Hayabusa has been making jiu-jitsu gis for many years now, with top athletes like Buchecha and now Erberth Santos sporting their collection, more and more grapplers are paying attention. The latest gi from Hayabusa is the Stealth Pearl Weave that I’m going to review here. The word “stealth” means remaining undetected, being invisible. This is a fitting name for such a lightweight gi with clean design work. It’s been a few weeks of intense training in the new gi and let me tell you about its features and how well it stacks up.
The centerpiece of any gi is the jacket: it’s usually where most of the attention to detail goes, where the features are, and typically why we choose a particular gi. As the name might imply, the Stealth jacket is super lightweight. There are some gis that when you put them on you can really “feel” it. Like you know you’re wearing a couple pounds around your torso. The A2 jacket that I tested weighed in at just 1.95lbs. The jacket is a single-piece cut from 420GSM 100% cotton and woven to a tight pearl weave. The material has a relatively soft and lightweight feel. The single piece cut reduces possible tear points since you have fewer seams than a multi-piece cut. Speaking of seams, all the seams and stress areas are supported with triple stitching. Extra support can be found in the armpits, along the skirt slits, and throughout the shoulders. The color is also lightweight; the EVA foam under the ripstop cotton isn’t necessarily soft, but it is on the thin side. This is a double-edged sword. Great if you like to use your own collar on your opponents, but means they might be able to use it a little easier on you versus a thicker collar. The cuffs at the end of the sleeves are double reinforced with ripstop along with smooth nylon like branded tape along the edge. That same branded tape runs along the inside edge of the collar on the interior of the jacket.
The exterior design of the gi is also fitting with the “Stealth” name. The stitching throughout the gi is white to match the jacket, and the few spots of embroidery or patch work is in an understated silver color. There are small sewn on patches along the shoulders that read “Hayabusa” along with the name embroidered along the shoulder blades in silver. The final touch of branding on the jacket is a small Stealth Keikogi logo on the left side chest.
The Stealth pants are pretty much that, stealth. There’s not too much to them: they’re very lightweight, made of 8oz cotton/poly blended cotton, and barely weigh just 0.9lbs. Material is doubled up in the knee section from mid-thigh to mid-shin. At the end of each leg are reinforced cuffs. The super soft draw-cord runs around the waistband and is kept in place by four belt loops. Branding is also understated on the Stealth pants; two “Stealth Keikogi” panels are sewn onto the sides near the hips, and a small logo is embroidered onto the right shin.
Fit and Feel
I had my choice of either an A2 or an A3 model to review. I went with the A2. The jacket fit my 5’ 8” 200lb frame perfectly before washing. After washing a few times, the shrink was minimal and I’d say it would be the perfect competition fit, just enough to pass inspection. The length of the jacket is on the short side; this helps cut down weight and gives you a bit of protection from having your lapels used against you. The pants were a bit tight in the rear. If you’re a “husky” type, be aware. I did notice that the gusset is on the smaller side compared to other A2 gis I’ve tested. Shrink was minimal.
Rolling In It
Where the Stealth feels most “stealth” is when you’re actually rolling in it. Its lightweight feel never feels heavier than it needs to be when rolling. The jacket breathes well when the heat’s turned up. There were times when the cut of the pants felt a bit restrictive. I think a larger gusset would have helped in that department. I did try the A3s and they were just too big. I did have my back taken on more than one occasion. This is a position I’m fairly comfortable in. I have a few tricks from there that people who roll with me usually become aware of. The thin collar did give my opponent’s something they could really hold onto, so pay attention to that. With about three weeks of testing, the gi held up great. No signs of premature wear or failure.
The Stealth is available in three different colors: white, blue and black. It’s sized from A0 to A5. There’s a complete size chart on the Hayabusa website. Each are priced at $149.99
The gi market is as competitive as ever, and the customer wins in that situation. The Stealth gi is perfect for those that like the simplicity of a clean looking understated lightweight gi but want high quality. Some of those simple looking gis that sell for less also come with less when it comes to workmanship and attention to detail. The price is in-line with other brand name gis of its type. Considering Hayabusa’s reputation with quality, this makes the Stealth a winner.
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