Whether you race professionally, take part in street races, or enjoy off-road driving, safety must always be your number one priority. One way to improve your safety is to invest in a purpose built racing seat. Such seats are designed to reduce lateral movement, cushion your body from impacts, and provide additional support in the areas where you need it the most. However, with so many different types, styles, and models of racing seats available, it can be difficult to know which is the best for your needs. Our panel of racing enthusiasts and car lovers have compiled a list of the 10 best racing seats to point you in the right direction.
The Best Car Racing Seat
The Sparco R100 Black Seat racing seat has a tubular steel frame for strength and durability. It comes complete with bottom mount capability and low bolstering, meaning that it can fit into most car makes and models with ease. The seat is compatible with three and four-point harnesses and has an easy to use reclining mechanism.
- Tubular steel frame
- Bottom mount capability
- Low bolstering
- Compatible with 3 and 4-point harnesses
- Can be reclined
- Brand Sparco
- Model 00961NRNR
- Weight 37.2 pounds
The Full Reclinable Red and Black Trim Carbon Look PVC Leather Type-R Racing Seat by Auto Dynasty is made from a durable, strong steel frame and injection-molded foam, and covered with high-quality woven cloth. The deep bolsters help to keep the driver firmly in the seat to increase safety and comfort in all driving situations. The seat provides support for the lower back and shoulders and can take a four, five, or six-point harness. Two seats are included in the package and the seats are suitable for most car makes and models; however, seat brackets are not included.
- Strong steel frame and injection-molded foam
- High-quality woven cloth cover
- Deep bolsters, lower back and shoulder support
- Compatible with 4, 5, and 6-point harnesses
- Can be fully reclined
- Brand Auto Dynasty
- Weight 60 pounds
The RCI 8000S Poly Baja Highback Seat Black is created from molded high-density polyethylene plastic. The seat has a double wall and full back construction to give side, back, and full lumbar support. It comes complete with fixed bottom mounts and is suitable for most makes and models of car, but some modification may be required to achieve the perfect fit.
- Molded high-density polyethylene plastic
- Double wall and full back construction
- 20” wide and 33” tall
- Lightweight at 10lbs
- 18-degree layback
- Brand RCI
- Model 8000S
- Weight 13 pounds
The JEGS 70200 Pro High Back Race Seat is made from molded black polyethylene and has a 17-degree back angle. Its lightweight design makes it easy to fit, however, the brackets and other fittings need to be purchased separately.
- Molded black polyethylene plastic car seat
- High back design
- 21” wide, 32.25” tall, and 20” deep
- Weight 13lb
- 17-degree back angle
- Brand JEGS
- Weight 12.8 pounds
The Auto Dynasty Full Reclinable Black Cloth Carbon Look PVC Leather Type-R Racing Seat is made from injection molded foam that surrounds a durable steel frame. The entire construction is coved with a high-quality woven material. It comes with built-in seatbelt harness holes and can be used with a four, five, or six-point harness. The deep thigh bolsters help keep you firmly in the seat, promoting safety and comfort. The seat comes complete with an adjustable slider and can be fully reclined.
- Steel frame and injection molded foam design
- High-quality woven material cover
- Universal fit
- Deep thigh bolsters
- For use with 4, 5, or 6-point harness
- Can be fully reclined
- Brand Auto Dynasty
- Model AD-RS-T4-BK-R
The Sparco 008231NR Universal Sprint 2014 Seat is designed with side and bottom mount capability. It has a tubular steel frame for durability and is covered with self-extinguishing fabric for safety. The seat is compatible with five and six-point harnesses and is FIA approved. It is designed for universal fit but does not have a reclining feature.
- FIA approved
- Universal fit
- Weight 24.8lb
- Dimensions 11.6” x 11.6” x 31.3”
- Suitable for 5 and 6-point harnesses
- Bottom and side mount capability
- Steel frame design
- Covered with self-extinguishing material
- Brand Sparco
- Model 008231NR
- Weight 43 pounds
The MOMO 1076BLK Racing Seat is a highback bucket seat made from fiberglass. It is designed to provide comfort and protection while racing. The shape of the upper part of the seat is specifically designed to reduce lateral movement. The anatomical backseat cushions are covered in an Airnet technical material that is exclusive to MOMO. The material improves airflow and reduces driver fatigue and the seat includes removable double leg cushions for optimal support. It is suitable for five-point seat harnesses and is FIA approved and HANS compatible.
- FIA approved
- HANS compatible
- Weight 25lbs
- Height 35”, Width 16”, and Depth 18”
- Fiberglass construction
- Suitable for a 5-point harness
- Highback bucket seat designed to reduce lateral movement
- Brand MOMO
- Model 1076BLK
- Weight 25 pounds
The NRG FRP-310 Pair of Fiber Glass Bucket Style Racing Seat comes with an adjustable mounting bracket, making it easier to fit them to a wide range of vehicles. The seats are made from high-quality reinforced fiberglass with a durable steel frame and injection-molded foam. The seats are covered in woven material and have deep thigh bolsters to increase safety. The seats provide additional support for the shoulders and lower back. They are compatible with a four, five, or six-point seat belt harnesses.
- Pair of seats
- Bucket seat style
- Durable steel frame with injection-molded foam and fiberglass construction
- Deep thigh bolsters
- Compatible with 4, 5, or 6-point seat belt harness
- Support for shoulders and lower back
- Brand Auto Dynasty
- Model NRG FRP-310
The DNA RS-T1-PVC-BK-R Type-1 Black PVC Leather Racing Seat is designed for the passenger side and is finished with red stitching. The seat is made from a durable steel frame and injection-molded foam, covered with woven upholstery and finished with faux leather. It includes deep thigh bolsters for safety and has built-in lower back and shoulder support. The seat is compatible with a four, five, or six-point seat belt harness and fits most vehicles.
- Passenger side racing seat
- Compatible with a 4, 5, or 6-point seat belt harness
- Shoulder and lower back support
- Deep thigh bolsters
- Steel frame construction
- Universal fit
- Brand DNA MOTORING
- Model DZ-RS-T1-PVC-BK-R
The Spec-D Tuning RS-C400SURS-2 Seat is a driver and passenger seat set finished in black PVC and blue suede. The seats are compatible with four-point seat belt harnesses and are designed for off-road driving. The seats fit most types of vehicles, although custom brackets may be required.
- Driver and passenger seat set
- PVC leather and blue suede finish
- Width 20.75”, Height 34”, and Depth 21”
- Compatible with 4-point racing harness
- Designed for off-road use
- Brand Spec-D Tuning
- Model RS-C400SURS-2
- Weight 77.5 pounds
Choosing the right racing seats for your vehicle is about more than just knowing what is available. It is also important to understand why these seats are the best and what it is you need to look for in a racing seat. It also helps if you better understand who should use a racing seat and the different types of seats that are available. In this section of the buying guide, we explore each of these elements in more details and provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about racing car seats.
What to Look for in a Car Racing Seat
When looking to purchases a racing seat for your car the first consideration needs to be the main purpose of the seat and the car. If your focus is track racing, then your needs will be very different to someone who is primarily focused on street use or even off-road driving.
If you are track racing, then it is vital that you purchase a racing seat that is FIA approved. Such seats are generally fixed back race shell seats. Safety is a priority over comfort with these types of seats. If you are looking for a seat that is primarily for normal street driving, then you may want to prioritize comfort and even consider a reclining seat.
As well as the purpose of the seat, other considerations include:
Vehicle fit – after the purpose of the seat, the fit is the most important consideration. If the seat does not fit into the space available in your vehicle, then it is no use. Different seats have different mounting mechanisms, and this also needs to be taken into consideration. Some seats are universal but require different mounting brackets that do not always come with the seat. Be prepared to buy brackets and other fittings separately.
Other users – do you need to be able to change the seating position for other people to use the vehicle safely? If so, then you need to consider a seat that includes or can be fitted with sliding mechanisms.
Dimensions – as well as fitting in your car, the seat needs to be a good fit for you. If the seat is too wide, then it will not hold you in place and stop lateral movement. If it is too narrow, it will be uncomfortable; not tall enough and you risk damage to your neck and shoulders. The dimensions are also important in relation to the harness openings. If these are in the wrong place in relation to your torso, then you could cause yourself a range of injuries if you need to stop quickly.
Harness fittings – different seats are suitable for different types of harnesses. Some are designed to work with the basic three-point seat belt harness that was factory fitted to your car. Others are designed specifically for four, five, or six-point racing harnesses. If you are track racing, then the right harness is of vital importance.
Cushions and padding – most seats include some degree of padding for comfort, however, the type and positioning of this padding depends on the main function of the seat. When choosing your seat, be aware of any specific needs you have, as well as taking into account the main purpose of the seat.
Passenger – if you are racing with a passenger, then they need the same level of protection as the driver. Buying a pair of seats where possible ensures that both seats fit securely into the vehicle. However, all our previous considerations must also be applied to your passenger.
Who Should Use Car Racing Seats
Anyone who takes part in motorsports should consider a suitable racing seat. This includes activities such as:
- Time trials
- Off-road racing
- Road racing
- Drag racing
- Dirt track racing
- Track racing
The right racing car seat is essential if you take part in any of these activities as it provides neck and back support, reducing wear and tear on these areas of your body. It also provides additional safety measures should you be involved in a collision or other motor accident. Of course, even if you do not take part in motorsport you can choose to swap out your factory seat for a racing seat, however, in these cases, it is less about function and more about form, comfort, and style.
Types of Racing Car Seat
There are several different types of racing seats available and the one that you need depends greatly on the reason why you are buying the seat. Racing seats different in shape, size, the support they offer, the level of comfort they provide, and the materials that they are made from. The most common types of racing seats are:
Adjustable racing seats – these are seats that recline and can be adjusted to meet the needs of the driver and passenger. While they offer support at the sides it is often less than that found in a bucket seat.
Bucket seats – This is a molded seat that is designed to hold the driver in place. It reduces lateral movement and provides support to the head and neck, as well as shoulders and lumbar support.
FIA seats – these are seats that are approved by the FIA for racing. If you are racing professionally or even semi-professionally an FIA approved seat is a must.
What About Safety?
A racing seat is an important safety feature in a car that is used for racing for several reasons. Primarily such seat reduces lateral movement, so less sliding from side to side. This reduces the risk of injury and ensures that you can focus on driving rather than trying to hold yourself in position.
Racing seats also provide additional protection for the lumbar region of the spine, your neck and shoulders, and your head. Combined with the correct seat belt harness, such a seat improves your safety in the event of a collision or an accident where the vehicle rolls over.
Many seats are also flame retardant, so in the event of a fire, you have a greater chance of escaping the vehicle before the flames engulf your seat.
However, all of this is only possible if you choose your seat wisely and ensure that it is correctly fitted to your vehicle. It is essential that the seat is suitable for the type of racing that you are undertaking and that it fits your body size and shape correctly. It also needs to be combined with the correct seat belt harness.
Best Car Racing Seats FAQ:
Q: What is a Racing Car Seat?
A: A racing car seat is a seat that is designed specifically to enhance your safety and improve your driving experience while you are involved in a range of motorsports. Such seats have additional safety features, including higher backs, deeper seats, and stronger construction materials.
Q: How do I install a racing car seat?
A: When fitting a racing seat, you need to check the manufacturer’s guide and ensure you have all the correct fittings. An incorrectly fitted seat could cause injury and put others at risk while you are racing. If in doubt, then speak to a racing professional or a local vehicle mechanic to ensure that the seat is fitted correctly.
While each seat will have its own specific fitting needs, we have included a basic guide to point you in the right direction. Before you get started you will need the right equipment. As well as the car itself, this will include:
- Mounting brackets (bottom or side depending on the seat)
- Sliders – if you want to be able to move the position of the seat (this is not an option on some seats)
- Nuts and bolts to connect the seat to the brackets and the brackets to the car
- Tools – generally you can install a seat with as little as a flathead screwdriver and a socket and ratchet set.
- Space – give yourself enough space to be able to lay everything out and move around the vehicle as needed
Once you have everything you need, the next step is to attach the mounting brackets and sliders, if they are being used, to the new racing seat. Make sure you line up the holes on the brackets correctly.
Now you need to remove the factory seat from your vehicle. Start by removing the rear bolts and then remove the front bolts.
Once completed unplug all seat connectors. It helps to tilt the seat back so that you can see the underside. Once everything is disconnected, you should be able to pull the set out and remove it from the vehicle.
Don’t forget to detach the seat belt buckle. This is only necessary if it was attached to the seat, rather than the body of the vehicle.
You are now ready to install the new seat. Start by attaching the seat belt buckle if necessary. Then maneuver the seat into position and reconnect the connectors. If any of them are not accommodated by the new seat, they can be left unplugged.
Now bolt the seat into place starting with the front bolts. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts. Once completed, check the position of the seat. If it doesn’t feel right, then take it out and start again. It is important the position is correct for you, otherwise, your safety and driving performance could be compromised.
Q: How should I clean my racing car seat?
A: Before attempting to clean your racing car seats you need to check the manufacturer’s guide to see what products are safe to use on the materials. The best way to keep your seats clean is to avoid spillages and vacuum regularly to stop dirt, dust, and crumbs from becoming ground in.
If the seat has removable covers, then these should be removed and washed, following the washing instructions. Wash car seats at regular intervals and as soon as possible after spillages or other liquids come in contact with them.
Spot cleaning with mild detergent is usually a suitable way to deal with small areas that need cleaning. However, it is important that seats are dried thoroughly to stop liquid seeping through into the chair and to reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.
Q: How do I pick the right size of seat?
A: It is important that your seat fits you perfectly if it is to keep you safe and provide the intended level of support. The height, width, and depth of the seat are important, as are your measures that relate to these areas. This means that you need to measure your width at your shoulders, waist, and hips, to ensure the right lateral fit.
You should also measure the length of your upper leg when sitting; you need the measurement from the underside of your knee joint to the rear of your bottom. This ensures that you can fit comfortably in the base of the seat and that any padding is in the right places. If the seat is not deep enough for your measurements, your balance will be wrong, and the seat will not hold you correctly. If the length of the top of your legs is too short for the base of the seat, then this might impair your driving ability.
The height of your upper body is important. You should take a measurement up to your shoulders, another to the base of your neck, and a third to the top of your head. This ensures that the seat is tall enough and that neck and shoulder support is in the correct place.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best racing car seat is the Sparco R100 Black Seat. This racing seat has a tubular steel frame for strength and durability. It comes complete with bottom mount capability and low bolstering, meaning that it can fit into most car makes and models with ease. The seat is compatible with a three or four-point harness and has an easy to use reclining mechanism.
- Pros and Cons of All-in-one Car Seats – HowStuffWorks