18 Nov 2011
A super stylish BJJ gi with some neat touches let down slightly in my pre-production sample by sleeve shrinkage. Final production models will have longer sleeve and trouser lengths according to Scramble. This report outlines sizing issues in more detail and how the gi performed during rolling. See part one for more details on styling and design.
NEW (pre-prod) Final version x2 washes @30degrees % shrink
A: 152.5 157 144 5.5
B: 74.5 75 73 2.0
C: 52 55 50 3.8
D: 16 - 15.5 3.1
E: 53 53 50 5.6
F: 93.5 96 93.5 0
G: 19 - 19 0
(All figures in cm, brackets in column 1 are Scramble's own figures for final production model for an A1 sized gi based on their own chart here.)
After two washes, my sample of the 1chiban ended up with a wingspan of 144cm...way too short for me. My current rotation of A1 gis have much longer arms. The navy Estilo has a wingspan of 156cm and the Black Eagle 'Raptor' gi has a 158cm wingspan - both of which are pretty much perfect for me. Note however that I do appear to have longer arms than the average A1 wearer.
Assuming that the final production version of the 1chiban shrinks to roughly the same proportions as the sample I have, then after two washes, that gi should end up having a wingspan of around 148cm. Not ideal for me but should be fine for the majority of A1 wearers. Knowing the shrink rates and size chart, the A2 1chiban would probably suit me best.
The 1chiban trousers really don't shrink at all in length. There is a wee bit off the width. This is most probably due to the polyester content of the fabric - an aspect that is clearly positive in terms of shrinkage but does alter the feel, which I will discuss later in this report. One thing worth pointing out - Scramble have decided to extend the length of the trousers in the final version - 96cm compared to my 93.5cm long pre-prod model.
Photo above - I placed the 1chiban jacket on top of two gis in my rotation for a visual comparison of differences in cut and size. Top image shows how the 1chiban sleeves are 6cm shorter in each sleeve and 2cm skinnier in torso width. The Raptor is even wider (bottom image). Jacket Length on all models are virtually identical.
Photo above - a visual comparison of collar lapel thicknesses. Both the Estilo and Raptor are virtually similar in thickness but the 1chiban is noticeably thicker and chunkier. The fabrics differ too. 1chiban and Estilo are covered with canvas cotton while the Raptor is covered with ripstop cotton.
Photo above - the 1chiban fabric colour does fade unevenly after two washes. I noticed the same thing in my previous review of the Tatami Estilo navy version 1. Fading was less apparent in the navy version 2. Note - the photo above has been heavily adjusted in Photoshop to highlight the fade details - it is not as contrasty as this in reality.
Photo above - visual comparison between the 1chiban trousers and the Estilo 2 in navy. Length in both are very similar, colour however is noticeably different. The Estilo navy has been washed numerous times. 1chiban trousers have extra rows of stitching reinforcements.
Due to the shortness of sleeve length in my sample, I felt I did not really get to enjoy the full functionality of the 1chiban. Hopefully this will be resolved if Scramble send me an A2 gi for testing. What I can say however is that the jacket fits very nicely in all other areas. I particularly like the slightly slimmer torso width for that more snug fit. Both jacket and trousers (weighing in at 1.6kg) feel nice and light.
When buyers of the 1chiban first wear their new gi, the biggest difference they will notice are the trousers. The feeling of the polyester/cotton mix kinda brought back memories of my childhood school uniform. Another difference to notice are the housed drawstrings. The final model will have a flat cotton tie. It's a little bit fiddly to get perfectly tight and on a couple of occasions my trousers began to slip down during sparring. It wasn't a big deal and I got the knack of tying them up tightly after a few practice attempts.
I was rather surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response from team mates regarding the look and style of the gi when I first walked into my academy with the 1chiban (surprising because I wear different review gis regularly so my team mates are mostly used to my eclectic BJJ wardrobe). If you have fallen in love with the design based on the photos (and judging from the sold out signs within minutes of the pre-order going live) then I think it is pretty safe to assume you will love it even more when you see the actual gi live and in the flesh.
The Scramble 1chiban gi is an absolute stunner in terms of design and aesthetic. The novel features added to the trousers increase the must have factor. Sizing however has been an issue with my pre-production sample, however Scramble's full release model will add length to both the wingspan and trouser lengths. It may be too late to offer buying advice now that the pre-order has concluded, but if your body size fits within the border between two model sizes, I would advise playing it safe and ordering the size up.