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Thread: Seat covers (cloth/synthetic) OVER leather seats?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    7,567

    Default Seat covers (cloth/synthetic) OVER leather seats?

    Anyone here do decent quality cloth/synthetic seat covers OVER their factory leather seats?
    .
    If you did, curious as to how it worked out for you.
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    When I got my 'Burb in 2015 I really wanted leather seats, because I'd never had a vehicle with leather before and it seemed like a very "luxurious" touch. I figured after so many years of driving "base model" vehicles I could "pamper" myself a bit.
    .
    However, as with all leather seated vehicles that are older, mine are starting to wear badly, especially on the driver's side. Couple of rips in the leather which right now I have "redneck repaired" with duct tape (naturally!) just so they won't get worse.
    .
    I've considered just having the leather replaced or even doing it myself (I know there are kits on eBay and elsewhere to replace the back and bottom cushions and YouTube videos of people doing it) but honestly after a year + of leather seat cruising, I'm kind of "meh" on the whole leather thing now. In some ways I actually prefer the cloth seats in my Pathfinder or the wife's CR-V. (For a couple of reasons, for one thing during hot weather, leather can be really uncomfortable - I don't get how people with black vehicles and black leather seats do it, I really don't.)
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    So I'm just wondering if anyone here has put good quality, custom fit cloth seat covers (like the Marathon, GT Covers or others) over their leather seats and if they did, how will did it work? My biggest concern is that where cloth is "grippy" and makes another cloth cover stay in place, leather is smooth and slippery and I'd worry that the cloth seat cover would slide all over the factory leather seat and make it bunch up, look like crap, be uncomfortable, etc.
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    Thanks in advance for any input and or experience. Pictures would also be appreciated if you have them.
    Martin
    2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT in "Expedition White"

    Having a Suburban means never being able to say "We don't have room for that."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Gillette, Wyoming
    Posts
    216
    The marathon and headwaters seat covers are designed to be a direct snug fit. they do not fit loosly like "universal seat covers". They are esentially a second seat fabric custom formed to the shape of the seat. Well worth the price tag. They wont shift around on leather.
    1990 Jeep MJ, 4.0, ax-15, Overland Resto in progress.
    Wyoming and Montana Adventurer in chase of birds, deer and beer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Riverside CA USA
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    530
    Hey Martin -I'm in the same boat as you except my interior is North Face - the custom green leather, grey Kevlar. My driver's seat lower now has a hole from sliding in and out and the leather is starting to let go in a few other spots. I've been looking for a good heavy canvas cover that has some MOLLE options to it. I purchased the Smittybilt GEAR ones - sent them back because they are only the uppers and I didn't like the fit (had the quality of fabric I was looking for). Looked at CoverKing but those look like they fit too loose. I'm also considering just getting the whole thing re-upholstered in a heavy-weight cordura-canvas. I found Melville and Moore in South Africa - which has exactly what I'm looking for - but because you can't get a Chevy there they won't make them. I'll take a look at the marathon and headwaters - but this has been a total PITA - I've been looking now for almost a year.
    2002 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4 North Face Edition: Cut, drilled, trimmed, strengthened, beefed, wired, and sooped. A lot done, but more to do as I learn. Capability, Reliability, Survivability Recoverability.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Los Angeles
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    3,452
    we had another topic going a few weeks ago, had some pics of an attempt to do so there, but photobucket killed those.Can't find any that fit. The GMT800 seats are too weird, blocky, hunchbacked. With both the lap and shoulder belts coming out of the seat body itself. I tried (and showed) a nice cabela's 'universal fit' with lace-up side adjustment and even that could not be made to work satisfactorily. Geron / BurbOne said something about having some that fit IIRC, but don't recall seeing them posted.

    There are a fe wvendors online, but haven't found any pictures / reviews fom purchasers, so no idea of the quality or fitment.

    http://www.carcoverplanet.com/2002-c...eat-cover.html


    Leather re-upholstery kits. $190 just for the butt portion, one seat, in replacement leather. Might just be better to find a fabric re-upholstery set. Re-upholstering the seats is not technically difficult, just some awkward tedious work. The staples and 'hog' pliers are easy to use. Wrestling the seats in and out is the awkward part. Having a place to work that won't tear up the seat or be torn up by the seat is a consideration, but it could be done on the ground on a tarp.

    My wife has also considered looking to craigslist years ago, for a straight up seat swap with someone with cloth seats wanting leather. Too late now, her '05 seat is starting to crack. My '02 is now falling apart at the seams.
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
    Vortec and GMT800 Mechanical Stuff
    Silnylon vehicle awning design - Mk1 DONE
    Some of my Woodworking
    _______________________________________________
    '85 C-10, '05 k1500 Tahoe Z71, '02 k1500 Suburban Z71

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Littleton, CO
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    7,567
    Quote Originally Posted by rayra View Post
    we had another topic going a few weeks ago, had some pics of an attempt to do so there, but photobucket killed those.Can't find any that fit. The GMT800 seats are too weird, blocky, hunchbacked. With both the lap and shoulder belts coming out of the seat body itself. I tried (and showed) a nice cabela's 'universal fit' with lace-up side adjustment and even that could not be made to work satisfactorily. Geron / BurbOne said something about having some that fit IIRC, but don't recall seeing them posted.

    There are a fe wvendors online, but haven't found any pictures / reviews fom purchasers, so no idea of the quality or fitment.

    http://www.carcoverplanet.com/2002-c...eat-cover.html


    Leather re-upholstery kits. $190 just for the butt portion, one seat, in replacement leather. Might just be better to find a fabric re-upholstery set. Re-upholstering the seats is not technically difficult, just some awkward tedious work. The staples and 'hog' pliers are easy to use. Wrestling the seats in and out is the awkward part. Having a place to work that won't tear up the seat or be torn up by the seat is a consideration, but it could be done on the ground on a tarp.

    My wife has also considered looking to craigslist years ago, for a straight up seat swap with someone with cloth seats wanting leather. Too late now, her '05 seat is starting to crack. My '02 is now falling apart at the seams.
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    I had Marathons on my 4runner and they were pretty nice. Not a "perfect" fit but probably "close enough for government work."
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    If you go to the Marathon web site they actually show seat covers on a GMT-800 truck, so apparently they've figured out how to get them on those weird seats - probably with velcro. My Marathons were heavy duty cordura, a little cold but very resistant to damage. My only gripe (now) with Marathon is that they apparently don't offer the DCU camouflage pattern anymore.
    .
    Given the hassle of replacing the leather I've given thought to finding out what a professional auto upholstery shop would charge. I know it goes against the do-it-yourself ethos of ExPo but sometimes it's worth it to hand over a credit card as opposed to destroying an entire weekend on a frustrating project. Sure you can "do it yourself and save money" but the "money saving" part only applies if you value your free time very low - and my free time is very valuable to me.
    Martin
    2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT in "Expedition White"

    Having a Suburban means never being able to say "We don't have room for that."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Riverside CA USA
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    ^^EXACTLY^^
    2002 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4 North Face Edition: Cut, drilled, trimmed, strengthened, beefed, wired, and sooped. A lot done, but more to do as I learn. Capability, Reliability, Survivability Recoverability.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Well I've got a lot more 'free time' than money, so it's a much more evenly divided question for me. Add my fab skills on the scale and far more often I tip toward DIY. But I'm not judging either way, just where I'm coming from.
    Seat covers, if I could see second-hand the fitment, it might be worth the money. But my driver seat gets much worse I might seriously consider deconstructing my passenger seat to make a pattern and making my own. Or first taking a stab at making a cordura slipcover that actually fits. Actually that reminds me to take a good look and make sure the seat bottoms aren't interchangeable side for side. never really looked close at it.

    We got a set of cordura seat covers for the second row in our Tahoe years ago, as dog-proofing. Then fit pretty well and had velcro tabs to hold them snug. They worked well enough, still have a seat bottom laying around I'll look for a brand tag on it. IIRC we bought them thru CA Car Cover, we're not far from tehir warehouse / showroom.
    Poking around in there now - http://www.calcarcover.com
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
    Vortec and GMT800 Mechanical Stuff
    Silnylon vehicle awning design - Mk1 DONE
    Some of my Woodworking
    _______________________________________________
    '85 C-10, '05 k1500 Tahoe Z71, '02 k1500 Suburban Z71

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Riverside CA USA
    Posts
    530
    No argument on DIY - I'm just so slammed for time right now that I'm finding it a challenge to even have a meal with my family at the moment. I saw some very cool custom covers in Hilux being built for SEALs and it was being shipped to Afghanistan. Serious little rig - fully armored, IR lights, perfect seat covers, suspension snorkel and all the works. Oh, did I mention the drone launcher in the back? I think I kept some pics of the seat covers - need to see if I can find them.
    2002 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4 North Face Edition: Cut, drilled, trimmed, strengthened, beefed, wired, and sooped. A lot done, but more to do as I learn. Capability, Reliability, Survivability Recoverability.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    In the woods in Mass
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    1,165
    I'm using CoverKing "tactical" over the leather in my WJ. So far, I'm pretty happy with them. Not cheap. Not the snuggest fit, but the material doesn't have any "give", so, needs to be able to fit over the seat.

    I picked them up, as I wanted something he'd wearing.

    Chase
    99 WJ with some stuff
    13 R/T Daytona(hers)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,877
    Four sets of Marathons on four vehicles. Super tight fit and the optional seat front and back pockets are indispensable.
    The covers on my 2007 are ten years old now and will probably outlast the truck. Marathon will mail you three fabric samples.
    I've seen Headwater's and would not hesitate to use them too.
    Last edited by Regcabguy; 12-31-2017 at 10:28 PM.
    2007 Dodge 2500 Regcab 4wd 5.9 CTD. G-56 , TC800 Northstar popup 24/7. Suspension mutt. Kore,Thuren & Carli. Anarchy EFI Live.

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