Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nogi Volt 2.0 Grappling Shorts Review

I've been meaning to do a review on these shorts for quite some time now.  I have been a customer of Nogi Industries since 2006 and own a few older pairs that still held up well to this day.

Nogi Industries has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing grappling shorts for some time now.  The brand was originally founded by MMA fighter Chris Brennan back in 2003.  Back then, Nogi was one of the first companies to utilize stretchable fabrics that lent themselves well to the sport of grappling.  My first pair of Nogi shorts were the OE model that I still train in to this day.  One of the reasons I have been a fan of the shorts produced by this company is not only for grappling but they work well in other areas such as working out in the gym and even for casual activities like swimming.  They are versatile to say the least.  Today Nogi has become a pretty main staple in the grappling apparel business and a big sponsor/contributor to Budovideos during IBJJF pay per view events.  The Nogi brand has really set the standard for "ranked gear" consisting of rash guards and grappling shorts.  In addition to the training gear Nogi Industries has to offer, they also have a nice selection of outerwear such as hoodies, t-shirts, and hats.
Old faithful pairs of Nogi shorts

One of things that has always attracted me to the Nogi Industries brand is the simplicity of their designs. I have never been a fan of designs featuring blood, get the idea. These shorts feature some well thought out embroidery vertically along the side, and horizontally along the bottoms (front right panel and back left panel).  The font of the embroidery resembles a cross between Gothic and Old English font and looks nice.  Black piping is utilized on both the front and back panels and gives the shorts are very clean look.  I also like to use these shorts to lift weights at the gym so the clean design is nice and avoids unnecessary conversation from people I typically try to avoid while working out.

The quality of construction seems very good which has been pretty typical of past Nogi shorts that I have owned.  The stitching does have one spot that isn't perfect but doesn't seem to be enough to affect the long term durability of the shorts.  Other than this one spot, the stitching throughout the shorts is very good.  Not much has changed with the enclosure system and it is pretty par for the course with respect to their older models.  The hook and loop enclosure coupled with a draw string help ensure that the shorts have a secure and comfortable fit in the waistline.  The crotch area boasts a super stretchable material that seems to be very durable.  I've become a big fan of embroidery over laminated logos and Nogi has upgraded in this area.  The rigors of grappling combined with regular trips through the washing machine take their toll on laminated logos.  For this reason I prefer shorts with embroidery like that used on the Volt 2.0's and these have proven to be durable so far.
Black portion features stretchable material
Inner drawstring + enclosure system
Velcro stitching failed here

Fit + Rolling Impressions
The overall fit of these shorts doesn't disappoint.  They are by far the most comfortable pair of Nogi shorts I've owned.  The 30" waist size I ordered fit very well.  The amount of leg room is impressive and don't leave the feeling that they are restrictive.  The stretchy fabric used in the interior panels and crotch area is a big upgrade over the older model shorts.  This is very important for me as I am primarily a guard player and need the freedom in the leg and crotch area.  The material feels nice and light and don't feel laborious to train in.  They are sturdy enough to feel durable but not overly stiff like some shorts that use rip-stop material.  My only gripe about these shorts is a mishap I had while putting them on after I had them for a couple months. While opening the Velcro enclosure, the portion that is stitched into the shorts came apart.  It seems the stitching that holds the Velcro simply gave way.  I'm sure these can be fixed fairly easily but I was surprised to see this happen.  It either says something about the strength of the Velcro or lack of good stitching holding the Velcro onto the shorts.  I doubt this is a common problem with these shorts as my other three pairs have never done this.


Closing Thoughts
Nogi Industries really hit the mark with the Volt 2.0 grappling shorts.  They continue to set a high standard in grappling apparel creating designs that are nice and not overly gaudy.  Out of all the grappling shorts I have owned over the years the Nogi brand shorts seem to hold up the best and look less worn than other brands making them a very good investment.  Nogi Industries products can be purchased through various online vendors including their homepage.  I do recommend checking out their homepage as they tend to offer some nice sales throughout the year.  Since we are in nogi season I hope to have some more reviews on shorts and rash guards soon.

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