Kurgo Heather Bench Seat Cover

Kurgo sent us a gift card, so we picked out a backseat cover to try! We got the heather cover in Charcoal. 

Price: $50.00

Sizing and colors: One size, in charcoal or nutmeg.

Kurgo has tons of back seat covers and it can be hard to narrow them down. They fall into two categories- hammocks (which cover the back seat and fasten to the front seat headrests, keeping the dog off the floor), and bench seat covers (which cover just the seat back and seat). Since Robin’s small and generally not too dirty, I opted for the bench seat style¬†since it would allow us to accommodate back seat¬†passengers without¬†adjustment. If your dog is more rambunctious or tends to fall off the seat onto the floor, take a look at the¬†hammock style.

The seat covers come in five fabrics Рeverything from slick, plastic-coated fabric to flashy quilted nylon. I wanted to strike a balance between comfort and toughness to keep the car clean and any human passengers reasonably comfortable. All of the covers are waterproof, so I picked the lightweight but durable heather finish in charcoal, hoping that it would look decent and blend into our seats.

DCIM100GOPRO
A perfectly respectable fit in our narrow car. There’s a second pocket below Robin’s left paw.

Design 4/5: 

Overall, the cover is well designed to cover a range of seats. There are hook-and-loop slits for the seat belt buckles and it’s a generic width – wide for¬†our little Prius C and a bit narrow for a rented Jeep Cherokee. It has¬†four types of connections: straps around the back headrests, a strap around the whole seat back, PVC tubes that tuck between the seats and the seat backs to keep the cover from slipping forward, and bungees that go under the car seat. Altogether, they do a reasonably good job of keeping the cover in place. After a couple months of people, backpacks, and Robin and his friend Cotton, the covers were still in place except for the top section near the headrest, where it tends to sag forward a bit.

It looks pretty nice- I think it looks better than our bare car seats. The two¬†pockets are an added bonus- they hold Robin’s spare leash, bowl, and treats so they’re no longer cluttering up our front door pockets. I do wish they had an expanding gusset, since they pull the cover out of place when they get full.

20160621-DSC_4613.jpg
Pockets! So we actually have the leashes and toys handy instead of on the floor or at home

My main gripe is that the seatbelts aren’t as functional with the cover on. The scratchy hook-and-loop seatbelt slits¬†aren’t placed right for our seat belt spacing, so fishing out a buckle requires some yanking and repositioning. (The Loft cover, for $10 more, has zippered ports, which I would greatly prefer, although I’m glad I got this tougher fabric.)¬†The¬†center seatbelt can’t be used unless the cover is released from the seat back – normally not a problem for adults, but this makes it prohibitive for parents with a car seat or a pack of kids.¬†A separating zipper or a row of hook-and-loop fasteners down the middle of the back could allow for middle seatbelt use, and could even be placed on the line where the back seats split to allow the seats to be put down separately!

Fit 4/5:

For a one-size-fits-all, it’s pretty good. We tried it in two cars- our 2013 Prius C (66.7″ outside width), and a¬†rental 2016 Jeep Cherokee (74.9″ outside¬†width). It fit well in both, but more comfortably in our car, which despite a bit of extra fabric on the edges allows for it to be tightened around the seat backs. Our car has solid back seats (due to the hybrid battery) so the under-seat bungees are useless, but the cover’s¬†grippy fabric and the shaping at the edges of the seats keeps it in place surprisingly¬†well.

DSC_7542
Comfortable enough for a snooze. Robin slips around a bit more on windy roads, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

Function 5/5:

On a long trip, the lack of breathability bothered me a bit, but on short trips I don’t¬†notice the waterproofness. The material is a little slippery and Robin repositions himself¬†more than he did¬†pre-cover, but that could easily be remedied with a blanket. Dirt and mud just shakes off when dry, and spilled water pools on the cover, so it’s doing a great job of protecting the car. So far, the open ports for the seat belt buckles haven’t seemed to allow dirt to reach the seats, but they could with a muddy, restless dog. In those cases, I’d consider either getting one with zippered ports, or keeping the buckles tucked under the cover except when needed.

Build Quality 4/5:

The cover looks brand new! I’m very satisfied with the quality. All of the stitching is tight, the fabric is finely woven and tough, and the straps and buckles are good quality and stay in place. There’s not a single stain on it.

Overall 4.5/5: 

I’ve always had a mild, underlying guilt about the grit and hair being worked into our backseats, and I’m now worry free. While the cover isn’t likely to fit any seat perfectly, it fit two very different cars well enough, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I’d like to see the hook-and-loop seatbelt ports upgraded to zippers, and a zipper or hook-and-loop split for the center belt and to allow one seat to be folded down, but as it is, the cover is definitely usable. This is going to be a permanent fixture in our car!

Best for:  Adventure dogs, hikers, campers, runners, anyone whose dog gets muddy and dusty or who likes to keep their seats clean

Not ideal for: Parents using a center car seat, or people who regularly have a full car

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