Oct 252009
 

A few weeks back, I heard from Douglas at Razorback Jiu Jitsu.  He had some gold weave gis made to order and was going to be selling them for well below what you’d expect to pay for a BJJ gi, currently only $65 (no that’s not a typo).  He asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing one and, of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

I got the gi in the mail and tried it on.  It’s not pre-shrunk and the only adornment are two patches on the sleeves: the US flag on one shoulder and the Brazilian flag on the other.  I received an A4, which is listed as fitting guys between 6′ and 6’4, 200 to 250 lbs.  Of course, at 5’10” and ~185 lbs, I was swimming in it.  But after I washed it twice in hot water, it shrunk up nicely.

The Razorback Gold Weave Gi

My first impressions on opening up the package are pretty good.  The gi is pretty light and looks well made.  The pants are a little thinner than what you’ll find from a high end gi, but are reinforced at all the right spots.  The top is made from a sturdy, gold weave fabric.

Inside Seams of GiInside Seams of Gi

This gi, as you can see, is made from a three piece top.  While all of the seams look sturdy and are reinforced at all of the stress points, this does separate this gi from some of the more expensive models available.  Top tier BJJ kimonos are made from a single piece of fabric for comfort and durability.  Seams in the fabric can be a potential tearing point.  Also, a seam down the back can be uncomfortable if you’re working from the bottom in guard.  On the mat, I didn’t notice the seam at all.

The fit is roomy, cut with a little more space than some BJJ gis I’ve owned.  What I mean is, the sleeves are a little roomier, and the pants don’t have that tailored cut that some of the other brands sport.   On the spectrum of gis I’ve owned, this gi fits much like my Atama #7 and the Padilla and Sons gold weave gis.  Another one that comes to mind is the Gameness single weave gi.

Back of the giBack of the Gi

Some Ratings:

Value:   5 out of 5.

This is a better than student grade gi.  In quality, it’s compares very favorably to an HCK single weave at $80 or the Gameness Single Weave at $78 in quality.  If you’re considering purchasing your first BJJ gi, a solid backup or an inexpensive replacement, I highly recommend this gi.  As of this review, Douglas is selling these gis for $65 each.  That’s a steal for a gold weave BJJ kimono.

Fit: 3.5 out of 5

The fit is baggier than I like.  I prefer to have a more tailored cut to my gis and feel like I’m swimming in this top.  The pants are also pretty baggy.  This is largely a matter of preference, though.  If you’re a bigger dude, or if you prefer something closer in fit to a Judo gi, this will be ideal for you.    I’ll qualify this by saying that I’ve only washed this gi three times and it’s not pre-shrunk, so I expect that it will shrink a bit more.

Provided you purchase a gi that fits you correctly, this one will have no problems meeting IBJJF specs for fit and construction.  Before you buy, I would recommend shooting an email to Douglas to find out from him what size he recommends.  I wash my gis in warm/hot water and machine dry them, so I expect a little more shrinkage than others might.

Durability:  3 out of 5

I’m giving this gi a 3 for durability, but this was a tough one and I honestly kept waffling between 2.5 and 3.

Pros:  All of the stress points are well reinforced and the stitching looks solid.  The gold weave fabric is nice and looks strong.

Cons:  The pants are a little thin and the jacket is constructed from three panels of fabric, resulting in seams along the middle and down the back.

While this gi clearly won’t last as long as a more expensive gi, it’s selling for $65.  Comparing it to others in the same “class” of gi (which are all more expensive), such as the Gameness Single Weave, I’d say this is as well made and the gold weave fabric is sturdier.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the jacket outlasts the pants.

  7 Responses to “Review: Razorback Jiu Jitsu Gold Weave Gi”

Comments (7)
  1.  

    $65?! Wow. That’s going to be tough to beat for value.

    On a related point, my favourite gi is still a toss-up between either my Padilla & Sons (which I got for £50) or the basic judogi I picked up for £20 four years ago.

    I really can’t see the point of paying upwards of $100.

    •  

      Well, I agree with the value part. This isn’t a $120 gi, but it’s one hell of a $65 dollar gi. I’d wear this over the Gameness single weave or the Howard single, given the choice and it’s cheaper than both.

      As for $100, I guess I’m all for it if you can afford it. I still like the Gameness Pearl for fit better than any other gi I’ve owned, but I like trying out the new stuff.

  2.  

    Steve,

    Thanks for the thorough and honest review! I have been training in this gi for a couple of months now, and it seems to be holding up nicely.

    Believe it or not, those are the thicker pants. The first cut on this gi, the pants were so thin you could see through them. On the next go round we will incorporate some of the feedback from the reviews. I expect the quality and fit to improve and the price to go up.

    Douglas

    •  

      Thanks, Douglas. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that there is a real need for a solid gi at a decent price point. This gi fills a much needed void. I just shake my head when a kid is complaining about only having one gi, but they’re wearing a $140+ Keiko Raca, Koral, ShoYoRoll or whatever.

      As I said in the review, this is a terrific gi for $65 and I will be recommending it to all the new guys who are looking for a solid first gi, a good backup or anyone on a budget.

  3.  

    I started with a HSU Kodokan and then latter forked out the big bucks for a Koral. I’ve never wanted to go back but hate to see my more expensive investment wear out. I’ve been considering a less expensive kimono. Thanks for the review. I’ll keep it in mind in my search for a middle tier gi.

  4.  

    Hi Steve,

    After reading this I ordered one of the razorback gis since your review was mostly positive. I have to say, that for the price, I am extremely impressed with the quality. The top reinforcements are all there and in the right places, and the material is nice and thick, though not quite as thick as some other “in-between” weaves on the market. I can’t see the top coming apart any time soon unless there’s a fault in the seam stitching somewhere, and the seams on the gi I received are all very well done from what I can see. It’s pretty comfortable – the weave isn’t rough or “cheese grater” and the collar is nice and thick, fairly stiff, but not like cardboard.

    Personally I like the style of pants that came with the gi and didn’t think they were overly thin at all – on mine at least, there is reinforcement from the mid-thigh to the cuff, and what isn’t reinforced is still fairly thick fabric. As for the fit of the pants, I love it – I have fairly large thighs from years of deadlifts and squats, though, so quite often gi pants are uncomfortably snug (I have this same issue with regular pants as well, FWIW). I also hate overly thick gi pants, so keep that in mind. Gi pants that feel like jeans make me sad.

    As far as the fit of the top goes, I agree that I’m “swimming” in it. Douglas recommended an A5 for me (5′ 11″ 220-230 and probably about 15% bf at this point) and even after repeated hot washings and dryings the sleeves still extend halfway down my hands when it’s totally snugged up, and past my fingers if I move around much in it. I’m returning the top for an a4 which will hopefully fit much better – Douglas was very cool about this.

    Anyhow, thanks for your review, hopefully my $.02 is welcome.

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