Last summer I had the privilege of taking a look at Nine Lives’ Seven Seas gi. An impressive product, the Seven Seas were smooth. When I heard that Nine Lives was releasing a RED gi, the “Chapter Nine: Kitsune” I was super excited, I was interested in seeing if the quality I saw in my first review would carry over to another one.
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 Nine Lives.
The Seven Seas product was INCREDIBLE, so when I heard I’d be getting to review the Kitsune my thought was “Sign me up!”. Like the Seven Seas gi the Kitsune arrived with a couple of little goodies including an eraser, custom engraved wooden hanger (for drying and storing the gi) and some stickers.
Kitsune is Japanese for fox, and has a certain set of connotations in Japanese folklore.
You are welcome to do research on it, but to put it on a gi is pretty darn cool.
Fresh out the bag I noticed that this product was quite different from its predecessor, a
completely different fabric composite, much thinner/lighter feeling. How would it hold
up over a 5 month review period?
I’m 6’1, 205 (a 195lbs frame though.) The best fit for me is usually an A2L. Nine Lives’
Seven Seas A2L fit me great, though the pants were a BIT too big, this gi’s pants were
very slim cut, on the edge of being restrictive, but I found them to fit just well enough to
be comfortable to roll in while giving me a huge grip stripping advantage.
Nine Lives Kitsune
Nine Lives products are getting a reputation for their simultaneously subtle yet flashy designs. Subtle in that there isn’t much to the design but flashy in that their design points can be seen from across the room.
This gi is awesomely incredibly RED. I have reviewed one other red gi from KO Sportswear, but that was a “budget” option, this gi is deluxe.
The interior of the pants and the top have a ton of satiny sublimated lining to make the gi very comfortable. Over the review period I watched the color of the gi fade ever so slightly but not significantly, I was very pleased with how the gi “aged”.
The jacket of this gi is made of a lightweight pearl weave fabric. The interior yoke panel has an ultra slick sublimated satin fabric that is also used for seamtape and at the interior of the vent splits.
Externally the gi has a swath of the same satiny fabric on the right shoulder as well as at the bottom of the left lapel with the Nine Lives cat mascot embroidered on the left shoulder. There are 2 other embroideries on the top: a circular kanji embroidery on the left side of the chest and a fox mask between the shoulder blades.
The vents have ripstop covering and are asymmetrical: black on the right and white on the left.
The gi jacket held up great over the course of the review period, but I had ONE minor complaint: I found the ripstop covered EVA foam lapel to be a bit thin for my tastes, the lapel on the seven seas gi was far more substantial. This complaint is purely a preference thing and had no effect on my opinion of this gi.
Like its predecessor the “Seven Seas” gi, Nine Lives gave the Kitsune’s gi pants given far more attention than most gi companies give their pants.
The Kitsune pants are made of a soft, lightweight ripstop fabric that held up nicely over the course of the review period.
One of my favorite features a gi can have is hidden material and the trousers of the Kitsune have gi material in the crotch gusset AND inside the knees to make them quite good at gripping but hard to grip.
Inside of the crotch Nine Lives put the same silky fabric as used in the yoke panel as well as in the rope split. The put a small rectangle of this fabric on the right thigh as well to give the gi a complete look.
The closure system is the standard 6 loop with a stretchy rope. The loops are black ripstop.
The trousers have one kanji embroidery on the left thigh.
Nine Lives gets an A+ on their trousers of both gis that I’ve reviewed.
What a gi. I can’t think of any real complaints other than the thinness of the lapel and the fact that the pants are borderline too narrow. But I rolled great in this gi and would absolutely wear this or a gi like it to compete in. Grips are hard to take on a gi that fits this well, and it’s so comfortable!
You can’t go wrong with a Nine Lives gi. I have reviewed two very different products with similar opinions of both: they make a fantastic gi. You can still find this gi at Nine Lives’ website, or peruse for other amazing products