With These 5 Aftermarket Ventilated Seat Covers You Can Have Cooled Seats In Any Car
Modified On May 01, 2022 10:22 AM By CarDekho
Ventilated seats have trickled down to more affordable models, but they are still considered a premium feature reserved for top trim variants
Summer temperatures are soaring and it’s getting uncomfortably hot in most major Indian cities. Carmakers have made long strides in research and development of new car technologies such as infotainment systems and more efficient powertrains, but they haven’t done much about preventing cars from becoming a steaming vault after a few hours in the sun.
In most cars, all you have is an air conditioner that tries its best to keep the cabin a bit more comfortable than being outdoors. Car ACs have been getting better over the years, and every new model sold in India offers at least a decent manually-controlled AC as standard. But there’s a newer tech that’s slowly becoming more democratic – ventilated seats.
What is a ventilated seat and which car models have it?
A ventilated car seat has a temperature controlling-mechanism within the seat to heat or cool your body more effectively.
Temperature-controlled car seats have been around since the 1960s when the technology first appeared in the ‘66 Cadillac Fleetwood luxury sedan. It had a patented device that could heat up the car seat, but it didn’t offer a cooling function. Cooled seats appeared much more recently in 1998, and it’s only in the past few years that the tech has become available in regular cars in India.
In 2022, you can get ventilated seats in several compact SUV models such as the Hyundai Creta and Tata Harrier. Sedans such as the Skoda Slavia and Hyundai Verna have it, and even subcompact SUVs such as the Kia Sonet and Tata Nexon offer cooled seats.
Are ventilated seats useful?
Car owners who use ventilated seats consider the feature a boon and a necessity during hot Indian summers. But carmakers still consider cooled seats a premium feature reserved for higher-spec variants, so they are bundled with relatively less important equipment such as a sunroof, leather seats, a bigger touchscreen and other such features.
Can I get ventilated seats in my car?
The aftermarket offers a solution that’s much more affordable and can be fitted to pretty much any car – ventilated seat covers. Essentially, a cooling seat cover is a mat with numerous vents on its surface. A fan pulls the cabin air and pushes it through the vents to cool you down.
This mechanism works on a similar principle as some ventilated seat systems, but the cooling seat cover is quite different from a factory-fitted system. It doesn’t have the same wide vents, channels and powerful fans, so you may find it less effective than a good factory-fitted ventilated seat. Nevertheless, cooling seat covers are easy to install without any special tools.
There’s no tinkering with the electricals involved since you can simply plug the seat cover into a 12-volt socket in the car. It does the job to cool you down by recirculating the cooled cabin air over your back and thighs. But be extra careful when installing it in a car with side airbags – ensure that the seat cover holding mechanism doesn’t have any loops or buckles that will interfere with the airbag’s deployment.
Here are five aftermarket seat cooling covers that you can get for around Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000:
Air Brace Seat Cooler:
Price: Rs 2,899
This art leather seat cooler is versatile and fits all car seats. It has loops and a disc to secure it tightly to the seatback. Hooks at the bottom hold the lower part of the cover in place. It can also be used for seats that have a side airbag.
Wowobjects Seat Cooling Cushion Cover:
Price: Rs 7,997
This is a fabric cover that attaches to the seat using elastic loops. It seems easy enough to install, but if your car’s seat bottom is contoured instead of being relatively flat, this seat cooler might not fit as securely. Nevertheless, it offers a decently wide cooling area both in the seatback and bottom.
Rolli Fit Cooling Car Seat Cushion
Price: Rs 4,176 (excludes shipping)
This car seat cushion only covers the seat bottom, but it’s fairly affordable and claims to cool the seat down from 30 to 20 degrees Celsius in as little as two minutes. It works on a water cycle, which means that it uses water to draw the heat from your body and dissipates it into the air below the car seat.
12V Car Seat Cooler Pad
Price: 4,053 (excludes shipping)
You can easily secure this cooling pad in place with elastic loops, and it has a rubberised finish in the lower half to ensure it doesn’t slip around over the seat bottom. Its lower back massager is another cool feature that sets it apart from other seat coolers on this list.
Peiruk Air Conditioned Seat Cover:
Price: Rs 9,496 (excludes shipping)
This seat cover has both heating and cooling functions, and it even lets you set the right temperature according to weather conditions. It has a weight-sensing start/stop function, so you don’t need to unplug it every time you exit the car (in case it’s plugged into a socket that stays on after you turn off the ignition).
Can I get factory-like full ventilated car seats in India?
The simple answer is, yes! Select aftermarket workshops will be able to fit an aftermarket seat ventilation and heating system in your OEM car seat. Your seat will need to be reupholstered after the ventilation system is installed, and the entire process is time and cost intensive. It might also interfere with your warranty; and if your car has side airbags, it’s better to avoid this modification since the workshop might not be equipped with the right machinery to stitch the seat back up correctly.
Companies such as Katzkin and Autolux build bespoke ventilated seats that work just like factory-fitted ventilated seats, but their products and services aren’t available in India yet. If and when such seats are available, they are likely to be much pricier than the sub-Rs 10,000 prices of the aftermarket cooling seat covers.
Let us know in the comments if you do use a ventilated seat or cooling seat cover in your car.
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