Today I want to pay tribute to one of the most under-appreciated pieces of your jiu jitsu kit... the gear bag. Whether it's a backpack or a duffle bag - or even a combination of the two - having a reliable, well-constructed gear bag helps to keep you organized and prepared to get your train on.
Here at Fighters Market, we've seen all kinds of BJJ gear bags pass through our warehouse, so we've decided to review some of our favorites:
You know Kingz Kimonos as one of the most premier gi brands in the industry today, worn by some of the top competitors in the sport, including Leandro Lo and Kaynan Duarte. When they came out with their first edition of their convertible backpack back at the 2017 IBJJF European Championships, it sold out almost immediately. This year, they made that bag even better. Offering the same awesome features that made the first version so popular, the Convertible Backpack 2.0 is more durable and is now available in three different colorways: black, red, and hunter green. This bag definitely tops are list, and here's why: it has a ton of intelligently designed pockets for all your needs; it has a separate ventilated pocket to put your wet gear (which helps to prevent that "gi funk"); and it converts easily from an already spacious 48 liter volume backpack to a 72 liter volume duffle bag. Essentially, this gear bag is one of the most intelligently designed sports bags we've come across... like ever.
Fuji has always pretty much dominated the market when it comes to jiu jitsu gear bags. If memory serves, they might have actually been the first brand to offer their own kind of bag. Remember their duffle bags and backpacks made of actual gi jacket pearl weave material? Yeah. Super old school. Their most popular bags have always been their duffle bags, which they've upgraded from time to time and added new features. However, their Sports Grapple Pack has taken a totally different turn from their usual... and we dig it. Basically, this gear bag is the illegitimate love child between a duffle bag and a backpack. Designed to be carried backpack style, it has a very interesting duffle bag-style vertical zipper that allows for easy access to your gis and gear when you're at the academy. It also has a nifty side pocket for your laptop or tablet, and a bottom compartment for your shoes or sweaty gear after training and which can be folded and tucked away when not in use.
The first two gear bags on our list definitely have the "look" of a gear bag. Scramble Brand decided to go a different route with their Scramble Kimono Backpack, which has a more subtle look, ideal for commuting from your swanky job in the city to your academy after work. Although this bag has a smaller capacity than the Kingz Convertible Backpack and the Fuji Sports Grapple Pack - with room for a single gi and miscellaneous training gear - it's definitely far more stylish, with nice grey finish, A-symmetrical design features, and a unique kimono lapel-style flap, containing a hidden pocket. The padded back and shoulder straps with the security clasp also make it an incredibly comfortable bag, perfect for your long subway ride to class.
If you've been training long enough, you know the value of a good gear bag. We don't have to convince you of that. But what we can do is steer you in the right direction, toward a really great gear bag.
Train on... Oss.