Finding the perfect gi for BJJ can be tricky. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, the whole gi-buying process can be simplified into 7 simple steps, which you can read about in this article.
Contents of this article
1. Know yourself
Different gis are made for different people and it’s important that you choose the perfect gi for you. So verify with yourself: what kind of a person am I?
For example, the best BJJ gi for a beginner has different characteristics than the perfect competition gi. And the perfect gi for a big guy is different from the best BJJ gi for women or the best BJJ gi for kids.
Makes sense, right? So start with knowing who you are.
2. Choose what you want from your jiu jitsu gi
Do you want a gi that is light, comfortable, and easy to wash? Or, do you want a gi that is heavy, durable, and stylish? Either way, you will have to make a decision.
If you don’t know what you want from your gi yet, you can just browse our article about the best BJJ gi. In this article we feature good gis in several different categories and explain which features they have that you might care about. This should give you a good idea of what’s out there in terms of the perfect gi for BJJ for you.
3. Decide on your budget
Do you want to spend $50 on a perfect gi for BJJ, or $500? Do you want to spend more money to get extra quality and durability on your gi? There is no right or wrong answer here. But, your budget will dictate your decision as far as what you can buy.
4. Decide whether or not you want a new gi for competition.
If you are training for competition, you will want a gi that fits you well, and has a clean, even cut. And it still needs to be tough enough to last in competition.
Moreover, you need a gi that’s legal in IBJJF competitions, which means it needs to have the classic white, blue or black color.
5. Choose between a light and a heavy jiu jitsu gi.
There are two main gi weights: lightweight and heavyweight. Lightweight gis are great for hot weather, and they are also easy to move in. Heavyweight gis are tougher, almost like a judo gi, and they are more durable. They’re a bit rougher as well so you might want to wear a rash guard under them.
If you’re interested in a lightweight gi you can check out our article on the best lightweight gi for BJJ, where we review several lightweight and ultra lightweight BJJ gis.
6. Assess what gi size you need.
Many new gi buyers don’t know their gi size, and they end up buying the wrong size. Don’t you make the same mistake. Always look up the specific gi size table from the company that you’re buying from.
It could also be that you have a slightly atypical body size and that you need a more specialized gi for that. For example, the best BJJ gi for tall and lanky people is made by a company called Rollmore, which specializes in equipment for tall BJJ athletes.
7. Consider the amount of brand patches on the gi
You can choose eggy that heavily features brand patches or one that doesn’t. You’re sometimes forced to buy a uniform at your gym. For example, at Gracie Barra you’re forced to buy a gi with Gracie Barra patches. So they make the decision for you.
But if you have a choice, I think it’s good to choose a BJJ gi with fewer brand patches. For example, because other gyms won’t like it if you show up with a lot of patches from another gym on your gi. If you’re in doubt about this, you can always ask your coach what his stance on patches is.
8. Choose a BJJ brand that you like
If you already have a BJJ brand that you like, you can just choose one of their gis.
For example, I like Tatami. My first gi was the Tatami Nova and their gis usually fit me well, so most of my gis are from Tatami.
If you don’t have a favorite gi yet, you can just choose one of the big BJJ brands: Tatami, Fuji, Kingz, Origin USA, Venum or Shoyoroll.
9. Choose the material and weave for your perfect gi
I put this tip last because it’s less actionable if you don’t know what you’re looking for in your jiu jitsu gi. But the weave and fabric of a jiu jitsu gi matters a lot.
The fabric of a jiu jitsu gi determines its strength and weight. Some premium gis have different fabrics for the jacket or kimono and the pants, such as ripstop material in the gi pants and cotton in the kimono.
The weave matters less than you think. In the past you could choose between single weave, double weave and Gold weave gis. But nowadays almost all jiu jitsu gis are made with a pearl weave.
Final thoughts on the perfect gi for Brazilian jiu jitsu
We hope that these steps help you find the perfect gi for Brazilian jiu jitsu for you.
Just remember that the perfect jiu jitsu gi is different for everyone, and that you can (and probably will) buy many more gis later on. So don’t worry too much about getting the perfect gi right away.