Dual Top group — what is your experience??

eddified

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Thinking about getting the dual top group when I order my 4xe. The other option I’m considering is just the hard top—I’m definitely getting the hard top—but should I get the Mopar premium soft top as well?

Questions that I’m wondering about:
- How to store the soft top? (Will use a hoist for the hard top)
- How do I get both tops home from the dealer? (Will probably use a dealer hundreds of miles away)
- How long does it take to install/remove the soft top? I heard it is taking people like 4 hours. Tell me your experiences swapping out the hard and soft tops.

I live in Northern Utah, an arid place where it doesn’t rain much in the summer, and winters are very cold. I was reading the “soft top or hard top” thread. But my questions aren’t about the differences between the tops. My questions are focused on the experience of having BOTH—what are the things to know about swapping them, storing them, etc. And is it worth it to have both ?

Thanks.
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AVGeek99

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Obviously not the same as a JL, but I have hard and soft tops for my JKU. Excellent choice on getting a hoist to store the HT. If you have ceiling space in your garage it's a no brainer!

For winter storage of the ST I just bought a couple 18" tube L brackets that I hung from the studs in my garage. It's not elegant, but it does the trick. If you're careful when collapsing the ST it hangs just fine without damaging it. The hardware can either be stored on top of the ST or on a rack/shelf in your garage. With the JL For the ST windows you can get a protective bag, get it!! My wife has a JLU Sahara and the window bag comes in handy and does a good job protecting the windows!

The JK ST and all the hardware is compact enough that it fits in the back with the back seats folded down. Looking at the ST on my wife's JL I would guess it should also fit in the back the same way.

My wife's JL came with a ST only so I don't know how complicated it is to take off/put on. It does look a little more complicated than my JK but not too different. With my JK it takes me about 20 minutes to take off/put on the ST.

Putting the top up and down seems to take a little longer on the JL than on my JK. I can do it on my JKU in about 5 minutes by myself. Overall the JL is simpler for one person to put the ST up and down, but sliding the windows on the guides takes longer than zipping them up on the JK. Possible I just haven't done it enough to figure out all the tricks.

I have a 2021 JLUR on order and I included the dual top group. I live in MN so much prefer the HT for the cooler months. I have the HT on from mid Sept to mid May normally. The rest of the year I use the ST and it is only up when it's raining. Doors are the same way, if there's no chance of rain they are hanging in my garage.

This summer was really dry in MN. From Memorial Day to mid August I had the top up for a total of 3 days and the doors on for 5. IMO you need a ST to get the full Jeep experience. But a HT is a necessity in cooler climates.
 

FirecrackerRedJLU

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the soft top comes boxed and it fits in the backseat/trunk area with seats folded down. swapping them out is easy and the plastic attachments for driver and pass. side come off without hassle.total time alone taking off soft top completely including plastics. maybe .. MAYBE 45mins MAX.(be very careful if doing it solo WATCH your hands and fingers when lifting the rear section off the rear mounts) IT WILL swivel and catch your finger(s) within the bars that fold, If you DONT pay attention. the soft top also comes with a cover to store it in,(however no soft top window bag) you can stand it upright or some people use hooks and hang them. you won't regret dual top group. you WILL however fight locking and unlocking (latching) the main two hooks behind the visors your first few times but it gets easier to do after a few uses just be patient and find a way that works for you, sometimes when you go to latch or unlatch another side after one is free sometimes it wants to fight ya a smidge and you have to kind of use your free hand to pull down on the soft top and pull latch out at same time, but trust me after a few uses that went away. its deff worth it if its within budget... the countless times you think " this is great no hoisting hard top and having to lower it back down when I get home" the soft top operates so nice and easy when opening and closing. and the windows attach much easier than they did in the JK I personally think. only other cons would be no car washes with soft top ( will get scratched up bad on windows) and depending on life style and use of trunk it can be annoying having to get FULL access to the rear trunk sometimes depending on scenario you would have to undo the rear windows and pull up the rear section to load and un load whatever it is you're putting back there.
 
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JimmyB

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When I do take my soft top off in the winter I am definitely going to be looking for a way to hang it so that it lays open. Keeping that fabric folded up for months in a garage just doesn't seem like a solid idea. I realize its meant to last but it shouldn't be hard to hang it and it definitely isn't going to take up as much space as the hard top on the dolly I built for it.

Putting the soft top on takes a bit longer than getting it off - just the small tweaks for the first time use to get everything lined up right and knowing where the parts go is probably the only part that requires thinking. There are tons of videos on step by step instructions on how to install it. Hard top is a stupid easy to get off and on just don't get aggressive with the rear plug for the wiper.

If you order the dual top the soft top comes boxed in the rear - you might be sitting awkwardly depending on how tall you are for the ride home (just something to keep in mind) but it's worth it. Sunrider from Bestop to replace the Freedom Panels is definitely something to consider and something I will be getting shortly too.
 

webwbr

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I think the post above covered everything, not sure what I add adds any valve, but as a recent dual top purchaser maybe something will resonate:

1) I think the value of the dual top is worth it if you live in a northern climate. My plan is soft top in spring/summer/fall and hard top for winter (weight of snow). But i think the soft top could handle it.

2) on my JL, it took me about 2 hours to install it. But that was the first time. I think I can get that down to 1 hour next time. I was too careful and even measured the torque of the bolts which burned a lot of time. I figure 1 hour twice a year (on/off around winter) makes it worthwhile.

3) If you leave it folded up it doesn't take up a lot of room in a basement. I think it would be fine in a garage over the winter if you can ensure you keep critters out of nesting in it.

4) buy a window storage bag... MOPAR makes a good and and it seems BJD Customs makes a GREAT one, but they were OOS when I went to buy. Wish I had their to compare. Check out their site and video. You'll be glad you did!

5) Definitely have a friend help you with getting the soft top on the soft top frame. Just too unwieldly to manage alone without risking damage to something (or your paint).

6) Your bigger issue may be getting the hard top stored. I did a mount to the garage ceiling, but that project too me a long time and I'm not too excited about getting it down. I'm going to need to invest in a better system that costs $$$.

7) The soft top is boxed in the rear with the seats down... can't drive home from dealership with more than two people (FYI).

That's it... I don't think you'll regret it. But if you think you can do without the hard top, maybe save the $ and just go soft (premium).
 

sconrad24

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I have never removed a soft top from a jlu but i know its a pain on my JKU. I took my roll bar padding of the jku and the hinges would scratch the bars. Now you could just remove at the arms but they tangled when the top is off. For my 4xe I went with a hardtop and Im going to go frameless aftermarket.
 

sconrad24

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I think the post above covered everything, not sure what I add adds any valve, but as a recent dual top purchaser maybe something will resonate:

1) I think the value of the dual top is worth it if you live in a northern climate. My plan is soft top in spring/summer/fall and hard top for winter (weight of snow). But i think the soft top could handle it.

2) on my JL, it took me about 2 hours to install it. But that was the first time. I think I can get that down to 1 hour next time. I was too careful and even measured the torque of the bolts which burned a lot of time. I figure 1 hour twice a year (on/off around winter) makes it worthwhile.

3) If you leave it folded up it doesn't take up a lot of room in a basement. I think it would be fine in a garage over the winter if you can ensure you keep critters out of nesting in it.

4) buy a window storage bag... MOPAR makes a good and and it seems BJD Customs makes a GREAT one, but they were OOS when I went to buy. Wish I had their to compare. Check out their site and video. You'll be glad you did!

5) Definitely have a friend help you with getting the soft top on the soft top frame. Just too unwieldly to manage alone without risking damage to something (or your paint).

6) Your bigger issue may be getting the hard top stored. I did a mount to the garage ceiling, but that project too me a long time and I'm not too excited about getting it down. I'm going to need to invest in a better system that costs $$$.

7) The soft top is boxed in the rear with the seats down... can't drive home from dealership with more than two people (FYI).

That's it... I don't think you'll regret it. But if you think you can do without the hard top, maybe save the $ and just go soft (premium).
Definitely agree with the last point. I need the hardtop to carry things. Otherwise I'd have gone premium soft top. Ive gone the last 5 years of PA winters and never had a problem. Just need the ability to strap things to the roof time to time.
 

RELBUS

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When I do take my soft top off in the winter I am definitely going to be looking for a way to hang it so that it lays open. Keeping that fabric folded up for months in a garage just doesn't seem like a solid idea. I realize its meant to last but it shouldn't be hard to hang it and it definitely isn't going to take up as much space as the hard top on the dolly I built for it.

Putting the soft top on takes a bit longer than getting it off - just the small tweaks for the first time use to get everything lined up right and knowing where the parts go is probably the only part that requires thinking. There are tons of videos on step by step instructions on how to install it. Hard top is a stupid easy to get off and on just don't get aggressive with the rear plug for the wiper.

If you order the dual top the soft top comes boxed in the rear - you might be sitting awkwardly depending on how tall you are for the ride home (just something to keep in mind) but it's worth it. Sunrider from Bestop to replace the Freedom Panels is definitely something to consider and something I will be getting shortly too.
have a look at this…
https://www.quadratec.com/p/quadratec/soft-top-storage-hanger-wrangler-unlimited-jl
 

gbr

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I have dual top up here in Canada. I put the soft top on in the summer and take it off in late fall. For storage, I just bungee it so it stays closed and put it on a shelf in my shed. Windows store in their bag.

There are some people up here that keep the soft top on all winter, and they say they stay warm (-30C/-22F).

One issue I had this spring when putting the top back on was that the roll cage mounts had bent inwards (I assume from tightening the soft top). After struggling for quite some time, I ended up taking the mounts off, hammering them straight, and putting them on. Once straightened, the soft top went on in minutes.
 

RELBUS

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Dual top is fantastic IMO. The soft tops on the JL are so user friendly. I can have the top up or down in no time at all. However my JL is not a daily, so it sits with the top down all spring and summer. Only time the top goes up is if we happen to be out with it and it starts to rain. I can count on one hand how many times the top has been up on both my 2018 and my 2021. Its still worth it to me for the few times it goes up...I dont want to worry about getting caught topless in a storm. If you get the soft top, get the window storage bag option too. Super handy to have a way to store the windows safely in the Jeep at all times.
 

JLUandCJ-7

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I bought with a hardtop only, then about 18 mos in I picked up a premium soft top new in box for a pretty good deal.

It took about an hour to install. Was surprisingly easy.

I'm a bit opposite in that the hardtop will be on during the hot and humid summer. The soft top will be on the rest of the year.

The enjoyment of the Jeep with the soft top is worlds more than the hardtop. But the summers here are miserable.
 

GATORB8

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We have dual top, removed the top and it’s hanging in the garage on a fleximounts lift and the Topsy brackets.

We have LOVED the soft top this summer We have a bestop duster and leave the windows out and stored in the Jeep most of the time.

I would order a premium soft top only before I would order a hard top only.

As others have said install/removal of either top is pretty easy.
 

OutlawBeard

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Had dual tops on my JK, first year was great, 2nd year I never put the soft top back on. When I ordered my JLUR I just did a hard top.
 

Windshieldfarmer

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I have the dual top option for my JL. I just put the soft top on for the fall but will install the HT before winter. It’s a bit of a pain to swap out…but not horrible. I like the ease of open air driving with the ST and it’s surprisingly quiet on the highway unless other vehicles are nearby. My primary dislike of the ST is the difficulty of rear cargo access. My soft top has been leak free.
 

BrntWS6

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I made my own electric hoist for about $200 so I can swap both tops by myself. I store my soft top on the platform in the winter.

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