So, if you don’t already know Kingz Kimonos, the company was founded in 2011 and operates out of the North American hub for BJJ, San Diego. The brand is known to produce and deliver reliable and stylish gis, as well as other BJJ apparel. They’ve quickly managed to cement their position as one of the premier manufacturers of gis, with the brand also sponsoring some of the top athletes in the sport.
A little while ago I bought the Kingz Balistico 3.0 gi. It is a continuation of the popular Balistico 1 and 2, and this reincarnation has all the bells and whistles of a heavy gi, but without being overly dense. With the polyester ripstop pants and 480 GSM Pearl Weave jacket, Kingz have produced a sturdy gi, but in quite a light package. The gi is available for both men and women in white, black, blue and navy, as well as the limited edition Black Ops version.
The jacket is a 480 GSM Pearl Weave jacket, made from 100% cotton. It’s clear from the lightweight pearl weave cotton jacket that the gi caters to competitors. Among the selling points listed on the Kingz website for the Balistico 3.0 is the ‘NO-Grip sleeve technology‘, which sounds brilliant, but I’m not sure exactly what entails. My training partners still seem able to grip my sleeves. The jacket does, however, feature Coolmax® lining, which is ventilation inside shoulders and along the sides, which is surprisingly nice in warmer weather and actually makes quite a difference.
The jacket has a slick minimal design. Kingz have gone for a traditional look with this gi, with only a simple logo on the chest, just under the ribcage, a patch on each shoulder and a small crown on the back between the shoulder blades. In my opinion the minimal design works really well and the gi looks nice. The few patches also leaves lots of room for club and affiliation patches. Kingz advertise that the embroidered logos have a high stitch count, and while they do appear sturdy, I honestly can’t tell the difference in quality from other patches on my other gis.
The gi is preshrunk, so theoretically it shouldn’t shrink any more, but I’ve yet to find a gi that doesn’t shrink a little – despite washing cold and hang drying. With that said, the A1L that I got fit perfectly and had so little shrinkage that it was barely noticeable. The gi also boasts seam taping, which I’m a bit of a sucker for. I don’t really know if it holds water, but I’m a firm believer that the taping minimizes fraying on the sleeves.
The pants are made from 8 oz polyester ripstop material and they come with a nice soft elastic waistband, along with traditional edging. The fabric has a very wide finish and feels really comfortable. The pants come with a double reinforced knee padding, which in my experience, is the feature that dictates how long pants survive. To top it off the padding is triple stitched with an overlapped seam.
Not a lot of design details on the pants, but they have a classic clean sleek look.
The pants have a custom detailed Kingz stretchy drawstring, which is a nice touch. I personally prefer the classic flat drawstring on gi pants, as I find they stay in place a little better.
The puzzle to solve for gi manufacturers is that the lighter a gi is, the less durable they are. It seems that Kingz may have managed to find the perfect middle ground with the Balistico 3.0. With the pearl weave jacket and ripstop pants the gi is super light, but also surprisingly sturdy – it almost feels like a gold weave. Although, I'm pretty sure it wont hold up as long as some of my heavier gis, I’ve put it through the ringer and it's stil holding up quite well. Details such as the double reinforced knee padding is certainly also going to add a little extra life span to the gi.
This is not an entry-level gi – and the cost reflects that. It is a gi for hobbyists and competitors that know what they
want. The pricetag isn’t overly lofty, but it certainly wouldn't fall in the cheap category either. With that said, I feel that the cost is reasonable, when you consider the product you’re getting.
I found the gi was very lightweight and comfortable. I have the gi in regular rotation, and it has become among my favorites. I probably use it about once a week. As a matter of fact, this might be my second favorite gi I own. This gi is a must-have for gi enthusiasts and those who want to save some weight without sacrificing comfort. It is also 100% IBJJF legal and the lightness and Coolmax® vents make it particularly good for those summer training sessions, as well as for competition.
If you are interested in other gis, check out our reviews of other gis: