The Elite gi is the cheapest BJJ gi on the market I’ve found.
I was shocked to find it available for $59.99.
Typically, the gis I buy range between $150-$220+ (like Gold’s Aeroweave Ultralight or Origin’s Nano Pearl Weave). So, I was excited to buy this gi for a fraction of the price and see how it stacks up.
In this in-depth Elite gi review, I’m going to break down what you need to know before investing.
Elite Gi Review: Quick Links
- Elite Gi Review Summary
- Who Should Buy An Elite Gi?
- Who Shouldn’t Buy An Elite Gi?
- Elite Gi Pros
- Elite Gi Cons
- Elite Gi Sizing & Size Chart
- Price Breakdown
- Construction Details
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Takeaway Thoughts
Elite Gi: Review Summary
🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗 (4.5/5 stars)
If you’re grapplin’ on a budget, the core Elite gi is an excellent choice. To be honest, I was expecting it to be trash after only spending $60 for it. I was surprised at how good it was for the price. It fits well, you can machine dry it, and it’s decently comfortable. As long as you aren’t expecting a premium BJJ gi experience, you’ll find this to be a solid, cheap BJJ gi.
Who Should Buy An Elite Gi?
Thinking about buying an Elite gi? Here are 3 types of grapplers who this gi is perfect for.
1. You’re On A Tight Budget
If you don’t have a lot of extra cash to blow on a $200+ Origin gi, and you’re looking to spend as little as possible on your BJJ gear, you can’t go wrong with an Elite gi. They even have a BJJ gi for under $50!
2. Great Pick For White Belts
If you’re a white belt who’s trying out your first jiu-jitsu class soon, and you’re not even sure if you’re going to stick with the sport, an Elite gi is a great choice. The worst-case scenario is you’re down $60 if you don’t keep practicing BJJ. And if you do, you’ll be rolling in a great starter BJJ gi. Heck, it even comes with a free white belt!
3. You’re Looking For A Unique BJJ Gi Color
From khaki and camo to red and yellow, Elite Sports has an impressive selection of BJJ gi color choices. I went with their white BJJ gi (my girlfriend says I look best in a white gi).
Who Shouldn’t Buy An Elite Gi?
The Elite gi is great for some hobbyists, but it certainly isn’t the best gi for everyone.
1. You Want A Premium BJJ Gi Experience
You won’t get Origin-like quality for $60. And for many of you, that’s OK. You get what you pay for, so don’t expect this to be the most comfortable gi.
2. You Want An Ultra Lightweight GI
At 400gsm, it’s still quite light, but not ultralight like the 275gsm Gold Aeroweave gi. If you’re looking for one of the lightest gis on the market, this isn’t it.
Elite Gi Pros
After testing this gi on the mats, there are a few pros I like about the Core Elite Gi.
At $59.99, I was expecting the gi to feel like cardboard and for it to rip during my first roll. But, when I put on the gi for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised.
It isn’t a premium gi by any means. But considering the price, it feels pretty good. The gi and pants are comfortable, it fits well, and it’s been durable so far.
Now, I wouldn’t pay $115 for this gi. But for $59.99, it’s a solid product. It’s the cheapest BJJ gi I’ve been able to find, and it will serve you well if the main thing you’re looking for is affordability.
I was impressed by how well the core Elite gi fit. Again, based on the price, I was expecting a wonky fit. But both the gi and the pants fit nicely.
The gi jacket is an ideal fit. Not too tight or too long on the sleeves. The gi pants are on the baggier side. They feel very soft. I like wearing them.
Another great thing about the Elite gi is that you can throw it in the dryer. I machine dry my white Elite gi on a low setting, and it shrank a fraction — but not enough to alter the fit.
Being able to machine dry your gi without shrinkage (thanks to the pre-shunk fabric) is a huge plus. It beats having to wait 8-10 hours for it to hang dry.
3. Color Choice
I decided to get my Elite gi in white, but they feature 11 different colors for this gi:
Red, grey, khaki, camo — this gi has a color for every type of grappler.
From a style perspective, the gi looks good. It’s minimalist with a little flair to it. If you don’t like a loud, heavily-branded gi, you’ll appreciate the Elite gi.
Elite Gi Cons
While the Elite gi has many things going for it, there are a few potential drawbacks you should be aware of.
1. Pant Belt Strings Come Undone Frequently
For whatever reason, I find that my Elite gi pants drawstrings come undone quite frequently — at least 2 or 3 times per class.
I’ve had this problem with most traditional gi pants, and that’s why I prefer Origin’s Pro BJJ gi pants.
Maybe I just suck at tying them. But why not invest in BJJ gi pants that are designed to solve this problem completely?
2. Customer Service
On the Reddit BJJ forum, there are a few complaints about Elite’s business practices and customer service.
“It seems quite obvious to me that this is a “direct from factory” gi company that is entirely based in Pakistan, cutting out the middle man and offering rock bottom prices (and, apparently, fucking shit customer service) save for the logistics which probably take place in the USA through a third party logistics company.” –u/ScrambleMatt
From my perspective, I didn’t have to deal with their customer service team. I ordered my gi from them, and everything worked out fine. Just be aware that you might run into some trouble if you need to get in touch with their customer service department.
Elite Gi Sizing & Size Chart
I recommend going true to size with the Elite core gi.
For reference, I’m 6’1″, 180 lbs.
Following their size chart below, I bought the gi in A3. It fit me perfectly out of the box.
The gi fits like a normal-sized gi: not tight, and not baggy.
The pants are a bit on the baggier side. They are comfortably loose.
On their website, they “recommend that you wash the gi in cold water and hang dry it.”
But, lower down, they say “Elite Sports has developed a special pre-shrunk fabric that allows you to machine wash and dry your Gis just like your regular clothes.”
So, they recommend you hang dry it. But you can dry it in the dryer.
I decided to test drying my Elite gi after washing it using my washing machine, and then machine drying it (on a low setting). The gi shrunk a tiny bit. It still fit me great.
So, if you dislike having to hang-dry your gi, Elite gis are a good choice. You can machine-dry it with minimal shrinkage.
For the Elite gi (men’s core BJJ gi), you can expect to pay $59.99.
The regular price for this gi is listed at $114.98, but on their site, it stays discounted for $59.99.
Shipping will cost you between $9.99 and $19.99 in the USA. If you’re outside of the USA, you’ll have to order your Elite gi from Amazon.
At Elite Sports, they have gis priced as low as $49.48.
I have never seen BJJ gis at a price as low as what Elite Sports offers with their gis. Given the solid quality and durability, they are a great investment if you have a strict budget.
Are they the most premium-feeling, comfortable gis on the market? No. But I’m very impressed by the quality for the shockingly low price.
Below are the construction details that influence the Elite gis comfort and durability.
- Weave Type: Pearl Weave preshrunk fabric
- Weight: 400gsm (grams per square meter)
- Material: CVC 48%, Cotton 52%, Polyester
- Pants: 400gsm, CVC 60% Cotton 40%
- Antimicrobial and anti-odor inner lining to prevent bacterial buildup and fungal infections
- IBJJF approved
- Machine washable and dryable
- Designed in Los Angeles, USA
- Made in Pakistan
If you have any additional questions about the Elite gis construction, leave a comment for me in the section below and I’ll answer you there.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Elite Gis Run Small?
No. Elite gis run true to size in 2023.
Use their size chart and their gi should fit you perfectly.
Does Elite Have A Refund Policy?
Yes. They have a 30-day refund policy. Read about their refund policy here.
Are Elite Gis IBJJF Approved?
Yes. Elite gis are IBFJJ approved and you should be able to wear them at any BJJ competition.
Can You Machine Wash & Machine Dry An Elite Core Gi?
Yes. I machine wash my Elite gi with cold water, and then machine dry it on low. Expect minimal shrinkage. The gi will still fit you great.
You can read their full FAQ here.
Overall, the Core Elite Gi is a solid BJJ gi. It costs half as much as your usual gi, but has 80% of the same quality.
It’s a great starter gi for white belts, or for grapplers who don’t really care about sporting fancy, super-comfy gis.
There’s nothing remarkable about it except for the price. So as long as you know what you’re paying for, it’s an excellent investment.
What’s your favorite cheap BJJ gi? Is it Elite, or another BJJ gi brand?
If you have any additional questions on the Elite gi, leave me a comment below and I’ll answer you there.
Happy rolling. 🤙
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment, an assistant BJJ instructor at InFighting, and a BJJ blue belt. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.