While you’ll probably see most welders wearing pants, overalls are pretty underrated in our opinion. They provide more protection and often more movement than a regular set of jeans does.
Many models of overalls also allow for storage in the front pockets. You can store your marking tools (pencils, paint markers etc), as well as a tape measure or a torch flint striker.
As with most clothing items, it comes down to personal preference. I have had some great sets of overalls, but I also wear jeans on a regular basis as well.
Overalls can also be handy in cold weather conditions. Many models nowadays have fleece or quilt lined options for those cold winter days, and field welders have really caught on to how comfortable these pairs are. We will cover the lined models later in the article.
This guide will cover our top picks for overalls that are currently on the market. There are a few brands that dominate the overall market, but many companies are making quality pairs in this day and age.
This overall is one of the most popular models of all time. The relaxed fit allows for maximum movement throughout the day. Some overalls are a little too baggy, but we find that this model fits really well on most folks. It is in between slim and baggy.
The 12 oz. ring spun cotton is relatively heavy duty, but it is lightweight enough that you can rock these on a summer day. The front pockets allow for small utensil storage, and the large zippered pocket is great for holding a phone or more valuable devices.
One of the best things about these is that they come in a huge range of sizes. No matter what your measurements are, this model will have you covered.
These bibs are easily machine washed, but we do recommend air drying them since they tend to shrink a lot in the dryer.
The elastic suspenders have a wide range of adjustability depending on your height and preferences.
This model is also available in black if the duck color isn’t your cup of tea.
Carhartt Rugged Flex Overall
We’ve been a big fan of the rugged flex series from Carhartt since it came out a few years back. The stretch technology (with use of spandex) allows for even more movement than a traditional bib. After using the Rigby flex pants for awhile, we wondered what the overalls would be like.
This stretchiness is great for welders because we find ourselves in some tight situations. Welding overhead and in tight spaces means that we must have maximum mobility.
The pocket system is basically the same as the duck bib overalls listed above. These rugged flex bibs are a bit slimmer than the traditional Carhartts. They tend to fit better on slender folks.
If you’re looking for a stretchy overall that will provide long lasting durability, these are worth looking into. The 2% spandex really makes a ton of difference throughout the course of a work day.
If you’re looking for a classic, more affordably priced overall, these are worth looking at.
They offer a straight, roomy fit – and have triple stitched seams which provides more toughness than other models. This pair comes with a loop to store a hammer, as well as twin pockets for your cell phone, tape measure, pencils etc.
The cool thing about this model of bibs is the color options. In addition to denim, they are available in duck, classic stripes, or dark indigo.
We found that the cotton on these tends to feel softer than the Carhartts. They feel more supple and are a little easier on the legs. The Carhartts tend to take a few washes to break in, but these felt good right away.
If you’re looking for a nice breathable bib from an old American brand – the Dickies are worth checking out.
These are a great pick that can be worn at the job site or while out with friends/around town. Although they look like more of a street style bib, they do hold up quite well for a welder.
If you live in a warmer area, the thicker overalls can be a real pain. Even an unlined bib with heavy cotton can be tough to wear in humid climates. These Levi’s are great for summer welding – whether in the field or fabricating in the shop.
The front pocket is nice and roomy and is great for pens, markers and other gadgets.
They come in a lighter stonewash which is more of a “blue jean look”. They are also available in a rinsed denim, which is the darker color shown above.
Their roomy design also allows for a hoody or a sweater to be worn underneath. Easily machine washed, these bibs are relatively maintenance free.
Carhartt Quilt Lined Overalls
Now for a winter pick. The days of wearing long johns underneath your bibs are over. Carhartts quilt lined series has gained immense popularity among tradesmen in recent years. It is like having long johns built into your bibs!
The lining keeps your legs warm during the colder months, and has a much softer feel than just straight denim on the leg. Zippers on the sides of the legs allow for breathability (if needed).
The torso portion stays nice and airy since it is unlined. It still has the same chest fit as other Carhartt models.
Having the legs so beefy does take some getting used to, but you’ll be much toastier once the colder months roll around. These are also great to have as a spare pair incase the weather gets nasty. We tend to wear unlined bibs a lot of the time, but we always have a quilt lined pair in the backseat of the truck.
Dickies Insulated Bib Overall
Similar to the Carhartts, this model from Dickies is a great cold weather option. Available in black and brown duck, this bib can tackle most winter situations.
Since they are usually a bit more affordable than Carhartt bibs, tradesmen have taken notice of this. Some diehard Carhartt fans have switched over to Dickies in recent years – and have found a high level of quality in a more economical package.
If you frequently find yourself welding in cold weather (ironworking, pipelining), then the Dickies lined bibs are worth checking out. With this being said, we only recommend these overalls on really cold days! If you wear them on warmer days, it’ll be real uncomfortable.
These overalls really do best in below freezing temperatures. For us in Colorado, we find ourselves in these temps quite often.
Since Dickies came out with their lined workwear collection, the reviews have been pretty solid. We always recommend double checking your sizing, as every companies bibs fit a little different. It is not like T-shirt sizing, some of the bib sizings can be pretty funky.
If you’ve been looking at overalls/bibs and wanting to try them instead of jeans, we highly recommend it.
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