I recently put my hands on 6 of the most popular lightweight short sleeve coveralls to compare them on many things, including weight, design, and breathability. My conclusion is this: I think the Dickies short sleeve lightweight coveralls that use a cotton/poly poplin material have the best balance between durability and lightweight breathability.
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These are my choices for best lightweight short sleeve coveralls:
- *My Favorite* Dickies Short Sleeve Poplin Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Most Flexible* Dickies Flex Short Sleeve Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Most Lightweight* Walls Short Sleeve Poplin Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Most Pockets* Dickies Short Sleeve Poplin Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Thinnest Material* Walls Short Sleeve Poplin Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Thickest Material* Berne Short Sleeve Axle Coveralls (click here to view)
- *Slimmest Fit* Red Kap Short Sleeve Speedsuit (click here to view)
- *Best Women’s* Dickies Short Sleeve Flex Coveralls (click here to view)
Most lightweight coveralls for summer use a cotton/polyester fabric blend. The polyester adds durability, and a resistance to things like stains, wrinkles, and fading. It also helps prevent shrinking.
That said, one thing it doesn’t always add is stretch. If you prefer a stretch fabric blend (which can be very useful for those of you who bend and crouch regularly on the job), then the Dickies Flex Short Sleeve Breathable Coveralls will be the best option.
In this article we discuss lightweight short sleeve coveralls, but I also did this same thing for long-sleeve coveralls. If you want to read about those, visit my article about the best lightweight long sleeve coveralls.
Let’s discuss the best short sleeve coveralls by taking a closer look at these six options. All measurements in this article are based on size medium regular. It should be noted that the Walls coveralls use numerical sizing, and the measurements I took for Walls were based on a size 40 regular (medium equivalent).
My Data for Lightweight Short Sleeve Coveralls
|Walls||1.14||click here to view|
|Red Kap||1.16||click here to view|
|Dickies Flex||1.16||click here to view|
|Dickies Poplin||1.38||click here to view|
|Amazon||1.39||click here to view|
|Berne||1.43||click here to view|
The Walls breathable coveralls were the lightest in weight, which is not a surprise because they use a 4.5-ounce material, which is lighter-in-weight than any of the other options.
It should be noted that the Dickies Flex lightweight coveralls were also very similar in weight. They use a 4.6-ounce material, which makes them practically the same as the Walls coveralls.
The Red Kap coveralls weighed in as one of the lightest, but that is due to the fact that they have a shorter design than some of the other options. The material itself was not one of the most breathable.
|Walls||0.330||4.5 oz||click here to view|
|Dickies Flex||0.342||4.6 oz||click here to view|
|Dickies Poplin||0.344||5.0 oz||click here to view|
|Amazon||0.364||5.0 oz||click here to view|
|Red Kap||0.369||5.0 oz||click here to view|
|Berne||0.375||5.5 oz||click here to view|
The Walls short sleeve coveralls are the most breathable and have the thinnest material. I measured my size medium as 0.330 mm thick. They are made with a 4.5-ounce cotton/polyester fabric blend.
My favorite lightweight short sleeve coveralls are actually the Dickies Poplin coveralls because I feel like they present the best combination of lightweight comfort and durability. The material isn’t heavy, but feels much more durable than some of the thinner options.
All of these breathable coveralls use a lightweight material, but the Berne Axle coveralls were the thickest of the bunch. I measured mine as 0.375 mm thick. They are made with a 5.5-ounce cotton/polyester fabric blend, and might be a nice option if you prefer a tougher material.
My Favorite Short Sleeve Lightweight Coveralls
Dickies Short Sleeve Poplin Coveralls
These Dickies coveralls were my favorite lightweight coveralls for hot weather. No, they were not the lightest in weight, or the thinnest material, but I think these coveralls have the best balance between breathability and durability.
Here’s what mine look like:
This is the current price of these Dickies Poplin Short Sleeve Coveralls available at Dickies.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Dickies.com). Here’s what you need to know about these lightweight coveralls for summer:
- Material – These Dickies coveralls are made with a 5-ounce cotton/polyester poplin fabric blend. The polyester helps add durability to the material, resists shrinking, and adds some stain-fighting abilities.
- Elastic Waist – These coveralls have an elastic waistband that serves two purposes. One, it helps increase your flexibility while wearing these coveralls. Two, it helps prevent the coveralls from fitting baggy around the waist, which reduces the chances of loose material snagging on equipment in a work environment.
- Specs – My size medium Dickies coveralls weigh 1.38 pounds. They measure at 0.344 mm thick. This puts them in the middle ground for both measurements, and as I mentioned earlier in the article, the reason I like these coveralls is they find a nice middle ground between lightweight breathability and durability. They aren’t flimsy.
- Pockets – Another reason I like these Dickies breathable coveralls is they have seven total pockets, while most other brands only offer six. They have two large waist hand pockets. Two open-top outside chest pockets with snap-button closures. Two rear pockets, one of which has a button closure. The seventh pocket is a small key pocket tucked into the right-side hand pocket which is a nice spot to clip tools.
- Flexibility – No, this isn’t a stretch material blend, but these lightweight coveralls do have a bi-swing back which improves the freedom of movement through the shoulders and gives me the proper space I need to move my arms while I work. You can see the bi-swing back on mine:
- Added Benefits – There is no exposed metal on these coveralls, which helps reduce the scratch risk (flap covers zipper and snap buttons). The material is stain-resistant and wrinkle-resistant. I have found these coveralls hold their sizing well even after several wash cycles.
I think these are the best short sleeve coveralls you can buy, but I will add one small disclaimer. If you prefer a more flexible design, then the Dickies flex coveralls will be the better option. This is where you can view the Dickies flex coveralls (paid affiliate link takes you to Dickies.com).
The main takeaway is these Dickies Poplin coveralls provide you with lightweight, breathable comfort, but use a material blend that makes them a bit more durable than other lightweight options, which might be particularly useful for certain jobs.
Click here to buy these Dickies Poplin Breathable Coveralls available at Dickies.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Dickies.com). In my experience, these breathable coveralls have a regular fit and run true to size.
Other Lightweight Short Sleeve Coveralls to Consider
Dickies Flex Short Sleeve Breathable Coveralls
The thing that stands out about these breathable coveralls is they use a stretch fabric blend, which gives these coveralls superior flexibility compared to other options. These might be the best option if you bend and crouch a lot on the job.
Overall, these were one of the lightest-in-weight. They have many details common to lightweight coveralls: multiple storage pockets, elastic waist, bi-swing back, and a two-way zipper. These Dickes Flex Coveralls are a great blend of comfort and breathability.
Click here to buy these Dickies Flex Short Sleeve Coveralls available at Dickies.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Dickies.com). In my experience, these breathable coveralls have a regular fit and run true to size.
Walls Poplin Short Sleeve Coveralls
These Walls coveralls were the most lightweight coveralls that I tried. My size medium coveralls weigh only 1.14 pounds. They also have the thinnest material, using a 4.5-ounce cotton/polyester fabric blend that I measured at 0.330 mm thick.
If you are working in extreme heat, these might be your best option. I thought they were the most breathable, but ultimately I liked the Dickies coveralls better because I thought they added a bit more durability due to the thicker fabric.
One cool feature is these were the only breathable coveralls to have a zip-close pocket. The left rear pocket on these coveralls is zip-close.
Click here to buy these Walls Lightweight Coveralls available at Amazon.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these breathable coveralls have a regular fit and run true to size.
Red Kap Short Sleeve Speedsuit
This Red Kap Speedsuit weighed less than most other options, but it is a bit deceiving. The material itself was one of the thickest. I found these coveralls to fit a bit shorter (and a bit tighter) than other options, which helped reduce the total weight.
Overall, they are very comparable to the Dickies coveralls that I like. If you need a shorter, or tighter, option, these might be better for you than those Dickies coveralls. They use a 5-ounce cotton/polyester blend. There are six total pockets on these coveralls.
Red Kap makes a lot of nice summer gear, and these lightweight coveralls did not disappoint, but the sizing might not work for taller men.
Click here to buy these Red Kap Short Sleeve Coveralls available at Amazon.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, expect these breathable coveralls to fit a bit shorter than other options on this list.
Berne Short Sleeve Axle Coveralls
There had to be a thickest and heaviest out of the group, and these Berne short sleeve coveralls are it. But, don’t think of these as heavyweight. They still are quite breathable and appropriate for summer. My size medium Berne coveralls measure at 0.375 mm thick and 1.43 pounds in weight.
These use a heavier 5.5-ounce fabric blend, which might be a nice option if you are worried about the durability of your coveralls. There are six standard pockets on these coveralls (two chest, two hand, two rear).
Click here to buy these Berne Lightweight Coveralls available at Amazon.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience these breathable coveralls fit true to size with a regular fit.
Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Coveralls
The thing that jumped out about these Amazon Essentials lightweight coveralls is I felt like they fit a bit looser than other options. They had many of the same features you’d expect in lightweight coveralls for summer.
My size medium coveralls weighed 1.39 pounds, which made them the second heaviest of the group. Still, this is a very breathable material, and appropriate for hot weather work conditions. In my experience these breathable coveralls fit true to size with a looser fit.
What to Consider When Buying Short Sleeve Coveralls for Summer
Most lightweight short sleeve coveralls are not made with a stretch fabric blend. But these lightweight coveralls do often have an elastic waistband in combination with a bi-swing, gusseted back which helps improve your range of motion.
That said, if you are doing a lot of bending and crouching while on the job, a stretch fabric blend is probably the best way to go. Not only does it improve comfort, it also helps take some stress of the seams, which may improve the life of your breathable coveralls.
The best option for stretch fabric will be the Dickies Flex Coveralls we discussed earlier in the article.
Lightweight coveralls help improve air flow and breathability, but sometimes the fabric can get so thin that durability becomes an issue. Many companies like to incorporate polyester into the material to help add some toughness.
Durability is one reason I chose the Dickies Poplin Coveralls to be my favorite type of lightweight short sleeve coveralls. Yes, they are still breathable, but the fabric is a bit more durable than other options, and I think those coveralls find a proper balance between comfort and toughness.
Length can be an issue for coveralls. I am 6’3″, and although most regular length coveralls fit me, it was close. And some (for example, the Red Kap speedsuit) were just too short.
Many workwear companies will offer tall sizing, and if you are on the fence about it, I would recommend playing it safe and opting for tall sizing for your breathable coveralls.
Some added benefits you may want to consider when buying lightweight coveralls for summer:
- Are the coveralls stain fighting?
- Are the coveralls wrinkle resistant?
- Do the coveralls have a two-way zipper?
- Do the coveralls have exposed metal?
If you are shopping specifically for mechanic coveralls, and want to read about more options, visit our article about the best jumpsuits for mechanics.
If you are interested in breathable work gear for summer, visit our other articles linked below:
- Cooling Short Sleeve Work Shirts
- Cooling Long Sleeve Work Shirts
- Lightweight Work Pants
- Breathable Cargo Pants
- Lightweight Hoodies
Most standard short sleeve coveralls have front-side chest pockets, large waist hand pockets, and two rear pockets, which gives them a total of six pockets. That is one reason I like Dickies lightweight coveralls because they add an extra, seventh pocket.
It is worth noting that only Walls offered a zip-close pocket:
The zip-close pocket on the Walls breathable coveralls is the left rear pocket, and might give you a nice place to store essentials. The zipper is covered by material and not exposed.