If you’re a welder, you know how valuable quality welding jackets can be.
Considering sparks are flying and you can’t move because you’re in the middle of a weld, a welding jacket is your best protection from burns and one of the most appreciated welding supplies in your arsenal.
Thin shirts or low-quality welding jackets can lead to an unwanted bead or weak joint as you dodge to splatter.
Clearly, you need a welding jacket that’s fire-resistant and ruggedly made.
However, you also want something flexible, lightweight and not too hot.
Not to worry, we’ve got your best welding jacket right here.
A quick comparison
Lincoln Electric K2989
Leather front and sides
Used daily by professionals
Black Stallion JL1030-BB
Full leather coverage
West Chester IRONCAT 7005
Flexible leather for easy movement
Revco BSX BX9C Stryker
Cooler than leather
Zippered internal pocket
Won’t take a beating
Miller Electric 2241909
Won't protect against spatter however
Best Welding Jackets With Reviews
Here's a list of some of the best welding jackets we found:
1. Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket
- Front and sides are full leather
- Ergonomic arm design for movement
- Breathable flame-retardant cotton back
- 3-layer button liner keeps sparks out
- Upright leather collar protects the neck
- Used daily by professionals
- Designed for all-day comfort
- For out of position and overhead work
- Thick, heavy leather
- Adjustable cuffs
- Unlined leather sleeves are grabby
- Bottom buttons pop open when kneeling
- Uncomfortable to wear in hot weather
The Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather welding jacket is a well-designed compromise that works well in the professional welding workplace. The front, arms and sides are full coverage split cowhide leather. The backside is flame-retardant cotton that helps breathe to improve comfort and reduces heat.
Lincoln designed this jacket with extra sections sewn into the armpits. They’re constructed in such a way so as to improve movement and the ability to reach up and to the sides. One drawback is the unlined arms grab at your shirt because of high friction.
The strip down the front where the buttons attach has a layered construction that protects the front and keeps the buttons from being damaged. The Lincoln K2989 also features an erect, upright leather collar with the same type of layered construction to fully protect the neck from welding rays, flying sparks and welding spatter. Both the sleeve cuffs and the neck are fully adjustable to provide a close yet comfortable fit.
The Lincoln Electric K2989 welding jacket has a large pocket on the inside to store gloves, small parts, welding glasses and scribes.
2. Black Stallion JL1030-BB Welding Jacket
- Full leather coverage
- Underarm gussets for movement
- Scribe pocket on arm
- For overhead welding
- Tall leather collar
- Inside tool pocket
- Flame retardant
- Satin lining on shoulders
- Heavy leather construction
- Adjustable waist
- Sizes run large
- Reports of button snaps breaking
The Black Stallion JL1030 cowhide leather welding jacket features full leather construction on front, back, sides, sleeves and collar. While it can be hot, this jacket is suitable for overhead welding, where you can end up with sparks and spatter coming down on your back and shoulders. This jacket includes a gusset patch under each arm to allow a greater range of movement and add strength in a high wear location.
Black Stallion builds a satin lining into the JL1030 welding jacket across the shoulders and down the sleeves to reduce friction, making it easier to slip the jacket on and off. With a full leather construction, this jacket can get pretty hot while you’re welding, so it’s a nice safety touch that the liner makes it easier to get the jacket off quickly when you need to cool off.
The Black Stallion JL1030 welding jacket has an adjustable waist and sleeve cuffs and a tall, upright collar, maximizing safety and providing an optimum fit. There is a scribe pocket on the arm and a larger pocket on the waist to provide room for small items and glove storage.
3. West Chester IRONCAT 7005 Heat Resistant Split Cowhide Leather Jacket
- Full cowhide leather coverage
- Kevlar stitching
- Soapstone pockets on the arms
- Flexible grade material
- Loose fit for comfort
- Flexible leather for easy movement
- Large pocket at the waist
- Reinforced with steel rivets
- Adjustable wrist cuffs
- Glove-tanned for easy cleaning
- Hot to wear
- Sizes run large
The West Chester Ironcat 7005 Heat Resistant Split Cowhide Leather Jacket is made from leather. This can make the jacket hot to wear in some shops and climates. It’s designed to fit more loosely than many other brands. This provides more ease of movement, especially with its softer, more flexible glove-tanned finish. There’s a waist pocket with a flap for glove storage and a scribe pocket on each of the arms.
West Chester built the Ironcat 7005 Heat Resistant welding jacket in a very rugged manner, using Kevlar stitching for resistance to heat and wear, reinforced with metal rivets at stress points. This jacket should last a long time, even in the high-stress professional welding environment. The jacket includes adjustable wrist cuffs to provide a secure fit.
Users report that sizes run large with the West Chester Ironcat 7005. It’s designed with a high leather collar and it’s got adjustable waist straps for a good degree of adjustability. Because this jacket is unlined, it might grab your sleeves when going on or off, and it might not be suitable for very cold climates.
4. Revco BSX BX9C Stryker Summer Welding Jacket
- Flame resistant cotton
- Upright collar
- Adjustable waist straps
- Snap-style button down front
- Zippered inside pocket
- 9 ounce heavyweight material
- Adjustable collar
- Wrist cuffs are adjustable
- Cooler to wear than leather
- Professional appearance
- Won't last like leather will
- Shrinks in washer
The Revco BSX BX9C Stryker Welding Jacket is a lightweight, 9 ounce fabric jacket with flame-retardant properties. It’s cooler and lighter to wear in the summer or for times when you’re doing TIG or MIG at lower amperage and just don’t want to deal with the extra weight, especially with TIG when you’re doing finer work. This can also be a good choice when you’ve got a quick chore to do on the flux core welder.
An interesting fact about the Revco BSX BX9C Stryker welding jacket is that Revco is actually a Black Stallion brand. You can probably find a good combination of this lightweight jacket with a heavier Black Stallion leather jacket to offer a full range of comfort and coverage depending on the chores at hand and the weather.
The Revco BSX BX9C Stryker Welding Jacket features a tall, adjustable collar for optimum protection for your neck to protect it from radiation burns or flying spatter. The adjustable cuffs keep debris and sparks from working their way into the sleeves, and the adjustable waist makes for a good fit. There’s a zippered pocket on the inside for glove storage.
5. Miller Electric 2241909 Lightweight Welding Jacket for Hot Weather
- Flame retardant cotton
- Upright collar for protection
- Interior pocket for gloves
- Scribe pockets on the arms
- Adjustable cuff
- Low price range
- 9 ounce fabric weight
- Good collar and cuff coverage
- Adjustable waist
- Ideal for hot weather
- Won't protect like leather
- Not durable
The Miller Electric 2241909 Lightweight Welding Jacket is very comfortable and lightweight, even compared to the other lightweight fabric jackets in this article. Miller is a great name for welding equipment, and this jacket has some good design features. The collar has a good shape to go with a welding helmet. The wrist cuffs are adjustable for a good fit to keep out sparks and spatter, fitting well into your gloves.
One drawback with the Miller Electric 2241909 is that it’s just not going to take a beating as well as a leather jacket. These jackets are great for quick chores or when the weather is too hot to wear a leather jacket and you can get by for a while with something lighter and more breathable.
The Miller Electric 2241909 Lightweight Welding Jacket is made of an 88 percent cotton, 12 percent nylon combination that does a great job of stopping sparks, but it is susceptible to molten blobs of metal and larger spatter droplets. For low-amperage TIG work or on flux core or MIG using thin wire it will protect well without taking too much damage.
But first, let’s take a look at which welding jacket best fits the job at hand.
Welding Jacket Materials
It’s important that not every welding jacket offers the same quality and comfort.
Across brands, welding jackets come in varying levels of composition (typically leather), insulation, and structure.
As an adept welder, you probably know that a pair of welding chaps and a welding jacket offer the best possible protection—though it can be pricy to own this amount of welding gear. So, a high-quality welding jacket is the best option for cost-conscious welders.
As an item of protection that can guard against high heat and metal splatter, you’ll want to find a welding jacket that offers both fire-resistant materials with some form of thermal insulation.
Of course, welding jackets are perfect for cold weather environments, but they are can be year-round solution for personal protection, provided that you don’t overheat while working in higher temperature environments.
Leather vs Cotton Welding Jackets
While leather is the go-to for most welders, you can find welding jackets made from chemically-altered cotton that offer resistance to heat and flame, but offer more flexibility, comfort, and lower heat-retention.
Other synthetic materials (like aramids, popularly known as Kevlar and Nomex) can offer superior protection, but may not keep your body warm in cold-weather project environments.
Then there’s carbon fiber welding jackets, which tend to be less flexible, but offer protection in high-temperature situations that experience a lot of splatter.
It’s important to know that some jackets incorporate vulcanized rubber into the materials, which helps out in heavy splatter situations.
Lastly, if you’re an occasional welder, a denim jacket can be used in low-splatter situations, though you should expect the jacket to not last very long for more work-intensive projects.
How Long Do Welding Jackets Last?
Like any of your welding supplies, you know that there’s a window of depreciation that a welding jacket has, based on the amount of use and wear it receives.
Most welding jackets are designed to last between 3-5 years with regular wear, and even less if you’re welding every work day.
It’s a fact of welding life that the heat and flame-resistant features of the welding jacket are going to wear down, so expect to upgrade accordingly.
Related read: Welding Aprons – Our Top Picks
Finding the Right Size
Typically, welding jackets are given a standard size (S, M, L, XL) that’s based on your chest measurement.
To find your size without having the option to try on a variety in-store, you’ll need to wrap a tape measure under your armpits and around the bulkiest part of your chest. It’s important to make sure that the tape measure is snug, but not so tight that it presses into your skin, leaving red marks or constricting your breathing.
Also, be careful to relax during the measurement (i.e. don’t puff out your chest), as this can throw off the true reading.
Once you have the measurement, compare it to the sizing chart of your choice of welding jacket to get the correct size for your welding needs.
However, it should be noted that if you have a larger-than-average belly, you may want to substitute a belly measurement for the chest measurement.
The reason is that you may find it difficult to button or zip up your jacket when it comes time to weld, limiting your mobility and making it difficult to feel comfortable.
The process to obtaining a belly measurement is nearly the same, but you’ll want to run the tape around your bellybutton instead.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid measuring around the hips, as this area tends to be thinner than your true girth.
Related read: Round-up of the best welding sleeves
When looking at what you need for a welding jacket, the primary requirement is safety. This means more than just how well a jacket protects, but also whether it’s breathable to prevent heat injuries. It means easy motion and movement so you can do your work without fatigue and it needs to last so it’s worth the money you need to spend on it.
With these factors to think about, for this roundup we’ve chosen the Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket as our Best Welding Jacket. Yes, it’s pricey but will last long enough make it worth every dime, especially considering its breathability and ease of movement.
In the lightweight category, we prefer the Revco BSX BX9C Stryker Welding Jacket for its great fit, lighter weight material and its zippered interior pocket.
Every jacket on this list is worth considering. Think about the things you need to have on the job, save up and buy the best jacket you can afford. You’ll be glad you did.