I/O Port Racing Supplies Home


How to Choose the Right Racing Seat

Racetech and Recaro Seats:

I/O Port carries a variety of Recaro and Racetech FIA-rated seats. Two main types: with and without head supports. Both types work well with modern head and neck restraints. The Racetech and Recaro seats are nicely styled, well padded and have a great look to them. Choose one of these seats if you want a fiberglass seat with an FIA rating. These seats do not require a seat back brace, as do aluminum seats. (See our FAQs on Seat Back Braces elsewhere.)

With new rules in road racing, you might be required to have lateral head and shoulder support. Keep this in mind when choosing a seat. We highly recommend a Full Containment seat for the ultimate of protection.

Sizing charts are available on each individual seat page.

Kirkey Seats:

How do you pick the best seat for your car with our wide range of seats and prices? First you have to determine what the car's (and track's) intended speed will be. If you're just starting out in street or hobby stock, G forces will be less and if you have an incident the chance of injury is less. You probably don't need our most advanced Full Containment Seat, (but it would be a good investment if your budget can handle it). On the other hand, if you're running a Sprint or Speedway Car, you need all the strength and protection you can get. That's why the Kirkey Layback and Open Wheel Full Containment seats have stronger construction for better thigh, rib and head support and protection. In general, the more advanced the class you run in, the more advanced a seat you will need. This is no place to try and save a few bucks.

For road race drivers, we recommend the same advice. The Intermediate Seat will work in most cases for the lower classes (i.e. stock and improved touring). Invest in a Deluxe Seat for the faster classes like Production and GT. For multiple-driver cars or for that European styling, our aluminum Intermediate Road Race seat might be the best choice! With new rules in road racing, you might be required to have lateral head and shoulder support. Keep this in mind when choosing a seat. We highly recommend a Full Containment seat for the ultimate of protection.

The general rule of thumb is: The faster the car, the heavier the car and the heavier the driver, the stronger the seat needs to be.

Seat Dimensions

I/O Port stocks Kirkey Intermediate 47-Series seats with a 20 degree layback and the 45-Series and 71-Series Full Containment seats. Other Kirkey seats are available on a special order basis.

Kirkey Intermediate Road Race Seat Dimensions

How to measure yourself so you can choose the right size Kirkey seat.

One of our standard size seats will probably fit you perfectly. Kirkey has built thousands of seats and has optimized the dimensions to fit almost everybody. If none of our standard sizes fit we can custom tailor one to your measurements. Either way, your numbers must be accurate to choose the right seat. Take measurements snug with driving suit on. Remember, the tighter the seat fits, the safer you will be in the seat. The added bonus to a well-fitted seat is that you will be able to feel the car better and therefore drive the car faster.

NOTE: Extremely important–All measurements must be taken in absolutely straight lines. Use a yardstick or a stager gauge. If using a tape measure, do not let it follow the curvature of the body.

A — Width of Chest
Gives width of seat at Rib Support. Have driver stand with arms raised slightly, measure side to side 1½" below armpits (use two straight edges placed parallel under armpit).

B — Width of Hips
This is the measurement that we use for fitting our standard seats. Gives width of seat at hip area. Have driver sit on bench or table with legs hanging over side, measure width of hips through center line of body side to side. Do not measure across lap of driver, this will give a wider than required measurement.

C — Height of Armpit
Gives height of rib support. With driver still sitting on bench or table, measure from flat surface to armpit. Make sure driver's shoulders are completely level across back. Make sure driver is sitting with back completely straight.

D — Height of Shoulders
Gives height of shoulder harness opening. With driver sitting in same position as above, measure from flat surface to top of shoulder.

E — Chest Depth
Gives length of rib supports. Have driver stand with back against wall, measure from wall to front of chest approximately 1½" below armpit.

Kirkey sizing diagram