Customizing your truck is fun as well as practical. Bringing your machine up to your desired specs requires time, diligence, and good knowledge of your gear. You probably think of things like brakes, exterior lighting, and truck running boards, but aesthetics are also a key. That likely means installing seat covers, but which ones are best for your truck? This quick guide can help you make sense of your options and choose the right ones for your interiors.
Yes, You Do Need Seat Covers
When shopping for seat covers, you should consider your normal driving habits. Do you frequently drink coffee or soda inside your truck cabin? Have you shoved dirty gear into the back seat in a hurry? Does Fido jump up on the seat with muddy paws? Even if you’re extra diligent about keeping your interiors clean, accidents do happen. Once you get busy doing other things, you might neglect those stains. And guess what? Now you have horrible looking seats.
But even if you never get mud or stains on your seats, you’ve got another potential problem – UV radiation. Ultraviolet rays are notorious for fading and breaking down fabric, vinyl and even leather. That’s because they destroy the chemical bonds that maintain these materials’ color and integrity. Covers are a great investment because they offer an extra layer of protection for your original seating.
Common Seat Cover Types
Now that you know why you need seat covers, which kind should you buy? That depends on who and what you haul plus where you typically drive. These covers come in many different materials, each offering distinct advantages:
- Leather: luxurious, aesthetic value and some water resistance
- Leatherette: made from plastic or vinyl, non-porous and stain-repellent
- Microsuede: polyester, durable, attractive and recyclable
- Canvas: strong, colorfast, water-resistant and doesn’t absorb smells
- Cordura: super-strong nylon, abrasion-resistant and economical
- Neoprene: superior waterproofing, non-flammable and many color options
- Saddle blanket: heavy-duty tweed, long-lasting and many color/pattern options
Waterproof seat covers are a must if you work or take excursions in the rain, at the beach or anywhere else where you come in contact with water. Neoprene scores the highest marks in waterproofing, but neosupreme ranks a close second. Neosupreme is made from polyester, water-resistant and less expensive than genuine neoprene. Leather and leatherette aren’t technically waterproof, but they do resist water and stains better than most other materials.
Universal or Custom Fit?
You’ll probably come across both universal and custom car seat covers when you’re shopping. There’s no right or wrong answer for which one to buy, so you’ll need to consider a few factors. Universal covers offer some flexibility – you can switch them to another vehicle if needed. They’re also less expensive and ship faster. Custom covers have their good points as well. Since the material is tailored to your truck’s specs, they offer a better fit. They’re also made to accommodate vehicle-specific safety features and can include custom headrest and armrest covers.
Your needs, aesthetics, and budget should determine what cover you choose. But no matter what you buy, it’s wise to choose a reliable auto parts and accessories retailer. You’ll get the best blend of quality, value, and service.