What should you be looking for in protective clothing? The best welding jackets don’t only shield your skin and work attire from heat and flying pieces of hot metal but are also comfortable to wear.
When shopping for working coats, you may find that lower-end products offer a degree of protection, but they tend to be heavy and hot. If you own one of these low-quality jackets, you may find yourself preferring the risk of personal injury to sweaty discomfort. This is not worth the risk.
Finding the perfect blend of comfort, quality, and safety at an affordable price can be a challenge. To help you out, we’ve done extensive research on several products and their reviews. Continue reading to learn more.
|XL, Fits Chest Size: 50"||88% Cotton, 12% Nylon||1.5 pounds|
|X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large||9 oz. FR-treated brushed cotton||1.32 pounds|
|XXL, 11.7 x 9.9 x 1.3 inches||100% Cotton||1 pound|
|Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large||88% Cotton, 12% Nylon||N/A|
|Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large and XXX-Large||Leather||5.5 pounds|
|Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large and XXX-Large||Leather||3.11 pounds|
|S-5XL||9 oz. FR-treated brushed cotton||1.8 pounds|
Our Top 7 Safety Jackets Reviewed
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 12.4 x 1.2 inches
- Item model number: 2241909
- Size: X-Large
- Color: Navy Blue
- Material: Cotton, Nylon
The Miller Electric is a viable option if you have a limited budget and stick mostly to light welding-related jobs [Read Our Buyers Guide]. This jacket consists of 88% cotton and 12% nylon. As a result, this cloth welding jacket offers all the protection from sparks and flying pieces of molten metal.
Many reviewers noted that a prominent benefit of the Miller Electric welding jacket is that it is not restrictive at all and is comfortable to wear over regular clothes.
- Excellent value for money
- Lightweight and breathable
- Shields clothes and skin sufficiently
- Lacks durability
Black Stallion BSX AngelFire
- 9 oz. FR-treated brushed cotton
- Stand-up Welder’s collar for added protection
- Dual inside and scribe pockets
- Adjustable cuff and waist straps
- Available in sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large
The Black Stallion BSX AngelFire is a welding jacket for ladies with a feminine fit and adjustable straps at the cuffs and waist.
People who own AngelFire welding jackets like the breathability and comfort they provide. Some reviewers complained that the fit is too slim and that the sleeves are sometimes too short. At least you know the cloth welding jacket won’t get caught on protruding objects.
- Coats specifically developed for female welders
- Offers sufficient protection
- Lightweight and durable
- Sleeves may be too short
- May not fit comfortably over baggy clothes
Hobart Flame Retardant
- Weight: 1 pound
- Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 9.9 x 1.3 inches
- Item model number: 770568
- Size: 11.7 x 9.9 x 1.3 Inch
- Color: Black
- Material: Cotton
This coat is a 100% flame-retardant cotton welding jacket and is, therefore, lightweight and cool to wear during the hot summer months.
Reviewers generally like the Hobart’s comfortable fit, its versatility, and the value for money that it has to offer.
- Made from 100% cotton
- Doesn’t overheat in hot conditions
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Quality of the snaps can be improved
Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant
- 88% Cotton, 12% Nylon
- Machine Wash
- Mighty back bi swing between shoulders for instant recovery
- Features rain defender durable water repellent
- Flex elbow for less restriction
- Freedom gusset under the arms
- Stand-Up collar
The Carhartt shirt is made from 88% cotton and 12% nylon. It features a button-down collar, FR melamine buttons, two chest pockets, and a stylish appearance.
According to reviewers of the welding jackets, the Carhartt effectively repels odor and moisture, as well. They found the fit and the feel of the fabric comfortable in most working conditions.
- Fire resistant
- Comfortable fit
- A high-quality shirt that is durable
- Some welders may find the material too stiff
Lincoln Electric Heavy-Duty Leather
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Torso Length: 30 – 34″ (Based on Size)
- Item model number: K2989-XXL
- Size: XX-Large
- Color: Black/Red
- Material: Leather
The Lincoln Electric is a heavy-duty cowhide leather welding jacket with ergonomic leather sleeves and a breathable FR back.
According to several reviews, this coat offers everything the professional welder needs, including comfort, complete protection, and breathability.
- High-quality full leather jacket
- Features a spatter guard button liner
- Sufficient neck protection
- Suitable for industrial use
- The leather emits an unpleasant chemical smell for the first few weeks
- The jacket may be on the heavy side
Waylander Kevlar Stitched Cowhide
- Weight: 3.11 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 13.4 x 12.9 x 3.9 inches
- Size: M
- Color: Dark Brown
- Material: leather
The Waylander is made of A-grade cow leather and fire-retardant cotton. If a lightweight, breathable, comfortable fit is a priority for you, look no further than this high-quality product.
Welders who own the Waylander Kevlar were generally pleased with its versatility and the protection that it delivers.
- An effective blend of cotton and cowhide leather
- Lightweight and breathable
- Comfortable fit
- Collar tends to restrict neck movement
Black Stallion BSX Flame-Resistant Welding Jacket
- 9 oz. flame resistant cotton BSX welding jacket
- Welder’s collar protects against sparks
- Extended length coverage
- Dual inside and scribe pockets
- Adjustable cuff and waist straps
The Black Stallion BSX jacket is made from 9 oz. flame-resistant cotton and features neck protection and adjustable waist and cuff straps to ensure a personalized fit in the torso and sleeves.
Reviewers found the shirt to be breathable and suitable for welding in hot conditions. According to welders who have had the coat for a while, it offers enough skin and clothing protection.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Ample adjustability around the neck and wrists
- Offers complete protection against sparks and splatter
- Fit can be improved
- Not suitable for overhead or stick welding
What is a Welding Coat?
Welding jackets are essential items in your arsenal of personal protection equipment (PPE). During a welding job, your arms, torso, and neck are vulnerable to sparks, weld splatter, and heat. Since these products are made from fire-resistant and thermally insulating materials, your body and clothing are protected.
In industrial settings, agencies like OSHA require employers to issue their workers with personal protection equipment that includes welding jackets.
Protective coats are typically made from materials including leather, cotton, carbon fiber, denim, or rubber. A combination of aramid and rayon is also a popular fabric of construction.
The Importance of Wearing Protective Gear
Protective workwear is essential to minimize the risk of personal injuries and health issues.
During the welding process, a welding arc emits intense UV and IR radiation. Long-term exposure to these rays can result in a “sunburn” and increase your risk of skin cancer. Doing a welding job while wearing just a t-shirt is not a good idea.
Sparks and metal splatter can also burn your skin and, if you’re wearing regular clothes, the hot metal can burn the fabric into your skin. Your protective gear should, therefore, be entirely fire-resistant and thermally insulated.
There are several benefits to wearing protective equipment. Most importantly, you’ll protect your body from cuts, burns, and radiation.
When welding jackets entirely shield you and your clothes, you don’t have to worry about protecting yourself, and you can focus on the job at hand. Continuously keeping your face or body out of harm’s way can diminish your attention levels and lower your productivity.
PPE, such as welding jackets, can also protect you from injuries and health conditions that develop as the result of long-term exposure. Your skin may not feel sore after being exposed to a welding arc for an hour, but over many years, you may develop a severe skin condition.
Despite limiting the risk of injuries, there are some drawbacks to wearing protective gear. Discomfort is perhaps the most significant challenge when it comes to PPE. Thick jackets can limit movement and be a source of frustration.
The stiff fabric of welding coats and sleeves can inhibit your ability to do precision work or act quickly when there is a problem. For example, the restrictive fabric can prevent you from moving your arm out of harm’s way.
Most work environments are not well-ventilated or equipped with air conditioning. Protective clothing–welding jackets in particular–can be uncomfortable and tiring in hot conditions.
Since protective gear is crucial to ensuring your safety, you may want to find products that allow you to move freely and that have features to reduce heat.
Deciding on Welding Coat Material
As a rule, cotton is flammable, so if a jacket is made of cotton, the fabric’s structure should be chemically altered to ensure fire resistance.
Cotton is a popular fabric for protective coats as it is flexible and lightweight. This is ideal for sleeves on a welder who does intricate work and needs a quick reaction time. Also, it has a softer feel than materials like nylon and leather. Since cotton is not the most durable fabric, cotton welding wear is often made in combination with nylon fibers.
Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is stretchable, strong, and lightweight, making it suitable for use in protective gear. Chemically, nylon consists of chains of amide molecules. Nylon clothing is often machine-washable and has a low moisture absorbency.
Nylon jackets are typically incredibly durable and are not susceptible to tears and gashes. Welding jackets that are made from this fabric are often water-resistant, fire-retardant, and may even have zero porosity.
Leather is one of the most durable materials, and it exhibits the best thermal and fire resistance properties. Leather products can either be top grain or split grain; these are cutting and tanning methods used to ensure the protective jacket doesn’t irritate the wearer’s skin.
Usually, the leather is manufactured from cow or pig hides, but leather from deer and elk is not uncommon. Leather is often intermixed with cotton to increase flexibility in the welding jackets.
If manufacturers want their protective gear to stand out regarding strength and durability, they will often select cowhide as the primary fabric. Cowhide doesn’t crack as easily as other types of leather, and it also performs well when it comes to flexibility and breathability – key PPE features.
This type of leather is resistant to punctures, moisture, and heat, making it one of the most popular fabrics for welding protection.
Nylon / Kevlar
Like leather, the combination of nylon and Kevlar in protective welding jackets is excellent when it comes to preventing skin burns. Industrial and heavy-duty welding applications require extensive burn protection. For optimal protection and other features like flexibility and breathability, consider this distinct chemical composition.
Comfort VS Quality
How to Pick the Right Size Safety Jacket
Welding jackets come in standard sizes, including small, medium, and large. To find out which size is right for you, measure the size of the biggest part of your chest by wrapping a tape measure comfortably around your upper body.
Compare this measurement to the sizing chart on the product detail page of the welding jacket you are looking at to find your standard size. If your belly is larger than your chest, measure the distance around the biggest part of your stomach.
The tape should not be wrapped too tightly around your body, and you may want to do the measurements while wearing your regular work attire.
How Long Will My Welding Jacket Last?
The lifespan of your jacket depends on several factors, including its fabric type, quality, and wear and tear. A high-quality product that receives proper care will maintain its flame- and heat-resistance for anywhere from two years to a lifetime, even if you wear it regularly.
Consistent and unnecessary exposure to the elements, heat, moisture, and dust can reduce your welding jacket’s performance and lifespan.
What Type of Welding Will You Be Doing?
There are, in essence, four types of welding, including:
- A shielded metal arc that uses an electric current to form an electric arc between the stick and the metal
- Gas metal arc or metal inert gas (MIG) for industrial applications
- Flux cored arc, a semi-automatic arc type
- Gas tungsten arc or inert tungsten gas (TIG)
The welding-type also plays a role in determining the protection you need. With shielded metal arc, for example, you need sufficient arm protection (and so, more substantial sleeves); with flux cored arc, however, moveability and portability in construction projects are the priority. To find out more about the different types of welding processes, please see our [In Depth Guide].
What Climate Will You Be Working In?
Climate is a significant consideration when selecting a welding jacket. If you and your business operate in a cold climate, you don’t have to compromise the fabric thickness of your welding jackets. You get to keep full protection in body and sleeves without losing breathability or risking overheating.
However, if you work in a hot climate, you must find a high-end product that offers temperature control. The temperature restrictions make finding proper jacket protection more difficult to find.
When choosing welding jackets, never sacrifice fire-resistance for added comfort or movability. Protecting yourself from sparks, splatter, and the arc’s IR and UV rays is crucial when you are busy welding. The best options for fire protection are welding jackets made of a leather-base, preferably cowhide leather.
The thickness of the fabric is another consideration that depends on the climate of your location. If you live in a cold environment, you can get away with a thicker material. However, in warmer climates, you will have to find thinner fabric coats that offer the same level of protection.