Women have it a bit harder when looking for a BJJ gi. Disclaimer: I write a lot about finding the best BJJ gis, but I am not a woman. So in order to avoid mansplaining (🤮) I asked the female instructor of the women’s class at my academy what tips and recommendations she gives to her students when it comes to the best women’s gis. I supplemented this with some of my own research online, and as a result I present you here with what I think are the best women’s BJJ gis.
Contents of this article
What's the difference between men's and women's bjj gi?
First off you may wonder if you need a gi that’s especially tailored for women in BJJ.
The answer is no, you don’t need one, but it’s nicer if you can get one :).
If you somehow already own a BJJ gi in a male size, and it doesn’t fit you to awfully, you can just train in it. Almost nobody will be able to tell the difference.
But, female bodies differ from male bodies in a few key ways (surprise! :D), and therefore female gi sizes just fit women way better. And a better fit looks better and trains better.
Women typically have wider hips and narrower shoulders than men. And obviously a lot of women need some extra space for their chest and their backside. So you want your gi to reflect these more female proportions.
One of the main irritations of women with a male size gi is actually that their sleeves are way too long, because women’s arms are much shorter (on average) than those of men. This is obviously very annoying when you roll, as you won’t be able to break anyone’s sleeve grips, and might even get your hand stuck in your own sleeve.
If you’re a small woman, chances are that even the smallest male gi size is too big for you.
You obviously would rather not walk around your BJJ class in a gi that’s extremely baggy, both because baggy clothes are not trendy right now, and because it’s very impractical during rolling.
Some women’s BJJ gis come in extremely girly designs (think pink flowers).
I typically wouldn’t advice you to get a BJJ gi with a girly design, because as a woman you already stand out enough in the BJJ crowd. 🙋♀️
Furthermore, these atypical designs are not legal for IBJJF competitions (if you care about that).
But of course, if you really like a certain gi design and you’re comfortable wearing it to your dojo, you shouldn’t let me stop you.
The Best Women's BJJ Gis
This gi is thicker and heavier in the top half of the jacket (where people grip the most), which makes it very strong and durable. Yet it’s light and thin in the bottom half, which makes it fit like a slim fit gi and makes it lighter (so it dries faster, is easier to carry, etc.). And it even has pearl weaved collars, which are stronger and harder to grip than normal collars (which are made of the same material as your gi pants).
It also just is a classic gi so you can compete in it, and bring it to any dojo in the world and look like you belong there.
So if you want a very high quality gi for an affordable price, get this one.
The Gold BJJ Women’s Aeroweave is an ultra lightweight and high quality gi. It’s perfect for female competitors. And since it’s lightweight it’s also good if you mostly train in hot weather.
At 275gsm (grams per square meter) it’s significantly lighter than the standard lightweight gis of 350gsm. So if you have a tough weight cut, this gi makes it just a little bit easier for you.
Note that this gi is very lightweight, which makes it great for hot weather, travel and quick drying after you wash it. But it makes it worse for cold weather. So if you get cold during your BJJ classes, I recommend to get a thicker gi.
Keep in mind that this is not a premium quality gi, so you can’t expect it to last several years if you train multiple times per week. But, if you identify as a casual in BJJ, you don’t need more than this gi.
The Sanabul Women’s Essential BJJ Gi is similar to the Ladies Elite Sports BJJ gi. It’s not the highest quality, but it’s sufficient for women who train casually (twice per week or less).
I rate it a little bit lower than the Elite Sports one because it doesn’t come with a free belt and it’s a bit fraction more expensive (when I last looked, you should check if this is still true), but in all honesty they’re very comparable.
The Tatami Ladies Nova Absolute is a good beginner gi. I got the Tatami Nova as my first gi (not the ladies edition), and I recently got an extra one just because it’s a good quality gi for an affordable price. I still think most BJJ players don’t need much more than this gi.
The Sunrise Ladies BJJ Suit is an example of a women’s gi with a girly design. Some of its designs are quite subtle, and some are over the top attention seeking girly (in my fashion police opinion).
Like I said earlier, I generally would advice against buying a gi with an explicitly girly design, just because you already stand out enough as a woman. (And I also happen to like classic gi designs, but I guess that’s subjective.)
What I do like about Sunrise’s designs is that they’re quite playful. I like it even less when men wear a rash guard that says ‘TAP OR SNAP 💀’ for example, because that feels extremely unfriendly.
But I guess that my opinion on these designs is not really relevant. If you like the design, and you know your dojo doesn’t mind it, go wear this gi 🙂
What do women wear under their BJJ gi?
The same as men: underwear that you can work out in and a rash guard.
Where can I find a female BJJ gi size chart?
Every brand, and in fact every gi model of every brand, has a different size chart. This size chart is always published on the sales page of that gi, and you should always look at it to make sure that this gi fits you well.