Reviewer's Notebook: Inside Armor: Seat Covers and Mats
Inside Armor: Seat Covers and Mats
Seat CoversWith seat covers the choices are fairly simple: high quality fixed covers, or economical removable covers. We tested one of each type, a fixed neoprene cover from Wet Okole of Hawaii, and a removable utility cover from Cabelas, of Nebraska.
Wet Okole Seat CoversWet Okole manufactures their seat covers from neoprene, the material used in wetsuits. This soft, durable material comes in many colors, wears well, and provides temperate seating; it stays cool in the summer, but warms quickly in winter. Wet Okole's neoprene seat skins are waterproof, washable, and stain-resistant, and they make an excellent seat covering for the dirty rigors of off-road usage.
Wet Okole's bench seat
covers are just as well-tailored as their bucket seat covers.
The Custom seat covers are 100% neoprene, and are made for bucket seats as well as 60/40, 50/50 and 40/20/40 split bench seats. They are made to order for each year, make, and model of vehicle, with one or two different neoprene colors. As with the Universal, the Custom covers feature padding to further increase the comfort of factory seating.
Wet Okole's Universal
seat cover on the left and custom fit on the right.
Wet Okole seat covers stay amazingly clean, but if a hundred-plus-pound muddy dog gets a bit confused about where he's supposed to sit in the truck, they also clean up well. A quick trip through the washer lifts most stains away entirely.
Once mounted, these seat covers stay on until you take them off -- far better than any others we've used. Most other seat covers seem to remove themselves routinely in the process of everyday ingress/egress. The Wet Okole tenacious fit is a result of perfect tailoring and clever adjustable buckle straps. The Universal seat cover uses two adjustable straps that sneak between the seat bottom and the back, connecting under the seat. The Custom seat cover uses these two fore and aft straps, as well as two more that criss-cross them, running side to side under the seat.
Wet Okole seat covers fit
like a glove and look good inside Project WomBAT.
Project WomBAT's Custom seat covers fit the seat-body like a glove, but the headrest cover was slightly less snug, showing some excess material at its bottom. Also, the stock Trooper seats feature a stash pocket on their back side that is covered and not readily accessible with the covers on. A nice option would be to have a slash opening in the back to allow continued use of these handy stock pockets.
Randy's stock seats, underneath Wet Okole's
protective armor, are still in nearly new condition even after almost 4 years.
Wet Okole protects seats and improves vehicle appearance with solid color,
two-tone, or even custom designs.
Sport Seat Shields
The Sport Seat Shield
fits well and provides quick, easy seat protection.
The Sport Seat Shields' biggest advantage comes
from their convenience. They roll up quickly, and remain that way thanks to a
simple Velcro tab. Rolled up, they stay under your seats and out of the way
seats until duty calls.
Rolled up tightly, ready
to be stored within easy reach.
With this kind of easy stowage, the Sport Seat Shields protect well when you are covered with mud or are sopping wet. At these times the covers' lack of breath-ability is not a hindrance, but rather a benefit. They can even be rolled up into themselves when muddy, thus allowing the mess to remain on the cover and not on you. After use, a quick hose-down rinses off the dirt and mud.
WeatherTech Floor Mats
WeatherTech's mats look
rugged and massive.
Designers at MacNeill devised WeatherTech mats to address these problems, with voids and dams that provide a combined 1.5 quart capacity. The extremely tough, yet pliable rubber that makes up WeatherTech Mats remains flexible well below freezing, anchors itself firmly to prevent sliding around the footwell. WeatherTech mats can handle just about any kind of slop that can be tracked in, the stuff that would normally drip or drain off boots and permanently stain carpet.
The WeatherTech mats
easily capture liquids and solids.
After a trail ride, interior cleanup is a snap. Like many off-road enthusiasts, the mats benefit from a good hose-down after particularly snowy or muddy adventures. Cleanup is fast and easy with a quick shot from a hose and perhaps a quick brushing. The mats' thick, tough rubber promises years of reliable service.
ConclusionsSeats can be hideously expensive to clean, repair, or replace, and few seats will fit the truck as well as the seats that the engineers and ergonomists designed for it. Fitting non-stock seats will likely require custom fabrication to achieve a sturdy and safe installation.
It only seems logical to thoroughly protect your seating investment. With solutions from Wet Okole and Cabelas, your interior can be as well armored as the bottom side of your truck.
|For more information, contact:|
|Wet Okole Hawaii
1727 Superior Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
1 Cabela Dr.
Sidney, Nebraska 69160