Hard top vs Soft top pros and cons?

rudyr89

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Hey all, I purchased my JLU last week. It has the black hardtop but I'm REALLY thinking about going with the mopar twill black soft top. Reason being is that we are in Florida. It rains on a daily basis here in the summer. I would love to be able to ride around without the top or safari and when some storms roll in just throw the top on. The versatility of the soft top is really pushing me to that side.

Other than the fact that someone can cut into the soft top are there any other cons you all could think of? The hardtop definitely looks better on the JLU but I'd be willing to trade looks to go topless.


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GATORB8

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oldcjguy

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My JLU is a hard top, but I've owned Jeeps in the past with both hard and soft tops. I'd say get the soft top, you'll love it. They've improved massively over the years. They seal great and wind noise isn't that bad IMHO. I ran a soft top in NJ even in the winter and had no problems. IF you're in a high crime area, just don't leave anything out in plain site. Don't give anyone a reason to break in. I never had a problem though. Criminals know that we know how easy it is to break in. Just like any other convertible out there. Keep the hardtop around for winter travelling or vacation of security is an issue.

BTW I strongly recommend looking at Bestop soft tops. Been around for many years and give you some cool options. Quality is top notch. Better or equal to OEM. The OEM sunrider top option for new jeeps is actually made by Bestop, jeep just limits the warranty (Bestop offers lifetime).
 
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rudyr89

rudyr89

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My JLU is a hard top, but I've owned Jeeps in the past with both hard and soft tops. I'd say get the soft top, you'll love it. They've improved massively over the years. They seal great and wind noise isn't that bad IMHO. I ran a soft top in NJ even in the winter and had no problems. IF you're in a high crime area, just don't leave anything out in plain site. Don't give anyone a reason to break in. I never had a problem though. Criminals know that we know how easy it is to break in. Just like any other convertible out there. Keep the hardtop around for winter travelling or vacation of security is an issue.

BTW I strongly recommend looking at Bestop soft tops. Been around for many years and give you some cool options. Quality is top notch. Better or equal to OEM. The OEM sunrider top option for new jeeps is actually made by Bestop, jeep just limits the warranty (Bestop offers lifetime).
I'm originally from NJ as well. Ran a soft top on our TJ. Pretty much why I want to get back into one.

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I see you're in Central FL as well. I'm out in Clermont.
 


cgagnon99

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I have both a Hard Top & Premium Soft Top in Maryland. I prefer the Hard Top in winter, especially in snow, etc. Plus the soft top windows can get brittle when it's below freezing. However, from April to November my Soft Top is on.

It's SO much faster to open, even just in Sunrider mode.
Noise isn't substantially different from the Hard Top w/ MOPAR headliners

Only cons I have:
- If you don't do the back windows right they could blow out
- MUCH easier to break into
- Since the windows are plastic they can scratch easily.

The sunrider for Hard Top is a great option if you don't want a full open top, but you can't beat having the whole thing open super quick. Plus, putting it up is a matter of seconds if it starts to rain (the back would still get wet but most of the cabin would be dry w/o the windows in)
 

KevinC11

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Central Florida rules - get a soft top.

The hard top is not designed to be taken on and off on a regular basis. Once you take it off, you will not want to put it back on. But while it is off, it will take up a lot of valuable space somewhere around or in your home.

The JL soft top is a modern marvel of technology. It is nothing like your TJ.

I hope Clermont treats you well. Used to fish the lakes often before it became what it is today.

KevinC
 

Rubi SoHo

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I’m with you. And since you have a hardtop you can get the best of both worlds, just order a soft top, or check Craigslist/Local Classifieds. I just bought a premium softop for my Sting Gray Rubi, from a guy who ordered the dual top option, and then decided he didn’t see himself removing the hardtop. He sold it to me, still sealed in its box, never used, for $1500
 

Fudster

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Although headliners for soft tops are available, I think that the headliners for the hard top are apt to keep the Florida heat out better.

That said, if, as described, your likely to pop the top in hot weather before even cranking, it may not be an issue. I'd recommend a sunshade.

One saving grace is that Wranglers are known for strong climate control systems: heat and air conditioning.
 

Dyolfknip74

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Central Florida rules - get a soft top.

The hard top is not designed to be taken on and off on a regular basis. Once you take it off, you will not want to put it back on. But while it is off, it will take up a lot of valuable space somewhere around or in your home.

The JL soft top is a modern marvel of technology. It is nothing like your TJ.

I hope Clermont treats you well. Used to fish the lakes often before it became what it is today.

KevinC
It literally is designed to be taken on and off easily. From few screws to the quick disconnect washer fluid and electrical connectors, loads of people take it on and off a lot.
 


Steph1

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I've owned Jeeps since the late 80's and some of them with soft top only, and other than when I was a young foolish newbie, I've never had the top open as much as with the sunrider for hadrtop that I currently have on my JL. litterally 5 seconds at the most and it's open or closed.
 

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Another vote for the sunrider option - best of both worlds, really.

The hard top is super easy to remove - it's 8 bolts and they include a ratchet in the toolkit, and there are little holes to store the bolts under the rear cargo cover. I built a $40 hoist system with ratchet straps in my garage and can remove the top - alone - in about 20 minutes. SUPER easy.

Another thing to think about is that the soft-top on the JLU looks really stupid when fully lowered (IMO). Looks like your Jeep has saggy britches.

Fun fact: Bestop makes the MOPAR soft tops. They're just whitelabeled as MOPAR. Just like the sunrider. You can usually find soft tops on the B/S/T or your local FB Marketplace pretty cheap.
 

KevinC11

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It literally is designed to be taken on and off easily. From few screws to the quick disconnect washer fluid and electrical connectors, loads of people take it on and off a lot.
I didn't say it wasn't easy. For some it may not be, as the weight and balance is something I personally don't like to do alone. The risk of scratching the paint is high.

In Florida it is going to rain on you every afternoon in the summer time. The hard top laying in the yard at your house is not going to help you.

KevinC
 

Glovetown

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My JLU is a hard top, but I've owned Jeeps in the past with both hard and soft tops. I'd say get the soft top, you'll love it. They've improved massively over the years. They seal great and wind noise isn't that bad IMHO. I ran a soft top in NJ even in the winter and had no problems. IF you're in a high crime area, just don't leave anything out in plain site. Don't give anyone a reason to break in. I never had a problem though. Criminals know that we know how easy it is to break in. Just like any other convertible out there. Keep the hardtop around for winter travelling or vacation of security is an issue.

BTW I strongly recommend looking at Bestop soft tops. Been around for many years and give you some cool options. Quality is top notch. Better or equal to OEM. The OEM sunrider top option for new jeeps is actually made by Bestop, jeep just limits the warranty (Bestop offers lifetime).

Bestop NX works fantastic :)

 

Freeland Jeep
 
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