Over the past year, Predator BJJ has been developing its women’s BJJ gi line; I’ve had the pleasure of working as a volunteer consultant in this endeavour, acting as a sounding board on cut and style and gathering feedback from women in BJJ far and wide on what they want from a gi. The ‘Predadora’ is Predator BJJ’s first release of its women’s line and is a lightweight gi perfect for competition or warm weather training. The gi is available in two colour schemes – blue with pink and white accents or white with turquoise and silver accents – and jackets and trousers may be bought as separates. The tailoring and styling of the Predadora has been refined and enhanced since the review of its prototype. For this review of the full production version of the gi I’ve teamed up with fellow purple belt, Lisa James, in our first tag-team review; we hope to provide a richer review of the gi from two different perspectives and bodies.(1)
The Predadora retails at £84.99 for the white and £94.99 for the blue; blue kimonos are treated with a fast reactive dye to reduce and prevent fading hence the variation in price. Predadora can be found here: black-eagle.co.uk (UK); budovideos.com (USA); roninwear.com (Spain).
The Predadora, named using the feminine noun for ‘predator’ in Portuguese, is a lightweight gi and weighs in at 1.2kgs on my scale. The gi offers durability without weight by using ultra-tough ripstop for the trousers and a single ‘pearl’ weave for the jacket. While some single weave can be rather rough, the weave used with the Predadora is very silky and kind on the skin; Lisa and I were both very impressed with the softness of the jackets.
The Predadora is available in two colour schemes which seek to appeal to a range of women and aim for a strong, feminine, but not ‘girlie’ vibe. Extensive polling on the MegJitsu and Predator BJJFacebook Pages was undertaken to get the colours right. This investigation revealed the ‘Marmite-like’ feelings around pink; you love it or hate it. Equally, we discovered your desire for turquoise in a woman’s gi, which, as far as I know, Predator BJJ is pioneering. So, for those who like a little pink with their gi, a raspberry tone is used with the blue version’s embroidery that mixes well with the pearlescent white of the bird of prey embroidery. In contrast, for those who cannot have pink on their gi, the turquoise and silver on the white version looks tight! The turquoise really ‘pops’ and adds some sweet sparkle to an otherwise very business-like white gi.
The colourways used in the jackets are excellent and Lisa and I both love the sophisticated look of the embroidery. This includes the ‘Predator’ brand name and logo on the shoulders and the ‘Predadora’ gi name on the overlap and the rear skirt. The size, placement and quality of the embroidery is superb and while the raspberry pink contrasts nicely with the blue, we both have a strong preference for the white and turquoise scheme which works exceptionally well. As Lisa noted, there’s not that many feminine colours that are also ‘strong’ and turquoise really ticks that box.
While the jacket has a very sophisticated, strong and feminine look to its styling, we found that the trousers didn’t quite uphold the classy tone of the jacket. The patches on the thighs are nicely done, but we both feel that the colour use on the belt loops and drawstrings is a bit childish and clashes with the ‘grown up’ femininity of the jacket styling. The trousers have six drawstring loops which, along with the drawstrings themselves, are implemented in the gi’s accent colour, i.e. either raspberry or turquoise. We feel the effect is a bit too ‘kiddie’ and we’d prefer the drawstrings and loops in the main gi colour as this would be more in keeping with the slick tone of the gi.
These gi are tremendously colour fast and the processing applied to the blue gi definitely makes a difference to the resilience of the gi’s colouring. While in all other respects my black Fenom Classic and blue Koral Classic are tough, well put together gi, washing on a warm cycle rapidly takes the shine off the dark colour of these gi.(2) In contrast, the blue sample version of the Predadora I wore (and washed) at least weekly between May and August of this year shows very little difference in colour as compared with Lisa’s gi which has been worn and washed (on a 90°C cycle) twice over the past fortnight.
The Predadora is fully pre-shrunk and washing at 60°C or 90°C washes doesn’t significant alter the measurements, which remain well within the accepted 1% variation for pre-shrunk kimono:
|Measurements||F3 top(cm)||F3 bottoms(cm)||F2 bottoms(cm)|
Lisa and I absolutely adore the cut of the Predadora jacket. It is smartly cut through the shoulders with a perfect sleeve length stopping just below the wrist bones. Best of all it has a slightly cinched waist and as Lisa observed:
The jacket is awesome. One of the best jackets I’ve come across. This is the first jacket I’ve worn that makes me feel attractive. Most jackets give me a square shape and make me look bulkier than I am.
The tailoring of the jacket, with a tight overlap and a slightly cinched waist, is very feminine and results in a very flattering shape and we love it! However, Lisa and I are both pretty low on the cup size scale and we imagine that the fitted shape and tight overlap could be problematic for more busty women. Lisa also has some reservations about the skirt length, which she’d like to see and inch or two more generous. This is because she prefers to wear her belt across the hips and as the jacket’s skirt is pretty short, it doesn’t stay put so well during training. In contrast, I dig the shorter skirt and as I tend to wear my belt at my waist the top stays secure and the nice lines of the tailoring are preserved; the shortness on Lisa may be due to her wearing a size smaller than normal.
While there is so much to recommend this gi we feel that there is something ‘not quite right’ about the size chart and the proportion between width and length. On the one hand, the size chart for the jacket seems a little off as Lisa normally wears an F4 but as the sleeves of the F4 came to her knuckles she scaled down to the F3 jacket; we feel the size chart is somewhat misleading as we’re 6kgs/15lbs and 7cm/3″ different in weight and height but we both find the F3 top a perfect fit (though a tad short on Lisa). The trousers are a bit more problematic and the disproportion between length and width a bit more pronounced. For Lisa, again the F4 trousers were far too large in all respects, especially through the waist and she went down a size to the F3. While she’s 95% satisfied with the length of the F3 trousers, the generosity of the seat and the ‘diaper’ effect from the superfluous fabric significantly reduces her overall trouser-satisfaction levels. Predator BJJ is one of the few brands that let you purchase tops and bottoms as separates so I went for the F2s which fit great through the bum and thighs, but they are of a ‘capri’ length, which doesn’t put me off wearing the gi, but it may not be to some women’s liking.
Lisa and I are very pleased to have such a well thought out women’s gi line coming out of a UK-based brand. We applaud Predator BJJ for releasing two women’s gi in its lightweight gi collection from the get-go and for working so closely with women in BJJ in their product development. The colourways are excellent and based on real BJJ women’s preferences, the fabric is soft without being heavy and the tailoring of the jacket is really lovely. We would suggest some further refinement to the sizing of the gi in order to get the width to length ratio a bit more conventional, but this could be a great gi for the very apple-bottomed as is.
All reviews are based on independent observations. We have no formal qualifications, we are not sponsored by any company and we do not endorse any one brand. If you chose a gi based on this review, please let the manufacturer know that MegJitsu persuaded you. This will not benefit us financially, but can help us to get more gi to review. As always, thanks for reading.
Thank you to Predator BJJ for supplying the gi. Thanks also to Lisa, photographer and film producer, for her skills in creating the media for this review.
(1) Meg is 163cm/5’4.5″, 60kgs/130lbs with bust, waist and bottom measurements of 86.4cm/34″, 68.6cm/27″ and 91.4cm/36″; she wears the F3 jacket + F2 trousers. Lisa is 170cm/5’7″, 66kgs/145lbs with bust, waist and bottom measurements of 96cm/36″, 75cm/29.5″ and 104cm/41″; she wears the F3 jacket and trousers. Measurements are taken from the middle of the bust line, the slimmest part of the torso and the ‘bumpiest’ bit of the bottom/hips.
(2) Washing at warmer temperatures are against these manufacturers’ instructions and if these directions are followed they do retain their colour, but I find that the heat of a warmer wash is required to keep my gi funk-free.