December 14, 2010

Lucky Gi Review

Scotty over at On The Mat is one of the most innovative kimono manufactures in the business right now.  He has spent countless hours and thousands of his own dollars seeking out the very best in Jiu Jitsu gi manufacturing and design.  The Luck Gi line is just one of Scotty's many creations, but it is arguably THE creation that put On The Mat, on the map!

This is the second Lucky Gi I have owned over the past 4 years and I must admit they are DURABLE!  Certainly not a lightweight gi by any stretch of the imagination, Lucky Gi's are probably the most durable and rugged gi's I have ever worn.  Weighing in at a monster 7 pounds this is not the gi you want to be taking to the worlds and competing in.  But as a stand up practice kimono this gi will weather any storm.

For reference this is a A-5, I am 6'4" 215#'s 
The pattern for this gi was designed by a veteran suit maker, making it the only sport cut fit gi on the market that I know of.  I must admit I like the fit overall.  The skirt takes about one pull to get out of the belt which is ideal for gi chokes, the only drawback being it is such a thick collar and heavy gi that gi chokes are often rather slow and clumsy (could just be my lackluster gi choke game too).

All seems are reinforced and believe me they hold.  I do not have a single rip or tear in my old Lucky that I have had for over 4 years.  None of the seems have frayed at all.  The knees on the pants have built in pads which come in nice and handy on those puzzle mats and rough mats still found in some academies.  The collar is solid foam injection and is quite thick.  Depending on your game this is either a positive or a negative.  Be forewarned, the thick collar offers a solid grip for your opponent.

The thick American cotton (the gi is made in China though) and the intricate stitch weave are credited for the amazing durability, the only downside being the fabric does not breathe quite as easily as some of my other gi's.  The pants will often become rather clingy and start sticking to my legs when rolling.  I sweat A LOT and I live in Washington state = moisture-moisture-moisture!  So air stagnation and gi's that breathe are very important.  The Lucky gi's thick cut leave me wanting a bit more air movement.

Sorry for the cluttered pic, it was pouring outside!
I have noticed two main divisions in BJJ when it comes to gi flare and design; the minimalist, and the NASCAR wanna' be!  The minimalist thinks any kind of patch or design is just ridiculous and wishes to keep the uniforms clean and "pure" as they were 80 years ago.  The NASCAR fans love to adorn their gi's with patches, designs, embroidery, basically anything and everything they can find.  With the Lucky Gi you have an obvious Irish theme that I must admit appealed to me.  The not so hidden connotation of gamble - risk - reward are prevalent with the Ace of Spades on the inside sleeve, the lucky number 13 on the skirt mirrored by a black cat on the opposite side.  Overall people seem to love or hate the design, judging by sales and how many people I see sporting the gi's... the majority love it.

Reinforced stitching and knee pads
The Lucky line has a number of kimono's to chose from including the Lucky Gi in white / black / blue, as well as the signature series which are designed by Marcelo Garcia, Jeff Glover, and Rafael Lovato Jr.  Now I have never rolled in any of these designs, but I have tried on a couple at the various On The Mat stores throughout the southwest (lame ass Seattle does not have one) and I must say the major difference I immediately noticed was how soft and smooth the inside of the Lovato Jr. gi was!  I mean baby butt soft!  This is a factor for those who roll without rash guards, as the regular Lucky gi is a bit rough on the inside comparatively.   View the various models and designs here.

No sense in beating around the bush, I pull no punches... the price of a gi is usually the deciding factor if ones wife is really serious when she says she supports ones Jits lifestyle!  Well the Lucky gi will test the bonds of that relationship coming in at a cool $249 MSRP!  Now lets be fair, I just got done telling you I have owned my old Lucky gi for 4 years.  That works out to about $60 a year, about $5 a month over that time period!   A lot of my light weight gi's have not lasted 1/2 that time frame.  So worth is subjective.

One thing you must be aware of is the shrinkage.  My old Lucky gi has shrunk to the point of I cannot wear it any longer.  No holes.  No tears.  No rips.  But major turtling in the shrinkage department!  Exercise caution with the clothes dryer.  

Overall the Lucky Gi is solid.  An extremely durable gi which you will get your moneys worth from for sure, and it is in a limited run (Scotty informed me they are down to the last of the inventory and they will not be made again).  Perfect gift just in time for the holidays, order your Lucky gi here!


Solid stitching throughout.

Nice trident shaped reinforcement

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