Lucky gi has been around for quite some time and has been credited to the originators of contrast stitching and flashy designs for kimonos as well as helped many brands get their start in the gi business. They decided to start another trend by releasing a bamboo fabric series of gi’s.
Rafael Lovato Jr. is another name that needs no introduction. I will leave you this link though just in case you’ve been living under a rock.
I am a big fan of Lovato Jr. and a fan of Lucky as well so when I saw this gi on the bay in the bamboo model I had to get it. lucky gi lovato jr.
The first signature Lucky Gi ever was designed by Rafael Lovato, Jr. Lovato holds more titles than any other American Jiu Jitsu player and he is considered by all to be one of the World’s Best Jiu Jitsu players. He spent hours on designing an making changes to this gi. All to make his gi perfect.
The only changes we have made from the original white gi is the use of the new True Platinum Weave™ fabric to make this gi even more comfortable than it already was. We also took Lovato’s signature off the front of the gi.
Without further a due, here is our review of the Lovato Jr. Lucky Gi..
- Black with Red stitching
- 420 Light weight True Platinum Weave™ fabric
- UV True Temperature™ foam
- Bamboo fabric
- Woven Labels and Taping
- Embroidered Logos
- Black w/ Red stitching
- 10 oz Canvas cotton
- Woven Taping
- Flat drawstring
- Embroidered Logos
- Two Belt loops
As you can tell, the jacket is very stylish and has the extra features that Lucky is known for but also some new ones as well.
The Bamboo fabric is SUPER SOFT on the inside but it’s also super soft on the outside as well. Since it is so soft on the outside I’m not sure I would want to use it as a competition gi. It would be a lot softer on the inside of the jacket but the all over print hinders that a little bit at first.
The all over print that is screen printed on the inside of the jacket at first was sticky. When I received the kimono it was almost stuck together and made a noise like you were pulling something apart. Now though there is no stickiness and I don’t even notice it’s there. It’s holding up quite well and there are no spots that have come off so far.
The red contrast taping around the gi is soft and has been folded over to prevent scratchiness. On the down side it is thin and wasn’t put on that well in some spots. You can see the taping from the inside of the jacket on the outside of the gi in certain places and it feels very cheap. I don’t feel like the taping will last very long because it’s so thin and seems very easy to tear off with a good grip. I was expecting higher quality than this from Lucky.
The inside taping along the skirt of the jacket and cuffs reads “Victory is always possible for the one who refuses to stop fighting!”. While it looks good, the downside is that the taping is very scratchy. Unlike the outside taping where it has been folded over on the edges to prevent this, the inside taping does not do this. After all the washing and fabric softener it hasn’t really softened up at all.
The inside taping that reads LUCKY GI going along the chest seam and down the inside of the arms though isn’t scratchy like the inner cuff and skirt taping. It is made of a more satin type of material and is folded over on the edges to prevent any type of scratchy feeling that may occur. I don’t know why they didn’t do this with the inside taping on the cuffs and skirt of the jacket.
The embroidery of the jacket is top notch, there are no blank spots or hiccups in the stitching which is what I expected from Lucky.
Lucky Gi is one of the most counterfeited kimonos in the market today, so to help prevent these measures Lucky has put a silver strip of thread every 18 inches in the fabric to show that it is indeed a true lucky gi.
I want to point out that the jacket has faded considerably over the last few weeks of me using this gi. It’s no longer the deep, rich black color that it was in the beginning and it looks like it’s been worn a lot longer. A lot of people like the worn in color but considering I haven’t even had the gi a month it shouldn’t be this faded. I have used this gi twice a day three times a week but still.
On the original Lucky Gi’s the pants were thick and heavy as a rock but they were build to last. After some initial hiccups with this batch’s pants they sent out new pants to replace the defective ones. The pants I received are very light and breathe amazingly well.
Once again though, the cuff taping is scratchy and the outside taping feels the same as the jackets taping…cheap.
The embroidery of the logos is the same as the jacket, top notch and great quality.
The pants come with a flat drawstring that surprisingly stays tied fairly well. More so than the rope drawstrings that have been coming out on pants lately. Usually I despise flat drawstrings but this one isn’t so bad.
The fit of this gi is quite nice. It closes nicely and the length of the pants is how I like them, short. The length of the sleeves are also short but competition legal. The jacket skirt is also shorter and comes out fairly easy while rolling.
The Lovato Jr. gi tends to stretch about two inches in the sleeves and pants after a few rolls depending on who I’m rolling with. This is the only part that actually stretches out though as the jacket skirt and sides holds it’s shape. The collar is very smooth and slides grips off incredibly well.
I do notice the scratchiness of the taping while rolling and it is quite annoying. Usually I can forget about it but something about this just stands out on this gi. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem, I’m not sure.
The jacket and pants both breathe incredibly well while rolling and the material of the jacket does soak up sweat very fast like mentioned in the description. As it does soak up the sweat fast it makes the gi heavier after a long while of rolling, but since it’s 420 weight it’s nothing unusual as I like wearing 550 GSM gi’s anyways.
The Skirt is shorter and makes it a little bit harder to use the lapel for chokes or holding their arms in various guards.
With my first experience with a Lucky Gi, it was awesome. The original Lucky’s were tanks and built to last. I didn’t agree with the price of $250 they were charging and I got lucky (no pun intended) and found one cheaper than that so it made it that much better. I got lucky again and found this model way cheaper than what they were originally charging.
Where as the Bamboo Series feels sturdy structurally, I’m not sure why it’s a $280 gi. There really isn’t anything that stands out on this gi besides the softness of the bamboo fabric and the inside all over print. The quality is the same as most brands out today as well. Is the bamboo fabric and all over inside print really worth the extra $$$ they’re charging though?
I do believe it is a good kimono though for the price I paid. It’s on par with most companies product that is being released right now with the weight of the Jacket and pants, and the quality is about the same as well. If you can find one for the same price as I did then I would say go for it, other than that though I would pass on purchasing a Lucky at full retail on the sole purpose of I think it’s overpriced.
In my opinion, I think that Lucky should take note of the issues here and also I think they should also drop their prices because in today’s competitive gi market they’re way over priced. You can find the same quality and of similar fashion style for around $100 less than what they’re going for on their site. I will give it to Lucky Gi though, they are the innovators when it comes to certain things that are now showcased in the kimono market.
Lucky has built a hell of a reputation and have done a lot of awesome things for the sport and I’m sure they will disagree with me, they’re entitled to their opinion as am I, but as saturated as the gi market is there are just way too many options out there to be charging over $200 for a kimono.