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Old 03-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
akdms

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Kauai Kimonos, 100% Ripstop Gi, Blue A2 - Picture review with measurements

Summary:
I do a lot of traveling for work and was looking for a light-weight, quick drying gi that I could bring with me in a carry-on (this is the same gi that Christian over at Globetrotter is using) In addition, temperatures here can get well into the 90s with high humidity so having an ultra-light gi will be nice during the summer months.

The Kauai Kimono is all ripstop material (pants and top), making it by far the lightest and coolest gi I have ever owned (and probably the lightest on the market), albeit non-IBJJF legal. This is a beautiful gi with slightly contrasting stitching (at least in blue) and by far the best stitching quality I have ever seen in a gi. The material is amazingly strong and doesn’t stretch at all, and is very, very soft and comfortable to wear. Kauai Kimonos runs their gis in batches and sell out quickly, so they are difficult to get, and it can take some time to get a response after submitting an inquiry. The gi sells for $155.

My only minor issues are with collar and cut, which I’ll get to down below. Still, if you travel a lot or need a good training gi for hot humid days, or just simply can’t wait long for your gi to dry, I would definitely recommend this gi.


Material:

Both the top and bottom are made out of ripstop material. This makes the gi incredibly light, even when soaking wet. Right out of the washer the gi weighs about 2.5 lbs (that’s the top AND bottom), and dry it weighs about 2 lbs (although my scale can be off by about half a pound… and the Kauai website says that it weighs closer to 1 lb, so I might be off). The material doesn’t stretch at all, is VERY quick to dry (15 – 30 minutes air drying), and is very cool and comfortable (almost rash-guard like). It’s so thin and water evaporates so fast that when the gi gets wet I actually was getting cooled down when moving around. Because of how light it is I feel almost like I am rolling no-gi – the gi doesn’t hinder my movement in the slightest, and no-gi style chokes (RNC, Darce, etc) are noticeable easier to hit.

For a comparison, I’m holding a quarter at the sleeve end of the sleeve. This gi is retarded thin.



Cut:

Right out of the bag the gi fit me perfectly (for reference, I’m 5’11 and 160 lbs) – no shrinking was required. The gi definitely seems to be cut with thinner builds in mind. The cuffs are pretty tight, so if you go for a lot of Ezekiel’s you might have difficultly in this gi. I do, unfortunately, have one minor gripe with the top: if you look at the lapels they angle up – that’s because the lapels seem to have been cut a bit short and the skirt only forms a straight line when the lapels are almost parallel with each other. This means the lapels do come out pretty easily.








I also have one minor issue with the pants. Unlike many other gis, the back of the pants do not raise up higher than the front – which means they don’t always cover your ass. Anyone who has seen Tony Pacenski’s Sao Paulo Guard Passing DVD (highly recommended!) knows what I’m talking about. I’m hoping they update the cut a bit on future versions.



Last edited by akdms; 03-17-2011 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:12 AM   #2
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The lapel is very thin on this gi. Personally I would be willing to sacrifice a few ounces for a Koral-style rubber collar, but that’s not what this gi is going for. Just keep in mind you will get collar choked a bit more, but since it’s a training gi I’m not too bothered by having to work my defense a bit harder (no ego in the gym, right? ). In the gym I received mixed comments – some said the gi felt like a really cheap starter gi and thought that the material would stretch out, others thought the gi was really nice and liked the idea of having a really comfortable training gi.

Collar comparison (left to right, Datsusara, Fushida Komodo, Keiko Raca, Kauai).




Craftsmanship & design:

The level of craftsmanship is EXTREMELY high. Absolutely no loose threads, and probably the best (and straightest) stitching I’ve ever seen in a gi. Jonathan actually gave me a $10 discount due to a minor error in the embroidery, which I have yet to find – he could have easily sold it to me at full price and I would have never known. It’s very cool though that he pays that close of attention to the quality of his product and is that honest.
Subtle contrast stitching (at least in blue) makes the gi pop. The Kauai Kimonos embroidery on the shoulders is very nice, and patches are present without being in-your-face. Overall the design strikes the perfect balance between a plain gi and bling.








(right shoulder – left shoulder says “Kimonos”)


Last edited by akdms; 03-17-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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(pant leg)


(pant leg)

Vents are fully reinforced rather than having a small patch of material at the top of the seam as on some gis. The reinforcement is double stitched and triple stitched at the seam. Armpit reinforcement is double stitched as opposed to single stitched.

(inside top vent)


(inside pant vent)


(armpit)

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Old 03-17-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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Measurements:


29 inches


29 inches


25 inches


1.75 inches


~ 5/16ths of an inch

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Old 03-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #5
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37.5 inches


9 inches

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Old 03-17-2011, 08:59 AM   #6
Sir Tapsalot

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How does the ripstop fabric feel? I generally find that ripstop feel synthetic and almost "waxy", even on 100% cotton ripstop (which Fushida uses). Is this the same, or does it actually feel like cotton, rather then cotton that's been treated or a cotton/synthetic blend?

James

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Old 03-17-2011, 09:06 AM   #7
AgentFish

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Looks like a nice gi. I have a ripstop gi that I don't wear much because it's just too easy to grab, mine has a much thicker collar though. I think somehow it has an even thicker collar than the gold weave.

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Old 03-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #8
risingD

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does actually anybody know when the brown one comes out?

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #9
Foblander

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Nice man I've been looking for a good Kauai ripstop review and you come through for me I'm trying to get my hands on a blue or black one but man it's tough. I think with these gi's you have to allow the chest to open up more and have your belt lower so the lapels are less angled. lol

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Old 03-17-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
akdms

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Tapsalot View Post
How does the ripstop fabric feel? I generally find that ripstop feel synthetic and almost "waxy", even on 100% cotton ripstop (which Fushida uses). Is this the same, or does it actually feel like cotton, rather then cotton that's been treated or a cotton/synthetic blend?

James
Hmm. I've never really noticed a "waxy" feel... I will say that it definitely feels a bit different than my Fushida pants, and is quite a bit thinner. I believe it's closer to Atama's ripstop pants than Fushida's (though I've only felt Atama's a few times.... I believe they are thinner though). Also, unlike the Fushida pants, the Kauai doesn't get stiff after being washed (at least, it hasn't yet) and remains very soft.

It doesn't feel exactly like pure cotton, but I think it's close. It's slightly, I dunno, "silky"? My wife thought it feels like pajamas.

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