The drive home last night was one of the longest I’ve experienced. There was a box in my backseat and I felt like a kid on Christmas day, awaiting his parents to wake up and get their morning coffee in before opening gifts. Luckily, traffic was pretty decent so I got home in about an hour.
I walk in, say hello to my wife and catch up for about five minutes, but keep glancing over at my box like it’s a pretty girl I can’t take my eyes from. She knows my attention is split but she pretends not to notice. Eventually though, I cave.
I peel the cardboard back and pop open an end; the first thing I see is Pete Roberts’ signature in a thick plastic bag. Slide it out of the box and I’m greeted with a nice white Origin logo on a black background. The bag itself is put together well with hook and loop closures. I’m excited but I didn’t order a bag, so it gets opened quickly.
Inside are two more ziploc bags. The first contains my gi; the second, the rashguard. Bag 1 first: The gi top feels heavy in my hands, but the weave is supple. I love the small details, like the reinforcements inside the sleeves; the logos are subtle and clean – no over-dramatic patches. The collar is thick and made well. After a thorough examination, there are no loose threads anywhere. Turning the top inside-out, the seams are reinforced well and the logo on the sleeve is embroidered through the material – not like my current everyday gi, where the gym patch seems hastily sewn on. At first fit, it’s a touch long in the sleeves, but will easily shrink to a good fitment.
The pants are super lightweight with two drawsting sleeves, as opposed to the typical belt loops found on most kimonos. These are my first pair of ripstop pants, so they seem almost sheer compared to the black pair of cotton pants that I normally roll in. The drawstring itself is made out of a tough bungee material, thick in the fingers but not unworkable; the ends are cauterized so as not to fray in the wash. There is also some nice burnt orange stich-work around the hip-to-knee pads; again, it’s not flashy or gaudy, which I appreciate, but it has its own style. The pads themselves feel durable but not too thick. There are extra reinforcements at the crotch and leg openings. Turning the pants inside-out, I’m happy with the seams.
Box 2: The rashguard looks great and is the first I’ve worn with full sleeves. It’s tight but not uncomfortable. I like the length of it and don’t think it will be sliding out of the pants, especially with the extra elastic at the bottom hem. Inside-out, it’s more of the same: reinforced seams so as not to tear. This will probably become my everyday rashie as we’re unable to wear them during competition.
Overall, I’m very excited about this gi. I’m looking forward to see if the sleeves stretch out, if the fitment continues to improve and to guage durability. Check out the photos at the bottom to see the photos I shot this morning out of the box; keep in mind, they were taken on my camera phone.