Upgrading Seats and Harnesses in Your UTV

We all know that after a long day of being out on the trail or playing in the dunes can leave us sore in a bunch of different places.  One of which that gets over looked a lot is our butts.  Anyone who has sat for a long a time knows how sore your back end and lower back can get if you don’t have something nice to sit on to help with the pain. 

Thankfully just about everything inside your UTV is customizable including the seats and seat belts.  We are going to take a look at some of the reasons you may want to upgrade or even add a seat to your ride, and some seatbelt upgrades that can make them more comfortable as well as safer.  We will also talk a little bit about what is involved in making these conversions.  Is it something you can do yourself or will you need a pro to put them in for you?  Keep reading to find out below.


The first and most obvious reason to upgrade your seat is to get a little more cushion for your tail bone.  The seats that come in a lot of UTV’s can be pretty unforgiving on your body when hitting some big bumps. It’s not just your butt that will thank you, your back will thank you too! 

Many of the upgraded seat options will give you more back support and will help hold you in place better than the stock seats, which will give you more driving confidence.  Whether you are looking for a racing quality seat for carving up the trails or just want some extra cushion for those trips down to the barn, Side by Side Stuff has a huge line up of seats to fit multiple makes and models. 

Comfort isn’t the only reason to make a seat upgrade. You might need to add more passenger capacity to your ride, for instance, if you have a little one that rides with you and needs an extra seat, be sure to check out this bump seat for the Maverick.  It fits in between the driver and passenger seat so it is only meant for a small child. 

If you really need to add some capacity to haul all your friends around, check out this over the top upgrade from UTV Mountain Accessories.  The kit shown is for a Maverick, but they have many different options.  It will add a third row seat and extend the roll cage to protect it.  It attaches with the use of stock mounting points so you don’t have to worry about modifying the frame.  The roof is a different story though, as it will have to be cut or removed to add this seating option. 

If you have a UTV with a bed in the back of it, don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about you. This is called a rumble seat and it bolts into the bed facing the rear of the vehicle.  This is a great option for you because it is simple to both install and remove to give you back your cargo space when needed.

You can also rest assured that if you feel comfortable with a set of tools in your hands, you should be able to install all of these upgrades yourself.  If you’re still a little nervous, here is a video of some pros installing seats on a RZR and a video of do it yourselfer installing seats in his Wildcat XX.  Looks like the only tools you need in most cases are a drill and an impact, and even most of that work could be done with hand tools if necessary.


After you put that new seat in, the next logical upgrade to make is to the seatbelts.  This is more for people who are really putting their machines to the test by driving at high speeds and over rough terrain.  Making the step up to a harness over a seat belt is definitely a huge leap in safety factor.  They keep you from being jostled around as much, and in the event of a turnover, a harness will keep you firmly locked in your seat even if you are stuck inverted. 

There are two main types of harnesses for you to consider when looking to upgrade your stock seat belt; the 4 point and 5 point harness.  The major difference between these two types is the anti-submarine strap in the 5 point harness.  This is made to keep you from slipping out of the bottom of your harness in a bad wreck where your UTV ends up inverted.  Below is a video going into more detail about the harnesses and how they are constructed. 

PRP makes some truly great harnesses that meet the requirements to be used in racing while also giving you the ability to easily adjust the belts.  These harnesses are available in two inch and 3 inch webbing, but this doesn’t indicate that one is safer over the other.  Both are tested to the same standards so it’s more of a personal preference on which style you like.

One small detail to keep in mind when upgrading to a harness is that many of the UTV models today have a seatbelt interlock that puts the vehicle into “limp” mode if the belt isn’t engaged.  The new harness will not engage the old seatbelts so you will need to get a seatbelt override for your vehicle, just make sure you get one for the right vehicle.  Here is a video of one being installed, and it’s pretty simple. Let me be very clear, these are only to be installed if you are putting a harness in your vehicle.  Never drive your side by side without a safety belt, as a safety belt is a crucial part of any UTV and it keeps you and your passengers safe.

After going through this and installing some new seat and harnesses your vehicle is sure to be much more comfortable on your back side, and keep you safer when you’re hitting those big jumps and are tearing through some monster dunes.