BJJ Gi Buyers Guide | All You Need To Know

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Buying a BJJ gi is relatively simple, once you know what you’re looking for.

There’s nothing worse than buying a gi and it’s the wrong size, or it’s uncomfortable, or just plain wrong.

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump to my recommended products or head over to Tatami where they’ve got a bunch of sales on at the moment.

In this post, we’ll look at:

  1. When you should buy a new gi and how much you should pay for it
  2. How many gis you should own and how long they should last
  3. How heavy your gi should be and what color you should buy
  4. How to measure yourself for the perfect fit and what size gi is best for you
  5. Finally, what to wear under your gi

ALSO READ: How To Wash Your Jiu-Jitsu Gi Without Shrinking It

BJJ - The Gentle Art x
BJJ - The Gentle Art
When Should You Buy A New GI?

Buying a new gi is awesome! I’d have a new one every week if it was up to me.

So I use the following criteria for deciding when I need a new gi (use it, don’t use it):

  1. Firstly, do I have a gi? If no, buy a gi.
  2. Does my gi still fit? If no, buy a gi.
  3. Can I get the stink out of my gi in the wash? If no, buy a gi.
  4. Is my gi torn or worn through? If yes, buy a gi.
  5. Do I train more than one day in a row? If yes, buy a gi.
  6. Do I compete? If yes, buy a gi.

That last one is important.

It’s always best to take two gis to a tournament, preferably two different sizes.

Tournament refs measure your gi to avoid short sleeves and pants that are hard to grip.

Having a gi that’s close to the limit and one that’s larger than necessary ensures you never get turned away because your gi doesn’t make the cut.

How Much Does A Jiu-Jitsu Gi Cost?

The price of gis fluctuates widely, from as little as $65 to as much as $199. You could pay even more for brands that do custom designs. Going any cheaper than $65 isn’t worth it, the fabric simply doesn’t last. A good quality gi that you can use for both training and competition should cost around $100.

Paying any more than $90 – $150 for a gi is more about style than it is practical.

Best BJJ Gis Under $80

Top Pick
Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light Preshrunk BJJ Gi

A great lightweight BJJ gi to compliment your collection. The Sanabul gi has over 5000 reviews on Amazon, so it's definitely worth considering.

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Elite Sports BJJ Gi & Free Belt

A great entry-level gi for anyone starting out. This lightweight gi features a comfortable fabric and comes in a variety of colors.

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Best BJJ Gis Under $100

Top Pick
Sanabul Highlights Competition BJJ Gi

The Sanabul Highlights gi is built for comfort and style. This premium gi is a sexy addition to your kit bag.

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How Many Gis Should You Own?

How many gis you own depends mostly on how often you train. If you train every other day, one gi should be enough because you’d have enough time between training sessions to wash and dry it properly. If you train on consecutive days, it’s best to have at least 2 gis to alternate between sessions.

Having said this, most of my teammates own many more gis than they actually need.

With all the amazing gi designs currently out there, it’s difficult NOT to want your own collection of gis.

Top Pick
Tatami Fightwear Elements Ultralite 2.0 BJJ Gi

Tatami sponsors some of the biggest names in BJJ and with good reason. Their gis are some of the best quality in the world, I even use them myself.

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How Long Does A Gi Last?

If you train 1 – 2 days a week, your gis should last up to 5 years or longer. But what if you train more often?

Here’s a useful guide for how long a good quality gi should last:

Days Per WeekAverage Gi Usage
1 – 2Up to 5 years
3 – 52 – 3 years
6 – 71 – 2 years

How long your gi lasts depends on the following factors:

  1. The quality of your gi
  2. How often you train
  3. How well you take care of your gi

If you’re able to cycle between multiple gis, this will help to extend the life of each of your gis.

Top Pick
Tatami Omega Backpack

Looking for a backpack that looks great and fits all your BJJ kit? Look no further. The durable Tatami Omega Backpack fits at least 2 gis and has a huge list of great reviews from other buyers. It's the only BJJ backpack you'll need.

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7 Things To Consider When Choosing Your BJJ Gi

Here are the basic factors to consider when looking for your next gi:

#1 What Is Your BJJ Gi Size?

Use this guide to decide which size works for you:

SizeWeightHeight
A0132 – 155 lbs
60 – 70 kg
5’4″ – 5’6″
162 – 168 cm
A1154 – 170 lbs
70 – 77 kg
5’5″ – 5’7″
165 – 170 cm
A2170 – 192 lbs
77 – 87 kg
5’7″ – 5’10”
170 – 178 cm
A3192 – 220 lbs
87 – 100 kg
5’10” – 6’2″
178 – 188 cm
A4220 – 253 lbs
100 – 115 kg
6’1″ – 6’4″
185 – 193 cm
A5253 – 287 lbs
115 – 130 kg
6’2″ – 6’5″
188 – 195 cm
A6287 – 320 lbs
130 – 145 kg
6’4″ – 6’7″
193 – 200 cm

ALSO READ: [Calculator] Find Out How Many Calories You Burn Doing Jiu-Jitsu

#2 How Does Your Gi Fit?

The only thing worse than drowning in an oversized gi, is a tight gi that doesn’t let you move.

The gi sizes above aren’t always going to work, because some 6-foot guys for example are much skinnier than others.

Use this guide to make sure your next gi fits correctly:

How To Measure Your Gi Jacket And Pants

The main parts you’ll want to measure to ensure your gi jacket fits perfectly are:

  1. Wingspan – Wrist to wrist
  2. Length – Below your butt to your neck
  3. Chest – Armpit to armpit

Similarly, you’ll want to ensure your gi pants fit perfectly too:

  1. Waist – Side to side
  2. Length – Ankle to waist
  3. Hips – Hip to hip

Gi Measurements Chart

Now that you have your measurements, use the following chart to pick the perfect fitting gi for you:

SizeJacketPants
A0Wingspan: 157cm
Length: 74cm
Chest: 53cm
Waist: 50cm
Hips: 54cm
Length: 94cm
A1Wingspan: 158cm
Length: 75cm
Chest: 54cm
Waist: 54cm
Hips: 58cm
Length: 96cm
A2Wingspan: 165cm
Length: 78cm
Chest: 56cm
Waist: 56cm
Hips: 61cm
Length: 99cm
A3Wingspan: 170cm
Length: 82cm
Chest: 61cm
Waist: 59cm
Hips: 64cm
Length: 102cm
A4Wingspan: 178cm
Length: 86cm
Chest: 65cm
Waist: 62cm
Hips: 67cm
Length: 106cm
A5Wingspan: 187cm
Length: 90cm
Chest: 68cm
Waist: 64cm
Hips: 69cm
Length: 109cm
A6Wingspan: 192cm
Length: 92cm
Chest: 72cm
Waist: 67cm
Hips: 72cm
Length: 112cm

ALSO READ: [Ultimate Career Guide] How To Make Money In Jiu-Jitsu Without A Gym

Are Your Gi Sleeves The Right Length?

To avoid overly short gi sleeves that are difficult for your training partners to grip, the IBJJF has ruled that there should be a maximum gap of 5cm (2 inches) between your wrist joint and the start of your gi cuff:

Are Your Gi Pants The Right Length?

You’re also required to have a maximum of 5cm (2 inches) gap between your ankle bone and your pant cuff:

#3 Which BJJ Gi Weave Is Best?

When deciding what type of BJJ gi you want to buy, you should consider the weave as well.

Especially if you’re competing, some types of weave are illegal in BJJ competition.

The weave also determines the weight of your gi, because some have more cotton per square inch which makes it heavier.

Below are the types of BJJ gi weaves currently available:

Single Weave

Double Weave

Pearl Weave

Gold Weave

Ripstop Weave

Honeycomb Weave

Crystal Weave

#4 How Much Does Your Gi Weigh?

The weave of your gi is what determines its weight. The more material per square inch, the more your gi will weigh. Most BJJ gis weigh between 3 lbs (1.4kg) and 5 lbs (2.3kg). Competition gis can be as light as 2 lbs (0.9kg), which helps when you’re trying to cut weight.

If you’re only training Jiu-Jitsu as a hobby, don’t worry too much about the weight of your gi.

It’s all about what’s comfortable, and what you can train in for hours at a time.

#5 What Is The Best BJJ Gi Cut?

There are two main gi cuts on the market, fitted and classic.

Fitted BJJ Gi Cut

The fitted cut is the most comfortable type of gi, they feel almost custom-made if you find the right size.

If you’re competing, make sure that your fitted gi sticks to tournament rules because they can get very close to the limits of IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) regulations.

Fitted BJJ gis are more difficult to grip because they have less excess fabric to grab, so they tend to be more geared towards advanced BJJ practitioners.

Classic BJJ Gi Cut

Classic fit gis are the most common gi cut on the market.

All gi manufacturers will make classic fit gis as standard because they fit most people well and tend to be IBJJF approved.

If you’re new to BJJ, the classic cut gi is for you.

How Tight Should Your BJJ Gi Be?

If you’re simply training BJJ as a hobby, your gi can be as tight as you want (within reason).

More officially, the IBJJF have ruled that there should be a minimum of 7cm gap between your arm or leg, and your gi.

Again, this is to avoid your gi being too tight for your opponent or training partner to grip.

#6 What Color Gi Should You Get?

Choosing your gi color is very much a personal choice, but there are a few factors to consider. The most important factor is how your gi will age. Normally blue and black gis will age slightly better than white gis because they tend to show stains and fabric damage quite easily.

White gis also tend to be more work to maintain, especially if you’re looking to keep it looking white for longer.

If you’re like me, you probably have one in every color, because why not?

Does The Color of Your GI Matter In BJJ?

Competitors must stick to the standard white, blue, and black gis for competition. You can get turned away at a tournament if your gi color is wrong, so always check tournament rules before showing up. If you don’t compete, the color of your gi doesn’t matter at all.

In fact, you get to choose from a HUGE range of really cool and colorful gis.

Like these awesome NASA themed gis, or even pink if that’s your thing.

Sanabul NASA BJJ Gi

These awesome NASA BJJ gis made by Sanabul will turn heads at your gym. They sell out quickly, so I suggest checking their stock on Amazon.

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Can You Wear A Black GI Or Is It Disrespectful?

Some people get confused between black gis and black belts.

It’s absolutely disrespectful to wear a black belt if you’re not one, but it’s fine to wear a black gi – even as a white belt. Black gis are relatively new, since white and blue have always been more traditionally accepted. However, black gis have become just as common in gyms and even in competition.

Here are the 3 main gi colors used in BJJ, but they’re by no means the only options on the market:

White BJJ Gis

These are the best-selling white gis currently on the market.

Their prices do change over time, so I recommend checking their prices on Amazon (links below):

Top Pick
Tatami Fightwear Elements Ultralite 2.0 BJJ Gi - White

Tatami sponsors some of the biggest names in BJJ and with good reason. Their gis are some of the best quality in the world, I even use them myself.

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Venum Classic 2.0 BJJ Gi

Currently the sponsor of the UFC, Venum BJJ gis have become more popular in recent years. Definitely a good addition to your collection.

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Black BJJ Gis

Black gis are great for hiding dirt and sweat stains that would make lighter color gis discolor over time.

Tatami Fightwear Bushido BJJ Gi - Black

Another great BJJ gi by Tatami Fightwear. It's no secret I'm a big fan of their products, so I can't recommend them enough.

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Top Pick
Shogun Tao BJJ Gi Premium

Probably one of the coolest designs I've seen on a gi. This sexy black gi by Shogun features a beautiful dragon design on the inside.

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Blue BJJ Gis

In my opinion, there are two types of BJJ practitioners.

Those who OWN a blue gi and those who WILL own a blue gi.

It’s the workhorse gi, the one you’ll always see in competition or worn by coaches at your gym.

Top Pick
Gold BJJ Gi - Ultra Strong

Receiving some of the best feedback on Amazon, the ultra-strong BJJ gi by Gold is sure to last you a good few years.

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Fuji Suparaito BJJ GI

Fuji have some of the nicest BJJ gi cuts on the market. They're extremely comfortable, so you'll be able to train for hours at a time.

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#7 Which Gi Design Is Best?

The design of your gi refers to the gi branding and patches you might add later on.

Again, for competition it’s best to keep your design simple (while only using black, blue, or white gis).

Especially if you want to add team or promotional patches, which according to IBJJF are only acceptable in the following areas:

If you’re a hobbyist, feel free to get as creative with your gi design as you want.

Some modern BJJ gis have designs inside them, so you can get really nerdy with it.

Here’s an awesome Samurai Gi by SHOGUN:

Top Pick
Shogun BJJ Gi Samurai Premium

This awesome samurai design gi by Shogun is a must for any collector. Let's be honest, we don't buy these because they're affordable.

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Ultimate Gi Buyers Guide

Best Gi Brands For BJJ

Top Pick
Tatami Fightwear Elements Ultralite 2.0 BJJ Gi

Tatami sponsors some of the biggest names in BJJ and with good reason. Their gis are some of the best quality in the world, I even use them myself.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Venum Classic 2.0 BJJ Gi

Currently the sponsor of the UFC, Venum BJJ gis have become more popular in recent years. Definitely a good addition to your collection.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Top Pick
Gold BJJ Gi - Ultra Strong

Receiving some of the best feedback on Amazon, the ultra-strong BJJ gi by Gold is sure to last you a good few years.

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KINGZ IBJJF Mens - Balistico 3.0 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi

One of the biggest BJJ gi brand in the sport. Kingz sponsors some of the most dominant athletes in the game, so their gis are tested at the highest levels.

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Softest and Most Comfortable BJJ Gi

Top Pick
Tatami Fightwear Elements Ultralite 2.0 BJJ Gi

Tatami sponsors some of the biggest names in BJJ and with good reason. Their gis are some of the best quality in the world, I even use them myself.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Fuji Suparaito BJJ GI

Fuji have some of the nicest BJJ gi cuts on the market. They're extremely comfortable, so you'll be able to train for hours at a time.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
KINGZ IBJJF Mens - Balistico 3.0 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi

One of the biggest BJJ gi brand in the sport. Kingz sponsors some of the most dominant athletes in the game, so their gis are tested at the highest levels.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Top Pick
Sanabul Highlights Competition BJJ Gi

The Sanabul Highlights gi is built for comfort and style. This premium gi is a sexy addition to your kit bag.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Wear Under A BJJ Gi?

Most BJJ gyms now require you to wear something under your gi. Some people train with t-shirts under their gi top, but most now use rash guards. They help with all sorts of things, from preventing staph infections to reducing friction burns.

Are You Supposed To Wear Shorts Under A GI?

It’s required to at least wear underwear under your gi pants. Wearing shorts is recommended because many times in training your gi pants can be partially pulled down unintentionally. Wearing shorts under your gi can help to avoid an embarrassing situation.

Do You Wear Spats Under GIs?

Spats are a great option to wear under your gi pants because it has the same function as a rash guard. Spats help to protect against friction burns and nasty skin infections you pick up on the mats, like staph infection.

What material is a GI made from?

Most gis are made from 100% cotton, only differing in the weave used to make the gi. Cotton absorbs sweat well, dries quickly, is very durable, and easy to clean.