The holiday season is winding down and if you’re anything like me you’ve got your eyes peeled for new training gear to burn off the insane amount of pigs in blankets consumed on Christmas day. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to train throughout the pandemic because of the UKBJJA elite status and the good folk of Inner Chimp sent me a care package with a rash guard, belt and snood/face covering which I’ve been using frequently for the past few weeks and can now review.
I’m a big fan of the core values Matty/Jay have put into the brand. Sustainability and a low carbon footprint is the foundation… to the point they’ve favoured more expensive UK based production over lower cost overseas production because of the dubious labour involved. I’ll dig into the nitty gritty shortly, but if you fancy a good read and want some context into the brand name ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Steve Peters is a corker.
I’m somewhat of a rashguard connoisseur, but was surprised to see my wardrobe didn’t feature a single predominently white rashguard!
The chilled out laid back design was one I liked pretty much straight away. I tend to be that ‘glover-esc’ (minus the grappling skill) fella who’s nogi attire is random as hell… vs the tapout 500 skulls crew of old. It’s hard to standout in a crowded BJJ attire marketplace, but this rashguard actually grew on me the more I wore it. The fit does exactly what a rashguard should do and fitted tightly to my skin throughout, which may be a positive or negative for you depending on how chunky you’ve got over christmas. The other thing I measure my training gear by is its ability to deal with my lazy approach to the weekly wash/dry cycle. I abonded drying things on radiators long ago and always chuck my training gear in the tumble dryer despite instructions saying otherwise. I’ve had rashguards start to fray/bobble instantly in the past and occasionally notice some shrinkage, but 5-6 wash/dry cycles later it looks brand new!
Whether you like the design or not is going to be crux of whether or not you want to buy this, but from my testing I think £27.99 is a steal for durabilty I’ve experience so far.
When I was told I’d be getting a belt, I was actually expecting something to keep my Gi together, but was pleasantly surprised by what is now going to be everyday belt for work (when I transition back to wearing jeans for the office, instead of jogging bottoms for home working). The quality and finishing touches of the belt is what really stood out to me. It’s British Oakbark Leather and made in the UK, but also has a nice understated Inner Chimp logo which compliments the gold coloured buckle nicely. In addition to that as standard you can also get initals added, which I thought was a nice tough for anyone looking to purchase as a present for a loved one. This is pretty much the only BJJ related item I’ve seen that wouldn’t look out of place in an every day ‘muggle’ (none BJJ folk) office.
I’m 99% sure the first rashguard I ever bought was a Meerkatsu one, so when I saw Inner Chimp had partnered with Seymour for a collaboration I was pretty excited to review it. The coronavirus pandemic has meant face coverings have unfortunatley become part of every day life and I’ve been wearing this everywhere from the supermarket to public transport. It’s got the classic Meerkatsu monkey design and is easily multiple belt promotions above the face masks I’ve been wearing for months. I can actually breath now when covering my face in public and I’ve actually started wearing the snood/face covering when I go for a walk to keep the winter air off my face and cauliflour ears.
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