Throughout Overland Magazine’s illustrious history, we’ve been determined to review products with complete honesty after a period of genuine testing. That warts ‘n’ all approach means we’ve never had reason to use the word “faultless” – until now.
The headline claims for the Cool Covers seat cover are that it works like air-conditioning for your motorcycle seat, it’ll keep your backside dry when riding in the rain, and it reduces rider fatigue and discomfort. Sounds too good to be true, but after about 2,000 miles of testing I can say the Cool Covers seat cover delivers on all those promises and really is faultless in every respect. May the day I have to ride without one be a long time coming.
My interest in testing the product was initially focused on finding a way to make the bone-hard seat on the Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT more bearable on long rides. Cool Covers clever 3D mesh design did exactly that. It works on the same massaging principle as a sheepskin or a beaded car seat cover (remember those?) in that it allows movement and avoids pressure points being created by constant contact between two surfaces. In effect, you’re never sitting on the seat at all.
You might fairly think that the winter months weren’t the obvious time to test a product designed to keep you cool, but it actually worked out to the test’s advantage. The abundance of soaking wet days proved the Cool Covers ability to channel rain away from your nether regions (unlike a sheepskin), and the icy temperatures provided an unmistakable demonstration of just how efficiently the product enables air to flow between your body and the seat. The Cool Covers mesh is 8mm thick and reported to be 98% air-permeable even when it’s squished a little by the weight of a rider. It can’t be fully compressed, so air flow and water drainage is always maintained.
One other very important feature of the product is that, unlike motorcycle seats, it doesn’t get hot in the sun. In the absence of a warming star during December and January, I can’t vouch for this first-hand yet. However, many other riders who’ve ridden with a Cool Covers product in high summer temperatures have confirmed it’s true.
Installation is quick and easy. The cover wraps tightly over the seat and is kept in place by a couple of Velcro straps on the underside. Since fitting to the V-Strom, I haven’t needed to re-adjust it.
Cool Covers are available for all the major manufacturers’ most popular bike models, and the company offers a custom tailoring service for models not already covered by their existing stocked range.
So, unless you’re a masochist or a dyed-in-the-wool member of the sheepskin flock, the Cool Covers seat cover is a must-have overlanding accessory.
UK RRP £45 to £75 depending on bike/seat model.
Review by: Iain Harper