Every Sim Racing rig needs a seat, but often for many, they are an afterthought as it is not the most exciting or flashy part of the rig. However out of all parts of the rig, it is the part of the setup you are in contact with most, so it needs to be the right choice for you. There are many different styles of seats from GT, Formula or even comfort. What may be best for some is not for others. so understanding what you can get for your money and what style will fit you best is key. In this guide, will break down each seat helping you decide what’s for you.
What should I look for in a Sim Racing seat?
Sim Racing seats are one of the vital parts of your Sim Racing experience. Once attached to a Sim Racing rig, they are what allow you to race in comfort over long periods of time, whilst knowing that you aren’t going to move your entire setup whilst slamming on the brakes.
When considering which seat to buy, sturdiness is one of the key points. If your seat shifts as you drive, it will certainly have a negative impact on your experience. Meanwhile, having a seat that is comfortable to drive in over long periods of time will be a make or break point, as you don’t want to be driving in pain whilst trying to race at the top of your game. Adjustability is another important talking point, as flexibility in position is something you may be interested in. Being able to shift from a GT to an F1 style position is something that could really enhance your experience in the rig, so maybe something to consider.
Our top 5 cheap and affordable Sim Racing seats
|OMP Racing TRS Steel Frame||£178||GT||Value for money|
|Not purpose-built for Sim Racing|
|Sim Lab SPEED3 Bucket seat||£240||GT||Specially designed for Sim Racing|
Lots of comfort features
|Not FIA approved|
|Sparco R100||£243||Road||Lightweight yet strong design|
Ability to recline
|Sparco Grid Q Bucket seat||£390||GT||FIA certified|
Lots of comfort features whilst keeping lightweight
|Sim Lab SF1 Formula Sim Racing Seat||£348||Formula||A great choice for a Formula car fan|
|Not suitable for GT racing|
|COST: £178.00||STYLE: GT||BRAND: OMP|
This seat is one of the best seats for those looking for quality. It is designed with real racing in mind, giving the assurance that all details have been thought through for a driver’s needs.
The seat has a tubular steel frame design, keeping cost down but not reducing the quality or stiffness. In addition, there are five harness slots, allowing you to fix many different harnesses and medium height side bolsters to provide additional support if needed. In terms of comfort features, the seat has large shoulder bolsters and removable leg rests, allowing many different heights to all find a combination to provide both comfort and support
The seat has also been constructed with hard-wearing velour to provide plenty of durability that is sure to last long and keep its comfort and appearance. One nice addition to this seat is that it has been FIA approved, assuring that while the seat can be used for Sim Racing, it has been rated for real road and track use in closed cockpit cars. If this isn’t an assurance of quality, then we aren’t sure what is.
So this seat is definitely one to consider due to its low cost and many features, which make it a great addition to any sim rig.
|COST: £240.00||STYLE: GT||BRAND: SIM LAB|
This seat has been designed especially for Sim Racers and has a few key quality of life features that can’t be missed. This seat maintains all the quality of a real racing seat despite not being designed for it, being made of high-quality materials whilst still keeping the cost down by removing unnecessary costly features.
The seat has a fibreglass design, providing a quality feeling product and assuring a strong base for any sim rig. This seat also contains a five-point harness and sufficient side bolstering, meaning no matter the use you will stay secure in the seat. With this, the seat has also been ergonomically designed and has high-density foam padding, ensuring comfort on those long sim racing stints.
In addition to this, the sim racing specific features make this much more user-friendly than other sim-racing seats. The seat even has a mobile phone pocket, meaning you can keep your phone secure and nearby. In addition to this, the seat features a side mounting bracket and screw set included, meaning you’re ready to go from day one.
If you’re looking for a sim specific GT racing seat, then the Sim Lab SPEED3 is for sure one to add to the list.
|COST: £243.00||STYLE: Road||BRAND: Sparco|
This is the first seat on this list that is more of a road style seat but still comes with some nice comfort features. However, it maintains the racing look and the quality product we are accustomed to with a brand like Sparco.
The seat is lightweight and has a compact steel frame construction, meaning most rigs will be more than sufficient to support this seat. It has been built for comfort whilst still providing bolster support, keeping you firmly held in the seat. In addition to this, there is still the ability to fit a four-point harness whilst keeping the ability to recline the seat to find the optimal seating position.
It also provides a cloth-based fabric, providing a quality look but still providing comfort and durability. With this, there is a range of colour trim options that can add another layer of customization to your rigs look. The design also ensures that despite size or height, this is a seat that will provide a comfortable position for those long sim racing stints.
If you are looking for a road style seat with recline feature but still want a quality brand and the ability to add a harness, then this is the seat for you.
|COST: £309.00||STYLE: GT||BRAND: Sparco|
This seat provides a host of great features while staying lightweight and high quality. Not only that but this seat has been FIA certified ensuring that it is of the highest standard and will be more than sufficient for sim racing purposes.
The biggest feature of this seat is the addition of multiple areas of removable padding. The padding is secured with velcro and allows each part to be individually adjusted or just removed if needed. This can be an invaluable feature to ensure comfort on those longer sim racing stints. The design of the seat has also allowed the weight to be extremely low for the style thanks to Sparcos Quick Resin Tech material and construction process this keeps the seat just under seven kilograms with all padding.
In terms of support, the seat offers modular leg cushions and mid-sized bolstering. There is also the ability to add a five-point harness covering all potential needs for securing yourself into the seat while racing.
If a lightweight and comfort-focused seat is what you need then the Sparco Grid Q is definitely one to consider.
|COST: £348.00||STYLE: Formula||BRAND: Sim lab|
This is the first formula-style seat on this list. For any avid F1 racer, this is a great choice to add that extra layer of immersion. Although there is a formula-style bias, this will be more than sufficient for a GT racing lover.
The design is a single-piece polymer style material that provides sufficient stiffness for any Sim Racing application. The fabric on the seat is lined with GRP high-quality material and fabrics made of 3D fabric – offering a breathable material that helps increase comfort during longer racing stints.
The seat comes with the mounting brackets required that allow the recline to be adjusted to a full-blown formula-style position or a slightly more upright position. One thing that must be noted is that unlike the other seats on this list, there are no harness options. Although, the large seat width and the deep curve will keep you well secured within the seat. Also, this is one of the lightest seats on this list coming in just over six kilograms.
If your looking for a formula-style seat that can cover all your other racing needs but not suffer on the quality then this is definitely a seat to try out on your rig.
Coach Dave Academy’s choice
At Coach Dave Academy, the team has more hours in sim racing seats than many could do in a lifetime, so we know a thing or two about what a Sim Racer needs.
If you are on a strict budget but still want quality to be the main focus, then you can’t go wrong with the OMP Racing TRS Steel Frame. As mentioned, the seat is FIA approved and comes with lightweight construction ensuring a level of quality from the get-go. In addition, the removable leg cushions can provide additional support and create more room for taller users. Although the seat is the lowest price on the list, it will still be giving you all the necessary features. It’s hard to look past the OMP as not being the top choice.
As we all know, some Sim Racers’ budget isn’t an issue and with this, it can bring a host of additional comforts. If money really isn’t a concern, then the Sparco Grid Q Bucket seat is the choice to go for. The Sparco offering gives some of the best customizations in terms of comfort and support, which is almost a must for those Sim Racers who love to take on endurance racing or spend all day in their rig. In addition, the lightweight construction offers ease of installation and ensures almost any rig can hold the seat without an issue. So if you’re going all out, then the FIA approved Sparco Grid Q Bucket seat is the choice for you.
It is helpful to remember that many of these seats can add to the immersion and make you feel more hooked up to the driving experience, but none of these will change you as a driver overnight. However, ensuring your comfort is not a distraction will set you on your way to becoming the next best Sim Racer.