Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adding Extra Padding to the TravelScoot Seat

The TravelScoot seat, just as it is originally, is a comfortable seat.  I've seen it described on the TravelScoot website as being as comfortable as a good dining table chair. I think that's a good analogy.  However, if you spend all day getting on and off it, like at Disney World or for a day at the mall, you might wish there was more padding.

Bee and Denise recently shared pictures of their reupholstered TravelScoot seats, and that inspired me and Rhonda to find a place near Baton Rouge to have our seats done too.  We can't let Bee and Denise have all the fun!

Our adventure began at the Harley Davidson store which led to a recommendation for this company:

Airline Glass and Upholstery, Inc.
724 North Airline Hwy.
Gonzales, Louisiana 70737

Two weeks ago we took at trip out to Airline Glass and Upholstery with both our TravelScoot seats.  We met with Stephen, whose expertise is recovering motorcycle seats.  Both Rhonda and I were quite pleased with how much time he spent explaining our options, and how enthusiastic he was about recovering our seats.  He showed us several options for foam and upholstery material.  The material was available in an array of bright colors, and he could order just about anything we could imagine.  He also said he could do intricate things like embroidering flames on the seat. In the end we went with something more basic, but it's nice to know the sky is the limit as far as creative possibilities go.  

Stephen even agreed to take photos for this blog while he was working on the seats.  I hope I can do the pictures justice when I explain our options.

Both Rhonda and I have the larger size seat.  This is what Rhonda's seat looks like naked, before any new foam is added.

This is Rhonda's seat after adding 3 inches of foam padding.  The blue on top is 1 inch memory foam, and costs about $30 a square foot.  Stephen said this is the manufacturer's price, not his.  The pink foam is a softer foam, and I believe it was between $4 and $6 a square foot.

This is my seat.  The original foam on my seat is a different type that what is on Rhonda's.  We bought them at different times, so they were probably from different shipments.  The blue foam you see on my seat is NOT memory foam, it's just a less expensive foam that's fairly dense.  I chose to put it on the bottom and have the softer foam on top.  The pink foam is the same as the pink foam on Rhonda's seat.  

This is what the finished seat looks like.  We both chose the imitation ostrich black vinyl.  I went there thinking I'd go with a bright color, but I use my scoot at work and I don't want anyone thinking it's just a toy or convenience.  There was also the problem of any other color clashing with the fabric triangle pouch.

The total cost for my seat was $75 and the total cost for Rhonda's seat was $120.  He had them finished in one week. The price difference between the seats is that one had memory foam and one did not.  The larger seats require about 1 1/2 square foot of foam per layer.

We have each been using our seats for a week now, and we got together today to swap seats and see how they compared.  We got Melissa in on it too, because she hadn't tried either seat yet.  The general consensus is that Elizabeth's seat is a little softer and Rhonda's seat absorbs impacts a little better.  Both seats absorb impacts better than the original seat, and we all judged both seats to be more comfortable that the original seat.  We all also liked that the extra padding allowed us to sit up a bit higher.  

In the end we each feel like we got the seat that was right for us.  If our experiment had failed we would both have gone back to the original seat and been fine with it.  It's a good seat too.

If you go to a local auto upholstery stock to see about having your seat redone, keep in mind that if they have to special order the fabric, you're going to pay more for the seat.  The place we went carried a nice selection of fabrics, but if we'd wanted purple like Denise got (and don't think it didn't cross my mind!), we would have had to pay postage for the fabric shipment, and any extra cost involved in such a small fabric order.  Getting a stock fabric certainly made it come out less expensive in the end.


  1. oh that looks really nice! mine is certainly not nearly as good but i still love it and it is so much better than before i'm fine on it now. so glad i got it done!

    smiles, bee

  2. Bee, why do you think your seat isn't as good? It certainly looks very similar to ours. You just got a fantastic price on it.

  3. I have got to get my seat a makeover. These all look so comfortable!

  4. Cynth, he is able to have flames embroidered on the sides.