Roots Carnivale Gi Review – A1L

Roots Carnivale Gi Review

We recently did an interview with the owner of Roots Brand Kimonos Mike Murphy to get to know the “roots” of the company and see what he’s about. (click here for the interview “Rollin’ With Roots”) We also have been looking at the Roots Brand kimonos since their introduction on the F16 Sherdog Forum last year. We finally got our hands on their second release, “The Carnivale”.

First Impressions

When I opened the package this is what was facing outwards of the clear Ziploc type bag the kimono was shipped in.

Roots Kimonos

That’s pretty cool, not many companies will do this. Most of the time you’ll get a sticker and a promo sheet for other items but hardly ever do you get a thank you letter for purchasing their product. It may be printed out but I still think it’s cool to do. Props to Mike for that

Roots Carnivale gi review

Pulling the gi out of the package and looking it I immediately noticed how the green stitching and accents really stand out on the white. I mean contrast stitching will stick out like a sore thumb on a white gi but this one really stood out for some reason.
I’ve been wanting a Roots brand kimono since their first release “The Tide” and was stoked to finally have one. Needless to say I was going to go over this gi with a fine tooth comb.

roots carnivale gi review

Jacket Details:

  • 550 Crystal Weave One Piece Jacket
  • EVA Foam Filled Collar
  • Drill Cotton Collar Cover
  • Mixed Cut for Competition and Everyday Training
  • White with Green Contrast Stitching
  • Yellow and Green Patches
  • SUPER SOFT!!!!!!
  • Heavy Reinforcement on the Seams

Design of Jacket:

Roots BrandNice stitching all the way throughout the gi, straight for the most part on the collar


Roots Brand Review

Simple design on the company tag (I ripped the size tag off though, was a little irritating)

RootsNice and clean design/layout for the gi. Patches in the right places

Roots BrandThe Roots Logo embroidered on the back below the collar and a Roots brand Patch on the lower skirt

Roots Brand ReviewCleanly embroidered Roots Logo on each sleeve

Roots BrandSmaller version of the shoulder patches/back skirt patch

Roots Brand ReviewCompany tag on the lapel

Roots CarnivaleFour rows of stitching and seam tape are reinforcing the bottom of the skirt. They weren’t messing around with reinforcements on this gi.

Roots Brand ReviewA better shot of the seam tape and reinforcement

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IMG_3510 copyStandard triangle reinforcement of the side split

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IMG_3501 copyThis is the only spot I could find of the crooked stitching on the collar. Basically none, it starts at the left of the picture and ends shortly in the middle.

IMG_3507 copyFour rows of stitching and seam tape are securing the sleeve cuff

IMG_3492 copy

This is the same seam tape as they’re reinforcing every seam with

Roots BrandCloser look at the Roots patch on the lower skirt

Roots Brand ReviewAs you can see here, the stitching from the inside tag shows on the other side and goes through the embroidered Roots logo. I asked Mike about this and he said he tried every thread and even clear thread didn’t look good and showed. This was the best solution in his opinion. roots carnivale gi review

Now this is where Roots Brand stands out in my opinion

Reinforcements out the wazoo!!!! I haven’t seen another company do a reinforcement like this and I’ve seen a ton of gi’s.

IMG_3508 copyThe reinforcement seam tape starts on the middle seam of the jacket and runs up the collar

IMG_3513 copyAnd through the sleeves all the way down to the cuffs.

IMG_3512 copyThe armpit reinforcement is stitched OVER the seam tape reinforcement. Great addition in my opinion

IMG_3514 copyCloser look

Jacket Overview:

This jacket was made incredibly well. They really paid attention to the details that make a difference and the comfort that can come with it. The jacket is super soft and is going against the trend of 450 Pearl weave jackets with a 550 Crystal Weave.
I like it. I like the construction. I like the details, the reinforcement, the style.
Bravo Roots….Bravo. You’ve really outdone yourselves.

Pants Details:

  • 10 Oz Drill Cotton Pants
  • Reinforced Knees
  • 6 loop Drawstring System
  • Chord Tie
  • Crystal Weave Gusset
  • Heavily Reinforced Seams

Design of Pants:


IMG_3482 copyAs stated above, white with green stitching and yellow/green patches

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IMG_3484 copySix Belt loops, three patches and one company tag

IMG_3485 copyThe belt loops are actually smaller in height. The chord knot barely fits through the hole and makes sure they don’t come out

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IMG_3488 copyUpside down triangle reinforces the side split

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Laid out you can see how far the knee pads go down, covers the knee area nicely

IMG_3494 copyInside out you can see the triple stitching reinforcing the inside seam

IMG_3493 copyNice knee pads…comfy.

IMG_3491 copyAn inside mouth guard/id pocket. I personally wouldn’t use the pocket for a mouth guard but I’m sure some of you will.

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IMG_3489 copyAnother great reinforcement. The butt area is reinforced by this circular canvas cloth.

IMG_3492 copyCuff Seam tape, four rows of stitching

IMG_3521 copyCrystal Weave gusset makes everything better!!!

Pants Overview

These pants are made extremely well and are a great fit. They’re super comfortable and don’t ride too high or too low. The belt loops are placed perfectly and are also a great length and do an amazing job of keeping the chord from coming out of them. A lot of pants have loops that are really long and the chord comes out and almost goes into the pants while in the wash.

Once again, great pants.

The Fit of the Carnivale


All pictures are after a few weeks of heavy use and rotation!!!

When I got this gi it was a little long on me in the Jacket so I threw it in the dryer for 30 minutes and this is how it now looks.

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IMG_3553 copy IMG_3555 copy IMG_3554 copy IMG_3551 copy

The Pants on the other hand were slightly longer than this and after a few weeks of use and cold wash/hang dry only they shrank about an inch or a little more.

IMG_3559 copy

Rolling Performance

This gi is ridiculously soft. If you remember my review for the Flow Kimonos Pro Series gi when I said

“The jacket was ridiculously soft….like the snuggles bear from the fabric softener commercial. That bears name is snuggles for a reason.”

Yeah….multiply that by a lot and you have how soft The Carnivale is. Stupid soft. Like I can’t actually describe how soft this freaking gi is. It’s soft for me and for my partners. I almost don’t wanna use it because it’s so comfortable for them they could take a nap with it.

It was a little stretchy at first while rolling though but after quite a few washes the weave has tightened up and it’s not as stretchy now. Still ridiculously soft though.

The grips are a little hard to break on the sleeves as I’m not used to having wider sleeves but it’s an adjustment I’m making and getting better at.

The collar is soft, thick, and slick. Easy to break that grip at first.

The pants were also a little stretchy at first but have tightened up as well. They do go about an inch longer after a few hard rolls but shrink back to size in the pictures after you wash.

Final Conclusions


If you get this gi on the pre-order it’s $110. If you don’t pre-order it the the price goes up to $144.99.

I’m gonna have to say you would be crazy not to get Roots brands next gi if the price is the same. This is an amazingly great quality gi and Mike really paid attention to a lot of detail and really outdid himself with this gi. I could see him getting HUGE if his releases stay this great of quality.

I would like to have a bit tighter of a cut though for competition, it’s what I’m used to and just a personal preference. I would still recommend this gi to anyone and everyone that asked my personal opinion on gi’s. So with that being said,


Roots Carnivale Gi Review