Okay guys, I received my new Origin Pro Comp 2013 gi jacket today and I wanted to write a post for a quick review. Since there are probably a few reviews already floating around out there, like here and here, I won’t give you the regular rundown. What I do want though, is to give you my very first impressions of what I took out of the package and what I felt when I tried the jacket on.
Alright, I’ll start off with telling you that I stand at almost 6’3″ tall. I just weighed myself this morning and I’m exactly 180 pounds. So, as you can imagine, I haven’t exactly had the easiest time throughout my life finding clothes that actually fit. I think the biggest obstacle I’ve run into time and time again is that I’ve been forced to wear shirts that were designed for guys who either weigh much more than I do or who have much shorter arms. It’s always one or the other – short sleeves with a good length or vice versa. You can imagine my frustration during the winter months, as I continually try to stretch my sleeves or waist area just to cover my body.
When I was looking for a gi jacket (I already have tons of pants), I was looking for a few things. First, I wanted to solve the issue I’ve been having with my Koral gi jackets. I either screwed them up myself by putting them in the dryer a long time ago – or the person who owned the gis before me did. Either way, somehow, when the rubber in the collar was heated up, it shrunk and ended up curling. This not only shortened the collar length for a tall guy, it also made things very cumbersome to deal with. For me, having to continuously tuck the jacket in during class is one of the most annoying aspects of Jiu-Jitsu.
The Koral gi jacket and pants I currently own are size A4. Like I mentioned above when I talked about sizing for the clothes I wear, the jackets are way too big and way too short. The chest area mainly – it’s as baggy as all get out. Also, and I’m not sure if this is caused by the odd fitting jackets, but when I lift my arms, it again comes untucked. Bowing out of class always takes a few extra seconds because everyone’s got to wait for Jay over in the corner to get himself situated. I don’t even want to talk about rolling. You get the idea.
I don’t know if it’s the water at my house or if it’s the material the Koral gi jacket is made of, but after I wash one, I let it hang dry. When it’s dried, I can take it off its hook and stand it on the ground like a briefcase. It’s that stiff. Don’t ask me why – this has been happening since I purchased these gis and I’ve lived in two states since – with very different water.
I think that’s it. I covered what I didn’t want to find in my next gi jacket and now I’ll describe my very first interaction with my new Origin one.
Origin was recommended to me by a friend. He does a lot of research online and I trust his judgement. When he sent over a link, I took things seriously. I think his exact words were, “These guys are probably the best, but a bit pricey.” Being in the situation I’m in, I’d just about look at anything that offers more than the regular size A4 that I’ve been wearing for years upon years. I can’t even express to you the joy I felt when I saw something that read, “A3 Tall” in Origin’s sizing options. “You mean – you mean these guys recognize that there are people out there who train – who are taller and thinner than the average American?” I couldn’t believe it. I think the jacket was $125. Whatever – I ordered it.
When I opened the plastic bag the jacket arrived in, I pulled out a brochure that talked about Origin’s gi styles. They have the Swivel-loc for the pants and the cowboy-cut for their pants and jacket. I gave things and once over, pulled the jacket out of the bag and threw it on.
I think my jaw hit the ground. I’ll tell you that I haven’t tried on many a gi, so I probably have been suffering needlessly through the years, but when I slid this jacket over my shoulders, I immediately noticed three things – the weight, the texture and the fit. I’m not one for aesthetics, so the patches and embroidery weren’t as much of a big deal for me.
The jacket is much lighter than my Koral jackets. I know these things come in varying weights and thicknesses, but I’ll tell you, I’ve yet to see anyone who’s ripped a gi jacket. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has, but as far as the guys I’ve trained with, I haven’t heard of it. And with the temperatures I’m training at these days, the lighter, the better. I’m very happy to see that this jacket is light.
It’s also soft. I can’t imagine washing this one and having it stand on its own after it dries. I don’t want to be a jerk and beat up on Koral or anything, and this is most likely something I’m doing wrong, but to me, soft means comfortable. A few rolling sessions will really tell the story, so I’ll write more after that happens.
The big deal here – the REALLY big deal here is the fit of this thing. I can’t believe it.
I think it’s the cowboy-cut, I’m not sure. But when I lift my arms while wearing this jacket, the collar doesn’t move at all. There’s absolutely no pulling from the belt area, which translates into nowhere near as much tucking back in. I’m not sure I can express my pleasure with this. It was unexpected. There’s plenty of room under the arms and the range of movement is amazing. And I don’t use the word amazing very often.
The A3 Tall fits well. I’ll take pictures of my wearing the top when I’m at the gym, but I’ll tell you that the unwashed sleeves go all the way to my wrists and the bottom goes a good six inches past my belt. Also, the chest is just perfect with no extra material to flap around when I’m in a heated rolling situation. I can’t wait to try this thing out on the mat.
I’m most likely forgetting something. If I discover I am, I’ll simply update this post. In the meantime, I’m going to upload some pictures below. Check them out. I tried to take a few close ups, so you can see a bit of detail. I also took a few of the embroidery and patches. I know a lot of guys are into that. Enjoy, and thank you Origin. Good stuff.
PS – I couldn’t find any instructions on how to care for this gi, besides the “Wash Cold, Hang Dry” information on the tag, so I did a little looking around online. I found a really good post over at SteveBJJ called, “Washing the BJJ Gi.” Give it a read. Steve informed me why my gi jackets can stand up by themselves.