31 Mar 2013

Review: Tatami Estilo 4

Excellent all round premium gi with improved styling and great quality as with all previous Estilo models. I did find however that the innovative rubber waistline strip to be noticeably annoying due to unnecessary bunching around the hips.

I have worked as a freelance designer for Tatami Fightwear on several projects. I am unconnected with this product.

Tatami Estilo 4 available from April 2013 via the Tatami Fightwear website and all other distributors.
Cost: tbc but likely to be around £95

When Tatami Fightwear introducted their first Estilo gi it was the start of their very successful line of BJJ uniforms. At the time I noted the high level of quality reinforcements, materials as well as the roomy cut and fit though I thought the design elements could have been improved with their messy patch designs. It's nice to see how the line-up has evolved over the past couple of years. As you can see from the photographs, this fourth incarnation of the Estilo is hugely improved over the first one from an aesthetic point of view.

Size, Weight, Other Stats
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.

Size in cm new vs three 40 degree washes for an A1 gi:
A: 163/ 157
B: 76 / 76
C: 55 / 55
D: 16 / 16
E: 49 / 45
F: 95 / 92
G: 21 / 20
Jacket weight: 1.2kg
Trouser weight: 0.6kg

As the stats above show, there was some shrinkage along the arm wingspan, settling in at the 157cm mark is perfectly adequate even for my long arms. The rest of the torso and trouser dimensions seemed not to shrink that much though interestingly, looking at the stats for the previous Estilo incarnation (the purple coloured version 3 Estilo) this model appears marginally smaller all round. It is still a lot bigger than, say, the Atama Mundial A1 (150cm) and the Bull Terrier Limited Edition (153cm) but inl ine with other gi brands such as the Aesthetic gis and Submission Fight Co Hemp which all have wingspans of around 157cm.

Trouser length at 92cm is slightly shorter in length than previous Tatami fightwear gis.

Weight at 1.8Kg would make this gi heavier than specialist lightweight gis such as the Kingz 420 Light (1.4Kg). It is actually fairly close in weight to the rashguard lined Enson Spiri of Japan gi (1.9Kg).

The jacket appears to be made from the same 500gsm pearlweave fabric that was used on the previous Estilo v3 model. It does not feel heavy but is clearly a sturdy and durable piece of textile. My previous Estilo gis have all gone through numerous training sessions without any problems so I can safely predict this version 4 will be just as durable.

The collar and lapels are the usual rubber core and is covered with canvas cotton material. Canvas is hard wearing and is more resistant to fraying compared with twill cotton material. The thickness was reasonable and it was not too stiff.

The branded seam tape is used to both decorate and cover some seam areas. All other areas of the jacket contain reinforcements as expected in the stress zones eg beneath armpits, side vents, sleeves etc. The sleeve cuffs in previous models used canvas tape, here is is replaced by the woven logo tape which was comfortable to wear (compared with scratchy logo tape used by some other brands).

All patches on the jacket conform to IBJJF regulations. The embroidery appears to be applied directly onto the fabric and the colour scheme is an attractive mix of orange, grey, white and black.

Trousers are made from canvas cotton. They feature the usual excellent thick rope drawstring and there are a total of five belt loops. Including a centrally placed loop.

Pleasingly the double lined knee region reaches all the way to the ankles. I find that some gi brands that only use a small knee patch do not cover the knee when the wearer is kneeling on the ground. The circular shin patch appears to be high enough to conform with IBJJF regulations.

The patch used along the side of the trousers is quite thick and does not fold along the crease easily - in case you like folding your gis neatly, like I do.

Rolling performance, fit and feel
This model seemed a wee bit shorter and tighter fitting than all previous models of the Estilo. I was still very happy with the length of the sleeves, jacket and trousers. It could even arguably be considered a much better cut for my physique. Although slightly heavier than previous Estilos, I did not notice it feeling particularly heavy or cumbersome but the waistline was noticeably annoying.

I found a number of problems relating to the rubber strip that lines the inside of the waistline:

The new rubber waistline strip is fairly thick. When the rope string is pulled tight, it causes a concertina effect and there is considerable bunching up of fabric and rubber around the hips and waistline. It also flares outwards rather than aligning itself tightly to my skin, which negates the whole purpose of the rubber 'grip' of the strip. During rolling, I was strongly aware of the thick wad of bunching fabric present around my waistline. After several training sessions it proved to be slightly less annoying when I focused on sparring rather than thinking of the gi but given the choice, I would prefer non-rubber strip trousers over these. Finally, I usually wear a rashguard under the gi and tuck that into the trousers, again this negates the purpose of the 'grip' the strip provides.

Other users of this model gi have given a mixed response. One tester I know of agrees with me about the waistline strip, another tester has found that it was no problem at all. One suggested that the trousers were too big for me and hence the reason why there was so much bunching up. I disagree. The trousers fit perfect for my height and weight, though as you can see from the photos, I am a skinny person.

Which is a big shame because the actual rest of the trousers are amazing. The lightweight yet strong canvas cotton material is soft and comfortable and the styling details are beautiful. The jacket is near on perfect and a joy to roll in.

The Estilo 4 is a beautiful gi and loaded with the usual high standards of materials and construction as expected for a gi costing nearly £100. The rubber strip lining the inside of the trouser waistline is an acquired taste, I personally did not like it and prefer to wear normal trousers, however others have not noted this same problem during testing. Despite my reservations about the trouser hem, I do love this gi and it has made it into my current rotation of training gis.

The gi is out later in April 2013.

Tatami Fightwear have informed me that the rubber waistline strip will now NOT be incorporated into the final production version of the Estilo 4.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

Still not out yet :(

Michael said...

What size did you test here? The A1 or A1L - I can't seem to find that info in the article.

Meerkatsu said...

A1 dude!
I mentioned it just beneath the size chart image.

Anonymous said...

hi, first of all, LOVE your reviews. I am very interested in estilo 4.0 and you have posted the update with removal of the rubber waistline strip. However, all other reviewers i came across on youtube/web shows their estilo 4.0 with the rubber waistline strip intact. Could you clarify that for us plz? or if the rubber strip has been modified to be more comfy perhaps?
thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

same guy from above. they definitely removed the rubber strip.

Anonymous said...

Hey Seymour, do you feel like the shoulder embroidery is annoying? I just got my 4.0, and it's bugging the hell out of me. It feels like a wooden plank is between my shoulder and the gi when I wear it. I'm actually thinking of swapping it for the 3.0. It's a shame because it fits really well. Thanks for your input. Also, would you happen to know if the 3.0 shoulder patches are sewn into the lapel? Thanks. Take care.

Meerkatsu said...

I thought that such a bulky padded area would annoy me (given that I am sensitive to scratchy tape and other annoyances) but no, it's been lovely to wear. Mind you I wear a rashguard underneath so that might explain it.

Scott said...

Thanks for the review - it was a big help in making the choice to pick this gi up. As stated, the production version does *not* have the rubber strip.

Also, the pre-post wash measurements are so nice to know before making a purchase, it's great that you include those!

Trained in it tonight, it does fit a little long in both the jacket and pants. I'm about 6'0"/182cm tall, about 220lbs, and the A3 had some extra length that I hope to shrink away.

It's very comfortable. The weave, as stated, feels solid without being heavy.

Also, it looks great with the 93 Brand x Meerkatsu Mandrill rashguard underneath :D

Anonymous said...

Hey Meerkatsu,

Love your blog! Especially the gi review section. Quick question. Is it possible to remove the shoulder and chest patches on this Gi (estilo 4.0)? Thanks for your time!

Bdon said...

I am a bit taller(5 "8") than you and weight (130lb) a few pounds less. Do you think I could get away with an A1 or do I need to go for an A1L?

I measured my wingspan wrist to wrist is 56 inches too. Can you give me some advice. I am afraid of shrinkage.


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