi they made the collars from the same fabric and with the same pearlweave, which is less grippy. (You can test this yourself if you get your current gi and feel how grippy the collar is compared to the fabric anywhere else on the gi.)
The Gold BJJ ultra lightweight gi is simply the lightest BJJ gi ever made, and it’s also very strong. So if you need a lightweight BJJ gi for competition, get this one.
This gi is actually 22% lighter than all other lightweight gis (275 grams per square meters, compared to 350 for all others). And it’s IBJJF approved and strong enough for competition. This is why I consider it the best premium lightweight BJJ gi for competitors.
The WarTribe Ice Weave gi uses its patent pending Ice Weave technology to create the coolest BJJ gi ever made. If you struggle with overheating during your BJJ training sessions, this is the gi you need.
Overheating is actually a major problem in BJJ. If you think about it, it’s absolutely crazy that in normal sports people wear breathable lightweight T-shirts and shorts, but we choose to put on pants and a jacket! And overheating really damages your cardio; if I forget my water on a hot summer day I always get sick and need to sit out multiple rounds.
So if you live a hot climate, I think this Ice weave gi will enable you to put way more into your trainings; and thus get way more out of them as well.
The Tatami Meerkatsu Dragonfly gi is an example of BJJ gi with a unique design, that’s not over the top. If you want a premium BJJ gi to stand out in class, this is a gi you can get.
One disadvantage to keep in mind is that designer gis are almost never BJJF legal (only plain white or plain blue gis are). But of course this doesn’t matter if you use this just as a training gi.
There’s several other gis with unique designs, but because taste is so subjective I won’t mention any others in this list. I like this Meerkatsu gi because it looks special, but still classic as well. (I don’t like a lot of the other premium designer gis because they hardly look like a gi anymore.)
5. Shoyoroll gis
Shoyoroll gis are arguably the best premium BJJ gi brand. Their gis are super durable and iconic, and Shoyoroll sponsors more BJJ athletes than anyone else. All their gis are also limited edition. So if you want the BJJ equivalent of Supreme, you need to get a Shoyoroll gi.
However, Shoyoroll gis are very hard to get, because they’re released in ‘drops’ that sell out instantly. So if you want one, you need to get it as soon as it drops. This also means that you can’t choose between different models, you can only get the dropped gi.
And Shoyoroll gis also come at a very premium price. But that’s also why they’re high status 8-). And there’s an active reseller market for Shoyoroll gis, so if you keep it in good condition, you might be able to resell it later for full price (or even more).
What Do I Need a Premium BJJ Gi for?
There’s a few common reasons why some people are willing to spend over $200 for the best premium BJJ gis.
To look good while training
By far the most common reason to buy a premium BJJ gi is to stand out in an aesthetic sense. So this is just exactly the same as with normal clothing; some people are willing to pay more to look better.
Some common design features of premium BJJ gis are uncommon gi color, cool patches, and art on the inside of the gi jacket.
Another common reason to buy a premium gi is if you have to do a weight cut for competition. In that case you want a gi that’s as light as possible for your weight cut, and as strong as possible so that it survives the competition. And the combination of lightweight + strong comes at a premium price. (Also check my guide on the best lightweight BJJ gis if you’re interested in this.)
Some gis even use anti-gripping technology to help competitors in their matches. They do this by using a different weave for the collars and sleeves that is harder to get a grip on than the standard weave.
For uncomon body types
People that are very tall and skinny or very short and sturdy often don’t get a nice fit in the regular gi sizes. Fortunately, the major brands are now putting out more gis for uncommon body types. But extreme cases still need to get a gi from a brand that specializes in their body type. (Check my guide on the best BJJ gis for tall and skinny guys if this is your situation.)
To last forever
One of the main advantages of premium BJJ gis is that they last way longer. They’re often thicker overall, and also add extra padding and stitches on critical pressure points, such as on the knees (did you ever notice that your gi pants always rip right below your knees?).
Some gis are even dual weave, which means that for example the top half of the jacket is made thicket than the bottom half, to make it strong where necessary while keeping it light overall. Obviously, this is a hassle to make for the manufacturer, which is why these types of gis are more expensive as well.
Why are BJJ gis so expensive?
There’s plenty of cheap BJJ gis out there, but the best premium BJJ gis are more expensive for a good reason. They’re made to last longer, to look better, to compete in or for uncommon body types. These specializes BJJ gis are harder to make and therefore more expensive.