Monday, October 10, 2011

Buying a Women's BJJ Gi Part 2

Part 2:  Shopping Spree!

So now that you know what to look for in a gi, let's go shopping!

Below are three companies who make women-specific kimonos that I have seen personally.  I have also included several companies who are newer on the market and although I have not seen these gi's in person, I can imagine they will become fixtures in the BJJ community.  This list is not exhaustive, but reading it will be, I'm sure, exhausting.

Price:  $190-$220
Colors:  White, Blue, Black, Hot Pink

Opinion:  This is a simple and clean looking gi.  I own an Atama Kimono and love it although mine, if you recall, is blue with hot pink accents.  The new Atama's come in basic colors (white, blue and black) and now use red trim instead of hot pink!  If only they had this around five years ago...
They have a very specific size chart with six options that will fit both the smallest and the tallest girl.  The kimono is simple with a couple of smallish logos on the shoulder, back and one pant leg.
Keiko Sports
Price:  $157-$175
Colors:  White/Pink, Blue/Pink

Note:  These look like very nice kimono's, although I think logo's on the jacket and pants are over-sized and, unfortunately, only come in Pepto pink.  I have several friends who have purchased the Keiko kimono and loved it.  However, the sizing options are limited (they have three basic sizes to Atama's six) and the jacket is typically longer than I would like.  The photos on the website make the kimono look ill-fitting, but perhaps that was the way the models were wearing them.  That much extra fabric on the sleeves and jacket make my fingers itch.

Price:  $155-$165
Colors:  White, Lavender (oh yes, they went there)

Note:  Again, I have several friends who own this gi, but only in the white.  It has a nice fit and really great quality.  I once ordered a pair of Gameness Vale Tudo shorts that had to be returned (I was devastated, but more on that in another post) and their customer service representative was incredible kind and helpful.  It has to be said:  that purple lavender is straight out of Lucille Ball's bathroom in 1954. 

Price:  $97
Color:  Hideous Pink

Note:  This is one of the companies I am not familiar with.  The price is low, but that may be a reflection on the quality and, this is just an opinion, the color. 


From Fenom's FB page.  How stinking cute is she?
Fenom Kimonos
Price:  $60-85 
Colors:  White, Black, Blue

Note:  I have not heard anything about this company, but I am intrigued.  It is run by women who train BJJ, so I imagine the fit would be nice.  The low price indicates that the quality might not be as high, but it could also be because this company seems to prioritize making gear for women rather than turning a profit.  I would love to hear if anyone has purchased a gi from Fenom, because they seem like a pretty great company. 

Question Time:
What type of BJJ gi do you use?  Would you prefer to purchase a kimono or other martial arts gear from a company just for women?

In the next installment of "Buying a Women's BJJ Gi," we will discuss how to care for your new gi, including the scary prospect of shrinking.


slideyfoot said...

I'm quite surprised you've not heard anything about Fenom: there are loads of reviews around the web.

The consensus appears to be that Fenom is pretty awesome. If I was a woman, I'd buy one. In fact, I might buy one anyway! (my dressing gown and hiking boots are apparently meant for women, and they fit me fine. Not quite sure what that says about me... ;p)

Reviews here, here, here and here, among others.

L.A. Jennings said...

Most of the gals I have trained with in the past couple of years have had Atama, Koral, Keiko and Gameness kimonos, so I haven't seen one in person. I may get a white one myself or the black one, so I can be a 'bad guy.' I think you should totally rock a ladies gi...I wear men's vale tudo and board shorts on a regular basis, so why can't it go both ways?

Aparna said...

Hey LA, I have two Fenoms (one white and one black) and I love them both. Check out for some more reviews. It's a fairly new company, run by Triin Seppel out of Texas. The white one is a lighter weight, and the black one is heavier, but both seem to be of very good quality (the only problem is that the stitching of belt loops on the black one come out, but that's not a huge deal to me). Additionally, I had a very terrible fit with my first white Fenom and Triin sent me a bigger one for no charge.

I also have the first women's Atama (in white), from six years ago. Another female-specific gi company I heard of is CatFight Gear. They take a little while to get back to you, but otherwise I've heard no complaints.

The Pugilista said...

Thanks Aparna! I'm training one of my girls for a tournament next month and she ordered the black Fenom kimono yesterday. I'm excited to see it in person. Your reviews are wonderfully thorough, so thanks for sending me the link. I'm still rolling with my old blue Atama and don't plan on updating anytime soon, but a white gi may be in the future.

Thanks for the info about CatFight gear. I may snag a pair of the vale tudo shorts...have you tried any of their stuff?

slideyfoot said...

I remember Julia wasn't impressed by CatFight. I think there was also at least one positive review by another blogger, but can't find it now.

Matt the Gi Addict said...


Tatami Fightwear, a UK company do their lightweight Zero-G gi and also their somewhat heavier Estilo Gi in ladies sizes.

Most of the girls at our club wear the Zero-G.

They also do shorts and rashguards in ladies cut.


slideyfoot said...

Tatami are pretty good when it comes to quality, but they have a tendency to stick patches and/or embroidery saying 'Tatami Fightwear' all over the gi.

Depends if you mind patches or not: I removed the ones on my Zero G. There is the less patched up option of an Estilo Classic, which was a quality gi, but unfortunately only available in blue at the moment (and inevitably has 'Tatami Fightwear' written across the upper back).

You can buy them in the US too, through BudoVideos.

The Pugilista said...

One of my friends just ordered a Tatami kimono, so I'm interested to see how he likes it. I kind of want to get the tie-dye gi on CatFight...not to actually wear, but as a joke. That thing is beyond hideous.

Meg Smitley said...

Great guides you are putting together here! The MMA gloves post is especially handy ('handy' haha).

I recently reviewed the Fuji and was happily surprised at the quality for the price - best fitting women's gi I've tried (for my shape) and very soft weave - and I'd rate it great value for money, if one feels they can handle the pink!

I've found Atama to be excellent quality in terms of construction and styling but less so in fit as each model seems to have its own cut, which makes it difficult to know whether a particular model will work; don't like risk at that price!

Fenom is superb. As a brand they got heart and a bona fide love of women in BJJ which they back up with great community support and a good line of products at very competitive prices. The styling goes for sophisticated and feminine but not a 'girlie' look. Big love for them.

May be useful to not reviews for Koral, Fenom Classic and Lotus as well as women's cut gi by Tatami, OTM, Predator BJJ, Atama and more to come are here

Jiu Jiu said...

I just recently bought two women's gis. The Estilo 3.0 in blue and the Predadora in blue. I bought F3 in both, as well as an extra set of F4 pants for the Predadora.

I'm 5'4" and weigh 156.

I find the Estilo 3.0 fit is superb. The gi top stays closed, it has nice, narrow arms, but not too narrow, only the F3 pants are so tight I can barely kneel in them.

The Predadora has much baggier arms and seems to be holding open the gi so my boobs can escape - it's a bit disconcerting! ^_^ However, I absolutely adore how the pants fit. When I first put on the F3 they appeared to be MUCH too short, but after a few washes, strangely they fit much better, so I find both the F4 and F3 pants to fit very nicely.

I also really liked my Fenom kimonos. I only got rid of them because I lost so much weight! I am definitely purchasing from them again. You really can't beat them for their price. Amazingly low price, but they are absolutely not CHEAP. They feel good, thick, and wear well.

Catfight Gear - let's see - I'm going on...2 years and still have yet to hear from them. They seem to be all fluff and overly concerned with "grrrl fite" type crap. Too image conscious. I'd rather have a gi that fits and a company that responds to customer inquiries.