In the interest of full disclosure, I really like Flow Kimonos and have since I saw their website for the first time. A year or so ago Jonathan sent me a test sample of an unbleached hemp gi. I beat the heck out of that thing and it’s still holding up great. Six months after that I got my hands on their ultra-light Pro Series (the lightest gi that I own) and finally a few months ago I was sent the Classic. Before getting into the review itself it’s worth noting that I still have and use all 3 of my Flow Kimonos. In the last few years I’ve had a few dozen gis but these three are going to be in closet for a long time to come. This review is going to be a lot different than my normal reviews, it will be very heavy on pictures. I hope you like it.
Notable Stats: The Classic Series gi is a pre-shrunk 550gsm gold weave gi that is available from Flow Kimonos in three colors (white, blue and black) and in traditional, slim & husky cuts. As a lanky guy their slim cut fits me very well and so far all three of their A3Ls have had the same cut. Flow is one of the few companies that I recommend on a regular basis to those looking for non-traditional sizes.
The gi has all of the standard features regarding quality stitching, reinforcements and well sewn embroidery. Two things that do set it apart are that it’s made in China (the gi is priced very well for one made in China) and that is still using a cloth drawstring. I like that it’s made in China and the drawstring not so much (but it does work). All the pictures were taken in the last few weeks. I wash and dry this gi every time that I wear it. For washing I use a gentle cycle and cold water, for drying I use low heat and dry it completely. If I'd wanted to keep it a little longer I would have skipped the dryer to stop shrinkage.
Wrapping It Up: Jonathon & Flow Kimonos make great gis and have great service for their customers. If you’re a Redditor you’ve probably seen more than one thread from a satisfied customer and you've seen Jon on there as well. As I said before I’ve had 3 of his gis, I’ve kept all of them and still wear them all on a regular basis. That may not sound like a big deal but I've had about 2 dozen gis over the last few years and these are 3 that I'll never part with. The Classic Series gi (154.99 for blue) is a very comfortable, durable option and ideal for someone that is looking for that workhorse gi. Check them out at their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Intro: I train and compete in the Midwest, specifically in St Louis. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete fairly frequently and it was at one of these competitions, the IBJJF Chicago International Open, that I saw my first Quantum Kimono. I saw about half a dozen that day, many of them with Comprido/BRASA patches. The gis fit the athletes very well, especially the long and lanky ones. I’d never head of this brand before and was curious what they were about. A friend of mine is a brown belt under Comprido so with the help of a little Facebook stalking and I was able to track them down and beg them for their Comp gi to review.
"We started our gi company because it was so hard and expensive to the get the kimonos that we wanted. We decided to make our well-built gi at a reasonable price.” Quantum Kimonos
Manto has been around for quite a while and is considered by most to be one of the “big boys” of BJJ and MMA gear. Their current line of products include: clothes, kimonos, rashguards and fight gear. As athletes are getting bigger and stronger Manto has created a gi created specifically for competitors and those that need to keep the weight of their gi as low as possible. I was sent a Manto “X” Pro Ultra-light A3 a few months ago and have been using it regularly ever since. The gi is very light (the A3 weighs just less than 2 kg) and has a very slim cut. From the time I opened the package I knew that this might turn into one of my favorite gis to train in.
Intro: Apollo FG is the product of Mark Finlay and his desire to make a gi that will actually fit thinner/leaner athletes. As anyone that’s read my reviews knows I’m a tall and lean guy myself and the reason I started to really get interested in gis is because it was so hard to find out that actually fit me. The Omega series is a heavy-duty 550g gold weave jacket with 9.5 oz ripstop fabric. The Omega is available in white, black and blue. The gi has regular and slim sizes and most important of all you can have it for $120 (which includes shipping).
Intro: Flow Kimonos is a Boston based gear manufacturer that was created last year by Jonathan Leung. I stumbled across Flow Kimonos while searching thru Facebook for new gear manufacturers and after seeing some of their pictures and sizing chart (they have slim/tall cuts) I contacted them about a review. Fast forward 3 months. I’ve been training in their prototype unbleached hemp gi since mid-December and in that time it has become one of my favorite gis and a staple of my training. Flow Kimono’s hemp gi is manufactured in China and they are transitioning their other gis, the Pro Series White & Black, to China as well. The Navy Blue Hemp gi (production version of my prototype) is available for pre-order and should be available in late-April or early May.
Intro: Lucky Gi was founded by Scotty Nelson who also brought us On The Mat (OTM) way back in the Stone Age of BJJ. Scotty’s obsession with gis began in the 90’s while training in Brazil and has been growing ever since. After years of traveling, training and researching he decided to make his own gis and to break with tradition by using factories in China, instead of Pakistan, and to experiment with other fabrics, notably bamboo.
Lucky’s gis have included the bamboo Fleur-De-Lis and signature fighter gis such as the Raphael Lovato Jr, Jeff Glover and currently the Diaz Brothers gi (also in black). For this review we’ll be looking at the Diaz Bros gi. The gi has a 550gm pearl weave top, 12oz bull denim pants, sizing options for everyone (tall & husky sizes are available and you can mix & match the jacket to pants) and comes with a travel bag.
Redstar is a Canadian based gi company that has been focused on making high-quality gis for competitors of every size. Their flagship gi, the Stamp, is available in three colors (grey, white and navy blue) and nine different sizes. Redstar was one of the first gi companies to make gis specifically for the taller and leaner athlete and their experience really shows. Egor has recently expanded their lineup to include fight shorts, belts and t-shirts.
The Stamp is a lightweight, competition style gi consisting of a 450g pearl weave jacket and 12oz cotton pants. The collar is EVA foam filled and the “L” models are specially cut for a slimmer build and longer arms.
Intro: Gorilla fight gear is starting to make a name for themselves by offering a high quality, competition ready gis in so many different sizes that everyone will find something to fit them. I’m reviewing the Slim Cut Apeman crystal weave in A4S. They also have offerings for more traditional sizes and for stockier athletes.
The gi top is made out of a 550gr crystal weave jacket (similar to pearl weave but a little softer and heavier), triple stitching throughout, includes a mouth guard pocket and a thick rubber core lapel. The 12oz twill pants feature 5 loops, a crystal weave gusset and knee reinforcements that go all the way to the cuff.
Piranha Gear’s entry into the tall and lanky gi market is a value priced (~$75) gi that is cut to fit even the tallest and longest jiu-jiteiros in your gym. Their gi is a simple single weave kimono that includes pants with a reinforced knee area and a “karate” style belt. This gi is intended for those just beginning their journey with BJJ. While the collar and material of the gi are much tougher than those in traditional martial arts it is not as stiff as those preferred by many competitors.
A few weeks ago Piranha replied to my request for a gi to review and within a few days I had gi in hand. I didn't have many questions for Bill but each email was responded to promptly and if this feedback is any indication Bill places a high priority on the needs of his customers. The gi came with a very detailed pamphlet on washing and taking care of your new purchase. While this may be redundant for many of you reading this, it's a great addition for this product's target audience, the neophyte grappler.
We enjoy using the same clothing and equipment we sell - that's why we started the company - so we could get good gear at reasonable prices. We were tired of getting stuff that wore out too soon, wasn't comfortable or just cost more than it should.