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Old 02-15-2017, 03:32 PM   #1
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Wrangler Unlimited - Frameless Soft Tops vs. Framed

I just got my 2013 Wrangler Sport Unlimited on 11/25/2016... It came with a hard top on it and I definitely want to get a soft top for the summer. I just started looking into it more and it seems that the soft tops with frames, that are easier to get completely topless, are significantly more expensive than frameless tops. However, I'm seeing that most of the frameless tops are meant to be used as the bikini/safari style, rather than going completely topless. I also really love the fast back style on the 4 door wranglers, but it seems that style is only available with the frameless tops. I was kind of leaning towards a frameless top for my first summer, because they're significantly cheaper, then I could use the extra money to do some other small things to my Jeep.

I would love some opinions on soft tops from those of you who have 4 doors. Typically, I've always pictures the completely topless look... But the framless tops, you can usually take off the back and side windows, and I would also get one that can be folded or rolled back like a sunroof. Does this kill the topless vibe or is it still pretty similar? I don't have any experience with soft tops on a Wrangler Unlimited, so I need HELP, especially because I would love to order my soft top shortly. (I live in central PA, so I felt it was necessary to have the hard top for the annoying winters.) Is there a significant difference between the fold back and roll back tops, sunroof wise, for both noise and convenience? Is it a possibility to completely remove a frameless top or is it a pain? I am 5'2" so I would like to get something that I can handle on my own.

I posted links below to some of the FRAMELESS soft tops I have looked at so far... Open to new suggestions and would love opinions on these ones!


OffRoad Heroes ($1,075 - 5 separate panels) - OFFROADHEROES - Frameless Soft Tops for Jeeps

QuadraTop Adventure Top S ($650 - fold back sunroof) Calls to remove footman loops???- QuadraTop® Adventure® Top S™ for 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK | Quadratec

QuadraTop Adventure Top ($600) - QuadraTop Adventure Top for 07-17 Jeep Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK | Quadratec

2007-2017 Wrangler Complete Soft Tops | ExtremeTerrain - Free Shipping

Bestop Trektop NX ($830 - folds back like sunroof & removable back & side windows) - Bestop Wrangler Trektop NX 56823-35 (07-17 Wrangler JK 4 Door) - Free Shipping

Bestop Trektop ($660 - rolls back & only back window is removable) - Bestop Wrangler Trektop 56805-35 (07-17 Wrangler JK 4 Door) - Free Shipping
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:42 PM   #2
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I have factory softtop on a 2-door, so I can't really comment on a lot of what you're interested in. But I do have this to offer.

I love keeping the top up, all windows out, doors on in spring, summer and fall. Because I've weatherproofed the Jeep I don't care if rain blows in the back when it's sitting or when I'm driving (I'll roll the door windows up when parked or driving in the rain and I stay nice and dry.)

So two summers ago I decided it would be way cooler to pull the softop and go bikini, something that stretches from the header to the rear rollbar. Bought a Rugged Ridge Eclipse. Looked great, no flapping, a wonderful solution. Until the first rain. Discovered two things:

1) rain puddles in the middle between header and first rollbar without a bow there. I wound up keeping a telescoping pole with a big flat piece of plastic on it in the Jeep and on rainy days I'd install it between the cupholder and the roof to eliminate the low-spot. I don't know if frameless roofs have some way to prevent this, but I don't see how without a frame. I was using Rugged Ridge Eclipse -- maybe it just sucks?

2) The frameless units dont' stick out as wide on either side as the framed. Meaning that when I was in the Jeep and driving in the rain, water would get all over my left shoulder from coming in from right behind me. With the factory softtop (with windows out) that never happens. I stay dry and snug inside even in the rain with windows out.

May not matter to you but something to be aware of.

Various products are available to combat the sagging if that happens, but that might defeat the purpose for you.


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Old 02-15-2017, 05:22 PM   #3
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I have the bestop NX in twill and love it. Super quick to go topless or put back up if it rains. Had trektop before that and didn't care for it. If you're worried about the sun I would recommend a sunshade. (I have a Alienware)
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:32 PM   #4
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I have factory softtop on a 2-door, so I can't really comment on a lot of what you're interested in. But I do have this to offer.

I love keeping the top up, all windows out, doors on in spring, summer and fall. Because I've weatherproofed the Jeep I don't care if rain blows in the back when it's sitting or when I'm driving (I'll roll the door windows up when parked or driving in the rain and I stay nice and dry.)

So two summers ago I decided it would be way cooler to pull the softop and go bikini, something that stretches from the header to the rear rollbar. Bought a Rugged Ridge Eclipse. Looked great, no flapping, a wonderful solution. Until the first rain. Discovered two things:

1) rain puddles in the middle between header and first rollbar without a bow there. I wound up keeping a telescoping pole with a big flat piece of plastic on it in the Jeep and on rainy days I'd install it between the cupholder and the roof to eliminate the low-spot. I don't know if frameless roofs have some way to prevent this, but I don't see how without a frame. I was using Rugged Ridge Eclipse -- maybe it just sucks?

2) The frameless units dont' stick out as wide on either side as the framed. Meaning that when I was in the Jeep and driving in the rain, water would get all over my left shoulder from coming in from right behind me. With the factory softtop (with windows out) that never happens. I stay dry and snug inside even in the rain with windows out.

May not matter to you but something to be aware of.

Various products are available to combat the sagging if that happens, but that might defeat the purpose for you.
I've seen some of them with an extra bow to help with the puddling issue. And good to know, thank you!
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:41 PM   #5
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I have the bestop NX in twill and love it. Super quick to go topless or put back up if it rains. Had trektop before that and didn't care for it. If you're worried about the sun I would recommend a sunshade. (I have a Alienware)
Which be stop style is your NX? I know there's a Trektop NX that I was looking at. But that's what I was wondering about getting it completely topless. What didn't you like about the Trektop? I did think about the sunshade deal as well, thanks!
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:54 PM   #6
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I have the Trektop NX, seems good so far, but I haven't used it much yet. Taking the top off completely isn't too much work, doesn't seem any harder than a regular soft top, but I came form a TJ soft top. I prefer the hard top and have a hoist in my garage that is faster than dealing with a soft top. I also used it more as a bikini top than a full top. I'm not a fan of sunshades, for me, they are the worst of both worlds. Lose the open air feeling, but no rain protection. They are definitely up to the individual since many people love them.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:03 PM   #7
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I have the Trektop NX, seems good so far, but I haven't used it much yet. Taking the top off completely isn't too much work, doesn't seem any harder than a regular soft top, but I came form a TJ soft top. I prefer the hard top and have a hoist in my garage that is faster than dealing with a soft top. I also used it more as a bikini top than a full top. I'm not a fan of sunshades, for me, they are the worst of both worlds. Lose the open air feeling, but no rain protection. They are definitely up to the individual since many people love them.
Yeah, I'll probably have to store my hard top out of town at my parent's for the summer, as I do not have enough room where I'm currently living. Me being a girl with long hair, the sunshade that minimizes air flow night be beneficial! Thanks though!
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:50 AM   #8
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My JKU has a standard framed soft top and the TJ had a frameless. For the 4 door I like that folding the framed top sunrider opens up both rows of seats. From the front it's almost like having the whole top off. The frameless was amazing last summer though as I could have the safari on with windows and doors off but the sunrider portion is only over the front row. I was able to keep the sun off my poor little bald head and stayed a bit cooler when stuck in traffic.

My plan for the JKU is to get a spiderweb shade and if the sun gets really bad I'll flip it up and run it kinda like a safari top.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #9
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Which be stop style is your NX? I know there's a Trektop NX that I was looking at. But that's what I was wondering about getting it completely topless. What didn't you like about the Trektop? I did think about the sunshade deal as well, thanks!
the one that is set up like the OEM soft top (not sure exactly what it is called). It could have been I just didn't give it enough of a chance but to me it was more complicated to go topless. I can take my current one completely down with windows store in < 2 minutes and up in around the same time. The trektop is great if you wanna use the bikini feature but for me it's either all the way down or up
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:55 AM   #10
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My JKU has a standard framed soft top and the TJ had a frameless. For the 4 door I like that folding the framed top sunrider opens up both rows of seats. From the front it's almost like having the whole top off. The frameless was amazing last summer though as I could have the safari on with windows and doors off but the sunrider portion is only over the front row. I was able to keep the sun off my poor little bald head and stayed a bit cooler when stuck in traffic.

My plan for the JKU is to get a spiderweb shade and if the sun gets really bad I'll flip it up and run it kinda like a safari top.
Thank you so much! I have been looking into the Trektop Glide that is to come out this April, which has the fast back look & folds all the way back, so I'm thinking that's the way to go as long as the price isn't too ridiculous!

I'm definitely considering a sunshade thing though. It would help to decrease the air flow and might help with not having my hair a mess all the time haha. And I always seem to be hot/sweating, so that may help as well!
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:04 AM   #11
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Thank you so much! I have been looking into the Trektop Glide that is to come out this April, which has the fast back look & folds all the way back, so I'm thinking that's the way to go as long as the price isn't too ridiculous!

I'm definitely considering a sunshade thing though. It would help to decrease the air flow and might help with not having my hair a mess all the time haha. And I always seem to be hot/sweating, so that may help as well!
You're welcome. I've been curious about the Glide as well, but the possible $1000 price tag put me off.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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You're welcome. I've been curious about the Glide as well, but the possible $1000 price tag put me off.
They haven't officially released the price yet, but I'm thinking it'll be close to that... I just messaged Bestop to see if I could get any additional information. They said on one of their FB posts that it'll be out in April & that price & preorder announcements would be out "soon" but that was 2 weeks ago.

Honestly, if it's right around $1000 or less, I might go with it because it has everything that I want and as long as it lasts me a number of years, I think that it's worth it. I will probably only use the soft top during summertime anyways and put my hard top on for the unpredictable PA winters.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:51 AM   #13
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It should last quite a while if it's the twill or sailcloth material. It looks to be a great top, in just not a fan of spending that much.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:40 PM   #14
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I had the trek top nx on an unlimited and liked it a lot. Pain to install the first time but easy after that
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:20 PM   #15
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I had the trek top nx on an unlimited and liked it a lot. Pain to install the first time but easy after that
How was the feel of the bikini top? How did you usually run it and did you take the top completely off ever or how often? I've never experienced a bikini/safari top so I don't know how it is and if you completely lose the "topless" feel...
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:21 PM   #16
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It should last quite a while if it's the twill or sailcloth material. It looks to be a great top, in just not a fan of spending that much.
Bestop did tell me that the Trektop Glide will be available in Black Twill and Black Diamond... Is twill the way to go then, I'm assuming?
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:34 AM   #17
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Bestop did tell me that the Trektop Glide will be available in Black Twill and Black Diamond... Is twill the way to go then, I'm assuming?
Twill is 100% the way to go.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:00 AM   #18
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Twill is 100% the way to go.
agreed
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:48 AM   #19
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I've got the Trektop NX on my two door and just sold my hardtop since I'm perfectly comfortable with it alone. To go "topless" without removing the top just take out the windows, roll the top from back to front, and tuck under the folded back sunrider (fits over top of soundbar). I just put mine back on two weekends ago and with the assistance of my brother who wasn't familiar with the top, had it back on in under 30 minutes. To remove, unhook front two latches, you have two pull connectors to disengage the sunrider (one on each side), remove to tension springs from their attachment points, and you're completely topless. This also allows you to leave the side mounts in place for quick reattachment. When I put mine back on I had to completely reinstall it which as noted, didn't take long at all. There is a trick to easily installing the side window zippers and that is to keep the rear of the top free to put slack into the top. Having done it enough now, I just stand on the sides of the Jeep and start the zippers from ground level (6' in younger years). The only downsides that I see with the top are the need to remove the plastic inserts at the rear that form the rear corners to roll the side windows and the flapping of the rear of the top at highway speed which I fixed with a previously suggested piece of pipe from HomeDepot for under $5 (applies additional weight to rear of top in lieu of flexible support bar).

One additional thought on which fabric to get. I had not had a Jeep previously ('15 Willys) so I got the sailcloth to limit my initial OOP cost in the event that I didn't like it. Not only does it work fine but to me it matches the flat black of the fenders/bumpers better than the twill, though I DO like the appearance of the twill. That is why it comes in two flavors I guess.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:45 AM   #20
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I just got my 2013 Wrangler Sport Unlimited on 11/25/2016... It came with a hard top on it and I definitely want to get a soft top for the summer. I just started looking into it more and it seems that the soft tops with frames, that are easier to get completely topless, are significantly more expensive than frameless tops. However, I'm seeing that most of the frameless tops are meant to be used as the bikini/safari style, rather than going completely topless. I also really love the fast back style on the 4 door wranglers, but it seems that style is only available with the frameless tops. I was kind of leaning towards a frameless top for my first summer, because they're significantly cheaper, then I could use the extra money to do some other small things to my Jeep.

I would love some opinions on soft tops from those of you who have 4 doors. Typically, I've always pictures the completely topless look... But the framless tops, you can usually take off the back and side windows, and I would also get one that can be folded or rolled back like a sunroof. Does this kill the topless vibe or is it still pretty similar? I don't have any experience with soft tops on a Wrangler Unlimited, so I need HELP, especially because I would love to order my soft top shortly. (I live in central PA, so I felt it was necessary to have the hard top for the annoying winters.) Is there a significant difference between the fold back and roll back tops, sunroof wise, for both noise and convenience? Is it a possibility to completely remove a frameless top or is it a pain? I am 5'2" so I would like to get something that I can handle on my own.

I posted links below to some of the FRAMELESS soft tops I have looked at so far... Open to new suggestions and would love opinions on these ones!


OffRoad Heroes ($1,075 - 5 separate panels) - OFFROADHEROES - Frameless Soft Tops for Jeeps

QuadraTop Adventure Top S ($650 - fold back sunroof) Calls to remove footman loops???- QuadraTop® Adventure® Top S„ for 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK | Quadratec

QuadraTop Adventure Top ($600) - QuadraTop Adventure Top for 07-17 Jeep Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK | Quadratec

2007-2017 Wrangler Complete Soft Tops | ExtremeTerrain - Free Shipping

Bestop Trektop NX ($830 - folds back like sunroof & removable back & side windows) - Bestop Wrangler Trektop NX 56823-35 (07-17 Wrangler JK 4 Door) - Free Shipping

Bestop Trektop ($660 - rolls back & only back window is removable) - Bestop Wrangler Trektop 56805-35 (07-17 Wrangler JK 4 Door) - Free Shipping
I have a Trektop NX and really like it, it's very versatile and was a lot cheaper than a regular soft top but wow did they go up in price since I got mine. It's a normal soft top with windows in, bikini top with windows out plus the sunrider or any other combo. You can take the whole thing off too but it's a bit of a chore. It's a pretty open air experience with the windows out and the sunrider open. During the summer I run it most of the time with the windows out and no doors so it's nice to have some shade with the bikini top.

That being said it's not as easy to just go topless like a regular top and have it where you can just throw it up if it rains plus it covers the cargo area without the windows unlike the NX. It definitely takes a bit more planning and checking the weather or having a trail cover handy with the NX if you leave the windows out all the time like I do. Pretty much every day possible I ran no doors and bikini top but covered it up every night with my trail cover, a bit more work but worth it to me. There are times I wouldn't mind have the stock top though.

If I could do it all over again I would probably get the Glide if it was available at the time as it addresses the ease of just opening the whole thing quickly. I've gotten pretty proficient at putting the windows back in on the NX but it still takes a while to get her all buttoned up. Not having to deal with zippers would make it a lot easier and quicker. I'm very curious to see how everyone likes the Glide as it addresses pretty much everything I don't like with a frameless top and zippers.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:08 PM   #21
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How was the feel of the bikini top? How did you usually run it and did you take the top completely off ever or how often? I've never experienced a bikini/safari top so I don't know how it is and if you completely lose the "topless" feel...
I ran it often with the sides and rear off, with the sunrider portion I didn't mind not being fully topless. Its surprisingly quiet.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:22 AM   #22
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How was the feel of the bikini top? How did you usually run it and did you take the top completely off ever or how often? I've never experienced a bikini/safari top so I don't know how it is and if you completely lose the "topless" feel...
I'm in PA also and ran all late spring, summer and early fall with the Trektop NX in bikini style, no rear windows at all. For the summer the bikini is a godsend because you get the open air feel but still stay cool because the sun is not beating down on you. I never took the whole thing down, if I wanted some sun I would just flip open the sunrider. I also added a Bestop cargo cover so I didn't even worry about rain with the windows out. Bikini with cargo cover and you keep out 90% of the rain....maybe 95%.

Here is a pic when I would also run doorless.

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Old 02-20-2017, 11:25 AM   #23
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The glide is available for preorder now. 1399.00 for the JK and a couple hundred more for the JKU. I've already ordered mine in twill.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:46 AM   #24
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The glide is available for preorder now. 1399.00 for the JK and a couple hundred more for the JKU. I've already ordered mine in twill.
They haven't "officially" released the preorder announcement or price... Where do you go to preorder? Damn, that is more expensive than I had expected though... I have a JKU so that might be out of my price range for this year ):
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:20 AM   #25
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They haven't "officially" released the preorder announcement or price... Where do you go to preorder? Damn, that is more expensive than I had expected though... I have a JKU so that might be out of my price range for this year ):


4wheelparts and 4wd both have them available for preorder. A couple of us have already ordered.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:26 AM   #26
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I'm in PA also and ran all late spring, summer and early fall with the Trektop NX in bikini style, no rear windows at all. For the summer the bikini is a godsend because you get the open air feel but still stay cool because the sun is not beating down on you. I never took the whole thing down, if I wanted some sun I would just flip open the sunrider. I also added a Bestop cargo cover so I didn't even worry about rain with the windows out. Bikini with cargo cover and you keep out 90% of the rain....maybe 95%.

Here is a pic when I would also run doorless.

What material is yours - Black Diamond or Twill? I'm thinking that this may be my best bet... The Glide looks like it may be out of my price range this year ):
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:33 AM   #27
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4wheelparts and 4wd both have them available for preorder. A couple of us have already ordered.
THANK YOU!!! $1,500 for Twill & $1,100 for Black Diamond... Now there's a $400 debate haha. What material did you go with?
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:35 AM   #28
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4wheelparts and 4wd both have them available for preorder. A couple of us have already ordered.
And do you have a preference on who you order through? I've never dealt with either of those websites, so I don't know if it makes a difference on who to order through
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:52 AM   #29
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THANK YOU!!! $1,500 for Twill & $1,100 for Black Diamond... Now there's a $400 debate haha. What material did you go with?


I went with twill and ordered from 4wd over the phone.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:59 AM   #30
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I went with twill and ordered from 4wd over the phone.
Did they have much to say? I find it odd that they are selling preorders when Bestop hasn't even announced preorders or price to the public yet...

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