A thoughtfully designed kimono with a couple of interesting and innovative touches, this pearlweave A1 fitted me very well and was comfortable to wear in training. Priced at $129 ($139 for blue) from the Ezekiel Kimonos website, it represents a good solid gi.
Disclosures: I was sent this gi by Ezekiel Kimonos. I have no business or personal connections with Ezekiel Kimonos.
Size, Stats, Shrinkage and Other Info for A1
(new vs x3 washes at 40 degrees air dried - in centimetres)
A: 164 / 156
B: 74 / 73
C: 51 / 49
D: 17.5 / 17
E: 54 / 53
F: 92 / 87
G: 24 / 23
Weight Jacket: 1.2Kg
Weight trousers: 0.5Kg
The trousers at 87cm long are a touch shorter than my perfect optimim (eg SYR's Count A1L is 93cm long) but fine for training and within IBJJF competition legal parameters.
With a combined weight of 1.7Kg the uniform is not in the ultra light or even light categories of pearl weave gis. Lighter gi include the Vulkan Pro Lite (1.4kg) or the Zero G (1.4Kg)
The Ezekiel jacket is made from 550gsm pearlweave cotton. That's a slightly heavier than average 'weight' for a gi these days. For comparison, the Tatami Estilo weighs in with a 500gsm jacket but a model such as the Shoyoroll Count features a lighter and thinner 450gsm jacket. To be honest however, it's not that noticeable, the Ezekiel jacket feels perfectly fine to wear even in hot weather (which in the UK, is happening right now).
The collar contains a pretty goodly thick rubber core and is covered by canvas cotton. Canvas is good, it is tough and hard wearing compared to twill, which can look a bit frayed after a while.
Now here's the really cool bit - sleeve cuff tape made from, wait for it...made from felt! It's like someone stripped a portion of skin from a Teddy Bear and wrapped on the inside of a gi. The result is very comfy and super soft. I like!
Patches follow the common convention of using a red, black and white (or light grey in this case) colour palette - common to a lot of BJJ uniforms these days. Ezekiel of course is the name given to a sleeve and hand choke and Sode Garuma Jime is romanised Japanese name of the same technique in judo. The design is safe and simple, nothing much to call bling here but it's enough to show off the branding as distinct from most other gis.
Trousers are 12oz cotton canvas. Canvas is really tough but the heavier weights can feel very hot and thick in warm weather. I'd say 12oz is the maximum before one really starts to feel the heaviness. I'm pretty sure I've tried 10oz canvas pants before though I cannot find any review fro my archives to prove it - I do recall 10oz feeling much lighter and more comfortable compared to the heavier versions.
The drawstring is nice, though could do with being shipped with the end knot tied, saving me the effort myself (lazy I know but all other gis are shipped with the knot). Four loops is adequate, other brands have more loops but four seemed to serve the purpose more than adequately when I was rolling in this gi.
The knee areas are covered with just an extra layer of canvas. Unfortunately these are very short. Some brands have knee reinforcements that extend from knee all the way down to the ankle. I feel this is preferable.
The trousers have an ugly off the shelf patch that state the size. I've seen this patch on numerous sample and prototype gis in the past. Given the effort to design and place custom patches on the jacket, it seems a shame Ezekiel Kimonos didn't quite go that tiny extra mile to place a custom patch on the trousers too. It's just a patch so not a big deal but for me, I like to take note of the little touches on a gi design. The embroidered kanji is okay, though does look a little tagged on to me.
But I'm really picking at tiny details here, the overall design is neat and functional to the eye.
As you might see from these photos, the Ezekiel gi fits me pretty good. Sadly my wife, who took the photos, didn't get my feet into the view, so you can't see where the trouser length stops. Regardless, it was a reasonable length, a touch shorter than my ideal length but perfectly within comp legal lengths.
Rolling report and conclusion
This gi felt reasonably light and comfortable when rolling. The shrinkage is acceptable and remained a good fit after three washes. I loved the soft fluffy cuff lining and general feeling of sturdy durability. Design-wise, it probably doesn't push the boat out in terms of creativity but for a debut effort by Ezekiel Kimonos, this is a good solid gi. At a price of $129 I'd say they are offering a product pitched at a very competitive sector of the BJJ gi market. There are a lot of established gis priced at this level or even cheaper. It will be interesting to see how the brand develops.