Macaco Branco has been around for a while and a back before I even started writing for Gi Reviews the reivew team had a review of one of their gis (http://gireviews.net/gi-review-macaco-branco/). They have an attractive product line, but do they stand out in an ever growing, ever expanding, ever evolving gi market? Or are they just monkeying around?
This Gi was submitted to me free of charge (by way of gireviews.net) for review. I have never done any work with or for Macaco Branco.
I first heard of Macaco Branco when they hit the market a few years back. Their designs seemed pretty generic to me, but I did enjoy their brand name Macaco Branco which means white monkey. I actually read the first review this site did which came out a couple of years before I came on board as a reviewer.
The gi arrived with a pretty cool tee-shirt that pays homage to the Kimura shoulder lock (known in other circles as a double wrist lock and/or a gyaku ude garami). As well as a neat carrying bag.
The gi is called the Macaco Branco Classic, and usually when I read the word “classic” to describe a gi design I assume it means “basic” or “low end” and write it off. Every gi I receive for review gets an open mind, so I tried to put aside any prejudices based on the name of the gi, and give it a fair shot. How did it stand up to my four and a half month review period?
I’m 6’1, 195. The best fit for me is usually an A2L. This gi was an A2L and I found the top to be a bit snug, I think the lapel crossover wasn’t what it normally is, but the overall fit was good as the length was perfect. The pants were perfect.
As I alluded to in the introduction, when I hear that a gi is “classic” I assume it to be an entry model not worthy of a gi connoisseur such as myself. I was wrong. This gi was anything but basic. The look, however, was in fact classic, featuring what I consider to be an
The blue gi features a 550 gsm pearl weave top and a nice pair of 12 oz cotton twill pants. The color theme is blue, red, white and black. There are also some accent points in a turquoise color that pop really nicely with the rest of the color theme.
There is red branded seam tape throughout the gi and white stitching that looks really nice in contrast to the deep blue coloring of the gi.
There are a couple of embroideries and patches but Macaco Branco left the gi relatively plain with the exception of a large chest patch. I normally am not a fan of what I like to call beauty queen sash patches but this one actually looked pretty cool in my opinion.
I really liked the jacket.
The 550 gsm pearl weave had nice thickness and consistency especially considering that it is a Pakistani pearl weave. I’d say that the fabric is on par with most premium gis on the market.
The EVA foam lapel is of ideal thickness and has a large (13×4) patch on the left side running down the lapel with brand name and “M C B 12” symbol. The left sleeve features a small round medallion style embroidery with the same motifs.
The vents on the top are the turquoise blue that really pull the design together and there is a red Macaco Branco seam tape in the cuffs and on the bottom of the skirt. On the outside of the bottom of the skirt they put twill taping. I’m not sure if this is functional but the different texture looks cool.
Like I said, the design is “classic” but by no means “basic.”
The 12 ounce twill trousers are, like the top, relatively simple but very attractive.
The fastening system is 6 loops with a stretchy rope. The loops, venting and rope are all turquoise. One feature that I’ve never seen on another gi is that the rope is like a shoelace with a taped tip instead of tied or melted. This had no effect on the performance of the pants but I thought it looked cool.
The pants feature full length double fabric from the top of the knees to the bottom of the pants and the same red branded seam tape as the top. They also feature a small branded patch with the same design as the lapel patch but much smaller (tag sized) on the left thigh.
Because the top was a bit too snug the gi came open at the slightest breeze. I like to think I’m an A2L but sometimes to some brands this means different things. For this reason, I wasn’t crazy about rolling in the gi, but otherwise loved it. I think that if the gi were 3-4 inches bigger it would be an instant favorite so I won’t hold it against the gi.
I found the lapel thickness, arm length and lack of fabric stretch to all be plusses and overall would say I enjoyed training in it in spite of the issues with the fit.
I’m pleased to report that I misjudged the Macaco Branco classic gi. I thought that classic would mean base model only appropriate as a giveaway gi when you sign up at a gym or something like that, but found the gi to be of the highest quality. If you like the look of this gi, hit up Macaco Branco at www.macacobranco.com.