Traditional or tournament cut?
The traditional karate Gi cut has full-length sleeves and legs, quite commonly rolled up a couple of times. A tournament cut has shorter sleeves and pant legs.
The traditional cut is a safer investment as you can let it shrink over 10 or so washes, then shorten the sleeves and legs if they are still too long. A tournament cut might fit well when you first buy it but you could find it’s too short when it shrinks!
What length of jacket?
The World Karate Federation tournament rules state a maximum jacket length of ¾ of the thigh length – and at this length, they look awesome! With shrinkage the length will decrease by up to 5-10% quite quickly. The main reason people replace uniforms is because they shrink to the point where the jackets are too short and look silly.
Sapius uniforms have distinctively long jackets. They may appear very long when brand new, but once they shrink under normal usage they will settle to a good-looking length. This means they will look better, for longer!
Elastic or drawstring pants?
Lightweight karate Gi tend to have an elastic waitband and are easier for kids to use. Drawstring pants have no elastic, using a string of canvas to bunch them tight at the back and secure them at the front. All heavyweight karate Gi have drawstring pants as the material weight is unsuitable to use with an elastic waistband. Once you know how to properly wear your karate gi, drawstring pants will hold better than elastic with less pressure across the stomach.
Sapius Ignite uniforms have elastic pants and Sapius Incarnate have drawstring pants. Both are a traditional cut with long jackets, designed to be ¾ of thigh length throughout the life of the uniform and catering for shrinkage.