If you have any Christmas money still available you might be looking to get yourself a new gi. Here is my experience with the latest Grips gi. Grips are not as well know as some of the bigger brands but they have consistently produced quality gis. They are an Italian company and point out that their gis are designed in Italy. When I saw the the Grips Armadura it was a gi that I had to have. It comes in white, blue and black. This Grips Armadura review is of the white version, as I was buying it and I like white gis.
Grips Armadura Review
I currently have a Grips Secret Weapon, which for an A3 fits me really well. It is a gi I wear regularly, especially for competition class. It is a lightweight gi that has held up to some serious punishment over the few years I have had it. When I saw that Grips had brought out the Armadura I had high hopes for this new gi. Here is my Grips Armadura review.
Armadura is Spanish for armour. It seems the theme of the Armadura is “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Those of you that follow my social media will know I like a good inspirational quote. So this branding definitely appealed to me.
|Out of the bag||After 3 washes|
|Wingspan (A)||68.5 ins||67 ins|
|Body Length (B)||32 ins||32 ins|
|Sleeve Length (C)||21.5 ins||20.5ins|
|Cuff Width (D)||7 ins||7 ins|
|Outside Leg (E)||40 ins||39 ins|
|Leg Cuff (F)||8 ins||8 ins|
|Inside Leg (G)||30 ins||29 ins|
The pants are made from rip stop cotton, which is my preferred fabric. Another little touch I like is that instead of the normal belt loops, they have created a little rope “holder”. Once you have tied your pants, this is a great place to tuck those big loops. I assume this helps with the rope staying tied. But also helps stop toes getting caught in the loops. Yes this has happen to me more than once.
They have also continued to use the foam string that doesn’t fray. I do prefer the foam, as it seems to grip better. It’s always a massive pain when you have to keep stopping to tie your pants up. This is also covered in branded fabric, that matches the seam tape.
There is also a nice patch on the leg that continues the alligator and inspirational quote theme. Textured to resemble alligator skin it is a nice touch, that also keeps the pants light. Also the stitching on the re-enforced knee area is meant to carry along the armour theme too.
The knee areas inside the pants are lined with a plain white version of the fabric that lines the jacket. When you look at the pants, it seems that the knee lining will not actually cover the knees when knelt down.
The jacket is a standard pearl weave fabric. The sleeves of the have some unique stitching on them. This supports the “armour” branding of the gi. It does however mean that the sleeves are two pieces. This seemed a little odd at first, as I had never seen another gi do this. But it causes no discomfort or issues with movement. However with the reinforced stitching on the seams, it is doubtful it will create a failure point. Their website does say that this gi is IBJJF compliant, so this design feature still leave it competition legal.
There is also a small “feel the fear” alligator patch on the bottom of the lapel.
The positioning of the lined areas is good (shoulders and side vents). This feature is carried over from previous gis. However on the Armadura the lining has sublimated printing to look a little like alligator skin and the logo and the quote are quite prominent on the side lining.
There are reinforcement patches in the armpits and side vents.
The collar and lapels are cover in rip stop material. Armadura is embroidered on the left chest down the side of the lapel.
I have had a few comments as to how nice this gi looks. I have trained in this a number of times with no issues. It has been comfortable to train in with no fabric of stitching fails. The pants feel really light weight and easy to move in. The gi is pre shrunk so I was not expecting much shrinkage at all. This has been shown by the measurements after a few washes. Despite it being an A3 and me being lean for my height (6 feet 3 inches and 86 kg/190lbs), it fits great. The wingspan and length are fit just how I like. Even with the slight additional shrinkage it still is competition legal on me.
In my opinion this a great looking gi. I do like all the little branding points. Along with the lining and the stitching it makes me feel that they have really thought about the way the gi is put together. Not only to look good, but to make it good feel good for the wearer.
This is a premium gi and is priced accordingly. I paid £129.99 from Made4Fighters with free shipping in the UK. Made4Fighters also do international shipping. if you wanted to get it now. You can also buy it direct from the Gr1ps website in Europe it is also available on the Gr1ps USA website. If you like black gis I would definitely have a look at the black version, with gold stitching.