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Modifying Your Jeep Wrangler's Seats - Covers & Aftermarket Options

Modifying Your Jeep Wrangler's Seats - Covers & Aftermarket Options

Work hard and play harder. It’s one of the many reasons to protect your Jeep Wrangler’s interior with a set of new seat covers. Whether you’re hauling items in your interior or going outdoors on a wet and muddy day, you don’t want to ruin the inside of your Jeep. Better yet, you want something that is comfortable to come back to when you’re wet and cold. That’s why brand new seat covers, whether for aesthetic or utilitarian reasons, are one of the best upgrades you can make on your Jeep Wrangler. Protecting against UV lights, mud, grass stains, and virtually anything you can think of, a set of seat covers can protect the value of your vehicle as well as its appearance. Here we’ll discuss the various seat cover options and which ones will deliver the best bang for your buck.

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Whether driving across country or across town, seat accessories can offer protection, comfort, and aesthetics to your Jeep Wrangler.

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Seat Covers - Keeping the Trail Grime Out

Jeep seat covers come in a variety of materials and options, generally ranging from cotton and neoprene to leather and leatherette material. In addition, considering a Jeep’s top can be removed, exposing the seats to the sun, most seat covers offer some level of UV protection and claim to prevent fading.

Cotton: Some seat covers are 100% cotton for a machine washable solution. These covers are also very easy to install and remove, often looking like more of a bib for the seat. They sometimes are presented as beach towels. Whether you need protection from mud/dirt while on the trail or prevent the seats from getting too wet while driving or returning from the beach/pool, Cotton covers are among the less expensive option available.

Leather: A comfortable and durable material that can protect against scratches, spills, and stains. Although, it's vulnerable to cracking and wear from UV rays.

Neoprene: A durable, waterproof material that is a favorite among off-roading enthusiasts. Generally, one of the most cost-effective seat cover materials and most commonly requested. These covers are made from the same material as wetsuits. As a result, they are designed to be waterproof and offer the same level of UV protection. The criticism with most neoprene covers is the lack of air flow, making them slightly uncomfortable during long drives or hot weather. Nonetheless neoprene covers stretch and can be installed/removed very easily, providing you with the option of only installing them while on the trail if needed.

Leatherette: If you’re looking to upgrade from a cloth interior to a leatherette finish, there are some leatherette vinyl seat covers available that can be installed over your existing cloth seats. This alternative to genuine leather provides the same look and protection, but at a much more affordable price. 

Storage: In addition to material, some seat covers offer the opportunity for more storage. Utilizing MOLLE strapping systems to attach bags and accessories, these types of seat covers provide great protection and the potential use of additional storage in an area otherwise underutilized area. They typically attach through loop Velcro straps, making the installation and removal very easy.

Suede: A comfortable and stylish material that is great against spills and scratches. Likewise, it is also susceptible to acute water and UV damage.

Tweed: A highly customizable fabric that is highly rated for water, stain, and UV protection.

Ballistic Nylon: A less comfortable material that is incredibly strong and resilient. Perfect for protecting your seats from rips, tears, and water leaks.

Storage: In addition to material, some seat covers offer the opportunity for more storage. Utilizing MOLLE strapping systems to attach bags and accessories, these types of seat covers provide great protection and the potential use of additional storage in an area otherwise underutilized area. They typically attach through loop Velcro straps, making the installation and removal very easy.

Each seat cover type is relatively cost-effective, but you will generally pay higher for a stronger and more durable materials – especially one that’s waterproof. In terms of monitoring budget, custom seat covers will also be cheaper than universal quilts.

1987-2017 Wrangler Seat Cover with Pockets

Seat Durability: Maintaining Your Seat Covers

While we buy seat covers to protect our seats, what’s going to protect our seat covers? Maintaining and regularly cleaning your seat covers will make them last longer and protect the value of your vehicle. It’s recommended you clean your seat covers once a month to prevent prolonged UV damage and to also eliminate any dirt or stains that accumulate in the meantime.

Most cleaning instructions apply to just about any fabric type. As a rule of thumb be sure to read the washing and drying instructions on your cover’s tag to ensure you are not jeopardizing the material.

Most seat covers are machine washable, but should be shaken first and only washed in cold water. For getting tough stains out, there are a number of products on the market, although citrus based cleaning materials tend to work the best.

Washing leather and tweed seat materials should be done with a special product that can be applied with a soft cloth towel. The biggest thing to avoid is shrinking your material in the washer by applying hot water or the wrong chemicals. Also consider investing in a windshield cover to prevent sunlight from hitting your seat covers constantly.

Seat Cover Storage Options

An aftermarket seat cover may come with additional pouches and storage options to harness and stow away any valuable or small items. Tactical pouches are common on a lot of front seat covers for rear passengers to store away any additional items that can fit. For example, we offer tactical seat covers with the ability to store clothing, small valuables, and even reserve a spot for food and drink.

Custom vs. Universal Cover Types

Generally, you have two options in terms of choosing the form fit of your seat covers for your Wrangler:

  • - Custom Fit
  • - Full Cover

Choose custom fits specifically designed for the year and make of your Wrangler. You can even find distributors on our site that offer custom designs to fully deck out the interior of your Wrangler. You can buy these individually or in sets for both your front and rear cabin seats. With these, you ultimately get more control over the aesthetic details of your seat cover and how you want your interior to look.

Full covers are designed to fit over the length of your rear seats. These are more or less for off-roaders and family vacations when you want to protect your rear seat from spills. Most people purchase universal covers as a utilitarian option for their Wrangler.

Installing Your Wrangler Seat Covers

Fortunately, most seat covers are made to be universal and require very little effort to install.

Installation Time: 15-25 Minutes

  1. 1. Detach the headrests and pull the passenger and driver seat forward.
  2. 2. Slide the seat cover over the seat, making sure to slide the cover underneath the seat belt and matching the holes to reattach the headrest.
  3. 3. Zip up your seat cover from the back.
  4. 4. Attach the velcro at the headrest area, fishing under the rest.
  5. 5. Fish your seat cover clips through the bottom and top cushion and click them together to attach.
  6. 6. Firmly attach the J-hook from the bottom of the seat cover to the underside of the bottom cushion, making sure the fit is snug.
  7. 7. Pull the headrest covers firmly over the headrest and zip them up if required.

Aftermarket Seats - More Support & Security

If you’re considering changing the seat entirely, then aftermarket Jeep seats might be a good option. These seats can range in style and function from an ordinary factory replacement to a sportier design with bolstered sides and additional padding for a more supportive feel. In addition to the additional support, these seats often offer provisions for 5-point seatbelt harnesses. During off-road or trail use, the harness can be attached to the Jeep’s roll bar and provide an additional layer of restraint, in the unlucky event the Jeep rolls over while on the trail. Some aftermarket seats will require an optional seat bracket, increasing the overall expense. Another thing to consider when looking at aftermarket seats, are factory side airbags, if your Jeep comes equipped with the optional side airbags, a seat replacement might involve the help of a professional to ensure the airbag system isn’t compromised.

Review & Installation of Aftermarket Seats

Seat Accessories - Recliners & Weight Reduction

Aside from the aftermarket seat rails that might be required when replacing the seat itself, you might elect to replace the factory seat rails with a lighter and stronger aluminum alternative. These aftermarket rails also offer a high level of adjustment, while retaining the same factory mounting points.

In addition to aftermarket rails, there are a variety of other seat accessories available for the Jeep Wrangler. The Teraflex air compressor mount allows you to install an ARB twin air compressor under the front seat of a four-door Wrangler or a two-door wrangler without the flip/tilt seat bracket. This unique mounting solution uses space that would normally be underutilized to mount an air compressor, which can control air lockers or serve as an air source to fill your tires.

One other helpful accessory is the rear seat recline kit. This simple to install kit provides a slight angle to the back seats, in order to tilt them back for a more comfortable seated position during longer drives. The kit adds 2.5” of reclining space to the seat frame, while still retaining the seat’s ability to fold flat during cargo needs.

1987-2002 Wrangler Sport Bucket Reclining Seat
Reclining Seat Set
Fitment includes: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, JL, JK, TJ, YJ, Laredo, Sport, Islander, S, Sahara, Renegade, SE, X, Rubicon, Unlimited, Sport-S