5 Cheap Gi’s that will Please

A one stop list of all the very best affordable Gi’s currently on the market today. No matter whether its your first Gi or your 10th Gi this list will help guide you in making that next purchase. Why pay a fortune when you can get a great Gi for a fraction of the price?

If you rolled back the clock a decade and a half ago finding a quality low cost Gi was a real challenge. For quality and durability, you had to stump up some serious cash. Fortunately, the market has moved on from those dark days which is great. These days it not too hard to find fantastic bang for your buck even at the cheaper end of the market.

In compiling this list, we have stuck with established Gi manufacturers who you can be assured are producing top quality Gi’s capable of lasting a respectable amount of time in addition to providing great value for money. Whilst there can be a temptation to gamble on a less well-known brand there’s always the risk you end up with a poor quality Gi that needs replacing fast.

We have shopped around extensively to ensure these Gi’s are the very best of the best when in comes to affordability saving you the time and effort of having to check yourself.

As a final note before we begin one of the most important things you need to know is the difference between the types of weaves and what exactly grams per square meter (GSM) means. If you’re unsure about these terms I have included the key information from an article about this after the recommendations below. Alternatively, you can read the whole thing here.

  1. Valor Bravura Classic Plain BJJ Gi

Valor describe this Gi as benefiting from the following features

    • Minimal styling and patches
    • Durable Construction. These GIs are built to last!

  • Pearl Weave Jacket
  • Rubberised collar to prevent sweat and bacteria absorption
  • 10oz canvas cotton pants, double reinforced knee padding and triple stitched across all stress points.
  • Rope drawstring as opposed to the traditional twill which allows for tighter fastening of the trousers.
  • FREE White Belt

It’s hard to argue with this description. The Gi Jacket certainly has minimal styling with the shoulder patches disregarded leaving a clean and sleek looking Gi Jacket. The minimalist approach to branding continues on the Gi bottoms as only a small amount of branding remains. The stitching on the Jacket and trousers blends in well with the Gi colour whilst still providing the necessary reinforcing that makes all the Valor Gi’s solid products.

Rope drawstring pretty much comes as standard across all major Gi manufacturers and it’s great that Valor have opted for this over twill even on their cheapest Gi. As seems to be standard with Valor this Gi comes with a free white belt, which makes it a great option as a first Gi.

As with all Gi’s this is suitable for anyone who trains. I suspect it will have a particular appeal to those who want a quality Gi on a tight budget, and the Valor Bravura Classic certain delivers on that front. Ideal for those looking to buy their first Gi it will also appeal to anyone who finds branding on many Gi’s to be over bearing or garish.

The Gi is available to purchase in  different colours; Black, Blue, Grey, Navy and White.

You can find the Valor Bravura Classic Plain BJJ Gi for sale on Amazon UK by clicking here.

Also available on Amazon US: Valor Bravura Classic Plain BJJ Gi

  1. Tatami Fightwear Nova

As a BJJ brand Tatami are one of the biggest names operating in the martial arts market today. Established in the UK almost a decade ago with a goal of overcoming the difficulty its owners had in finding good quality Gi’s at a low price, Tatami has been able to build a strong reputation for quality.

Despite becoming a very well-established brand within the BJJ community Tatami still remains competitive at the budget end of the market. Having branched out into other martial arts equipment and leisurewear Tatami has been able to build widespread appeal, but there Gi’s are what they are most renowned for in the martial arts community.

The basic Tatami Gi that is available on the market today is the Nova. Prices range from Between £45 to £60 depending on the size and colour. This very much keeps the Nova within the lower price range.

The Nova is probably most well suited to people who are new to Jiu-Jitsu or those who want a solid performance Gi without the hefty price tag. The nova remains a popular Gi with BJJ students and even professors for these very reasons.

The Gi has a classic and simple design with the company logo emblazoned across the shoulders, in what has become the most iconic branding style. There is additional Tatami branding on the hip of the Gi bottoms.

In short, the Gi has the following benefits;

  • Classic styling and patches
  • Improved cut for a better fit
  • Features a 450gsm Hybrid weave jacket
  • The pants have been upgraded to a 9oz poly cotton blend
  • Free White Belt

The Tatami Nova Basic is a fine example of affordability and durability meeting to create a brilliant low cost Gi. The Gi is available to purchase on Amazon UK and you can find a link to it here.

Amazon US: Tatami Nova Basic

  1. Adidas BJJ Contest Uniform

Rather surprisingly Adidas actually offer a BJJ Gi! I can’t say I have come across too many of these in the past, however this Gi does fall into the cheaper end of the market so its worth considering for a minute or two at least.

A lot of people in the BJJ and martial arts community tend to shy away from the larger sports manufacturing companies as they don’t tend to give back to the sports in the same way some of the smaller companies do. You are much less likely to see a local grappling competition sponsored by a big sports brand compared to a smaller martial arts company.

But if we leave the politics aside for a second and just consider the Gi on its merits you will find that it conforms to the standard styling. The shoulders are adorned with the companies classic three stripe logo and added branding can be found on the outside of the Gi trousers, again with the three stripes.

This is the basic stats of the Gi which are largely keeping with the other options on this list.

  • Jacket: 450 grams
  • Single weave
  • IBJJF legal
  • 100% Cotton and Pre-shrunk
  • Rope Drawstring Trousers

On the negative side it can be difficult to locate the smaller sized Gi’s for a reasonable price. You have a look at the Gi here on Amazon, but you may have to shop around to find your size if its not on sale when you visit.

The Adidas offering in the US is different to the one in the UK, made from pearl weave and pitched at a higher price it would be interesting to know the quality of this Gi. You can check it out for yourself on the link below.

Amazon US: Adidas Challenge Pear Weave

  1. Kingz Basic 2.0 BJJ Gi

Probably the most expensive Gi on this list depending on your size Kingz Kimono’s have been operating since 2011 and are successfully trading on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Basic 2.0 is a fine Gi. All Kingz Gi’s have a very high end feel to them and in person they look even more striking with stitching of the highest standard. The Basic 2.0 benefits from the following;

  • 400 GSM Pearl Weave jacket
  • Triple reinforced stitching across all stress points
  • Synthetic heat resistant vulcanized rubber lapel insert
  • 95% Preshrink

Like many of the other Gi’s on this list the jacket has branding across the shoulders, but the Gi trousers have a simple single logo on the front. The pearl weave jacket is with in the standard range  GSM’s for this price point.

Overall the Kingz Basic 2.0 is a tough Gi that you will be able to rely on for session after session. It combines this durability with great styling and is arguably the best looking of all the cheaper Gi’s you will find.

So, for a little more than a few of the other options on this list you can own a Gi with a premium feel for not too much more than a budget price. This Gi is available on Amazon and you can find it available in Black (pictured), Blue and White.

The Kingz Basic Gi is less widely stocked in the US as the company appears to be pushing its customers towards purchasing higher value Gi’s. This Gi is still available in Blue however sizes are limited.

  1. Tatami Fightwear Hokori Gi

A second offering on this list from Tatami, the Hokori Gi is a stripped back and simple Gi that Tatami advertise as being an unassuming competition ready Gi. On first glance its easy to see why, the Gi has minimal styling with no shoulder patches and a simple logo on the arm and lapel of the jacket. It’s a great option for those who prefer to cut a more modest style on the mat.

  • Competition cut 350GSM Advanced Pearl Weave jacket
  • 10oz Twill Cotton pants
  • Incredibly strong and lightweight
  • Tapered ankle opening, allowing for a slim line fit
  • Complies with IBJJF regulation standards

One of the added benefits of this lightweight Gi is that drying times are reduced so its ideal if you need to wash and reuse in a short period of time. With a Tatami Gi you can be certain that the quality of the Gi will allow it to withstand the rigors of regular training.

On the negative side at the time of writing there was only a limited selection of sizes on the Tatami website, however you can find a better range of sizes on Amazon where it is avliable in Black, Blue, White and all three colours are also available in womens cuts as well.

Gi Weaves Explained

As promised here is a rundown of the different types of Gi weave that you can expect to come across when searching for a Gi. But first of all here is an explanation of what exactly GSM means.

GSM

Before we look at the different types of weave available today its worth considering what GSM means. If you’ve ever shopped for a Gi you will more than likely have come across this three-letter acronym which stands for grams per square meter.

Essentially this is a reference to the weight of the Gi, put simply the higher the GSM the more the Gi will weigh. A higher GSM is typically associated with the thicker more durable Gi’s while a lighter Gi will have a lower GSM.

Typically, a GI will have a GSM somewhere in the region of 400 to 900 GSM. There is no minimum or maximum GSM for a Gi to fall into any of the categories below, so the GSM will vary between companies even if the GI is listed as being the same weave.

Single Weave

Pros: This is essentially the entry level Gi a lot of newbies chose to purchase a single weave Gi as they are the most affordable option available. Beyond there relatively modest price they are a great option for training in hot weather as the lighter material helps you keep cool for longer. This is also the Gi of choice for the competitor who is very close to the weight limit in their competition category.

Cons: The lighter weight material makes these Gi’s easier for an opponent to get a good grip so your going to have to work extra hard when grip fighting. Another downside to theses Gi is the potential for them to get ripped or damaged more frequently than their thicker counterparts.

Double Weave

Pros: As the name may suggest this type of weave is essentially doubling down on the single weave as it is the single weave done twice. As a result, you get twice as much material per square meter making for a much higher GMS and a heavier Gi overall. This type of Gi is thick and robust meaning that your opponents will have a harder time getting a strong grip on your GI. If you buy a good quality double weave Gi you can expect it to last a lot longer than its single weave counterpart and anything else on this list.

Cons: As this Gi is much thicker than the single weave it can make for a real sweaty experience if you are training in high temperatures. They tend to cost more than a single weave to purchase and the material can be a little bit abrasive on the skin, but this can be mitigated with a decent rash guard.

Gold Weave 

Pros: For a time, this material really was the gold standard when it came to Gi weaves. It is essentially a combination of the lightness of the single weave with the strength and durability of the double weave. Gold weave was and remains a popular choice of weave for both competitors and hobbyists alike. A gold weave Gi bought from a reputable company will last for years to come and is definitely worth thinking about if you plan on training for long into the future.

Cons: The material will become soft over time so opponents will be able to get a good grip of the Gi. They aren’t necessarily the cheapest to buy.

Pearl Weave

Pros: I will rap this all up by mentioning one final type of weave, the pearl weave. This is the lightest type of weave that is competition legal. It has become an increasing popular choice as it combines light weight with good durability making it a longer lasting option than the single weave. Most pearl weave Gi’s come pre-shrunk.

Cons: This is a really popular choice for good reason as there aren’t many cons! Its worth mentioning the material can sometimes be a little abrasive and there tends to be a bit more fluctuation in GSM between brands.

Other weaves

Depending on where you go to buy your GI you may encounter some other weaves as manufacturers try and stand out from the crowd, however none of them have been gaining enough traction to be worth mentioning here. Most of these other weaves will fit in somewhere between the single weave and double weave.