Should you buy a hemp gi for your BJJ training?
Hemp is an incredibly durable fabric that some gi brands use as an alternative to cotton.
When he does train in the gi, Joe Rogan wears the Datsasura Hemp Gi.
“Hemp is a weird fabric. It’s really, really durable. My hemp gi has never ripped. Cotton gis, after a few years, they give out.” – Joe Rogan
In this article, I’ll explain…
Let’s dive in.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp fabric is a textile. It’s made of fibers from the stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant (yes, that’s the marijuana plant). It’s mainly produced in China and other parts of Asia.
Unfortunately, due to its link to THC, it is still a stigmatized material — and that’s despite it having virtually zero THC in it.
Hemp is not a drug. It’s a type of material that is frequently used for clothes. It’s known for being 3-4x stronger than cotton. Hemp clothing often lasts much longer.
Hemp, in addition to being more durable, is also very lightweight and breathable. This makes it an ideal fabric for apparel — including BJJ gis.
For a more in-depth look at hemp, check out this article: What is Hemp Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where
Hemp Gi Benefits
Here are some of the benefits of a hemp gi over other materials:
- It is 4x as strong as cotton, so they often last much longer
- The properties of hemp fiber help prevent staph and other infections
- It’s friendlier on the environment than other materials
- Hemp is a lightweight and breathable material, so it’s comfortable to wear in both hot and cool environments
Here’s what BJJ players are saying about their experience with their hemp gi:
- “The things are f***ing indestructible, man.” -Joe Rogan
- “The one thing I can say for certain is that they’re much more comfortable than most cotton gis, generally more breathable too.” –u/slideyfoot
- “The best way I’ve heard it described is that there is less structure to the gi. Normal gis are very rigid, whereas the Datsusara hangs more loosely.” –u/tsimon
- “I have the navy Blue Datsusara gi. Honestly, it’s my favorite gi. The fit is perfect for me, the material is soft and comfortable, but durable. It’s got a strange “jiggly” kind of quality to it, not sure how to describe it otherwise. Excellent gi. Awesome color too. I’ve had it for about a year I think and it has almost no signs of wear (I wear it at least once a week)” –u/joshvogel
- “Once you sweat, it molds to your body comfortably. It’s true what everyone says, it feels like pajamas. It’s also true the size is a little bigger which scared me at first but it simply shrunk to normal.” –u/nomnomzombie
Best Hemp BJJ Gis
So, what specific hemp gis do BJJ players wear and recommend?
The Datsasura Hemp GI is the world’s first BJJ hemp gi. Datsasura first launched this gi in 2008. It’s this particular gi that Joe Rogan wears when he is training. It’s praised for its comfort and durability.
“The Datsusura gis (I’ve owned two natural, one indigo, and one black) are lighter and more comfortable, easily the most comfortable kimonos I have owned. They break in very form-fitting and are soft on the hands, which I like for my training partners. The only downside for me is the fit isn’t quite right, being too short in the sleeves for my lankier frame.” –r/bjj
The Flow Kimonos Hemp Gi is another highly-rated hemp gi. They only produce it once per year due to the difficulty of obtaining help fiber. It’s soft, comfortable, durable, anti-odor, and IBJJF-approved.
“I have Flow(Black) and I’ve also used a Hypnotik bamboo gi. After rolling in the Flow gi I feel like the money I spent on other gi’s was a waste. Bamboo is certainly soft, but not nearly as breathable as hemp. The fit and construction of the Flow gi is exceptional. I didn’t like the cut of the Datsusara based on pictures and reviews. The black Flow also turns charcoal after a few washes, which looks sick to me. I don’t see how you could go wrong with a Flow hemp gi.” –r/bjj
The Inverted Gear Hemp Hybrid Weave Gi is made of 80% cotton, 20% hemp. This gi is good for BJJ players who prefer a more standard cotton gi, but want some of the properties of hemp: a bit more durability and comfort than usual.
“Very happy with the quality and fit. One of the first gis to offer “in-between” sizes that weren’t in the super-premium price range. For someone who is pretty much the overlap between A1 and A2, that’s a huuuge plus to me.” –u/Constant-Bet-6600
There you have it: an in-depth look at hemp gis.
If you find cotton gis uncomfortable and too heavy, then a hemp gi might be the perfect BJJ gi for you.
Do you own a hemp gi? Do you like it? How has it held up over the years?
Leave a comment in the section below and let me know.
Happy rolling. 🤙
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. 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.