SEA MMA Gear Guide

Ground Control Platinum 350 Gi Review

Introduction

Ground Control offers a range of affordable gis, and their designs have made a great leap forward from the last time I saw them a year or two ago. I've heard their cut compared to Shoyoroll, and having missed that, I decided to check out the more sanely priced GC Platinum 350.

Official Specs:

  • Limited Edition
  • Pre-Shrunk
  • One Piece GCFG Weave Top
  • EVA Foam Rip Stop Covered Collar
  • Tighter Short Body Cut (BJJ legal)
  • Id Pocket Inside Jacket
  • Triple Stitched Seams
  • Heavily Reinforced Stress Points
  • Ultra Lite 100% Rip Stop Pants
  • GCFG Special Loop System
  • GCFG Weave Crotch Insert
  • Internal Mouth Piece Pocket Inside Pants

Aesthetics

The Platinum 350 is an awesome looking gi with the red contrast stitching on black. The first day I wore this to class, there were heads turning and I had people commenting on how nice it looked. The design is simple yet eye-catching. No mish-mash of patchworks, just three logos embroidered on, two near the shoulders, and one near the bottom of the right pant leg. The rest of the gi is just plain and simple black, with the red highlights.

If you compare to these to the older GC gis, GC had decided to do away with their older logo bearing the American flag, and that's a great relief for non-US folks like me.

Personally, I think this gi looks great as it is, and I wouldn't bother ruining it with additional patches or designs. It captures the essence of 'simple is good', impressing with its minimalistic design.

Although this is my first coloured gi, I decided not to soak it in vinegar or try other colour preserving techniques partly because I wanted to see how it'd hold up, and partly because I was too lazy.

As expected, some of the black did rub off onto my white belt and my training partner's gis despite washing, though it was minimal and greatly reduced by the 3rd or 4th wash. The colour has barely faded so far, and is still a deep black. That said, it's still in its first month of use, so only time will tell how it'll hold up in the long term.

Form & Fit

GC provides a sizing chart that sizes a little differently from the Gameness chart in my previous review. Here's their version with more measurements and metric conversion courtesy of yours truly.

Height
Weight
Gi Size
Gi Weight
5'2-5'5 (~158-165cm)
135-155 lbs (~61-70kg)
A1
2.9 lbs (~1.3kg)
5'5-5'9 (~165-175cm)
155-180 lbs (~70-82kg)
A2
3.1 lbs (~1.4kg)
5'9-6'1 (~175-185cm)
180-205 lbs (~82-93kg)
A3
3.4 lbs (~1.5kg)
6'0-6'2 (~182-188cm)
205-235 lbs (~93-107kg)
A4
3.6 lbs (~1.6kg)
6'2-6'4 (~188-193cm)
235-265 lbs (~107-120kg)
A5
3.8 lbs (~1.7kg)
Cuff to Cuff
Pant Length
Gi Size
62" (~157cm)
35" (~89cm)
A1
66" (~168cm)
37" (~94cm)
A2
68" (~173cm)
39" (~99cm)
A3
70" (~178cm)
41" (~104cm)
A4
72" (~183cm)
42" (~109cm)
A5
(sorry for the double charts, but couldn't squeeze in the rows neatly into the layout)

According to the site, they'll be adding A2H and A3S for newer batches of 350 gi, though I'm not sure when that'll be, so I've not included it here at the moment.

Based on the charts, with me standing at 169cm, 61kg, I should probably be going with an A2 pants and an A1 top. Unfortunately, I didn't study the chart as closely and defaulted to A1. Right out of the bag, the gi pants barely touched my ankles, and I immediately suspected that they would be too short after shrinking.

Sure enough, after washing, the gi top came out just right, but the gi pants is probably a little too short for IBJJF standards, cutting a fair bit above my ankles. I didn't do pre-wash measurements, but it felt like the gi did shrink a fair bit. The collar curls slightly at the skirt, an indication that the cloth might have shrunk more than the length of the foam inside.

That said, I love the fit of this gi. It comes on snug on me, no bagginess at the armpits, chest, or anywhere for that matter. The length of the gi top feels a little short compared to my other gis, probably due to the 'short body' cut mentioned in the specs.

Not too sure what weave the top is, but given how light and thin it is, I suspect it's some form of single weave. The material is soft as well, though still a little rough to my sensitive skin. If you look at the weight in the chart, it's quite light, and that was the next thing most of the guys mentioned after commenting on the looks and coming forward to touch the gi.

The gi pants is made of ripstop with a gusseted crotch for greater mobility. Again, the gi pants is snug and I love the slightly shorter length, making it harder to grab.

For some measurements after several washes:

Gi Top
Sleeve to Sleeve
143cm
Chest width
49cm
Gi length (collar to skirt)
69cm
Arm width (at armpits)
23cm
Cuff width (at sleeves)
15cm
Gi Pants
Pant width
50cm
Pant length
83cm
Cuff width (at leg)
20cm

If the measurements are correct, there's still a fair bit of shrinkage going on. While my gis are washed in cold water, they have recently been sundried in the hot tropical weather here, which might contribute to the greater shrinkage.

Functionality

Being a lightweight gi, this one is 0.4kg lighter than my Gameness pearl on paper, though I don't feel that much of a difference, unless I was desperately trying to make weight. However, it does feel more comfortable and unrestrictive due it having a more snug cut than the Gameness.

The drawstring is the now commonplace thick cord, and has four front loops for greater support.

As mentioned earlier, the gi top falls a little short, and comes out of my belt more often than I'd like during rolling. However, the upside is it makes gi chokes involving the skirt quite difficult to execute. One of my training partners gave up halfway after he could not bring the material deep enough to wrap around my neck.

The collar is of decent thickness. Not thick enough to become stiff, but not as thin as the Gameness. A quick comparison of both above.

The gi top comes with an ID pocket hidden inside on the left, while there's an inside front pouch behind the waistband of the pants for mouth pieces and what not. Potentially useful, but not something I've ever needed to use so far.

The gi is well reinforced in the places that it should be, such as triple stitching on the seams and extra material reinforcement at stress points such as armpits, crotch, and split seam areas. The gi pants is double layered from the knee onwards all the way down to the leg cuff.

However, there are some light signs of wear after a few sessions of rolling. There are a few loose strands, which are never a big deal to me since they can be easily cut. But there's also some fuzzing of the material which is surprising, as I've not yet seen this much in even some of my more heavily used gis.

Still, it's not deal breaking, and I'll need more months of heavy use before I can say whether it'll live up to the abuses of training.

Affordability

The gi retails for US $109.99 (SGD $143), which is very reasonable for a black coloured gi with contrast stitching. Off-hand, I can only think of the Fuji single weave as a cheaper alternative, but doesn't look as good.

However, as with all gis, shipping is going to be the killer. I managed to get the gi at a discount, but shipping alone cost me slightly more than half the price of the gi itself (~US $40). I've yet to explore alternative shipping options such as Vpost, but might give that a shot in the future.

The guy in charge, Justin, has been pretty responsive to emails and queries, and does an excellent job at addressing any issues that crop up. If you're keen to get one, you can get it from their website at Ground Control Fight Gear. Do give a shout out that you came from here.

Conclusion

The Ground Control Platinum 350 is an excellent lightweight gi that not only looks good, but feels good too. The cut is great for guys who like a snug and fitting gi like me. If you're in the market for an affordable gi, you should consider dropping one for this.

Disclaimer
All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. hey bro, thats a very insightful review on the kimono. thanks!

  2. Thanks for visiting! Working to get a discount code for everyone who's interested in the gi, so do check back in a week or so!

  3. They just about all sold out! I had to go a size bigger just to get one.

  4. Send me photos and prices?
    How much this black Gi?


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