Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rashguard review-- the Honey Badger by Meerkatsu/Tatami

Tatami is releasing the 2012 version of Meerkatsu's Honey Badger rashie at the end of July, and it can be reserved here at the Tatami site, or here at Budovideos.  It costs about US$57.

Tatami has this to say: "The Honey Badger rash guard pays homage to that [most?] fearless of animals, the Honey Badger.  Made famous buy [by] the viral youtube videos the Honey Badger's famous slogan is "Don't give a S*@T," so if you leave it all on the mat and are the last person standing in training or competing, you are a Honey Badger. Only the finest materials are good enough to bring out the superb detail of the Meerkatsu Honey Badger rashguard [and] that['s] why we have used Italian inks and a high density polyspandex material, all dye sublimated for an extraordinary finish."

Honey badgers are pretty badass, I must say..

But is Tatami's rashguard going to live up to its spirit animal's reputation?  I put one through the wringer to find out.

The short version: Super cool artwork, sublimated dye design that will never flake or peel, and superior construction and manufacture make this a quality product worth the price and a much better choice than generic UnderArmor.

The long version:  I received a size small from Meerkatsu for this review.  We're friends on facebook, but otherwise unaffiliated, and I received no extra swag.

I liked that it didn't have a smell to it (sometimes rashguards have a chemical scent to them and require prewashing before first wear... not this one.)

Along with the rashie, the package contained a handful of cool stickers displaying Meerkatsu's talents.  Nifty!

These rashies are longsleeved and crew necked.  Much nicer than "surf" style rashies with their mock turtlenecks, I'd say.  The fabric, 80% polyester and 20% spandex, is sleek and smooth, resistant to pilling even with daily use under a gi or as nogi attire, on tatamis or puzzle mats.  Grody rough feet failed to snag on this as well.  The fabric is a good bit thicker than  your lightweight UnderArmor rashguard, but not noticeably warmer.  It snaps back to shape quite well, even after untrained apes grab on to it whilst rolling.

I'm 5'2" (36-28-38) and the small seemed just right as far as my shoulders, chest and waist go -- but the body was quite long on me.  To fully display the glorious snarling maw for the camera, I had to pull the hem down over my behind.  I am sure this is great news for long-torsoed people who hate rashies pulling up during rolling... this has all the length you need to stay well tucked in to your grappling shorts.

This is how long the sleeves are on my arms, pulled all the way down.

And this is how much extra length there is, when I wear it normally.  Notice that there is a "stripe" of lighter grey fabric on the inner aspect of the sleeve.

When I don't pull the hem down, the rashie rides up comfortably around my waist, but it seems to lose a little of the intimidation factor.  Call it "truth in advertising" when I wear it.

I like that the shoulders are raglan-style which makes them accommodate a wide range of shoulder widths and is extremely comfortable-- no chafing in the underarm area. The design on the back loses a little punch because I'm so shortwaisted, but I think it still looks great.  One arm displays the Tatami logo.  The other side has Japanese characters and the honey badger logo.

All the seams are made with an interlock stitch that has stood up to heavy use and machine washing very well.  I will say maybe I'm a bit of a princess, because the inside of my arms noticed the seams and felt a little itchy, the first five minutes of wearing the rashguard.  However, I quickly became accustomed to the sensation and didn't even notice the seams for the rest of my training.  No rash or abrasion was apparent when I took it off (hence, I think, the term "rash guard.")

I have a handful of rashguards from other companies, academies etc and find it really annoying when the artwork flakes and peels.  Two of my rashguards are dye sublimated and despite 3+ years of heavy use, have never peeled or flaked.  Why not? The artwork is first printed onto large sheets of high-release paper substrate. Then, images are transferred onto the garments using heat and pressure. Heat converts the solid dye particles into a gas (a process known as sublimation) and the pressure bonds them to the polyester content of the garments. The dye is absorbed by the garment, which differs from the screen printing, where the ink sits on top of the garment. So you know this awesome honey badger will be snarling just as brilliantly years from now.  Probably more brilliantly that you will be!

I've machine washed it, on cool, warm and occasionally hot-- maybe 30 times?  and machine dried it (on medium) every time.  I don't mind abusing my stuff when I'm testing it.  This rashguard did not act like a victim.  Apparently, honey badgers tolerate any water temperature without shrinking and machine drying just makes them-- dry.   I'm impressed. 

BJJGearJunkie did a video review of this rashie here and a written version here.  WhiteBeltAcademy posted lots of photos with his first-impressions review here.

If you get one, I think you'll be happy!


SavageKitsune said...

Thanks for that. I am frustrated with rash guards riding up to expose my belly. My measurements are similar to yours. Can you recommend a short-sleeve one that actually has a long enough torso?

Georgette said...

Sadly it's not available in a short sleeve version. I wear the Gracie Humaita rashie and it's perfect as far as torso length but that won't help you- you're Barra if I recall correctly?

SavageKitsune said...

Yes, but I'll risk a glare or two from the traditionalists if I can have a rashie that I don't have to keep yanking down over my belly button. It'll be covered almost all the time anyway- I rarely do no-gi at GB, and I don't think my other school gives a crap what Logo is on my shirt. Can you provide a link and size (the one that fits you will probably be perfect for me)?

Mateo said...

Nice looking rashguard although I don't like it when they are a little long in the sleeves.

JAB said...

Love the graphic!