Within a half hour of pedaling, my butt usually gets a little uncomfortable; before an hour I need a major change of position. So I was excited to see if this new seat pad could improve my posterior discomfort.
Having sat on the "i-Comfort Seat" for several hours now, I've said good-bye to sorebuttitus. After an hour this thing is as comfortable as the first minute. Even after two hours of straight pedaling, the seat still feels good!
The seat inflates automatically by opening the valve, owing to some sort of memory foam inside. While sitting on it, you can let air out as desired. Personally, I find all levels comfortable, even when almost deflated. I like it best partially deflated though. It makes a subtle but noticeable difference for your center of gravity with the Adventure and thus your stability in sailing and wake rides.
Sailing, if you scoot back and forth across the cockpit the full two inches allowed while tacking, you would find this new seat pad doesn't wrinkle up like the current standard bottom. It's not as stable as the older firm bottom, but is certainly a reasonable compromise.
As one who frequently logs one hour pedaling distances, I am thrilled to find that the seat seems to improve the speed slightly. My theory is that it improves circulation to the legs -- with better blood flow, you're getting better oxygenation to the muscles. Perhaps it's just my imagination or coincidence, but with the new seat I just logged a personel best 2 hour distance, beating the previous best by 2/10 mile.
In any event, the new seat bottom is going to be under my butt from now on! It makes a big difference in the enjoyment of kayaking to have a comfortable seat to sit on. I might even get one for my wife.
I believe installation is possible on almost all the Hobie seats except the very old riveted style. It's an easy procedure:
1. Lift the Velcro tabs at the back edge of the seat bottom and unscrew the two seat plugs.
2. Detach the old seat bottom:
3. Attach the new pad (same Velcro system), aligning the screw holes.
4. Reverse the procedure in step #1.
For the older seats, the procedure is almost the same. You might be able to Velcro the new seat right on top of the sewn-in bottom, but I cut the old bottom off to keep the CG low. On my seat there is a line of thread about 1/4" in from the edge that restricts the full opening of the Velcro. I carefully removed it from the Velcro area (and tied it off at the base of the seat back) so I could get full opening of the tab to accommodate the new pad without trimming it.
Here's what the installation looks like with the older seat:
If you're happy with your current seat, there is no reason to change, but this new seat pad makes a huge difference in comfort for me! The only downside is wanting to spend more time on the water when there are other chores to be done.