Top 7 Go Kart Seat Options
As if go-karts weren’t fun enough on their own, they come with the ability to be modified to suit your tastes. Whether that’s adding a light bar or adding in racing parts, there’s almost no end to the possibilities. Regardless of what you use your kart for, one upgrade you may want to consider is your seat.
A new go-kart seat can add a new level of comfort, style, and performance to your vehicle. While the choice to add one is simple, selecting the best seat for your kart is a little more complicated. Here are our top picks for go-kart seats on the market this year, as well as a buyer’s guide to help you find something that suits your needs.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Our goal when creating these “best of” articles is to bring you the most accurate information possible. There are plenty of websites on the internet that comprise their lists of products they want you to buy, ignoring aspects like quality and benefit to the consumer. We set out to be different by providing consumers with real, honest information.
The first step we take to bring you an accurate list of products is scouring through customer reviews. A company can make any claim they want, but customers tell the real story of a product. Compliments and complaints are weighed for their honesty, leaving no stone unturned as we hunt down issues and defects.
Next, we look at testimonials. These can also count as customer reviews, but we like to ensure that they are honest and not paid for. Trust us, we’ve been doing this long enough to know the difference. If we find them to be dishonest, it counts against the brand’s reputation.
Speaking of brand reputation, that’s the third aspect we look at. Some names carry more weight than others in an industry thanks to a long history of quality products and customer satisfaction. That’s not to say that small businesses aren’t considered, just that craftsmanship history is an important factor.
Finally, we look at the data surrounding the product. For a go-kart seat, that means aspects like comfort, safety, and how easy it is to install. What materials are they made of? Are they breathable, supportive, and can they improve driving performance?
7 Best Go Kart Seat Options
We take out lists seriously and hope our hard work shines through. Here are our top ten picks for go-kart seats you can buy this year.
This black polyethylene seat is stylish, durable, and designed with racing in mind. Its sleek build provides ample back support while the high back offers extra support for your neck and head. A double-walled shell makes this go kart seat extra durable, while the snap and screw set keeps its installation simple.
The JEGS 7020 weighs 12.5lbs, measuring 32 x 21 x 9.5in. We like the fact that this seat walks the line between comfort, style, and functionality. It’s stiff enough to help you curve through bends but comfortable enough to create a racecar-esque experience.
OMP Model 0503033
The 0503033 is as stiff as they come. Its design cradles your body, helping to diminish any injury during impact while giving you better control over your turning speed. It’s not much of a looker, and it certainly isn’t the most comfortable seat on the market, but it offers an intense level of performance not to be underestimated.
Two tweaks would make to this mode are simpler installation and accommodation for seatbelts. However, the number of workarounds for this OMP model are vast. If you’re a lightweight driver and need the extra stability, you can’t go wrong with this type of solid kart seat.
OMP Model 05003138
Model 05003138 provides everything its predecessor does not. It offers the same design for stability and protection but includes a softer cover that makes it a little more bearable on your behind. It’s nowhere near as comfortable as a fully padded racing seat, but the goal of these OMPs is performance.
Once again, the sides of this model help prevent injury from impact, while the stiff build gives you better control over turning speed. OMPs are highly recommended for lighter weight riders, but you can find them in numerous sized due to their popularity.
Unfortunately, this seat has the same issues as the other model. That doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a high-quality racing seat, though. If you need a little padding, then choose this OMP instead.
A step down from the 70250, this JEGS model offers the same high backing without the added harness slots. Its build is a little sleeker, which may be something you’re looking for depending on your size. Despite being the previous model, it still boasts a polyethylene construction and weighs only one more pound than the 70250.
Installation is simple, and adjustments are easy to make with the 70200. Once again, we enjoy the sleek look along with the sturdy build. There’s a little give on the JEGS models, but they retain a stiff enough body to keep you grounded even in the tightest of turns.
The RCI 8000S is somewhat of a more comfortable JEGS. The design is slightly different, but all the elements of a quality racing go-kart seat remain. The high back is arched at 18 degrees for maximum comfort, the double-poly construction keeps the seat lightweight, and the fixed mounts make installation a breeze.
This seat measures 20-inches wide and 33-inches tall, providing ample room for various sized drivers. It features traditional slots for your harness and seatbelt, accommodating nearly every go-kart style. What we like about this model is a combination of sleek and comfortable. It’s excellent for racing as well as everyday use.
This RCI model is an entirely different seat. It’s shaped more like the OMP models, featuring a low back and bucket-style shape. At the same time, it takes design cues from its larger racing-style counterpart. The stiff body provides ample control and support, while the padded covering provides a more luxurious experience.
Its sides are shortened when compared to OMP models, giving that sleek appearance of a racing seat by the torso. The cover can be taken off, too, if you need the firmness for an important race. The versatility of the design makes this another excellent choice for both race and play, while its functionality remains as simple as possible for a pleasant user experience.
ZXTDR Drift Seat
If drifting corners is your cup of tea, then the ZXTDR is right up your alley. This simple design offers a basic yet sturdy seat that gives you all of the control of an OMP without the closed sides. It’s a little riskier, a little less ergonomic, and not quite as a good looking, but it provides a lot of freedom at the wheel.
One thing we do want to make clear about this seat is that it is not designed for performance racing. With only enough room for a waist seatbelt, this is a for-fun model that you can install to take your at-home go-kart riding to a higher level.
While it isn’t made for the track, it is an excellent way to practice for professional go-kart racing. The sturdiness of the seat will help you adjust to the way you should move your body during a race as you hit sharp turns.
Choosing a new go-kart seat might seem easy at first, but the sheer number of options available make it a challenge. You want something comfortable but secure at the same time. Combining safety with rideability is vital to finding the perfect seat.
Choose the Tight Fit
The main mistake most buyers make is picking a seat that’s too large. While an oversized seat might feel more comfortable, it isn’t nearly as safe. A tighter fit will help protect your ribs in the event of an accident. That might sound contradictive, but a tighter seat keeps you from moving around any more than necessary.
The further your torso travels before making contact with the side of the seat, the greater the impact of an accident. The same concept applies to seatbelts and car crashes. Increased impact force on your body leads to serious injuries.
A tighter seat cradles your body, easily transferring kinetic energy from any crash through it. Not only is it the safer option, but it also helps your driving ability. Eliminating the ability to slide around in your seat allows you to focus on taking tight turns or maintaining speed, which is part of the fun of owning a go-kart.
Finding Your Fit
Determining your seat size isn’t as challenging as it might seem. Some product listings include complicated sizing charts, but all you need to know is your waist size and weight to find the perfect fit. Ideally, you should take your measurements while wearing any safety equipment for accuracy.
Children are the most difficult to size properly. Most young children can benefit from a cadet size seat, while youth can use an extra small. That isn’t universal, but it’s a good place to start when shopping. For adults, use the following measurements:
- Small – 110 to 132lbs, 28-30in waist
- Medium/Small – 133-155lbs, 31-32in
- Medium/Large – 156-170lbs, 33-34in
- Large – 171-190lbs, 35-37in
- Extra Large – 191-215lbs, 38-39in
- XXL – 216+lbs, 40+in
Choose Your Stiffness
There are plenty of seat options available ranging from hard plastic to soft, cushiony leather. The type you choose is a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind that stiffness and handling are intertwined.
As you turn a corner, the straight axle prevents both wheels from going around at the same speed. To go faster, you need to shift as much weight as you can off the inside rear tire. If you’re interested in beating your current best lap time, then making this happen during each turn is vital.
The softer the seat, the more sway you’re provided. Drivers can use this to their advantage and flex the entire kart just by leaning. The basic rule is that lighter drivers should use a stiffer seat and heavier drivers should choose a softer one.
Now, that rule isn’t set in stone. Aspects like your chassis type, your height, and even tire compounds can affect this rule. It’s something worth considering, though. A stiff seat gives lighter riders more weight in their push, while the softer seat allows heavier riders to use their momentum.
If you aren’t fanatical about racing times, then just pick something comfortable and stylish. You’ll enjoy the padded feeling and looks every time you use your go-kart. Just make sure they’re weather resistant if you plan to take yours into wooded trails or on campgrounds.
There are only two types of seats; racing and bucket-style. Choosing between the two is simple. If you want to take your go-kart to the track or race, then choose a racing seat. If you don’t intend to race, a bucket seat is an excellent option. Of course, you can always choose racing seats for their sleek look.
You’ll also find several seat options that fall in-between racing and bucket styles. It’s common to blend these models for added style. If you enjoy racing around for fun but also want some extra padding, don’t be afraid to pick a mixed option.
Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable in your seat whether you’re racing or playing. Take care of that ever-important factor, and the rest will fall int place.
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