Best Seat Materials to Beat the Heat

Whats the best seat material that wont get hot in the sun?

We get asked all the time for advice about what materials to use on their seats. Some people want to know about durability, or how certain materials hold up in the mud, but the most common question is always…

“What seat materials should I use so my seat won’t get hot in the sun?”

Great Question… Marine Grade Vinyl is by far the most popular material used on all our off-road seats. It’s highly durable, resistant to UV fading, completely waterproof, and really easy to clean. Only downside? Because it’s waterproof the material doesn’t breathe at all. Which means that on hot days it’s a lot easier to get a sweaty back, and the vinyl seats can get REALLY hot after sitting in direct sunlight for a few minutes.

Best Design to Beat the Heat:

Best seat design that wont get hot in the sun

Back, Bands, and Piping

For the back and sides of the seat you want a durable material. Our best recommendation is one of our Marine Grade Vinyls.

Wait, didn’t you just say not to use vinyl?

We did… But here’s the thing. Vinyl is still by far the most durable material that is also easy to clean. And how often do you really touch the back or sides of your seat anyways? Using Vinyl on those areas is going to protect your seat from rubbing against the vehicle, and makes cleaning that much easier, because you can just wipe all the dust and mud right off.

Center and Arms

In the center of the seat you want a breathable material. Something that wicks away moisture, and wont get as hot in the sun. It’s also where your legs and back are going to contact the most. Our best recommendation is going with Tweed (or Sports Mesh if its really hot).

Tweed – The best mix of durability and breath-ability. Tweed stays a lot cooler in the sun than vinyl, and is breathable so you wont get a sweaty back. The tweed we use is also highly durable, chosen specifically because it can stand up to the punishment of off-roading. We’ve been using tweed on seats for years, and it’s still our best recommendation if you want a breathable material that’s also going to get dirty.

Sports Mesh – We introduced it on our Alpha Composite Seats, and it has turned out to be a favorite of desert racers. It’s extremely breathable, and probably the coolest material we offer. Unfortunately it’s just not available on every seat model yet.

Suede – Another material that doesn’t get that hot in the sun. But it can get really dirty in any open cab vehicle. So we only recommend it for vehicles with enclosed cabs (Jeeps, Trucks, Pre-runners).

Cordura – Also doesn’t get that hot in direct sunlight, but it is water resistant. So you may still have problems with getting a sweaty back on those extremely hot days.

Want to know more about our seat materials? Check out our Guide to Colors and Materials


Other Things to Consider

Choosing a material is always a little bit of give and take. While the tweed is a great option for those in hotter climates, you wouldn’t exactly want to run it though the mud. So if your worried about getting dirty, vinyl is probably the better option. Its just so much easier to clean when you get back home – just wash the entire seat with a hose and wipe it down. Which is why we still highly recommend that you go with Vinyl for any UTV Seats.

If you ever have any questions about what materials would be right for your vehicle. Feel free to give us a call at 1.800.317.6253 or email