Soft Top vs. Hard Top ... Where the weather is great!

Hughesonthenet

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I'll preface my question with the understanding that every Jeep enthusiast is well within their right to build and use their Jeep in a way that makes them happy. This question comes because I'm trying to understand.

When I think "Jeep Wrangler", I think freedom :flag:, open air, wide open spaces, etc. In other words ... soft top! I've owned a YJ with a soft top while living in Florida, and a JK with a freedom top when living in North Carolina. Now back in Florida, I'm awaiting my newly ordered JLUR with a soft top.

I completely get that the hard top is likely preferred in places that have less than ideal weather. But here in west central Florida (the Tampa area), I'm always amazed by the large numbers of Wrangler on the road with a hard top! Weather is awesome here, and my preference is to have the soft top down most of the time. Yes, it rains :rain: a lot in FL. But the fact that you can easily put the top back on when needed makes it perfect for me.

So ... If you live in a place that has great weather, and you own a hard top, please tell me what influences that decision. Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

Thanks! :jk:





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That One Guy

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The only reason I'm blowing money on a hardtop is the winter weather of my state. In more Hawaii or SoCal type weather, I'd go soft top only without a second thought.
 

$uicide$hift

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I live in New England and don't have a hard top. I ordered a JL with premium soft top only. One of the main reasons I bought a Jeep was because it was a convertible. We have had some really cold temps end of last year in the negatives. I was perfectly warm in my soft top.

I think some may feel that the hard top is more secure however I am of the mindset that if somebody really wants to get in, they are getting in hard top or soft top.

I know a lot of dealers order up packages they think will sell. So somebody goes to buy one off the lot and it only has a hard top so that is what they get and the freedom panels are enough for them to feel that open air.

Either way I will never own a hard top. I don't want the hassle of swapping them spring and fall when the soft top keeps me dry and warm in all weather conditions.
 

ckorte13

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I'll preface my question with the understanding that every Jeep enthusiast is well within their right to build and use their Jeep in a way that makes them happy. This question comes because I'm trying to understand.

When I think "Jeep Wrangler", I think freedom :flag:, open air, wide open spaces, etc. In other words ... soft top! I've owned a YJ with a soft top while living in Florida, and a JK with a freedom top when living in North Carolina. Now back in Florida, I'm awaiting my newly ordered JLUR with a soft top.

I completely get that the hard top is likely preferred in places that have less than ideal weather. But here in west central Florida (the Tampa area), I'm always amazed by the large numbers of Wrangler on the road with a hard top! Weather is awesome here, and my preference is to have the soft top down most of the time. Yes, it rains :rain: a lot in FL. But the fact that you can easily put the top back on when needed makes it perfect for me.

So ... If you live in a place that has great weather, and you own a hard top, please tell me what influences that decision. Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

Thanks! :jk:
Tampa Resident as well. This will be our 1st Jeep. We decided on painted hard top since this is my Daily Driver with the family, soft top for extra fun on Summer months. But I did not order a dual top. Will have to do that I guess after we get delivery.
 

ThirtyOne

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I see a lot of hard tops here in NC and frankly i don't get it. Beautiful day in the 70s here today in late February. You have to be able to take the top down at any time!

But to each their own.
 

Jeepman DX

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I can never understand the people that buy a Jeep Wrangler and never taken the top off. The Wrangler and its predecessors are made to be convertible for a purpose.
 

Gregodav

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I love an open top Jeep. I drive with the top open every chance I get.
However, my wife hates a dusty interior and I like in Kansas where the wind blows really hard all summer.
Dust, dust everywhere.
That's why I am picking the sky one touch power top.
 
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cdrober

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So when we got our current wrangler ('14 JKU) it came with the dual top group (we bought it off the lot). Due to living situation in an apartment / rented condo we never had the space to take off the hard top that came with it (which was painted) and i didn't want to sell it and have only the soft top available. So this is how it happened that, 4 years later, we are trading in our jeep with the soft top that has never been used and the boxes for the windows / etc. never opened. In fact for several years the soft top lived under our bed (fits well under a queen size).

With our new JL I just ordered, I've actually ordered the dual top and will, solely for the purpose of being able to store the hard top, be renting a storage unit during the summer months to store the hard top (I will also use one of the purpose built dollies I've seen so we can store the hard top vertical. So with our new JL it will have the freedom that I've wanted, but now just making sure to get it done. It was nice to take the freedom tops off, but can't wait to take off the top and also the doors on occasion (as there will be room for them also in the storage unit). I want to keep the hardtop because for Christmas we often drive to visit relatives, which includes December/January drives across the mountains (West Virginia) and sometimes there is good snow accumulation on the hardtop during the trip.

I fully support those who go soft-top only and maybe someday we will do it, but right now for our family this is our only vehicle ($160/month extra a month for a 2nd parking spot) and I look forward to having it be versatile year round.
 

ekimgnuj

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I can never understand the people that buy a Jeep Wrangler and never taken the top off. The Wrangler and its predecessors are made to be convertible for a purpose.
May be that as some long-time Jeepers get older they just get, well, lazy and complacent (OK I'm talking about myself). To the driver, no difference between freedom panels off, soft top sunrider back, or top fully down - all seems the same to the driver - so really only the back seat occupants notice the difference. Just my two cents, my current JLU has the dual top group, but I find myself putting the top down less and less, especially with the oppressively hot and humid NC summers. I'm seeing a ton of the sky one-touch tops at the NC coast lately, and I've been thinking about trying that front-only sunrider top/hard top combo, because I find the new version of the rear windows a pain the arse I really miss the zip-up rear window! Just the humble opinion of one aging Jeeper, no more no less!
 

oldcjguy

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I'm right there with @ekimgnuj
I owned CJs when I was younger and had soft tops and soft doors. I took them off all the time, I'd throw the doors in the back. I loved driving around like that. I didn't have A/C in my jeeps I didn't really need it. I had a hard top and doors for the winters, but didn't always put them on. They also had super swampers, stiff suspensions and detroit lockers. Now I'm older and like my creature comforts. When I was looking for my current jlur, one of my deal breakers was it had to have the premium stereo, heated leather seats and the heated steering wheel! LOL. I also live in Central Florida. I love hot and humid weather. But, I don't like being all sweaty when I get to work and I like the more quiet ride of the hard top and doors. I also like being able to lock it up. To me a Jeep is also about it's abilities off road and the top doesn't really change that much. I may pull the top and doors off once in a while (we'll see... older and lazy). Having it with a hard top is like having an old blazer or bronco, but better :)
 

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This is a very Old thread, resurrected from the dead.

that said, “noise” is one issue. The hardtop is more quiet than the soft top and if you intend to daily drive, that may be an issue. Also “security”. soft tops can be cut, hardtops can’t.

thats why I am digging my Bestop Sunrider. Gives much of the benefit of both.
 

JLJeeper

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I ordered a 2021 Rubi and was intending to order a soft top. Living outside of Reno the winters can get a bit cold. However, from what I’ve read the ome soft top insulates quite well. So I’m all ready to pull the trigger on the soft top - heck it’s a Jeep - and the wife tells me to get the hard top. Case closed.
I’ll buy a soft top next spring
 

EJH220

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My Recon came with only the hard top. I took it off the day after we bought it 5/3/20, and ordered a Bestop Trektop Ultra. In Nebraska I have the soft top and armor doors on all summer. Put the factory doors on usually around October 1st, at least I did on my 13 JKUS. Plan on doing the same with this one. I'll put the hard top on when I see that winter weather is finally going to set in.

So basically I have the hard top on about 3 months of the year, if we were in a climate that was nice all the time, I would not have a hard top.

Just my $0.02
 

ekimgnuj

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I'm right there with @ekimgnuj
I owned CJs when I was younger and had soft tops and soft doors. I took them off all the time, I'd throw the doors in the back. I loved driving around like that. I didn't have A/C in my jeeps I didn't really need it. I had a hard top and doors for the winters, but didn't always put them on. They also had super swampers, stiff suspensions and detroit lockers. Now I'm older and like my creature comforts. When I was looking for my current jlur, one of my deal breakers was it had to have the premium stereo, heated leather seats and the heated steering wheel! LOL. I also live in Central Florida. I love hot and humid weather. But, I don't like being all sweaty when I get to work and I like the more quiet ride of the hard top and doors. I also like being able to lock it up. To me a Jeep is also about it's abilities off road and the top doesn't really change that much. I may pull the top and doors off once in a while (we'll see... older and lazy). Having it with a hard top is like having an old blazer or bronco, but better :)
Ok, I didn't want to admit it, but @oldcjguy hit the other part of my rational - I like the creature comforts. I confess, I got the Sahara, big screen, AC, leather seats (turns out I hate them, but rain kills them), CarPlay and Sirius XM for the Grateful Dead channel and Howard Stern, and having the hard top for part of the year makes it easier. The ljftgate in the back is easier for getting golf clubs in and out, the list of reasons goes on and on. Sure, I take my doors off and put my top down, but it gets less and less frequent. I even thought about the Sky one touch (let the abuse. begin) but the fact that the rear window could not be removed was a deal breaker. For me, the cushy tricked out Sahara (yeah it cost more than a Rubi) with dual tops was ideal. If I could trade my heated seats with vented seats like my wife's Yukon has, I would truly be in heaven!!!!!! To each his or her own, just keep Jeeping!
 

cosine

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i'm in ny. the main reason why i got the hard top is security. eventho i'm not in a bad area. its just nice to know that the jl is secured and less likely in something to happen. the other reason is that where i work as a mailman, i'm not around the jl during the day. i park in the facility parking lot, next to the building so it safe. however its not fenced in and there are a bunch of people in the surounding area that cant mind their own f*cking business and have to look in a vehicle because they can. my commute to or from work is "adventurist" and really dont want to chat with some @$$h*le that want to jump in the jeep for a ride. people around work will literately will try to open the door to get in. the other factor in having the hardtop is when i go on vacation. soft top is nice and depending on where i move to, i'll look into getting one.
 

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