Universally successful brands often have one thing in common: passion. This fuels companies – from big multinational firms to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs – to establish, grow, and further improve their respective products and/or services. The same idea holds true especially for sport and lifestyle enterprises such as War Tribe.
War Tribe is a highly recognized brand in the Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts circuit. Based in Bend, Oregon, the company designs pioneering, industry-leading products used by top BJJ practitioners like former number one ranked IBJJF competitor and UFC women’s strawweight fighter Mackenzie Dern and 3rd degree black belt Caio Terra, just to name a few.
The people behind War Tribe take pride in their love for the sport, as reflected by their active participation in the continuous effort to promote Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as, not just a sport and a lifestyle, but a way of life, through their artistic Gi collection. In addition to the aesthetics, they make it a point to provide BJJ practitioners of all levels outstanding comfort while rolling.
The common denominator of all War Tribe Gis is its light yet heavy-duty materials. Both the jacket and pants of the men’s and the women’s variant feel ultra-thin, but when the going gets tough, these bad boys are proven to hold their own even after hard rolling sessions.
There are a plethora of unique designs to choose from, and each is engineered with proper cooling technology that wicks moisture and hastens the drying process. Basically, unlike others on the market, War Tribe Gis do not feel like sauna suits.
As for the fit, War Tribe Gis are a tad too close to that true-to-size liking. The jacket and pants have to shrink a bit to fulfill one’s body frame, however, following that initial wash, the whole ensemble will surely fit like a glove.
Speaking of body frame, War Tribe made a concerted effort to differentiate men’s sizes from women’s and kid’s. They present a collection specific for the female market, in which they have the option to select different sizes for the jacket and the pair of pants to really get that custom feel.
War Tribe perfectly highlights the essence of that immaculate, clean look of a traditional Jiu Jitsu Gi, but still manages to splash brilliant tones and one-of-a-kind patterns that elevate each get-up to complement the modern times. Every set carries a minimalist look matched by precise and intricate needlework on the jacket’s sleeves and pant legs.
While some prefer a cleaner ensemble, others lean toward the flashier Gi by adding patches and/or designs; thankfully, War Tribe caters to different stylistic inclinations. Considering that the Gis have a neat overall design yet present ample areas for customization, it neither sacrifices performance nor style.
Now comes the hard part, as War Tribe is deemed within the Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts community as one of the more high-end brands. By simply scrolling through their website, the cheapest items are somewhere in the $110 vicinity, while their more premium Gis can go as high as $199.
In spite of this, War Tribe is the epitome of value for money in the Jiu Jitsu circuit. It is worth every penny in the sense that not only is it incredibly sophisticated for a BJJ Gi, it also endures the rigorous demands of regular, hard training sessions.
There are, of course, many other Jiu Jitsu Gi brands in the market; the likes of Sanabul, Flow Kimono, Hayabusa, and Tatami among others usually come to mind. War Tribe, on the other hand, separates itself by effectively recognizing their target market and superbly designing products according to their liking, all while ticking most – if not all – of the boxes of an ideal BJJ Gi.
Yes, an entry level War Tribe is more expensive compared to Sanabul’s or even Flow Kimonos’, however, the design and durability more than make up for the steep price tag. Hayabusa and Tatami, on the other side of the spectrum, are more highly decorated and elegantly woven, yet somewhat present significant problems with sizing and shrinking.
Without a doubt, one of Sanabul’s flagship BJJ Gis is the Sanabul Essentials V2, so much so that many industry experts consider it as “the secret to getting better at Jiu Jitsu.” Similar to War Tribe, this brand also carries quality lightweight weave, but differs when it comes to its preshrunk fabric features, which – in a way – limits the variety in sizing.
Flow Kimono, to a certain degree, belongs in the same boat as Sanabul in terms of high-quality preshrunk fabric and lightweight feel. It also boasts a moisture-wicking ripstop material that keeps practitioners dry and light on the mats.
Many people, from hardcore to casual martial arts fans, consciously or subconsciously, recognize Hayabusa thanks to its considerable exposure in the UFC (way back when the MMA giant was not yet exclusively sponsored by Reebok). Conversely, their Gis are excellent through and through, and are 100% IBJJF certified, reinforcing their industry-wide popularity.
Tatami offers design simplicity in every sense of the word, yet its high performing Gis belong to the list of some of the best. From triple stitching and shoulder patches, to high-tech weave jackets and rubberized collars, the brand truly makes up its plain patterns with first-rate functionality.
War Tribe Gi Review: Conclusion
In hindsight, War Tribe Gis hovers in the sweet spot where quality and price meet to come up with an exceptional, no non-sense product. It is not cheap to the point that it sacrifices performance, durability, and comfort, as well as not overly loud and flashy that it comes off as snooty.
When all is said and done, War Tribe sticks to its roots of innovation, excellence, and above all, passion. This enthusiasm, this love for the sport and the community allows consumers to have in their hands a product precisely made for them, by them.