Saturday, December 28, 2013

Product Review Saturday: Toro BJJ Gi - Review

"I would never ask you to trust me, it's the cry of a guilty soul."
    - Way of the Gun

 I don't do a lot of product reviews because I rarely buy MMA/ grappling training gear. I stick to durable gear that lasts lengthy periods of time. I have two Judo Gi's that are 5+ years old.

That being said, I got ahold of the new Toro BJJ Gi from over at Cageside MMA.

"Toro "Blanco Diablo" Pearl Weave BJJ Gi"
It retails for $140.00.

I first became familiar with this Gi as some training partners and my coaches began wearing the Gi for training during the prototype phase. Having tried it on and gotten the recommendation from friends who train consistently (rather than more recreational enthusiasts) I got ahold of one myself because I only have one lightweight Jiu-Jitsu Gi for summer training and it's begun to wear out from repeated use. I also got to try it on at the Cageside Warehouse to ensure it fit rather than order over the internet and hope for the best. I'm super specific about Gi top fitting, and Gi's in general.

Weight of Gi:
For a long time, coming from Judo, I preferred double weave Gi's. Once I visited Brazil and experienced the heat, and began training Jiu-Jitsu more and more regularly, I found myself preferring a better fighting, slimmer cut Gi, as well as something that was lighter weight. The Toro Gi feels exceptionally light when you put it on, but doesn't hang on you once sweaty they way I've found other lighter weight Gi's sometimes do.

Gi Cut/Fit:The only Jiu-Jitsu Gi I've previously owned is a Vulkan Pro Light. It is lightweight, single weave, but when I train in it for extended periods of time, I don't like the way it hangs on my frame when sweaty. It has that "got caught in the rain and your T-shirt is drenched hanging on you" feeling.

The Toro Gi has a slimmer cut that fits better in and through the chest area in particular. I'm 5'8, 145 lb's or so, but with relatively broad shoulders compared to my waist. The Toro Gi really does fit very well through this area in particular rather than the putting on a large box feeling I often get when trying on Gi tops.

Pants: The material is soft and again, the pants have a more fitted feel as opposed to the balloon pants feeling you often get with some Gi pants. It also has several extra belt loops which I expect will deter the usual catastrophic loss of belt loops that plagues some Gi pants.

Appearance/Flare: The logo is simple and direct, "live to roll, roll to live". It's not a flashy Gi, and it's got very little in the way of designs that will clash with whatever banners/designs/stitching/embroidery you might want to add yourself.

Durability: As I recently found out, Toro BJJ/Cageside actually imports thread to Pakistan for improved durability in construction of training gear, making it longer lasting than the majority of Gi's out there which utilize native thread from Pakistan.
I waited until I'd trained in the Gi consistently for about 2 months to do the review. The Gi top and pants have held up well, with no discernible fraying or stitching coming loose.

Cost: $140.00 is considerably less than what I'd expect to pay for a more tailored Gi cut/fitfrom a company with great customer service and from a Gi that doesn't fit like a parachute or balloon pants. The added touches of extra belt loops, drawstring or rope included for the pants, and the higher quality thread make it worth the price. The more tailored fit in and around the chest really is what really sticks out to me in describing this Gi.

From the Toro BJJ/Cageside webpage:
"450 Gram Pearl Weave jacket (Light weight and very comfortable)

Black Contrast Stitching

EVA foam padded collar

Embroidered Patches

Pants are re enforced from above the knee all the way to the ankle cuff

Re enforced stitching on critical seams

12 Oz Cotton Twill Pants for daily training

Extra rope drawstring included

6 Total Belt Loops on Pants

White belt included

Mesh carry bag included


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