The Best Welding Jackets to Make Your Job Safer—and Easier

Weld without fear of burns with a new top-quality welding jacket.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Feb 9, 2024 5:04 PM

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A person wearing a welding jacket

Photo: amazon.com

To stay safe while you are welding, it’s necessary to have protection, such as welding boots, pants, a helmet, and a quality welding jacket. A welding jacket is an insulated piece of clothing that is typically made of cotton, leather, or a hybrid of both materials to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation, flames, heat, sparks, and molten metal.

However, choosing the right welding jacket isn’t easy if you aren’t sure what factors to consider or what features would be beneficial while you work, like interior storage pockets. Take a look at this list of the best welding jackets and keep reading for more information on how to find the right welding jacket for your needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Lincoln Electric Heavy-Duty Leather Welding Jacket
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black Stallion Flame-Resistant Cotton Welding Jacket
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Lincoln Electric Traditional Split Welding Jacket
  4. BEST FOR SUMMER: Waylander Durin Leather Welding Jacket 
  5. BEST HYBRID: Black Stallion Cotton & Cowhide Hybrid Welding Jacket
  6. BEST COTTON: Lincoln Electric Traditional FR Cloth Welding Jacket
  7. BEST LEATHER: QeeLink Leather Welding Work Jacket
  8. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Revco BX9C BSX Stryker Welding Jacket
A person wearing a welding jacket while welding

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Welding Jackets

To help guide our selection process, we interviewed an expert in safety equipment to gain better insight into what makes a good (or bad) welding jacket. We spoke with Farhan Siraj, the CEO of OSHA Outreach Courses, a company offering work safety training to a range of industries nationwide. He says that while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the use of gloves, helmets and shields during welding, it does not necessarily specify the use of a jacket. That said, it does recommend “the use of leather or other fire-resistant garments that are free of combustible materials for workers engaged in welding activities.” He also stresses the importance of a welding jacket: “They are, in many ways, as essential as welding gloves and helmets … their material can stop the stray spark from causing harm to the worker while also protecting them from intense heat.”

With this in mind, safety was the primary factor of importance when it came to selecting this list of the best welding jackets. If a product could not keep the user safe while they were welding, then it did not qualify for consideration. During the selection process, we conducted extensive research on over 30 different welding jackets, including cotton, leather, and hybrid options, to find the top welding jackets that stood out from competitors.

The material and construction of the welding jackets served as a basis for determining how each product would hold up during different welding operations. Cotton jackets were more vulnerable to the high temperatures produced by heavy stick and MIG welding, while leather and hybrid jackets could deal with heavy stick, MIG, and TIG welding without a problem.

Availability of sizes also factored into the final selection because it’s important to find products that fit properly. Otherwise, an oversize jacket may shift and leave your skin exposed, or a welding jacket that is too small could ride up, exposing your wrists or forearms.

Our Top Picks

The top choices for the best welding jackets were selected based on the material, construction, heat resistance, spatter resistance, and availability of sizes to provide you with a range of options for your next welding project. Each of our selected products is organized by category and comes with a list of thoroughly researched pros and cons.

Best Overall

Lincoln Electric Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Leather with cotton panel
  • Welding type: Heavy stick, MIG, or TIG
  • Sizes: Medium, large, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large

Pros

  • Cotton panel improves breathability and comfort
  • Leather front and sides are suitable for all welding types
  • 2-part armpit design for better mobility
  • Adjustable cuffs and welder’s collar

Cons

  • High price point compared to other models on the market

Typically, hybrid welding jackets consist of a cotton body with leather arms, which is great for keeping the user’s arms protected but can leave the front of the body exposed. This hybrid welding jacket takes user protection a step further with a full-leather design on the arms, shoulder, front, and sides. However, this heavy-duty option still has a cotton back panel to increase airflow through the jacket and help reduce user heat retention.

The hybrid design allows the user to remain safe during heavy stick, MIG, or TIG welding projects while acting to prevent heat exhaustion. In addition, the welding jacket is made with a two-part armpit for improved mobility and flexibility, as well as adjustable cuffs and a welder’s collar for added protection. The drawback of all these great features is the increased price, but it may be worth the high price tag to stay safe and comfortable while welding.

Get the Lincoln Electric leather welding jacket at Amazon or Lincoln Electric.

Best Bang For The Buck

Black Stallion Navy FR Cotton Welding Jacket
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Welding type: TIG
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large, 4X-large

Pros

  • Welder’s collar helps protect against sparks and potential burns
  • Light cotton jacket is cooler in the summer; prevents overheating and sweating
  • Wide range of sizes available to meet individual users’ needs
  • Affordable and effective for TIG welding

Cons

  • Lightweight material is more vulnerable to burns

Save with this affordable, flame-resistant cotton welding jacket that is made to protect the wearer during light-duty TIG welding projects. The Black Stallion welding jacket comes in sizes from small to 4X-large and has a reasonable price tag that makes it ideal for beginners. Just keep in mind that this welding jacket should not be used for MIG or heavy stick welding because the high temperatures can damage the material and potentially harm the wearer.

To provide additional protection, this cotton welding jacket has a welder’s collar that can be pulled up to block sparks and spatter from reaching the user’s neck and face. It has multiple pockets to keep important items like keys or a phone protected from heat and molten metal spatter, and the lightweight cotton allows air to flow through the material, reducing user heat retention.

Get the Black Stallion flame-resistant welding jacket at Amazon or Welding Outfitter.

Upgrade Pick

Lincoln Electric Traditional Split Welding Jacket
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Split cowhide and flame-retardant cotton
  • Welding type: MIG, TIG, Flux-Core, Plasma Cutting, and Oxyfuel Cutting
  • Sizes: Medium, large, X-large, 2X-large, and 3X-large

Pros

  • Made with durable split cowhide sleeves, flame-retardant cotton, and double-stitched Kevlar seams
  • Suitable for a wide variety of welding types and conditions
  • Comes with an anti-static and anti-mildew coating for long-term use
  • Has a large internal pocket, nickel-plated snaps on the cuffs, and a flip-up buttoned collar

Cons

  • May be too hot to wear for extended periods

With durable leather sleeves made with quality split cowhide, this welding jacket from Lincoln Electric is guaranteed to protect against sparks, heat, and welding splatter effectively. Though cowhide and 9-ounce flame-retardant cotton may sound heavy, this jacket is made to be lightweight enough to allow for arm movement without friction while being self-extinguishing for safety. Plus, this model comes with an anti-static and anti-mildew coating and double-stitched Kevlar seams for long-term use in garages or workshops.

What’s more, this cotton and leather jacket features nickel-plated snaps on the cuffs and a flip-up buttoned collar to prevent the neck, arms, and wrists from being burnt. Need more? The jacket also has a large internal pocket for holding accessories and tools, and it comes in five sizes to accommodate multiple shoppers’ needs.

Get the Lincoln Electric split welding jacket at Amazon.

Best For Summer

Waylander Durin Welding Jacket Leather and Cotton
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Leather and cotton hybrid
  • Welding type: Heavy stick, MIG, or TIG
  • Sizes: Medium, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large, 4X-large, 5X-large

Pros

  • Light cotton offers breathability as well as freedom of movement
  • Leather sleeves are suitable for all welding types; prevents burns caused by sparks and heat
  • Interior lining improves mobility for added user-friendliness
  • Welder’s collar helps protect against sparks

Cons

  • High price point compared to other options on the market

The hot summer sun is great when there is nothing to do but lay on the back deck or enjoy the beach. However, during a welding project, the high ambient temperatures can contribute to heat exhaustion, so it’s important to find a breathable product that can reduce user heat retention, like this hybrid Waylander Durin welding jacket. The jacket is available in a range of sizes, including medium, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large, 4X-large, and 5X-large, so most users should be able to find a suitable fit.

The hybrid design allows the welding jacket to protect the user with heavy leather arms, shoulders, and a welder’s collar, while the body of the jacket is made with light cotton for improved airflow. It also has an interior lining for increased maneuverability and flexibility. However, it should be mentioned that this premium product comes with a premium price that could be prohibitive to some individuals.

Get the Waylander welding jacket at Amazon or Waylander.

Best Hybrid

Black Stallion Hybrid FR and Cowhide Welding Coat
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Leather and cotton hybrid
  • Welding type: Heavy stick, MIG, or TIG
  • Sizes: Medium, large, 2X-large

Pros

  • Hybrid design offers protection and breathability for excellent versatility
  • Welder’s collar helps protect against sparks and burns; can be buttoned to stay in place
  • Easy snap closure on the front and wrists; prevents injury and dangerous heat exposure
  • Multiple pockets to keep tools, accessories, and other items safe

Cons

  • Limited size selection compared to some other options available

Instead of going with either cotton or leather for a welding jacket, users have the option of investing in a hybrid product that is designed to both keep the user cool and protect them from heat and spatter. This Black Stallion hybrid welding jacket has a cotton body to improve airflow and reduce heat retention. It is also made with leather arms to protect the wearer from the heat and spatter produced by heavy stick, MIG, and TIG welding.

This hybrid jacket has a simple snap closure on the front and wrists, so users can quickly put the jacket on or remove it when they are done welding. It also comes with a welder’s collar for added protection, as well as multiple pockets to prevent items from getting damaged by the heat and spatter. However, this hybrid welding jacket does have a limited size selection, so make sure to verify that it comes in the right size before purchase.

Get the Black Stallion hybrid welding jacket at Amazon or Welders.

Best Cotton

Lincoln Electric FR Cotton Welding Jacket
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Welding type: TIG
  • Sizes: Medium, large, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large

Pros

  • Internal storage pocket keeps accessories, tools, and other items safe
  • Adjustable cuffs and collar keep sparks, heat, and molten materials away from the skin
  • Lightweight cotton jacket is cooler in the summer
  • One of the only machine-washable designs on this list

Cons

  • Lightweight material is more vulnerable to burns and heat

Despite TIG welding using lower temperatures than heavy stick welding or MIG welding, it’s still necessary for welders to protect themselves with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Use this light cotton welding jacket for tackling light-duty welding projects without getting burned. The cotton material provides heat protection as well as coverage from flames and sparks, but it is also breathable, allowing air to flow through the jacket to help keep the user cool.

This cotton welding jacket comes with an internal storage pocket, adjustable cuffs, and an adjustable welder’s collar for added protection, though it’s important to note that this product isn’t recommended for ongoing heavy stick welding or MIG welding. Instead of worrying about hand washing, just toss the jacket in the washer when the job is done.

Get the Lincoln Electric FR cloth welding jacket at Amazon or Weldfabulous.

Best Leather

Leather Welding Work Jacket by QeeLink
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Leather
  • Welding type: Heavy stick, MIG, or TIG
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large, X-large, 2X-large, 3X-large, 4X-large

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting construction; made with leather and Kevlar stitching
  • Suitable for all welding types including heavy stick, MIG, or TIG
  • Wide range of sizes available to accommodate multiple shoppers’ needs
  • Adjustable collar, cuffs, and waist to keep sparks, heat, and molten material away from the skin

Cons

  • Heavy leather is hard to use in hot climates
  • Hand-wash only

Available in a wide range of sizes from small to 4X-large, the leather welding work jacket by QeeLink is designed for use during heavy stick, MIG, or TIG welding projects. The thick, durable leather construction and Kevlar stitching are highly resistant to heat, flames, sparks, and molten metal, ensuring the user stays safe while they work.

The adjustable cuffs and waist allow the user to tighten the fit around these openings and prevent stray sparks from entering the loose clothing. This jacket also features an adjustable collar to protect the user’s neck from flame, heat, and sparks. Keep in mind that this leather welding jacket isn’t recommended for use in hot summer weather because the heavy leather can quickly contribute to heat exhaustion if proper precautions are not taken. Additionally, the jacket is hand-wash only. Do not put it in the washer or the material can become damaged.

Get the QeeLink welding jacket at Amazon or QeeLink.

Best Lightweight

Revco BX9C BSX Stryker Welding Jacket
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Welding type: TIG
  • Sizes: Large

Pros

  • Lightweight cotton jacket is cooler in the summer months
  • Welder’s collar helps protect the user’s skin against sparks and molten materials
  • Adjustable cuff and waist straps keep the jacket in place and away from the heat
  • Zippered inside pocket keeps accessories and tools safe and accessible

Cons

  • Limited size selection compared to other options on the market
  • Lightweight material is more vulnerable to burns

Heavy leather welding jackets are great for heavy stick and MIG welding projects, but if the user is only TIG welding then all that added weight just creates more strain on the body. Opt for a lightweight welding jacket, like this Revco BX9C BSX Stryker option that comes with zippered inside pockets to protect personal items like a phone or keys.

This cotton welding jacket helps users stay cool during hot summer weather, and it even has a welder’s collar that can be flipped up to prevent sparks, spatter, and flame from reaching the user’s neck. Adjustable cuffs and waist straps protect the user from stray sparks that could otherwise enter loose clothing and cause severe burns. However, it should be noted that this welding jacket has a limited size selection and the lightweight material isn’t recommended for heavy stick or MIG welding applications.

Get the Revco welding jacket at Amazon or Welder Supply.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing a Welding Jacket

Before selecting a welding jacket based on looks alone, take some time to consider the material, heat resistance, spatter resistance, and welding type. Once you are sure the welding jacket will keep you safe, then take a look at sizing, weight, and overall comfort before making your final choice.

Spatter and Heat Resistance 

The entire purpose of having a welding jacket is to keep you safe from heat, flames, UV radiation, sparks, and molten metal spatter. With this in mind, you need to look for a welding jacket that fits properly and has various adjustment options to keep your skin protected. Leather welding jackets are the best for high heat resistance, while cotton welding jackets are better for working with high environmental temperatures in the summer.

Welder’s collars can be bent into a standing position, providing maximum protection to your neck and face. You can also find welding jackets with adjustable cuffs or an adjustable waist, allowing the user to tighten the jacket to prevent sparks and spatter from getting inside loose clothing.

Material 

There are two common materials used to make welding jackets, cotton and leather. These materials can be used to make full cotton, full leather, or hybrid cotton and leather welding jackets to keep you safe while you work.

  • Cotton welding jackets are considered light-duty protective equipment because they cannot withstand the same level of hazards as hybrid and leather welding jackets. However, cotton is a much lighter material than leather, so these jackets are easier to wear in the summer or while working inside a hot building.
  • Hybrid welding jackets are typically made with cotton fronts and backs, but the arms and shoulders are leather. This helps to keep the user cool and protected, even when working on heavy stick or MIG welds. Just keep in mind that the cotton parts are still more vulnerable to heat and are likely to wear out faster than a full-leather welding jacket.
  • Leather welding jackets are the best option for spatter and heat resistance. The thick, durable material keeps the user safe while welding but can result in heat exhaustion if you don’t take proper precautions to stay cool.

Welding Type and Environment

When it comes to selecting a welding jacket, it’s important to take the welding type and environment into consideration. TIG welding using a gas tungsten arc or inert tungsten gas produces less heat than MIG welding, so you can get away with wearing a cotton welding jacket. However, if you are MIG welding with a gas metal arc or metal inert gas then it’s best to have a leather or hybrid welding jacket. Similarly, you will want to have a leather welding jacket for heavy stick welding because of the high temperatures and high spatter frequency.

Just keep in mind that the environment can impact your comfort and ability to work. High ambient temperatures, which are common in the summer, can limit the amount of time you can spend wrapped up in a leather welding jacket. Cotton provides more breathability, but will wear out faster than leather and should not be used for heavy stick or MIG welding. In the winter, a heavy leather welding jacket helps to protect you and keep you warm in the cool temperatures.

Comfort

Not every factor is about safety. You should also feel comfortable while you are wearing a welding jacket. Check the available sizes and take some time to measure your chest, shoulders, and torso to find a product that fits accordingly. Most manufacturers will provide a sizing chart so you don’t have to settle for an ill-fitting jacket.

The weight of the welding jacket should also be taken into consideration because, after wearing it for an extended period, carrying the weight can cause significant fatigue. If you are confident that the jacket fits, keeps you protected, and isn’t too heavy, then all you need to worry about is choosing a product that suits your personal taste.

FAQs

Learn more about your new welding jacket, so you can stay safe while you work. Take a look below to find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about welding, PPE, and welding coats.

Q. What do welding jackets do?

The heat generated during welding is enough to severely burn your skin and cause permanent damage, especially if you aren’t protected from flying sparks and molten metal. A welder’s leather jacket blocks the sparks, metal, flames, and UV radiation in order to help you stay safe while you work. A cotton lightweight welding jacket can also be used in place of a leather welding jacket, though cotton doesn’t offer the same level of resistance, so it should only be used for TIG welding.

Q. What kind of jacket do I need for welding?

The type of welding coat you need depends on the type of welding you are doing and the environment in which you are working. Cotton material makes the best welding jacket for summer, or you can also use lightweight welding shirts for hot weather. However, cotton protection is not enough for heavy stick or MIG welding.

For heavy stick and MIG welding, you should invest in a leather or hybrid welding jacket. Larger sizes are available if you are looking for oversized welding jackets for men, but you can also find small welding jacket options for slim individuals. Safety should be the first priority, so make sure the jacket is suitable for the application before starting to weld.

Q. How long do welding jackets last?

The lifespan of a welding jacket tends to depend on the frequency of use and overall quality. For instance, cheap welding jackets may provide protection while you work, but they will need to be replaced more often. On average, you can expect a welding jacket to last about 3 to 5 years with regular use.

Q. What clothing is best for welding?

It’s recommended to invest in an insulated welding jacket, pants, gloves, boots, a hood, and a mask to keep you safe while working on a welding project. The best welding jackets are typically made of cotton, leather, or a hybrid combination of both, though cotton makes the best welding jacket for hot weather. Leather welding jackets offer more protection, but the user can get overheated quickly if they are working in warm conditions. Choose suitable welding gear for the current weather and welding application.

Q. Are flannels good for welding?

Flannel shirts offer some resistance to heat, but they are not suitable for welding. New flannel shirts often have fuzz or loose material that can easily catch fire. Leather or cotton welding jackets are the safe choice.

Q. How do welders stay cool?

There are several helpful options welders can use to stay cool. First, staying hydrated while you work is incredibly important for preventing heat exhaustion. The body uses stored water to create sweat and help cool you down, so make sure to drink lots of water and take breaks when necessary.

You can also wear a breathable cotton welding jacket or even a hybrid welding jacket to improve airflow through the material. Some welders use cooling bands that are essentially wearable fans, while others simply set up fans in the work area.

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