Your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Gi

For every grappler this question always arises: What gi should I get? If you’re new, or even intermediate, you may not really know the difference between gis. There are lots out there (single weave, pearl weave, gold weave, double weave, etc.), so it’s no reason someone unfamiliar with them all might get confused. So let’s break a few of the weave’s down simply, and even talk about a few of the extra features you might find in a gi.


The most basic of all gi types.

Pros: Cheap and light. They don’t contain as much material as other gis. (Great starter gi)

Cons: Less durable. Not a gi for the long haul.


Pros: Durable. It’s essentially (though not exactly) the same as two single weaves sewn together. Will last for a very long time (if you care for it well).

Cons: Usually heavier and less breathable.


Pros: Light and durable. Combines lightness of single weave with durability of the double weave.

Cons: Usually more expensive.


Pros: Similar to a gold weave, but (usually) less durable. Lighter than a gold weave (usually).

Cons: Price similar to gold weaves. No consistency between brands; each brand manufactures theirs slightly different, making it difficult to pin down the exact durability and lightness in relation to a gold weave.

As far as weave types go, let’s leave it at that. However, there are other important aspects to consider when purchasing a gi, such as:


For adults, sizing ranges from A0-A6. Each company has its own sizing chart and I cannot express how important it is that you follow that. Don’t think just because you were an A2 with one brand that you will be with all of them.


IBJJF only approves 3 colors right now: White, Blue, and Black. Other colors may be accepted in your academy with instructor approval.


Something not many people know much about. Collars are filled with either fabric, or a rubber insert. The rubber insert is thicker, and more difficult to grab onto, and also dries faster than a traditional fabric fill.


Most gis are pre-shrunk anymore, but you can still buy some that are shrink-to-fit. The purpose would be so that a grappler can shrink their gi to a more exact size for themselves.

That’s all of the information I have to pass along for now. Be sure to know what you’re getting into when purchasing a gi. Make sure it’s always right for you.


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