Summary
An affordable light weight uniform with a number of high quality features that helps it punch well above its weight. I like the bold yet balanced use of patchwork and found this gi to be light and comfortable during rolling. My sample fell slightly short along the sleeve length but full final production version will have longer arms. I rate this gi as very good value for money!

I was sent this gi directly from Submission Fight Company but they can also be purchased from BudoVideos.




Out the bag: Jacket, trousers, x2 stickers, discount voucher

Introduction
Submission Fight Company first caught my eye last year when they introduced their first generation of goldweave and pearl weave gis at an incredibly low price point. I'm a big advocate of cheap BJJ gis as they help ease the path of the newcomer to the sport - but the gis have to be good quality too. This latest offering is their new Light Pearl weave gi and it is priced at under $100 (roughly £60 when converted to UK currency), which is a bargain. But there's no point paying even $100 for a gi that will fall apart after five classes so I gave this gi an extra lengthy test run to see if it could match its more expensive rivals.




Size, Weight, Stats, Shrinkage and Other Info
Click for bigger view

The stats above reveal that with an average shrink rate of 3% this gi falls well within the acceptable levels for a pre-shrunk gi. Weighing just 1.5Kg I would classify this gi as touching within the range of the ultra light gis - such as the Koral Light, Vulkan Ultra light and many other brands. The sleeve lengths fresh out of the bag were already short on my and after washing, shrank to a minuscule 149cm wrist to wrist. This is more like an A0. Submission Fight Co management state that the final production model that you order will be one inch longer along the sleeves. When you buy this gi, it comes with some cool stickers and a discount voucher on further purchases.


Style & Design
This gi model has been extensively re-styled from their earlier efforts. Black stitching is used throughout to contrast with the white gi material and the new patches are much bolder.



I love the balance of the company logo typeface set against the black background. The cute little pool ball is a neat addition and all in all, the design work is a very nice combination of colour, weight and harmony. It is neither too bling nor too bland.


Jacket
The jacket is made from single weave material very similar to my Storm Typhoon kimono, Roy Dean Honor Gi and Howard Combat gi. I would describe this weave as a basic judo single weave. It's a good honest basic weave that is tough, light and durable.


I was very surprised at the high quality of this gi considering it is priced at the budget conscious purchaser. There were a couple of fraying stitches in places and enlarged weave loops extending from the jacket material but nothing excessive.

Collar
The core of the collar and lapels are made from spongy rubber and it is covered with ripstop cotton. Ripstop seems to be the in vogue material of choice for collars and it would seem to be a good choice as it is tough and hard wearing.

I have noticed from my older gis that cotton twill materials can fray a little after a while whereas ripstop lapels do not suffer the same degree of wear and tear.


Sleeves
My sample - which was a pre-production model - suffered quite a bit from shortness in sleeve length. I have been informed that the full production model has been tweaked so that the arms are an inch longer and now fall in line with most other gi brands.




Reinforcements
This gi is loaded with reinforcements at the key stress areas. Again, I was quite surprised at the quality of production considering this is a budget gi. The sleeve cuffs are lined with rip stop tape which is double stitched to the gi (triple stitching would have been a big plus but double is fine). The side vents and armpits are enforced with an extra layer of gi material and there is more ripstop lining around the edges of the side vents.






Trousers
This gi comes with trousers made from ripstop cotton. They were quite stiff at first and I didn't really like them, however after around the 5th or 6th time of wearing them, they softened quite a lot and now I'd say they feel really comfy.


I love the strip of branded tape running down the outer leg and the black rope drawstring is a huge plus in my book. There are only two belt loops on the trousers. More would have been nice but to be honest, I did not notice any problems with the drawstring riding up as can sometimes happen.



For reinforcements, these trousers really put more expensive models to shame. The gusset panels are enforced with two extra rip stop patches and the double lining at the front of the trousers extends from the knees all the way down to the ankle hem. Most other brands have double lined pants that stop around mid-shin. In addition to the extended length double lining, the ankle cuffs are quadruple stitched for added toughness. Opponents who love to grip the base of your trousers will find it hard to rip these pants apart. I guess if I were really pedantic, I would have suggested adding some ripstop tape on top of the hemline - just like the sleeve cuffs. But I guess this would be overkill.


Rolling discussion and conclusion
I really enjoyed rolling in this gi. Here is a gi that is both lightweight, stylish and tough. I was only let down by the shortness of the sleeves (remember - the final production model you order will have longer arms than my sample). Apart from the sleeves, the jacket body and trousers in A1 fitted me perfectly after washing. The trousers in particular are a gem - the ripstop is a little stiff and hard at first but several washes convinced me that rip stop is now okay! Add to that the impressive levels of reinforcements used and the extremely attractive price point and you can see why I think this gi is one of the best value BJJ uniforms on the market right now.



CREDITS, DISCLOSURES AND FURTHER INFORMATION
My thanks to Submission Fight Company for the chance to review this gi.


This review represents my own opinions. I am not an expert in textiles or clothing etc, just a regular BJJ student who likes a few BJJ gis. I consider myself independent and impartial - I am not sponsored by any one company nor do I endorse any one brand. I have a close dialogue with a large number of gi makers and sellers, some of whom I collaborate with on various projects that are unconnected with this review. If you have any questions about this review, please feel free to email me (see About Me) or post a comment below. I hope this review was helpful.


DISCOUNT CODE: meerkatsu10 for 10% off all products. (End date - Dec 30th, 2011)



:)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice! I'm eagerly awaiting part 2 of the Black Eagle MK II review-any idea when that will drop?

SkinnyD said...

Nice review, Seymour. What's your overall take on the ripstop trend? I have yet to buy a ripstop gi but it seems like they are becoming the standard.

Anonymous said...

Nice review as always! Seymour you're the man! I have one of these kimonos size a3 and sleeves are a perfect fit for my body type...

Gotta say one of the more stylish kimonos in my book...

Meerkatsu said...

Hey Anon#1 dude, the Black Eagle Part II review is gonna wait a bit. My training partner is too busy to review the gi and I've changed my mind about having a guest reviewer anyway, I want to review it and write it myself. So basically I'm waiting for them to get more A1's in stock so I can impart my own rolling thoughts. It makes more sense that way.

Cheers, SkinnyD. Yeah ripstop is a bit hit or miss. Some ripstop trousers are perfectly fine, others feel a bit rough and sticky. A lot of people notice they tear easily too which is not really living up to the name!

Anonymous said...

That is the exact same Gi as the Ground Control W-300 but different logos. The GC was on sale for $64 last week. I think they sold out. Great gi though for the price.

Anonymous said...

guys help me out. I'm 6'1 170lbs, and im interested in getting A3, but according to size chart A3 is for 5'9-6'0 170-200lbs, so i'm worried that the sleeves will be too short, because i have long arms