The seat is quit firm, but wider and thicker than the OEM seat. Soft gel seats are not good at all, you need firmness and good support. I went to my local Ikea about a year ago and bought a slap of real sheep skin with wool for around €30,- for my NC700X. Whenever I rode for more than two hours, I slapped the cover on the seat. I used two simple nylon straps from a backpack I didn't use anymore and secured them on each side of the cover with 2 rivets and tied the straps together under the seat. I cut it up yesterday to make it fit the Xtourer seat. But without the cover, this comfort seat is very comfortable for long trips on its own. It also has more grip. I found my OEM to be slippery and the top layer was starting to wear off. My knees already benefit from a slightly higher seating position with this comfort seat and even more if I strap the cover on. That and the extra butt-massage is an absolute win-win. To compensate the rise and having to bend firther forwards, I installed a cheap set of 20mm bar risers of ebay.
See photo (its dark here at the moment).
I follow Big Bike Adventures video's on YouTube, an Australian guy who does long and offroad travels with the CT. He also uses some sort of sheepskin cover, but I doubt he got it from Ikea. If you're having doubts about buying a seat, you can also try a sheepskin first, it takes a lot of the pain away!