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Old 04-06-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Bestop or Viking. Opinions?

I'm trying to decide between a Bestop® 18 oz. Replace-a-top™ with Tinted Windows or a Viking Fast Back Top. Pricewise they are about identical. I like the look of both.

Where I get tripped up is that it seems like the Bestop is easier to get taken all the way down, but the Viking is easier to get the windows opened up and a nice way of storing them.

How about general quality, ease of use, sound levels, etc. Any opinions appreciated.

BTW I live in south Florida. So it never gets cold here. I like being able to take the top completely off but it can also be a bit too much with all the sun. Really tossed on this one.

Just for fun here are two pics:


Bestop


Viking

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Old 04-06-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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Personally after the experience I have had with best Top ( the only top dealer I have dealt with so far) I have to say Best Top. After eth experience I have had with other parts suppliers in my life vs the experience I had with them and Jeep Top Depot, I will always buy Best Tops from Jeep Top Depot.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:21 PM   #3
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i love my viking top...it has ZERO hardware because it uses the roll bar as its frame. it also doubles as a safari top and has a built in compartment to store your windows in while they are off.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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How about..........

Attachment 17776

Just a thought. Bestop for winter, safari top for summer. I figure the sun is the enemy. Smittybilt cres to keep the dog in.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
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I really like the look of the cres.. but i never even thought about using if for the dog! lol, I like the way you think!
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:44 PM   #6
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Not sure Viking is selling tops anymore. Not sure they aren't either. You might want to verify that before you make your decision. They licensed the design to Rampage and the Rampage top is considerably less expensive. Lighter weight fabric, I believe, but the same design. And you do need hardware, just not as much. You need a header, and tailgate bar and possibly door surrounds depending on the top you choose. I think they are included in the Bestop Trek top. Not sure if the other hardware is included. You don't need bows.

And I kinda wish I had a dog to have a good excuse for the CRES net, they look way cool!
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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I just saw a thread where the original poster was saying that Viking is back in business making tops. I love Best Top as a company. It would be hard for me to buy anything else. I'm sure Viking makes a great top though. I've heard great things about them.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:05 PM   #8
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I keep trying to like the Viking top, but I just can't for some reason. Definitely a nice looking product, but for some reason it's not something I'd choose over the stock looking one.

Besides, I heard that in order to take off the viking top you need to remove it completely... is this true? If so, definitely not worth it here in Miami, FL. I change the top on my jeep more than I do my own. It's constantly on and off according to the weather.

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Old 04-06-2010, 10:04 PM   #9
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I'm guessing that if you have the Viking Top and take it off while out you'd better have a place to lock it if you stop somewhere.
I too put my top up and down a lot and the Viking would be a hassle.
The back window does not look tight in the pic.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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Bestop is quality. I bought a Bestop sailcloth soft top, it's better than original.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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I like my Viking top. When I had my factory top I would just take the windows out. I'm not a fan of the burnt forehead. It is easier to take the factory style down and if you get the replace a top, you don't have to use bestops door surrounds. It all depends on what you want in a top. If you like to run safari go Viking/rampage but if you like to go top down get the replace a top.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:40 AM   #12
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I just saw a thread where the original poster was saying that Viking is back in business making tops. I love Best Top as a company. It would be hard for me to buy anything else. I'm sure Viking makes a great top though. I've heard great things about them.
Viking is not making the top. All rights have been sold to Rampage as indicated. A few folks on jeepforum have started receiving their Rampage tops.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:07 AM   #13
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #14
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And you do need hardware, just not as much. You need a header, and tailgate bar and possibly door surrounds depending on the top you choose.
good point inferno. i always forget to mention that to people, since when i bought mine i had a softtop previously, so i did not need a new header, tailgate bar or surrounds. i always think of the hardware as all of the supports to hold the tops shape. thanks for pointing this out
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #15
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Well I have a soft top currently, so I would only need the windshield bar.

While I like the idea of getting rid of the top hardware and being able to store the windows with the Viking. I think I'm just too afraid of missing the sun. I got a wrangler partially because it is a convertible. So it looks like I'm most likely going the replace-a-top route.

Now another questions... I know sailcloth is the best, but I'm trying to decide between bestop sailcloth, bestop regular or something cheap like Pavement Ends for $300. If there is a huge quality difference then I'll go with the sailcloth and hopefully never have to buy a top again. But if there is a quality difference but not much of one then that would save me almost $300 that can go towards the next mod. And that's a long way towards a mod.

Thoughts from those with experience?
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:30 AM   #16
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just as a heads up, you may not need a windshield bar depending on how your current soft top attaches.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #17
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After seeing the Viking in person on Scout's Jeep I want it. I'd go with it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:07 PM   #18
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how about you go with this Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Toppers - Softopper

Looks bad ass and they are expanding the selection to our jeep models soon
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cstegner View Post
Well I have a soft top currently, so I would only need the windshield bar.

While I like the idea of getting rid of the top hardware and being able to store the windows with the Viking. I think I'm just too afraid of missing the sun. I got a wrangler partially because it is a convertible. So it looks like I'm most likely going the replace-a-top route.

Now another questions... I know sailcloth is the best, but I'm trying to decide between bestop sailcloth, bestop regular or something cheap like Pavement Ends for $300. If there is a huge quality difference then I'll go with the sailcloth and hopefully never have to buy a top again. But if there is a quality difference but not much of one then that would save me almost $300 that can go towards the next mod. And that's a long way towards a mod.

Thoughts from those with experience?
Bestop replace a top Sailcloth is just like your factory top. Pavement Ends is Bestops budget line... There will be a difference in weight of fabric/ noise... Why make both tops equal quality and sell one for less?.... If sun is all you are worried about going topless, then I highly recommend a SpiderWeb sun shade. I love mine, I have the SW1.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:09 PM   #20
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Bestop replace a top Sailcloth is just like your factory top. Pavement Ends is Bestops budget line... There will be a difference in weight of fabric/ noise... Why make both tops equal quality and sell one for less?.... If sun is all you are worried about going topless, then I highly recommend a SpiderWeb sun shade. I love mine, I have the SW1.
Ahh so Pavement Ends is actually made by Bestop? Very interesting.

Quality worth the additional $300? Will the cheaper one just be louder or will it also start falling apart in a year or two?

Thanks for the info
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:16 PM   #21
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how about you go with this Jeep Wrangler TJ Canvas Caps and Toppers - Softopper

Looks bad ass and they are expanding the selection to our jeep models soon
And you could give us a review.

I've seen one of their covers for trucks...didn't know thats what it was when I saw it, but it looked kinda neat.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:39 PM   #22
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Viking has best customer service.

Thor will go out of his way to help you with the top and get you replacements if you need. The company is from an Icelandic sailing company that is his fathers(they make sails and lines). The top is highly durable and very versatille...There is no other top that can match its versatillity and durability...that's just a fact.
I can tell you first hand that Icelandic sailmakers make some of the strongest sails in the world...we have regular hurricane force gail winds to deal with (I'm Icelandic)....so that canvas viking top will be made top-notch.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:41 PM   #23
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I keep trying to like the Viking top, but I just can't for some reason. Definitely a nice looking product, but for some reason it's not something I'd choose over the stock looking one.

Besides, I heard that in order to take off the viking top you need to remove it completely... is this true? If so, definitely not worth it here in Miami, FL. I change the top on my jeep more than I do my own. It's constantly on and off according to the weather.

Good luck man

Actually it's quicker/easier to work with this top....The storage for the rear and side windows is in a ceiling compartment behind the speaker bar.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #24
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Ahh so Pavement Ends is actually made by Bestop? Very interesting.

Quality worth the additional $300? Will the cheaper one just be louder or will it also start falling apart in a year or two?
Pavement Ends is Bestop's low-cost line that is made for them in China to compete with all the other lower quality top brands. The $300 additional for Bestop's Sailcloth top is well worth it in overall quality, how long it will outlast the others, and how much quieter (dramatically) it is. Having converted from my '97 TJ's non-Sailcloth top to Sailcloth, I would consider nothing else besides another Sailcloth for any future soft top purchase.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:35 PM   #25
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Thanks Jerry, that's what I was looking for. Dammit that means another $300, uggh never easy. That's almost half way to my roof rack lol.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #26
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And you could give us a review.

I've seen one of their covers for trucks...didn't know thats what it was when I saw it, but it looked kinda neat.
as soon as the top for the YJ is put into production I will give u a review.

as for bestop. I have a brand new month old bestop supertop and am not very happy with the product. but where there is some flaws in the product. the company makes up for with its warranty and service. I had some damaged parts and they quickly sent me out some replacements. but all in all a top without all the excessive hardware would make me happier
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #27
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Looks very similar to the Viking. which to me is a good thing.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #28
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all i have ever owned has been best top, but after seeing the viking in person i will probably go with it on my next jeep or replacement as i have never been completely satisfied with any best top i have ever owned. maybe i just expect to much.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:33 PM   #29
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Thanks Jerry, that's what I was looking for. Dammit that means another $300, uggh never easy. That's almost half way to my roof rack lol.
Take it from me brother, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IMO I like the classic lines of the factory top. those tops that sit on the cage look like diapers. And not too being far from wearing them myself I don't want to look at my jeep and be reminded of it!
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:09 PM   #30
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all i have ever owned has been best top, but after seeing the viking in person i will probably go with it on my next jeep or replacement as i have never been completely satisfied with any best top i have ever owned. maybe i just expect to much.
From your sig, none of your Jeeps were new enough to have a top made from Bestop's Sailcloth material. There is a night and day difference between the older non-Sailcloth tops and newer Sailcloth tops that came out around 2000.

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