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Hi, We are buying our first expedition frame. I've used a high back tractor seat, but never a mesh seat. Does anyone have experience with the pros and cons? I know a tractor seat is comfortable, but I see lots of folks with the mesh. Thoughts? No matter what we choose it will be a flip seat, in case that weighs in to the equation. Thanks so much! Elizabeth
 

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Mesh stays dryer, but the newer tractor seats have a drainhole so they are okay there. Mesh is taught fabric, tractor seat has cushion. I've also used low back tractor seat with dry bags stowed to create a very comfortable backrest, so high back is not necessarily the only option. In the end, your own comfort will determine your choice. So Just go sit on them in the showroom and get the one that feels best.
 

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If you go with a mesh flip seat remember it sits higher and that you will need to adjust your oar length based on seat height. Higher seat means higher oar towers to clear your knees. Higher oar towers generally mean shorter oars. Not a big deal, just something to remember. Personally I've only used tractor seats and I like them. But the mesh seats generally go over a bay adding cargo space to your frame - that is a good thing. If you run hard/steep whitewater you will want to be able to secure the flip seat so it doesn't rotate forward. In a flip high backed seats take more damage than low backed seats.
 

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I use the AAA flip seat bracket with a tractor seat. This bracket rests on the dry box in that bay, so I'm not as high up as the mesh seat. The mesh seat arches over a bay so you can put a cooler, dry box, or drop bag under it. I didn't want my seat that high. However, just raising my seat a little did change my rowing geometry, causing me to need taller towers and longer oars. Here are some pics of the seat bracket. And yes, I use the bracket backwards with a strap to the cross bar in front. Doesn't budge, even with a strong brace in big rapids. It allows me better access to the dry box.
 

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I use a tractor seat mounted to a board that I strap over a drybox. I like it fine. The mesh seats seem nice because you get camp chair out of the deal. They're spendy though.
 

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The mesh seat requires a little maintenance over time. It stretches and needs to be pulled together with the lacing underneath. And depending on your ass size, the metal of the mesh seat can get quite uncomfortable until you pull the mesh part taunt again. I wedge a garden knee pad in below the top level to help with no sagging and more comfort. I will say, this is always the most difficult item to try and pack in transport. But I like it's sturdiness.

I also have the NRS's lowback seat. It works fine for day trips, but not as loungy for those long multi-day trips where you might want to kick back a little. Also they seem to be designed for littler people. Not a 6'4" person like myself.

From the times I've seen them in their store, AAA's tractor seat looks like it's straight out of a John Deer catalog, and could be a little more comfortable. But I've only seen it hanging on the wall. Never sat in it.

I think it also depends on what setup you want. Do you want a tractor chair just on a cross bar? Do you want the chair to straddle a bay? Do you want more sturdy like the metal with mesh chair? Or do you want more something more lightweight? Or you could skip it all together, and just throw a crazy-creek chair on top of your cooler.
 

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The mesh seat works better for me. One feature I like is that when I'm in very active rapids I can brace my butt cheek against a side rail of the seat. It feels like it helps my butt stay where I want it to be: seated!
 

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Mesh will fray over time and rub your hamstrings raw if you wear shorts.
Mesh also has to be stored indoors or it will fray faster.
(I park my truck in the driveway and my raft/trailer goes in the garage).
I use the high back tractor, great for back support and no metal bar to jab your shoulder blades.
 

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I just got a new frame and we went with high back tractor with the drain hole. It's great. It's mounted on our dry box.
 

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For me, the Mesh seats have never been comfortable. During the day the mesh stretches (temperature/pressure) and after an hour or so you are leaning against/sitting on the metal rails that run the perimeter. And they are way too high for standard oar stands.

go tractor (and the only benefit of the mesh seat- flip seat....is available for tractor seats as stated above)
 

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If you find a good surplus store, like I did, tractor seats are $30 or less. I got a yellow john deere seat. It weights a lot especially since I had to make a bracket to fit my rails out of an additional steel plate. But if cost is an issue, its a no brainer. Plus its made in America!!!
 

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I've had both and like both.
The mesh is my first choice- when they are new. Over time the fabric stretches and they become less supportive- slouchy. I bought a new cover for it when it was several years old, and of course the new one stretched over time as well. they come with adjustable lacing to tighten the fabric and it works about halfway well.
I had a high back tractor seat years ago and I also used a big PFD- America's Cup. The high seat back interfered with my humongo PFD so I couldn't lean back very far when really pulling on the oars. Without a big PFD, the high back tractor is really nice. Now I just use low back tractor seats, mainly because the are a good compromise and a few years ago I found a killer deal on Northern Tool on some close-out John Deere tractor seats in bright yellow (of course). I bought 4 of them at $12 each, I should have bought a dozen. With 3 yellow seats on my red boat, there is no mistaking me on the river.
 
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