Resting your rump on stock jon boat seats can be anything but restful. Manufacturers mean well, but they don't always install the best additional parts, especially if they have nothing to do with jon boat performance.
Fortunately for your tired back and bum, there are loads of brands who have come out with various boat accessories including comfortable jon boat seats that promise to cradle your keister to extend your boating endurance. Wondering which ones top the list as the best jon boat seats around? Here's our take.
Why It's Important to Have the Right Seats for Jon Boats
Sure, maybe the pre-installed seats for boats work just fine. After all - you just need a place to dump your derriere, right? Well, not quite. New seats are one of the best jon boat mods that do much more than just give you a place to reverse your rear.
Have you ever tried taking your jon boat over rugged water? While jon boats are perfectly capable of holding their own over waves and through wind, a stock seat might have you bouncing all over the place.
Since most jon boats come out of the showroom with nothing but a straight jon boat bench seat, hard turns and choppy waters can have you slipping and sliding forwards, backwards, and side to side.
It's hard to maintain control of your jon boat if you can't even plant your feet firmly and brace your body for the rough ride. That's why a proper jon boat seat is so important, especially if you enjoy taking your jon boat in fairly active waters.
Once you reach your favorite spot, you're going to want to spend some time there before heading back. That's kind of the whole point of fishing - to be one with nature, relax, and get away from it all.
The problem is - how do you relax when your rear end is numb and suffering from a bad episode of pins and needles? Stock jon boat seats typically come with hard, straight, flat surfaces that do little in favor of comfort. And because they're just benches, don't expect to have anywhere to rest your back.
To make sure your butt survives the ordeal of sitting for hours while waiting for a nibble, swap out the stock seats with a new jon boat seat that provides better cushioning and support.
For some of us, it's not so much an issue of comfort as it is an issue of aesthetics. The typical pre-installed seat on a jon boat can look anything but classy. Often just a bench seat that takes on the same color as the rest of the boat, these stock benches can look flat and boring.
Oftentimes, simply adding a few new seats to your jon boat can breathe new life into its appearance. Classy, contoured, cushioned seats can look especially expensive, adding aesthetic flair to an otherwise boring boat.
The 6 Best Jon Boat Seats
You've probably spent some time scouring the web for jon boat seat ideas only to find yourself more confused. With so many options, it's tough to narrow down the selection to just the ones that are truly worth it.
From Attwood to Wise to Leader Accessories and every other brand in between, this range of the best boat seats for jon boats should lead you to the perfect new throne for your beloved aluminum boat:
Often considered the best jon boat seat, the high quality Wise 8WD734PLS-660 Standard Low Back Seat features aluminum hinges and a super durable high impact plastic frame with a marine grade vinyl upholstery. The cushions use high compression foam padding with just enough give to cradle your bottom for lasting, sitting comfort.
The clam style jon boat seats fold down via aluminum hinges for easy storage, and even comes with a strap that helps to keep the back rest securely folded down. Underneath the comfortable seat are pre-installed mounting fasteners that are compatible with BI4 pedestal system or swivel mounting hardware.
Another high quality clam style seat, this option features an ultra wide 20.25 inch seat for larger users. The jon boat seats come in a range of colors, including a deep emerald green that cleverly conceals the signs of wear and tear. But because the design uses 28 oz marine grade vinyl, they're not as likely to succumb to damage in the first place.
Complete with mounting screws, these seats fold down flatter than others on the list, allowing more compact boat storage and easier jon boat coverage. Using modest high compression foam padding, the Wise 8WD139 seats come with an impressive 2-year warranty coverage.
Although a little more pricey than the average Wise-brand chair, this high quality heavy duty choice from Millennium Marine boasts a high back support that provides exceptional posture protection for long hours on the lake. The seat uses a marine grade fabric that allows excellent ventilation to keep your back cool.
Folding flat, the B100 Boat Seats fit most mounting brackets available on the market. And with a weight capacity of 400 lbs max, you can bet this beefy chair can withstand the wear and tear of constant, heavy use.
Shaped to match the contours of your body, the Attwood 98390GY Molded Plastic Seat might not have cushy padding, but it doesn't lag behind in terms of comfort. The smooth high impact plastic frame of the Attwood 98390GY provides sufficient support for both bum and back, providing excellent lower back support to keep your body ache-free.
Durable, simple, quality, and easy to clean and maintain, this no frills Attwood plastic seat adds sophisticated, minimalist appeal to the interior of your boat. The resilient 1-piece Attwood construction also mounts to most hardware options, and touts easy installation with included screws.
The Leader Accessories new Low Back Folding boat seat features plush, ultra thick seat cushions that let you lean back in comfort. The high quality aluminum alloy hinge hardware and molded plastic framework provide excellent durability for regular, frequent use.
The comfortable seat from Leader Accessories comes in a range of colors including camouflage, in case hunting stealth was a major consideration for your boat seats. Made of high quality materials, the Leader Accessories new Low Back Folding back seat boasts UV treated upholstery with a 3 year warranty, and a reinforced seat frame that touts a 5 year warranty.
Unlike other jon boat seats on our list, the high quality Wise 8WD112BP Camouflage Pro Casting jon boat seats feature a stool style design without a back seat rest. That's because this jon boat seat was designed to help you achieve the perfect cast - without the potential obstruction that a backrest might cause. Although don't expect to be able to lean back in this pedestal chair.
Underneath the camouflage hunting upholstery, the low back seat cushions use compression foam padding that effectively retains its density and structure even after repeated, weekly use. Covered by a 5-year warranty on the seat frame, these boat seats for jon fishing boats work best as pedestal seats for casting a line.
Also check out some great camo jon boat covers to keep the camouflage theme flowing.
Different Styles and Types of Jon Boat Seats
Comfort is a subjective experience, so manufacturers have made sure there's more than one kind of jon boat seat on the market. All of these different styles aim to fine tune the experience for you so you can get something that really matches your standards.
The clam shell folding boat seats feature a padded seat and back support that provides cushy comfort for your body. Often, manufacturers design the seats so you can remove the cushions for easy cleaning.
As suggested by its name, the clam shell folding boat seats can close down on itself. This allows boat owners to reduce the boat's total height so it fits into storage.
Another common kind of seat for jon boats is the fixed backrest boat seat. With either a high back rest or a low back rest, these types of seats provide a comfortable, contoured seat padding for you to rest both butt and back.
Typically cushioned, fixed backrest boat seats also come in a injection molded plastic style either with cushions attached to the seat and back support, or as a standalone plastic piece. They don't fold down like the clam shell style.
The swivel seat is a popular choice for boat owners who prefer practicality. With jon boat swivel seats, you can turn around in your boat to reach for essentials and equipment without having to get up.
Swivel seats are also pretty cost effective. Although they don't usually have back support, these seats may have cushions that improve comfort for your rear end.
For the record, the aluminum boat comes with benches already installed when you buy them fresh from the dealership. However some boat owners insist on buying bench seats for their jon boats regardless.
Unlike other seats, the bench seat doesn't require installation. Simply buy the bench and place it in the boat. This lets you switch things up when necessary, allowing boat owners to move the seat depending on their present needs and preferences.
It's also worth mentioning that bench seats tend to feel more comfortable than the stock bench used by jon boat manufacturers. They also typically provide underseat storage to give you more places to store your jon boat accessories, paraphernalia and gear.
How to Choose the Best Jon Boat Seats
No doubt, looking through all of the different options available might have you feeling a little confused. And although each individual choice might seem to offer what you're looking for, it's always a different story when you finally have it in your possession.
So to save you from a tedious episode of returns, here's what you need to consider to help you find the best jon boat seat for your vessel:
Seat Mount Style
The mounting hardware that a seat uses will be one of the biggest considerations you'll have to account for. Most seats use a fixed mount that requires that you drill into the existing benches. For some boat owners, this is where things get pretty hairy, especially if your jon boat is fresh out of the dealership.
We recommend you start off by reading our jon boat seat mount ideas.
Jon boat swivel seat mounts also exist so you can turn any jon boat seat into a swivel seat. You can also find sliding mounts that require that you affix an elongated hardware to your existing bench so your chair can slide from one end of the bench to the other. This gives you easier access to either side of the boat.
Another type of mount, called the clamp on, requires zero drilling. This clever design entails that you simply clamp the seat's hardware to the bench. Just as sturdy and reliable as any mount that requires drilling, the beauty of the clamp mount is that it lets you change the placement of the seat as you choose.
Check out some of the best jon boat seat clamps.
Comfort and Back Support
What's the point of replacing the stock benches when you plan to buy a seat that's just as uncomfortable when sitting on them? In any case, you should consider how comfortable the seat will feel especially for long hours of trying to get a nibble.
Cushioned seats that use high compression foam padding provide the best comfort of any choice. Providing a soft, cushy surface for you to rest your rear end, these designs may also come with a padded low back seat rest so you can lean back while you fish. Although you may also find pedestal options designed to let you cast your line while sitting.
Injection molded plastic frame seats may also provide improved comfort versus a stock bench. Although they might not come with a cushion, these seats have contoured, ergonomic shapes that follow the curves of the back side and spine to cradle your body and keep you in proper alignment.
Materials and Maintenance
By all means - avoid a chair with absorbent fabric upholstery material. Taking your boat out to the water inevitably exposes it to moisture, and sitting on it all the time risks the same thing via your sweat. Over time, this moisture can penetrate even leatherette upholstery over padding, causing the cushion underneath to harbor all sorts of microbes.
UV exposure can also damage various types of fabric and upholstery. With constant exposure to the sun's harsh rays, it's possible for your seats to become discolored and to start cracking and peeling away. So it pays to buy a heavy duty chair that can withstand the usual exposure to the elements.
On top of the type of damage certain materials can sustain after long term use and wear and tear, there's the issue of maintenance. Some materials are harder to keep clean versus others.
As a general rule, upholstered, cushioned seats will always prove more challenging to maintain. So when it all boils down to it, you'll have to weigh the comfort of a cushioned seat versus the convenience of a plain, plastic frame.
There's more to seats than just how they mount and how they feel. Manufacturers have made it their quest to expound the humble jon boat seat silhouette, adding a plethora of features that might just improve your sitting experience.
For instance, some cushioned seats tout removable cushions. This leaves you with the plastic frame which you can sit on without the cushions if that's what you prefer. And of course, removing the cushions means you can clean them or replace them, depending on the situation.
Some seats have foldable backrests to make storage easier. Others have arm rests, cup holders, and even rod holders which might appeal to some jon boat owners.
Size and Weight Capacity
A jon boat might seem spacious out of the showroom. But as you start loading it with all of your gear, it will start to get pretty cramped. Thus adding a seat or two to the boat may eat up quite a bit of space, especially if you've got a smaller 12 footer.
Fixed seats, although convenient and secure, present the biggest issue in terms of maximizing your available space. Once they're installed, these fixed mounting seats may change the way you navigate the available space on your boat. Add in all of your gear, and it might start to feel a little claustrophobic.
That's the beauty of clamp mounting and even slide mounting. These options let you move things around depending on your present space requirements. Even better, benches that you simply put into your boat give yo the option to clear things out all together.
Price and Warranty
How much are you willing to spend on a seat for your jon boat? While some options border $100 a piece, others can come at just $20 or less sans the hardware. So there's definitely a range of prices that you can choose from.
But on top of just the cost of the seat and its mounting, you might want to consider the warranty. No one wants to spend money on a boat seat just to have it disintegrate and break after a few uses.
Fortunately, most brands that sell the best jon boat seats offer between two to five years of warranty coverage to protect your purchase against manufacturer defects and damages during use.
How to Take Care of a Jon Boat Seat
Caring for your jon boat seat really depends on the kind of material it's made of. Reading the manufacturer's care instructions should give you a much better idea on how to care for the seat and keep it clean and functional for the years to come.
Even the best jon boat seats can deteriorate over time. So generally, here are some things you might expect to do to take care of your jon boat seats:
Cleaning your boat seats will play a huge role in maintenance and upkeep. Using the proper cleaning agent can help prolong its service life. Marine cleaners work well on both a plastic seat and an upholstered seat that uses marine grade vinyl and padding.
We recommend the Meguiar's Marine/RV Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner.
Aside from constant, routine cleaning, it also helps to use protectant spray. This solution helps to shield the upholstery and padding material from UV rays, allowing the seats to withstand the onslaught of constant sun exposure. In the long run, protectant spray can reduce discoloration and cracking.
Check out the 303 Aerospace Protectant.
When not in use, it would be best to keep your jon boat in storage to protect it from the elements. But if it's still fishing season and you don't want to have to keep hauling your boat in and out of your garage, you should make it a point to at least cover the seats. Manufacturers can sell one with their seats, or you can buy on after sale.
We like the Sun-Protect Marine Canvas Boat Seat Covers.
For seats that use moving mounts (whether swivel, sliding, or clamp), it's imperative that you pay close attention to the aluminum or stainless steel hardware and seat frame.
Oiling up the joints can prevent creaking noises and stubborn movement that could affect the way you use and enjoy your seats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you mount a jon boat seat?
These boats come out of the dealership with bench seats already installed. In fact, a jon boat's benches don't even come away from the boat itself. Some models literally have the benches as a continuous part of the boat's main structure.
Elevated from the floor of the flat bottom boat, these benches make the perfect place to mount a seat. Hollow inside, drilling into the benches won't cause any damage to the structure of your jon boat.
So mounting your new seats into the existing bench would be the best way to go about the project.
How to mount seats in a jon boat?
That depends - what kind of mounting hardware do you have? If it's clamp style mounting, all you need to do is just literally clamp it onto the existing bench. Other seat mounting styles however will require some power tools and planning.
Usually, the seats arrive with their own instructions. The general process involves stabilizing the mounting hardware against the existing bench and then installing the seat itself.
If you're not confident that you can install the seat without damaging your boat, then you might want to consider having it installed by a professional.
Have a Seat
Going fishing with your jon boat doesn't have to spell discomfort for your back end. With a seat upgrade, you might just find yourself feeling right at home in the middle of the lake.
So if those utilitarian benches just aren't cutting it for you whether from a comfort or an aesthetic standpoint, a set of the best jon boat seats should breathe new life into your boating experience.