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Racing Seats for Big Guys

In our business, one of the most common questions we hear is, “Do you have racing seats for big guys?”  Let me assure you that we do!  Here are some tips to find the right racing seat for our big (and tall) brothers and sisters.

Tall Driver Challenges

Let’s break down “big guy racing seat” challenges into two categories:  tall and broad.  You may be either, or you may be both.  At any rate, each of these has their own challenges.  Tall drivers often have head clearance issues.  A tall driver who wears a helmet in his car is GUARANTEED to have head room clearance issues.

Count on this:  aftermarket seat/bracket combinations almost always sit a bit HIGHER than the factory seats–especially if the factory seats are old and worn.  To your benefit, Corbeau specifies the vertical height between the bottom of the seat and the bottom of the driver for each seat.  Additionally, they offer a seat-shaving service on many of their seats that lowers this height by about an inch.  This puts the seat very close to the height of your factory seat.

For very tall drivers using racing harnesses, you have another issue.  If your shoulders are inches above the harness slots then you could be severely injured by the harnesses.  The top of the harness must be roughly at the top of your shoulder as it passes back to the fixing point.  If they are lower then they pull down on your shoulders as they work to stop your body’s forward momentum.  Add a broken collar bone to what might have otherwise been more minor injuries.

Broad Driver Challenges

Corbeau also provides some suggested maximum waist sizes for their seats.  If your waist size is at or below 36 inches, you are a go in nearly any seat we sell.  If you are over 38 inches, pay attention.

Recognize that waist size is not a hard-and-fast rule for selecting racing seats.  A lot depends on where you carry your weight.  If you have a 40-inch waist but carry your weight right up front then you can likely push the suggested limits just a bit.  But if you are more broad in the thighs and midsection, better stick to what is suggested.

Likewise, the seat time duration has an impact as well.  If you are putting these seats in a drag car that is never driven on the street, you can probably suffer a little bit of tightness the time you will be in the car.  But if this is your daily driver, leave yourself some room.

And remember that “broad” drivers also includes the athletic.  That amazing set of lats you have been building in the gym will not be happy when packed into a racing seat built for a less impressive physique.  Select a racing seat with less side bolstering.

Small Car Challenges

Getting a seat that fits you is only half the requirement.  The seat must also fit the car.  And, for some reason, big guys and small cars go together like peanut butter and jelly.  The links for every seat you see listed below provide dimension information and it is vital that you carefully compare that to the available space in the car before you purchase.

Top Picks: Big Guy Racing Seats

I’m going to lead off with my top two seat picks for for big/tall/broad drivers.  After that I will list other excellent choices,  categorized by the driver they best fit.

Sparco EVO Racing Seat

Sparco EVO Big Guy Racing Seat

Sparco EVO Racing Seat

If you’re a big guy or gal looking for a true racing seat (with composite fiberglass shell, sidemount capability, and FIA homologation) then there is only one solution: The Sparco EVO Racing Seat.  This seat is available in four different sizes.  We can overlook the standard EVO (suitable for smaller drivers) but the EVO II is suited to thin/tall drivers, the EVO II-US is suited to wider drivers who are not especially tall, and the EVO III is for the broader/taller or big, athletic driver who needs a professional racing seat.  These seats come HANS-device ready and are accepted at almost every level of automotive racing.  (Note: The EVO III is a physically huge seat.  Take care when ordering to ensure you have adequate room for this seat.)

Corbeau VX2000 Racing Seat

Corbeau VX2000 Big Guy Racing Seat

Corbeau VX2000 Racing Seat

The Corbeau VX2000 is probably the ultimate racing seat for big guys.  Corbeau specifies this seat for drivers between 42- and 44-inches.  It is available with the shaved seat-base option, which means that tall guys get some relief too.  And while it is too big for the smallest cars, this seat is actually quite a bit narrower than some of the other seats listed below.  This is also the only wide seat that is available in leather, so if you are a big guy looking for leather seats then look no further.

More Racing Seats for Big (Broad) Guys

Corbeau FX1 Racing Seat (Wide Version)

Corbeu FX1 (Wide) Racing Seat

Corbeu FX1 (Wide) Racing Seat

The Corbeau FX1 racing seat (wide version) is another fixed-back racing seat that is specifically targeted at the large driver. This seat suits drivers up to 44 inches in waist size and is a great choice when FIA homologation is not required. The wide version is a full inch wider at all locations than the standard FX1, so this is a physically large seat that will not fit in many applications. Use care when measuring. The harness slots in the wide version are not higher than the standard version so especially tall drivers needing a fixed-back racing seat may opt for the Sparco EVO III.

Corbeau Baja XRS Racing Seat

Corbeau XRS Racing Seat

Corbeau XRS Racing Seat

I’m not even going to hide my bias–the Corbeau Baja XRS is my favorite racing seat.  It is also our number one racing seat in the street category.  This seat is specified for drivers up to 42 inches in waist size.  It is extremely comfortable and looks great in anything from a truck to a classic muscle car or even a more traditional sports car.  This is not a narrow seat (21+ inches) and won’t fit in every car.  And it is not a candidate for Corbeau’s seat-shaving option, so taller drivers will not find any head room with this seat.

Corbeau Baja RS Racing Seat

Corbeau Baja RS Seat

Corbeau Baja RS Seat

Like the XRS, The Corbeau Baja RS is specified for drivers up to 42″.  Its design lends itself to truck, SUV, and offroad applications.  Suspension-style support makes this an incredibly comfortable seat.  Corbeau does not allow a shaved version of this seat for taller drivers.  The seat is 22-inches wide and not generally a good choice for smaller vehicles.

Corbeau Sport Seat

Corbeau Sport Seat

Corbeau Sport Seat

If you are looking for a big-guy seat with a more traditional seat design, the Corbeau sport seat is a perfect choice.  Very mild bolstering means that this seat will not tend to rub in the thigh, waist, or lats like a more highly-bolstered seat.  At 22-inches wide, this seat is wider than it looks and is not going to fit into a tiny sports car.  No seat shaving option.

Corbeau LG1 Racing Seat (Wide Version)

Corbeau LG1 (Wide) Racing Seat

Corbeau LG1 (Wide) Racing Seat

The Corbeau LG1 racing seat is available in a wide version that suits drivers up to 42 inches in waist size.  The wide version is limited to black cloth, black microsuede, or black/gray microsuede materials.  It does have much more aggressive thigh and lat bolstering than some of the other seats listed here.  That means that those with broad, athletic builds may find it restricting.  It is 22 inches wide (too big for very small cars) and does not offer the seat shaving option for taller drivers.

Corbeau Moab Racing Seat

Corbeau Moab Racing Seat

Corbeau Moab Racing Seat

The Corbeau Moab racing seat has almost no bolstering.  This makes it a good choice for broader drivers (up to about 40-inch waist size) without being excessively large (although still a bit big for small vehicles.)  This seat looks great in nearly any application and has really found a following in the Jeep ® market.  Seat shaving is not available on this seat.

More Racing Seats for Big (Tall) Guys

Corbeau CR1 Racing Seat (Wide Version)

Corbeau CR1 (Wide) Racing Seat

Corbeau CR1 (Wide) Racing Seat

The Corbeau CR1 racing seat shares many similarities to the LG1.  In addition to similar styling, a wide version is available (for drivers up to about 40 inches waist size.)  The wide version is only available in black cloth, black microsuede, and black/gray microsuede.  Corbeau does offer seat shaving on this seat, so if you need head room this seat might work better for you.  At 21.5 inches wide it is a bit narrower than some of the big guy racing seats listed here but still too tight for many small cars.

Racing Seats for Big Guys with Small Cars

Corbeau A4 Racing Seat

Corbeau A4 Racing Seat

Corbeau A4 Racing Seat

This is a “big guy racing seat” only because big guys seem to be drawn to small cars (as we mentioned earlier.)  The standard size A4 is, in fact, NOT a very good seat for big guys but is tends to be the best big-guy racing seat that will fit in cars like the Mazda Miata and Chevrolet Corvette.  Seats I might otherwise suggest for these cars are simply going to be too painful for broad drivers.  But be aware: the standard A4 (the one that will fit in smaller cars) is only specified for drivers up to 34 inches in waist size.  The A4 wide version (available in black only) is suitable for drivers up to 40 inches in waist size, but is too wide to fit in the Miata, Corvette, or other similarly small cars.  Corbeau does offer seat shaving for this seat, giving a bit of head room clearance to taller drivers.

 

18 Comments

  1. H S ALBRIGHT H S ALBRIGHT
    May 5, 2017    

    I own a 1986 corvette. I am looking for racing seats as I am setting up the car for autocross and track day. I am 6′ 2″ and weigh 300 lbs. I have a long body and short legs. Please advise.

    • July 10, 2017    

      There are no easy solutions here, unfortunately. The very best you can do is get a sidemount seat and make sure that the seat bottom is in contact with the floor of the car. You can do this with sliders, but it is absolutely going to be a custom installation requiring a professional and you will be giving up previous space to move the seat high enough off the floor so that it can move forward and back.

      Beyond this you can adjust the layback angle a bit and that can give some head clearance. Good luck!

  2. Rashad Rashad
    January 13, 2018    

    I drive a 2009 civic si coupe, looking for a wider seat, I’m 6,5 and I’m a big guy. I would like something wider. And that goes back further and sit lower if possible.

    • January 24, 2018    

      Hi Rashad! If it will fit the car (check the dimensions before ordering) I’d recommend the Corbeau A4 Wide Version, provided you don’t need a fixed-back seat.

      The amount that the seat goes forward or back is dependent on the seat base. If you find you need to go back a little bit further then Corbeau does offer an extender. I’d recommend installing the base without the extender first and then adding one only if you think you need it. I would also recommend that you opt for the shaved seat base when ordering to make sure you’re sitting as low as possible.

      Let me know how that works out for you!

  3. joseph spano joseph spano
    May 8, 2018    

    What seat for a 1968 corvette coupe? Driver is 5’8″ broad shoulders with 40 inch waist.

    • July 16, 2018    

      You are going to be a bit challenged to find a seat that both fits your Corvette and is truly comfortable. The closest seat I can recommend is the Corbeau Sportline Evolution X. This fixed-back seat was made with the Corvette in mind and is really the widest seat that will consistently fit in that car, suiting drivers up to about 38 inches. As always, use the measurements provided on the linked page to confirm fitment before buying the seat.

  4. Eduardo Pimentel Eduardo Pimentel
    September 28, 2018    

    Hey, I drive a 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, I wanted to find a seat to help make it a more comfortable ride, I’m 6’1 and 297 pounds, my waist is a 46, any recommendations ?

    • October 14, 2018    

      Good question, Eduardo. I think the closest seat to fitting you would be the VX2000 Racing Seat, but it is critical that you compare the dimensions provided on the page you find at that link and confirm it will fit your Genesis. Unfortunately, we don’t have a database of vehicle seat space availability so it must be your responsibility to compare the dimensions of the seat to the available space and confirm it will fit. Thanks again for asking!

  5. Shane Shane
    December 10, 2018    

    Great guide its very helpful!

    I’m 6’7 40″ waist and have a BMW E92 coupe. Unfortunately it has a sunroof which eats into the headroom, so want to get the lowest possible seat (mounted directly to the floor with no sliders?) and noticed the sparco EVO III is discontinued (doh!)

    The biggest sparco I can find these days is the Alpha…

    Any suggestions?

    • December 17, 2018    

      Based on the information that you provided in regards to your physical build there are a couple of options to consider being that the Sparco EVO III has been discontinued. I would take a look at the Corbeau FX1 Wide or the OMP WRC-R XL. These two have had great reviews and they are able to accommodate larger drivers.

  6. robert babb robert babb
    March 29, 2019    

    Looking for big guy seat for a 2015 ford focus st

    • April 2, 2019    

      The Corbeau A4 (reclining) and the Sparco Evo II (fixed Back) Racing Seats are great “big guy” seat options. With the ability to shave the seat base on the Corbeau A4, more room can be freed up than what is shown in the standard measurements. The Sparco EVO II seat comes HANS-device ready and are accepted at almost every level of automotive racing. Keep in mind that fitment cannot be determined based on your vehicle as we don’t have a database of vehicle seat space availability. Which is why it would be recommended to compare the dimensions of the seat to the available space and confirm it will fit.

  7. Zack Zack
    April 10, 2019    

    I have a 2006 mazda 3 Hatch (non-turbo). I’m 38 waist and 39.6″ from the base of the seat to the center of my head. What would be a comfy seat for daily driving? My current seats are red and black, but can settle for all black.

    • April 10, 2019    

      The Corbeau A4 is a great option for taller drivers due to the seat shaving option that allows for more head clearance. Be sure to take into account the measurements of the seat and your car when purchasing to ensure you are getting the clearance you need.

  8. Brennen Price Brennen Price
    April 20, 2019    

    I have a 2015 Scion Tc and am looking for bucket seats. I’m 6’1 With a 60 inch waist. What might you recommend

    • April 22, 2019    

      Hello Brennen, for comfort our fixed back seats would not be recommended for extended periods of time due to the bolster positions. Our Corbeau Moab seat however, is better suited for any size driver. Keep in mind that fitment cannot be determined based on your vehicle as we don’t have a database of vehicle seat space availability. Which is why it would be recommended to compare the dimensions of the seat to the available space and confirm it will fit.

  9. JASON JASON
    May 1, 2019    

    I am looking for a seat for my 1986 Chevy El Camino. I’m 6’6″ 375 lbs 48″ waist. The car currently has a bench seat, so there is no console in the way of a wider seat.

    • May 1, 2019    

      Hello Jason,
      I would recommend either the Corbeau sport seat or the Corbeau Moab racing seat options. Due to the minimal bolsters it can comfortably allow for larger waist sizes in comparison to our other options. It is recommended that you compare dimensions of the seat to the dimensions of you application as we do not have a database with space availability.

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