4.11.16

BJJ Gi review: Flow Kimonos Pro Series


Flow Kimonos is an innovative Jiujitsu gi manufacturer based out of Chicago, USA. Their slick, clean and well marketed products caught my eye on https://www.instagram.com/flowkimonos/. The management behind the company is very friendly and their product is of a high quality with some nice and unique ideas. They sent me the Pro Model to road test.





I don't know if you can see from these photos, but the A2 is a snug fit. Not -uncomfortably so, but more of the tailored variety. This is now a big, flowy or baggy A2. If you're 5' 6" - 5' 9" tall and have some meat on you, the A2 will fit with a bit of snug feel to it. If the person checking your gi at a comp is having a bad day, he might challenge that it's perhaps too snug but fear not: Enter the A2H

While the A2 is marketed for someone 165-180lb heavy, the A2H caters for the heavier, stockier A2 jiujitsuka: ranging from 185lb-210. Even further to the A2 and the A2H, Flow Kimonos also offer the A2L which caters for the 165-180lb athletes with heights ranging from 5' 10" - 6' 1" tall. Choices...choices, which is why I find it super helpful that they have an extensive Sizing Chart.




Here are some quick facts about the gi itself:

425gsm pearl weave jacket
Good size (thickness) lapel
9oz polyester/cotton twill pants (very comfy and soft!)
Long knee reinforcement panels
Reinforcement at the cuffs
Silver contrast stitching (if you're into that kind of thing)
Minimalistic embroidery (allowing and encouraging personal style)
Six belt loops in the pants
Stretchy rope drawstring (great feature!)

From the Flow Kimonos website

"Our flagship competition gi is one of the lightest and most comfortable gis on the market. We've optimized for superior craftsmanship, quality stitching, and performance above all to deliver you the best competition gi."






I cannot comment enough on how soft and comfortable the fabric is. If you, like me, started training jiujitsu in rough, oversized judo gis then you will always measure the softness of a gi against that harsh standard and the Flow Pro gi will feel like you're wrapped in clouds.




Stylistically, I really like the minimalist look they went for, especially since this is marketed as a comp gi. It has clear branding as you can see from the photos, but it also leaves plenty of room for the imagination and your academy's own patches etc.




Details: The market is full of what I refer to as speedy knock off gis. In other words, many companies saw the growth of jiujitsu as an international phenomenon and sport and decided to copy the dimensions of an established gi and release it as their own. Unfortunately, most of these companies, while still asking a hefty price, left out most of the important details that make a gi a jiujitsu gi. Flow Kimonos didn't. The team here crossed their "t"s and dotted their "i"s.

The draw string is one such detail. Flow kimonos use a foam draw string which, when tied, actually holds a knot well. Why is that such an innovation, I hear you ask:

Use a drawstring that's too firm and it never stays knotted.
Use a drawstring that's too soft and, after a long and sweaty session, it's impossible to get undone.

Use the right drawstring your customers will thank you for it each and every session!



Story: I love a company with a bit of a story to it. Who doesn't?

From Flow Kimonos website:

"Flow Kimonos started on a cold Boston evening. The mats were slick with the fresh sweat from our night’s training. Our teammate came over and asked if anyone wanted to get in one last roll to which another replied “Sure, I’ll flow,” As we watched these two roll, we noticed the beauty in the techniques and with what little effort they were applied. For every action there was a logical reaction and form followed function. Just like that it was decided to create a company dedicated to the beauty of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu."

Not only are they working towards delivering high quality products at a good price and with great customer service, they also take pride in appreciating aesthetic beauty and share this journey in their blog.





Size:


Measurements out of the bag:  


Jacket:
Cuff 17 cm
Height 79 cm
Width 60 cm
Span 161 cm



Pants:
Cuff 21 cm
Outside leg 98 cm
Inside 73 cm
Waist 54 cm


After regular usage and wash-age, here are the most up-to-date measurements:

Jacket:
Cuff 18 cm
Height 79 cm
Width 60 cm
Span 162 cm



Pants:
Cuff 21 cm
Outside leg 98 cm
Inside 73 cm
Waist 55 cm

As you can see, hardly any shrinkage at all!!!

As I mentioned earlier on: For a 177cm / 85kg athlete like me, I should have gone with the A2H instead of the A2, but even then the softness, beauty and general attention to jiujitsu-specific details make the Flow Kimonos Pro Competition gi one of my favourite jiujitsu gis.


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ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

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