Best BJJ Shorts For No-Gi Grappling & 1 To Avoid (2022) Bought & Tested!

October 13, 2022

Unlike other BJJ shorts reviews, you'll find on the internet, I've bought and tested every pair of shorts in this article. By tested, I mean going to BJJ class to drill and roll multiple times each week. Safe to say, this is an epic review of which BJJ shorts I found best. Further, I've listed shorts not to buy based on faults I did not like.

Header
XMartial BJJ Shorts

Best BJJ Shorts

Hayabusa Fight Icon BJJ Shorts

Best BJJ Shorts For Big Guys

Elite Sports Fight Shorts

Best Budget BJJ Shorts

Brand

Material

100% polyester

High tensile strength polyester

Microfiber polyester fabric

Length

Mid cut

Knee length

Knee length

Price

Best BJJ Grappling Shorts For No-Gi

XMartial has hit the holy trifecta, creating superbly comfortable, high-quality BJJ shorts with epic designs. These three don't usually come together within BJJ shorts. As BJJ practitioners, we love to express ourselves through cool gear designs.

But while the designs are awesome, the quality matches. Firstly, the material is comfortable and slightly stretchy, allowing ease of movement. And while they stretch, you can feel how well the stitching and material are put together where it's not going to rip.

Other shorts on this list can’t be pulled to the extreme like XMartial shorts can without tearing. Secondly, the shorts have an anti-slip waistband which is also stretchy. You can loosen or tighten the waistband with the Velcro strap.

Usually, I'm not a fan of the Velcro strap, but I haven't noticed it at all, which is a massive problem with the Fuji grappling shorts. And if you don't want Velcro on your shorts, XMartial has Velcroless options.

Thirdly, the stitching is extremely robust, and the legs have slits for freedom of movement. I drilled and rolled in the XMartial BJJ Shorts, which had no movement restrictions, and I didn't have to readjust them. Also, the shorts fit true to size as I am a large, and these fit me perfectly.

Finally, the shorts have inner stretch panels, which are essential for shorts to last a long time. Without these, you'll tear them after frequent use. Trust me on this. Almost every old pair of shorts I've exercised in that don't have inner thigh stretch panels has torn through the middle.

Overall, the value is excellent, and you can select from various designs to express your BJJ personality. If you want to learn more, you can see my full XMartial BJJ Shorts review which has more pictures and detail.

Pros:

  • Can withstand hard pulling without tearing.
  • High-quality reinforced stitching, so the shorts don't fall apart with use.
  • Anti-slip waistband that is stretchy.
  • Fit true to size.
  • Leg slits to allow complete freedom of movement.
  • Inner thigh stretch panels.
  • Designs you won’t find anywhere else.

Cons:

  • Honestly, I can't find any negatives with these shorts. The only thing that may put some buyers off is the length if you prefer longer BJJ shorts.

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XMartial BJJ Shorts

XMartial BJJ Shorts

Best BJJ Shorts

Best BJJ Shorts For Big Guys

Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts

Hayabusa Fight Icon Best BJJ Shorts

If you like the traditional BJJ board short look, then you’ll love the Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts. They are perfect for bigger guys as they have long leg slits allowing the shorts to be loose around the legs. But that's not all.

Firstly, the material is rigid. Some might see this as a negative and prefer stretchy material. However, large slits on each side of the shorts give you complete freedom of movement.

The rigid material feels high quality, and the stitching is robust. Trying to pull and tear the Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts is near impossible, so don't worry if you accidentally get them caught when rolling. With the slits on either side, that likely won't happen anyway.

They aren't your typical small slits. They run high to the top of the thighs, so don't make my mistake and go to class without wearing a form of tights underneath!

Secondly, they fit true to size. I'm a large, and these fit perfectly without tightening the waistband with the elastic drawstring. The drawstring isn’t loose either and doesn’t need to be tied. Just pull it to tighten. Thirdly, the waistband is stretchy and has anti-slip material on the inside.

I drilled and rolled in these and didn’t need to readjust them once. The length is excellent if you love longer shorts and doesn't pass the knees, so you don't feel restricted if shooting doubles. Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts have inner thigh stretch panels and reinforced stitching, as all good quality BJJ shorts should have.

In my experience, not having the inner thigh stretch panels shortens the life of your shorts dramatically. Reinforced stitching falls in the same category, with poor stitching unraveling after a few washes. You can read my full Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts review here.

Pros:

  • Can withstand hard pulling without tearing.
  • High-quality reinforced stitching so the shorts don't fall apart with use.
  • Anti-slip waistband, so they stay securely on your hips.
  • Fit true to size.
  • Large slits to allow complete freedom of movement.
  • Inner thigh stretch panels.

Cons:

  • The length may put some buyers off if you prefer mid-thigh-cut BJJ shorts.
  • Slits run very high, so you need to wear some form of tights or "sports" underwear.
Hayabusa Fight Icon BJJ Shorts

Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts

Best Knee Length BJJ Shorts

Best Budget BJJ Shorts

Elite Sports Fight Shorts

Elite Sports Fight Budget BJJ Shorts

I haven't been a big supporter of Elite Sports since I had their Gi that was so badly undersized that it was like wearing a size or two down, which had me pleasantly surprised with their Fight Shorts. Of all the BJJ shorts I bought, these are one of my favorites and well worth their price tag.

They run slightly shorter than the Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts but are very comfortable. The fabric is stretchy, and they sit perfectly around the waist and legs. They have inner thigh stretch panels to prevent tearing.

Further, the waistband is thick, which I love, and the shorts are made from 100% polyester, with some give when you pull them. The waistband is also stretchy, which I love for comfort reasons. The stitching is solid but not as high-quality as the Hayabusa Icon Fight Shorts.

I had total freedom of movement when training, especially with the slightly shorter length than knee-length shorts. Elite Sports Fight Shorts are a great choice if you like somewhat shorter shorts. You can read my full thoughts of these shorts in my Elite Sports Fight Shorts review with more detailed pictures.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality for budget BJJ shorts.
  • Thick and flexible waistband for comfort.
  • Inner thigh stretch panels.
  • Fit true to size.

Cons:

  • The only negative is the lack of design options.
Elite Sports Fight Shorts

Elite Sports Fight Shorts

Best Budget BJJ Shorts

Other BJJ Shorts Worth Mentioning

Gold BJJ Shorts

Gold BJJ Shorts

I have no complaints about the Gold BJJ Shorts. They are stretchy and lightweight and feel like soccer shorts when you wear them. The fabric is thin, so if you like thicker shorts, then I wouldn't opt for these.

Regarding the stretchy fabric, these stretch the most out of the BJJ shorts on this list. Interestingly, Gold BJJ Shorts are made from 100% polyester, like Elite Sports Fight Shorts. However, they feel night and day different.

Gold BJJ Shorts are much thinner and pliable. It’s like having an entire short made from inner thigh stretch material. The stitching is decent, but nothing compares to the Hayabusa shorts in this domain.

The waistband is comfortable and not as thick as the other shorts on this list. As mentioned, they feel like regular shorts you could walk around in. I drilled and rolled in these and had no issues.

I observed that if you have rough feet (it's a New Zealand thing walking around barefoot much of my life), the material of the shorts gets caught on the roughness when you put them on. Further, when rolling hard rounds, these shorts start to ride up and get stuck around the top of your leg. You need to constantly unravel them to their full length.

You can read my full Gold BJJ Shorts review here.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and stretchy.
  • Flexible waistband.

Cons:

  • Feel like they can tear easily as they are very thin.
  • Start to ride up your legs after hard rounds.
Gold BJJ Shorts For No-Gi

Gold BJJ Shorts

Sanabul Essential BJJ Shorts

Sanabul are well-known for their budget range of fight gear. But as a budget option, Elite Sports beats them by a long shot. However, they still make a great addition to your fight kit if you want to diversify your brands or shorts.

The reason you'd choose the Sanabul Essential BJJ Shorts over the Elite Sports Fight Shorts as your budget option is for the length. These are slightly longer, stopping slightly above the knee. The material is a little harsher, but they are comfortable.

The waistband is stiff and has a large Velcro hook and loop system which means you don’t feel prickly Velcro against your skin. Lastly, the shorts have high-quality reinforced stitching, so don't feel the budget price indicates the short’s quality.

I drilled and rolled an entire leg lock class with these, which involved a lot of sitting and inverting. The large Velcro hook and loop system would seem uncomfortable and get in the way. This wasn't the case, as I never noticed it.

Pros:

  • Excellent high-quality reinforced stitching.
  • Comfortable to wear.

Cons:

  • Stiff waistband.
Sanabul Essential BJJ No-Gi Shorts

Sanabul EssentialBJJ Shorts

BJJ Shorts NOT Worth Buying

Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts

Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts

Fuji does great BJJ mats. But when it comes to their shorts, I’m not a fan. Firstly, the material is very thin and feels like cheap board shorts. Some grapplers may like the light and thin fabric hence their mostly positive reviews.

However, the other main issues are the stiff Velcro strap, non-stretchy waistband, and they don't fit true to size. Starting with the Velcro, I wore these shorts home while getting ready for BJJ class.

It got to a point I was so uncomfortable from the Velcro digging into the bottom of my stomach that I had to change shorts before leaving. Now, this may have been due to the shorts not fitting true to size and feeling slightly too small.

But that’s an issue in its own right. If you choose to buy these shorts based on product reviews or the light material, make sure to size up. Lastly, my pet peeve with BJJ shorts is when the waistband isn't elastic.

Having shorts that can mold and flow with movement and your body is much more comfortable. Stiff waistbands make moving up and down weight classes frustrating. The stitching is something to be wary of too.

My brand new Fuji shorts have some stitching coming apart. This means after a few rolls and washes, I wouldn't be surprised to find a few more issues.

However, an excellent design with the Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts is the inner thigh stretch panels to prevent tearing. They also have stretch panels to fill the slits on each side of the leg.

How To Pick Your Next Pair Of BJJ Shorts

BJJ Shorts

Length

The length of your BJJ shorts is a personal preference. I prefer the mid-cut shorts as it feels like I have more freedom when rolling. Further, if the BJJ shorts aren't high quality, the material can get stuck to your leg.

Others may prefer the mid-thigh cut. There is no better cut of BJJ shorts than the other. Even though longer shorts may seem like they restrict movement, once you wear them, you’ll realize they give the same movement freedom as mid-thigh cuts.

Material          

It may seem the BJJ shorts material should be stretchy to allow ease of movement. This isn't always the case. Robust high-tensile polyester is my favorite as you know it will not rip when rolling. You feel more protected compared to a thin polyester/spandex mix. But you pay more for high-strength fabric as they last forever.

Waistband

I’m picky about the waistband with BJJ shorts. Stiff waistbands are typically a no-go for me, especially if you move around weight classes. Elastic waistbands are more comfortable and give you more freedom.

A unique feature higher quality shorts have is a silicone waistband that stops them from slipping as if your partner accidentally pulls on them.

Size

Most shorts fit true to size. I only had problems with one pair of BJJ shorts in the review. Be sure to read the product descriptions if they state anything about sizing up or down and take measurements using the company's size chart.

Design

Some BJJ enthusiasts like loud, wacky patterns on their BJJ clothing. Others like simple one-color designs. Then there are the in-betweeners who want a little pizzazz or their personality to shine through.

Whichever camp you fall in, an epic design or message can sway you to that product. However, consider the other essential factors like material, design, and fit before purchasing based solely on design.

Slits

When the material of the shorts is rigid, you want slits so you can easily move your legs. Some stretchy BJJ shorts have slits, but I don't like this feature. It feels like the shorts are easier to rip.

IBJJF Legal

The last thing to consider is if the shorts are IBJJF legal. Now, this only applies to anyone who competes in IBJJF tournaments. Here’s what you need to look for according to the IBJJJ ruleset:

  • Board shorts that are black, white, black & white, and/or the color of the belt rank.
  • No pockets.
  • No buttons.
  • No zippers or exposed drawstrings.
  • No plastic or metal.
  • Long enough to cover midway down the thigh but not past the knee.
  • Women have the same requirements, except you can wear skin-tight compression spats with the same color requirements.

Frequently Asked BJJ Shorts Questions

What Are BJJ Shorts Called?

BJJ shorts are commonly called no-gi or board shorts. They evolved from board shorts due to the many BJJ practitioners being surfers. They are designed to handle the rigors of grappling in case they get pulled or trapped when rolling where surfing board shorts may tear.

What Are No-Gi Shorts?

No-gi shorts are BJJ shorts. They are designed specifically for BJJ, so they have no pockets or zippers to protect your partner's fingers and skin.

How Long Should BJJ Shorts Be?

BJJ shorts can be anywhere from mid-thigh to slightly above knee length, according to IBJJF rules. The length you choose is a personal preference. Knee-length shorts may seem restrictive, but the unique slit design removes this barrier.

How Tight Should Grappling Shorts Be?

They should not be skin-tight unless you're wearing Vale Tudo shorts. Typically, tighter shorts are made from stretchy material, so you have freedom of movement. In contrast, rigid material shorts are looser around the legs.

How Should No-Gi Shorts Fit?

No-gi shorts should fit how your regular shorts do. Comfortable enough to let you do any movement necessary.

Summary

The best BJJ shorts must have high-quality stitching, inner thigh stretch panels, and a comfortable elastic waistband. The XMartial BJJ Shorts tick all these boxes and are my top pair of shorts for BJJ. Not to mention they have the widest range of epic designs!

Elite Sports is an excellent option if you're looking for BJJ shorts on a budget.

XMartial BJJ Shorts

XMartial BJJ Shorts

Best BJJ Shorts

About the author 

James de Lacey

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.


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