Soft-Top v Hardtop

daveprice7

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Lots of folks like the hard top, I don't think it's a "wrong" decision at all. There are pluses and minuses to both, which is why dual tops are common. Used soft tops can be found pretty cheap if you wanted to have one for the summers..
Or if you love it, you could pretty easily sell your hard top.. There's more buyers for hard tops than soft tops it seems.

 

sf5211

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I have both and it really is preference. The hardtop is more tame when it’s on. It’s a lot quieter and I generally like the look better. But I hardly take it off because it’s too much work. That’s why...

...I use the soft top in the summer. Only thing about the soft top when it’s down, it’s so bulky. It doesn’t feel as open as having no top. It’s like a giant neck pillow that wraps around the back and sides.
Hi Dan, I never had the feeling with a soft top that it wasn’t open enough. Then again I never drove with no top. I like to be ready for one of those surprise summer storms.
You’d probably hate the Sky One Touch then. It slides back enough to clear your rear seats but still covers the cargo area. Plus the rear window stays in. For me, the convenience of just touching a button outweighs the few feet of open Jeep that I lose.
 

chilly_one

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I live just outside Detroit, Michigan so I was very paranoid of buying a soft top for security reasons. After removing the hardtop once and going on a long drive and then having to drive back on the highway in 40 degree temps with no top... I vote both. I like the security of the hardtop but will be buying a soft top for the summer months just because of convenience. If I keep just the hardtop I will get sick of removing it and worrying about rain/ travel distance/ leaving it uncovered overnight. I guess this is a good time to ask what the best/ least expensive option there is for an aftermarket softtop?
While I know there are some good aftermarket tops available, be sure to look in the member marketplace. I purchased a Sahara with a hardtop, but was able to find a premium soft top still in its boxes for $1300. There are always some soft tops available there.
 

Shots

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Very nice Jeep choice with HT. Bestop makes a sunrider for JL and makes the Jeep a Hybid to run year round. Best of both for me.
Bestop Sunrider for hardtop all day long. I absolutely love it. I have the security of the hard top, with the convenience of the soft top.

There are a few things you can do to make that hardtop super convenient and enjoyable.
  1. Fist things first buy that sunrider.
  2. Install a hardtop hoist (many versions of commercial and DIY including stand alone units if you don't have a garage)
  3. Install a security enclosure for those topless days (also commercial and DIY) Although optional with the hard top they're an absolute must with the soft top.

sunrider closed resize.jpg

Sunrider (twill) closed.

sunrider open resize.jpg

Sunrider open. Literally 10 seconds or less. Just unlatch 2 latches and open it up.

hoist and topsy (6).jpg

DIY electric hoist (takes about 5 minutes to remove hardtop by myself). With the Sunrider you have to remove 12 bolts instead of 6, so maybe 7 minutes to remove the top (still by myself with no effort).

enclosure.jpg

Custom security enclosure. This will fit the freedom panels so you can securely take them with you with the top off. If you get weather, too hot, or too cold you can put them on and roll the windows up.

enclosure (4) resize .jpg

Top off, enclosure on.

One of the things I like about the hardtop is that when you remove the roof and doors it's completely open. No "posts" by the back doors, or rails from the soft top. Sorry, no pictures of it doorless.
 

Shots

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This issue I have with the soft top (aside from the reduced security) is seen below. With the top down you have a C-Pillar that the hardtop does not have. You also have that giant "neck roll" mentioned before. Yes they're able to be removed but how much effort is it? Is it the same or more than unbolting the hardtop (and sunrider if you have it)? If you're doing the same amount of effort to get the completely open look/feel why not get the top that adds security, reduces noise and thermal transfer, and is valued higher.

Not that I fault anyone for getting the soft top. By all means I understand getting the top that's right for them. I'm just saying I prefer the hardtop and I don't think you made a mistake.

topless hard vs soft.jpg
 


Canuck714

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Yesterday I bought a 20 Unlimited Willys with a hardtop V6 and said no to a soft-top V4.

Was that a mistake for Wisconsin? Salesgirl wasn't very outgoing and I understand that the soft-top was either open or closed. Did I miss something? Now knowing that they're accessories for the tops?
I did the same thing when we bought. Its dumb hot here 7 months of the year and the wife has allergies, so top on sealed up is the way she likes it. On our JKUR, I did buy a trek-top (Slant-Back) just to have both a hard and soft.

I really wish our Hard Tops had the option to kick out the side windows and rear glass for when the doors are off but you still need shade
 

Shots

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....I really wish our Hard Tops had the option to kick out the side windows and rear glass for when the doors are off but you still need shade
That would be amazing.
 

k05

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Bestop Sunrider for hardtop all day long. I absolutely love it. I have the security of the hard top, with the convenience of the soft top.

There are a few things you can do to make that hardtop super convenient and enjoyable.
  1. Fist things first buy that sunrider.
  2. Install a hardtop hoist (many versions of commercial and DIY including stand alone units if you don't have a garage)
  3. Install a security enclosure for those topless days (also commercial and DIY) Although optional with the hard top they're an absolute must with the soft top.

sunrider closed resize.jpg

Sunrider (twill) closed.

sunrider open resize.jpg

Sunrider open. Literally 10 seconds or less. Just unlatch 2 latches and open it up.

hoist and topsy (6).jpg

DIY electric hoist (takes about 5 minutes to remove hardtop by myself). With the Sunrider you have to remove 12 bolts instead of 6, so maybe 7 minutes to remove the top (still by myself with no effort).

enclosure.jpg

Custom security enclosure. This will fit the freedom panels so you can securely take them with you with the top off. If you get weather, too hot, or too cold you can put them on and roll the windows up.

enclosure (4) resize .jpg

Top off, enclosure on.

One of the things I like about the hardtop is that when you remove the roof and doors it's completely open. No "posts" by the back doors, or rails from the soft top. Sorry, no pictures of it doorless.
Quick qustion. I have the sunrider and was thinking about getting a hoist. My question is how hard is it to take off the sunrider when I want to take off the rest of the hard top?
 

Shots

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Quick qustion. I have the sunrider and was thinking about getting a hoist. My question is how hard is it to take off the sunrider when I want to take off the rest of the hard top?
It's not too bad, but it is a little more inconvenient. Instead of just taking out the 8 factory fasteners, you need to unbolt the sunrider too, so you'll have to do an extra 6 fasteners too.
You can leave the sunrider on the Jeep without the hardtop and just bolt it back down after the top is off, or you can slide it backwards onto the top of the hardtop. Then just hoist the top off with the sunrider on it. Drive away, and enjoy a completely topless day.
 

Kryten

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Yeah, that's an I-4. Just FYI.
Most kids these days don’t understand cars other than put the stick in D, push right to go, push left to stop and turn the round thing.

I have a new neighbor and noticed he had a Challenger. I asked him if it was a V6 or V8. I’d only ever seen it from a distance sitting at the end of his driveway. He told me it has a V6 but he put a V8 chip in it. I’m guessing he has some sort of performance add on or something and thinks that made it a V8. I stopped talking to him about cars. He asked about my Mustang and Trans Am later and I didn’t give him many details because he probably wouldn’t understand what I was talking about anyway.
 


Shots

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Wow...... I have no words 😵
 

JP29

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He told me it has a V6 but he put a V8 chip in it. I’m guessing he has some sort of performance add on or something and thinks that made it a V8. I stopped talking to him about cars. He asked about my Mustang and Trans Am later and I didn’t give him many details because he probably wouldn’t understand what I was talking about anyway.
Just to recap: boomerisms aside, your neighbor said something to you that you didn't understand, and instead of asking him to elaborate, you just thought of him as an idiot and then cold shouldered him when he expressed interest in your rides?

Nice...
 

kayurii

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I have both and it really is preference. The hardtop is more tame when it’s on. It’s a lot quieter and I generally like the look better. But I hardly take it off because it’s too much work. That’s why...

...I use the soft top in the summer. Only thing about the soft top when it’s down, it’s so bulky. It doesn’t feel as open as having no top. It’s like a giant neck pillow that wraps around the back and sides.
That is why I don't like the soft top, and I don't like a bunch of bulk sitting across the back when I open the trunk. Got only the hard top this time around and will buy a mesh cover of some sort for when I do want to take the top off... Until I get a lift or hoist it'll probably stay on though.
 

Kryten

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Just to recap: boomerisms aside, your neighbor said something to you that you didn't understand, and instead of asking him to elaborate, you just thought of him as an idiot and then cold shouldered him when he expressed interest in your rides?

Nice...
All millennialisms aside, the dude thought he could turn his V6 into a V8 with a chip so further discussions about cars was pointless. This isn’t the only thing he said that made me think talking to him was pointless. If he told me he didn’t know much about cars and expressed an interest I would invite him for a garage day so we could tinker with cars and I would teach him what I know.
That’s how us old school fellows do things. We give each other a hard time but it’s all in good fun and we expect to get a good ribbing in return. Anyone that cares to learn we’ll teach them everything we know and most of the time we’ll learn new things together. The younger generations that have grown up being told how special they are for making Cs in school and getting participation trophies are usually too butthurt by playful ribbing to actually learn anything though.
 

Traktor31

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All millennialisms aside, the dude thought he could turn his V6 into a V8 with a chip so further discussions about cars was pointless. This isn’t the only thing he said that made me think talking to him was pointless. If he told me he didn’t know much about cars and expressed an interest I would invite him for a garage day so we could tinker with cars and I would teach him what I know.
That’s how us old school fellows do things. We give each other a hard time but it’s all in good fun and we expect to get a good ribbing in return. Anyone that cares to learn we’ll teach them everything we know and most of the time we’ll learn new things together. The younger generations that have grown up being told how special they are for making Cs in school and getting participation trophies are usually too butthurt by playful ribbing to actually learn anything though.
As a Millennial (1983) every single generation says this about the generation after it. The generation before you said the same stuff about your generation. 😁 And we are going to say stuff about Generation Z.

I have a soft top, and the choice was easy for me because I just wanted a simple removable top and I also don't have a garage, just a shed, so it just made sense for me for my needs/wants. No complaints at all thus far, dont mind it on the highway, love how quickly it is to take down, and it meets my storage needs better. It would be cool to have both though.

 

Farrish CDJR
 
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