11 Feb 2013
New US based gear company 93 Brand offers their debut gi. It's a very cool and stylish uniform with excellent quality reinforcements and materials. The A1 did fit rather big on me. Note also that the colour is not IBJJF tournament compliant.
The Goose was first offered on a one day sale at BJJHQ.com for $100 plus shipping.
Some sizes are also offered here: http://www.karatedepot.com/un-jj-2230.html
I have provided freelance design work for BJJHQ in the past. I was not involved in the production or design of this model uniform.
93 Brand are an American company that first appeared on the discount selling website BJJHQ. Their debut product, a rashguard, was heavily branded with 'Made in America' logos. This gi, amusingly titled 'The Goose', is made in Pakistan, but with its heavy use of helvetica type and simple geometric logomarks it is styled in what I reckon to be a very New York sort of vibe. They sent me an A1 to test out and review.
Size, Weight, Shrinkage and other Statistics
Size in centimetres and weight in kilograms. For reference, I am 59-60Kg in weight and 167cm in height. I am used to wearing A1 or A1L size gis though I do have long arms. First figure brand new, second figure after x3 mild temperature washes and then air dried.
Jacket = 1.1kg, trousers = 0.6Kg
The data shows there is very little shrinkage in either width or height for jacket or trousers. The pearlweave treatment of the jacket fabric clearly living up to its pre-shrunk status. The jacket wingspan, width and height is pretty much on a par with the recently reviewed Tatami Fightwear Enson Inoue Spirit of Japan gi. The Goose is actually a tad smaller than the Kingz 420 and 450 kimonos.
Weighing a total of 1.7Kg, the Goose is not an ultralight gi nor is it especially heavy for an A1 sized uniform.
The main body of the jacket is made from a fairly medium to heavy gauge pearlweave cotton fabric. The description does not state the 'weight' of the gi but it feels very similar to the Tatami Estilo, so I'd guess that it would be around a 450 to 500gsm weight fabric.
It is dyed a quite a cool colour grey which, after three washes, has faded a tiny bit. The cut of the gi follows the pattern of the low placed front yoke - notice the seam running horizontally across the torso. On many other major gi brands, this seam runs higher, but here it runs much lower down the torso - similar to how the Shoyoroll and Competidor gis are cut.
The collar and lapel are pretty chunky. Once again I have failed to take a collar by collar comparison photo but when I pinch the collar, the leading edge feels very thick and sturdy. I did notice however, that after three washes, the canvas cotton covering did start to bobble and pill a little.
The goose is quite minimally patched - just this arm applique embroidery (one per sleeve) and a patch on the posterior of the trousers (more about that later).
Typical of gis cut with a low front seam, there are no armpit reinforcements. However all other reinforcing patches are present around the side vents. Branded seam tape decorates the inside jacket.
The insides of the sleeve cuffs are lined with branded seam tape. The tape edge is folded over to avoid the scratchy abrasive edges that is found on some cheaper seam tapes.
The exterior of the base of the jacket is lined with a strip of canvas which adds to an impressive level of reinforcements to the whole uniform.
The trousers are made from 12oz cotton canvas with a pearlweave contrast coloured gusset panel.
The multiple belt loops and rope drawstring provide a more than adequate ability to keep the trousers in place. A worthy point to note is that the knee patches extend all the way down to the ankle. Too many gi brands make small knee patches that do not cover the knee when the leg is bent.
I must admit the placement of the rear trouser patch is odd. It would probably look better placed at the base of the back of the jacket, or omitted altogether. It's not a dealbreaker though, and in fact when I am standing, the jacket skirt conceals the bum patch entirely.
The ankle openings are again covered with seam tape, same as with the sleeve cuffs.
A triangular patches strengthens the area where all parts of the trouser gusset join together.
Rolling performance and discussion
The first thing to mention is the colour. Grey is not a viable choice for those competing at IBJJF rules tournaments, however as has been seen with the popular Competidor Guardian and Tatami Fightwear 'Pin Up' gis, grey is clearly still a popular niche choice.
I was impressed with the level of reinforcements and the fact that the gi barely shrunk. All the other aspects, such as the drawstring, the embroidery, stitching, collar etc were of the same standard as gis costing a lot more.
When rolling, I felt that the gi fitted rather generously on me. I wouldn't say it was baggy or too big, just that I felt there was a lot of loose material on my body. Gis that are cut with the lower front torso seem do tend to feel much 'looser' on my body than higher cut gis. I think this gi would perfectly suit someone of my height but bulkier in muscle.
This gi was made available on BJJHQ for $100. At that price I would say it is an absolute bargain. I did feel it was a looser fit on me than some of my regular rotation gis but it was still a very good gi to wear. Recommended for everyday training.