Ventilated car seats?

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weltschmerz
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Ventilated car seats?

Post by weltschmerz » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:10 pm

I am thinking of buying a new car some time in the next few months, and I am doing research. One feature that I have never had in any car is ventilated car seats. Have you ever had this, and if so, how did it work? I have read that most systems try to BLOW air upon you, via holes in perforated leather. A new system by Mazda, found in the Mazda6, CX-9, and the upcoming Mazda CX-5, works by SUCKing the hot air away from you. The Mazda system sounds like it might be the best. What is your opinion, is this a worthwhile feature? I live in a hot climate, so cooled seats appeal to me.

livesoft
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:11 pm

My seats are cooled by forcing cold air to come out of the tiny holes. Works great.

If my butt and clothes are blocking holes, I don't see how sucking is going to help, but I see how blowing can be helpful.

Presumably the heating works the same way, but I live in a hot climate and have never turned on the seat heating.
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Snapper
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Snapper » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:28 pm

I have them in my Lexus. Will blow heat or cold air at three speeds. Works very well and I recommend them. I can’t see how a sucking system would be very effective.

RobLyons
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by RobLyons » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm

It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC

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weltschmerz
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by weltschmerz » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:46 pm

I haven't used the systems myself, but the Mazda owners seem convinced that the SUCKing system is very effective. At least according to my research on the Mazda24/7 forum. Air blowing or sucking up your backside seems way more effective than just using the AC or rolling the windows down. Obviously I will have to go on some test drives to test it out. If you have a car that has ventilated seats, please share the Make, Model, Trim, so we know exactly which car you have. Thanks!

ResearchMed
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:01 pm

I used to strongly prefer cloth seats to leather, because to me, instead of vinyl/pleather/etc., being "fake leather", I felt that leather was just an "expensive version of vinyl/pleather/etc." when used in cars.
That is, both get very cold in the winter, and can get burning hot in the summer sun.

I had even special ordered cars with cloth seating once, when it became less frequent.
Now, it's usually not available.

Heating was fine with leather; the seat got warm reasonably quickly, and stayed that way as long as desired, etc.

But in hot weather? Especially in humid weather, that leather seating can become... uncomfortable.

During one test drive of a Volvo XC90 with the perforated AC seats, in hot, humid weather, there was clearly a positive effect. It just didn't feel "warm", like in our own car (an older Volvo with leather seats).
We hadn't expected to notice any difference, and thought it would just be a gimmick.
(I don't know if the heated seats use the perforations and air flow, or the older techniques, which have worked fine in our minds.)

For some reason, air blowing out the perforations seems likely to work better than air sucked in.
For one thing, wouldn't the system be able to keep the blown air cooler, much like blowing air out of the AC vents, rather than sucking air into them?

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livesoft
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:05 pm

Don't forget that the cold/hot air is cooling/heating the mass of the seat and not really the body sitting in the seat.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:05 pm
Don't forget that the cold/hot air is cooling/heating the mass of the seat and not really the body sitting in the seat.
Right, at least for heating, as it has been for ages.
Or it's heating the top layer of the seat and back, anyway.
But this hasn't been from blowing air on the inside of the seat surface.

Also, what is the point (no pun intended) of the perforations in the new design?

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Go Blue 99
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:13 pm

We have ventilated seats in our current cars (a Hyundai and a Volvo). I wouldn't say it's a tremendous feature, but it definitely does help in our Atlanta climate when it's at max setting. I notice it a lot more when I'm wearing shorts.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by bhsince87 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:23 pm

My wife has one of these and she loves it.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by RF » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:26 pm

I was looking at Mazda CX9 last year. Upon looking at some of the complains was the a/c system was rather weak. I came across this from several owners forum. Since you live in hot climate, it's worthwhile to see if the a/c is adequate.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by J295 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:34 pm

System in the 2016 Lexus works great

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by snackdog » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:51 pm

Both our current vehicles (one Japanese and one German) supposedly have this and we quit even turning it on after a couple months. I can't see it doing much of anything; the air is so light as to be non-detectible. Don't waste your money.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by MNGopher » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:09 pm

I have the heated/cooled seats in my F-150. It's okay, but I wouldn't pay a lot extra for it. The heat setting is more noticeable than the cool. I generally turn either off within 5-10 minutes of starting the vehicle, if I even bother to turn them on in the first place.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:23 pm

I have the blowing cool air in my five year old Toyota and I like it. The noise of the airflow is noticeable at the highest level, but I rarely keep it on after the first few minutes in the car.

I assume that the car includes a heated steering wheel? That is a feature I appreciate.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by LarryAllen » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:30 pm

Had heated/cooled seats in the last two cars and really enjoyed on a cold/hot day. My new car only has heated and I am a little sad.

Every manufacturer tells you why theirs is better system than the others. It's all about the same in my opinion

It does help on a hot day though for sure.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by sasquatch12 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:41 pm

We have a 2017 Lincoln MKC reserve trim and a 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with ventilated seats. I live in Texas and they are s wonderful to have. When your I get in the car on a hot day it cools the seats down fast. It keeps your bottom and back dry as well from sweating. I highly recommend them in hot climates.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by msk » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:57 pm

Depends on your climate. I love heated seats when it's below zero F outside and cooled seats when it's above 100 F. All my cars have blown air. Some have chilled air (Ford and Lexus) but Mercedes uses air blown from just under the seats (coolest place). You can skip if your climate is moderate, of course.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by monkey_business » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:02 pm

I test drove a 2018 Accord with ventilated seats. After sitting in the car for 10 minutes, I noticed 3 blue LEDs were lit on the console. Apparently, the ventilated seats were on the entire time on the max setting and I had no idea.

When test driving a 2018 Mazda 6, the seats started to feel wet because they were actually getting cool.

Most professional car reviewers agree the Mazda seats do a better job cooling because they suck :)

YMMV.

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monkey_business
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by monkey_business » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:05 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I assume you've never driven a car with this feature. It is difficult to imagine how you think cooling off leather seats that have been baking in the sun for hours is a "marketing ploy".

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by bill88 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:25 pm

sasquatch12 wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:41 pm
We have a 2017 Lincoln MKC reserve trim and a 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with ventilated seats. I live in Texas and they are s wonderful to have. When your I get in the car on a hot day it cools the seats down fast. It keeps your bottom and back dry as well from sweating. I highly recommend them in hot climates.
Agree. At least in my 12yr. old Lincoln LS, works pretty quick. Hi, medium and low settings. It basically blows cold air through the seat up at your rear end, and out the seat back at your back. If your car is parked in 100 degree sun, it will take a few minutes to overcome the overall heat, but it's quite effective, very noticeable, and very nice. It's been very reliable in this and an earlier Lincoln.

Same system in some Fords. Not sure if it always includes the seat back; may want to check that.

Some cars (Toyota Avalon, I think) blow plain air thru the seat (not cold air), which must help, thought my vote's for cold air. :-)
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by blaugranamd » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:59 am

Rented a car in Hawaii that had ventilated black leather seats. It was very nice especially with the top down.
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by LMBFlorida » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:04 am

We have had them in our last 4 cars and currently have them in my Tundra and the wife Lexus. Living in Florida and now South Carolina, I wouldn't purchase another vehicle without them.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by dsmclone » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:36 am

This may be because I live in an area that has 4 seasons but here is how I would rank this features.

#1 Heated Steering Wheel-Thought it would be a joke, turned out to be a great feature.
#2 Heated Seats-Really varies between cars. Some are a lot stronger than others.
#3 Cooled Seats-In the Infiniti that I had, they worked ok but I always felt like I had peed my pants.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:05 am

Ventilated seats are very tough to live without in a warm climate once you are used to having them. We would never buy another car without ventilated cooling seats. In most cases it is not a cold blast of air, but even with just moderate airflow, it does work extremely well at keeping your back and backside dry and sweat free in hot temps.

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BoglePaul
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by BoglePaul » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:12 am

There are two types of ventilated seats:
1) Seats that force cool air from the A/C unit through the perforations effectively replacing the air next to the body with fresh, cool, air (this is the real deal, the better seat found on MBenz, Audi, Lexus, etc)
2) Seats that sucks air through the perforations effectively drawing moisture away from the body (this is more of a gimmick, but better than nothing).

The first seat is more expensive as it requires additional duct-work, a beefier/modified A/C unit, and modifications to the seat whereas the second seat only requires modifications to the seat.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by RobLyons » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:58 am

monkey_business wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:05 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I assume you've never driven a car with this feature. It is difficult to imagine how you think cooling off leather seats that have been baking in the sun for hours is a "marketing ploy".

Correct! I no longer have any interest in leather but when I did, I didn't park in the direct sunlight, put a window visor up, and tinted the windows. Also I had clothes on so it wasn't an issue.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:04 am

Our new Q7 has them and I love them. Ours are the "sucking" variety, and they are quite effective. I've used the "forced cool air" variety, and they're not dramatically more effective IMO.

Cooled seats in the GM vehicles I've driven are basically unusable if you have someone in the back seat. That's because their version uses a fan blowing across a peltier cooler, which is a plate that gets cold on one side and hot on the other when electricity is applied. Having the cooled seats on at anything above the lowest setting in one of these vehicles results in blistering the knees of the person sitting behind you, as there is a vent in the seatback that allows the heat to escape from the hot side of the plate.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Cyclesafe » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:42 am

Have ventilated seats in my Macan but they aren't particularly effective. IIRC, the option cost about $800. Wouldn't get them again.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by monkey_business » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:04 am

RobLyons wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:58 am
monkey_business wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:05 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I assume you've never driven a car with this feature. It is difficult to imagine how you think cooling off leather seats that have been baking in the sun for hours is a "marketing ploy".
Correct! I no longer have any interest in leather but when I did, I didn't park in the direct sunlight, put a window visor up, and tinted the windows. Also I had clothes on so it wasn't an issue.
Not parking in direct sunlight is not an option for some of us. And, while having visors and window tint helps, all cars get uncomfortably hot when sitting in the sun in 100+ degree heat for hours. Having a mechanism in your car to cool the surface your body is actually in contact with can be quite nice.

And better yet: if you've never experienced ventilated seats yourself, how can you claim they are a "marketing ploy"? :oops:

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Maverick3320 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:25 am

I love them. Totally worth it.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by open_circuit » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:29 am

I bought a ventilated seat cover that plugs into a 12V outlet for ~$25. Works great, and I can use it in any of my cars or seating locations. I would happily get such a feature built into a new car if it was not part of a huge upsell package that I otherwise didn't want, but I wouldn't spend a few thousand extra for this feature when a $25 seat cover solves the problem for me.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by greyhound » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:28 pm

The cooled seats in my 10 year old Infiniti still work great. I wish my wife's car had them as we take it on road trips and I find myself missing them tremendously!

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by NHRATA01 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:59 pm

My current car is the first I've had with them, and they are definitely a help in the summer. I probably wouldn't pay extra but it's a nice feature when standard.

I will say the best cooling feature any of my vehicles ever had was the A/C vent located below the steering wheel on an '03 Caddy Seville. Much more powerful than ventilated seats at achieving the purpose.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by deanbrew » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:01 pm

monkey_business wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:04 am
And better yet: if you've never experienced ventilated seats yourself, how can you claim they are a "marketing ploy"? :oops:
Exactly. I suppose you could argue that every single option and trim level upgrade is a "marketing ploy", but we each choose which ones are worth paying for.

I have long suffered from a sweaty back and rear while in a car in even moderately hot weather. So, when I found myself car shopping last year, I sought out cooled and/or ventilated seats. I found that they are available only on the most expensive models or only the very top trim level. I splurged on the top trim level on my current car almost solely for the ventilated seat feature. I use the ventilated seat feature more than half the year, and I love it.
This may be because I live in an area that has 4 seasons but here is how I would rank this features.

#1 Heated Steering Wheel-Thought it would be a joke, turned out to be a great feature.
#2 Heated Seats-Really varies between cars. Some are a lot stronger than others.
#3 Cooled Seats-In the Infiniti that I had, they worked ok but I always felt like I had peed my pants.
It certainly depends on climate and personal preference, but I would put those features in exactly the reverse order. I use my ventilated seats 100 times more than the heated seat function. I will turn on the heated seats for 10-20 minutes when the weather is really cold, but I always turn it off. Same with the heated steering wheel, though I do find this feature nice when it is cold and I haven't bothered putting on gloves.
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Cycle » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:11 pm

Never had any issues with cloth seats and standard ac.

I've used the cooled seats in rental cars, and thought it was a silly gimic, to me anyways.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:33 pm

Cycle wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:11 pm
Never had any issues with cloth seats and standard ac.

I've used the cooled seats in rental cars, and thought it was a silly gimic, to me anyways.
It got to the point some years ago that I had to pay extra to special order the cloth seats.
Now, it's not available at all.

I still see "leather" as "expensive vinyl/etc." :annoyed
It gets hot. It gets cold. It gets sticky/moist with heat/humidity.
And if it's real leather, it's expensive.

Cloth? None of the above.
And the first "new" car I purchased, many decades ago, had cloth seats, and it handled two babies/toddlers/children (and friends) plus a Great Dane for about 7-8 years, and never a rip or tear. No stains, either (amazingly!).

I miss nice cloth seats in cars.

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RobLyons
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by RobLyons » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:24 am

monkey_business wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:04 am
RobLyons wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:58 am
monkey_business wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:05 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I assume you've never driven a car with this feature. It is difficult to imagine how you think cooling off leather seats that have been baking in the sun for hours is a "marketing ploy".
Correct! I no longer have any interest in leather but when I did, I didn't park in the direct sunlight, put a window visor up, and tinted the windows. Also I had clothes on so it wasn't an issue.
Not parking in direct sunlight is not an option for some of us. And, while having visors and window tint helps, all cars get uncomfortably hot when sitting in the sun in 100+ degree heat for hours. Having a mechanism in your car to cool the surface your body is actually in contact with can be quite nice.

And better yet: if you've never experienced ventilated seats yourself, how can you claim they are a "marketing ploy"? :oops:

You asked if I ever drove a car with them. I have not.
I've been a passenger in several though! :D

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:41 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:33 pm
Cycle wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:11 pm
Never had any issues with cloth seats and standard ac.

I've used the cooled seats in rental cars, and thought it was a silly gimic, to me anyways.
It got to the point some years ago that I had to pay extra to special order the cloth seats.
Now, it's not available at all.

I still see "leather" as "expensive vinyl/etc." :annoyed
It gets hot. It gets cold. It gets sticky/moist with heat/humidity.
And if it's real leather, it's expensive.

Cloth? None of the above.
And the first "new" car I purchased, many decades ago, had cloth seats, and it handled two babies/toddlers/children (and friends) plus a Great Dane for about 7-8 years, and never a rip or tear. No stains, either (amazingly!).

I miss nice cloth seats in cars.

RM
I like the leather/ pleather seats because it is easier for me and others(mom) to slde into the seat. Since I do the majority of driving for her it is nice to not hear complaints. :D

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by chemeng » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:33 pm

My 2017 Audi A4 has the "sucking" kind. I believe all recent Audi's work like this, rather than blowing outwards. I find this to be much more comfortable over long periods of time. The ones that blow outwards tend to get uncomfortable quicker.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by honduranhurricane » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:30 pm

Don't have the 'sucking' kind of seats, rather the 'blowing' kind...both heating and cooling. Will never go without again.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by bds3 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:43 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:11 pm
I don't see how sucking is going to help, but I see how blowing can be helpful.
I wouldn't turn down either.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by 2pedals » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:03 pm

I would try a wood beaded seat cushion first. Shouldn't cost more than $20 bucks.

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corn18
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by corn18 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:08 pm

Black car, black leather, ventilated seats + remote start = dreamy. A required option for all my cars now.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by wfrobinette » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:13 am

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I respectfully disagree.Ventilated seats keep the boys cool and dry.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by deanbrew » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:24 am

2pedals wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:03 pm
I would try a wood beaded seat cushion first. Shouldn't cost more than $20 bucks.
I'm thinking that would make a twisty road a lot less fun.

Has anyone here actually tried the beaded seat cover? I haven't. In addition to the aforesaid secure seating issue, it sure looks mighty uncomfortable.
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jpohio
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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by jpohio » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:31 am

Have had ventilated seats on last 3 cars. Would never buy another car without them.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:04 am

2pedals wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:03 pm
I would try a wood beaded seat cushion first. Shouldn't cost more than $20 bucks.
I don't know how people stand those. Torture devices in my experience.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by H-Town » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:38 am

wfrobinette wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:13 am
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:29 pm
It's just a marketing ploy. Nothing more effective then putting the windows down or normal AC
I respectfully disagree.Ventilated seats keep the boys cool and dry.
Bahwahaha.. Just remove layers. It's most effective and at no cost.

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Re: Ventilated car seats?

Post by open_circuit » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:57 am

deanbrew wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:24 am
2pedals wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:03 pm
I would try a wood beaded seat cushion first. Shouldn't cost more than $20 bucks.
I'm thinking that would make a twisty road a lot less fun.

Has anyone here actually tried the beaded seat cover? I haven't. In addition to the aforesaid secure seating issue, it sure looks mighty uncomfortable.
I have beaded seat covers in my wrangler. They work very well, and I'm happy with them for the low cost. They are comfortable on road and off road, and I don't slip around on them. If they get stolen, I'm not out much.

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