93 Brand has spent the last year making its presence known in the jiu jitsu world. Their initial offering, the Grey Goose, was a very well received grey gi (reviewed here and here). The Gentle Chief rashguard is the love child of their collaboration with BJJ artist Gawakoto. The rashguard features artwork by Gawakoto, is made in the USA and looks pretty spiffy. I want to thank BJJHQ for sending this rashguard to me and letting me beat it up for a few months while working on this review.
The rashguard is constructed of an 82% polyester/18% lycra blend. Every seam is triple stitched and there were no loose threads or defects when I opened the package. The rashguard is assembled with six panels: front, back, each sleeve and each armpit. This design gives the wearer ample movement without the rashguard bunching or pulling. There appears to be some extra length as well, to prevent riding up while rolling. The graphics of the rashguard speak for themselves and are fully sublimated. The right sleeve has 93 Brand’s logo on the shoulder and the left has Gawakoto’s logo on that sides’ shoulder.
I have a large and the fit is fairly tight, which I like. If you prefer a looser rashguard you may want to consider moving up a size, especially if you’re towards the higher end of the scale they use on the sizing chart. As always I wear the rashguard under my gi and for nogi classes. In both cases it worked well. I didn’t notice any excessive riding up and it isn’t overly hot. To date I’ve rolled in it over a dozen times and after each use I wash and dry it. The stitching looks the same as it did when I took it out of the bag and there are no visual signs of wear. It’s worth noting that many of my rashguards of BJJ companies don’t last this long without needing repair or ending up in the trashcan.
A couple of things that I really like and feel are worth highlighting. Gawakoto is an excellent artist and a BJJ practitioner. Supporting him and companies that are collaborating with professional artists ensures that we’ll continue to get well-designed gear in the future. I like that the rashguard is made in the USA. I understand the economics of outsourcing but when it’s feasible supporting home grown brands is worth a little extra.
The Gentle Chief rolls in at $59.99, for the folks in Europe, £34.99 . These prices are consistent with other high-end rashguards for companies like Scramble and Hayabusa. This is a very nice rashguards (especially if you’re a thinner athlete) that is durable and well-designed. If it’s a little too much for you I’d keep an eye out on BJJHQ. I’ve seen it as a daily deal for a deep discount. A few more reviews of the Gentle Chief can be found here and here. For more on 93 Brand check out their Facebook page.