Vulkan Fight Company, established in Brazil in 2002, caters primarily to the Jiu-Jitsu and MMA market with its variety of light weight Jiu Jitsu uniforms. Vulkan touts its “Ultra-Light” model in fact, as “the lightest gi Jiu-Jitsu has ever seen”. A step above the Ultra-Light is Vulkan’s flagship model, the “Pro-Light” which is probably its most popular selling gi on the market today.
Full Vulkan Pro Light Gi Review
Comfort and Fit
The Pro-Light is made of honey comb weaved fabric which unlike other single, double, gold, pearl, or other weaves, is pretty unique to the Vulkan brand and is used in the majority of their Gis. This fabric is able to reduce the weight of the Gi while also keeping it soft, supple, and durable. I’ve heard wearers note it’s so soft you could almost sleep in it which isn’t that much of a stretch.
Pro-Lights weight anywhere from approximately 2.6 lbs for a A0, to 4.2 lbs for an A5 which is very light. For those having to weigh in with their gi on for a competition, this is a huge benefit. The jacket has plenty of room in the upper body area while fitting comfortably and closely to the body; a positive for those who may have more stocky or muscular builds. Although advised as a “competition gi”, this combination of lightness, fit, and breathability makes it a great gi for hot summer days in the gym.
The collars are made of rubber and could be described as having a medium stiffness to them despite not being as thick as other competition Gis. Generally the stiffer the collar, the better it is for preventing against chokes and gripping by your opponent. This comes at a cost though due to comfort for the wearer. While the Pro-Light’s collars are not as stiff as some other high quality brands, they are still stiff enough to hold their shape while providing some flexibility which is a nice benefit in the comfort department. The sleeves on the jacket stay pretty close to the arms and aren’t very loose. They also provide plenty of mobility while not hanging down like wizard sleeves. As with the jacket, the pants too are very light weight. They are pretty standard cotton Gi pants and are nothing revolutionary when compared to the weight of the jacket.
The biggest knock you will find against the Pro-Light is the stretchiness of the sleeves when they become damp or wet. This is often an issue you will hear about with Vulkan’s Ultra-Light Gi, but the problem isn’t nearly as bad with the Pro-Light despite it being there. That said, it can become a challenge to break your opponent’s grip when the Gi is damp or wet. This is likely a byproduct of being light weight, where stiffness is exchanged for flexibility and comfort. Some will either love or hate the tradeoff in that department. Chances are you will encounter this with most light weight Gis regardless. The good news is being light the jacket dries fast after training or washing, so it shouldn’t be damp for long.
The pants come with the very traditional non stretch shoe lace style drawstring tied in the front. Although it would have been nice to have an elastic style drawstring or even an elastic cord style with some stretch to it, the draw string on the pants do well enough to keep the pants from falling off and there is plenty of cord to tie in the front.
The two belt loops are double stitched on to prevent them from ripping off. It would have also been nice if the pants featured an extra layer of fabric around the knees for some padding which some brands do, but this is probably the cost of keeping them lightweight. The pants when damp or wet suffer a bit from some stretchiness as well, but being that they are pretty standard pants, it’s nothing out of the norm. They should keep up with the normal wear and tear of most comparable major brands as well.
Stitching all around the Gi is high quality. The ends on the sleeves and pants are double stitched and sturdy, but still very light compared to other Gis. The arm pit and lower side slit areas of the jacket are reinforced with double stitching which helps prevent against rips and tears. The patches are sewn on tight to the jacket and pants and shouldn’t fall off anytime soon through constant wear and tear.
The Pro-Light is already pre-shrunken, so worries about constant washings can be alleviated. I washed the Gi in both hot and cold water followed by drying in both low and high heat several times to test shrinkage and observed little to no shrinkage. For some who like to shrink their Gi to a custom fit this may be a problem. For others with a perfect fit straight out of the box they’ll have no problems. No issues were observed with the rubber inside the lapels warping, stiffening up, or crimping through washing either. That said, Vulkan advises the Gi should be washed in cold water and preferably air dried.
The Vulkan Pro Light is a one piece design kimono which comes in the IBJJF competition approved colors of white (shown here), blue, and black. Vulkan also sells a white version of the Pro Light that has blue lapels and blue pants that is NOT competition approved. All of the above colors feature a slick black rectangular patch with Vulkan’s company logo over the left chest and vertically down the shoulders and one down the right hip.
The bottom of the shoulder patches and hip patch are topped off with flags from all the major countries associated with jiu-jitsu (USA, EU, Japan, Brazil) and its evolution which is a nice touch. The patches on the Pro Light are just enough to stand out from the crowd and be fashionable while not being too over the top. No back patch is featured either which is a benefit for those constantly working off of their backs. The actual design of the Gi is pretty basic and sticks to the tried and true kimono design with one horizontal stitching fold over the center chest.
If the stretch issues of the sleeves are the biggest negative of this Gi, than the cost would be a close second. While you will be hard pressed to find a lighter kimono than the Vulkan, it does come at a cost. The Pro Light retails for around $170.00 (at this time of the review). But, depending on size, you can generally find it cheaper; anywhere from as low as $110.00 to about $140-160.00 for the more common sizes such as A1 and A2. If you do, I’d snatch one up for cheaper since you can’t really go wrong with it.
Although it’s not the most expensive competition Gi when compared to other brands such as Koral and Keiko Raca, it is on the pricier side compared to other competitors like Fuji. This is a bit disappointing considering the Gi is very light weight which you’d think would reduce the cost some.
Overall, the Vulkan Pro-Light’s combination of lightweight honey comb weaved fabric body and sleek, but medium stiffness rubber lapel effectively meld speed and comfort with toughness for the competition minded jiu-jitsu practitioner. And the lightness further lends to quick drying after long hard training sessions in the gym. While the light weight is the main selling point, it can be offset by the relatively higher purchasing cost. And stretching issues with the sleeves when they are overly damp or wet are cited as a frequent concern (due to light weight). Some will either love or hate the tradeoff in that department. Despite its cons though, this Gi has more than enough positives that it should be on anyone’s gear radar and why it’s considered one of the best competition BJJ Gis on the market.
Pros & Cons
Vulkan Gis are touted by the company as the “lightest Gi in the market today.” As one of Vulkan’s top selling Gis, the Pro-Light does indeed fit the bill as a super lightweight competition Gi; utilizing Vulkan’s unique honey comb weaved fabric with an equally light, but durable rubber lapel which holds up to the rigors of the toughest training sessions and competitions. The light weight further lends to quick drying. While the weight is the main selling point, it can be offset by the relatively higher purchasing cost. And stretching issues with the sleeves when they are overly damp or wet are cited as a frequent concern (due to light weight). Some will either love or hate the tradeoff in that department. Despite its cons though, this Gi has more than enough positives that it should be on anyone’s gear radar and why it’s considered one of the best competition BJJ Gis on the market.
- Light Weight
- Comfort, soft and supple fabric
- Multiple colors to choose from and unique patch designs
- Collar is stiff, but not constricting
- Sleeves tend to stretch when the Gi is damp or wet
- High Cost
- Doesn’t shrink in the wash, so need to find a true fit when first buying
Jhullian purchased this Venum Pro Ligh Gi himself for the full price. This did not influence the outcome of this review.