Aug 072010
 

IMG_1337Brits, for some reason, seem to be among the most prolific BJJ bloggers around.  Between Seymour over at Meerkatsu, Matt with Grappling Dummy and Scramble, and Can and his Slideyfoot blog, it’s easy to keep up with what’s going on over in the UK.  So, when I saw pics and reviews of a new gi being produced by Tatami Fightwear, I was jealous.  I thought that a company producing gear for Europe would be pretty well inaccessible here in the States.  By the time it gets shipped and all of that, it just wouldn’t be worth it.  Turns out, I was wrong. 

This review is intended to supplement, but in no way replace Meerkatsu’s excellent review, so for more information be sure to check out his blog.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this gi from Tatami Fightwear at a discount specifically for review.  I’m not currently sponsored by them and this review is a reflection of my own opinions of the gi. 

tatamiThe Zero G Gi is available in both men’s and women’s sizes.  The model I purchased is available for £63, which, at the time I’m writing this review, is about $78.27.  Shipping is going to run between $20 and $30 for a gi.  Again, it just really depends on the exchange rate at the time. 

A cool feature of the Tatami Fightwear website is that it can automatically convert the currency, so there’s no question how much you’re spending, whether it’s Euros, Pounds or US Dollars.  Just click on the currency symbol in the top left corner of the page and all prices, including your shopping cart are converted for you.  

General Impressions:

The gi is VERY lightweight.  The entire gi weighs just a hair over 3 lbs.  This gi is manufactured in Pakistan for the Tatami Fightwear company.

When I pulled it out of the package, the first thing that jumped out at me was the flair.  The patches are a bright blue, and stand out from the crowd.  The second thing I noticed was how light the pants are.  They’re very soft and light, like pajama pants (no kidding).  The first time I wore the gi, it got a lot of attention.  In a group of guys wearing Bad Boys, Atamas, Gameness, Venum and the rest of the current group of lighter weight gis, the blue patches and other graphics really made the Tatami Zero G stand out, without, IMO, being too loud.  

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”. 

Most gi manufacturers recommend washing their products in cold water and line drying.  This might work well in a place like Brazil, where the sun is hot and the UV rays will kill the bacteria.  In Seattle, that just doesn’t work.  I don’t like stinky clothes so I try to purchase gis big, anticipating greater than normal shrinkage.  I wash my gis every time the same way.  I wash in warm water, cold rinse, and dry them completely in a very hot 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. 

According to the Tatami size and fit chart, an A3 will fit a guy 5’10” to 6’ tall and between 193 and 220 lbs.  This is true.  I’ve been burned buying A2s in the past, but in this case, an A2 would fit me perfectly.  Ultimately, the A3 Tatami Zero G was too big for me. 

One of my teammates is a big guy.  He’s about 5’11” and weighs about 210 lbs, and this gi fits him perfectly after multiple washings. 

GI DIAGRAM

  Pre-Wash (Inches) Post-Wash (Inches)
A 69 66
B 32.5 30
C 23 22
D 7 6 3/4
E 39 35 1/2
F 9 1/2 9
G 29 26
     

Jackets:

IMG_1345The weave is pretty typical of what you’ll find with other gis in this family.  It’s a light, but sturdy weave that holds up well to the rigors of grappling and grip fighting.

IMG_1343For me, the fit of the A3 was big.  As I said before, I didn’t trust the size chart… but I should have.  At my size, an A2 would be a good fit.   

  The cuffs are well reinforced and sturdy with what looks like heavy canvas stripping.  It’s a finishing touch that wasn’t common a few years ago, but is pretty much standard any more. 

The jacket has a tapered cut, and looks sharp.  

Patches and stitching are dominated by a blue color scheme.  The location and size of the patches is pretty standard, but the motif makes this gi stand out from the crowd.

Pictures of the various patches and embroidery are below.

    IMG_1331 IMG_1332 IMG_1333 IMG_1334

Pants/Trousers:

The pants are super light, reminiscent of SYR pants.  They’re soft cotton and feature some of the blue zero G patches.  My only reservation about the entire gi is that I wonder if the pants are too light.  These will certainly work well for competition, but I’m not sure how long these will hold up in steady training.  To me, this isn’t a quality issue as much as it’s an unavoidable trade off between lightweight design and sturdiness.  Something’s got to give. 

And just to be clear, I’m not saying that these pants won’t hold up.  I am, however, curious about it.  It’s really the only question mark I can see and something that can only be answered over time.  I’ll tell you what, though.  As long as they last, they are very, very comfortable.

IMG_1338The drawstring is a stretchy rope material, which doesn’t get bunched. up.  There are two loops to keep it in place.  The stretchiness of the rope is something I’ve not seen before.  It actually works really well, and keeps the pants from getting loose while rolling.

IMG_1339

The knees are reinforced but the cuffs aren’t given a lot of attention.  Once again, the pants are lightweight and built to be so, rather than for durability. 

Below are some pictures of the patches that can be found on the pants.

 

IMG_1327 IMG_1328 IMG_1329  

Conclusion:

Overall:  4 out of 5

The gi is sharp and light.  If you’re looking for a quality, competition gi, this one will definitely fit the bill.  This is particularly true if you’re competing at tournaments that require you to weigh in while wearing your gi, such as at IBJJF tournaments. 

Design:  5 out of 5

The look and feel is terrific.  This is a good looking gi that’s tailored well.  It’s going to get some attention, without being as overt as other gis that are all flaired out. 

Durability: 3 out of 5

At this point, this is really a question mark for me.  The jacket is well made and looks to be on par with many much more expensive kimonos.  The pants are really what I don’t know about and why I gave the Zero G a 3 in this category.  Ultimately, it’s about weight and cut and being IBJJF legal, and this gi does those things.  If you’re looking at something that’s going to hold up to day to day training, I might look at one of the other models offered by Tatami or elsewhere.

Value:  4 out of 5

Again, if you’re looking for a competition gi that’s super light, looks good and is legal at IBJJF competitions, this is a great deal.  If you live in the States, it’s going to cost you a little more for shipping, which is the only reason I couldn’t give this gi a 5 in this category.  But 4 is very, very good, and at approximately $110 including delivery, this gi is a very good deal.

 Posted by at 11:02 am

  11 Responses to “GI Review: Tatami Fightwear’s Zero G Competition Gi”

Comments (10) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Thanks for the link Steve. Yes the Zero G make their gis big and they don’t shrink very much, if at all (well the trousers shrink a lot but not the jacket). One of the few comnpanies where you do have to pay attention to their size chart.
    For the UK at least, they are immensly popular mainly because of their incredibly good price point – just in the reach of both the beginner and the seasoned BJJer needing a second or 8th gi 😉
    Well done, do more!

  2.  

    Good stuff: I’ve been rolling in a Zero G for a couple of months now, so about time I put up a review myself, probably in the next few weeks. Nice to know there are already two excellent reviews by you and Seymour I can link to. :)

    I wasn’t too keen on the patches, but then it isn’t too difficult to remove them.

    •  

      Regarding the patches… 15 pieces of flair is minimum, ok?

      Now, it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Meerkatsu, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.

  3.  

    Hi Mark, I have rolled with a few guys wearing these and have friends that train in them. From their feedback I think 4 out of 5 is being generous. They are light, that is true, but they are not very durable and they give out a bit (not great for giving away grip control). Not a bad gi overall, but there is better out there in the market, much better.

    keep up the good work with the posts!

    •  

      Thanks for the comments. The reason I gave the gi a 4 overall, had a lot to do with what I perceived was the point of Aa gi like this, which is super light and competition legal, combined with a low price point.

      What other gis at this price do you think are comparable? If I have one, I’d be happy to do a side by side review.

      •  

        I see your point, it is really cheap. Maybe we just have different ways to look at gi’s :). I don’t mind paying top dollar for a kimono as long as it is going to last for the next couple of years… I Have owned quite a few over the years, the best was a Khron I bought in Brazil many years ago (2003 I think). I don’t think they make them anymore unfortunately but if you get a hold of one let me know. Big fan of Koral now a days. The biggest problem with tatami gi’s is durability… This is from what people tell me, I don’t own one so I probably shouldn’t be jumping the gun (yet I am :) )

  4.  

    I am sure it is a quality GI. White is such a neat looking color. Outfit is also very important for a fight. It doesn’t need to be costly and stylist for as long as the fighter is comfortable, I think that is the most important thing to consider, the comfort of the fighter.

  5.  

    Hey Steve, I noticed you post under a creative commons license. I thought it’d be perfect for a review database that I’m putting together over at gireviews.net. Let me know what you think!

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