Top 8 Best Racing Seats
By | Last updated: September 4, 2020
Racing seats. BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock.com

It is freely admitted that a bit of help was enlisted for this post. After all, your author does not generally purchase items for his daily driver that intentionally make it less comfortable (except for the U-Cheap-OutTM suspension kit he once purchased; best to gloss over that one).

Plunking a set of racing seats in your whip isn’t something to be done on a whim, given their price and propensity for long term discomfort. Most of these things will squeeze your torso like a naughty co-ed, so perhaps one can make the argument these seats are a good incentive to shed some of those COVID quarantine pounds (what, is that just me?).

As always, sound off in the comments if you feel we missed the mark.

1. Editor's Choice: NRG Innovations FRP-301 Race Style Bolster/Lumbar Bucket Seat

We’ll kick things off with this affordably-minded seat that seems to be purchased by customers for use in either a real car or a sim rig. The sliders apparently make this thing a good choice for deploying it as the latter.

As for hucking it in an actual, y’know, vehicle, reviews state there are multiple holes in the brackets for easy mounting and that the mounts themselves are adjustable for height. Emphasis is put on making sure the frame on which it is mounted is square, so go ahead and break out that t-square you bought when you built the deck.

Pros/Reasonably priced
Cons/Some reports of damage on arrival
Bottom Line/Good for virtual or real roads

2. ModifyStreet Racing Bucket Seats

Alert shoppers will notice the vast majority of seats (and their coverings) on sale these days are advertised as PVC or PU leather. This means the material is of the man-made variety and not that of peeled cows. In other words, shop carefully and don’t pay a premium if it’s the fake stuff.

That doesn’t mean fake leather is undesirable. It often has better wear properties and is easier to care for than the real thing. This set shows up as a pair, one each for driver and passenger, and naturally, supplant any side-impact airbags and the like that were in your OEM seats. Most customers accepting of the need to use special brackets to install these seats in their road cars, a trait that also explains why there are no instructions included in the kit.

Pros/Snazzy style, bolstering suitable for daily use
Cons/Get yourself to the fab shop
Bottom Line/Hope you like the color orange

3. RCI 8000S Poly Baja Highback Seat

If you simply must have a new seat but are on a severe budget – and what gearhead isn’t – this may be an option. Priced well under $100 but still averaging a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 50 customers, this seat might be just the ticket to get you through for now.

Some people use it as a gaming chair or in their off-road sand rail, which does seem to be a good deployment of this budget seat. It’s apparently shipped as-is, not in a box or anything, so be aware of any damage in transport. There are reports of it flexing during a hard drag race launch.

Pros/Dirt cheap
Cons/Reports of messy appearance
Bottom Line/Apparently doesn't ship in a box

4. OMP TRS-E Racing Seat

Occupying the other end of the spectrum is this seat, one which has a tubular steel frame and is covered in durable fabric. It apparently offers FIA compliance, which we assume refers to the world racing sanctioning body and not Fred’s Internet Automobiles or something.

The shape is said to mimic the sizing of popular fiberglass seats and allows for mounting via its side or bottom. Anyone who’s worked in tight quarters trying to install a new seat in a car that was never designed to accept a racing seat will tell you this massively helps installation.

Pros/HANS compatible
Cons/$400 is good but it ain't "budget"
Bottom Line/Get the red one

5. Sparco R100 Black/Blue Seat

Talking about racing seats without mentioning Sparco would be like talking about brakes without mentioning Brembo or terrible racing movies without mentioning Driven. Compatible with a 3- or 4-point harness, this seat falls squarely in the middle of casual and extreme chairs.

Hilariously, the ad says this unit has low bolstering for wide “applications” which is presumably code for those of us who enjoy a midnight snack at the Sonic Drive-In. Its tubular steel frame permits a bottom mount capability and it is available with black, blue, or red trim.

Pros/Great name, great ratings
Cons/Sold by the each
Bottom Line/Difficult to go wrong with this option

6. NRG Innovations Bucket Seat

It’s always comforting when online reviewers actually leave useful comments – including images of the installed product – rather than one-word sentences. This is why a seat with just 55 percent five-star reviews made it onto this list.

For the most part, customers were happy with the quality and padding, though the one-size-fits-most mounting options required more than a few people to run for the fab shop. A few dudebros that spend too much time at the gym reported this seat wasn’t overly comfortable for those of us with jacked up physiques.

Pros/Decent price for what you get
Cons/Not overly lightweight compared to others on this list
Bottom Line/Weightlifters need not apply

7. OMP HTE-R 400 Racing Seat

We’re revisiting a brand name mentioned earlier on this list, though the style of seat is vastly different this time around. It’s here we’ll mention how important images are to product ads, since this company’s inscrutable naming convention is simply a mix of letters and numbers.

This seat is said to offer a protective halo-style design but with a slimmer upper profile for installation in smaller spaces. Built on a lightweight gel-coated fiberglass shell, the HTE-R line of seats are apparently common World Touring Car Championship series thanks to being upholstered in a highly breathable Airtex material for comfort in hot conditions.

Pros/Lateral leg support bolsters, split leg bottom cushion
Cons/Only three reviews
Bottom Line/Don't expect WTCC interviews when climbing out of your knackered Civic

8. Sparco Circuit II Seat

We’ll wrap this list with another seat from Sparco, one which surely would have been mentioned earlier if not for its ad’s lack of detail and reviews. Bordering on a four-figure price, this Sparco seat is the larger of the two chairs from their Circuit range, denoted by the “II”. We guess “XL” was not an appropriate pair of letters to embroider on the headrest.

The seat is sold on its own with no brackets, so we hope you’re on good terms with a metal fabrication shop or are comfortable sticking pieces of metal together with a welder. It also says they are FIA certified (your local autocross in the Safeway lot still isn’t, however).

Pros/Looks baller, Sparco name
Cons/New listing with little feedback
Bottom Line/The seller has been responsive to questions

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Rental Reviews, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main Photo Credit: BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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