Vulkan PRO Light Gi Review

2 02 2011

Vulkan PRO Light Gi Review


The Gi – Picking one Up

Starting off, Vulkan has become one of the more widely available gis in recent years. They are very easy to come by and most every major jiu-jitsu gear provider will carry them. I know for a fact that BudoVideos as well as Jiu-Jitsu Pro-Gear carry them nearly at all times. If all else fails, you can always order one directly from Vulkan on their website. Another great thing about Vulkan is that a lot of schools are also distributors of Vulkan gis and with some research, you could possibly find a school in your area that you can go and get one from. As for pricing, the Vulkan PRO Light gi will run in the mid to upper price range for a gi. The PRO Light generally runs $169.98 (BudoVideos) for the white but can go up as high as $189.98 (BudoVideos) for some of the other more vibrant colors that Vulkan offer. One of Vulkan’s greatest attributes is that it is readily available for purchase.

The Gi – Jacket

The Vulkan PRO Light top is one of the better tops I have had experience with. It is constructed of a honey comb weaved fabric. It also has a rubber insert in the lapel. This provides two very great things. One is that it makes the gi dry much faster than any other gi. The other is that it makes the gi extremely light. The gi weights are given as:

A0 – 2.6 lbs

A1 – 2.8 lbs

A2 – 3.0 lbs

A3 – 3.3 lbs

A4 – 3.8 lbs

A5 – 4.2 lbs

The top also has some of Vulkan’s patches strategically placed like most gis. The Vulkan PRO Light has patches on both shoulders, the front top lapel, and at the bottom of the top lapel. The patches are of good quality and are not embroidered on so if you truly wanted to, you could remove them and add other patches. The only one that I have ever seen taken off is the lapel patch to be replaced with another. Much like the Shoyoroll Batch #7 Golden State, or any Shoyoroll for that matter, Vulkan does a great job of not over patching their gis. Yet  the patches that are put on there are in great places as well as of great design.

Images of the details described are bellow.

The Vulkan PRO Light has one big flaw in it and it just so happens to be one of its best qualities: the rubber lapel. Though the rubber lapel is a great attribute that makes the gi very light and dry quicker than almost any other gi on the market, it does have a downside. If you like to through your gi in the drier, then you won’t like the following issue. If the gi is dried on medium to high heat, then the lapel, being rubber, will start to shrivel and wave. I have taken the term from the Hanes T-shirt commercial and dubbed this issue as “bacon collar” . The lapel will shrink up and become all scrunched up. This causes the skirt to pull up as well as the gi to not want to stay closed and fall out of the belt. The one great thing about this issue is that it is not a guarantee. It can be avoided if you simply tumble dry, air dry, or use very minimal heat on the gi to dry it out. However, should it occur, there is nothing you can do about it.

Some images of the dreaded “bacon collar” are detailed bellow.

Overall the Vulkan PRO Light gi jacket is one of the best on the market. I would give the jacket a 4.3 out of 5 stars. It is by far one of the lightest and quickest to dry due to the rubber lapel and honey comb weaved fabric. However, the possibility of “bacon collar” is always present and after it occurs, the gi, though still perfectly usable and great, just looses a little bit of its overall appeal.

The Gi – Pants

The Vulkan PRO Light gi pants are designed much like the top: to be light and durable.  The pants do have, for the most part, both of those qualities. They are extremely light and it is very easy to move in them. The draw string is of a more classic design to where it is more so just a piece of cotton string. Though these are very easy to tie and do the job quite well, once they get sweaty, they become very difficult to untie. As with the top, the pants also do have a patch that runs down the side of the thigh. The patch adds a bit of aesthetic appeal to what could be just basic, plain white pants. As for anything issues with the pants, the only one that I encountered is because they are so light, they do tend to wear out a little bit quicker than others. However, you can purchase just a pair of pants from Vulkan, and this makes that issue become less of a problem. Overall, the Vulkan pants are light and have some aesthetics to them. Other than that, they are your normal gi pants and are great for training and competing in. Overall I give the gi pants a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Gi – Overall Fit and Sum Up

As for the fit and sizing of the gi, the gi fits great. Again, I am 5’8″ about 190 to 195 lbs and I wear an A2. The gi does come pre-shrunk. However, you can still expect it to shrink just a tad if you wash it in warm water and dry it in the drier at all as it is 100% cotton. For future reference, never believe anyone if they tell you a gi won’t shrink at all even if it is pre-shrunk. Overall though, the gi did fit very close to within the Vulkan sizing chart. As long as you pay attention to the sizing chart, you will get a gi that fits you very nicely.

Overall, the Vulkan PRO Light gi is one of my favorite gis. I would say out of all the big brand companies that are always readily available, Vulkan would have to be towards the top of my list. The fit is great. The gi is lighter than an other gi out there and is pretty durable. However, it does have just a few flaws, the biggest being the “bacon collar” occurrence. Also, the PRO Light model, though the white version is shown, does come in several other color options including: White, Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, White with Blue Lapel and Pants, and even Purple for the ladies. Obviously only the white, black, and blue are IBJJF legal, but the other colors are a nice option to have as well. Overall, if I had to rank this gi, I would give it a 3.9 out of 5 stars. It is a great gi and I know people who stand by them, but the issues that comes along with it are hard to ignore. Though overall, a truly great gi.

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