Even if you’re training Brazilian jiu jitsu on the coldest, snowiest day of the year in a freezing city, you’re still going to sweat. And you’ll sweat a lot. It is just part of the sport that you cannot escape. You will get hot, sweaty and wet from both your sweat and the sweat from all of your teammates who you grapple with.
Sweating during bjj is sometimes a good thing. It can help you cut weight for a fight or can help you stay warm and get in shape. But it can also be distracting while you’re performing, especially if you’re overheating or are too wet that your gi is saturated and heavy.
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There are a few ways to stay cooler and drier while you’re training, and one of the best ways is to own a lightweight bjj gi. If you’re wearing a heavy gi, it can get wet and weigh you down very quickly, but if your gi is light, then it won’t cause you to sweat as much, and even if it does, then it will still dry much faster than a very thick gi.
There are other benefits to owning your own lightweight gi as well. You will find that they are easier to carry around, and that can be a big benefit. Especially if you’re a bigger person, your gi can be a very heavy part of your gear, and after it gets saturated with sweat it will get even heavier.
After you’re finished training, you don’t want to carry around a heavy, wet gi. A lightweight gi will fit better in your bag, be lighter and will probably be a little less wet by the time you begin to start transporting it.
Also, if you’re going to compete then a lightweight gi will help you during your weigh in, because you will have to include the weight of your gi to your total. If you have a very heavy gi, then you will have to lose more weight to include the weight of your gi so that you can fit your weight class. If your gi is lighter, however, then you can be a little bit heavier and worry a bit less.
One of the biggest differences between a heavier gi and a lightweight gi is durability. A thick and heavy gi can take some damage and last a long time, but a lightweight one is more likely to rip and fray after a lot of practicing and grappling. You will have to keep this in mind when you are shopping for a gi, and know that if you opt for one that is lighter, then you will have to replace it sooner.
However, some lightweight gis are better than others and will last longer and fit you more comfortably, so you want to make sure you know what you’re looking for when you shop around for the right gi.
Here is a great little video from Marcus Almedia about finding the best gi.
Things to look for when buying a lightweight BJJ Gi
- Weave- Both gi jackets and pants are made with a different weave which determines its durability and its weight. The lighter weaves for jackets are: single weave, pearl weave. For pants: ripstop and cotton drill. Though now ripstop jackets are also available. Single weave and cotton drill are very light but not very durable and are likely to rip easily. Pearl weave and ripstop are much more durable and preferred, but they are a bit more expensive. When you’re choosing your weave, you will find a number with the type that will tell you how heavy it is. Typically gis are anywhere from 350 gsm to 1000 gsm. The lower the number, the lighter the gi and weave.
- Brand – Some brands will be better than others, so you should find a company that is known for making a good product. Brands that make regulation gis for competition will be sure to have high quality products with good materials that won’t rip or tear and can last you a long time. However, these will be a bit more expensive than a generic gi. If you are just starting out and want to just buy a cheap gi to get you started, then you can find a brand that is a bit more within your price range.
- Cut – Your gi should fit you properly, and should meet regulations if you plan on competing. You want to make sure that the sleeves of your jacket are long enough without being too long and that your pants have enough room for you to move but don’t fall down or get tangled up. Trying on different sizes will help you find the right cut for you, and you can get a good, lightweight gi that you can wear often and comfortably.
- Style – Just like with a heavy gi, some athletes like to have fancier lightweight gis too. You can get your gi in a range of colors and patterns to fit your style. And you can make sure that there is enough room on your gi to add any patches you want. Just make sure that you’re not spending too much money on a stylish gi and try and compete in it. Often times, regulations will require you to wear a more simple gi with less patches, so it’s important to have both.
A lightweight gi can change the way you feel about jiu jitsu, so getting a good one can be important. We know that there are a lot of gis, weaves and styles out there, so we reviewed our favorites to help you pick the perfect lightweight gi for you.
Making Sure your Gi is IBJJF Friendly
The IBJJF has strict requirements for uniforms. Sleeves can’t be too long or too short. You can’t have some impossible to grip collar like an old school Howard Gi. If you’re an avid competitor it’s a good idea to read these rules. Check them out here.
Our Final Thoughts on Lightweight Gis for Men and Women
You’re going to be hot and sweaty when you train jiu jitsu, so it is a good idea to have a gi that can help you stay cool, as dry as possible and as light as possible. If you’re too heavy and wet you can be uncomfortable and feel weighed down. A good lightweight gi can change your entire bjj game.
When you’re shopping for your gi, you should check the weave and know which ones are lighter than others and also which ones are the most durable. When you’re choosing your weave, you want to be aware how heavy each one is so that you can choose the weight that fits you best. You should also know which brand you’re buying, the cut of your gi and which style you like the most.
Your gi will be part of your everyday training and competition wear, so it’s important to have one that you are comfortable in and that you like.