SEA MMA Gear Guide

Black Eagle Predator MKII Gi Review


Introduction

Black Eagle is a martial arts retailer in the UK selling a wide range of martial arts equipment. In recent times, they have started to move more aggressively into the grappling scene, coming out with the new Predator gi, a newly released no-gi line up, and the upcoming Raptor gi. With me here is the new Predator MKII gi to put through the paces!

Official Specs:

  • Ultra light, ultra strong ripstop trousers
  • Ultra Light 450gsm Pearl Weave jacket
  • EVA collar
  • Extra lines of stitching on re-enforced lapel with ripstop overlay
  • Ripstop trimming to sleeve cuffs and jacket trim
  • New patch designs and Predator embroideries
  • Sanforized - Guaranteed never to shrink out of fit
  • Mercerised - Increases the strength of the fibres and further protects from shrinkage
  • Additional belt loops on trousers for greater comfort fit
  • Improved Competition cut, and fully IBJJF legal

Aesthetics

The Predator is a nice looking gi with a simple design, featuring contrast stitching to make it stand out a little more. It even comes in a mesh carry bag, giving a nice alternative to the usual ripstop or cotton gi bags that come with other gis I have.

The gi features a fully embroidered gi jacket, which means none of the business of patches falling off. The downside is the inability to remove the any of the designs. That said, I certainly have no problems with the words 'Predator' written down the chest, looking more like an expression of my badass BJJ spirit than a brand name.

The words Black Eagle are embroidered on the shoulders with the silhouette of an eagle beside, while the back has 'Predator' at the bottom of the jacket, leaving room for academy patches on the back.

The pants features two Black Eagle patches on either side of the pants. Again, these don't seem easily removable given the thick stitching on the edges of the patches, although it means they won't come off easily either. Beyond that, the pants is devoid of decorations.

The Predator comes in three colour combinations, a white gi with black contrast, the blue with red featured here, and an awesome looking black gi with gold contrast. In my opinion, the black one sure looks spanking good!

As with my coloured gis, no vinegar soaking or other colour preservation techniques were used. Minimal colour fade is observed, the blue still remaining bright on the gi.

Form & Fit

While Black Eagle has a size chart, it provides the measurements of the gi instead of the usual suggested weight and height for the gi. This is great for guys like me who have past gis to compare to and gauge the best fit, but for new guys it might be a little confusing. Perhaps they should include both to help buyers have an easier time in making decisions. Also, it seems that the white gi has a slightly smaller measurement on the size chart compared to the blue and black, so take that into consideration if you're choosing between colours.

Here's the chart taken off Black Eagle's site for your convenience.

As usual, my height of 169cm and weight of 61kg goes well with the A1, my usual consideration being the lengths of A and C more than the other measurements. Out of the bag, the gi fit well on all lengths, but was slightly baggy around the armpits. Given the sanforized and mercerised treatment to prevent shrinkage, I was glad that it was mostly spot on, though I was hoping that'd there'll be some give for the armpit area to shrink a little.

Indeed, after washing the gi barely shrank at all! The sleeves did shorten a little though, and the armpits became a little more snug, so it worked out to a great fit in the end! Phew!

Check out the pre and post wash measurements below.

Gi Top
Sleeve to Sleeve
151cm
145cm
Chest width
56cm
56cm
Gi length (collar to skirt)
78cm
78cm
Arm width (at armpits)
25cm
21cm
Cuff width (at sleeves)
17cm
17cm
Gi Pants
Pant width
54cm
53cm
Pant length
93cm
93cm
Cuff width (at leg)
23cm
22cm

Functionality

The Predator is a lightweight 450gsm Pearl Weave that feels relatively soft compared to my other Pearl weaves even after drying. It feels great to roll in, especially for guys that prefer lighter gis like me. The gi itself feels tough enough for regular use and I've in fact put this gi into my regular rotation since it shows so little sign of wear despite frequent usage.

The gi pants is made of ripstop material that feels very light and soft, lacking the stiffness that some of the ripstop pants have. In fact, this one is second only to my Shoyoroll Yank's pants in terms of comfort. However, I was a little bummed that the pants comes with flat drawstrings instead of rope drawstrings, as it does occasionally get stuck when I'm trying to tighten the pants. The pants features a generous 6 loops for a secure fit though, something I appreciate.

The collar is of good thickness, matching the Gameness Air but slightly thinner than the Shoyoroll White Mamba.

Reinforcements are where you expect them to be, with the cuffs taped by ripstop material and the collar is covered in ripstop as well. As mentioned earlier, hardly any signs of wear are observed, making this a great everyday training gi.

Affordability

The gi retails for GBP 58.33 (SGD $117) without VAT for the white one and GBP 66.66 (SGD $133) without VAT for the blue and black ones on the official Black Eagle site. You'll see the price adjustment after you enter your shipping address. They ship internationally and costs GBP 9.62 (SGD $19.22) to this region, which is pretty affordable. There's even an embroidery option should you like to have your name.

Overall a great price for a quality gi that ships to this region, on par or slightly cheaper than many other comparable gis out there once you consider the shipping costs.

Conclusion

The Black Eagle Predator gi is a great lightweight gi that will withstand the rigours of training while remaining light and comfortable. It's also priced competitively, making it a great option to consider if you're in the market for a summer gi.

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.