Your first Gi for BJJ doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ve already got academy fees to think about, so it’s understandable that you don’t want to be thinking about spending $100+ on a Gi before you’ve even learned to shrimp.
Thankfully, there are a number of top brands that sell high-quality, affordable Gis, perfectly suited for beginners, or even experienced students who just don’t want to spend a lot.
Here, we’ll give you our recommendations for the best cheap BJJ Gis, which are affordable, while giving you the quality you need to train in comfort and confidence.
Gi Prices: What to Expect
What exactly makes a “cheap” BJJ Gi?
At the end of the day, the exact definition of “cheap” depends on your budget. For some, $150 is fairly affordable, while others may feel that $50 on a Gi is a lot.
Generally speaking, the average price of a decent quality Gi is a little under $100. Premium Gis tend to cost $120+, while more budget options come in at $80 or less.
For the purposes of this buying guide, we’re going to primarily look at Gis around $60 or less. If you get a Gi at this price, you can usually consider it a pretty good deal.
Best Cheap Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis for 2021
Here are our team’s recommendations for the best quality Gis that will fit within a more conservative budget:
Sanabul is probably the best brand for low-cost, decent quality BJJ & MMA gear. In line with this, their Essentials V2 Ultralight Gi is one of the best you can get if you’re not willing to spend megabucks on a Gi.
The Gis preshrunk, which is helpful for beginners, who may not be familiar with the ins and outs of shrinking a Gi to the perfect size. These Gis are designed to fit right, straight out of the box.
The craftsmanship on this Gi is nothing short of solid. You can expect it to stand up for some time – several of my training partners use this Gi, and have done for years now without a loss in quality. Yet the Essentials Gi is also super lightweight, which is not always the case when you’re shooting for durability.
The Essentials Gi has 6 color options, all of which look great with the clean Sanabul branding. The price is very reasonable, and what makes the value even better is the free belt with each Gi. That means you can get your first complete outfit for BJJ sorted, all in one purchase.
Sanabul’s sizing runs a little big – so be sure to check their size chart, and consider dropping a size from your usual (if this is not your first BJJ Gi).
Elite Sports are another dependable budget brand in the BJJ & MMA space. Their simple, no-frills Gi compares quite well to the Sanabul Gi mentioned previously. Elite Sports’ Gi also comes preshrunk, and with a free white belt for you to get started on your BJJ journey.
The fabric is a good mix of lightweight and durable. Just what you want from a cheap BJJ Gi. The design is simple too. Elite Sports simply offers a great entry-level Gi, at under $50 – a really great price.
And, while we recommend something simple for your first Gi, Elite Sports offers a range of different and unusual colors, including khaki, brown, green and pink. If you’re after a crazy color to wear every now and then, this Gi is a great option, as you won’t be spending big on a Gi you only wear occasionally.
The sizing here is slightly different to the traditional sizing from other brands, so again, check out the size chart before you make a purchase.
However, their Gis are where it all started, and Tatami offers all you need in a Gi brand, with options from budget through to premium.
If you’re looking for your first Gi, or simply a budget option, the Original Jiu Jitsu Gi is all you need. It’s a simple, no-frills design, but comes with the craftsmanship Tatami is known for. The jacket is 350 GSM pearl weave – super light, but durable – and care is taken with the design to make it fit comfortably and perform well.
An added plus with the Tatami Original Jiu Jitsu Gi is a mix of long, short and heavy size variations, to fit those with all kinds of body types.
Vector Sports may not be a huge name in Jiu Jitsu circles yet, but they make good-quality, affordable gear, like this Gi.
For less than $60 you can get a solid and dependable Gi, that does everything you need it to. Prominent features include an EVA foam collar, pre-shrunk 350 GSM fabric, and 10oz ripstop pants. Throw in a free white belt, and it has everything you need in a Gi, especially for a beginner.
This Gi drops all the unnecessary extras to give you a simple, cheap BJJ Gi. The design and branding of this Gi is extremely minimal, featuring only a small tag on the edge of the lapel. Other than that, the fabric is completely blank, allowing space to add your own patches. Alternatively, you can keep it blank, if a clean look is your preference.
Rather than focusing on design, this brand puts their effort into performance, meaning you can expect this cheap BJJ Gi to stand up for some time. It’s available in two fabric options – lightweight 350 GSM or standard 450 GSM – depending on your preference. A free belt adds another ~$10 value to this super affordable Gi.
The Twister BJJ Gi is a Gi that gives you confidence on the mats, for a fraction of what a premium option will cost you. The material is pearl weave, the industry standard these days for lightweight performance. It also features a smooth and comfortable collar – one area that you’ll notice a dropoff in low-quality Gis.
The Gi is preshrunk for convenience, and an added bag with each Gi purchased is a nice touch.
The design is available in three colors – your standard white, blue, black. I find the design a little invasive, to be honest, however for the price of this Gi, you can’t really complain.
What to Consider When Buying Your First Gi
Our recommendations are tailored to help you pick out the best quality Gi to start your BJJ journey, while keeping your investment to a minimum. However, if you want to shop around yourself – perhaps buy in person from a brand near you – here are some tips to make sure you’re not disappointed by your purchase.
Make sure your Gi is made for BJJ
First, be aware that there are many different martial arts disciplines that use the Gi, and not all Gis are suitable for all disciplines.
When buying a cheap BJJ Gi, you may be tempted to pick up a non-BJJ Gi to save money, or to re-use an old Gi (if you’ve done another martial art in the past). However, Gis for Judo, Karate, etc are not really suitable for Jiu Jitsu.
Karate or Taekwondo Gis are designed for you to be able to throw strikes easily, but are not going to hold up to the grips and wear you’ll experience in BJJ.
Judo Gis are a lot closer to BJJ Gis, but are still not the best. Judo Gis are heavier and baggier than BJJ Gis. Wearing one will affect your mobility, as well as giving too many opportunities for your opponent to get grips.
A Judo Gi can technically work for BJJ, but it’s best for you to ensure your Gi is specifically made for BJJ.
Keep it simple
Jiu Jitsu gear, including Gis, rash guards, and compression leggings (spats) can be an opportunity to make a fashion statement. But while style points may be important to you at some point, when you’re getting started, you want to stick to something simple.
There’s a lot to take in when you’re first starting out – positions, submissions, defenses to submissions, and much more. A simple Gi allows you to put all your focus towards learning the ropes, rather than thinking about how you look when you’re on the mats.
Stick to blue/white/black
Similar to the last paragraph, stick with white, blue or black for your first Gi.
These are the standard colors for BJJ Gis. IBJJF – the governing body for most Jiu Jitsu competitions – only allows you to wear a Gi in one of these colors when competing. More traditional schools may also have their own rules restricting you to blue, black or white Gis.
Even if you don’t plan to compete, and your school allows funky colored Gis, it’s best not to walk on the mats for the first time in a bright yellow or pink Gi. By all means, wear what you’re comfortable in, but it is a bit of a bad look if you’re making a fashion statement when you’re yet to learn the basics of the sport.
Check out the size guides
Gi sizes are fairly standard, for the most part. Basic sizing starts at A1 or A0, being the smallest size, and goes up (A2, A3, etc).
Each brand’s sizing may be slightly different, however. So an A1 in one brand may fit slightly different from an A1 in another. The brand you’re buying from should have a size guide, matching your body’s proportions to the right size of Gi. Check this out, to ensure you get a Gi that fits well.
Also pay attention to whether the Gi is preshrunk or not. A lot of modern Gis these days are preshrunk, meaning they should fit well right out of the box. However, older Gis had would shrink a bit on the first few washes, which will affect the size you end up buying.
Look for established brands
You might be able to find super cheap Gis from new or smaller brands. But, if you can, try and get a Gi from a well-known and trusted brand. These Gis are going to be better quality and a better fit, which will help you to learn the ropes of BJJ without worrying about problems with your Gi.
There are a lot of big brands that offer quite affordable entry-level Gis, as you can see from our recommendations earlier.
Check out our full BJJ Gi buying guide for more on top BJJ Gi brands.
Weaves and GSM: all you need to know
When you’re looking at BJJ Gis, you’ll come across the teams “weave” and “GSM” a lot. Understanding this will help you pick out a Gi that suits you.
Weave and GSM are terms to describe the Gi jacket fabric. The jacket is made primarily of cotton, but the way the material is woven together can be different. This is the “weave”.
The most common BJJ Gi weaves are single weave, double weave, gold weave and pearl weave. Single weave and double weave are older, classic styles. These weaves tend to be heavier, and shrink somewhat on the first few washes.
Gold weave and pearl weave Gis are more popular these days. They are woven in a way that is lighter and more durable, allowing Gi manufacturers to make more comfortable Gis that still last a long time.
The other term, GSM, means Grams per Square Meter. This is the weight of the Gi jacket. Most Gis these days come in around 350-450 GSM. 350 and under is considered lightweight, while anything over 450 is a bit heavier than average.
Do you need to spend big? Pros and cons of cheap BJJ Gis
Be aware that cheap is not always best.
You of course do not need to feel pressured to spend $150+ on a Gi, especially if you’re new to the sport. There would be nothing worse than making a big purchase like that, just to decide that Jiu Jitsu is not for you, or end up too busy to train regularly.
However, if you are confident that you’re in BJJ for the long run, it’s probably worth buying a half-decent Gi.
A $50 Gi may sound great, but a lot of cheaper Gis are low quality. They don’t feel and fit as good, and start breaking down earlier.
Cheaper gear can sometimes cost more long-term. Let’s say you buy a $50 Gi, and it lasts a year before it starts to wear out. On the other hand, you buy a $125 Gi, and it lasts you three years. In this case, the cheaper Gi is actually going to end up costing you more.
It’s not always the case that cheap Gis wear out fast. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best cheap BJJ Gis, that you can be comfortable will last long enough to get value from.
However, if you’re serious about BJJ and train regularly, spending a decent amount on a Gi that you’re going to get 3, 4, 5 years of wear out of is often well worth it.
Best Cheap Gis for BJJ: In Summary
Here in this post we’ve laid out several choices for the best cheap BJJ Gi available today, as well as the criteria you should look for when choosing a Gi (especially if it’s your first BJJ Gi).
We’ve given you a few recommendations, but the best choices in our team’s opinion are the budget options from Sanabul, Elite Sports and Tatami. All three of these brands offer high-quality, comfortable Gis, comfortably under $100.
These are great options for your first BJJ Gi, or if you want another Gi to add to your rotation but you don’t want to break the bank.