With the number of BJJ tournaments growing each year, more and more people are competing.
One of the things that fighters struggle with is making weight. As most tournaments are now following the IBJJF guidelines, you will need to make weight wearing your GI, so If you have a heavyweight or even a medium weight GI you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage by, either having to go up to a heavier weight class, or by having to cut weight on the day.
The solution? Invest in an ultralight or lightweight BJJ GI. Below we will outline our top 5 choices.
Please note, we have only included GIs that are IBJJF legal, as this is the standard to which most fighters want to compete at, and GIs in the range of 375gsm-450gsm cotton as this is the range that we would class as ultralight and lightweight. Various companies have started to sell 250gsm pearl weave, which although very lightweight is not, in my opinion, strong enough for the rigours of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and is more akin to a Karate GI.
Tatami Zero G
I thought that I would start the list with one of the longest running GIs. If you have been around the Jiu Jitsu scene long enough to remember, the Zero G was revolutionary when it first came out. At that time (2009) a 550gsm GI was classed as lightweight, so when Tatami launched the Zero G at 450gsm, people were blown away with the difference in weight, and how soft and supple the material was. After this everyone started to follow suit.
Nowadays, Tatami have lighter GIs than the Zero G, but in my opinion, as an all-round tournament GI, this is still their best offering.
Valor VLR Superlight GI
The Valor VLR comes in at an exceptionally light 1.2kg, so it’s at the lower end of the weight scale, which makes it a great choice of GI for making weight at tournaments, and training in hot weather.
The jacket is made from an ultralight 350gsm, which is the current gold standard for lightweight pearl weave GIs and is adorned with stylish branding and patches. It also comes with a free drawstring GI bag to carry it in. Bonus!
Kingz Ultralight 2.0
Although Kingz label this GI as an ultralight GI, with it coming in at 425gsm, I would class this more like a lightweight GI. If weight is your main concern, I would go with one of the lighter weight GIs, like the Valor VLR, but if you only need to cut a little bit of weight, then this is well worth a look.
As it slightly heavier and thicker than the ultralight varieties, you get certain other advantages, like the top and trousers being harder to grip. Other features include rip-stop trousers, triple reinforced stitching and 100% pre-shrunk jacket.
Scramble Athlete 4
The current athlete GI by Scramble is the 4th iteration of this bestselling competition kimono. Scramble are known for their high-quality gear and they don’t disappoint with the V4.
Constructed of a 375gsm pearl weave cotton, it sits somewhere between an ultralight and a lightweight GI, so it’s Ideal for tournaments and everyday training.
It has minimal styling and branding, so it’s ideal for patching up, or vinyl printing with your club or sponsors logos.
Fuji has been around a long time but have only really started to make waves over the last few years. Starting out with their All Around GI, they were seen as more of a brand to buy entry-level GIs from, but not anymore.
The Suparaito GI is up there with the best GIs available in terms of quality. Made from high-quality 350gsm cotton, you will have no trouble making weight, and with its athletic cut, you will have every advantage going into your next match.
All of the above GIs will serve you well for use in your next BJJ tournament, and they will also be great for your everyday training, so if you are a regular on the tournament scene, or someone that just likes to compete on the odd occasion, they are well worth the investment.