The Guide to Jeep Wrangler YJ Seat Upgrades. With Jeep Wrangler YJs approaching 30 years old, it may be time to replace those tired factory seats. Whether your seats are ripped and torn apart, or you want a sportier seat with more support for off-roading, upgrading the YJ’s front and bench seats is a great comfort upgrade.
This post will go through the finest YJ seat and rear bench improvements. Furthermore, we will discuss seat brackets as well as “junkyard” seats that are direct swaps for the YJ if you are looking for cheaper used seats rather than new ones.
Considerations for Wrangler YJ Seats
Before we get into our favourite YJ seats, there are a few things to consider. The most significant consideration is base height, which determines how high you sit. The amount of side bolstering and seat width impact how well you fit into the seat and how much support you have for trail or offroad driving. Finally, whether or not you require seat brackets is determined by the type of seat you select. There are some bolt-in seats available, but others may require an aftermarket seat bracket.
Height of the foundation
The first factor to consider is base height. This is the height of the seat base before the seat itself, and it influences how high or low you will sit. Base heights of 3.5′′ to 5′′ are ideal for the YJ. If you are taller or prefer to sit lower, stick to the lower end of the spectrum. Shorter people, on the other hand, can go a little higher. However, most people should be fine with anything in the 3.5′′ to 5′′ range.
Strength and width
This is the most significant consideration for trail riding and offroading, as well as comfort. The majority of aftermarket seats are not one-size-fits-all. While some popular seats, such as the Bestop Trailmax, will fit almost anyone, they lack bolster and side support.
You’ll want a seat that’s not too small, but not so broad that you’re flung side to side in bends and offroading scenarios. Seats with greater side bolster hug your waist and sides more closely, giving extra support and comfort. However, a seat that is too narrow can be uncomfortable for daily driving.
It all boils down to your body size and what you’re searching for in the end. More bolster and a narrower width will be preferable for trail and offroad use. The majority of aftermarket seat brands should provide fitting and width information so you may choose what is best for you.
Whether Fixed or Reclining
This is a matter of personal preference, however there are reclining and fixed-back (or bucket) seat options. Bucket seats do not recline, but they do have greater bolster and waist support, hence the name “bucket”. However, they are more difficult to get in and out of and may not be ideal if multiple people drive the vehicle and prefer to sit in different positions. There are a variety of fantastic reclining seats that still provide enough of bolster and support, so it all comes down to personal preference.
Harnesses and seat belts
If you’re only seeking to update or upgrade your factory seats, you’re probably going to keep the stock seat belt. You have a lot more seat options if you go this route, as almost any seat will work with the factory seat belt. If you’re creating an off-road vehicle, you might want to look into 3-, 4-, or 5-point harnesses. Seats with harness passthrough points above the shoulders are required if you intend to use a 3- or 4-point harness. If you want a 5-point or 6-point harness, you’ll need a seat with a “submarine” harness point between your legs.
Direct Bolt-On Seat Brackets
Not all aftermarket seats are designed to be bolted directly to the stock seat bracket. As a result, depending on the seat you select, you may require an aftermarket seat bracket. There are also full brackets that totally replace the factory seat brackets, as well as adapter brackets that bolt onto the factory bracket and allow you to preserve the OEM seat riser that other brackets will take away.
Our advise is to continue with direct bolt-on chairs. Seat brackets will set you back $120-$150 per seat, making YJ seat improvements much more expensive if you require new brackets for everything. All of our favourite seats are direct bolt-ons and do not require brackets. If aftermarket brackets are required, we recommend the Corbeau brackets.
Wrangler YJ Seat Upgrades That Work
- The Baja XRS
- Trailmax Trailstop
As an aside, all of the seats listed below have reclining back seats. We recommend the Baja JP if you want a true bucket seat. They look great and are extremely comfortable. They are best suited for more aggressive offroad use and feature all of the passthrough holes required for 5-point harnesses.
1) Seats for Jeep YJ Baja XRS
The Baja XRS is a suspension seat, which means it has suspension technology built in to minimise the effect of bumps, making it extremely comfortable for offroad use. It also has more forceful thigh bolsters than the Trailcat, which adds further support. The seat is a little wider, enabling a 42-inch waist. It also sits about an inch lower.
For those who use seat harnesses, the Baja XRS also includes shoulder passthroughs and a submarine option. This seat is ideal for offroading and trail driving thanks to the suspension technology and higher thigh bolsters. It is, nevertheless, a very comfortable seat for daily driving.
Corbeau also has a Baja RS seat available. It is comparable to the XRS, except it has a bucket seat design while still enabling recline. It is somewhat shorter in height and has a larger shoulder width than the XRS. It’s also a little less pricey, but it’s a nice option if you want a more bucket-style seat without sacrificing reclining capabilities.
This is another excellent seat choice because it is a direct bolt-on to the YJ. We believe the Trailcat is a better daily driving seat, while the XRS is marginally better for more extreme offroading.
Price: $479 each seat, $959 for the pair
2) Seats Corbeau Moab Wrangler
The Moab seat is an excellent value for someone wishing to replace ageing seats but does not require maximum performance. The Moab has a somewhat flat seat base with minimal thigh bolster, making it easy to get in and out of while also keeping the seat open around your legs and waist. The seat back has a narrower shoulder width, but the side bolsters aren’t overly aggressive, providing a nice balance of comfort and support.
In terms of appearance and fit, the Moab will be the closest to the standard Wrangler YJ seats. Overall, these seats are a fantastic alternative for someone wishing to freshen their old seats while staying on the cheaper end of the budget, with each costing $325.
$649 for a pair, or around $325 per seat
3) Jeep YJ Trailmax Bestop
Bestop makes an appearance on our list because it is one of the most popular YJ seat upgrade options. At $285 per seat, it is very much a budget seat that does not offer much in terms of performance. The seat has very few side and thigh bolsters, making it rather universal in terms of driver size. It has a comparable appearance and feel to the standard seats and is a nice budget choice for folks who just want newer seats.
We wouldn’t recommend this seat for off-road use. Because the bolsters are minimal and there are no seat belt harness options, it is best used as an upgrade for daily drivers. It is also a direct bolt-on, making this one of the most cost-effective options.
Price per seat: $285
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4) Seats Corbeau Trailcat Wrangler YJ
Unfortunately, the Trailcat is not a direct bolt-on and will necessitate the installation of a seat bracket. We wanted to include it on the list, however, because it is one of our favorite-looking chairs. Furthermore, it is an excellent seat that provides an ideal balance of daily driving and offroading.
The base height is 4.5′′, which is suitable for drivers of all sizes. The seat features low side bolsters that make it comfortable for normal driving, but it also has quite forceful side bolsters that will hold you firmly in the seat when offroading. The seats feature shoulder passthroughs and a submarine slot for 5 or 6-point seat harnesses, making them an excellent choice for more severe offroad setups. The seat accommodates people with waist sizes up to 40 inches. Anything higher than that, and the side bolsters may be too tight for comfortable daily driving.
Overall, these chairs offer an excellent balance of quality, comfort, and performance. The disadvantage is that the requisite seat brackets will set you back roughly $260.
Price: $479 each seat, $959 for the pair
You have a few options if you are seeking for a secondhand seat that you can pick up from a junkyard. Of course, you might look for a set of stock YJ seats. You can also browse at seats from other vehicles that are a direct fit for the YJ. All of these cars, however, are 20+ years old and were never the most popular, so you’ll probably have a hard time finding them. We will, nevertheless, supply the details just in case.
Here are some direct replacements from other vehicles:
- Pontiac Sunfire (coupe only) 1995-2003
- Chevy Cavalier (coupe only) 1995-2003
- Pontiac Sunbird (coupe only) 1999-2001
- Oldsmobile Acheiva 1996-1997
- Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix from 1995 to 2001
As you can see, these are also antique and difficult to find vehicles. So I would strongly advise getting a new set of seats, but the information is provided just in case.
Upgrades for the YJ Rear Bench Seats
For the Jeep YJ rear seats, Corbeau provides two seat upgrade choices. They have a Safari-style rear bench that is a direct bolt-in and is available in a variety of colours. They also have a 36′′ Baja bench seat that matches the Baja front seats perfectly. The Baja bench, on the other hand, necessitates
Baja Bench Seat and Bracket – total cost $538
$329 Safari Bench
Summary of Jeep YJ Seat Upgrades
Upgrading the YJ seats is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to update existing seats or who needs a more comfortable and performance-oriented seat for offroading. There are numerous seats on the market, each with advantages and disadvantages. Corbeau YJ seats are our favourites because they offer the finest value, quality, comfort, and performance. Furthermore, they provide the most bolt-on options for the YJ, giving you a diverse range of styles and price points.
There are some “junkyard” bolt-on seats available, but they will all be 20+ years old, so they aren’t truly enhancements. New seats can be an expensive alternative, especially for an older Jeep, but the comfort is worth it.