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Old 02-22-2014, 08:13 AM   #1
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Hard top v Soft top

Getting a new wrangler in the next few weeks and excited to join the Jeep family. I am looking at multiple 2012 and 2013 Sahara and Sport trims. Asking what everyone's opinion is on functionality of hard v. soft top? I live in FL but am looking to move up north in the next few years. Which is the best option in terms of functionality? Never had a hard top before so didn't know the ease of using the hard top for beach days and such. Obvious newbie in need of help. Thanks for any help.

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Old 02-22-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
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If you have a spot to mount a hoist you can have a hard top off in a few minutes by yourself.

If not a hard top will require two people and a place to store it.

Advantages to both I guess but for me as a Daily driver hard top was the best choice.

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Old 02-22-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JeepChaz View Post
Getting a new wrangler in the next few weeks and excited to join the Jeep family. I am looking at multiple 2012 and 2013 Sahara and Sport trims. Asking what everyone's opinion is on functionality of hard v. soft top? I live in FL but am looking to move up north in the next few years. Which is the best option in terms of functionality? Never had a hard top before so didn't know the ease of using the hard top for beach days and such. Obvious newbie in need of help. Thanks for any help.
How far north? If you can swing it, get both tops.

Hoists make taking a hard top off pretty easy.

Congrats, post pics when you get it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:31 AM   #4
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Takes two people to remove a hard top then room to store it, and same to put it back on.
If that is not a issue for you, hard top it is.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Currently have a removable hard top on the 14 JK. Had a soft top on a 90 Wrangler a while back. Prefer the hard top on a four door due to the rather easy removal sections over the driver passenger that I used frequently since I purchased my Jeep as well as the ability to remove the back portion as cited by bberck's response and picture. Basically the new hard tops give you the versatility of a soft top with the security of a hard top. With that being said, I would probably opt for a soft top on a two door if it were not my daily driver.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepChaz
Getting a new wrangler in the next few weeks and excited to join the Jeep family. I am looking at multiple 2012 and 2013 Sahara and Sport trims. Asking what everyone's opinion is on functionality of hard v. soft top? I live in FL but am looking to move up north in the next few years. Which is the best option in terms of functionality? Never had a hard top before so didn't know the ease of using the hard top for beach days and such. Obvious newbie in need of help. Thanks for any help.
If you have the storage get both ...also think about a hard top storage cart .. As you know when you Run the soft top nothing is secure. A hard top is easy to take on and off .. It's a good option if you want the extra weather protection and security.

My 2 cents
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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I've had both, and prefer the soft top, but that's just me. If you have a hoist in your garage, taking the hard top off is a 1 person event. If not, it takes 2. If you leave the hard top at home and it rains, you're going to get real wet. But then, the hard top has better insulation qualities than the sof top.

As said, it's just a matter of preference, but if you can swing the cost get both the hard top and the soft top.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:02 AM   #8
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Another vote for both. I run the hardtop in the winter and softtop in the summer.
I originally bought mine new(2014) with just the hardtop and bought a softtop(2008) off of Craigslist for cheap.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
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Soft top only for me.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:08 AM   #10
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I say don't move North!
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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If you have the room for a hoist, get both.

But it all depends on where you live, where you park, and how you will use the vehicle.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:10 AM   #12
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I say don't move North!
That might be the best advice in the thread....
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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That might be the best advice in the thread....
DEFINITELY the best advice!
Mine is older, so maybe newer ones are better but if you do a lot of highway driving the soft top is noisy and drafty. Hopefully I get my hardtop painted and on soon (until spring, then it's topless as much as possible).
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:27 AM   #14
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Which is the best option in terms of functionality?
A hard top offers a quieter ride, better insulation from the heat and cold (an aftermarket headliner is recommended), and more security. If you'll be moving somewhere with a garage you can install a hoist and remove or install the hard top by yourself and store it against the ceiling.

Otherwise, go with a soft top if you don't have someone to help you remove it and a place to conveniently store it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:30 AM   #15
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I say you buy a soft top then move up here and give it to me, I'll give you my hard top and I'll take your spot in Fla.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:35 AM   #16
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Have you considered the premium soft top. It is surprising how much quieter it is, and handles the heat of Texas summers just fine. Also stayed warm this winter with temps in the teens.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:36 AM   #17
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I have both. The new premium soft top is very nice and much quieter than the old sail cloth ST. I almost don't need the hard top, though I like the HT for security purposes.

I've had HT's in South LA and here in the ATL.. I've never felt a need for any sort of liner
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:46 AM   #18
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Another vote for both. I run the hardtop in the winter and softtop in the summer. I originally bought mine new(2014) with just the hardtop and bought a softtop(2008) off of Craigslist for cheap.
They always seem to be the jku tops and not jk.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:54 AM   #19
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:59 AM   #20
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I chose at softop because I live in pilot point. It's a very small town and we don't have a lot of theft. If I was to go live in the city, I would get a hardtop just for security
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:01 AM   #21
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I have a soft top. And while a hardtop would be better for me in the winter here in Pa I have no regrets with the soft top.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:35 AM   #22
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I live in NYC and I ordered a JKU with half doors and a soft top. Could security be an issue? If you leave an iPod or money on the dash then yes. Don't leave anything of value visible and get a lock for your hood and wheels. That's advice that both hard top and soft top owners should follow.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:38 PM   #23
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Ive had both and always end up selling the hardtops. I have a low roof single car garage and I hate losing the space. But mostly I just feel that a Wrangler is a convertable and to me that means removeable soft top. I think they look more "jeepish" with the rag top. And I live in Cleveland and no problem with cold weather.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #24
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What about access to the back? Seems like if you need frequent access to the rear cargo area it would be a pain to constantly unzip the rear window and take it out or to deal with the 15" slot under the window. I was counting the other day and I opened my hatch door 9 times in one day. 9 times unzip and re-zip seems like it might outweigh the coolness.

I am struggling with the same soft v hard top decision because of that.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #25
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What about access to the back? Seems like if you need frequent access to the rear cargo area it would be a pain to constantly unzip the rear window and take it out or to deal with the 15" slot under the window. I was counting the other day and I opened my hatch door 9 times in one day. 9 times unzip and re-zip seems like it might outweigh the coolness. I am struggling with the same soft v hard top decision because of that.
I usually put groceries in the back seats
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:29 PM   #26
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What about access to the back? Seems like if you need frequent access to the rear cargo area it would be a pain to constantly unzip the rear window and take it out or to deal with the 15" slot under the window. I was counting the other day and I opened my hatch door 9 times in one day. 9 times unzip and re-zip seems like it might outweigh the coolness.

I am struggling with the same soft v hard top decision because of that.
Thats what the truck with the Undercover lid is for!
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:46 PM   #27
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I live where it rains a ton (think six months a year) and drive on sanded roads in the winter. To me, the main advantage of a hard top (during these times) is the glass rear window and the wiper. Huge help as a daily driver in the dank Pacific Northwest. Soft or no top for the summer--I have a soft top as well--nice for extended summer wheeling trips when rain is a possibility.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:04 PM   #28
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I have both but took the hard top off a couple days after I got it and never put it back on. Two issues: It is a pain to have to unzip to get in the back and the sun in this latitude is too hot for my liking. I got a sun shade for that, but the hassle of the rear window keeps me thinking about going back to the hard top.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:21 PM   #29
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Thats what the truck with the Undercover lid is for!
Please elaborate for a newbie. I thought undercover only made pickup bed tonneau covers?
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:33 PM   #30
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Florida=Softop

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