A welding jacket is one of the most important supplies in your PPE arsenal. Choosing the best welding jacket is a critical step towards staying safe during welding.
Welding jackets protect the welder and their clothing from flying sparks and burns during welding. They are made from flame-resistant fabrics (often leather or cotton) to enable them to maintain their protective characteristic against daily exposure to intense heat, sparks, and molten metal.
Thin welding shirts may not provide adequate protection for all welding applications, and that’s you need a ruggedly made welding jacket.
You can refer to our welding shirts review if you want something for light welding or something to wear under your welding jacket.
Considering that different welding applications require different levels of protection, it is critical to consider various choices before you select the right protective jacket for your needs.
Now off we go!
A quick Comparison of the most Prominent Welding Jackets
Review of Best Welding Jackets
1. Lincoln Electric K2985-L- Best rated welding jacket
- PREMIUM FLAME RETARDANT (FR) FABRIC – The jacket is...
- SUPERIOR COMFORT – The lightweight FR material is...
- ADJUSTABLE CUFFS – Each cuff has chrome plated metal...
Lincoln Electric K2985-L is a one-in-all work jacket that rivals the QeeLink welding jacket below, but without the hefty price tag. The brand is a world leader in the PPE marketplace as far as welding safety is concerned.
The jacket is well-made for a professional welding workplace, and it is used daily by professionals. And as if that is not enough, the fabric includes machine washable flame retardant cotton, which not only prevents burns but also extinguishes fire.
Premium flame retardant fabric: Lincoln Electric K2985-L is made from 100% 9 oz. flame retardant cotton, which complies with ASTM D6413 standard for flame resistance of textiles. It is sewn using polyester thread for added longevity and to offer a comfortable protective solution for all your welding needs. Other added benefits include the anti-mildew and anti-static coating that ensures a longer life.
Lightweight design: This welding jacket from Lincoln is designed to be lightweight, and it is one of the best light welding jackets. It is ideal for low amperage welding, and it can handle everything from TIG to MIG, flux core welding, plasma cutting, and oxyfuel cutting.
The design is also highly breathable to allow for consistent airflow for superior comfort but without sacrificing protection.
Adjustable cuffs: This Lincoln Electric welding jacket comes with an adjustable cuffs design to provide a close and comfortable fit. The cuffs are fitted with nickel-plated buttons that you can snap to protect your wrists and forearms against welding heat and sparks. Additionally, the seams feature multiple-layer stitching to improve the durability of the jacket.
Machine washable fabric: One of the best features of this jacket is that it can be washed up to 50 times without losing its flame retardant properties. This construction ensures a longer service life than similar cheap models but without compromising quality. The jacket also features a flip-up, upright collar design to protect your neck from welding rays and flying sparks.
- Large inside pocket storing small items
- It allows free movements
- Lightweight and breathable design
- Maximum comfort
- Excellent durability
- It is slightly expensive than other cotton jackets like the Hobart 770569, but because of its durability, you’ll save more money in the end
- Best suited for low to medium amperage ranges, but it can be used for most welding applications
Lincoln Electric K2985-L can benefit any welder that wants superior comfort in a lightweight design. The jacket provides ultimate protection for various welding applications while helping you to increase productivity. However, for overhead and stick welding, consider a full leather jacket like the QeeLink Leather welding jacket.
2. QeeLink Leather Welding Work Jacket- Best leather
- SUPERIOR PROTECTION: Heat & Flame-Resistant heavy duty...
- MORE DURABLE: Sewn with heat resistance US Kevlar...
- 4 TOOL POCKETS: Large Inside pocket, Large Outside...
QeeLink is popularly known for its all-leather heavy-duty construction. It’s a great alternative to Leaseek and Jewboer leather welding jackets, and the best thing about it is that it is a great fit for both men and women.
QeeLink has done an amazing job of providing excellent features at a very competitive price, plus you’ll get so much for your money. The jacket will give you the much needed protection when welding, and it offers up to 30 kinds of use.
One key highlight is the extra sleeve length that offers protection to your forearms and hands from open flames. The jacket is a bit heavy than a typical leather jacket, but this is expected considering its purpose.
100% pure leather: This welding jacket is made of thick, heavy-duty split cowhide leather that makes it easy for you to work on any welding project worry-free. The full leather coverage will protect you from intense heat and sparks, and spatter produced when welding. The favorite bit is that it can remain fireproof all its life as it is built to last.
Durable stitching: The seams are sewn using US Kevlar thread, which is one of the strongest and heat resistant threads available. This thread does not melt when exposed to intense heat, so it is made for strength and durability. We also liked the idea of having heavy-duty and corrosion-resistant rivets in high-stress areas to ensure maximum protection and improved service life.
Convenient pockets: This QeeLink welding jacket is designed with four pockets for user convenience. They include two soapstone pockets on each sleeve for storing small work accessories, one inside pocket and one large outside pocket.
Strong buttons: The button closure design features strong metal buttons to protect your skin from the neck downwards. The buttons are also heat resistant to make your jacket safer. Besides, with this leather jacket, you can adjust the collar and cuffs to ensure a secure, comfortable fit and to prevent anything harmful from entering through the gaps.
Multi-purpose design: QeeLink welding jackets offer a blend of comfort, quality, and safety though this will come at a price. The jacket is not only for welding, but you can also use it for a range of unrelated home and work tasks. It is ideal for woodworking, manufacturing, blacksmithing, torch work, and a range of other uses.
- Ideal for men and women
- Not only for welding
- Free movement around any welding project
- The fit is great, and it feels great too
- Multiple sizes
- Hand wash only-it is easily deformed by water. You can, however, use a brush to clean it instead
- It can get a bit uncomfortable when working outdoors in the hot sun, but it is perfect for cold weather
The QeeLink leather welding jacket is perfect for overhead welding and those working in high-risk welding environment. It has all the features needed in a professional environment for a less painful work experience.
3. Lincoln Electric K3106-L- Best hybrid welding jacket
- DURABLE LEATHER SLEEVES– Made from high grade split...
- PREMIUM FLAME RETARDANT (FR) BODY – The jacket is...
- ADJUSTABLE CUFFS – Each cuff has chrome plated metal...
The Lincoln Electric K3106-L is one of the best flame retardant welding jackets you’ll find for the price. K3106-L major selling point is its hybrid design. The design offers protection against burn while providing ultimate breathability.
The cotton part keeps the jacket light and cool, while the leather sleeves offer increased protection to the arm, especially when welding in position. So, if you need a little extra arm protection but don’t want a full leather welding jacket, K3106-L is an excellent alternative.
Heavy-duty leather sleeves: Both sleeves are made from heavy-duty split leather to offer great protection from heat sparks and spatter. In addition, the leather sleeves allow for unrestricted arms movement while withstanding friction and heavy abrasion in high friction areas. This is amongst the main drawbacks of most cotton sleeved jackets.
Premium FR body: The body is made from 100% treated cotton to protect the welder in the event of an arc flash, sparks, spatter, molten metal, and other flying objects. You can count on this Lincoln Electric jacket to prevent or put out the fire while allowing you to move freely. And just like Lincoln Electric K2985-L, the fabric is coated with anti-mildew and anti-static material for added protection and longer life.
Adjustable cuffs and neck design: We can’t forget the flip-up collar that you can use to protect your neck from exposure to harmful arc rays, sparks and spatter. Also, each cuff is fitted with chrome-plated snaps that allow you to adjust the fitting to provide protection to your wrist and forearm. Additionally, the seams feature a multi-layer pattern to prevent them from coming apart hence increasing durability.
Excellent versatility: Electric K3106-L can be used in most welding process as well as other home tasks. Additionally, it features one large inside pocket that you can use to keep your phone or small tools and accessories. Further, its robust construction makes it ideal for heavy usage, and it is used by metal fabricators day-to-day.
- Great protection at a great price
- The sleeves are amazing
- It is lightweight and comfortable to wear
- It fits well and looks pretty good
- Easy to move around in it, and it also looks professional
- The cotton parts may get burned when welding out of position, but it is excellent if you’re welding in position
- The jacket may not be ideal for high amperage welding
- Lack of outer pockets may be a concern to some welders
This model is a go-to option for welders looking for a hybrid cotton and leather welding jacket. Lincoln Electric welding jackets are well designed, so there should be no worries when using the K3106-L welding jacket. Besides, its heavy-duty construction will offer ultimate protection, save you time and increase productivity.
4. BSX BX9C- Best lightweight
- Flame resistant welding jacket
- Black with red trim and flames
- Design for comfort and coolness
This is another all-cotton welding shirt that is worthy of Lincoln Electric K2985-L and other major brands. Its superpower lies in its comfort, coolness, durability, and lightweight construction. It is fitted with snap buttons all the way up, so you can finally concentrate while laying the bead without worrying if you’re going to get burned.
It has small pockets on the sleeves for holding small items such as soapstone to ensure you have everything you need with you. It also has two large pockets on the inside, but this may not be of much use considering that the jacket has to be buttoned when working.
Basically, it is a lightweight welding jacket that you can use both indoors and outdoors, and it is one best welding jackets for hot weather.
Features and benefits
Utmost safety: This cotton jacket meets all the safety standards in its highly visible black and red flames pattern. Its flame-resistant properties make it ideal for applications such as welding and soldering, plus it is designed for ultimate comfort and coolness. Also, it offers the right combination of protection and strength for most jobsite workers.
Extended collar design: Apart from the lightweight design that allows you to carry your jacket with ease, it offers an extended collar to offer full coverage to the neck area. The cuffs are also adjustable to offer a secure fit, and it is fitted with waist straps that can be adjusted as needed. Additionally, the jacket is roomy, and it fits with a welding shirt or even two layers beneath.
Great lightweight jacket: The jacket is made from lightweight flame-resistant cotton, making it is easy to put on and take off. It is a decent work jacket for general welding use and a good option for those working with a low budget. We also like that it holds up better than we expected while ensuring that you don’t heat up in the hot weather.
Extra-long sleeves: The sleeves are longer than most brands for extra protection of the wrists and forearms. While the body is still the most important component of the welding jacket, the focus has expanded to include long sleeves to protect your arms from high heat or open flames and enable you to work longer hours.
- Excellent snaps
- It is easy to clean and maintain
- It offers good breathability-it does not make you feel suffocated
- Also, it does not restrict body movements
- The design of the jacket is roomy but not baggy
- It might burn through when doing overhead stick welding
- The jacket might lose flame retardant treatment, but this is will depend on the level of usage
BSX BX9C is great for any welder who wants a light working jacket that offers protection around sparks and flames without paying the hefty amounts that comes with leather jackets. The material is heavy-duty, plus it fits well to give you a professional look.
5. Leaseek Leather Welding Jacket- Best heavy-duty
- 👍【PERFECT PROTECTION】Heat & Flame-Resistant...
- 👍【GREAT QUALITY】Stitched with strong US Kevlar...
- 👍【TOOL POCKETS】Soapstone pocket on each sleeve...
Although it is fairly new in the market, Leaseek has gained a lot of traction in the welding industry. As far as the fit is concerned, it covers your entire upper body to protect your neck and torso from molten metal sparks and spatter.
The jacket is heavy, and it can get hot in there, but this is easy to overlook if you need to keep your skin free from burns and injuries.
Leaseek major selling point is its open back design that is easy to put on and take off, so no worries when you need to act speedily. With most cotton jackets, as we saw earlier, they don’t offer adjustable configurations, so there is no comparison whatsoever.
Thick leather: Leaseek is entirely made from heat and flame resistant split cowhide leather to protect you from flames and spatter. It provides full coverage making the ideal off-position welding coat. The sleeves are long enough, and you can adjust the cuffs to prevent molten metal from entering as you weld overhead
Open back design: This jacket also has an open back that helps to keep you cool when things get hot or during summer. You have the option of removing the lower part when working on lighter duties, and this will definitely save your shirts, especially the sleeves and the shoulders.
This design keeps you cool while welding hot, and the best part is that you can attach the lower apron on cold days or when you need full-body protection.
Quality stitching: We can’t forget to mention its strong US Kevlar stitching, which is not only extra strong but also heat resistant. It supports high welding temperatures and spatters hardly leave a mark on it. The fitting is also stylish, and it does a great job of ensuring hot sparks don’t get through into your shirt. It is also fitted with soapstone pockets for storage purposes.
Multiple purposes: The jacket is not only intended to protect you from high heat and metal splatter, but you can also use it for other home tasks, including woodworking, blacksmithing, construction sites and more. However, it is not very breathable and can get uncomfortable, especially when you’re overdressed, but it will definitely stand up to some heavy usage.
- The open back helps a lot in hot weather
- All-leather construction
- It is great for overhead welding
- No burn through making it an excellent investment
- It works well for welding and a range of other uses
- Things can get pretty hot in summer, but the open back design helps with the situation
- Some users feel it runs small, but other than that, it is great
- It has a strong leather smell, but it goes away with time
Leaseek is the go-to option for professional or hobby welders looking for the best leather welding jacket that can stand daily abuse. Anyone working in a welding environment requires a nice, comfortable, and sturdy jacket to offer protection from welding hazards, and this jacket does just that.
6. Black Stallion BSX- Best for hot weather
- 9 oz. flame resistant cotton BSX welding jacket
- Welder's collar protects against sparks
- Extended length coverage
In terms of features, this Black Stallion jacket can go head to head with BSX BX9C. It has most of the features that BSX BX9C has to offer, from heavy-duty cotton construction, long sleeves, extended welder’s collar, among other features.
The material is light and breathable, so if you’re working in a hot environment, you’ll remain cool. The design is also machine washable. You can wash your coat using cold water and mild detergent and hung it dry. Avoid using a dryer to help your shirt remain effective for longer and to prevent the likelihood of shrinkage.
Premium materials: This Black Stallion is made from 9 oz. flame-resistant cotton to keep away molten metal and any debris. However, it lacks the durability of heavy leather jackets, so it is suited for lighter welding applications. But, it offers enough protection to keep you safe during welding, and it offers incredible value for the money.
Welder’s collar: The coat features a stand-up collar to offer extra protection to the neck, especially when not wearing a welding helmet. The stand-up design offers all-around protection against radiation, sparks, and flying debris. The collar is also adjustable to ensure it is neither too tight to make you feel uncomfortable or too loose to allow sparks down the neck.
Extended body coverage: This welding coat comes in extended length coverage to provide extra protection for your upper body and arms. The design also includes adjustable cuffs and waist straps to offer a more fitting look while guarding you against hot debris. Besides, it looks great, it is comfortable, and it has everything you need in a welding environment, making it the best welding jacket for the money.
Snap buttons: This Black Stallion welding jacket is fitted with snap-shut buttons, a design that makes it easy for you to put on and take off the jacket. The buttons also provide a secure way of preventing sparks from entering, plus they are also frame-resistant. It also has dual inside pockets and scribe pockets for storage.
- Quality construction
- It is modern looking
- It is lightweight and breathable
- It is machine washable
- Best for summer
- It may not offer adequate protection with some welding techniques, especially overhead welding
- Less durable, but it still gets the job done
Black Stallion BSX is great for welders on a tight budget but looking for exactly what is offered by a leather jacket. It is super comfortable and durable, so if you’re looking for a one-in-all welding jacket, then this jacket could be the one for you.
7. Jewboer Leather Welding Apron Jacket-Best welding apron
- 40.5" Welding Apron,Heavy duty cowhide split...
- Safe and effective high collar protection,The use of...
- Easy belt with socket design,Simple jack...
Jewboer leather welding apron is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to welding safety. The sleeves are long enough to protect your wrists, and it fits well also. We generally like the Jewboer’s comfortable fit, heavy-duty construction, its versatility, and the value of money it offers.
It also a great budget option making it ideal if you’re just starting out your welding journey and don’t want to spend a lot on a welding jacket. However, it is a heavy welding apron, so if you are working in a hot environment, you may want to consider something lighter like Black Stallion BSX.
Solid build: Jewboer designed this work apron using heavy-duty cowhide split leather to offer complete protection in any welding environment. Most welding aprons require you to get separate sleeves, but Jewboer comes with full sleeves, saving you the cost of buying sleeves separately. Additionally, it is built very ruggedly to meet the demands of even the most demanding users.
High collar protection: The use of a high collar is useful in offering adequate protection against welding rays and flying sparks. Unlike most welding aprons which have a collar ending below the neck, Jewboer offers full neck coverage for maximum protection from flying sparks debris.
It is also designed with a big pocket on the chest to store scribes and other small items. The pocket has a cover flap to prevent molten metal from entering while working.
Open back: One of its best features is the open back design, which helps ensure a cooler operation when compared to a complete leather jacket. Also, with its 40.5 inches length, it offers protection to the knee level, while the Velcro fastener and straps at the back make it easy to put on and take off.
Multi-purpose use: Jewboer is an ideal choice for welders, metal fabricators, carpenters, mechanics as well as gardening. It is a little heavier than all the jackets we have reviewed, but it offers better support and protection from heat and welding spatter.
The straps are fully adjustable, addressing the needs of individuals with larger bodies. The only drawback is that it might be challenging to get the straps together, but all in all, we highly recommend this apron.
- Great protection for all welding techniques, including stick welding
- It is made for comfort
- Thick leather, which means more protection
- Adjustable design
- Quite affordable
- Too warm in hot days
- It is also smelly, just like most leather items, but the leather is high quality
- It is heavy, so it might weigh you down during long working hours
Jewboer mainly attracts those looking for a heavy-duty work apron, and it is the best option when doing stick welding. Overhead and stick welding can be a dangerous undertaking without proper protection, but Jewboer will put all the fears behind while allowing deliver the best results.
8. Miller Electric 2241909-Best for beginners
- Closure Type: Snap Button
- Cuff Style: Fold-In Snaps
- Material: 88% Cotton, 12% Nylon
Miller Electric 2241909 is any welder’s dream. It is the best choice if you’re looking for more movement than a in leather jacket or apron. It looks like a normal jacket, so you can put it on as casual wear on any day. It provides users with a moderate level of protection, and the best thing is that it works well in both cold and hot environment.
It is also quite breathable, and it offers great neck protection. However, it is not ideal for heavy-duty work, so if you make a living from welding, consider a professional leather welding jacket such as QeeLink leather jacket or Jewboer welding apron.
Cotton/Nylon mix: Miller Electric 2241909 is 88% cotton and 12% flame treated nylon. This mixture is a good alternative for pure cotton fabric because it is lightweight, breathable, and stretchable and has low moisture absorbency rate. Welding jackets made from cotton and nylon are quite durable, and they offer the required level of protection, comfort, cost efficiency to the users.
Ease of use: This Miller Electric jacket features a premium construction that allows you to stay protected and cool during hot days. The Velcro neck helps ensure that you can adjust the collar to provide a more comfortable fitting while providing extra protection. The size is X-large, so it will provide a comfortable fit, especially if you are big-bodied or need to wear it on top of a welding shirt.
Enhanced features: Other features of Miller Electric 2241909 include the accessible inside pocket that you can use to store various items, five snap buttons, and fold-in sleeve snaps for extra protection. The fold-in snaps also prevent anything harmful from creeping up the sleeves. Additionally, the collar is designed to fit with any welding helmet, and the cuffs will fit well inside your welding gloves.
Reinforced stitching: Miller has a reputation for exceptional stitching for enhanced durability. The seams are joined together using quality stitching to ensure that they don’t reap or come apart easily. However, it will not take a beating compared to a leather jacket, but it is a really great work jacket.
- Great for the summer heat
- It is inexpensive
- It is pretty comfortable for a welding jacket
- Excellent workmanship
- No weird smell
- It is lightweight but very durable
- It may not deflect molten metal/heavy slag as much, but it will protect you from most weld splatter
- It is a very thin jacket
Miller Electric 2241909 is a great option for welders looking for a lighter welding jacket for welding or grinding to keep the sparks off their clothing. The jacket folds up very small, so you can take it with you on the road. So, if you’re looking for a protective jacket for occasional or recreational welding, this is the brand to go for.
9. Hobart 770569-Best for hobby
- 100% Cotton Welding Gear – Welding Jacket
- Flame Retardant
- Item Package Dimension: 14.5" L x 11.5" W x 0.9" H
Hobart 770569 is a slim-fitting and lightweight welding jacket that is perfect for summer welding. Leather jackets can be too heavy and might weigh you down from heat exhaustion. However, this jacket can be worn all day long, plus it comes with all essential features that make it more comfortable to wear.
One thing that we really liked about Hobart 770569 is that it is a multi-purpose jacket that is widely in most welding processes, metal fabrication, manufacturing, construction, and more. Further, it is easy to wash and maintain, and it retains flame resistance treatment for quite some time.
100% cotton: Hobart 770569 is made of 100% cotton, so it is lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. The full cotton construction provides superior skin protection for multiple welding positions while keeping you cool in the hot welding temperatures. The fabric also enhances body movement as compared to heavy-duty leather designs.
Heavy-duty snaps: Snaps a great alternative to buttons, and they are an essential part of a welding jacket. Hobart 770569 is fitted with strong snaps that play a significant role in holding and keeping your coat closed to prevent sparks and spatter from entering while improving the fit.
Excellent coverage: Hobart designed this jacket in such a way so as to offer full coverage to the upper body and improve movement. The jacket offers a loose fit than most brands on our list, which also helps ease movement. The stitching is also high-quality, and it should last for a long time, but it is not ideal for demanding and professional welding environments.
Long sleeves: Hobart 770569 is designed with long sleeves with adjustable wrist cuffs to offer a more secure fit. It is ideal for use in warm temperatures or when performing low amperage TIG or MIG welding, and you don’t want to deal with the extra weight of a leather jacket.
The good thing is that you can wear it on top of your welding shirt or ordinary clothing to provide a full range of protection depending on the task on hand or weather conditions.
- It is cool to wear in the summer
- It is also pretty light
- It offers a nice fit, and it does what it is purposed to do
- The jacket is quality built-feels sturdy
- Reliable protection for light welding tasks
- For occasional/ recreation welding
- It might permit little to no sparks while welding
- Limited neck protection, but you can always pair it with a helmet or cap that can cover your neck
Hobart 770569 is a great cotton coat for welding, grinding, cutting, and general shop use. It comes in a modern design to create fashionable, better-fitting protective clothing that is comfortable to wear.
10 Waylander Welding Jacket-Best flexible
- WAYLANDER FOR WELDING LEATHERS: Introducing the best...
- SPLIT LEATHER AND FLAME RESISTANT COTTON WELD JACKET:...
- LINED SLEEVES FOR EASE OF MOVEMENT: Flexible and...
This is another flexible jacket from Waylander that features a hybrid design to offer ultimate protection. We have included it in our list of top welding jackets because it is lightweight, durable and it provides a universal fit.
Additionally, the inner lining is pretty comfortable, but the leather parts are a bit stiff and might take a bit of time to break in completely. The pockets are interior, which is a great way of preventing pocketing sparks.
Apart from that, the cloth body makes this Waylander jacket more comfortable, and you’ll not have issues with heat or sparks.
Leather/cotton hybrid: Waylander features a sturdy leather and cotton construction to keep you safe from spatter and heat while keeping you cool in the hot welding environment. The manufacture has designed this jacket to be not only protective but also as comfortable as possible.
The body is made with heavy-duty and flame resistant cotton to keep you cool, while the shoulders and arms are made of split cowhide leather for maximum protection.
Lined sleeves: The sleeves are fitted with a lining to allow the jacket to conform to the shape of the body and to provide a more comfortable fit. It also allows you to move freely as you work while eliminating constrictions to enhances your productivity. Additionally, the leather sleeves are great for overhead welding, but you may want to consider a full leather if you do a lot of overhead welding.
Ultimate skin protection: Waylander is designed to provide maximum skin protection, and it does not leave anything to chance. The stand-up collar provides great neck protection, while the Velcro fastener allows for a more favorable fit. It also has snap buttons that ensure a safe closure to protect you from flying sparks and molten metal.
Convenience features: Waylander also designed this jacket with exceptional features for your safety and comfort. They include adjustable cuffs for a secure fit around your wrists and three interior pockets for added convenience. Besides, it is solidly built and has all the features you need in a great welder’s jacket.
- Breathability is excellent
- It is more flexible than regular leather jackets
- It fits nicely over a welding shirt
- It handles most of the sparks thrown at it
- The sleeves are a bit short, but this should not be an issue when paired with a good pair of welding gloves
- The collar is somewhat restrictive, but it should break in within no time
Waylander is excellent for welders looking for a high-end model, but it is also the best work jacket for beginners. Overall the materials are good, it seems well made, and it features quality stitching, especially in high stress.
Buyer’s Guide-How to choose the best welding jacket
Compromising safety for the sake of a cheaper welding jacket can result in decreased productivity, less protection, and increased downtime due to injuries.
Here are some of the factors to look for in a welding jacket;
Protective jackets come in various types and styles to suit different welding applications. They are made from various materials, but the most used materials are leather, flame-resistant cotton, or a combination of both.
Leather is by large the best material for personal protective equipment for welding. It is relatively thick, which prevents heat from penetrating, and also it is puncture and abrasion-resistant. Leather comes in different types and grades, including grain leather, split leather, and more. Typically, a leather jacket weighs more which can increase user fatigue. Additionally, its lack of breathability can pose a challenge in hot work environments, but it provides the best protection.
Cotton welding jackets are popular because the material is relatively lightweight, inexpensive, washable, and highly breathable. Often, FR cotton jackets are best suited for welding applications where spatter and sparks are relatively forgiving. However, they may not provide enough protection for applications that produce intense heat, sparks, and spatter.
Now, recognizing the durability and protective limitations of cotton as well as the heat stress and weight drawbacks of leather jackets, it is important to evaluate your welding needs before you make a choice.
Heat and flame resistance
The main purpose of a welding jacket is to offer resistance against heat, flames, and welding spatter. If you do a lot of overhead welding, then you’ll need the most resistant option out there. Also, stick welding tends to produce a lot of spatter, so you may want to consider a jacket that is entirely heat resistant or close to it.
But then again, if weight is a major concern or if you prefer to put on something that does not weigh you down, you can go with FR cotton. The jacket may not offer the same level of heat resistance, but it will still offer sufficient protection nonetheless.
Size of welding jacket
Generally, welding jackets come in a standard size, i.e., S, M, L, XL, but most offer a true-to-size fit. You may want to take the measurements of the bulkiest part of your chest to determine your right size. When taking the measurements, ensure that the tape measure fits snug but not too tight that it restricts your movements.
You may also want to take measurements for your belly, especially if you have a bigger-than-average belly. Once you get the correct measurements, you can compare them with the provided sizing chart to get the correct size for your protective jacket.
How long should a welding jacket last?
How long a welding jacket lasts will largely depend on the fabric and the level of use. A good leather jacket should last between 3-5 years, but lifespan may reduce if used on every workday. Also, the jackets are bound to lose heat and flame resistance properties with time, so you should expect to upgrade accordingly.
Welding jackets have evolved, and welders can now benefit from increased comfort, better designs, and durable products. While durability is a crucial consideration for welding jackets, manufacturers have expanded the focus to include fit, style, and comfort. Given the many options and forms available, choosing the best welding jacket can be challenging. Once you select a jacket style, you’ll often need to put it to the test for comfort, fit, durability, and performance. Additionally, welding applications will vary in the amount of protection required, so it is crucial to consider the set of tasks done most often and the welding environment when selecting the right protective jacket.