Friday, January 11, 2013

Tatami Estilo 3.0 Gi Review

Tatami Fightwear is fairly new in the Jiu-Jitsu scene but you might not know it.  They have been busy making quality, yet affordable gear since 2009 and are based in the UK.  One of the things I admire about Tatami Fightwear is that they make some very high quality gear at a reasonable price.  I was very fortunate to receive a Tatami Estilo 3.0 from Martial Arts Supplies and couldn't wait to test it out.  I would like to point out that Martial Arts Supplies has a bevy of Jiu-Jitsu gear ranging from kimonos, shorts, rash guards, to pretty much anything you could imagine.  On top of that they offer free shipping and hassle free returns.  Something worth noting is that Martial Arts Supplies will allow you to mix and match the jacket and pants sizes in case you don't fit the standard sizing chart with Tatami gi's for no additional charge.

If you like a little bit of bling than I think you will probably enjoy the Estilo 3.0. This gi has black contrast stitching and embroidery throughout.  It sports traditional patches along the shoulders and lapel.  I like that the shoulder patches in the form of a black belt with "3.0" integrated onto the red competition bar.  The bottom of the jacket also has a Tatami patch to add some additional flair.  Each sleeve features Estilo logos embroidered in black along with Tatami Fightwear embroidered directly behind the collar on the back of the jacket.  The cuffs of the jacket, inner portion of lapels, and cuffs of the pants have Estilo taping in black which looks good.  The pants match the jacket well with the contrast stitching, patches, and embroidery on each leg.

This gi seems to be built very well.  The jacket is a 550gsm single piece pearl weave.  It features a rubberized collar that is adequately thick.  The jacket and pants both have triple stitching in high stress areas such as the crotch and knee pads.  The pants consist of 14oz heavy cotton with a four loop enclosure system for the drawstring.  The traditional stretchy drawstring is present here.  While I do like the stretchy feeling of the drawstring it could be a bit shorter and almost requires a triple knot to keep it out of the way.  Nothing a pair of shears and lighter can't fix.  The knee pads are reinforced to give some extra cushion and add some durability.  There are few spots on the pants where the stitching is not perfect but nothing that looks unacceptable or might become problematic.  This gi weighs in at about 4.4lbs.
Note some minor flaws in stitching

One thing I really like about the Tatami Fightwear website is that they offer an interactive sizing chart.  You can simply select your height and weight using their gi size calculator and it will select the appropriate size for you.  Being UK based, they were kind enough to provide both metric and standard units of measure for us Yankees here in the States.  If you have any concerns about sizing I highly recommend checking out the sizing calculator here:

The gi used in this review is an A1 and retails for $129.99 at One thing I have noticed with  Tatami gi's is that the sleeves do tend to run a bit longer than most other gi's.  Out of the package this kimono fit very well.  There is plenty of intentional shrinking that can be done in my case but not much is required to get this closer to a tailored fit.  The jacket is roomy for those with bigger torso's but not so much that I am swimming in it.  Sleeve length is just a hair long but nothing that can't be fixed in the washing machine and dryer.  The skirt length is perfect...not too long nor short.  I really like the fit of the pants.  They provide plenty of room in the crotch and aren't overly baggy.  Pants that are too baggy are one of my biggest pet peeves.  The length of the pant legs is adequate and required very little shrinking in the wash.  As a reminder, MAS will allow you to mix and match jacket and pant sizes if you find that the standard A1 pants fit but need a larger jacket such as an A2 for example.

Rolling Impressions
Before training in this gi I did wash it and intentionally shrink it some.  I never shrink a gi too aggressively the first time out.  I prefer to shrink it just a bit, roll in it, and evaluate how it feels and go from there.  First time out I did feel like it would need some more work as the sleeves were a tad long and easily manipulated while rolling.  A second trip through the wash and I feel much closer now.  The pants are perfect at this point but the jacket will require a bit more shrinking.  I absolutely enjoy training in this gi.  It provides the perfect balance between a light and heavier gi.  The gi is quite sturdy but feels like it can take plenty of punishment.  The pants feel super light but not flimsy by any stretch of the imagination.  The support in the knee pads is very welcome too.  This gi will definitely be in the regular rotation and can be a great every day gi to train or compete in.

As previously mentioned the gi used in this review is an A1.  I did run this one through the washer and dryer (medium heat) twice with the intention of shrinking it a bit.  I experienced a little more shrinkage in the pants than the jacket and will probably be okay to run the jacket through the dryer a couple more times.

Closing Thoughts
This is my second Tatami gi and they have really delivered with the Estilo 3.0.  They have managed to design a gi that looks good, provides a little flash with well placed patches and stitching, is priced very reasonably, and performs well.  It seems like there are so many choices for gi's and so few of them really deliver the quality for the money.  I don't think you can go wrong with Tatami Fightwear if you are looking for a great gi without spending $200.

Once again, I want to thank Martial Arts Supplies for providing a great gi for me to review.  Please give them a look for your next BJJ related purchases.  They have a great selection of gi's, lots of other grappling related equipment, and offer FREE SHIPPING.

A big thank you to Shervin Alavi for taking pictures of me in the gi.  

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