Very Hard To Submit
VHTS is a small brand from New York. From their about us page:
Each series of Kimono has been custom made at a limited number so as to give each kimono a unique and one of a kind feel. Just as armor was worn by knights to not only protect but also to represent their where they were from; we look to do the same with our line of kimonos.
This is exactly the sort of values that I care about, so the obvious dedication to their craft struck a chord with me. They currently sell 3 models of gis and some other clothing.
I emailed them before buying the gi to get some sizing recommendations and the contact was great. They answered my questions within hours and were very helpfull. I paid 130$ for the gi and 40$ for the shipping, so that’s 124€ which is the price for a good gi in France anyway. It arrived within 3 weeks or so with some free stickers and patches.
An older product description of the G2 explained how the design is based on the original Gundam Wing which is the second thing that completely won my heart over. A gi designed like an armor? Great. A gi designed after a freaking MOBILE SUIT ARMOR COMBAT ROBOT? Hell yeah! Plus I used to watch the anime as a kid.
Childhood memories aside, the design is really good. It has a quite sober appearance and the white stitches create subtil motives — but the whole design is carried by the 2 colored edgings along the collar. They look fantastic. The red and white create a strong contrast with the blue and because they run along the whole collar it makes you look taller.
I’d say the G2’s design is also conflicted. It has a rather minimalistic look, simple shapes, discrete stitches and sober patches… But god there are so many of those patches! I really wonder if they didn’t get carried away at some point and started frantically adding patches on an otherwise clean design.
One other thing is that the jacket and pants are not the same blue. It’s a bit odd and while it doesn’t bother me either it might look as if one of the 2 clothing was washed a bit too hard.
Wearing the armor
For starters, the G2 is easily the best cut I’ve ever worn, It just seems made for tall, lean body types. It’s really closer to wearing a suit than an armor, except not as comfortable. Actually not very comfortable. The 550g pearl weave of the jacket started rather soft but became a bit abbrasive after some washes. The gi is very stiff when it’s done drying but the stiffness fades away after some rolling.
Speaking of fading, the white stitches started to fade away with the first washes (cold washes, mind you). But instead of actualy disapearing — which would have been annoying — the white ink spread to the fibers around, making the blue less blue. It also shrunk a lot smaller over time. Clearly my biggest griefes with this gi.
Apart from the color, the stitches are well manufactured. The collar strikes a nice balance between being a hard grip for your opponent and not weighting a ton.
A training partner owns a VHTS G1 which also features 2 edgings along the collar. During a choke, a nail must have broken some stitches on one of the edgings and from then on it started to peel away. He was abble to stop it by seewing it again though, and I had zero issue like that.
i usually like cotton pants because they tend to be softer than ripstop but that is not the case with the G2. The pants feel nice, better than ripstop but not pijama grade either. The reinforced parts are just what you expect, almost unnoticable but providing the resistance you need. The leg cut is pretty good except for the waist gridth which is too wide. The draw string is also way too long but nice — I don’t enjoy wearing a 5cm thick rope around my waist when rolling, so the flat design is just what I want.
It’s hard to find gis for tall but thin guys like me and despite some shortcommings, the VHTS G2 is a good option. The jacket fits very well, the pants tend to be too large at the waist and too short at the legs, but still very wearable. The materials degrade harshly with the first washes before stabilizing at an OK state. The design is a tat bicephalous (hey, that’s New York) but remains the strength of the G2. You’ll definetely make an impression the first time you wear it.