Vandal Kimonos offers some really top quality gis that, I believe, rival brands charging premium pricing. I still believe that they're very under the radar in the BJJ community. They have a large social following online, but you don't see them sponsoring IBJJF tournaments or advertising in all of the BJJ magazines (more on that below).
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I received both the pro G4 and Pro X Lite for review. In writing this review, I wore these gis on and off for about a year and a half! I'm between sizes for their brand and one is an a2 and the other an a3. The a2 fit well out of the bag but after a bit of wear, it was too small for comfort whereas the a3 fit fantastic as time went on. They're both top quality gis and I really enjoyed testing them out.
On a side note, I really like how they've built their brand. They've built a large community of followers, especially locally, and have focused more on people to people interactions to grow as opposed to traditional advertising. It's a very similar way to how I've chosen to build Ok! Kimonos so I'm a fan 🙂
Vandal Kimonos Gi Review Video
I found the fit of my Vandal gis (both in A2 and a3) to be akin to the fit of my Shoyoroll gis. As you can see in the video above, the A2 fit me well right out of the bag, but over time it became a bit small. The A3 was large on my out of the bag, but over time it shrank a little bit and became a great fit.
The gis are pre-shrunk and didn't allow for above-average shrinkage, but allowing customers a small degree of shirnk-to-fit is really necessary in BJJ gis because everybody's body types are so different.
I think the bags for these gis are great. The screen printing on them is fantastic and the sense for good typgraphy is excellent. Well done, Vandal.
The Pro G 4 reminds me of my favorite gi of all time, the ‘Tuxedo' gi from Koral back in the day. I remember thinking how cool Jacare looked in it and always wanted one. The Pro G4 from Vandal is no different. I think the black lapel looks VERY sharp and the brand is smart as well.
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The jacket features both a lapel patch and woven shoulder patches.
There is embroidery on the upper back and well-made seam tape inside the sleeves and the skirt of the jacket (don't worry, it's not scratchy).
The Pro X Lite gi in black also features woven seam tape and a solid color scheme throughout. The branding is smart and uses traditional placement, with the exception of a rib embroidery on the jacket.
The seam taping is also not scratchy but the jacket's skirt features a cool orange/yellow cotton fabric in lieu of seam taping.
It's loud and awesome.
The jacket in the Pro G4 is a fanastic 450gsm one piece pearl weave. The lapel is covered with black ripstop fabric.
The Pro X LITE appears to be made of the same pearl weave material and re-branded, but is still awesomely crafted and representative of a premium brand kimono.
The Pro G4 pants have an 6 point drawstring system and are made of 10oz ripstop. It *does* come with a drawstring but I took mine out to test it and see how it held up. I'm happy to report it held up beautifully, despite being MIA for it's debut photo session seen here 🙂
The Pro X Lite trousers also feature ripstop meaterial with a 6 point drawstring system.
Both of the gis were great to roll in and with the stretchy rope drawstring, I never had issues with the pants coming untied or falling off. Both of the jackets performed well and since I wore them both through every season (we have all 4 here outside of Chicago), they performed great with all temperature and humidity levels.
If you're in between sizes like I am, I definitely recommend going with the larger size and shrinking it to fit.
UPDATE (Jan 18, 2017): These gis are no longer being sold.
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Having worn these gis for about a year and a half, I can say that, should you decide to pick one up, your Vandal gi will stand the test of time.