How is the soft top in the winter? (real winter)

jfman

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Canadian guy here.

For those who live up North, how is the soft top in the winter?

My cars live outside in the city and I often have to park out of remote start range.

How is it with the defrosting of the windows? Does it a affect warm up time before I am able to see well enough out of the windows to take off?

What is the overall feel of the top, How is the seal of the whole thing?

Is buying a soft top model in Canada just dumb?

Thanks





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jeep1941

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Canadian guy here.

For those who live up North, how is the soft top in the winter?

My cars live outside in the city and I often have to park out of remote start range.

How is it with the defrosting of the windows? Does it a affect warm up time before I am able to see well enough out of the windows to take off?

What is the overall feel of the top, How is the seal of the whole thing?

Is buying a soft top model in Canada just dumb?

Thanks
I’m from Michigan in the states and we have pretty bad winters. Have no complaints with the soft top. Ran it all winter last year. It is a little colder than a hard top at first but the heaters in the JL are excellent so it warms up fast. There’s no rear defroster but the side windows do clear up really quick. So I don’t think living in Canada should steer you away. Just based on preference.
 
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jfman

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Can you scrape at the windows on this thing or is that a big no-no?
 

Blades

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Definitely don't scrape the windows. The heater warms them up quick. I am from Michigan and been through two winters no issues.
 

Gummiente62

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Another Canadian guy here. I just came through my first winter with the soft top, it was no big deal. As mentioned already, the heater in these things is fecking awesome. Let the Jeep warm up for 5 or 10min in the morning before driving, this will keep frost from forming on the inside of the windows. Never use a brush or scraper on the soft top windows and don't remove the rear window unless absolutely necessary. You'll be fine.
 

Hayseed_JLUR

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They will be brittle in the cold so be gentle. Temp wise, no issues in the cold. Enjoy the soft top.
 

GreyFox

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No problems here in Ohio with the soft top BUT NEVER EVER EVER, and maybe one more never, touch the soft top windows:surprised:. Enjoy the ease of the soft top:like:
 

fdFifty

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I ran soft top all year when I had my TJ as well as my jl. The top heats up fast so I’ve never had any issues with defrosting. The vertical windows never seem to gather much snow and ice anyway.

Only time visibility is a challenge is when road salt spray finds its way up onto the windows. As others have said, you’ll need to resist the urge to wipe them off until you can get to a touchless car wash or other means to wash them down. Wiping the windows with any dirt present will definitely scratch them.

Only other jl specific downside I’ve found is that the back window is essentially unremovable at cold temperatures. The material contracts and makes it very difficult to remove if you need full access to the cargo area.

However, for me it’s all stuff I can work around and enjoy not having to store and swap out different tops throughout the year.
 

ZeroTrev

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Is it a 2 or 4 door? My 2 door had issues with strong winds and snow getting under the top
20190313_132119.jpg
 

Tangokilo

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Native Michigander. I ran with my soft top the first winter with no problems. The big issue for me is l like to keep my vehicles washed frequently especially in winter. I picked up a hardtop for the winter, so no worries with automatic car washes. Get both tops if ordering new. Tom
 

sdebol

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Have had a Wrangler in Minnesota for the last 14 years (dual top). Sure it’s doable to run with the soft top all winter but I sure wouldn’t want to. If there’s any way you can swing it I would highly recommend hard top for winter and soft top for summer. Just my opinion of course.
 

aldo98229

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Montreal winters are long and f*cking cold.

You will have get used to not seeing out the back curtain for most of winter.

I wouldn’t do it.
 

Heimkehr

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Canadian guy here.

For those who live up North, how is the soft top in the winter?

My cars live outside in the city and I often have to park out of remote start range.

How is it with the defrosting of the windows? Does it a affect warm up time before I am able to see well enough out of the windows to take off?

What is the overall feel of the top, How is the seal of the whole thing?

Is buying a soft top model in Canada just dumb?
My JL lives in an insulated garage, but my soft top YJ lived outside through a cold/wet/snowy Pennsylvania winter. What I say below carries over to the JL, at least in part.

I'd have the heater fan on Medium, or High, when hardtop owners might have needed Low or Medium, but I was never cold. The soft top was comparatively noisy, but it never leaked. The noise was a consequence of that generation's simple design and construction. The soft top on the JL is an order of magnitude improved.

The vertical orientation of the soft side and rear windows meant that ice, slush and snow rarely accumulated in any volume sufficient to adversely affect visibility. Dirty road spray on the rear window was the thorn in my side, though. Careful daily wiping with a wettened cotton towel made short work of cleaning the clear plastic.

When washing the vehicle was necessary, a sponge and a bucket were the order of the day. Soft top vehicles have no place in car wash bays, touchless or otherwise. Even using the pressure wash spray gun for a water rinse in the DIY bay should be avoided. Your errant aim could shoot water, and/or cause damage, where you don't want it. Edit: Using the pressure wash gun to clean the vehicle's underside of road salt, etc. is a good idea.

As an aside, and with respect to your current living situation (a vehicle having to be parked outside in an urban environment), I'd consider the hard top compulsory.
 
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5foot19

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I'm confident the soft-top can take a winter, but I'm curious how it'll hold up after 5 winters. Between the weight of the snow, and the salt it's got to be hard on the top, and for this reason, I run the hard top in the winter.
 

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