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Thread: Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Front Seat covers Review.

  1. #1
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    Default Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Front Seat covers Review.

    Please bear with me as this will be a review which is written over a few days.

    I ordered the smittybilt G.E.A.R. front seat covers from 4Wd.com on 01 January, 2008. Due to the high demand for this item, and Smittybilt's failure to be able to keep up with the demand, these were backordered.

    A call to Quadratec, 4WD and an email to Smittybilt confirmed that they were backordered since at least November, 2007 for those that ordered them earlier. I was considering cancelling my order, but toughed it out and waited.

    On 08 Feb, 2008 I received some packages from 4Wd.com. One of the boxes contained the two Smittybilt GEAR front seat covers. Luckily I am in the military and have experience with assembling my LBA and other gear which uses similar style connections, so I was not really intimidated when I opened the package. It basically looked like someone took the plates out of the IBA and threw it in the box with some bags and packs to attach to it.

    At first I thought that I could arrange the bags on the back of the seat cover any way I wanted, but that does not appear to be totally possible because one bag has a connector that forces it to be placed near the bottom of the seat back.

    I was impressed by the locations where you can stick the bags. You can stick a bag on the side of the seat bottom facing the door, in the front of the seat between your legs or the standard locations on the back of the seat.

    I hurried out to my jeep with the pieces and figured it would only take a few minutes to throw on the drivers side seat.

    I first laid the front of the seat cover over the seat and positioned it where I thought it would sit properly. Then I held the back of the seat cover up and started to connect it with velcro straps to the front of the seat cover. This GEAR seat cover does not work nicely with an 06 stock seat. The seat cover is not long enough to use all the straps to attach the back to the front, so I had to leave the top strap off that would go over the top of the head rest. This also allowed it to slide the seat cover down far enough that any of the velcro straps would not interfere with the latch that is used to fold the seat forward.

    After loosely connecting the back to the front, I started to connect the bottom (the part you sit on) of the seat cover to the seat. In my eyes, they have a major design flaw here and I would like to see the option of having velcro straps similar to that which are used to connect the back piece to the front. Instead, they use some cheezy bungee cord (like the cord used in the bottom of a gortex jacket) and some cheap plastic hooks to connect to spots underneath the seat which "do not interfere with the operation of the seat" as they say in the instructions.

    Due to the seat cover not fitting perfect over my stock seat, I have found that the bungee cords do not pull the seat cover down tight enough to keep it from sliding. I will probably add some velcro and use straps, but it would be nice to see this in the future added to this product .

    Other than that, the seat cover is great. Being a Soldier that likes to have my stuff stowed somehow, this gives me a lot of spaces to put stuff so it is not tucked around the jeep. The bags are big enough to fit ligt jacket, gps, tools, pogie bait and some other stuff. I ordered two, one for the pasenger seat and one for the driver seat, but I probably could have got away with just one. I may snag some bags from the passenger seat and stick them on the front and side of the drivers side GEAR seat cover so that I have easy access to stuff without having to pull over, fold the seat up and get to the other stuff.

    If you are looking for a nice way to store stuff using space which is otherwise wasted (the back of the seat), then these would be perfect for you.

    If you are a civilian trying to figure out how the straps work, find a troop to ask. I am sure they have done plenty of this kind of stuff.

    I will add photos tomorrow now that I know what to focus the picture taking on. You already know what the seat covers look like, but I will show you the parts that I talked about above.
    Last edited by miljeep; 07-12-2008 at 22:15.

  2. #2
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    #1 shows the recommended configuration for the seat. The bungee cords that hold the front portion of the seat cover down are not very strong and the seat cover slides a bit as you get in and out. The straps to connect gear in the front are also lifted up to between your legs as soon as you sit in the seat.

    #2 shows my modification to the seat cover. I just neatly folded the front bottom portion, tucked it through the fold in the seat and stuck it behind the gear on the back of the seat cover. Unless smittybilt sends me seat covers for free to replace these, mine will stay this way. I did buy them to hold stuff, not to protect my seats, so I am not really upset having to have the seat cover tis way.

    #3 shows the front of my seat after the mod I did. Notice how the top strap on the seat cover is not used. Ths is because the seat cover front is not long enough and even if it was, one of the velcro straps would cover the lever used to fold the seat forward. This would probably not be a problem if you don't get into your backseat much, but I have a kid we are constantly putting back there and need the fold down seat feature.

    #4 shows how if the seat cover was raised anymore, it would cover the lever.


    The recommendations I sent to smittybilt to improve their product was:

    • Add the option for velcro straps to be used to attach the front of the seat cover under the seat. They give bungee cords with hooks on the end, but even if I was to use them, there is no place that they hook will fit through on the passenger side seat to get it to run under the seat. If I put it anywhere else that it would fit o the passenger side seat, it would have been cut as the seat folded back.
    • Increase the length of the top strap so it can be used.
    • Add multiple attachment points for velcro to be used on the side of the seat cover so that you can move a piece of velcro up or down to get around something such as the lever.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by miljeep; 02-09-2008 at 15:40.

  3. #3
    No Balls muddyluxury's Avatar
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    hey ryan, what did these things cost ya??
    -Jeb

    99 GC Ltd. V8. plenty of goodies, 6in lift 33s, rear locker, 12v cooler, steel bumpers fr+rr, Roof Top Tent,
    01 TJ 4.0 auto.. stock street queen for now.

  4. #4
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    99 each. Trust me, one is good enough to hold a lot of stuff. I think the one that goes on the back seat would have been better, but I have a car seat for the kid and would have had to cut it up to be able to mount the car seat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vajeeper's Avatar
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    I like those. I am going to get a set when I decide on what I am doing with my Heep.
    "I rather be a rightwing nutjob than a left wing liberal with no nuts and no job"

  6. #6
    There's blood EVERYWHERE!
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    Thanks for the write up!!! I've been looking at the back seat one, and this is the first "real" write up I've seen on them....
    "Uhm... Is smoke supposed to be coming from there?"

    www.odjeeps.com

  7. #7
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    If I was to do it all over again, knowing that the covers would not fit right with me seats, I would have just got the one for the back seat. I think it would have been much more useful sticking stuff back there that I would like secured, but don't necessarily need on the back of my seat. I have not even put anything in them yet. I will be doing that this weekend to prep for next weekend's ride and the Crozet ride I am hoping to hit in early march.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Chewie422's Avatar
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    Default Want them bad, but...

    I noticed in the pics you are running a TJ. Were these tailored more for a JK with of course the option for any vehicle or just a basic design flaw as stated?

    If anyone knows otherwise, I'd be interested...but of course, either way won't hinder me from getting them, lol.

    Kevin

  9. #9
    Administrator miljeep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie422 View Post
    I noticed in the pics you are running a TJ. Were these tailored more for a JK with of course the option for any vehicle or just a basic design flaw as stated?

    If anyone knows otherwise, I'd be interested...but of course, either way won't hinder me from getting them, lol.

    Kevin
    Not really sure what jeep model they were meant for, but if the seats did not have the headrest on them, they would have fit great.

  10. #10
    Bobble Head Jeeper trailsnail's Avatar
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    Sounds to me, that for the price, they should fit right.

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