Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: BJJ Globetrotter travel gi

So this is the BJJGlobetrotter travel gi I was given to review by that master traveller, Carlson black belt Christian Graugart.  He runs an academy in Denmark and blogs at ShogunHQ.

Christian went on a round-the-world training trip in 2011 and wrote a blog, then a book, about his experiences.  Here's a two-part interview he did with JitsMagazine...

What could be more natural than to make a gi specially designed for travel and training?  It's not the first such (Kauai Kimonos makes a great one and did a custom version for Christian's trip, I have heard that Gorilla Gis makes one too) but it has some nice touches and I am excited to report back to you about this gi.  Right now it's available at an introductory price of US$149 on his Globetrotters shop site.

Forgive my selfies in the mirror at my friends' academy-- the guys were too busy rolling nogi to help a sister out! So any smears you see are actually on the mirror (leftovers from writing drilling plans in marker.)

This super light-weight (2.4lbs) gi is available in royal blue or a medium gray.  For reference I'm 5'2" 140 lbs, 36-28-38 and this is an A1, after one hot wash and one hot dry. 


You can see the pants and jacket are a tad long and the body a bit baggy on my short frame.  The sleeves are okay in length.

Let's talk shrinkage while we're at it. This little chart originated from Flowroller Designs and until I looked at their page I had no idea they have a used gi buy/sell program AND a donate-your-gi program you should look into!

Anyway--  here's the diagram with my alterations to reflect the measurements I made....

Before and after a hot machine wash and dry, in inches, measurements made while gi is laid flat. Not much shrinkage.

Jacket A cuff to cuff across shoulders Before 63"  After 61"
Jacket B length neck to hem  Before 29.75" After 29"
Jacket C sleeve length under arm Before 20.5"  After 19.75

Pants E length, front waist to bottom hem Before 37.5"  After 36.5"
Pants H waist width  Before 20"  After 19.75"
Pants I front rise  Before 13.5"  After 12.5"

You can check out the Globetrotter sizing chart and diagram here.

The gi is made of a very comfortable, light but sturdy ripstop material.  It's very well made, and I didn't see any bobbles in the stitching.  Note that it is not IBJJF-competition legal (the jacket is ripstop, and the pants have a patch too close to the bottom hem.)  But it will airdry in a jiffy, and it packs down to just about nothing in your bag so it is an ideal travel gi.


The patch on the front of the jacket is sewn on impeccably.  It's not embroidered; it seems to be dye sublimated, not painted, so shouldn't flake or crack.  The emblem on the right bicep is embroidered into the fabric with tight even stitches.

There are numerous nice little touches. For instance inside the right front of the gi top, there are happy little birds flying (painted onto the fabric, but a low-wear area so they should last a while.) (good reinforcements on the stress points, and attractive white trim, too.)

When you turn the gi around you see this incredible trim along the bottom hem of the jacket.

It's embroidery onto the actual fabric, not tape sewn on, and very beautifully done with ornate detail. 

The emblem stitched just under the back of the collar is attractive and simple.

The ripstop is 100% cotton so I have confidence this gi will continue to shrink a little bit if I keep washing and drying on hot.

One nice aspect of this otherwise unisex gi is the difference in rise between front and back of the pants... this gives a little extra space for junk in the trunk without being high-waisted in the front.  The white hits are appealing.  Four belt loops get the job done, and the cord is smooth round woven string, not much stretch but (for my money) superior to flat-stitched fabric which always gets twisted up.  The cord is long enough to tie a square knot or a bow, but not so long that the tails hang out and get pulled on.

The emblem on the front bottom of the pants is embroidered into the material, not a patch.  The tape sewn into the cuffs on jacket and pants interior is smooth and not abrasive or scratchy; it repeats the ocean wave pattern and the Globetrotters logo in black and shades of grey.

The additional layer over the knees extends to the mid- to lower-shin area.

All in all, a very comfortable gi not just in terms of weight and packing size, but also when training.  It is such thin material you might worry about durability, but having trained for years in ripstop gis, I can tell you it's unrippable and as tough as parachute fabric.  In hot weather this gi is a blessing.  In addition, the ripstop material helps your hip movement; you'll just glide over the mat.

The gi comes with a free e-book copy of Christian's book, free worldwide shipping and a LIFETIME 100% money-back guarantee. He's also got a VERY nice looking pearl-weave gi, with a sublimated rashguard lining in the jacket, available in black or white.  It's a little more expensive but it looks quite worth it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi, when you say 'hot wash' what temp did you set the machine to?