The Zero G is one of several (relatively) inexpensive BJJ gis from the UK, currently coming in at £57. I saw a lot of other people wearing the Zero G at Gracie Barra Birmingham, whereas I’d previously been a lot more familiar with Black Eagle, apparently the beginner gi of choice at the Roger Gracie Academy (at least when I was there).
The Zero G is light, comfortable and not too expensive. I’ve been rolling in it for a few months now, and I’ve been happy with the gi so far. The material doesn’t feel too stiff, and it isn’t overly abrasive on the inside. You also get a blue drawstring bag included in the price, which is a nice touch: naturally that has ‘Zero G’ in big letters down the side.
There are three main drawbacks: first, the cut is rather square, and despite some shrinking, I still find that the A2 jacket is a bit baggy, with the sleeves also a bit long for my liking (I’m 5’7 and 65kg). Secondly, I’m not too sure about the rope drawstring, which feels looser and less secure than the flattened cotton strip I’m used to.
However, having paid close attention to it during sparring, it didn’t come loose, and unlike the flattened strip, I wasn’t retying it several times during the lesson. It also seems to be less prone to the problem I have with all my other gi trousers, where one side of the strip (normally the right) gradually ends up much longer than the other, requiring some tiresome pulling and pushing to try and equalise the two lengths.
The third problem is that the Zero G is doused in patches, making me feel like a walking billboard. It isn’t much of a problem though, as to remove the patches is a simple matter. You can either use a seam-ripper (I think that’s what they’re called), or like me you can just use nail-scissors. Digging underneath a part of the patch, cut a few strands, until you can pull up an edge. That then enables you to methodically chop your way through the rest of the threads, which are now clear to see: most likely you’ll be able to rip it free at points, but I’d assume that is more risky.
I don’t like to spend a lot of money when I’m buying a gi, so £57 is about as much as I’m willing to fork out. For me (and I babble about this more in an article from a while back), it is a functional piece of equipment, not a fashion statement. Hence why I’m most likely going to be sticking with basic, cheap judogi (like the one from Black Eagle) and budget gis for the foreseeable future.
Having said that, I am tempted by the super lightweight ripstop gis, as that would ideal for the US training trip I’ve been wanting to make for some time now. Something like the new Grab and Pull should pack up tight, weigh little and dry fast, none of which is true of my other gis. The Fushida Mantis might fit the bill too (there’s a review of their impressive customer services here), though that only has ripstop trousers, so I’m not sure how quick the jacket dries. Howard was wearing one at RGA Wycombe, so I’ll check with him.
Speaking of Meerkatsu, Seymour has already done a very comprehensive review of the Zero G, which you can check out here. He compares it against several other similarly priced British brands, so if like me you don’t like to empty out your wallet for a load of cotton, Seymour tells you everything you need to know about buying a gi (also be sure to check out his excellent article on the topic).
To finish, here's a promotional video Tatami did for the gi, with BJJ School instructor Eamonn (who I had a chance to train with last year):