Monday, September 7, 2015

Submission FC Mania Gi Review



Submission Fight Company has recently released a new offering to their line-up of grappling gear: The Mania Gi.  This is my first time working with any of their products.  The offer everything from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi’s, ranked rash guards, gi pants, belts, patches, t-shirts, and replacement drawstrings.  The company was originally based in California (most recently Frisco, TX) and has been in business since 2010. 

Design

The jacket and pants have a very clean and attractive look.  The model I received for this review is the black “Mania” with orange and grey contrast colors.  The Mania gi features embroidery throughout with very few sewn on patches.  The quality of the embroidery seems to be very good with no runners.  The embroidery on the jacket appears on the shoulders and lapel.  There is a small embroidered logo for on the skirt (front).  The back of the jacket only sports “Mania” and the company logo along the bottom of the skirt leaving plenty of room for affiliation patches, sponsors, etc.  The bottom of the jacket has seam taping with the Submission FC/Mania print as does the sleeve cuffs.  The pants also have the same seam taping in the cuffs of the pants.  The pants only have “Mania” embroidered just below the loop enclosures and a small, sewn on patch with accompanied size. 

Construction

The jacket is advertised as a 450GSM pearl weave and it is remarkably lightweight.  In addition to being lightweight both the jacket and pants are incredibly comfortable.  After a few trips through the washing machine I found jacket and pants to have a relaxed feel as opposed to a gi that can stand up on it’s own after air drying.   The jacket offers the typical reinforced armpit, single piece (no seam) back on the jacket.  The collar has a nice, thick feel to it giving some overall sturdiness. 

The pants are constructed from 100% 10 ounce cotton which also have a lightweight feel.  These pants remind me how I prefer the feel of natural cotton over cotton/polyester blends (rip-stop material).  The drawstring is the popular paracord material.  I did find the length to be too long but that is typical for most gi manufacturers.  This is easily fixed with scissors and a lighter to customize the drawstring to your desired length.  The only complaint I have about the pants is the loops provided for the drawstring.  The pants feature double loops near the hips and a single loop in the middle much like the Bull Terrier gi I reviewed some time ago.  It’s not a deal breaker but I feel would be better served with another pair of double loops just off center. The pants have reinforcement in the knees that begins at the middle of the thigh and extends down halfway to the shin. 

There is something worth noting that I found odd with the Mania was found during the vinegar soak process prior to the first wash.  I always pre-soak my gi’s (yes even the white ones) in vinegar for about 30 minutes.  Some ask “why would you pre-soak a white gi?”  Well it’s really simple.  Sometimes the tags and patches will bleed during a wash and a few bucks on vinegar are well worth the prevention of staining a brand new, $150-200 gi.  Therefore, I pre-soaked this gi and when I pulled it out I noticed there was a lot of black coloration left behind in the vinegar bath.  I imagine this gi would have suffered some fading if I had not pre-treated it so I highly recommend using vinegar or a product like Retayne.  All that said the gi didn’t seem to suffer any significant fading after many trips through the washer.  I would definitely plan to wash this gi with no other clothing the first couple of times to prevent any sort of bleeding onto other garments. 

Clean embroidery



Fit

Here’s where things were a bit tricky.  I am 5’7” in height and weigh about 150lbs.  I typically wear an A-1 in most gi’s but have found there are quite a few brands where I fall in low end of an A-2.  In previous experiences when I’ve gone with an A-2 size I end up with a very baggy gi both through the torso, long sleeves, and baggy, long pants.  Because of this I usually won’t even try certain brands when I find myself falling in that range of sizing charts.  I was sent an A-1 which is recommended for 5’2-5’5” & 110-145lbs.  I opened the gi up and knew immediately this one wasn’t going to work.  It was borderline competition legal without a single trip through the washing machine.  I was sent an A-2 replacement and my first impressions were also not optimistic.  I was swimming in the A-2 upon trying it on.  My biggest concern was that the gi is advertised as “pre-shrunk” but I had to try and make this one work. 

After a couple hot washes, low spin, and dried on high heat I was amazed that this gi actually fit me incredibly well.  The jacket has a very tailored/tapered feel and looks like it was custom made for my body type.  The sleeve length is now perfect and the skirt length is a bit long.  Many times A-1 sized gi’s that fit me perfectly still leave me a bit short on the skirt which can be annoying trying to keep it tucked in properly and when utilizing the lapel ends for chokes.  This one almost feels a bit too long but I think it’s really the proper length and I’m just accustomed to short skirts on my jackets.  The length of the pants is also just how I like it.  There is plenty of room in the pants without leaving me with an overly baggy feeling.  My only complaint about the fit/feel of this gi is the seam taping in the cuffs of both the jacket and pants has a bit of a scratchy, unpolished feel to it.  It’s not a deal breaker but worth noting. 
Sturdy lapel


Reinforcement in the knees

Cuff of pant sleeve

Rolling Impressions

My first few rolling impressions were average due to getting the gi dialed in for size.  Initially the sleeves were a bit long which was problematic during rolling sessions but it has dramatically improved since shrinking the gi down in size to where I like it.  The gi would pass even the most, strict IBJJF inspectors with flying colors and I would not hesitate to compete in this gi…and I am very picky about what gi’s I will use for competition.  I own far more gi’s I will only train in than I’m willing to compete in.  The gi feels very durable after many training sessions.  The sleeves have little to no stretch in them.  The lightweight feel of the gi definitely stands out while training.  During the hot Texas summer I tend to shy away from the heavier gi’s in my collection and this one is welcomed during this time of year. 


Measurements

The sizing available for the Mania gi has a very broad range for the smallest to biggest of grapplers.  Based on my experience I would say that the gi’s both A-1 & A-2 are pretty accurate to the sizing chart below.  Of course this also allows for intentional shrinking if needed so keep that in mind when reading the gi is “pre-shrunk.”  Clearly there is some give in this area. 

Size Chart
Height                                   Weight (lbs)                                       Size
4’10”-5’2”                            90-110                                                  A-0
5’2”-5’5”                              110-145                                                A-1
5’5”-5’9”                              145-175                                                A-2
5’9”-6’0”                              175-210                                                A-3
6’0”-6’4”                              210-260                                                A-4
6’3”-6’6”                              260-290                                                A-5

*Note that all measurements were taken after shrinking the gi down for my review.



Closing Thoughts

This was my first time working with a Submission Fight Co. product so I didn’t have a lot of expectations good or bad going in.  The biggest concerns I had going into this review was where I fell on the sizing chart.  Clearly the A-1 was way too small and the A-2 was also too big.  Luckily with some patience and careful trips through the washer and dryer I was able to customize this gi and it turned out to be an excellent fit.  On top of being a great fitting gi, the color contrast, quality construction, overall look and feel of this gi makes this a very excellent choice for $140-150 whether it’s used for everyday training or competition.   If you’re in the market for a new gi I would definitely give Submission FC some consideration.

Link:
http://submissionfc.com/