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Sanabul Essential Gi Review

Sanabul is known for making affordable Brazilian jiu jitsu gi’s and gear – so how exactly does their Essential Gi stack up in terms of quality?

Our Opinion: The Sanabul Essential Gi is a great starter gi at an affordable price. In our opinion, it’s the best among the more affordable gi’s. However, it may not be as comfortable or durable as other more expensive gis, and the sizing may not always be best.

BrandGold BJJKingzFuji All-AroundSanabul
Our Rating4.5/54.75/54.75/54/5
Standout QualityExcellent sizingDurabilityBest ValueAffordable
Biggest ConPricierPants run smallerNothing*Durability/Fit
Price Range$$$$$$$$
ReviewReview Coming SoonReview Coming SoonReview Coming Soon
Our top recommended gi’s for beginners compared

Main Takeaway

+ Pros / – Cons
+Simple design
+Thick drawstring waistband
– Sizing may not be best (may run short on the legs*)
– May shrink over time
– Not as breathable or comfortable as other more expensive gi’s
– May not be as durable as other gi’s
– May not be IBJJF legal (due to red fabric parts)

My personal experience: Between me and my two brothers who train BJJ, we probably owned over a dozen gi’s. I’ve been training for over 6 years, and the Sanabul gi is still sometimes in my weekly rotation. However, I, personally, prefer a more breathable gi (like the Gold BJJ Aeroweave).

Why You May Want to Consider a More Expensive Gi

While the Sanabul Essential gi is a good buy for the price, there may be a couple reasons why you want to consider a more expensive gi such as:

  • If you want a more breathable gi
  • If you want a more durable gi
  • If you want a better fitting gi
  • If you want flashier designs
  • If you want more premium features like:
    • aerated mesh fabrics
    • reinforced seams on pants

What Is a Good Upgrade from the Sanabul Essential Gi? (Brand Comparisons)

If you want to upgrade to a more expensive gi at a higher quality here are some good options:

  • Gold BJJ Aeroweave
  • Kingz All Around
  • Hayabusa Pearlweave

Vs Gold BJJ Aeroweave Gi

What does the Gold BJJ Aeroweave Gi have that Sanabul Does Not:

  • More breathable material
  • Slightly more durable
  • Overall better fit

Overall Takeaway: You may want to go with the Gold BJJ Aeroweave gi if you a more breathable gi (at a higher price). While the Sanabul Essential Gi is a good buy for the price, it may be lacking in terms of fit, comfort, and durability.

Vs Hayabusa Pearlweave

What does the Hayabusa Pearlweave Gi have that Sanabul Does Not:

  • More lightweight and breathable material
  • Gi jacket runs looser across chest
  • Good pant length
  • Again, overall, better fit

Overall Takeaway: You may want to go with the Hayabusa Ultra-Lightweight Pearlweave if you want a more breathable gi. Again, sizing is always an issue with more affordable gi’s and gi pants, but with the Hayabusa gi everything fit perfect (including pant length).

Kingz “The One” Gi

What does the Kingz All-Around Gi have that Sanabul Does Not:

  • More breathable material
  • Slightly more durable
  • Better fit

Overall Takeaway: You may want to go with the Kingz All-Around Gi gi if you want a better fitting gi (that runs a little bigger), and don’t mind the higher price point. Plus, it’s more breathable and lighter than the Sanabul Essential gi.

Understanding and Comparing Different Weave Types and Gi Weights

Weave Type Description Gi Example
Single Weave Most basic and affordable weave type. It’s lighter compared to double weave but pretty similar. May not last as long as other weave types. Fuji All Around
Double Weave Same pattern as single weave, but the pattern is repeated multiple times. Durable and affordable and can make it harder to grip. Plus it has thicker stitching so it can definitely make one sweat (more common in Judo gi’s)
Gold Weave “Best of Both Worlds” : Combination of single and double weave. Durable as a double weave, but lightweight like a single weave. Generally, more expensive compared to a single/double weave or pearl weave gi and may shrink more, but it’s softeer with great quality and durability.Gold BJJ Calavera
Pearl Weave Probably the most popular in the modern day BJJ gi. Extremely durable and lightweight and just overall great for training and competitionGold BJJ Aero weave

Should You Wear a Lighter or Heavier Gi for BJJ? (GSM Explained)

Wearing a lighter or thicker gi will largely come down to your own personal preference. The below will affect how light or heavy a gi feels:

  • Weight of a gi (measured in grams per square meter known as GSM)
  • Weave type
  • Fabric

Generally, if you are new to Brazilian jiu jitsu, you should wear a lighter gi as it will make training more comfortable. A safe gi weight range for a lighter gi is around 275 GSM – 450 GSM

Typically, the higher the GSM, the heavier the Gi jacket will be.

If you come from a judo background, you may prefer a thicker gi (some of them being as heavy as 950 GSM).

Gi Type Average Weight of BJJ Gi 
Traditional Gi450 gsm
Lightweight Gi 275- 400 gsm
Heavy Gi 800 gsm +

Gi Sizing Basics

Below is a gi size chart from Sanabul for their Essential Gi:

With other gi brands or manufacturers, you may also see some of the below abbreviations used – these are explained for your reference:

AbbreviationMeansGood for
AAdult (Men’s)
LLongsomeone who may be too tall for a certain size but too light for the next size up
SShortsomeone who is too heavy for a certain size up but too short for the next size up
HHeavysomeone who is heavier and prefers a wider fit in both jacket and pants
XLExtra Largesomeone who is heavier and prefers a wider fit in both jacket and pants – this is larger than the “heavy” size

Is Sanabul a Good Brand?

Yes, Sanabul is a good brand for Brazlian jiu jitsu gi’s and martial arts apparel. I recommend them for any beginner who wants an affordable gi or even a more experienced athlete who just wants a decent gi in their rotation.

I’ve bought Sanabul gear since I started bjj over 6 years ago – and I still wear their rash guards and gi’s almost weekly.

Plus I even own two of their gis that I train in, and they are some pretty decent quality as well.

If you want to check out our full gi brand review post with 10 gi’s reviewed – take a look here

Thanks for reading – Zack