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Just as important as your gloves, mask, and boots, if not more so than some, is your choice of welding jacket. It covers the largest surface area of your body and protects you from a whole lot of unwanted pain from everything from spatter, to slag, to arcs.
Even more so than your other protective equipment, a jacket has to be the best fit for you. It can’t be something that restricts your movement or even doesn’t work well in your natural climate. Today we’re going to take a look at a broad variety of jackets for all purposes, and see which ones come out on top.
In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice
Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather
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7 Best Welding Jackets - Reviews
1. Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket - Top Pick
This jacket is a keeper. It’s made primarily of flame retardant leather; heavy weight split cowhide on the front and sides that protects you from pretty much anything. It’s primarily designed to protect you from splatter and arcs even when doing out of position welds.
The back is instead a flame retardant cotton (ASTM D643 compliant) that improves air flow from the back, keeping you cool. Because of where I live this is one of my primary concerns, so it’s nice to see it on such an otherwise heavy duty jacket.
The buttons have a 3 layer splatter guard on them: leather, fabric, and Velcro working in tandem to make sure there are no gaps sparks can fly through. The neck can be velcroed tightly shut for similar protection beneath your mask or helmet. The cuffs similarly snap shut, this time with chrome snaps instead of Velcro.
Rounding things out is a nice internal pocket for storing stuff you need to keep on you safely.
2. Caiman 3029-5 Black Boarhide Welding Jacket
Another leather jacket, this time in boar hide, rather than cow hide. Pigskin provides all the protection of cow leather (and even a bit more) but with more flexibility and less weight, making it a great choice for welding jackets.
The overall construction of this jacket is great, It has a large, easy to reach interior pocket, and venting on the underarms and back to keep you cool when you need it, while not compromising the integrity of the jacket for either protection from splatter and arcs, or from the cold in colder climates.
This is also the only jacket her that even comes close to being stylish. Not my first choice, but if fashion is a concern for you I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear this straight off work to certain casual social events.
The only thing I really don’t like is the collar. It’s more of a standard jacket collar than the high, sealed collar most welding jackets provide, giving you a bit less protection. You could say it doesn’t matter with a proper mask that covers you that low, but it’s always good to have that little extra, especially on an area as sensitive to injury and pain as the throat.
3. Revco BSX BX9C Flame-Resistant Welding Coat
This is what I’d call an “infrequent welder jacket”. It’s good and cheap, but likely won’t stand up to long, repeated use or a lot of more intense overhead welding.
It’s made of a flame resistant (note: not retardant; it’s naturally fire resistant but is not chemically treated) cotton. This means it breathes well, and is great for working in very hot climates without melting in the heat. The collar comes all the way up to the neck and sleeves are lengthy, with metal snap cuffs for extra protection.
Of note, it has two interior pockets for a lot of storage if you need it, which combined with the other features makes it a decent shirt to wear to most job sites, not just welding. A lot of different jobs (like grinding) throw up a lot of sparks too, after all, so if you’re a multipurpose worker, this is still a good choice.
The Black Stallion jacket won’t win any awards, but it’s great for the price.
4. Waylander JC850 Leather Heat Fire Resistant Welding Jacket
High quality materials carry this jacket. It’s made of three primary materials: grade a cow leather, fire retardant cotton, and flame resistant Kevlar stitching, for a trifecta of fire resistance.
The interior is satin lined for extra comfort, and the primary construction is the cotton, making it a good jacket for regular use as well as welding, and helps you stay relatively cool in warmer weathers, with the leather reinforcing adding extra heat resistance on the sleeves and shoulders, where it’s most needed.
3 pockets to keep your stuff in gives you plenty of room for all your necessaries, and a Velcro collar protects your neck from errant sparks and keeps your chest closed as well.
It’s a great all purpose jacket you can wear in both hot and cold climates, on and off the job, and in most situations. It’s very versatile for the price.
5. Gotega Heat & Flame-Resistant Welding Coat
This jacket takes a novel “less is more” approach, being a hybrid between a jacket and an apron. It has full protection from the front, down to about mid-thigh or knees on most people, but is completely open in the back, held together by two easy straps and some Velcro.
This means it can be about half the price of a normal leather jacket, because it uses about half the material, for (in theory) no downside. It’s even naturally cool in the back (similar to our winner, Lincoln Electric’s jacket with the cotton back) without any need for fancy construction.
It’s got a good high collar that’s comfortable, though the sleeves are a bit baggy. The cowhide material is hard to argue with though, being everything you want: thick, durable, splatter resistant, and fire retardant.
The only real design flaw I’d say is the straps. They’re designed to easily go on, but they’re your standard thin cloth and plastic affair you’d find right at home in a department store’s shopping cart. They’re prone to wearing out quickly, bending or getting stuck in certain positions, and all around the weak link that holds this apron/jacket back.
6. Steiner 1260 Welding Jacket
It’s not pretty, but it’s a good setup for warmer climates. The center vest area is Weldlite 9.5 ounce Navy cotton, with cowhide leather sleeves.
I’m not too big a fan of the specific kind of leather here, mostly because it sheds a lot, making it kind of a pain compared to smoother leather.
Still it’s lightweight but has protection most of the places it counts. The one weird omission is leather on the sleeves…but not the shoulders, where it’s equally as needed in many cases. It also has an unfitted collar, meaning you might want something else to wear around your neck.
But the buttons are fitted right with good quality snaps (though no Velcro) and the sleeves are adjustable as well.
It’s not the best jacket out there, or even of this type, but it’s serviceable and perhaps most importantly, very cheap compared to other options with any leather components to them. A great intermediate jacket for a welder that needs mostly light protection, but may have occasional heavy splatter.
7. Miller Electric 2207775 Welding Jacket
This is about as basic as it gets, and as affordable as it gets too. I’ve bought t-shirts that cost more than this jacket, which is good because it’s the kind of jacket you’ll need to replace not too long after buying it.
It is 88% cotton, 12% nylon, making it a little stretchier and more breathable than regular cotton, but also a smidge less fire resistant. This is the kind of jacket you wear while you’re training to weld or if you weld pretty infrequently, because it will burn up pretty quick if you’re trying to weld in it every day.
There’s not too many features to mention, but it is a well designed jacket for what it is. It has a high collar, snug fit wrists, and an interior pocket to store all your must have stuff.
You could do a lot worse for the price, but if you’re looking for something to wear long term, you probably want to look elsewhere.
Our Top Choice
Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather
Lincoln Electric’s cow leather jacket is hands down the best, closely followed by Caiman’s boar hide. The leather construction just can’t be beat in either durability or protection, and both are breathable enough to make heat concerns moot. The only reason I’d buy a cotton jacket is if I was a very infrequent welder. Otherwise, shelling out the extra money for a long lasting jacket that won’t burn up is the right choice, at least to me.
If you are looking for reviews of other safety accessories like welding headgear.