If you’re an experienced BJJ practitioner, then you’ve probably heard many people criticizing the lightweight BJJ Gi. They praise quickness but mostly claim that lightweight BJJ gis cannot withstand harsh training demands.
Their critics make sense if you pick the wrong model. Yet, a good lightweight BJJ gi can change your grappling life forever!
THE CASE FOR A LIGHTWEIGHT BJJ GI
Oftentimes people associate a lightweight BJJ Gi with a lack of durability. While this might have been the case once, with new weave technologies available nowadays, this hurdle has been completely removed. A modern lightweight BJJ Gi will last you as long as a medium or heavyweight will do, and it may even outlast them.
Beginning with the obvious, lightweight gis are more comfortable to wear. In fact, with a really good lightweight gi, with an athletic fit, and the proper weave, you’ll feel pretty much like you’re wearing a rashguard rather than a gi. Moreover, it will still provide the same benefits as heavier gis do.
Another common misconception is that lightweight gis are easier for opponents to grip, because of the material. the trick with grips is not the material, but rather the cut of the Gi. A lightweight BJJ Gi will be notoriously more difficult to hold on to than a heavier one given that the sleeves and/or pants are not too wide.
Another aspect to always consider when getting a gi is also, of course, pricing. Lgihterweigth Gis tend to be cheaper than heavier weight ones. given that they’re legal for competition, made by all top Gi manufacturers, won’t impact your game, are extremely comfortable and at least as durable as all other gis, it makes no sense why you wouldn’t own at least one.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BJJ GI?
Although we already went over most of the criteria you should consider when picking a lightweight BJJ gi for yourself, let’s go over each and everyone in more depth. That way, when we refer to certain aspects of lightweight gis later on during the reviews, you’ll know exactly what those mean and how they will relate to you.
The main selection criteria for a solid lightweight BJJ gi are comfort, durability, weave, price, sizes, IBJJF certification, and, of course, individual needs.
Many lightweight BJJ gis are very comfortable by default. You won’t have a hard time making transitions.
A lightweight model, by default, allows you to roll and move unrestricted with ease. Sometimes you’ll even wonder whether you are wearing a rash guard or a gi. There is a lot of comfort when moving your legs and arms and you’ll set the submissions faster.
There is a wrong belief that stiff and uncomfortable heavyweight gis are more durable than comfortable and lighter ones. But this doesn’t have to be true. After all, a lightweight BJJ gi can be made from a tough, sturdy material as well.
In general, people like to buy stuff that lasts, but that doesn’t mean that getting a light and durable piece of equipment is impossible. Quite the contrary!
Weave and GSM Rating
“GSM” is a common reference when it comes to choosing a BJJ gi. It has to do with the weight of the material and stands for “Grams per Square Meter”. It purely depends on the weave used to construct the gi. The denser the fabric or the weave is, the bigger the weight of the gi. This usually applies to gi jackets, given that pants are constructed slightly differently.
One of the most popular weaves when it comes to a lightweight BJJ gi is the pearl weave. In terms of GSM, the measurement of a lightweight gi is going to be a value of 350 or slightly below. It is the lightest weave allowed by IBJFF in the international BJJ competition. That said, even lighter gis do exist, but they are not allowed in tournaments.
If you see the signature “pearl weave”, it usually means a lightweight BJJ gi that is also highly durable! As the GSM value increases, so dead teh weight of the gi, along with the stiffness and discomfort.
IBJJ is the certification body that certificates gis when it comes to their use in competitions. Basically, if a product is certified, or walls within the defined bounds of a certain category, you can wear it in a BJJ competition organized by the IBJJF. Given that their standards are usually taken as the golden standard, it is wise to consider them when selecting a lightweight BJJ gi for yourself.
Of course, you can purchase a gi for training sessions only, but a certified model is more practical from a financial standpoint. Moreover, wearing a certified lightweight BJJ gi in the training session will lead to a positive transfer and more efficiency in the competition.
More money usually means better quality. But don’t just grab the most expensive lightweight BJJ gi because it doesn’t mean that it will fit your needs. The price of lightweight BJJ gis is usually lower, but that is not always the case. Apart from the pearl weave, which is arguable, the most common, there are now modern and even custom weaves that might make a gi even lighter in weight, but will drive up the price.
Basically, the rule of thumb is that if you’re getting your very first lightweight BJJ gi, you should go for a safe option and do not get the most expensive one out there. If you know, however, that a lightweight gi is exactly what you want to be wearing on the mats, you can have fun and experiment with different priced ones. Just remember to have at least one IBJJF certified lightweight BJJ gi.
One thing you can and should expect with every type o BJJ gi is the shrinkage rate. While it may be as low as 1%, there will be some shrinking after you wash a new gi for the first few times. You must watch the size chart carefully because each company has its standards and shrinkage rate si usually declared.
Always buy one number up. Especially when you’re between sizes. Even if the manufacturer says it is pre-shrunk, it’s better not to risk. Size charts vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so pay attention!
Different colors and designs are two very relative categories. While some people prefer black, white, or gray, there are so many fighters who root for a chance to test their skills in green, red, or even a pink lightweight BJJ gi! Just remember that only black, white and blue are officially approved competition colors by the IBJJF.
Furthermore, there are many modern and classic designs too. People are different, and everybody has a different way to view the world. More designs mean the wider population is covered!
REVIEWS OF THE BEST BJJ LIGHTWEIGHT GI OPTIONS
Hayabusa Pearl Weave is a light model for “complicated” buyers. It offers seven colors and five sizes, so everybody will be able to discover their most suitable lightweight BJJ gi match.
- Your body breathes during a training session.
- Reinforced lapel and other reinforcements for increased durability.
- IBJJ certified model.
- High quality.
- On the more expensive side
- The sizing is a bit specific.
Takeaway: If you’re willing to pay more money for a reinforced model, ready to last for a few years, go for it. I also believe it is awesome for fighters who work from both and top and bottom positions equally.
Gameness Air Gi is a great model, suitable for both training and competitions. It is IBJJF approved, so you don’t have to think about having a different training and competition lightweight BJJ gi.
- Three different sizes.
- Durable, reinforced, pearl weave.
- A very popular brand.
- Amazing for the hot climates (if you train in Brazil or any other equatorial country, it’s your new best friend).
- It hardly tears apart.
- Mid-to-high price range.
- Only IBJJF approved colors are available (white, blue, and black).
Takeaway: Good recommendation for serious fighters who plan to compete often, and like simple and straightforward BJJ gis that do what they’re intended to.
Tatami Nova Absolute Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ gi features an advanced lightweight pearl weave fabric. This particular model has a gi jacket and pants that are shorter than regular ones, making them perfect for competitors. Moreover, this Gi is available in 6 different sizes.
- You can roll on any surface.
- IBJJF approved.
- The rubberized collar protects from moisture.
- Modern design, three colors.
- It fits well.
- Free white belt
- Mid-to-high price range.
- The top is a bit too short.
Takeaway: I believe this could be the best lightweight BJJ gi for submission switch experts. If you constantly change your techniques during the game, and you don’t have a trademark, this could be an awesome match.
Elite Sports IBJJF is the price/quality ratio king, available in seven different colors and ten colors. The choice of the most complicated buyers in the world!
- No shrinking.
- IBJFF approves this model.
- You’ll get a white belt and a stripe bar too, world-class offer.
- Anti-odor features reduce the risk of a bad smell.
- Good for both genders.
- Great stitching.
- Sizing chart is weird, pay extra attention.
- The model is not reinforced, so it might lack in durability.
Takeaway: The fans of various designs and colors will love it. It offers both female and male models, and it’s the offer of your dreams for competitors trying to save money!
Sanabul Essentials sounds like a great match for fighters with very little time, it dries quickly and it fits even during the most technical submissions.
- Superb fit.
- No shrinking.
- It keeps you light and agile in the competition, even during the warmest summer months.
- Anti-microbial and anti-odor features.
- Six colors, five sizes.
- You must be warned with the Sanabul sizing chart.
Takeaway: It is also an extremely soft, but durable model at the same time. You’ll become a grappling phenom easily with this model.
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BJJ GI QUICK SUMMARY
Elite Sports IBJJF Ultra Light BJJ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi will satisfy even the most complicated buyers, and it saves money as well. Good quality for very little cash.
Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light Preshrunk BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi doesn’t shrink, maintains normal smell for a long time, and saves your budget.
Tatami Zero G V3 Jiu Jitsu Gi is our durability emperor, definitively the toughest lightweight BJJ gi. You can train in any surround without worries because it is reinforced in many critical areas. Considering its durability, the price is fair.
Gameness Air Gi is IBJFF approved model, a good choice if you want to train and compete in the same lightweight BJJ gi. Yet, it doesn’t offer variety.
Hayabusa Pearl Weave Light Jiu Jitsu Gi is a comfortable and durable model for great performance in competitions and training sessions. It also offers many wonderful colors and designs. Are you a demanding buyer with a lot of money? Try this model out, you’ll like it for sure!
LIGHTWEIGHT BJJ GI FAQS
Until a few years ago this was not an easy answer given that only a few companies made great lightweight BJJ gis. these days, however, almost every brand has a lightweight version out and it is going to do the trick. Still, the ones recommended above are definitely the ones I’d stick to, and I’m a proven lightweight Gi lover.
How long will it last?
Probably the most often asked question in relation to lightweight BJJ Gis. The biggest insight into the longevity of the material is the weave, and everything on that subject has been covered before. Once again, with the modern Gis, you’re set pretty much the same in terms of longevity regardless of the Gi weight.
Is it legal for competition?
Check. Nowadays, it is easy to check, because most brands do advertise that quality clearly. Still, there are full ripstop Gi jackets and colors out there that will get you DQed, so stick to the basics if you’re to wear a lightweight BJJ Gi in competition.
Is it a good deal?
Yes, but I am biased. Lightweight Gis are the most comfortable for me, and the slightly lower price compared to heavier GIs is definitely a good deal. Moreover, the Gis above are all top deals in terms of quality you get in a lightweight Gi, so this one shouldn’t worry you at all.
Always check the charts that the brand provides. Another option is trying the same Gi you’re about to buy from someone that already has it at the gym, but that is not always an option. Just remember that Gi sizes are not universal, and you should check every brand’s details before buying. Those charts really do contain all the info you’ll need.