Okay. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. I like the new, lightweight generation of BJJ gis coming out, and Bad Boy is old school, up there with Vulkan and Atama. When they came out with the Bad Boy Pro Series Lightweight Gi, I was all like, “Damn. I have to get one.” Then I saw the price tag and was just like, “Damn.” So, I bought a Gameness Feather, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite gis. It’s lightweight, affordable, well made and… well, I dyed mine Wedgewood Blue, which makes my BJJ like 10x better.
But two things happened. First, I saw what a terrific job Seymour is doing reviewing gis on his blog. His thorough and honest reviews have inspired me. Second, MMAOutlet.com offered me a discount in exchange for some link love, and hopefully some referrals and business their way. I felt like karma had swept in and given me a big smooch on the lips, practically begging me to buy the more expensive gi and find out whether it’s truly worth the hype.
The Gameness Feather is manufactured in Pakistan, while the Bad Boy is made in Brazil.
Disclaimer and Pricing:
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not sponsored by Bad Boy or Gameness. I purchased both gis with my own money, although I got the Bad Boy Pro Series Lightweight Gi at a discount. The following is a full and honest review of the gis. As of the posting of this review, these gis are both available from MMAOutlet.com. The Bad Boy for $199.95 plus s&h and the Gameness for $124.99. Another gi in this lightweight family is the Vulkan Pro Light.
Weight and Fit:
I’m 5’10” tall and about 185 lbs. I have a long torso and short legs (30” inseam). I have a wingspan of approximately 72”. I am measuring the Bad Boy gi both before AND after washing. The Gameness Feather has been washed several times. It’s likely that the Bad Boy will shrink a bit more, although I believe based on experience, that this will be relatively minimal. Both Gis are A3.
I wash my gis every time the same way. I wash in warm water, cold rinse, and dry them completely in the dryer. I purchase the gis specifically anticipating maximum shrinkage, so with only a very few exceptions, I tend to buy an A3 for my size.
I’m not including weight for these gis, because at the time of this writing, I just don’t have a scale that’s accurate enough to weigh them. I’ll update this review when I’m able to weight them. Also, in the chart below, I’ve included measurements for the Bad Boy out of the bag, as well as after washing twice. I didn’t measure the Gameness Feather out of the bag, so obviously, I can’t include them in this review.
|Gameness Pearl||Bad Boy Pro Series|
|Measurements (Inches)||Post Wash||Pre/Post Wash|
The weave is remarkably similar. It’s a soft weave that’s comfortable and lightweight. Both feel strong. Having worn both, I’ll say that the Gameness seems to expand a bit when sweaty, while the Bad Boy remains tighter. Not a strong knock against the Gameness, but the nod is for the Bad Boy.
Fit is comparable, with both being comfortable and plenty big for me, even after washing in warm water and drying completely in the dryer. The jackets are both well constructed and durable.
The cuffs are both reinforced well, and I think that both will stand up well to the rigors of gripfighting. You can see on the left that the Gameness Feather gi is finished with a trim patch matching the trim on the outside bottom of the jacket. This is a nice finishing touch that was present in the Gameness Pearl as well. I don’t know whether anyone really notices it or not, but it’s nice to have.
The Bad Boy is reinforced with what looks like heavy canvas stripping. It has a much more substantial feel.
The collars are approximately the same thickness with the slightly thicker one being the Gameness Feather.
The Gameness Feather features a rubberized collar with ripstop fabric, which might be marginally lighter. It’s noticeably spongier when you squish it. Many gi manufacturers have gone to using some kind of lightweight, rubber material in the lapels so that they’re lighter and dry faster.
The Bad Boy collar is MUCH stiffer, made, if I understand the sales verbiage correctly, of some kind of rolled cotton (“lapel that is filled with the same high-quality material of which the Gi itself is made.”) The end result is a tougher feel, and a more traditional look. The collar fabric is also a more traditional canvas, rather than the newer, trendier, ripstop fabric. Will it make you harder to choke? Maybe. I don’t know. I think that the sponginess of the Gameness gi will make it a little easier to grip.
The pants both have two drawstring loops, with a flat, fabric style drawstring (as opposed to a rope style like the SYR and older Gameness pants use). The Bad Boy pants are slightly heavier.
The fabric in the Gameness Feather is ripstop. It’s very different, however, from other ripstop pants I’ve seen, such as the Atama Mundial 7 and 9 paints. While the Atama ripstop fabric is soft, the Gameness Feather pants are stiff. Is this a bad thing? I really don’t know. It just is, I guess. They’re really wrinkly and stiff, but also very light. The knees are reinforced.
The Bad Boy pants are a light canvas material. Much softer than the Gameness, they’re more of what you’d expect to find in BJJ gi pants with heavily reinforced seams, knees and other stress points.
The cuffs of the trousers are noticeably different in that the Gameness pants are finished at the bottom, but not really reinforce, while the Bad Boy pants don’t look like they’re going to ever wear out.
Patches and Stitching
Both gis feature some requisite pieces of Flair.
On the chest, there’s a lapel patch which is pretty familiar to anyone who’s seen the Gameness Single Weave or Platinum Weave gis that have been around for years. The thing is, this lapel patch really doesn’t match, and was mercifully absent from the Gameness Pearl designs. I had intended to remove it when I purchased the gi, but decided to keep it only because I wasn’t sure I could get the patch off cleanly. It’s stitched very close to the seam on the collar, and I was going to have to cut the fabric on the patch to get it off. After dying it, I still don’t like it, but I like it a whole lot better.
Other patches include the small patch on the left that features the Gameness Bulldog logo, and the trim patches also seen on the left and inside the cuffs on the jacket. It’s a nice touch inside the sleeves that finished the seam and also reinforces it.
That’s it for the Feather. Unlike on other Gameness gis, the ripstop pants that come with the Gameness Feather are absent any bling.
The Bad Boy Pro Series Lightweight gi features a much more coherent graphics scheme than the Gameness. I mean, there’s consistent repetition of only one version of the company logo, and it looks like some thought was given to the entire process, creating a much less haphazard appearance. It’s also very clean looking, without too much going on. The overall effect is professional looking with enough branding that it’s easy to see.
The picture above left is along the bottom edge of the jacket, with a trim patch that finishes the jacket and a small logo patch. Above right is a picture of the shoulder patch. All three patches feature the Badboy eye logo with the company name in block print.
The pants have three patches, including trim along the outside seams that matches the jacket trim, a small square patch (above middle) that is on the front towards the top of the pants, and an embroidered patch of the eye logo that is down at the bottom of the right leg.
The patches on both gis seem to be sewn on well.
Bottom line is that the Bad Boy is clearly a better made gi in every category. The verbiage on the websites evokes images of little old ladies sitting in a big room, hand sewing each Bad Boy gi with needle and thread, and maybe a little love, too. Obviously, that ain’t the case, but you can see that every seam is straight and clean, every panel is reinforced and well thought out. The whole thing just feels well constructed. I like the lines of it, and the sharp looking patches are enough to look good without being gaudy. If you can afford to spend the dough on a Bad Boy gi, you won’t be disappointed. The only issue I have with my Bad Boy is what color to dye it. I’m thinking fire engine red.
The Gameness represents good value for the money. While the stitching isn’t quite as clean, the seams aren’t quite as well reinforced, and the graphics aren’t quite as well thought out, at more than 1/3rd less cost, it’s a very good gi for the money.
Both Gis are available from MMAOutlet.com.