Jeep Wrangler YJ Seat Upgrade Guide
Jake is a founder of 8020 Media and TuningPro. He has over a decade of experience in the automotive industry including parts sales, writing, DIY modifications & repairs, and more. Jake is currently converting his N54 to a single turbo and building a Miata track car. He’s an experienced, hands-on automotive enthusiast who delivers in-depth, well-researched content.
With Jeep Wrangler YJ’s pushing 30+ years old, it might be time to refresh those old stock seats. Whether your seats are ripped and torn apart, or you are looking for a sportier seat with more support for off-roading, upgrading the front and bench seats in the YJ is a great comfort upgrade.
This guide is going to cover the best YJ seat upgrades, and rear bench upgrades. Additionally, we will talk about seat brackets and also about “junkyard” seats that are direct swaps for the YJ in case you are looking for cheaper used seats, instead of new ones.
Wrangler YJ Seat Considerations
Before digging into our favorite YJ seats, there are a few considerations to discuss. The most important things are base height which will affect how high you are sitting. Side bolstering and seat width will affect how well you fit into the seat and also how much support you have for trail or offroad driving. Lastly, whether you need seat brackets or not will depend on the seat that you choose. There are a number of bolt-in seats, but also a number that will require an aftermarket seat bracket.
The first consideration is base height. This is the height of the seat base, before the actual seat and determines how high or low you will be sitting. On the YJ, base heights of 3.5″ to 5″ are the sweet spot. If you are taller or want to sit a little lower, stick to the low-end of the range. Alternatively, shorter folks can go a bit higher. But for the most part, anything in the 3.5″ to 5″ range should work for most folks.
Bolstering & Width
This is the most important aspect for trail riding and offroading and also for comfort. Most aftermarket seats don’t come in a one-size-fits-all style. While some popular seats like the Bestop Trailmax will fit pretty much anyone, they don’t have a ton of bolster or side support.
You’ll want a seat that isn’t too narrow, but also isn’t so wide that you are getting thrown side to side in turns and offroading situations. Seats with more side bolster will hug your waist and sides more tightly therefore providing more support and comfort. However, if you go with too narrow of a seat it can be uncomfortable for daily driving.
Ultimately, it comes down to your body size and what you are looking for. More bolster and a smaller width is going to be better for trail and offroad situations. The majority of aftermarket seat brands should give details on fitment and width so that you can pick what is right for you.
Fixed or Reclining
This is rather personal preference, but there are reclining seat options and fixed-back, or bucket, seat options. Bucket seats don’t recline but they will have more bolster and waist support, hence the “bucket” name they get. With that being said, they are a bit more challenging to get in and out of and might not be ideal if multiple people drive the vehicle who like to sit different ways. There are also a number of good reclining seats that still offer tons of bolster and support, so really comes down to personal preference.
Seat Belts and Harnesses
If you are just looking for a stock seat refresh or upgrade, you probably intend on keeping the stock seat belt. Going this route, you have a lot more seat options are just about any seat will work with the stock seat belt. However, if you are building an off-road rig then you might want to consider 3, 4, or 5-point harnesses. If you plan on getting a 3 or 4-point harness, you will need seats with harness passthrough points above the shoulders. If you want a 5-point or even a 6-point harness then you will need a seat with a “submarine” harness point that goes in between your legs.
Seat Brackets / Direct Bolt-Ons
Not all aftermarket seats will bolt directly to the factory seat bracket. Therefore, depending on the seat that you choose, you might need an aftermarket seat bracket. There are also options for full brackets, which completely replace your factory seat brackets, or adapter brackets that bolt onto the factory bracket allowing you to keep the stock seat riser which you will lose from other brackets.
Our recommendation is to stick with seats that are direct bolt-on. Seat brackets are going to run you $120-$150 per seat, which makes YJ seat upgrades a lot more expensive if you need new brackets for everything. All of our favorite seats we recommend below are direct bolt-ons and won’t require brackets. However, if you do need aftermarket brackets, we recommend the Corbeau brackets.
Wrangler YJ Corbeau Seat Brackets
Best Wrangler YJ Seat Upgrades
- Baja XRS
- Bestop Trailmax
As a side note, all of the seats we mention below are reclining back seats. If you want a true bucket seat, we recommend the Baja JP. They look really cool and are super comfortable. They are best used for more aggressive offroad use and have all the passthrough holes for 5-point harnesses.
1) Jeep YJ Baja XRS Seats
The Baja XRS is a suspension seat, meaning it has suspension technology within it to minimize the effect of bumps making it super comfortable for offroad applications. Additionally, it has more aggressive thigh bolsters than the Trailcat which adds additional support. The seat is a bit wider, accommodating up to a 42″ waist. It does sit about an inch lower as well.
The Baja XRS also has shoulder passthroughs and a submarine option for those running seat harnesses. The suspension technology and higher thigh bolsters make this a better seat for offroading and trail driving. However, it is still a super comfortable seat for daily driving.
Corbeau also offers a Baja RS seat. It is similar to the XRS however it is a bit more of a bucket seat style, while still offering recline. It is slightly shorter height wise and also offers a wider shoulder width than the XRS. It’s a bit less expensive as well, but is a good option if you want more of a bucket style seat without losing reclining capabilities.
Being a direct bolt-on to the YJ, this is another great seat option. We’d say the Trailcat is likely a better daily driver seat and the XRS is slightly better for more serious offroad use.
Price: $479/seat, sold by the pair for $959
Buy Here: YJ Baja XRS Seats
*Note these are the XRS seats in a Wrangler TJ, not a YJ.
2) Corbeau Moab Wrangler Seats
The Moab seat is a great budget option for someone looking to refresh old seats who doesn’t need maximize performance. The Moab has a relatively flat seat base with minimal thigh bolster making it easy to get in and out of and keeping the seat a bit more loose around your legs and waist. The seat back does have a more narrow shoulder width, but the side bolsters aren’t super aggressive which makes it a good combination of comfort and support.
The Moab is going to be the closest to the stock Wrangler YJ seats both in terms of looks and fit. Overall, a good option for someone looking to refresh their old seats and stick on the lower end of the budget, with these seats coming in at ~$325/each.
Price: $649 for a pair, approx. $325 per seat
Buy Here: Jeep Corbeau Moab Seats
3) Bestop Trailmax Jeep YJ
Bestop is a noteworthy mention on our list because it is one of the most popular seat upgrade options for the YJ. It is very much a budget seat at $285/each and doesn’t really offer much in the way of performance. The seat has very minimal side and thigh bolsters making this a seat that is pretty universal in terms of driver size. It has a similar look and feel to the stock seats and is a good budget option for people just looking for newer seats.
This isn’t a seat we would recommend for offroad use. The bolsters are minimal and it doesn’t have any options for seat belt harnesses, so it is best used as an upgrade for daily drivers. It is a direct bolt-on as well, which makes this one of the most budget routes you can go.
Price: $285 per seat
4) Corbeau Trailcat Wrangler YJ Seats
Unfortunately, the Trailcat is not a direct bolt-on and will require a seat bracket. However, we wanted to include it on the list as it is one of our favorite looking seats. Additionally, it is a great seat that offers a perfect balance between daily driving and offroading.
The base height is 4.5″ which is a good height for all sized drivers. The seat has low side-bolsters which make it comfortable for daily driving, but also have side bolsters that are fairly aggressive and will keep you snug in the seat for offroading. The seats have shoulder passthroughs and an option submarine slot for 5 or 6-point seat harnesses, making this a great option for more serious offroad builds. The seat fits people with waist sizes up to about 40″. Anything above that and the side bolsters might be a bit too tight for comfortable daily driving.
Overall, these seats are a great combination of quality, comfort, and performance. The downside being, it will cost you about $260 extra to get the required seat brackets.
Price: $479/seat, sold by the pair for $959
Buy Here: Wrangler YJ Corbeau Trailcat Seats and YJ Mounting Bracket
“Junkyard” Replacement Seats
If you are looking for a used seat option that you can pickup from a junkyard, you have a few options. Of course, you can try to find a set of stock YJ seats. Or, you can look at seats from other vehicles that are a direct bolt-in to the YJ. All these cars however are also 20+ years old, and they weren’t ever the most popular cars so you will probably also have a hard time finding these. However, we will provide the information just in case.
Here are direct bolt on replacements from other vehicles:
- 1995-2003 Pontiac Sunfire (coupe versions only)
- 1995-2003 Chevy Cavalier (coupe only)
- 1999-2001 Pontiac Sunbird (coupe only)
- 1996-1997 Oldsmobile Acheiva
- 1995-2001 Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix
As you can see, these are also old and tough to source cars. So I really would recommend getting a new set of seats, but there the information is just in case.
YJ Rear Bench Seat Upgrades
Corbeau offers two seat upgrade options for the Jeep YJ rear seats. They have a Safari style rear bench that is a direct bolt-in and comes in numerous different colors. Or, they have a 36″ Baja bench seat that looks really good and is a great match to Baja front seats. However, the Baja bench does require
Baja Bench Seat and Bracket – $538 total
Safari Bench – $329
Jeep YJ Seat Upgrade Summary
Upgrading the YJ seats is a great option for anyone looking to refresh old seats, or for those who need a more comfortable and performance oriented seat for offroading. There are a ton of seats out there on the market, and all have their perks and downsides. Our favorite YJ seats come from Corbeau as the offer the best combination of price, quality, comfort, and performance. Additionally, they offer the most bolt-on options for the YJ giving you a solid selection of different styles and price points.
There are some “junkyard” bolt-on seats that you can get, but all these seats are also going to be 20+ years old so they aren’t really upgrades. Getting new seats can be a somewhat expensive option, especially for an older Jeep, but the comfort makes it worth it.