I can say unequivocally, however, that at Joe Padilla’s insistence, the only obligation I have in this review is objectivity. As with anything, all I can offer is my honest opinion.
About The Company
Padilla And Sons is a small family operation in Long Beach, run primarily by Joe Padilla, who is a brown belt under Rigan Machado. This is a man who knows his kimonos.
They have made high quality BJJ gis for a while, beginning in 1999, and after a small break, Joe reopened the shop and has been cranking out excellent gis for about as low a price as you can find.
Padilla And Sons make four weights of gi:
Single Weave: All cotton, available in white only
Lightweight: All cotton, available in black, blue, and white.
Gold Weave: All cotton, available in black, blue, and white.
Hybrid: Canvas top with cotton pants, available in black only.
They also make board shorts, belts, and offer custom embroidery.
There is nothing pretentious at all about this gi. It’s solid. It’s clean. There are no patches at all, just two embroidered logos on the sleeves. It’s reinforced, durable.
It’s not flashy, it’s just a high quality gi.
Sizing and Weight
I’m 5’9” (175 cm), 180 lbs (82 kg). Joe sent me an A3, which was slightly big at first, but it shrank down perfectly. The website says the gold weave models shrink 2-3 inches, and I think that’s about right.
The website says the lightweight gi is 4.5 lbs, which is about what my uncalibrated scale indicated at home. This puts it, in my estimation, right in the middle of my gi lineup. It’s certainly not an ultra lightweight, but it’s not a Howard quadruple-weave, either.
The jacket, as mentioned, is completely devoid of patches or any adornment, aside from an embroidered single shark on the left sleeve, and an embroidered Padilla And Sons logo on the right.
Of course, I screwed that clean look right up by patching the crap out of it. ☺
Joe did send me some patches to apply as I felt appropriate, and I put a big “Padilla And Sons” patch on the back flap.
The collar is fairly wide, although not as thick as some others I’ve worn. Joe assures me that the collar is all cotton ply, no rubber molding. The collar is still tough, but it’s easier to manipulate as well, for stuff like lapel chokes.
The front has a reinforced seam for the arm connection and shoulder area.
On the back side, there’s reinforcement at the neck, but there are no seams in the central back, which is great for guard players.
There’s solid reinforcement all over the place – every external edge has canvas augmentation, which I’ve seen on heavier gis, but not lighter ones. The sleeves as well.
The sleeves are a little wider than some other gis, such as the Koral Mundial. This is great for stuff like Ezekiel chokes.
The jacket is decently heavy, but it breathes and moves well.
Overall, it feels exactly like what it is: durable, and reinforced.
Not surprisingly, there’s nothing to indicate who makes these pants aside from a small label up by the waist. So I slapped a couple patches on there as well. ☺
And not surprisingly, the pants feel tough and reinforced. The canvas-y material feels heavier than some other gi pants, which is typically where gi companies drop their weight. The nice part is that because they’re a little heavier, the Padilla pants have already withstood some pretty significant punishment with no problems whatsoever.
The crotch is wide and reinforced, which is good for those flexible guys out there. The cuffs are also reinforced like the sleeves.
The waistband is corded nylon, which seems to be the new thing. I do like it for its ease in getting the pants off when they’re soaked with sweat, but the nylon bunches and frays pretty easily. There’s nothing mechanically wrong with it, but it’s kind of unsightly.
There are two belt loops, pretty close together in the center of the waist, which is pretty similar to most other gi pants. No issues.
Cost And Customer Service
Padilla And Sons’ website lists this gi for $95. You will not find another gi of this quality for that price. Trust me, I’ve looked.
And Joe responds to all email requests personally. He took the time to make sure that his sizing would work for me, and that I got the right gi for what I was doing.
How It’s Fared So Far
I’ve had this gi for several months and worn it at countless practices, and a couple tournaments. It’s held up better than just about any other gi I own, aside from the drawstring fraying. There’s no discernible wear and tear at all. This thing is durable.
You can’t beat this gi for the cost. It’s as simple as that.
The one word I keep using is “reinforced.” This gi is fantastically strong and durable.
I love this gi as a practice gi, no questions asked. Because it’s 4.5 lbs, it’s tough for me to use for tournaments when I’m dropping weight, but for absolutes it’s awesome. For someone like me, who resides firmly right in between two weight classes, I honestly can’t recommend this gi if you’re cutting weight. If you can afford that extra pound or so, then definitely look at this gi.