What is the most durable / toughest / strongest gi for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)?
At first glance, this is a silly question. This is because the strongest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi is often times not a BJJ gi at all. It’s a judogi.
While they may look alike, there are some significant differences between Judo gis and BJJ gis. Typically, people don’t wear a BJJ gi for judo, or vice versa. In official competitions, you must wear the appropriate gi for that type of competition.
The nature of Judo and BJJ is similar, but different. Although both are jacketed grappling styles, the sport is opposite. Judo is primarily concerned with throwing and standup grappling, whereas BJJ is essentially focused on grappling on the ground. Therefore, the gis are constructed to meet the needs of their respective fighter.
The Differences between judo gis and BJJ gis:
- Judo gis tend to be heavier and stiffer, and BJJ gis are lighter and more flexible
- Judo gis are typically looser and BJJ gis will fit the player much more tightly
- Some judo gis will have a seam down the back, and BJJ gis will not
- Judo gis typically are either blue or white and BJJ gis are any color imaginable
- I know it’s not a difference, but their price is not really different. High end gis in both sports tend to be expensive.
- There is also a rumour that BJJ gis will have better pants, due to the ruleset differences between BJJ and Judo, but I have not found this to be cannon.
But what if I want to use a judo gi for BJJ? What if I don’t like all of the paper-thin gis out there? (note: sarcasm. I love the paper-thin gis too)
Emphasis on heavyweight
These days, the trend is toward lightweight gis. With most major competitions requiring you to weigh in with the gi on, most people are moving toward lightweight gis for training and competition.
With this trend, we don’t see as much emphasis on heavyweight gis any more. How will we define what we’re talking about?
We’re discussing gis above a single weave, typically a double weave or above. We looked at the ones that your opponent can't grip, that make you sweat buckets when you wear them, heck.. we tried to find the ones that you can't even grip yourself!
The Most Durable BJJ Gis of 2016
Without further ado, here is our list of the heaviest, most ungrippable gis in the market right now. Note that some on the list are actually judo gis.
1. Keiko Raca Gold Weave Kimono
You'd have a difficult time finding something heavier than the 1,000gsm (grams/square meter) Keiko Gold Weave Kimono. The thickness of this 100% double weave cotton, IBJJF approved gi makes it near impossible to grip.
2. Tatami The Tank Gi
Tatami The Tank Gi is possibly the most talked-about, often-recommended, heavyweight gi right now. At 950gsm, you will probably have retired from jiu jitsu long before this gi gives up. Its design is inspired by the lighter, more popular Estilo range.
3. Ronin Brand Imperial Double Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi
This double weave gi is the heaviest BJJ gi that Japan has manufactured. It is made of poly/cotton material that weighs in at 890gsm.
4. Dragao Arm Lock
A product of Brazil, the Dragao Arm Lock is made of 890 gsm 100% cotton.
5. Deluxe KuSakura Judogi JOA
This is KuSakura's first exported judogi. At 890 gsm, it is also the brand's heaviest. This gi is made of 100% cotton.
6. Matsuru Mondial IJF Approved Gi
The IJF approved Mondial from Matsuru is made of 100% cotton (750 gsm).
7. Mizuno Yusho Elite 2.0 IJF Judo Gi
The Mizuno Yusho Elite 2.0 is IJF approved from 2015. Designed in Japan, it weighs 750 gsm and is made of 80% cotton and 20% polyester.
8. HCK Competition Single BJJ Gi 740GSM
We can't complete this list without an HCK entry. Even though it is single weave, the HCK Competition Single BJJ gi weighs in at 740 gsm, and is the heaviest that is listed in their store.
Mention must be made, that even the heavy double weave gis won’t always last longer than lightweight gis. First, they have to be washed more often and some people resort to bleaching them. Also, the weave is much more dense and the quality of the fabric may not be as high as some lightweight gis, causing them to wear quickly. While lighter, some ripstop gis can actually be more durable and easier to wash.
Now, this begs the question, if I want the strongest lightweight gi, what gis should I consider? Do you have any suggestions? Post them in the comments below.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AUGUST 2011 | UPDATED IN NOVEMBER 2016