10 Best Karate Gi (Uniform) Reviews | Buying Guide

Best Karate Gi | Best karate uniform

Anyone who practices karate knows the importance of good karate gi. The uniforms aren’t just great in terms of comfort and function, they also are an important part of karate and its history. However, as with any piece of training equipment, there is a big difference between good and bad ones.

I am an avid athlete who has spent years around karate and students of the sport. My personal experience with the discipline, alongside additional research of its many moving parts, is what helped me create the below list of items.

The Ronin Gi gets my pick for the best karate gi due to how it manages to be lightweight, durable, and tough all at the same time.

Unlike other uniforms that only excel in one area, the Ronin gi does a little bit of everything. It feels great against your skin, offers plenty of ventilation, and enables you to move freely without any restriction. On top of that, it’s also incredibly well made and will last a long time.

If you want to learn more about the gi, or if you’re curious about the other top gi on the market, check out the sections covered throughout this guide.

Quick Summary

Who Should Get This?

Anyone who practices karate at any level can make use of a good gi. The free-flowing uniforms are flexible, comfortable, and enable anyone to properly train or sparr. They allow for maximum comfort while you work without sacrificing any durability, power, or protection.

The only students who won’t want a gi are those who train in tougher elements or who do most of their work on their own outside. However, if you’re a part of a dojo or do most of your karate training indoors, the garment is the best clothing item for the job.

Here, I’ll introduce the best karate gis and look at a range of karate uniforms on the market from affordable, hardwearing and great value-for-money gis suitable for beginners all the way to venerable brands offering professional grade gis suitable for long-time practitioners or those looking to invest in a premium product. 

Best Karate Gi: Our Top Picks

This section details a range of excellent gi and covers the unique traits that help them fall into specific niches.

1. Ronin Gi

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Ronin Gi
  • Best for: Overall
  • Key Features: Free-flowing and fully-adjustable. Soft and comfortable without being too tight. Clean look.
  • Color: Black or white.
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

If you’re looking for a lighter gi that can do a little bit of everything, it’s hard to find something better than this model from Ronin. While it’s definitely more expensive than many other options on today’s market, the cotton feels great and is made to hold up to heavy, extended use.

This works as a more casual option, but the extremely fluid fabric also makes it a great choice for extremely serious students who put in a lot of work. The fully adjustable drawstring pants are another bonus because they work with the different sizes to increase versatility.

In that way, this gi goes above and beyond for form and function. You get a more classic appearance without losing any critical traits. There’s a lot of innovation built into the uniform. It even comes in two colors and has a clean, classic look that everyone will surely love.

2. Macs Professional

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Macs Professional
  • Best For: Heavyweight
  • Key Features: Drawstring closure. 14 ounce cotton canvas construction. Long-term durability. Clean look.
  • Color: Black, White
  • Material: Cotton
  • Fabric Weight: 14 ounces

If you’re in the market for a best heavyweight karate gi, the Macs Professional is a solid choice. Crafted with 14 ounce cotton, it’s a comfortable garment that provides an excellent snap and fit. On top of that, it’s quite durable and will last through a lot of practice sessions without any wear or tear.

Cheaper gi tend to run out quite quickly, while this will stick around due to the 9 rows of stitching. It never feels too coarse or rough on your skin, and the drawstring pants are fully adjustable so you can create the fit you want.

As it is heavier, it’s not the best fit for practicing any quick or agile movements at top speed. You’ll want to pick one of the more mobile options for that. Even so, if you want something solid and form-fitting, this is a great choice.

3. Tiger Claw Essential

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Tiger Claw Essential
  • Best For: Well-Rounded
  • Key Features: Wrinkle free finish. Light and free-flowing. Double inseam. Elastic waist. Strong construction.
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Material: Cotton, polyester 
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces

Where many gi excel in one specific area or fit one specific niche, the Tiger Claw Essential does a little bit of everything. It’s light enough to be used across tournament, sparring, or training settings, but has the toughness needed to take a lot of abuse without breaking down.

Adding to that, the pants are well made and the entire outfit has a comfortable fit. It’s incredibly soft, and the elastic waist hugs your body without being too tight or uncomfortable. There are also various size options. You’ll always be able to find the exact fit you want.

There is very little this gi does wrong, which is a big pull for students who want to find something they can use in various situations. While some people might not enjoy the blended construction, it’s something you’ll barely notice and it helps create a much more durable product.

4. G4 Gi

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | G4 Gi
  • Best For: Comfort
  • Key Features: Soft, plush feel. Full suit. Elastic waistband and adjustable drawstrings. Agile and loose. Included belt.
  • Color: White
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 1.58 pounds

Gi tend to generally be comfortable, but this model from G4 takes that to the next level. The pure cotton blend is one of the softest on the market, creating a plush feel that’s excellent on your skin regardless of how long you train. It doesn’t sweat either.

Extra ventilation is incredibly important when getting a lighter gi, especially for students who push themselves really hard when training. The agile design is also useful because it allows you full range of motion. You can jump, punch, and kick without any restrictions.

There are various size options, as well as fully adjustable pants with an elastic waistband. Some people might want something a bit more durable, but it’s hard to get something this functional without paying a premium price.

5. Fuji Advanced Uniform

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Fuji Advanced Uniform
  • Best For: Strength
  • Key Features: Great fit. Snappy and tough. Comfortable despite the heavier weight. Soft feel. Various size options.
  • Color: White
  • Material: Cotton blend, cotton
  • Fabric Weight: 14 ounces

Crafted with incredibly soft 14 ounce cotton, the Fuji Advanced Uniform is a strong garment that’s perfect for more serious students who are used to pushing themselves. It has a good feel against your skin, is extremely snappy, and can be used again and again with no issues.

The cotton blend holds up extremely well, and it stands through multiple washes. The fabric is also surprisingly breathable, especially considering the extra weight. It’s a sturdy garment that doesn’t feel sturdy, which is a big bonus in my book.

This option definitely costs a bit more than other gi, and the pull strings are the pants tend to run short. Even so, it’s hard to find karate outfits that put more of a focus on inherent toughness. If you don’t mind paying for a premium product, this is a good way to go.

6. Ultimate Lightweight Gi

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Ultimate Lightweight Gi
  • Best For: Colorful
  • Key Features: Strong double-stitch construction. Wide pants for better agility. Lightweight. Comfortable. Multiple vibrant color options.
  • Color: Black, white, red, blue
  • Material: Polyester, Cotton
  • Fabric Weight: 8 ounces

Most of the time gi come in the standard black or white colors. If you’re someone who likes to go against the grain or who wants a splash of extra color with your outfit, the Ultimate is a good way to deviate from the norm. It comes in plain colors, but also offers a red or blue option.

The uniforms completely pop and give you a fun style to add to your training regimes. On top of that, they are stitched at key pressure points to prevent any unnecessary rips or tears. The legs are roomy as well, which is a feature that increases general mobility or agility.

The extra colors won’t be for everyone (or for every dojo) but for people who have more freedom with their outfit they are a great way to bring extra fun to your workouts. A little color goes a long, long way.

7. Hayabusa Gi

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Hayabusa Gi
  • Best For: Lightweight
  • Key Features: 8-ounce ripstop construction. Multiple weights and sizes. Extremely light. Durable stitching. Fun colors/stitching options.
  • Color: Black, grey, navy, white, black/pink
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 2.7 to 3.4 pounds

Those in the market for a lighter gi that packs a lot of power and style will love the one from Hayabusa. Coming in a range of different sizes and fits, the embroidered garment looks great, feels right on any body type, and is made of a plush, 100 percent cotton construction.

While it’s definitely on the lighter side, making it perfect for students who want to feel more free as they train, it comes fully reinforced with strong seams and premium stitching. The rip-resistant fabric is also perfect regardless of how or where you study your karate.

This option won’t be for people who want a more snappy option, but it’s still a great choice for those who want something that’s dependable, breathable, and won’t get in the way.

8. Seishin Premium Gi

  • Best For: Ventilation
  • Key Features: Premium cotton blend. Snap closure and lightweight design. Extremely mobile and breathable.
  • Color: White
  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 3.35 pounds

When sparring or training, you’re going to sweat. That can create stuffiness or discomfort that quickly becomes extremely annoying. The premium Gi from Seishin helps combat that by providing you with a light, breathable garment for all situations.

This agile uniform utilizes a simple snap closure system and allows for full freedom of movement through an open, flexible design. You get a completely unrestricted range of motion, which is incredibly important for students who value agility during their workouts.

Not everyone is going to love the higher price point. However, all of the above traits show that you definitely get a lot of value for your buck. This is an extremely premium option for people who don’t mind spending a bit more on extremely high quality.

9. UFG Gi

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | UFG Gi
  • Best For: Kids
  • Key Features: Fun design. Strong materials. Long-lasting construction. Lightweight and breathable.
  • Color: Black, white, red, blue
  • Fabric Weight: 8 ounces
  • Material: Polyester, cotton

Constructed with a sturdy 45 percent polyester/55 percent cotton blend, the UFG Gi is an excellent option for kids of all ages. It has the strength needed to be put through tough training sessions, but comes with fun colors and a striking look as well.

You can get it in standard black or white, but can branch out for red and blue too. Another reason it works so well for younger students is that the double-stitch construction stands up to accidents, while the lightweight materials make it easy to wear for long periods of time.

This is by no means the most well-rounded or aspect heavy gi out there, but it’s a perfect option when looking for something that your kid will be excited to wear during every training session. Even the black or white options look and feel amazing.

10. Hawk Karate Uniform

Best karate gi | Best karate uniform | Hawk Karate Uniform
  • Best For: Budget
  • Key Features: Extremely lightweight in feel and design. Full mobility. Allows for full range of motion. Elastic pants with drawstring.
  • Color: White
  • Material: Polyester, cotton
  • Weight: 1.15 pounds

Gi, as with any karate-related item, can get pricey. If you want something that looks clean, feels great, and won’t cost too much, the Hawk Karate Uniform is a great pick. Though it comes in at a lower price point, it doesn’t sacrifice any key traits or lose any necessary qualities to get there.

Rather, this gi does a great job of keeping you both comfortable and protected. It almost floats on your skin, a testament to its lightweight, and never restricts your movements. It’s incredibly functional in that way, allowing you to move quickly and efficiently without ever slowing down.

That being said, you do lose a bit of durability compared to other top options. While that may be a turn off for some people, the uniform has enough strength to get you through many seasons before you need to replace it. It’s hard to ask for more from a budget option.

Best Karate Gi: What to Look For

All of these traits are important to consider when buying your next gi.

Comfort

When getting a gi, you first need to think about comfort. You could have the best garment of all time, but it won’t do you much good if you don’t enjoy wearing it. Always do your best to get something that’s extremely soft and made with materials like cotton.

In addition, it’s important to look for gi that are free-flowing and breathable. Stuffy clothing that causes you to sweat creates a wholly uncomfortable workout. Rather, you need something that keeps moisture off your skin and lets you move around without any issues.

Style and Weight

You also need to do your best to choose if you want a light or heavy gi. Weight matters, especially when you need to make quick moves. Though heavier gi obviously comes with additional weight, it snaps better for more traditional events and is tougher overall.

Going off of that, heavier gi tend to be made of cotton, while lighter ones use a cotton/polyester blend. That difference is something else to consider, because, while cotton is soft, it is heavier and can be much more difficult to wash and dry. Be aware of those tradeoffs before purchasing. 

Durability

No matter how much you pay for your gi, you want it to last. As comfortable and light as the garments can be, top models (like the ones in this article) have a certain amount of toughness and are specially designed to stand up to a lot of abuse.

You should be able to use your gi multiple times a week for months without noticing any real wear or tear. It should also be able to be used for long sparring sessions without ripping or breaking down in any meaningful way. 

FAQs

What Do You Need to Consider When Buying a Gi?

When getting any karate gi it’s important to think about durability, style, comfort, and fit. Each trait is important and helps create a reliable, well-rounded gi. As long as you go for what you want and look for those aspects you’ll end up with the perfect choice.

What’s the Difference Between Karate Gi for Kata and Karate Gi for Kumite?

While there are similar traits, kumite gi tend to be lighter on average than kate gi. In addition, kumite options have longer sleeves and pants too.

What Size Karate Gi Should I Buy?

When getting a gi, you want to get something that matches your body type. While there are slight variations, most companies and brands have size charts as follows that you can follow based on your weight and height.

HeightWeightBest Uniform Size
3’ – 3’5”40 – 40lb000
3’ – 3’10”40 – 55lb00
3’10” – 4’3”55 – 70lb0
4’3” – 4’8”70 – 90lb1
4’8” – 5’1”90 – 110lb2
5’1” – 5’6”110 – 140lb3
5’6” – 5’11”140 – 170lb4
5’11” – 6’2”170 – 200lb5
6’2” – 6’5”200 – 230lb6
6’5” – 6’8”230 – 260lb7
6’8” – 6’11”260 – 290lb8
6’11” – 7’1”290 – 320lb9
Karate Uniform (Gi) Size Chart

How should my Karate Gi Fit?

You want your gi to sit snugly enough on your body that it won’t move or shift around while you practice but be loose enough that you have full mobility with it on. If you’re being restricted or can’t move properly, it’s best to try a different size.

What Do I Wear Under My Karate Gi?

This entirely depends on your preferences. Some people just put on underwear, while others like to wear a light shirt. Compression shorts are a good option as well. You just don’t want anything too heavy or restricting that will prevent you from training to the best of your abilities. 

What are the Requirements for Gi in Karate Competitions?

While there are slightly different rules from tournament to tournament, the basic ones you’ll encounter state a gi must be traditional in style and have no stripes or embroidery. Belts will also be blue or red (rather than rank colors) to distinguish contestants.

Final Words

The Ronin Gi gets my pick for the best karate garment on this list. It’s absolutely worth the higher price tag thanks to the extremely comfortable construction, premium feel, strong durability, and adjustable pants. There are various sizing options too.

You can choose between two different colors, and the look is about as classic as they come. On top of that, the gi is free-flowing and allows for maximum mobility. You’ll never feel too constricted or stuffy, which is a big bonus for novice and experienced students alike.

If you don’t mind paying more for a premium option you’ll be able to use for years, nothing quite matches what the Ronin Gi has to offer.

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Span Chen

Span Chen

I have been practicing karate for more than 6 years, and now at the sixth level (green belt) of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kugekai. Though I haven’t earned my Black Belt yet, I am deeply passionate about my training.