With the winter season nearly over, and summer fun around the corner, many of us around the country are beginning to experience warmer temperatures. However, for some enthusiasts, the colder temperatures are going to stick around for a few more months, with several states still being blanketed in snow. Some enthusiasts are not lucky enough to enjoy the benefits of having a winter beater, and unfortunately have to resort to using their only vehicle is a daily driver — even if it means driving their vehicle in the harsh winter elements. Others may not have had the option to outfit their cars with a seat heater from the factory.
Whether you use your vehicle as a daily driver, or you’re just looking to keep warm and preserve your vehicle’s interior during the winter season, Covercraft has your back covered (literally) with an array of interior solutions for the winter season. We installed a pair of seat covers and seat heaters from the company on a 2016 Ford F-150 EcoBoost-powered truck provided by our friends at Byerly Ford out of Louisville, Kentucky.
As a protection solution for the interior, or storing vehicles in all weather conditions, we learned that Covercraft’s seat covers and seat heaters are exposed to an extensive amount of research and development, using materials which are known for their strength and durability. We also will explore the benefits and relay the technology incorporated in the products, and explain why enthusiasts may want to consider an upgrade like this for their own vehicle, even if they own a newer vehicle.
Our test vehicle is a 2016 Ford F-150 EcoBoost truck provided for our use in this story by the awesome team at Byerly Ford out of Louisville, Kentucky.
Covercraft offers a multitude of solutions for the winter season; such as seat covers, seat heaters, car covers, and more. For our winter needs, we decided to go with some of the company’s interior solutions as a demonstration for enthusiasts with long driving commutes during the winter season.
We opted for Covercraft’s SeatSaver Seat Protector covers (PN SS2485PCGY) and a SeatHeater Seat Heating Kit (PN SE1002GY) for our ’16 F-150 EcoBoost.
We put our fabrics through a long list of rigorous testing to meet our customers demanding needs. - Jesse Alvarado, Covercraft
Covercraft builds on the premise that the SeatSaver series seat covers are an all-purpose seat cover solution for every enthusiast imaginable. The seat covers are designed to protect from elements such as kids, pets, dirt and spills, working environments, and even weekend family trips. The company achieves this by incorporating a technology known as Durable Water Repellency (DWR) in its seat covers.
Jesse Alvarado of Covercraft explains how this technology works, saying “The DWR finish acts like a coating that prevents most dirt and liquids from passing through the weaves in the fabric, making it an excellent repellent agent that effortlessly helps keep the fabric clean.” According to Covercraft, another additional benefit of the DWR coating is that, unlike Neoprene material, the DWR material can be both waterproof and breathable if specified to the company.
According to Covercraft, the SeatSaver series seat covers are manufactured out of a jean-type polycotton drill weave fabric, which is a material that is known for its strength and long wearing capability.
This type of fabric is also used mostly for it’s ability to breathe, ensuring enthusiasts won’t experience the dreaded ‘sticky back’ that can occur with some seat covers. The material also acts as a barrier against harmful UV rays, protecting the original seat’s finish during the summer months.
Alvarado illustrates how this technology incorporated into the company’s seat cover solutions comes together during a rigorous research and development process. He says, “Made from 9-ounce heavy weight polycotton fibers woven in the most durable weave know to fight abrasion and tears. We put our fabrics through a long list of rigorous testing to meet our customers demanding needs. Some of these tests include seam strength, shrinkage, stretch, flammability, stain repellency, Xenon (accelerated weathering that simulates the damaging effects of long term outdoor exposure).
“As far as longevity, it really varies,” Alvarado said. “We have customers who have had the same set in their car for 12 years and some that only got six years out of them before they gladly replaced them. It comes down to the abusive nature of the owner and the elements the vehicle is exposed to. For example, a person who works and lives out of their truck might see faster signs of wear than other folks who perhaps don’t spend as much time in their vehicle. Under normal use, your SeatSavers will be around to protect your seats for years to come, exceeding the warranty.”
Covercraft has more than 24,000 custom fit seat cover patterns available to choose from.
Seat Heaters For Cold Weather
The SeatHeater seat heating kit comes with two seat heater elements in every kit.
Heated seats aren’t always an option from the factory, and many vehicles still on the road today are not equipped with them. For those car owners, Covercraft offers a universal plug-and-play solution for virtually every application imaginable.
These seat heaters can be installed either directly onto the seat or under a seat cover, and can be used with most aftermarket breathable seat covers.
In the case of our ’16 F-150 EcoBoost, we opted to pair our SeatHeater kit with our SeatSaver covers, though they can also be paired with the company’s SeatGloves series covers as well. The SeatHeater kit uses PTC heating elements, which are self-regulating and promote faster-to-ideal temperature control. Alvarado further says, “It uses patented technology in its heating elements that ensures uniform warmth with no potential for overheating. The delivery of a constant, comfortable heat level offers added safety and protection against over-temperature conditions commonly found in comparable wire heaters.”
Brand new seats ready for installation of the seat protectors.
Thanks to Covercraft’s plug-and-play installation process, our SeatHeater kit couldn’t have been easier to install on our ’16 F-150 EcoBoost. We’re pretty good at explaining installation steps, but we think Alvarado relay it better.
Total installation time took about 10 minutes, from start to finish. The hardest part was hiding the harness!
He explains, “Insert the heating elements into each of the SeatHeater envelopes, and place the SeatHeater onto the seats, carefully pushing the ‘tails’ with wire connections between the seat back and the seat base. Install your seat covers over the SeatHeaters. Attach wire harness and plug into the vehicle accessory power outlet. The SeatHeater uses a wiring harness with individual on/off heater controls that plugs into the vehicles existing accessory power outlet. Special ‘envelopes’ securely hold the heating elements, with grip material on the base, and a layer of spacer-knit fabric on the top to allow for even heat transfer. No minimum temperature is required to operate.”
With the seat heaters properly installed, next was the seat covers. After adjusting the seats for an easier installation, the pair of SeatSaver seat covers installed easier than ever. The entire ordeal took less than 10 minutes.
Just like our SeatHeater kit, the SeatSaver seat covers only take about 10 minutes total from bare seat to full installation.
Alvarado also relays a few installation tips for the seat covers saying, “The installer may find it easier to work with seats that are adjusted to give them the most room. For example., if installing the front set, slide both the driver and passenger seats all the way to the rear. If installing the rear seats, slide both seats all the way forward. Be sure to run the webbing and straps above any motor or cables located under the seats. Some pieces under the seat have unfinished edges and may be sharp, so be careful. If you feel the material is a little stiff, we recommend washing the seat covers with warm water prior to installation to help relax them”
The SeatSaver series seat covers come in four different fabric options.
We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Byerly Ford out of Louisville, Kentucky for allowing us to borrow one of their 2016 F-150 EcoBoost trucks for our installation of Covercraft products.
We’d recommend applying Scotchguard after several washings – after about six washings begins to slowly lose some of it’s repellent properties. - Jesse Alvarado, Covercraft Industries
Both of our Covercraft components were incredibly easy to install, approximately 10 minutes each. The SeatHeater kit can be used with or without a seat cover, depending on your choice, and gives you the option to hide the wires for a cleaner installation and a more permanent appearance. The SeatSaver seat covers were also extremely easy to install. The side airbag pocket ensures the airbag functions properly, and the map pockets on the back of the seat cover are a definite plus for quick storage. Everything on the cover attaches properly. Any of the included velcro, elastic, and straps are completely covered by seat fabric, providing a clean aesthetic.
The covers fit excellently; snug but not too tight, making them easily removable for any cleaning service and preventing any damage to the existing seat’s finish. During the winter season, there are often a lot of harsh chemicals on the roads used to treat and remove any ice on the road. The SeatSaver will protect enthusiasts seats from many of the unseen winter elements like dirt, ice, snow, sleet, and more.
Alvarado closes out with a few tips for our new Covercraft gear, saying, “For the SeatSaver, no sharp tools in back pockets when getting in and out. We’d recommend applying Scotchguard after several washings — after about six washings the overs begin to slowly lose some of the repellent properties, but easily fixed with an application of Scotchguard or any Hydrophobic spray that works the same way. For the SeatHeater, keep cords protected so they don’t get jerked or abraded.”