Aesthetic first burst onto the scene last year with the launch of two highly stylish gi models. They continue their campaign with the release of their navy coloured Aurora gi and a soon to be released tournament rules friendly 'custom' gi (black). The two gis are polar opposites in terms of fit, feel and comfort.
Aesthetic clearly are a company that live up to their name. Their first gis, the Alpha and the Aurora were smart, stylish and made with great quality construction and design. The new navy Aurora (sold on their website as the Aurora II - though it says ONE on my sample) differs from the royal blue model with a few minor material changes while the Custom gi is a wholly different beast (my sample is a pre-production model).
Size, Weight, Shrinkage and other stats
Both the Aurora and the Custom were size A1. My own size is 5'6 in height weighing 59-60kg with along arm reach.
Aurora (navy) new v washed Custom (black) new v washed
(size in centimetres, both gis washed at least three times at 40 degrees C)
A: 161/156 155/152
B: 74/72 74/772
C: 57/55 50/52
D: 16.5/16 16.6/16
E (ripstop): 54/52 55/52
E (twill): 53/49 -
F: (ripstop) 94/92 94/91
F: (twill): 94/89 -
G (ripstop): 24.5/23 24/23
G (twill) 24.5/23 -
Jacket weight (kg): 1.0 1.1
Ripstop trouser weight (Kg): 0.5 0.6
Twill trouser weight (Kg): 0.5 -
They key differences between the Aurora navy and the Custom appear to be with sleeve length. The Aurora offers a wingspan of 156cm (good length for my long reach) while the Custom starts off with a wingspan of 155cm and shrinks to 152c which begins to feel short on me. Most other dimensions are roughly proportionate to each other, though the jacket material on the Custom model feels very different to the Aurora. More on that later.
The navy Aurora continues the classy diagonal stitch pattern lines of the previous Aurora model. I really like these but be aware that the thin lapel piping may not be legal at IBJJF rules tournaments. Navy is also not a legal colour anyway. The Custom model addresses the concerns of IBJJF tournament rules but paring style elements down to a minimum. The ambigram patches are super clever though!
Sleeve length was a big problem in the Custom gi - see final photo in this section.
Once again, the Aurora comes with two pairs of trousers. One ripstop, the other twill. I prefer the twill though the ripstop is not that bad as an alternative. In all cases, the double knee layer extends from above the knee all the way down to the ankle, which is of course good as it covers the knee when kneeling. The Custom only came with on pair of trousers.
Fit, Feel, Comfort during rolling
The Aurora is quite easily the most comfortable gi I have ever rolled in. The incredible softness of the jacket and twill trouser fabric resemble the luxury of soft silk pyjamas. Length is pretty good on both the jacket and the trousers while not feeling too heavy or cumbersome.
The custom model felt like a suit of armour. The fabric is ridculously stiff and reminded me of the Atama Mundial gi I reviewed a while back. Just as with the Atama, the ripstop trousers on the Custom are very nice though the shortness of the sleeves really put me off enjoying this sample to its full extent. Despite feeling the complete opposite to the softness of the Aurora, I really enjoyed the battle ready sensation of wearing the Custom. It was very difficult for opponents to grip and gave me a sense of invincibility when rolling with it on.
Aesthetic continue their stellar rise towards producing high quality tastefully designed gis. The new navy Aurora looks wonderful and feels like a million dollars. The soon to be released Custom should be a first pick for those looking for a battle suit of armour for tournaments (once they adjust the sleeve length).