For most of us, boating is about relaxation, but for that, you need comfortable seats. Whether your factory seats are simply less comfortable than you would like or have been worn out and need to be replaced, picking the right seat is more important than many buyers understand.
Of course, if you have never purchased boat seats, this can be a complicated chore.
What style do you need? What factors should you consider? Are the seats you were looking at as good as the salesman indicated? There are many questions to be answered, and each answer will determine whether you made a good purchase.
Below we will look at our recommendations for best boat seats and provide some tips for selecting the seat that’s best for you.
10 Best Boat Seats of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best High-Back #1: Tempress Elite Helm High Back
- Best High-Back #2: Seamander Captain Bucket Seat
- Best Low-Back #1: North Captain T1 Deluxe Boat Seat
- Best Low-Back #2: Wise Pro Angler Tour Bass Bucket Seat
- Best Folding #1: Tempress NaviStyle High-Back Boat Seat
- Best Folding #2: Guide Gear High Back Folding Boat Seat
- Best for the Money #1: Wise Economy Low Back Boat Seat
- Best for the Money #2: Seamander Low Back Fold Down Boat Seat
- Most Comfortable: Leader Accessories Two-Tone Captain’s Bucket Seat
- Best Back-to-Back: Wise Deluxe Series Lounge Seat
|Category||Best High-back||Best Low-back||Best Folding|
|Product|| || ||
|Height||26 inches||20 inches||21 inches|
|Width||23.5 inches||16 inches||17 inches|
|Depth||27.5 inches||15.5 inches||16 inches|
|Material||30-oz Marine-grade vinyl||28-oz Marine-grade vinyl||28-oz Marine-grade vinyl|
|Installation||8 bolts||4 bolts||Not specified by manufacturer|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best High-Back Boat Seat #1: Tempress Elite Helm High Back
This seat takes comfort to a new level. Not only is it manufactured from the highest quality materials, but it also incorporates a design that encourages improved posture. Plus, it is durable and perfect for the harsh environments you will encounter.
The rotationally molded seat provides a solid platform suitable for use on a wide range of boat models. The four-bolt square swivel mount is easily installed on most seat stands.
It can be installed on most eight-bolt slides and any five-inch-by-five-inch mounting system. You will need a Tempress reinforcing plate, though, which is sold separately.
The overall shape was designed with input from spinal surgeons for the best in ergonomics. NaviStyle side panels provide superior support. Built-in lumbar support, the rolled front edge, and a lack of excessive foam improve comfort and encourage the best posture for long-term back health.
The seat’s heavy 30-ounce marine-grade vinyl is resistant to UV light and mildew, and it’s also easy to clean. Waterfall edges allow water to bead off easier, and the seat is available in a variety of color combinations.
If you are looking for a high-quality high-back boat seat that will last a lifetime and provide superior comfort, it’s hard to beat the Elite.
- Rear grab bar allows for safer movement around an unstable boat.
- Armrests increase comfort and security in rough water
- Ergonomic design for increased comfort even after many hours on the water
- Waterfall edges and superior stitching means no rough edges
- Available in a variety of color combinations to match your boat’s color scheme
- Requires reinforcement plate, which is sold separately
- Larger users may find the armrests and side panel shape difficult to fit into
2. Best High-Back Boat Seat #2: Seamander Captain Bucket Seat
The Captain Bucket Seat is top tier in every aspect. If other options have left you wanting, you will find this seat a welcome relief.
The spinning plastic mold frame is one of the most durable designs available. The rigid design is strong enough to withstand heavy-duty use and flexible enough to withstand the shock of heavy seas.
The padding is constructed of high-compression OEM foam. This provides the highest degree of comfort and back support, even after many hours on the water.
Finally, there is the marine-grade covering. Not only is it UV and mildew resistant, both a must on the water, it is also soft to the touch. No more dirty, slippery seats that need to be covered with a towel before your friends arrive.
Plus, there are additional features you will enjoy. The flip-up bolster acts as a built-in booster or allows the seat to be used as a leaning post. Stainless-steel fittings eliminate rust issues, and the seat comes ready to mount with hardware included.
Seamander is one of the most reputable makers of boat seats, and it shows. This is seat’s combination of high-quality construction, superior comfort, and ease of use on a wide range of vessels is why it is one of our top boat seats
- Constructed from high-quality, marine-grade materials
- Resistant to both UV light and mildew
- The spinning frame allows for easier lateral movement
- Very easy to clean
- A bit on the expensive side
- The larger size may not be suitable for smaller boats
3. Best Low-Back Boat Seats #1: North Captain T1 Deluxe Boat Seat
Although there are many reasons to choose a low-back boat seat, none justify settling for low quality or less comfort. The North Captain T1 Deluxe means you don’t have to.
The low-back design makes it the perfect choice for anglers or those with limited space. However, the quality construction is what makes this seat stand out among the many options available.
The high-compression foam padding provides day-long comfort and retains its shape over the seasons. The injection-molded polypropylene frame is both strong and UV resistant, and the marine-grade vinyl covering is exceptionally durable and UV resistant as well.
Plus, the aluminum hinges are corrosion resistant and lightweight, making this seat perfect for both fresh and saltwater use.
Because it is constructed of high-quality marine-grade vinyl, cleanup is easy. Water will bead and run off quickly. Small spills can be wiped up with ease. Should you encounter a larger stain, most commercial vinyl cleaners will remove it in short order.
The four-bolt design can be attached to any standard four-bolt pedestal or swivel system, making it easy to install on almost any boat. If your boat uses five or eight bolts, mount adaptors are also available.
If you are looking for a lightweight, low-profile boat seat you, can’s go wrong with the North Captain T1 Deluxe.
- Available in either as single seat or in pairs
- UV treated for longer life and reduced fading
- Compressed foam padding will retain shape for many seasons
- Easily maintained
- Easy to install on most boats.
- Larger users may find this seat too small
- Color selection is limited
4. Best Low-Back Boat Seats #2: Wise Pro Angler Tour Bass Bucket Seat
Today’s bass boats are more advanced than ever, allowing anglers to achieve speeds and maneuverability never seen before. This requires only the best components — including seating. If you are looking for quality, comfortable seats for your boat, why not go with what the pros use?
The Pro Angler offers a unique combination of features that professional anglers rely on for safe, comfortable use during their long hours on the water. The OEM-grade frame system allows for superior support under the stress of high-speed, rough-water operation.
The molded foam construction will hold shape for the life of the seat and offer increased comfort. Heavy 28-ounce marine-grade vinyl combined with double topstitching ensures seats will withstand the stress of heavy pounding. They are also treated to resist mildew & UV.
Each pair of seats is designed to replace most bass boat factory seats and include a piano hinge for flat-surface mounting. For additional functionality, you can combine these seats with an optional 14-inch buddy seat or center console.
Buyers have their choice of three color combinations — marble, black, and charcoal; marble, blueberry, and charcoal; or marble, regal red, and charcoal.
If you are looking for heavy-duty replacement seats that will withstand the rough conditions dedicated anglers face, it is time to go with what the pros depend on.
- Low-profile design allows the seat to remain out of the way when casting or moving about the deck
- Heavy-duty construction will withstand even the harshest conditions
- Allows for use of either optional buddy seat or center console unit
- Piano-hinge mounting allows for hassle-free installation in most boats
- Not suitable for pedestal position use
- Only sold in pairs
5. Best Folding Boat Seat #1: Tempress NaviStyle High-Back
This seat provides all the comfort and durability of Tempress’s other models with the added benefits of a folder. It is a premium replacement for either helm, passenger, or pedestal positions.
Unlike many folding boat seats, the NaviStyle is built to last — not just get you through the season. The seat is constructed of high-quality, water-resistant molded foam. This will provide superior comfort and allow the seat to hold its shape for many seasons.
The oversized dimensions (18.5 inches x 22.5 inches x 19.5 inches) provide room more like a full-sized, standard seat than a folding model. The tight 9.75-inch turning radius is well suited for smaller or mid-sized boats.
Each seat is shipped with stainless-steel mounting hardware and a Loctite patch for a secure fit. The universal seat bolt pattern is molded into the frame. It will accommodate any 5 1/4-inch mounting system or pedestal. Each seat is equipped with a locking system to keep in the down position during transport.
This is an excellent choice for those who need a folding seat but want the comfort of a standard seat.
- Extra-large dimensions to allow for additional comfort
- One-year warranty
- Made in the USA
- Well suited for freshwater or saltwater use
- Many color options
- Slow to dry out when soak and wet
Tempress NaviStyle is also available at:
6. Best Folding Boat Seat #2: Guide Gear High Back Folding Boat Seat
If you spend enough time on your boat, the seat will eventually need to be replaced. When that time comes, you need to select the best, but that does not mean you need to refinance the entire boat to do so. The Guide Gear High Back Folding Seat is the perfect combination of economical and durable design.
Each seat is constructed with top-quality marine-grade components. The heavy-duty vinyl cover will repel water and is treated to resist both mildew and UV light. These qualities will ensure your seat lasts a long time in any environment.
The high-impact polymer frame will withstand the shock and pounding of even heavy sea conditions while providing a secure, comfortable platform. The aluminum hinges are corrosion resistant and feature a no-pinch design.
You can purchase this seat in multiple color combinations including gray and charcoal, gray and navy blue, gray and red, and sand and brown. The universal mounting kit will fit most boats and includes all necessary hardware.
- Large size for extra comfort.
- Large selection of colors
- UV- and mildew-resistant materials
- Suitable for freshwater or saltwater use
- Can be used at the helm, pedestal, or passenger positions
- Stitching is not as heavy-duty as other models
- Upholstery is stapled in place
7. Best Boat Seat for the Money #1: Wise Economy Low Back Boat Seat
Wise is widely recognized as a provider of quality, budget-friendly boat seats. The Wise Economy is no exception.
Boat owners looking for a less expensive option will find this seat provides the durability, comfort, and function of models that cost far more.
Do not let “inexpensive” be confused with “cheap.” Although this seat may not cost as much as other brands, it still comes with quality construction. The plastic injection-molded frame is durable and resistant to UV light, mildew, and corrosion.
It is also sturdy enough to accommodate up to 200 pounds. The embossed vinyl material is easy to clean, fashionable, and resistant to UV light and mildew. Finally, the high-quality aluminum hinges are lightweight and resistant to corrosion, perfect for saltwater use.
High-compression foam padding provides increased comfort and will hold its shape for a long time. Even after several hours on the boat, you will not feel like your seat has left you flat. Because the seat is hinged, you can fold it out of the way when not needed or if extra room is needed for gear and casting a line.
The seat includes mounting fasteners and will fit most standard pedestal systems. Add a swivel for additional functionality.
The Wise Economy is the perfect solution for the boat owner who needs a modestly priced seat but does not want to forego quality and comfort.
- Very budget friendly
- Perfect for those needing to replace multiple seats
- Constructed with premium materials for added comfort and durability
- Components are UV, mildew, and corrosion resistant
- Easy to install on most boats
- Not the best seat for the operator; better suited for passengers
- Weigh limit of 200 pounds makes this less than perfect for larger users.
8. Best Boat Seat for the Money #2: Seamander Low Back Fold Down Boat Seat
The Seamander Low Back Fold Down seat is another perfect option for those looking for a combination of durability and quality. Seamander is a leader in the production of boat seats, and their experience and dedication show in every one of their products.
This stylish seat is offered in multiple color combinations to match your boat’s existing color scheme. But it is more than good looks that will drive you to make this purchase. It is a high-quality, well-constructed piece of equipment.
The high-grade injected molded plastic frame is lightweight and durable. The aluminum hinges are resistant to corrosion, making it a perfect choice for saltwater use. Heavy-duty 29-ounce high-compression foam will hold its shape and provide many seasons of comfort.
Plus, the high-quality marine-grade vinyl is water repellant and easy to clean.
The dimensions (18.75 inches x 15.75 inches x 14 inches) will fit most boats, including smaller runabouts and Jon boats. A universal mounting system also allows for installation without modification to either the seat or boat. With a weight capacity of 225 pounds, it is one of the few options for larger users.
If you need a quality, affordable seat for your small boat, it will be hard to find a better option than the Seamander Low Back Fold Down Boat Seat.
- Low-profile, lightweight design that’s perfect for small boats
- Easy-to-clean vinyl cover that repels moisture
- Corrosion-resistant materials suitable for saltwater use.
- Larger weight capacity that’s well suited for larger users.
- Not treated to resist mildew or UV
- Not ideal as an operator seat
9. Most Comfortable Boat Seat: Leader Accessories Two-Tone Captain’s Bucket Seat
If you need to replace your seat, why not upgrade? This is the perfect time to add a seat that is more comfortable and more luxurious than what you had before. The Leader Accessories Two-Tone Captain’s Bucket Seat is what you need.
Even before you sit in this seat you will see it was built for comfort. The sleek lines, wrap-around sides, and extended, flip-up seat area are all designed with your comfort in mind.
You will enjoy optimal ergonomics for increased posture, a perfect curve to increase comfort and security, and high-quality construction that will last a lifetime.
The oversized dimensions (23.5 inches x 26 inches x 20.5 inches) provide the room necessary for comfort. No more feeling confined by your seat. The high-density foam padding, shaped to provide a body fitting curve, ensures maximum support. The flip-up bolster provides added height if needed.
The stainless-steel fitting and rigid plastic backrest are strong enough to support even larger users. The marine-grade vinyl cover is treated to resist UV light and mildew. The entire unit is perfect for use in both fresh and saltwater environments.
You will enjoy a choice of multiple color options to match your boat’s color scheme. All seats are white with accents in black, charcoal, blue, or red. You have the option of a matching colored or plain white bolster.
- Ergonomic design
- Fashionable color choices
- High-grade vinyl and foam construction
- Compatible with 5-inch-by-5-inch or 5-inch-by-12-inch platforms
- Plastic back frame not as strong as some other models
- Bulky design not the best for smaller boats
10. Best Back-to-Back Boat Seat: Wise Deluxe Series Lounge Seat
Adding back-to-back seats not only allows for additional options but can also provide much needed unseat storage. The key is selecting the best seats. Wise has the perfect solution in their Deluxe Series Lounge Seat (model 8WD707).
The Deluxe Lounge uses the same basic construction as Wise’s single-seat designs. The frame is constructed of injection-molded plastic for a sturdy, dependable structure.
The seat includes high compression foam padding guaranteed to maintain its shape for many seasons and provide superior comfort. The marine-grade vinyl cover is waterproof and resistant to mildew and UV light.
You can get your choice of a wide range of color combinations. Options include classic white, white and blue, grey and blue, charcoal and black, navy, sand, and sand and brown. All versions include under-the-seat storage accessible by flipping up the seat pad.
- Classic, refined look for any boat
- Can be installed utilizing little more space than a single seat
- A wide range of color options
- Convenient under-the-seat storage
- Limited to only 250 pounds
- Not suitable for helm or pedestal installation
While it may be possible to install regular seats or chairs on your boat, they are not intended for this purpose and their use would present many challenges and even safety hazards.
First, boat seats need to be secured in place. If a chair where to tip during high-speed operation or rough water, the user could be injured or even fall overboard. Second, boat seats are designed to provide the durability needed to withstand the harsh conditions encountered when boating.
A quality boat seat will include a strong mounting system, durable components, and a design that supports the users during a variety of conditions. Most will be constructed with easy-to-clean materials that are resistant to water, mildew, and UV light.
Quality boat seats can make the difference between enjoying your time on the water and wanting to get home as soon as possible. Next we’ll review the various boat seat styles, materials, and uses to help you narrow your search.
Materials & Design
Quality boat seats will include padded foam to protect the user and provide additional comfort. Additional options include a high back for additional comfort, lumbar support, ergonomic shape, and added shock absorption. Each will increase the comfort of the rider, especially when used in rough conditions.
The most durable designs will include a sturdy frame, corrosion-resistant hardware, and a tough outer cover. Most recreational boaters choose marine-grade vinyl covers as they are durable and waterproof.
Although canvas is another option, it usually needs to be treated to repel water. Regardless of the cover material, your seats should also be treated to resist mildew and UV light.
Low-Back Fold-Down Seats
This is the simplest design and includes a padded seat with backrest that can fold down when not in use.
They are most common on fishing or utility boats due to their small size, and they are a favorite with anglers, as they reduce the likelihood that the seat will be in the way when casting or moving about the deck.
Bucket or High-Back Seats
The increased backrest height provides additional comfort and security, which makes them a favorite for use at the helm position. Additional features include armrests, a bolster, and increased lumbar support.
Back to Back Seats
This design features two low-back seats mounted back to back (with passengers facing in opposite directions) and are most common on mid-size runabouts. By combining two seats into a single unit, additional capacity is added in a reduced footprint. Many models include under-the-seat storage as well.
Additional designs include beach seats, casting or pedestal seats, buddy seats, cooler seats, leaning posts, and fighting chairs. Each of these designs is intended for a specific purpose and not suitable for every application.
In most cases, they will only be selected to replace an existing seat of the same design.
When selecting replacement seats, it is important to remember the new seats need to be able to be installed in the existing location. This requires you to consider available space, mounting hardware, and even the number of seats needed.
The easiest method for selecting compatible replacement seats is to examine the existing seats and select a model of similar design.
If selecting a different design, make sure to measure the available space, review the seat dimensions, and ensure the new seats will not interfere with proper operation or access to storage areas.
Many replacement seats will include basic installation hardware; however, you may need to also purchase adaption mounts to match your specific boat.
Wise Company is a Memphis-based manufacturing company specializing in replacement seats for a wide range of applications, including a large marine series.
For over four decades, Wise has focused on providing quality products and customer service. Although they provide a wide range of products, their main focus is the budget-minded consumer.
The Wise marine line includes a wide range of seats for a variety of boat styles. The Pro Angler Deluxe is a favorite among bass boat owners, and the Economy line is perfect for those looking to replace the seats on their small runabout or Jon boat.
Other specialty lines include fighting chairs, jumper and lounge designs, and several camouflaged designs for hunting applications.
In addition to their wide range of replacement seats Wise also offers additional marine accessories. These include rod tenders, utility dry boxes, trailer walkways, seat caddies, and armrests. They are also a perfect source for vinyl cleaning supplies or repair kits.
This Duncanville, Texas–based company is a leader in supplying quality boat covers, bimini tops, and boat seats. Each of their products is constructed from the highest-quality OEM materials, including marine-grade vinyl, rotationally molded frames, and stainless, corrosion-resistant hardware.
Each product is guaranteed to provide the highest quality and comfort while maintaining showroom looks for years to come.
The majority of Seamander’s business is conducted online via large box stores. Their products can be found on Amazon and eBay, where they are a top-rated seller, as well as WalMart.com.
While their primary focus in supplying mid-size and large boats used in the inshore or Gulf regions, they do have products compatible with some smaller boats.
Based in Beloit, Wisconsin, Leader Accessories has been supplying the outdoor industry for over three decades. They supply the largest selection of products to make your outdoor living more enjoyable and memorable. They provide a large selection, caring customer service, and fast shipping on all orders.
Although Leader Accessories was originally focused on manufacturing covers for a wide range of outdoor equipment, including boats and RVs, they have expanded their line to include several styles of boat seats. This includes our pick for the most comfortable boat seat: the Two-Tone Captain’s Bucket Seat.
Other products Leader produces include various fenders, engine covers, aquatic toys, dry bags, wet suits, and inflatable SUPs.
How do you clean and care for a boat seat?
Cleaning and caring for your new seats will ensure a longer lifespan. The first step is selecting a seat with a durable cover that is resistant to water, UV, and mildew.
Next, make sure you maintain this protection by applying a vinyl protectant regularly. This is especially important if your boat is stored exposed to the sun and elements.
You should clean small spills or soiling by immediately wiping with a damp cloth. Heavier stains or spills can be addressed with a quality vinyl cleaner or soap and water, depending on manufacturer instructions.
What is the typical lifespan of boat seats?
In a perfect world, the seats will last as long as the boat, which can be as long as two or three decades. However, a more realistic lifespan is 7 to 10 years. Seats that are covered when the boat is not in use and well cared for will last the longest.
Can you paint a boat seat?
Yes, it possible to paint your boat seats. It is important to select a paint that is specifically designed for (a) the materials used in the seat construction and (b) marine application. Even vinyl can be painted, and it is a cost-saving alternative to purchasing new seats.