Best Welding Aprons 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Last Updated: August 6, 2020
Welding can produce some incredible things, but it can also be very dangerous. It’s not uncommon for welders to be covered in burn scars. Regular clothing is at risk of fire from hot metal, sparks, and splatter. Even the heat from welding can be more than just uncomfortable.
A good welding apron can protect against all of these things and keep you safe while working on any project. But you need to find one that fits well, is easily adjustable, and isn’t difficult to put on or take off. It needs to provide excellent coverage and protection, and a few pockets to hold other tools wouldn’t hurt, either.
We’ve tried quite a few of these aprons and tested them extensively. The following 10 reviews will share what we learned during our testing. The first three have earned our top recommendations, but all were solid performers.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||G & F Products Leather||
|Best Value||Hobart Cotton||
|Premium Choice||QeeLink Leather Welding Apron||
The 10 Best Welding Aprons
1. G & F Products Leather Welding Apron – Best Overall
Made from thick, heat-resistant leather, this welding apron from G & F Products offers excellent protection against sparks and splatter. It’s double-stitched with cut-resistant Kevlar thread like a bulletproof vest to ensure that it won’t break down from regular wear and tear. Stainless steel knobs were also used to anchor the most susceptible joints, once again, improving the overall level of durability that this apron exhibits. It’s a bit shorter than some aprons we tried, just 36 inches long. If you’re very tall, you may need a larger size. It is offered in a 42-inch length as well, but it’s more expensive. In the 36-inch length, this apron is more affordable than most competitors.
For convenience, you get two pockets on the chest that allow you to hold tools or whatever else you may wish. The pockets are pretty sizable, unlike many other aprons we used where the pockets were too small to be of much help. This apron has separate neck and back straps, both of which are easily adjustable and offered a great fit for all of our testers, even though we span a range of body sizes and shapes.
2. Hobart Cotton Welding Apron – Best Value
When you’re looking for adequate protection for performing light welding but you don’t want to spend much, we suggest checking out the Hobart Cotton Welding Apron, which just may be the best welding apron for the money. As the name implies, this apron is made of cotton instead of leather, so it doesn’t offer the same level of protection against fire and heat. However, it is flame-retardant cotton so it’s still a great choice for DIY and hobbyists. There is a small pocket on the front for holding tools, but it’s a bit too small to be of much use.
This apron is very lightweight and you barely notice it once it’s on. The neck strap isn’t adjustable, but it worked well for all of our testers. The backstrap can be adjusted to fit any size. It also has a snap-together plastic buckle, which makes it much easier to put on and take off. Considering the dirt-cheap price this welding apron is available for, we think it offers a great value that is pretty hard to beat.
3. QeeLink Leather Welding Apron – Premium Choice
Covered with six pockets for your convenience, the QeeLink Welding Apron makes it easy to hold a variety of tools so you don’t have to waste time constantly looking for the item you were just holding. With an extra-long length of 42 inches, it offers excellent coverage for maximum protection, even on our tallest testers. To that end, it’s crafted from very thick, heat and flame-resistant leather that can keep you safe from splatter, spark, and fire. We didn’t even seem to notice when any of them made contact with the apron because it insulates so well.
The QeeLink apron offers an X strap on the back that’s fully adjustable and does an excellent job of holding it snug to your body. An additional waist strap is also included so that the apron doesn’t flap around while you work. The plastic buckle on the waist strap makes it easier to get in and out of compared to some of the other aprons we tried. Overall, it was a comfortable apron that kept us well-protected through light and heavy welding alike. Of course, it’s a bit more expensive than competitors, but we think the high quality is worth the premium price.
4. Waylander Leather Welding Apron
The Waylander Welding Apron offers good protection with its solid leather construction. The leather is nice and thick, and we didn’t feel sparks when they made contact. It’s even Kevlar hemmed for improved durability and increased strength. At 40 inches in length, it’s not quite as long as some of the other aprons we tested, but it’s long enough to offer sufficient protection for most of your body. Two pockets are sewn onto the chest, but they’re a bit too narrow to hold very much.
The Waylander apron was a bit more expensive than other ones we tried out, but the protection it offers would warrant that price if it weren’t for the one major flaw. Instead of a neck strap and waist strap, this apron uses an X-style strap that crosses over the back, with a waist strap double-looped between. It’s a very confusing setup and made it more difficult than necessary to get into and out of this apron. Trying to get a proper fit proved to be an exercise in futility. Most of our testers ended up frustrated about the time they wasted trying to get it to fit properly.
5. Steiner 92166 Bib Apron
A simple design that offers adequate protection, the Steiner Bib Apron is a decent product that’s held back by a few glaring flaws. It’s crafted from split cowhide so it’s durable and will protect your skin against sparks and heat. Kevlar stitching ensures it won’t come apart at the seams and the extra-long 42-inch design means that even taller welders will be afforded ample protection from neck to knee. Two pockets are situated on the chest, but they’re far too small to hold more than a pencil and a pair of pliers at once.
The Steiner Bib Apron features an X strap across the back shoulders. It’s a bit difficult to adjust, but the plastic buckles make it easier to put on and remove. However, the lack of a waist strap is a noticeable drawback. When you lean forward, there’s nothing to prevent the apron from falling into your work. This is also one of the most expensive aprons that we tried, and for the price, we were hoping for a better fit and more useful pockets and straps.
6. Lincoln Electric KH804 Flame-Resistant Leather Welding Apron
Lincoln Electric is a well-known and respected name in welding, but their welding apron fell short in a few key areas. It is made of a durable split cowhide that offers decent protection should you get hit by sparks, a common occurrence when welding. Unlike many other aprons we tested, this one forgoes the convenient pockets, leaving you with no way to hold any extra tools. That’s not a deal-breaker on its own, but the extremely tight fit meant that some of our testers couldn’t comfortably wear this apron. If you’re tall and broad-shouldered, you may not even fit in this apron at all.
For our testers who were able to get into this apron, it left behind an unpleasant mess all over their clothing. Cowhide particles seemed to shed onto the wearer even after an extensive break-in period. We were able to forgive the strong chemical smell, but the mess it continued to leave behind was more than we want to deal with. The Lincoln Electric apron is a bit cheaper than many of its competitors, but with these flaws, we don’t think it’s the best choice.
7. Caiman 3136 Apron
Crafted from pigskin leather to withstand demanding environments and work, the Caiman 3136 is one of the more affordable welding aprons, but not one of the better performing products. It was considerably lighter than expected, which could be a good thing for smaller individuals, but we realized it’s so light because the leather is very thin. Naturally, thinner leather won’t offer the same level of protection as some of the aprons that were constructed from thicker and heavier leather. That said, it is sewn with Kevlar thread, so it should hold up sufficiently for light welding use.
Once we put it on, we noticed that the back strap is far too long. Most of our testers had to tie multiple knots so it would fit. The plastic buckles made it easier to get on and off, something we appreciated. At just 36 inches, this is one of the shorter aprons so taller people may want to look for an apron with more coverage. Two pockets are sewn into the front, but we found them to be too small to do us any good.
8. West Chester Heat Resistant Welding Split Leg Bib Apron
The IRONCAT 7011 split-leg welding apron from West Chester had a unique design that we were interested to test out. Instead of a standard apron front, this one is split in the middle so that each side can strap around your legs. In theory, this is a great idea that offers excellent protection from your neck to your knees. In reality, the seven straps necessary to wear this apron were far more of a hassle than they were worth. The leg straps also became quite annoying, rubbing against your legs while you work.
We thought that the split-leg design would offer better coverage, but after using it, we prefer the standard apron cut. It feels more exposed to have the open area in between your legs. The heat-resistant leather does offer good protection where it covers, but at just 36 inches long, you’re not getting as much coverage as other aprons.
9. Safety Shop Leather Welding Apron
For a leather welding apron, the Safety Shop apron is affordably priced. It’s a very simple design but still has a few noticeable flaws. It’s made of thick split cowhide, which offers great durability and protection. Unfortunately, it’s a lot thinner than the cowhide used in other aprons we tested. Moreover, it’s one of the shortest aprons we’ve seen, just 35 inches long. To us, this isn’t enough coverage, and it definitely won’t feel like enough protection for taller people.
Larger individuals will also have a difficult time with the tiny waist strap and may not be able to get it around them at all. Only our smallest testers were comfortable with the size of the waist strap, but it’s not the only one. The neck strap was also very tight, though we were still able to get it on with a bit of a squeeze. Buckles on the straps make them easier to use, but they’re still too short for most. Even the pockets on the front were made too small to be very helpful. Despite the low price, we don’t think the Safety Shop apron is the best investment.
10. Hudson Durable Goods HDG901 Work Apron
Rounding out the bottom of our list is the Hudson Durable Goods work apron. It’s adjustable from a medium size to an XXL, and all of our testers were able to fit into it with no problems. Instead of adjustable straps with buckles, this apron features a tie-off system that allows you to tighten the whole apron to the desired fit. It’s also very lightweight and we hardly noticed it once it was on. Many pockets adorn the front and made it easy to carry whatever tools we felt were necessary.
Although it has some desirable features, some obvious drawbacks earned this apron the bottom position on our list. It’s made of a waxed canvas that isn’t flame-resistant. Welding deals with a lot of heat, and the possibility of fire is very real with this apron. For this reason, it’s only suited for light welding. The canvas doesn’t offer the same level of protection against sparks, heat, or splatter. It’s also very short at just 34 inches long, providing the least coverage of any apron we tested. Despite all these drawbacks, it’s more expensive than some of the higher-performing aprons we tried.
After reading our reviews comparing 10 of the best welding aprons on the market, you should have a good idea of which ones will fit you and your needs. We’ve tried out as many of them as we could find, but three of them stood out amongst the crowd. The leather welding apron from G & F products was our favorite overall, and it’s the one we recommend for most welders. The adjustable back and neck straps were comfortable and easy to size. Kevlar stitching offered improved durability, and the thick leather used to make this apron provided excellent protection for welding of all types.
If you’re looking for the best value, we recommend checking out the Hobart cotton welding apron. It’s crafted from flame-resistant cotton that offers adequate protection against sparks and splatter while being extremely lightweight and dirt cheap. But if you want the best protection and don’t mind spending a bit extra, the QeeLink leather welding apron is a great choice. It offers six convenient pockets, superior coverage with a length of 42 inches, and it’s made from thick leather that provided excellent protection from all heat, sparks, and splatter.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Welding Aprons
- 1. G & F Products Leather Welding Apron – Best Overall
- 2. Hobart Cotton Welding Apron – Best Value
- 3. QeeLink Leather Welding Apron – Premium Choice
- 4. Waylander Leather Welding Apron
- 5. Steiner 92166 Bib Apron
- 6. Lincoln Electric KH804 Flame-Resistant Leather Welding Apron
- 7. Caiman 3136 Apron
- 8. West Chester Heat Resistant Welding Split Leg Bib Apron
- 9. Safety Shop Leather Welding Apron
- 10. Hudson Durable Goods HDG901 Work Apron