That said, compression pants, or BJJ spats as they're commonly known, are becoming increasingly popular. This is partly due to the added protection from the mat and what ever bacteria resides there, and also the theory that compression wear helps to improve muscle recovery.
Whether or not this is true isn’t going to be todays topic. Instead, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best BJJ spats and compression pants that you can find today.
We’ll cover a range of different prices and purposes. So whether you’re looking for a cheap pair to train in, or spats deemed IBJJF legal for competitions, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get to it.
Comparison of Our Top Picks
I get it,
Not everyone’s got the time (or wants) to read a whole article on compressions pants.
So below, we’ve got a quick comparison of our top picks.
Don’t worry though, we’ll go into more detail in just a second.
ENGAGE HIGHER LION
BEST IBJJF LEGAL
SANABUL BASE LAYER
Benefits of Wearing Spats
Prevent Mat Burn
If you’ve been training BJJ for a while, I’m sure you’re aware of how easy it is to get a mat burn or two, especially if you’re training No-Gi. Spats are a great way to prevent this form happening, especially considering that the knees are an extremely common place to get friction burns.
Protects Skin from Infection
Unfortunately, Martial Arts gyms tend to be a great place to pick up a number of different infections such as Ring Worm or Staph, which can become extremely serious if untreated. As such, wearing a long sleeve rash guard and tight pants are a fantastic way to protect your skin from sustaining such infections.
Help with Muscle Recovery
Lastly, compression wear is said to help your muscles recover.
To be honest, this is a hotly debated topic. That said, scientific research suggests that the compression from tight fitting sportswear can “increase in circulation and may help flush away some of the biochemical byproducts of hard workouts, like lactate, reducing inflammation and muscle aches”.
If you’re training on a regular basis and are feeling sore at the end of the day, this could be a good way to help your muscles recover before your next class.
List of the Best BJJ Spats & Compression Pants
Right them, let's take a closer look our top options.
Engage Higher Lion Compression Pants: Our Top Rated
First up we’ve got the pretty damn cool looking Higher Lion design by Engage Industries. If you’ve never heard of them before, they’re an innovative company based out of Australia, who are changing the game when it comes to fightwear.
Sponsoring UFC Champions and fighters such as Isreal Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski, Engage’s funky fresh designs have seen them become one of the most in demand names in the game.
Their Higher Lion compression pants for example, not only sports one of the coolest looking designs I’ve seen, but has the quality and technology to back it up.
For example, these BJJ tights feature moisture wicking fabric that helps to prevent sweat building up in the material. This in turn prevents them from building up any nasty smells, which I’m sure your rolling partner wont be too happy with.
In terms of quality, the Higher Lion spats tick all the right boxes. Such boxes included reinforced, flat lock stitching that helps to keep the compression pants together when rolling and sparring.
One of my favourite aspects of the Higher Lion’s is the silicone band that is laced around the waist band. This band helps to keep the pants in place, stopping them from either riding up or falling down whilst you’re on the mat. If you’ve ever worn a regular old pair of compression pants on the mat, you’ve probably realised how easy it is for them to fall down.
In terms of price, these are definitely on the higher end of things, costing around $99.95 at the time of writing. That said, if you’re looking to get long lasting, good looking spats for BJJ, then you really can’t go wrong with Engage.
Hypnotik Ranked Spats: Best IBJJF Legal BJJ Spats
Spats aren’t just for training, but for competing as well. That said, you can’t throw on any old pair and head down to the competition. For those new to competing in No-Gi BJJ, you’re attire must comply with the criteria set out by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation).
I won’t bore you with the details, but you can check out their criteria here.
With all this in mind, if you’re looking for gear to wear to your next competition, you can’t go wrong with the Ranked Spats from Hypnotik.
Available with either a white, blue, purple, brown or red trim (to reflect your current belt), these are suitable to any level BJJ competitor. What’s more, the sizes range from XS to 3XL, so it shouldn’t matter what weight class you compete in, you’ll be able to make use of the ranked spats.
As you would expect for competition-wear, these spats feature flat lock stitching (which as I mentioned earlier improve durability) are made from moisture wicking material and also feature antimicrobial technology.
For me however, the unbelievable aspect of these are the price. You can pick these up for less than $40 at the time of writing this. For a pair of high quality, competition legal spats, this is very rare and insane value for money.
Sanabul Mens Compression Base Layer for BJJ Vest Value
If you’ve ever stopped by our site before, you’ll know we’re big, big fans of Sanabul. While their gear isn’t the very best in terms of quality, it is the very best (in our opinion) in terms of value for money.
Sanabul have made the barrier to entry for good quality fightwear extremely low. This allows beginners to get a taste of what fightwear should really feel like and it’s difference to regular sportswear from big brands such as Nike.
Their BJJ Base Layer Leggings are no exception to this and cost a fraction of the price of some of the bigger brands out there.
Sanabul have made use of 4-way stretch material, allowing for a tight fit that doesn’t hinder the wearers mobility and flexibility. What’s more, all seems of the spats have been reinforced, which as I’ve mentioned before, is pretty much a necessity in fightwear, especially for grapplers.
While the chances are you’re going to be training indoors, they do feature SPF 50 UV protection. How useful this is to BJJ I don’t know, however if you do want to use them for outdoor activities, you’ll be safe in the sun.
Hawk Compression Pants
Up next we’ve got another extremely affordable pair of BJJ tights, this time from Hawk. Much like the Sanabul pants we just discussed, there compression pants feature UPF 50 protection, meaning that you can also use them for outdoor activities if you wish.
Don’t worry though, these aren’t a generic pair of compression pants that you can pick up from any sports store. Hawk have implemented a number of features any BJJ practitioner would look for in their spats.
These include reinforced flat lock stitching, breathable and fast drying material alongside LYCRA stretch panels that provide maximum amounts of flexibility to the wearer. What’s more, Hawk have made use of anti-microbial material that help to keep the spats hygienic and prevent the wearer from sustaining any infections.
HAWK also offer a lifetime warranty, meaning that if you’re spats are to break, or you’re to notice a defect in their construction, you can get them replaced free of charge.
For me, this is pretty awesome as very few companies in the fight game are willing to put their money where their mouth is and back their products with a life time warranty.
While HAWK may be a relatively unknown brand in the fight wear industry, their price and quality definitely make them one of the best BJJ spats you can pick up today.
Venum Giant Compression Pants
Whether it’s BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai or even boxing, Venum’s name is always going to be in the mix. They’re one of the first companies in the world to make gear specifically for MMA and have since branched out into other disciplines.
Their gear is usually expensive but high quality, which I’d say is pretty damn true of their Giant Compression Pants. Don’t let the name fool you though, these are available in extra-small all the way up to XXL, so they’re suitable for any one.
This particular pair are available in 8 different color variations, including; orange, yellow, red, white, grey, black, all yellow and all red.
Unlike some of the other options on the list, the Giant pants are designed to be as lightweight as possible, using a blend of 87% polyester and 13% spandex. This in turn makes them incredibly comfortable to train in.
As you would expect from a big name like Venum, their pants are built to an extremely high standard. As such, they possess features such as reinforced seems, dry tech technology and a durable elastic waist band, keeping them in place firmly throughout training.
While not the most expensive pair on our list of the best spats for BJJ, they’re definitely not what I’d call cheap either. That said, considering their quality and large range of color variations, they’re definitely a worthy purchase for any BJJ practitioner.
Raven Fightwear Water Element BJJ & MMA Spats
Up next we’ve got the Elemental series of spats from Raven Fightwear.
Raven Fightwear have always released gear with intricate designs, and have unsurprisingly garnered a reputation for being one of the best looking brands around.
Their Water Element Spats offer a lightweight and breathable fabric that both feels comfortable and helps to prevents the wearer from getting too hot.
This is also supplemented by the use of moisture wicking material that prevents sweat from soaking into the spats, which can cause them to smell after a single training session.
In terms of durability, Raven Fightwear have made use of flat lock stitching alongside 4-way stretch material.
This stretch material means that that the spats are extremely tear resistant and don’t effect the wearers flexibility, which is of course extremely important in BJJ.
Anthem Athletics HELO X Grappling Spats
The Anthem Athletics HELO X’s come in over 10 different design and color variations, which should mean you’ll be able to find a pair that matches the rest of your gear.
The graphics themselves are fully sublimated, meaning that they won’t run in the wash or start to peel off over time. This in term allows them to look fresh and new for longer.
One nice touch worth mentioning is Anthem Athletics 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to determine whether or not the spats are for you. If not, you can get your money back within the first 30-days.
In terms of construction, Anthem Athletics have opted for a multi-panel approach, using durable, flat lock stitching which hopefully you’re aware of now.
Elite Sports Advanced Grappling Spats
If you’re looking for a pair of cheap BJJ spats, then you really can’t go wrong with the Elite Grappling Spats from Elite Sports.
While somewhat basic in design, Elite sports let the quality and price tag do the talking. Being one of the cheapest options on our list, these grappling tights feature a surprising amount of features for their price tag.
For example, the bottom of each leg feature a rubber anti-slip band that prevents them from riding up when training. These are the only pair to possess this handy little feature on our list, which is pretty crazy considering they’re one of the cheapest.
Of course, all seems are reinforced, the graphics are sublimated (so they don’t run or peel) and they’re made from 4-way stretch materiel.
What’s more, Elite sports have implemented a Polyester/ Spandex blend to construct their pants, that provides moisture wicking properties alongside high levels of durability.
As I mentioned before, moisture wicking properties are crucial in preventing the spats from building up odor and stinking after only one class.
Another handy little feature is that these are machine washable, which can’t be said of all compression pants out there.
Combine all of this with the price tag, and you’ve got some of the best BJJ compression pants at any price level.
Hypnotik Flex Compression Pants
Up next, we’ve got another option from Hypnotik, this time designed for training purposes only as not all of the color schemes meet the IBJJF standard.
The material is made up for a 88% Polyester and 12% Spandex blend, which feels both comfortable an unrestrictive. They do feel a lot less tight than other options out there, which I am assuming is due to the fact they’re made up of less Spandex.
This material however is both moisture wicking, keeping you dry whilst training and features antimicrobial technology. Essentially, these tights are going to keep you dry, comfortable and protect you against bacteria whilst training on the mat.
In terms of design, they’re available in 5 different color variations; black, red, grey, white and blue. I would assume the designs that are the same color as the belts in BJJ would be acceptable for competitions, but I would highly recommend you double check.
If you are looking for IBJJF legal BJJ spats, I’d definitely suggest the ranked options from Hypnotik that we discussed earlier.
All in all these are some pretty great BJJ compression pants for an absolute bargain.
Roar MMA Compression Pants
Lastly we’ve got Roar MMA Compression Pants. To be honest, I’ve never personally tried these out before, however I’ve heard that they made to a more than satisfactory standard.
Plus, they look pretty cool so I thought I’d include them. One thing to be aware of is that they run a bit thin, so I’d recommend wearing a pair of shorts over the top just to keep a bit of modesty.
That said, these spats offer fantastic ventilation, thanks to their breathable fabric and allow plenty of dexterity and mobility in the lower body.
On top of all this, they’re extremely affordable and feature a number of good looking designs.
What to Look for When Buying Compression Pants for BJJ
If this is the first time you’re buying BJJ spats, it can be a little hard to know what features to look out for and what separates them from regular compression pants.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a small buyers guide that will highlight the different aspects to keep an eye out for when looking looking for the best compression pants for BJJ.
Material & Stitching
First and probably foremost is stitching and material. Unlike regular compression pants, BJJ spats will require additional reinforcement in the seems.
Most brands make use of flat lock stitching, which is incredibly durable and will help to prevent any tears to occur along the seems when you’re training or competing.
The other type of stitching you will most likely come across is “over lock” stitching. While this tends be slightly more durable, it can however be a bit more uncomfortable as the stitching type can sometimes run against the skin. This can often be fixed however with a pair of scissors and removing any thread that is irritating.
In terms of material, most companies will use a blend of Polyester and Nylon/ Spandex. This provides a good amount of flexibility and “stretchiness”, whilst ensuring the spats can with stand the demands of training and competing in BJJ.
I would highly recommend sticking with brands that specialise in creating sports wear for martial arts. As I just mentioned, regular sportswear brands are unlikely to create compression pants with reinforced seems and extra durability, simply because they don’t need to be so durable.
Whether you’re looking for a more-low ley pair, of looking to stand out on the mat, you should be able to find something that aligns with your style.
That said, when shopping around, make sure the compression pants aren’t ‘style over substance’ and are built to a sufficient quality.
Value for Money
Lastly, we’ve got value for money.
The price range for a pair of compression pants is pretty ridiculous.
For example, you can pick up a pair for as little as 20 bucks, or as much as $100.
What ever your budget, make sure you’re getting a decent amount of bang for your buck. You can do this by assessing the design and features they offer, and weigh this up against their price tag.
Best Brands of BJJ Compression Pants & Spats
Engage are by far one of the most farward thinking brands in the combat sports industry. They’re always tweaking their products and making adjustments based on customer and professional feedback. This results in an ever evolving and constantly improving line of products that are the best in the business. While their fightwear is undeniably expensive, it really is worth every cent.
There really isn’t anything bad to say about Hypnotik. What started out as an online retailer selling MMA brands has become a common site in BJJ and MMA gyms across the globe. Their gear is cheap, good quality and looks the part. They are one of the few brands that create BJJ spats specifically for competing, which shows just how in the game their head is.
Lastly we’ve got Venum. Love them or hate them, their gear is some of the most popular in the world. What I love about Venum is that they’re constantly releasing new gear, meaning that a lot of the time they have some form of sale on to clear out old stock. This in turn means you can pick up some absolute bargains from one of the best brands in the world.
BJJ Spats FAQ’s
Should I Wear Spats with Shorts?
This is really down to personal preference. Personally, I like to wear my spats under my shorts, but it’s down to you. If you’re not wearing a cup, you may be a bit ‘exposed”, if you catch my drift.
Can I Wash my Spats?
Some brands require hand-wash, some brands allow for their spats to be machine washed on cold. If you are to machine wash, I’d recommend washing them on the ‘delicate’ setting just to be safe. Also, I wouldn’t wash them on anything higher than 40 degrees.
How Much Should I Spend?
As I mentioned earlier, compression pants for BJJ can vary wildly in price. The good news is that you can pick up a very good pair for pretty cheap, so it’s down to you. Just make sure you do your research first if you are going to go for a cheaper pair, as they tend to be a bit hit and miss in terms of quality.
Can I Wear a Cup as well?
Yes, you definitely can and I’d definitely recommend doing so. Due to the ‘compression’ nature of spats, they tend to be very good at keeping the cup in place and protecting what it needs to protect.
Some brands have even incorporated a specific sleeve/ compartment for a cup, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Best BJJ Spats & Compression Pants: The Verdict
Ok, to finish off, lets round up what we deem to be the best BJJ spats.
Best Overall: Engage Higher Lion
While most expensive, they offer unmatched quality and features that very few other brands are able to compete with. What’s more, they sport an incredibly creative design that’s both eye catching yet not over the top.
Best for Competing: Hypnotik Ranked
There’s definitely a limited amount of options when it comes to IBJJF legal spats, however the Ranked Compression Pants by Hypnotik definitely take this one. They are incredibly affordbale, high quality and meet the IBJJF guidelines for competing.
Best Value: Sanabul Base Layer
Unsurprisingly, Sanabul offer the best value for money compression pants. They’ve got all the features and durability you’ll need, without the astronomical price tag.
Well, there you have it! Thanks for taking the time to check out our list of the best compression pants for BJJ.
If you’ve got any questions, or even any suggestions, please leave a comment in the section below!