SEA MMA Gear Guide

Honey Badger Gi Review

Introduction

The long awaited Honey Badger gi designed by Meerkatsu is out! Ok, it was out on the 10th April and I'm a little behind on this, but if you've yet to lay your hands on it even after the eye candy posted up in the sneaks earlier, here's the full lowdown on the gi. The gi is designed by Meerkatsu and made by Tatami Fightwear, a similar arrangement to the last time Meerkatsu designed the Honey Badger rashguard.

Official Specs

  • Unique Meerkatsu styling and branding
  • 475 GSM Hybrid Weave jacket
  • 8oz twill cotton pants
  • Honey Badger branding tape on the inside jacket, inside cuff and inside ankle
  • Honey Badger stylized Tatami Fightwear patches
  • Free Honey Badger GI Bag
  • Large Honey Badger embroidery on the back on the GI

Aesthetics

The key feature of this gi, besides being a Meerkatsu design, is the honey badger theme. As such, there's no shortage of the honey badger crawling all over the gi, from the Tatami patch down the chest, to the two snarling heads embroidered on the shoulders, and the fierce snake eating embroidery behind.

Despite that, the gi is a much toned down version of the rashguard, without the large, over-the-top artwork in the rashguard that had quite a polarising effect. Seymour's personal logo is also represented in a much classier fashion, as tag near the collar, instead of being plastered all over like the rashguard in the previous iteration. Those that were hoping for a wilder, out-of-this-world interpretation will be disappointed. With the need for gis to be IBJJF legal, there remains some limit to the possible colour options and artwork placements.

That said, the gi does play around with 3 colours instead of the usual two, going with a black base, orange contrast stitching, and some purple accents. While I'm not crazy about the purple and orange combination, this is definitely a gi that will stand out.

The pants continues the main design theme with purple belt loops and an orange drawstring, the combined Meerkatsu/Tatami tag on the right of the pants, and the honey badger head at the bottom right pant leg.

Overall, a lovely gi that surprisingly, doesn't scream bling all that much, while still bringing some unique visuals to the fore. The colours are solid and vibrant, with no noticeable fading after washing.

As an aside, the gi also comes with a gi bag. While I don't usually use the gi bags, I happened to grab this one as a temporary gym bag. I noticed that the white print on the bag is slightly sticky, and some of it rubbed off after using it a couple of times. It's no big deal, but if you treasure your gi bags as art or collection pieces, maybe keep this one in the drawer.

Form & Fit

For some reason, I can't find a size chart for the gi, but based on my experience, it is cut close to Tatami's Estilo gi. Tatami has a gi size calculator on their site that you can use to estimate your size. In my case however, given how close I am the Meerkatsu's size, an A1 in his books is an A1 in mine.

Right out of the bag, the gi top was a little baggy around the shoulders and back, and the sleeves were a tad longer than my wrist. Pants length was about right, and I love the soft feel of the pants. After several washes, the gi tightened a little and become more snug fitting.

Here are the pre and post wash measurements:

Gi Top
Sleeve to Sleeve
162cm
158cm
Chest width
55cm
54cm
Gi length (collar to skirt)
82cm
82cm
Arm width (at armpits)
28cm
26cm
Cuff width (at sleeves)
16cm
16cm
Gi Pants
Pant width
53cm
52cm
Pant length
98cm
95cm
Cuff width (at leg)
22cm
21cm

Functionality

Tatami calls this a hybrid weave, and at 475 gsm, it's slightly thicker and heavier feeling than the Kingz Light I'm wearing these days. It's still fairly lightweight compared to the Keiko Raca or Scramble Ichiban, so if you're not too fussy or spoilt by lightweight gis, the difference is barely noticeable. Rolling in the gi is a soft and comfortable affair, further accentuated by the excellent gi pants.

Despite my usual preference for ripstop pants, I'm starting to swing towards improving quality of lightweight cotton twill pants these days. The Honey Badger's 8oz cotton twill is lightweight and soft, making a delight to wear and roll in. Gone are the days of thick, stuffy cotton twill pants it seems. Of course, you have 6 belt loops and a stretchy cord drawstring to round it off.

Collar thickness is good, almost as thick as the Scramble Ichiban, and thicker than the Kingz Light.

The gi is reinforced in all the usual areas, and the material feels fairly tough. However, I did notice that the sleeve and pant cuffs are covered by just a thin strip of taping and held in place by two rows of stitching. While I doubt the sleeves will come undone any time soon, I'll be keeping an eye on the pants due to the thinner material and how close the taping is to the edge of the pants.

Affordability

The Honey Badger gi goes for GBP 95 on Tatami's website, but if you check out with an overseas address, you should see the VAT removed and the price fall to GBP 79.17 (SDG $157) without shipping. Shipping to this side of the ocean will bring prices back up to GBP 113.92 (SGD $225).

For those in the US, you can also get your fix from Budovideos at USD $169.95 (SGD $212) without shipping, although a number of sizes there are already sold out.

No doubt the gi is a little on the pricey side, but taking into account that it is a limited edition gi, and a Meerkatsu limited edition for that matter, you might want to consider dropping the moolah on this one.

Conclusion

The Honey Badger is a unique looking gi from Meerkatsu and works great for an everyday training gi as well. Come on, how often do you see a honey badger on a gi? If nothing else, get one just for keeps.

For other reviews on this gi, check out Gi ReviewsBJJ Gear Junkie (A1), and Grappling Addict (A3).

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.

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