This is a good, solid and very reasonably priced gi that ticks all the right boxes in terms of materials, reinforcements and construction. I was a bit put off by the persistent and stubborn mothball odour, tendency to fade unevenly and the design elements. Overall however, the Wind Kimono is great value for money.
The Battle Gear 'Wind' sells for £60GBP from their website here: www.battlegearbjj.com/
I have no business or personal relations with Battle Gear.
Last year, UK company, Battle Gear arrived fresh onto the fightwear scene with a range t-shirts, rashguards, shorts and gis. The three kimono models are, as far as I can tell, all the same basic uniform, with minor design elements altered for each colour model. This blue model is named the 'wind' while the others are 'soldier' and 'warrior'. There is heavy use of Chinese characters and imagery throughout the range of products.
Size, Weight, Shrink & other data for A1
Size in centimetres and weight in kilograms. For reference, I am 59-60Kg in weight and 167cm in height. I am used to wearing A1 or A1L size gis though I do have long arms. First figure brand new, second figure after x3 mild temperature washes and then air dried.
Jacket = 1.0kg, trousers = 0.7Kg
The data shows there is minor sleeve reduction but overall, very little shrinkage in either width or height for jacket or trousers. The dimensions overall are a degree smaller and tighter fitting than the previously reviewed 'Goose' gi by 93 Brand or the Tatami Estilo (v3).
Weighing a total of 1.8Kg, the wind is not an ultralight gi and a touch heavier than the average A1 pearlweave gi.
The jacket is made from 450gsm pearlweave cotton. It is coloured a rich Royal Blue with white stitching throughout.
The image below shows the sleeve emblem, a Chinese style cloud embroidered directly onto the fabric.
The collar is impressively thick. The leading edge is noticeably thicker than many of my other gis. The EVA foam core is covered with twill cotton.
The image below shows the inside cuffs which are lined with twill cotton tape which is soft to the touch (unlike more scratchy woven tapes found on some brands).
Side vents are covered with white twill cotton for aesthetic appeal.
The photo below shows the right arm embroidery.
The base of the back of the jacket is embroidered with the Battle Gear comapny logos.
The trousers are made from quite a thick cotton twill material. The double layer over the knee extends right to the bottom of the ankle openings. This is a good feature as it ensures that the knee is covered when in seated kneeling position.
The hem of the ankle openings are quadruple stitched and folded over. They appear very sturdy and strong.
Performance & Conclusions
This gi in A1 was a perfect fit for me. I liked the narrow torso fit and good sleeve arm length. The trousers were also well proportioned for my body type. In addition to the great fit, I really liked the attention given to all the functional details, such as the great rope drawstring, comfortable cuff taping and knee to ankle double trouser layer. It did not feel too heavy to roll in but I do personally prefer trousers that are slightly less thick compare with these.
I wore and washed this gi around a dozen times. The resistance to shrinkage was very impressive but there was noticeable uneven colour fade over the jacket fabric. The lapel collar remained quite dark however, plus it did start to fray along the leading edge.
This gi had a very strong factory odour of mothballs or napthalene. I took up until the 12th wash for it to really diminish. Whilst most gis I receive have some degree of odour, this one was probably the hardest to remove.
I'm not a real big fan of the logos and artwork however. The execution of the graphical elements are perfectly fine but as a whole, they don't quite all blend as well as I feel maybe they could. Handily, they are not too in your face and whilst this gi is certainly colourful, I would not classify it as a 'bling' model.
Overall this gi ticks all the right boxes in terms of materials, construction and reinforcements. The irregular fading and slight fraying of the collar material did give the impression of slightly more visible wear and tear than, say, an all white gi, though I should clarify, all the functional and reinforcing units held up very well.
For £60, I would say this is a very good first time gi or for those on a budget.
The owner of Battle Gear has informed me that the new batch of Wind kimonos currently in stock has a trousers made from lighter and thinner fabric plus the mothball smell is much reduced compared to the sample I received.