Elite Sports – Gi Review

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Elite Sports is rather new to the Australian Market and are looking to make a fashionable entry, a lightweight gi advertised with pre-shrunk fabric and an anti-microbial treatment. They were kind enough to ask Open Guard to review one of their gis, and I chose the one in blue. I’ve been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for just over 4 years and have roughly half a dozen gis already in rotation, but am always happy to try a new product. Elite have been aggressive in hitting the Australian Market with a lot of guys I know having being approached for “Sponsorship” opportunities, however this review is about the product itself so moving on.

Today, I’m reviewing the Elite Sports Ultra-Light BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi with Pre-Shrunk Fabric – Blue. Coming in an IBJJF-legal royal blue with an orange trim, this kimono makes a great first impression to the eye and is incredibly inexpensive at only $94.99. Because of the entry level price point and relative newness in the market, I didn’t have high expectations for the gi. After putting it through its paces, whilst I was put through mine. I was able to come to a rather unexpected conclusion.

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Before we get into the review, here’s how the company describes the gi:
• Made from a light-weight 400gsm Pearl Weave preshrunk fabric. We still recommend that you wash the gi in cold water and hang dry it.
• Lightweight pants are made from 400 gsm ripstop fabric and have a rope drawstring for tightening.

• Contrasting and reinforced stitching in seams and other key areas for durability and added strength.

• Fabric has anti-odor and antimicrobial treatment so that you don’t have to worry about bacterial buildup or fungal infections; no one else is doing that at this price.

• Comes with a free white belt. (Note – The Free White belt once again is a great addition to the new practitioner.)

Pakaging:
From when it was shipped until it arrived at my door was an average time frame of 8 days, when I opened the package that housed the gi, I found a no nonsense approach to packaging. Opening the cardboard box, the gi sat nicely therein, within its clear bag. And while it didn’t come with a gi bag, a new white belt was included (had they seen me on the mats and were hinting at something?) and, combined with the price point, is a nice touch for new practitioners. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a pair of XXL No Gi Shorts in the packaging also.

Pants:
The pants are a lightweight rip-stop, as advertised. The branding is no too heavy on the on the gi overall, the Elite logo is visible on either side of the pants, stitched in nicely. With two drawstring loops on either side, I was happy with the way they were designed. As with most rip-stop pants, the knees and mid-thigh are reinforced with additional quilted stitching, using an orange contrast thread. All areas that are supposed to be triple stitched – interior seams and the gusset, were done so with care. It’s also important to note that the bottom cuff is quadruple stitched for additional strength! Well done!

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Jacket:
The jacket is simple, coming in at 400 gsm. I was surprised when taking it out of the packaging just how light it was. The orange contrasts are a nice touch to give an the otherwise plain looking gi some much needed pop. This is seen on the inside of the cuffs as well as in all contrast stitching, and at the splits in the skirt. At the top of the jacket, inside the back panel, Elite has added an orange logo section for an additional bit of flare.
Their logo is seemingly everywhere on the jacket, however – three times on the front, stitched in with patches or embroidered along the lapel, then again on the back between the shoulder blades, embroidered in white thread. Inside, along the bottom seam of the jacket, their twin logos (with and without the phoenix design) revolves. In the way of branding, it’s a tiny bit overdone, but also confusing. Both logos are used interchangeably here but as a consumer, is there a primary logo or are both equally important? Further, on the back panel, the jacket notes that it was ‘Designed in California,’ but the front of the jacket, at the bottom of the lapel, states ‘Brazilian Design.’ Overall though, I was happy at the look of the jacket – there are no giant design flourishes and it’s simple in presentation. Tied together, the pants and jacket make a nice, clean match.

Craftsmanship:

To be honest I was expecting many loose threads and poor craftsmanship from Elite right out of the box. It is not often that I am wrong, however initial glance and I couldn’t find a single loose stitch within the bunch, and the material was light, strong, and well-tailored to my needs. There is a small tag within the jacket that denotes that it was made in Pakistan – as many other gi companies are producing their products there, I was pleasantly surprised at the durability of the gi. So far so good I have had no issues. On the pants, I liked the extra cuff stitching and the pearl weave jacket is just as strong as the other gis I have.

Feel and Fit:

I’m 6`1, 95kg without the gi and asked for an A3. Elite is using a tailored fit that hugged the inside of my underarms a bit at first, and all though it was tight across my shoulders and back it was relatively easy to move in. The sleeves may have been a little short and if the Gi inspector at a big name comp was to measure correctly I may of come up short. The pants fit comfortably, just as any other pair of ripstop pants, and were the appropriate length. Overall, I was very impressed with the gi at unboxing and through the first set of test rolls. While it isn’t the softest gi on the market, that isn’t the demographic Elite is tailoring to. Mind you, it’s soft enough that you don’t need a rashguard underneath, especially in the summer, but after hanging the pearl weave can be a little strong until it’s broken in. Additionally, the lightweight 400 gsm jacket is great for the hot, summer weather and breathes well.

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Overall:
I was pleasantly surprised by this gi, its fit and craftsmanship, and the overall durability. At such a low price point, I would definitely recommend it to new practitioners, or anyone in the market for something affordable that will hold up relatively well, so long as you are aware of the sizings and the “pre shrunk” notes. For more information on Elite Sports and their offerings, please see their web site:  To get directly to this gi, simply click here and tell them OG sent you!

http://au.elitesports.com

Blue Preshrunk Gi

 

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