Top 5 Best Judo Gi Uniform for Kids

Our Top 5 Recommended Judo Gi for Kids

Elite Sports Judo Gi for Kids
Fuji Judo Gi
Fuji Sports  USA Judo GI 
Ronin Judo Gi
Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi

It is a great thing to see your child in a Judo class. Often there is an excitement and thirst for learning that is a joy to watch.

Selecting a gi uniform for him or her to wear is part of the process.  If you are hoping to find something that is comfortable and stylish from a kids perspective, and durable and reasonably priced from a parents perspective, then  read on.

Two little girls in white gi one with orange belt and the other with yellow belt sitting with thumbs up

First a bit of background

The word ‘gi’ is derived from the Japanese words ‘keikogi’ or ‘dogi’, which means “uniform for training”. So, it is not surprising that ‘gi’ is worn for several different types of martial arts. However, they are not all the same.

For example, there is a Karate gi, a Tae Kwon Do gi (also called a dobok), a Brazilian Jiu Jitsue (BJJ) gi and, of course, a Judo gi. All come in two parts: a top, or jacket, and trousers that tighten with pull strings.

Generally speaking, Judo gis are most similar to BJJ gis, although they are generally longer with wider sleeves than BJJ gis.  Karate gis are much lighter and not designed for robust grappling of Judo.  This is why we only recommend gis that are designed specifically for Judo.

How to Choose a Judo Gi

If you are selecting a gi that can be used for competitions make sure it meets the current International Judo Federation (IJF) guidelines, although admittedly this does change from time to time.

When choosing a judo gi, there are many elements to consider. Here are some things that you may want to consider.

Weave

Unlike gis from other martial arts, judo gis only come in either of two weaves: single weave or double weave. The weave determines the thickness, strength and durability of a gi which is important when throwing each other to the ground.

Single weave gis are generally thinner and lighter which is great for kids just starting out as it will allow them to move freely. However, single weave gis are more easily damaged and are easier for opponents to grab.

Double weave gis are thicker and more durable than single weave gis and for a young kid starting to learn judo will allow them to get stuck in and learn. These gis are harder to grab but they are heavier.  If not properly allowed to dry with ventilation the areas with thicker material can mold.

Material

It is well worth knowing the material that is being used in the Gi.  It will determine how strong the gi is and its durability as well.

The most common material used to make gis is cotton. Cotton is a really good material because it is comfortable and well aerated allowing for breathing during exercise.

Cotton is also very durable and is best for repeated use in practice. Cotton gis are usually more affordable too.

There are other gis made from synthetic fabrics which are lighter and stronger than cotton gis. However, these can cost more and they are not very breathable so you may feel overheated when training.

Color

You will have to pay attention to the color of your gi especially if you plan on participating in competitions. That is because the International Judo Federation has very strict regulations about the gis worn at competitions.

The two colors of gis that are acceptable at Judo competitions are white and blue.  It is ideal, but not a requirement to have a practice gi and a competition gi.

Other color gis are available, but these will be for training.  Since that is what you kid will spend most of his or her time doing, it kind of makes sense for them to have a color that is pleasing and encourages their enthusiasm for training.

Size

Buying a gi for a child is slightly different than buying one for an adult because a child is still growing. Therefore, if you don’t want to buy a gi every year, you should allow a bit of growing room.

There is a unique sizing scale for Judo uniforms.  Some manufacturers offer gi uniforms starting at size 00000 for very small kids. Sizes gradually increase from 0000, 000, 00 to 0.  It continues with sizes 1 or 2 for larger kids, then 3, 4 and so on for adults.

However, each manufacturer has its own measurements for each size.  The sizes vary enough that you should always use the size chart for the manufacturer, and sometimes the specific gi, that you intend to purchase.

The Belt

If your kid is just starting out he or she will need a belt.  The color determines the grade of the individual.  As your kid progresses through the ranks he or she will be awarded a different color.

Belt rankings to vary from place to place so it is good to find out which color your kid requires.

White is almost universally used to denote a beginner, which is what you kid will require when purchasing his or her first gi.

Our Top 5 Recommended Judo Gi for Kids

Elite Sports Judo Gi for Kids
Fuji Judo Gi
Fuji Sports  USA Judo GI 
Ronin Judo Gi
Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi

Product Reviews

Elite Sports Judo Gi for Kids

If you have a kid who is interested in training and in competition, then this is a good choice of gi.  It is IJF certified so it is acceptable at all Judo competitions.

The gi has a double weave cotton blend. Therefore, it is strong and durable, perfect for repeated hours of training.

The cotton weave is suitably thick and makes the gi hard for opponents to grab. The lapel is also thick and rigid which is particularly good for a Judo gi.

The seams of the gi and the gi as a whole has a very high quality of stitching. This means you don’t have to be too concerned with tears and holes in your kids gi.

This gi has antimicrobial treatment to help it stay clean and fresh even after a number of sessions of sweating. Any parent will welcome the reduced chance of staff infection.

Some parents have complained that this gi does not fit as expected.  Sometimes the jacket fits but not the pants and vice versa. Be sure to follow the size chart for this gi and allow some room for shrinkage and your kid’s growth.  If you are not sure then you can reach out to Elite to get a better idea of whether the gi will fit.

The gi has three color options and comes with a free white belt for beginners. 

Pros Cons
  • Strong and durable cotton double weave
  • High quality stitching
  • Thick lapel
  • A gi sized just for kids
  • Antimicrobial treatment for bacterial infections
  • Free belt
  • Not preshrunk

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Fuji Judo Gi

Fuji makes many gis for different martial arts, including Brazilian Ju Jitsu and Judo. They seem to know what they are doing as far as making gis is concerned.

The gi is made from 100% cotton blend made with a double weave that makes the gi highly durable and strong.  Most parents that purchase this find it fits their kid well.

The cotton makes the gi more comfortable and breathable than man made materials, especially in warm weather.

The gi’s collar is reinforced with rubber making it more difficult for opponents to grab.  It also has reinforced stitching in the armpits for extra strength. With extra lining on the sides of the top and trousers, this gi is completely reinforced in the stress prone areas.

This is a gi that is made for adults but also comes in kid sizes.  This is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of quality but may not be as exciting a choice for some kids.

The Fuji Judo Gi is not preshrunk.  Therefore, it is important to wash it in cold water and air dry away from any heat source.  You should still allow for some shrinkage over time.

It is well-priced gi made by a Japanese manufacturer, which is home to Judo and Jiu Jitsu.

The gi comes with a free white belt from Fuji which is great for kids just venturing into the sport.

Pros Cons
  • Price
  • Strong double weave cotton blend
  • Comfortable
  • Reinforcement in the stress prone areas
  • Durable
  • Free white belt
  • Not preshrunk

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Fuji Sports  USA Judo GI 

The Fuji Sports Single Weave USA Judo GI is a great gi particularly for students who want to showcase their patriotism. The gi has the American flag embroidered into its fabric.

The single weave of this gi is great for beginner kids because it is very light. It also makes it easy to wear and highly portable for travel.

Like the Fuji Single Weave above this is a gi made for adults that comes in kids sizes.  However, you can get it in one size smaller.   The uniform comes with a free white belt to start you kid with training and saves you having to buy one separately.

The gi is more expensive than the other gis, but it is good quality and a portion of each gi sold goes directly to the USA judo high performance fund which helps Elite athletes achieve their world and Olympic dreams.

The Fuji Sports Single Weave USA Judo GI is not preshrunk. Therefore, it is important to wash it in cold water and air dry away from any heat source.  You should still allow for some shrinkage over time.

Pros Cons
  • Single weave makes it light and comfortable
  • Patriotic: USA
  • Some of proceeds goes to help American Judo athletes
  • Travel friendly
  • Free white belt for beginner
  • Price
  • Not preshrunk

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Ronin Judo Gi

Ronin is a company famous for offering great products at decent prices. They are a trusted brand with plenty of experience.

Their judo gi is made of unbleached cotton. It is comfortable and cozy while still being sturdy. This will help your kid to enjoy training.

The cotton blend is a single weave. That makes it light and easy to pack when travelling to tournaments.

The gi has reinforcement on all the areas that may get torn including the sleeves, shoulders, lapels and sides.  There is also reinforcement on the knees.  It is firm enough not to make it too easy for opponents to grab onto the gi, especially the collar.

Like most of the other gis this is a gi made for adults that also comes kids sizes. Kids sizes have elastic waistbands rather than drawstrings.  Although this is not as secure it is much more convenient for young kids.

To ensure a good fit be sure to use the size chart for this gi.

This is also one of the more expensive gis that we recommend, but the comfort, durability and quality make it worth paying a little extra.

Pros Cons
  • Single weave cotton that is light and strong
  • Reinforcement on risky areas including knees, sides and shoulders
  • Made from unbleached cotton
  • Wide variety of sizes for kids
  • Price

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Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi

Pro Force is one of the best martial arts apparel and martial arts equipment manufacturers. They are best known for offering high quality gear at affordable prices.

Their judo gi is a great choice for anyone training in Judo, whether a young student or an old student. In addition to its durability this gi is comfortable to train in.

This is another Judo gi that is made for adults but also comes in some kid sizes.  There is a choice of four colors.  You can even buy one color for training and another for competing.

The Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi is a single weave gi but it feels as strong as most gis that cost more.  Its light nature makes it easy to travel with as two pairs can easily fit in a sports bag.

The gi is made from 100% cotton that is soft, comfortable and breathable.  It is also durable enough to withstand hours of training on the judo mat. It may not be as durable as some other more expensive gis but it is good value for money.

The price is low which makes ideal for child starting out in the sport. That is despite the need to purchase a belt separately.

Pros Cons
  • Price
  • Single weave which is light and durable
  • Easy to pack and travel with
  • 100% cotton and comfortable
  • Breathable.
  • Comes in four colors and many sizes.
  • Not as durable
  • Does not come with a white belt for beginners.

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Conclusion

When looking for a gi, check out its material, weave, size and whether it comes with a white belt (if your kid is a beginner). You should try to get a gi that fits well, is preferably made from cotton and with a single or double weave.

The all around favorite Judo gi for kids is the Elite Sports Judo Gi for Kids.  Hands down the best value for money is the Pro Force Gladiator Judo Gi.  However, if you don’t mind spending just a little extra for a really good quality, premium, selection than consider the Ronin Judo Gi.

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