Archive for the ‘Gi Review’ Category

Omega Maniac Shaka

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Overall:

The anticipation of this Gi arriving to my house was through the roof. When it finally arrived, I was absolutely blown away. This Gi is top of the line stuff. Amazing quality and amazing design. The colors contrast beautifully, the top is extremely light and that pants are just outright phenomenal (the virtually non-existent belt loop system is drool worthy).  The tailored fit of the tops and pants is exceptionally slimming on me. At $149 it’s not the cheapest Gi out there, but for the construction quality and beautiful design, I think it stomps all over the retail prices of Shoyoroll gis right now.

Gi Reviewed: A2 on a 5’10″ 195lb frame.

Measurements:

A:

B:

C:

D:

E:

F:

G:

H:

About the Shaka:

Jacket

  • Premium light weight pearl weave
  • One piece jacket (no back seam)
  • Triple stitch reinforced construction
  • EVA foam collar
  • Tailored fit
  • Custom embroideries and inner tape

Pants

  • 10oz Cotton pants
  • Pearl weave gusset
  • Pearl weave knee pads
  • Enclosed drawstring system w/ rope drawstring
  • Triple stitch reinforced construction
  • Tailored fit
  • Custom embroideries and inner tape
Price: $148.00

Top:

The Gi is a very light Pearl weave that is soft on the inside and relatively scratchy on the outside. I think Omega Maniac got the jacket perfect for those looking to impede your opponent while feeling comfortable yourself. An opponent likened it to “sandpaper”.

The jacket is a slimmer tailored fit that looks tailored to my body (when I’ve skipped Chipotle for lunch). 
Much like a lot of Gi’s lately the sleeves are quite slim at the wrist and throughout the arm, but no impediment of movement was experienced by me.

I was skeptical of the small orange collar accent turning out well, but have to put the skepticism to rest because it looks GORGEOUS. I thought it would look overdone, but it doesn’t.

The logos on the sleeves (embroidery) and on the front part of the skirt (patch) are simple and aesthetically pleasing.

The inside seam taping on the skirt and sleeves look clean and I had zero issues with scratchiness.

I found the collar to be of decent thickness, very average for the Gi’s weight.

Bottom:

I have experienced crappy belt loop systems before, I dread testing any new “innovative” belt loop system. The Omega Maniac Shaka & Vibe belt loop systems smacked me across the face and made me a believer.

There are no loops, the rope runs all the way through and you tie it in a small space in the front. It doesn’t bunch and stays together well.

Overall these pants are my hands down favorite of any Gi I have ever worn. Ever. They don’t restrict my movement at all while still being slimmer to the leg than most companies.

The crotch is reinforced with a pearl weave gusset but maybe much more intriguing are the knee reinforcements. These bad boys are reinforced with the same Pearl weave on the jacket and with a great amount of overall knee coverage.

Of note, the pearl weave is on the INSIDE of the pant facing outward, so you can’t see that it’s pearl weave until you look inside the leg, and the soft portion of the weave rests against your skin.

I really do detest having to readjust/pullup/retie my pants constantly during class and the Shaka stops me from having to do that. These pants easily outclass my Rio Koi pants in every way.

Wife Approval:

“Oh my god it’s so pretty! Like, that looks soo good.”

Additional:

As an active BJJ practitioner I actually feel compelled to thank Omega Maniac for doing such an awesome job on this Gi, because of how much effort I believe went into making sure that BJJ players concerns and needs were addressed.  This Gi has skyrocketed right to the top of my rotation in the #1 spot.

It also comes with a Gi Bag. I love me some Gi bags. A single side strap that is your standard industry size.

Lucky Gi Diaz Brothers

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Diaz Brother Limited Edition Lucky Gis

Overview:

A finely enough built Gi with a nice theme, but overpriced for the average Gi buyer. Nothing on the Gi quality wise warrants a $100 price hike over other Gi’s of similar quality however. Unless you are absolutely infatuated with the Diaz brothers, or Lucky Gi’s in general, this Gi probably isn’t for you. I might not recommend this gi for average consumers based on value and other smaller issues, but if you have money to spend, and find the Lucky appealing to your tastes, it may be worth checking out.

From the site:

Nick and Nate Diaz are two of the worlds most legendary Jiu Jistu fighters ever. They have made their mark on both the UFC and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As long time sponsored fighters it was only a matter of time till they got their own signature Lucky Gi. This gi is designed with the old school style but with new school construction and style. Designed by both Nate & Nick the gi is very simular to the original Lucky Gis that they loved so much but with their personal style.

The Diaz Brothers Lucky Gi features:

– 550 Gram Softened Pearl Weave Top

– Heavy Weight UVA Foam Collar

-12oz Bull Denim Pants

– 12oz Oval Knee Pads

– Pre Shrunk High Quality Cotton

– Embroider & Woven Tag Logos

– Inside Print

– 2 Draw Strings (Nylon Cord and Cotton Cloth)

– Travel Gi Bag

Theses gis are made of 100% preshrunk cotton. They are covered by the Lucky Gi 1 year warranty. Price: $249.99

A: 7″

B: 32″

C: 21.5″

D: 24″

E: 23″

F: 13″

G: 9.25″

H: 43.25″

The Top:

I’ve said it once already, but I want to re-iterate it here, the Gi has no quality issues construction wise that I’ve come across.

The inside of the jacket has the lucky logo and deck of card symbols printed on the inside continuously. It looks great. I really really like inside prints. It definitely adds a little extra pizazz. The Gi does not use contrast stitching except on the collar, where red is used on the white. Some of the stitching on the collar did run off inside the jacket though.

The placement of the “Lucky” patch on the chest however, looks out of place and reminded me of a car mechanic shirt. It just didn’t seem to flow with the overall concept of the Gi.

The shoulder embroidery has card symbols on one sleeve and letters on the other side.

There is an Ace emblem on the left sleeve that is not IBJJF legal. It’s a patch that is sewn on, so if you wanted to remove it, you could if IBJJF legality is an issue for you.

Fit wise, the A3 fit me well, albeit it was a bit long in the sleeves for me. The top does have a tailored fit.

The Pants:

The pants are extremely plain. Where the top had a lot going on, the pants are plain city. The pants are all white save for two logos, another cross pattern embroidery on the left leg and a small square patch on the upper thigh.

The pants come with two types of drawstrings, the traditional twill type and rope draw string. It’s a nice little add on to suit everyones preferences. The belt loop system has only a basic four loops however.

Instead of a square reinforcement for the knee, Lucky opted for an oval shape, that unfortunately, did not cover my knee, the top  falls below. That pants were a bit long for me, but I’ve never had that issue on any pants regardless if they were too long for me.

The pants are made of Bull Denim and are quite tough from my experiences with them.

Additional:

The Gi comes with a one year warranty from Lucky, which is a rare oddity with Gi companies. I’m not sure if you will need it or not, as during rolling the Gi didn’t seem to stress when I abused it.

The Gi bag is always a nice addition and this one doesn’t disappoint for it’s Gi carrying purpose. I always wash mine after carrying my Gi because the inside gets covered with whatever was on the outside of my Gi, and the Lucky bag lost a lot of color after the first wash. Obviously not a big deal since it’s the Gi bag, but still relative.

Kingz Kimonos Comp 450 V.2

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Kingzreview

(Free rashguard code with purchase of a Kingz Gi at the bottom of the review!)

Overview:

I’ll be quite honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kingz Kimonos in the past and I wasn’t very enthusiastic while waiting for this Gi to arrive. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I got this Gi for review. It is a QUALITY piece. The embroidery is downright schnazzy. To the full review we go!

001

To Purchase

The best place to grab the Kingz V2 is over at Fighter’s Market. 

Fit

Gi Size tested: A3

gireviews size chart

A. 7

B. 30.5

C. 18.5

D. 25

E. 20

F. 12.5

G. 9.5

H. 40.5

From their site:

The Kingz 450 COMP V2 gi is a 450 gram weight jacket top made of traditional pearl style weave material.
This is a great competition and daily training gi.

Ultra lightweight
Preshrunk for an ideal fit
Triple reinforced stitching across all stress points
Quick dry and fully breathable

GI JACKET FEATURES:
Gis undergo a preshrinking process, reducing by 90% the shrinkage of the gi
Logo trim on jacket bottom and cuffs
High stitch count embroidered logos on shoulders
Made of one piece fabric for superior strength and durability
Synthetic heat resistant lapel insert, a single piece of vulcanized rubber inside the collar that keeps the gi light, dry faster and keep your lapel fungus an bacteria free

PANTS FEATURES:
10oz drill cotton material, light yet extremely durable & comfortable
Double reinforced knee padding, triple stitched with over lapped seam
6 Drawstring loops
Rope drawstring as opposed to the traditional twill, which allows for tighter fastening of the pants, and more comfort when training.

003

The Jacket:

Easily my favorite aspect of this gi is it’s fit. The tailored fit is exceptionally tailored to my body type specifically. 5’10, 195lb frame.

005The thickness of this Gi is nice. It claims “ultra-lightweight” but that’s just marketing, this Gi is on the medium side of the weight bracket. It’s a great all around weight.

Like I mentioned before, the embroidery is top notch and really scales up the quality of this Gi over it’s predecessors which used thin patches.

004The inside seam tape on the sleeves and skirt are comfortable and provide no irritants. The yellow color also contrasts quite nicely.

The collar is sturdy and comfortable, it’s not flimsy and virtually non-existent like a lot of cruddy collars that have been coming out lately.

008The Trousers:

The pants, like the top, are of exceptional quality. Comfortable and durable, pretty much all you can ask for in a pair of pants.

The pants were a couple inches too long for me (A3 pants, 5’10″ height) but that’s a personal issue. I usually fit into a nice A3 top and A2 pants. No fault of theirs though.

007

The seam tape again causes no issues. The pants were thick but not too heavy and had a luxury “feel” to them. Take that non-scientific who ha for what you will.

The 6 loop belt system worked well and has been upgraded over previous releases with the industry standard stretchy rope draw string.

Maneuverability wise I had no issues, the crotch has the same cotton gusset but has plenty of space for flexibility. The small Comp 450 logo on the left pant leg is just as quality as the embroidery on the top.

009

In Conclusion:

If you want to feel like a King, buy one of these Gi’s. They are reasonable priced but don’t come with a gear bag.

Bonus shot for the fans:

Giphotos 057

 Rashguard:

SAM_3999

As a special bonus for our fans Kingz is offering a coupon code for one of their rashguards which fits and feels great. The Kingz logo on the sleeve and the crown in the center of the chest are sublimated. I love me some sublimated graphics! Just add the rashguard to your cart in whatever size you need, click here, and use code “gireviews” at check out for a Free rashie!

Update: 03-29-13

A small hole has appeared on the back of the collar next to the shoulder logo. An even smaller hole appears to be developing on the opposite side as well.

002 (2)

Inverted Gear Blue Panda

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Inverted Gear Blue Panda Review

 From their site:

  • 550 gram Pearl Weave Light Weight jacket.
  • 12 oz Rip stop pants, with pearl weave crotch.
  • Elastic rope with 6 loop system.
  • Mouth piece/ID pocket on pants.
  • Custom ribbon jacket edge and inside pant and sleeve loop.
  • Custom embroided logos.

Measurements:

A: 6.5

B: 31

C: 21

D:25

E:22

F:13.5

G:9

H:43.5

Overall:

Awesome, Awesome and more Awesome.

First off, it’s got a CUTE ******* Panda on the sleeves. If you don’t like Panda’s on your sleeves then this Gi isn’t for you, but I think it looks dope.  They use a great drawstring system and have beautiful seam taping to boot. I would absolutely recommend this Gi and the company who produces it to anyone. It’s got clean styling and quality craftsmanship. It comes with a large Gi bag that is especially nice. Looks wise, and this may sound ridiculous, but it doesn’t look ridiculous.

Top:

As you can see, the Gi has PANDAS on the sleeves. It’s finely done embroidery and is just the right size to not look ridiculous, because honestly, a huge huge panda on the sleeve just might be over the top. MAYBE.

At size A3S the top actually fit me perfectly after one wash/dryer shrink session.

It’s got beautiful seam tape inside the skirt of the jacket as well as the cuffs. The seam tape has a Panda rolling around in some Bamboo leaves.

Every time you wear this Gi it’s like walking into a party with all of the liquor in tow. People will flock to you. It’s extremely catchy, yet extremely simple in design. The Gi top itself is a pearl weave that’s in the mid-range of thickness/weight. It’s a tailored fit so the sleeves aren’t overly baggy and the body of the gi hugs nicely.

Bottom:

Ripstop pants that carry the same Panda/Bamboo seam tape at the bottom of the pants on the inside.

The pants also have a very nice belt loop system. Having that larger belt loop at the sides should be LAW in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world or at least industry standard. 

The pants didn’t restrict my movement or hinder my performance in anyway, although at size A3S they were definitely too long for me (and I actually got them hemmed to be able to give a fair analysis).

I do wish the pants had been a bit slimmer in the legs. If there’s any gripe I have about the Gi it would have to be that, because I don’t have any others. But I honestly chalk that up to me just wearing the wrong size.

Also, there’s a pocket inside the pant for jamming to your iPod or keeping your mouthpiece in during tournaments, a nice little add on indeed! 

This Gi bag is upside down and you didn’t even know.

Note: I know it’s Photography 101 but damn does natural light look soooo much better than artificial in the above photos!

HCK Competition Single Weave

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

The Howard Combat Kimonos Competition Single Weave

For those who don’t know, HCK doesn’t just make Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kimonos.

They make armor.

HCK Single Weave 003

Armor intent on protecting you while pissing off your opponent. The Competition Single Weave we were provided for review is no exception.

HCK Single Weave 004

Although I felt the top wasn’t wide enough in the torso for me, the fitment of the Gi, a “5″ (HCK does not use the traditional A1-A5 sizing chart) was otherwise great in regards to cut, likely a size 6 would have been a better bet for me for my weight and height of 205lbs 5’10″.

gireviews-size-chart2

A. 7

B. 28.5

C. 22.5

D. 24

E. 16 (it’s a stretchy elastic waist band, it fit my 35inch waist no problem)

F. 13

G. 9

H. 38

Pant Length from Crotch: 25

Chest width: 20.5

The Jacket:

The top is a 750gsm Single Weave, which falls right between a Gold Weave and Double Weave in terms of thickness, but this Single is stout enough to have many suspect it is a double weave. Trying to get a grip on the collar is no easy task. HCK reinforces the seam of the collar with extra material (same material as the trousers) that gives the collar a more ridged feeling than other collars. They don’t do fancy spanzy seam tape, they reinforce the seam in the wrists with very comfortable and sturdy material. No scratchiness, no flash, just business.

HCK Single Weave 009

HCK Single Weave 006I’d suspect 185lbs to be the top weight for someone around my height (5’10″) for the Gi top. I was never bothered by the reinforced seams in the back of the jacket (and never have been by their other products) during rolling. This Gi is going to last its purchasers a very long time.

HCK Single Weave 005HCK Single Weave 007HCK Single Weave 008

The Trousers:

HCK Single Weave 010Like the HCK Ripstop Lite trousers these use an elastic waist band for securing. The system works exceptionally well and I never have to adjust my pants during class which is an extreme delight.

HCK Single Weave 011There is a rope (non-stretchy) kind on the inside of the pants that I never use, but is available for people to fasten down the pants even more. It’s the same type of rope you’d find on sweatpants. The pants are very comfortable, not too wide or baggy and didn’t impede my grappling at all. There was no scratchiness to be found at the seam tape locations.

HCK Single Weave 012HCK Single Weave 014HCK Single Weave 015

Overall:

As stated, the only issue I had was with the cut/size of the jacket, it was just too small for me, it has a hard time reaching around my front, but the quality is definitely there and at 205lbs I would jump on a different top size next time around. When buying HCK you are getting a long lasting, quality gi that is backed by very good customer support. For the folks looking for a virtually indestructible gi that will last this is a great choice.

Whenever I wear this gi I am flooded with a sense of nostalgia as this is more similar to the “old school” gis of the past. I’d also highly recommend this gi for Judo guys making the crossover to BJJ, it will feel more familiar to them while introducing to them the similar sleeve cuts of normal BJJ gis. Quality wise, there isn’t much to say, the stitching is always superb on the HCK gis I’ve encountered, this gi is no exception.

This is not your run of the mill kimono and is on another level in regards to durability.

HCK Single Weave 013

HCK Single Weave 018

HCK Ripstop Lite

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-HCK 004

THE HCK RIPSTOP LITE

By Dan ‘Dressed up as Jengo Fett for ComiCon’ Halpin

(CELEBRATION IS INCLUDED)

From the Howard Combat Kimonos site:

The HCK Ripstop Lite (AKA RS Lite):

420 gr. cotton Rip Stop weave. Very light and very strong. Felt collar, setsugi stitching, taped seams. Pants made of 420 gr. cotton Rip Stop weave. White belt. Embroidered logos.

What you recieve:

1 x Gi Top
1 x Gi Pant
1 x BJJ White Belt

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Summary

HCK RS Lite Summary

I have a lot of Gi’s, at least more than most people, I think. I have two Gi’s that I will never part with, my Do or Die Hyperfly and (now) my HCK Ripstop.

This Gi is downright amazing. I don’t think words can describe how awesome this Gi is. From the cut, to the pants, it’s spectacular. I was blown away since day one with this Gi. It’s solved many issues I thought would always be standard on Gis.

HCK is known for a seam in the back that I originally had my doubts about, but after rolling hard in this Gi for a weeks now I can say put those doubts to rest. I have had no issues with back scratching or uncomfortable rubbing and I predominately play guard.

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Back Seam

A lot of attention to detail seemed to be put into making this Gi as can be seen in the stitching and cut. EVERYONE SHOULD BUY THIS GI.

…or maybe not..because then I’d have to deal with the legendary HCK collars that are made of steel and carbonite. (“Yes, he’s alive.. and in perfect hibernation.” ~ Brendan)

Jacket

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Top

I expected the light ripstop material, but when the Gi arrived I was surprised with a thicker ripstop weave more suitable for year round grappling.

It’s no ultra light Gi top, but it’s definitely not heavy, middle of the road is how I’d describe it in terms of weight.

To me, it has the perfect amount of flare on it. Some nice simple embroidery on the shoulders and they leave it at that. The yellow and white really do pop off of the black of the Gi as well. Even still after a dozen washes or so. Aesthetics wise it is again one of my top two Gis.

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Embroidery

The cut is magnificent on this thing. It has a tailored cut that leaves out the excess material your opponents usually can grab. HCK does this while still managing to give full non-restrictive motion to the arms. The sleeves are finished off with extra thick seam tape around the wrist on the inside.

I have never been the biggest fan of Ripstop in the past as I feel it’s too easy to grip and it turns unbreathable after sweating in it, but the thickness of this Gi makes it tough to grab and somehow it doesn’t lose its breathability like I’ve experienced in the past with thinner Ripstop weaves.

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Cuff

One of my favorite features about the HCK Ripstop Lite is the collar. It’s comfortable but probably the sturdiest collar I’ve ever worn. My training partners have complained vehemently about it. Which is good thing for the wearer, me, obviously. Even me just pickup up the Gi by the collar I notice it’s difficult to get a full grip around it. Very impressive.

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Collar

Trousers

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Pants

The pants are the same material as the top, which makes them heavier than normal cotton pants or even the lighter versions of Ripstop, but they are super tough. From above the knee extra reinforcement is made all the way to the bottom of the pant (similar to JustGiPants). Something I have heard every single BJJ practioner I know of mention that they want in Gi pants.

Now, the most obvious addition to these pants is the elastic waistband. I was a non-believer myself until I actually put them on. Maybe it’s the fat lazy American side of me, but man are they comfortable. These are the only Gi pants I have that I never have to readjust in class. The elastic band and the drawstrings on the inside of the pant means they never get undone which is extremely conveinent.

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Waist

I will roll for almost 2 hours with never having to adjust my pants. It may look “different” to some people, but I’ll take function over form anyday of the week in regards to something people are never going to see anyway.  (Never going to see it? I disagree. I take every chance I get to untuck my gi top and show off my six-pack abzors. Doesn’t everybody do this? ~ Brendan)

If good performing Gi pants are what you are looking for, look no further.

The pants durability has been great for training and the weave of the pants makes it more difficult for my opponents to grab, unlike the thinner Ripstop weaves which are extremely easy to manipulate. The crotch has a diamond shape cut to allow for greater leg movement without worrying about tearing the pants.

Belt

howard-combat-kimonos-kch-ripstop-Belt

Unlike most companies HCK sends a white BJJ belt with every Gi. A nice add on if you’re a white belt. The belt isn’t too thick and ties into a “super knot” nicely. It has the standard black box for stripes and a small HCK logo on the other end. It ties much better than the BreakPoint belts I’ve been using which, although sturdy, come undone much too often.

Customer Service

Howard Liu from HCK was 100% awesome and professional from start to finish in me receiving my Gi. You can really tell he cares about his Gi’s and the people they are going to.

Do note though that HCK uses an international size chart that differs from the typical A1-A4 size charting you’re used to seeing, so be prepared to get your measurements and give HCK a call with any questions.

HCK, for a $10 fee, allows you to get a different size pant with the purchase of your Gi. I myself am typically an A3 top, A2 bottoms.

If that is typically what you wear, with HCK I’d venture to guess a size 5 top (at 195lbs 5’10″ the 5 fit me perfect) and 4-5 pant would do you justice depending on your waist.

HCK will no doubt help you out in your selection.

Update (9/12/12)

hck-ripstop-lite-collar-tearsThe collar came apart on this gi, but this is the only time we’ve ever heard of that happening.  Seems like a case of Murphy’s law.  The one gi that gets reviewed online is the one gi that has a factory defect.

Not to fear though!

With top notch customer service (see the comments section below), Howard replaced the jacket with a brand new one, and was super helpful throughout the process.  WELL DONE HCK!

Gruntwork Batch #2

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Overview:

A very unique product that has an overall excellent look. The belt loop system has been redesigned from the ground up but I don’t view this as necessarily a good thing. I think it’s overly complicated and the execution was faulty. The embroidery is decent and overall it looks pretty cool.

Video:

For more shots of what the pants looked like pre-modification (see below), check out my first impression video:

From the site:

Gi product highlights:

** First ever Patent Pending enclosure designed for a secure fit
* 10 oz rip stop pant offers durability with the least weight
* Woven gusset provides added stability and endurance
* 550 gram Pearl Weave for optimum comfort and strength
* Extended product life through reinforced stress points
* Specially designed and stitched embroidery
* Available in Ice White & Royal Blue

gireviews-size-chart2

A – 6.5

B – 29

C – 18

D – 22

E – 18.5

F – 12.75

G – 9

H – 38.5

Crotch to Ankle – 26

The top:

I was really impressed with the logo hits and overall conceptual realization of this Gi. The color contrasts nicely and the interior print is a nice addition.

The Gi top fit me perfectly and I couldn’t find a loose thread or scratchy piece of seam tape on the top.

I’m not the hugest fan of shoulder taping in general, but I admit the Gruntwork shoulder taping looks nice and isn’t over the top.

Gruntworks’ seam tape also looks awesome and wasn’t scratchy thankfully.

The top is on the smaller side of most A2′s that I’ve worn in regards to skirt length and width, so just be aware when ordering.

I am 5’10 190lbs and I could have probably shrunk an A3 top down to size.

The pants: (Check out the update below)

The good: They look great, the ripstop material they use is better than a lot of other ripstop pants I’ve had. I love the pearl weave crotch.

The bad: When I tried on the pants for the first time the first thing that popped in my head was OMGWHY because of the drawstring system. Instead of sticking with the simple designs currently in use Gruntworks took some initiative and tried something new.

Unfortunately they overshot the mark by a good thousand miles. I would rather solve a Nazi Germany Enigma Machine that I just took from a scuttled submarine than come across another belt system like this one.

The system could have been much much simpler, but the level of detail they added left room for error. You have a drawstring on the INSIDE of the pants, Ok cool. The belt loops don’t exist and the outside “belt loop” runs virtually the whole outside of the pants, which I really like. There is double sided velcro in the outside belt loop that has a medal loop (not IBJJF legal) at the end of one end. You insert the other side of the velcro into it and are supposed to pull it over to attach to the same side where the velcro changes. Unfortunately, the velcro wasn’t cut to a length where it would reach and have a fair amount of grip. If it did it would have gone inside the belt.

The flap they use to cover the front velcro and medal ring is cumbersome and wouldn’t have been so bad if it went all the away across. And the only way they could have achieved that was by getting rid of the velcro portion that goes vertical in the front of the pants. The waist itself was very tight, and with all the different coords, loops and velcro I’m surprised they went with such a tight waist as surely the system would have kept a looser waist tight. (I have around a 35 inch waist and the length was perfect.)

In about 5 minutes I took the rope draw string out from the inside, took the velcro loop out and put the rope draw string through the outside holes. It tied no problem and I could even use the flap to cover up the strings to secure them. Frankly, I didn’t think any of the belt loop was necessary and there are many simpler ways to solve the same problem of pants coming undone.

Bottom Line:

The belt system is really over the top and unnecessary. It can work though and everything else looks great. The manufacturer might have some blame though, as the reverse side of Velcro was cut too short so that it would only catch a very small portion of itself.

Update 12/14/2012:

In light of our Review Gruntworks contacted us and clarified a few things I’ll outline here:

1. Their product is unique in its design so it’s best to contact them about sizing prior to purchasing. They like to communicate with the customer directly to ensure a proper fit as their style of Gi doesn’t fall into the conventional sizing chart, and that I missed/didn’t get an email about belt sizing so that there would be enough bite/grip.

2. They also offer a version of the pant with a durable rubber ring, that they say  is IBBJF legal, but I was told that no non cloth-like objects are allowed on the Gi, so I’m not sure where we stand on the IBJJF legality.

3. They offer, for a nominal fee, a pair of competition pants with traditional drawstring free of logos and patches for competitors worried about Gi legality for tournaments. With the nominal fee you could be getting some good bang for your buck and could completely bypass the belt loop issue we experience.

Great customer service!

Flow Kimonos Pro Comp V.1

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Flow Kimonos – Pro Series 2.0

Flow Kimonos was started out of the Combat Sports Boston gym by Jonathan Leung, Phil Meyers and Andrew Moskowitz in early 2012. They are particularly concerned with contributing to the BJJ community and especially promoting the New England BJJ scene, since SoCal gets all the limelight.

armlogo

They have done great work to support the community including the non-profit organization TapCancerOut.

They really like light Gis, or so I hear, and the Pro Series 2.0 is no exception. Their A2H fit my 5’10″ 205lb frame well and was indeed light. They have begun a foray into hemp based Gis as well (the Pro Series 2.0 is cotton) with the aim of making a properly cut Hemp Gi (which is hard to come by).

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Gi Size: A2H. Dan = 5’10″ 205lbs

A. 7.5

B. 29

C. 20

D. 24

E. 22.5

F. 14

G. 9.75

H. 37.5

Pant Length from Crotch: 24.5

Chest: 25

From their site:

100% Preshrunk fabric (<2% shrinkage)

Grey contrast stitching

Six belt loops

420gsm pearl weave top

8oz ripstop cotton pants

 The Jacket:

The Jacket is extremely light, but with that, comes flimsiness in the collar. The collar does, however, situate nicely around my neck.

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They’ve gone with a very minimalist approach with the top, which I really appreciate and enjoy. For those looking for a gi with minimal flash and flair, this is the gi for you.

overview

The embroidery on the Gi was very tightly and neatly embroidered, their sleeve logos in particularly looked very beautiful.

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No scratchiness was to be had with the seam tape on the sleeves and on the pants, which is always a delight and can ruin an otherwise great Gi.

sleeve

The Gi top was definitely comfortable, I prefer a bit thicker of a Gi myself, I worry about the longevity of Gis at this thickness.

top

The Trousers:

The pants have a bit more added pzazz in that they have length wise running patches on the thighs. They keep it simple and don’t over do it. I’m not a fan of ripstop, I find it doesn’t breathe well and isn’t as comfortable, but being as light as these are, these were more comfortable than most. I’m sure a true ripstop lover would be all about these pants. My only other point of contention is again the lightness, and how that will affect longevity.

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A bit different than what’s trending right now, Flow chose to go with the traditional drawstrings instead of stretchy rope. My first gi had these drawstrings and honestly don’t see what the big deal is. They can become a bit difficult to undo when sweaty, but otherwise tie just fine. I also believe they last longer as the stretchy rope kind tend to blow up and fray from washing/drying. With 6 belt loops, they’ve got you covered and the drawstring didn’t ride up above the waist line.

beltloopsystem

Do or Die Hyperfly Review

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

do-or-die-hyperfly-Overview

You can’t teach heart

No, no you cannot. This is an important statement that I feel a lot of competitors and practioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can relate with.

Do or Die appears to be a company with the die hard Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players in mind; with the likes of Xande and Saulo Ribeiro and the Miyao brothers representing them, there’s no shortage of top level competitors who seemingly agree.

Do or Die Hyperfly Gi Review by Dan Halpin

Per Do or Die’s site:

Hyperfly Kimono

do-or-die-hyperfly-the_weave

The Hyperfly re-defines Jiu-Jitsu for the next generation of athletes. Staying loyal to its ancient Jiu-Jitsu Japanese philosophy based on sophistication defined by its purest simplicity, the Hyperfly is the perfect GI. The Hyperfly weave is the strongest weave in the world but still the lightest and softest. (If that’s not a bold claim, I don’t know what it is. ~Dan)  Hyperfly is the future of Jiu-Jitsu and already respected as the perfect gi by BJJ academies across the world.

Jacket Features:

  1. Lightweight 450g soft Hyperfly weave
  2. One piece construction with no back seam
  3. EVA foam collar
  4. Contrasting black color stitching
  5. Heavy reinforced seams
  6. Tailored fit

Pant Features:

  1. 12oz drill cotton with 4 way stretch crotch gusset
  2. Stretch rope drawstring
  3. 6 point loop system
  4. Contrasting color stitching
  5. Heavy reinforced seams
  6. Tailored fit
  7. Reinforced double layer knee padding

Dan’s Dimensions: 5’10″ 195lbs, stockier upper body with normal legs for
his height.

Normal Gi Top Size: A3
Normal Pant Size: A2

As seen above buying this Gi will net you:

  1. 1 x Gi Top
  2. 1 x Gi Pants
  3. 1 x Gi bag

Overview:

When I first pulled this Gi out of the bag the first things to stand out to me were it’s crisp clean look, light-weight and softness. In all honesty, I think those three things sum this Gi up quite nicely.

In the age of ever loud Gi designs Do or Die’s Hyperfly manages to stand out with a perfect level of subtlety. (Brendan is probably calling me a scrooge and shaking his fist at me for my very small shot at what I think are overdone Gi’s. Yea yea, “hater’s gonna hate” and all that. ~ Dan :) ) 

The A3 seems to be perfect for someone around 6’0″. At 5’10″ I didn’t have any issues shrinking the top to my necessary sleeve length . A2 pants would have been a better bet for myself, but i didn’t see about mixing and matching sizes.

I can make no assessment of the validity of Do or Die’s claim that “The Hyperfly weave is the strongest weave in the world but still the lightest and softest”. I can say that it is light and I can’t imagine anyone ripping it apart with their bare hands.

The price of the Hyperfly at around $169 places it in the higher end of the Gi price spectrum. This is definitely a quality Gi and for the added features and subtle touches I feel the price range is justified. I don’t imagine anyone not using this Gi in their steady rotation if they buy it.

If you could catch it on sale somewhere it would be an awesome bargain (SEE BELOW TO SAVE $30 and get FREE SHIPPING).

do-or-die-hyperfly-shield

The Hyperfly emblem and aesthetic make for great T-shirt/hat potential in my opinion and a blown up Shield on the jacket under the arm would be exceptionally good looking.

(Note: The Hyperfly meets IBJJF regulations.)

Gi Top:

do-or-die-hyperfly-Collar

The Emblems on the sleeves are very clean and a well thought design. The Gi itself drew many “oohs and ahhs” from my counterparts at gym and when I opened the jacket to show them the internal “You can’t teach heart” print, they got even more gitty. I had numerous people asking about the brand and price.

do-or-die-hyperfly-You_can't_teach_heart

There was some loose threading around the Gi top, but these threads were extra little pieces that seemed to have been too stubborn to let the Gi top go.

I had no issues with mobility while wearing this Gi top. The Gi top has atailored fit which is, in my opinion, the best kind of fit. It leaves less for your opponent to grab while still offering great mobility if done right.

do-or-die-hyperfly-Collar2

The Gi top is also very light. I also had no issues with the industry wide standard EVA foam collar and had no scratching on my back from the label (I saw this mentioned in another review by Meerkatsu, but it seemed to be an early model). Also of note, I didn’t have any issues with any of the seams being scratchy.

Gi Pants:

do-or-die-hyperfly-pants

The pants kind of threw me for a loop when I first took them out of the bag.  Theback of the Gi pants is actually about an half inch higher than the front. I’ll have to go back and check my other Gi’s but I think I would have noticed this before. It could be some awesome revolutionary change to Gi pants…but I’m not privy to that information. Regardless, the Gi pants fit well and I had zero issues with them falling down through full drilling and sparring.

do-or-die-hyperfly-beltloop

The knees are reinforced and secured with single stitching. The bottom of the pants have a 4 stitch reinforced seam. I really liked the 6 loop system and I never had the stretch rope string ride up past the waist of the pants, which I’ve seen happen in lesser systems.

do-or-die-hyperfly-crotch

Another standout upgrade these pants have is the lycra panel in the crotch of the pants (similar to the Kingz 550), it’s very stretchy and is a nice addition to an already well thought out Gi. I don’t see the crotch ripping anytime soon.

Wife Approval:

My wife ignored me when I asked her what she thought about the Gi. She keeps blabbing about “Jiu Jitsu being 99% of my life” and “I never talk about anything but Jiu Jitsu” or something (You and me both, brother ~ Brendan).

I’m not exactly sure what she was saying, I wasn’t really listening. I was too busy enjoying my new Hyperfly Gi.

Comme Des Grappler

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Normally, I don’t do full reviews on T-shirts or apparel and get the word out via other social media. It’s hard to come up with enough to say about things as simple as T-shirts. With Comme Des Grappler (CDG) though, I feel it’s necessary to give their apparel it’s full review. The T-shirts designs really were just out of this world and unlike anything we’ve seen on the BJJ market, very unique. Without further ado…

“CDG Arabic”

Comme Des Grappler Arabic

My favorite T-Shirt out of the bunch, the “CDG Arabic”, which is inspired by the BJJ scene in “Abu Dhabi”. It’s design is something you won’t see in BJJ apparel often. I almost feel like this design extends past BJJ. It’s beautiful use of colors and pattern is eye catching and the fit of all their t-shirts are superb. I even had to roll in this shirt when I showed up to a NOGI class in my Gi. It handled the abuse quite nicely.

“CDG Original”

CDG original

Although the “CDG Original” isn’t quite as flashy as the Arabic inspired T-shirt we first showed, this subtly designed T-shirt still fits great like all their shirt. It’s not all plain Jane either, the text is off to a tilt which does give the T-shirt some pizazz.

“CDG X”

X

Admittedly this is my least favorite out of the bunch in terms of design. It’s still a great T-shirt that feels great and doesn’t look bad, but compared to the others I am left wanting more. I think the whole “X” logo thing is extremely played out but there is something about theirs that does seem different than other X designs I’ve seen recently. It looks cleaner, more refined if you will.

Tag

X2

All of the T-shirts we reviewed had this nice logo on the bottom right of the shirt. Not sure why it’s backwards on the black shirts, but it looks nice enough and does add a little extra flair to the shirts.

Accessories/Additional

I failed to take a picture of the bags they came in before my wife threw them away *shakes fist at the sky*, but they had the same print as the Arabic shirt and looked snazzy as well. They definitely get an A+ for presentation.

I really love the aesthetic appeal CDG has and what they are going for, I CAN’T WAIT to see what they will come up with next.

Beyond the T-shirts, CDG and SntmntL Co hooked up to create a really cool double loop bracelet, complete with it’s own woven bag:

Bracelet

Great Wolf Lodge Vacation 513

 From CDG’s site:

It wasn’t until a conversation via text that we found ourselves. 

“Fuck. We gotta re-think COMME des GRAPPLER*. When it comes down to it, CDG needs to be about our passion for jiu-jitsu. Not only do we need to distinguish our-selves by the quality and uniqueness of our products, but by our appreciation for the art. CDG’s foundation should be rooted in jiu-jitsu’s purest and simplest form. When you strip us of our medals and belt rank, what’s left? Our desire and passion. That’s it. That’s how we’ll be different.”