Confused about soft tops - Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today

Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on
Old 11-08-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Confused about soft tops

I just bought a 2001 Sahara with a hard top. I want to get a soft top for it but I am totally confused. I would like to get a factory soft top but they are too expensive. What is the closest to a factory soft top in quality to buy?

Stillwater Richard is offline   Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 08:54 PM   #2
Show Me Your 8008135!

WF Supporting Member
s3nt3nc3d's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Piqua, OH
Posts: 3,641
Send a message via AIM to s3nt3nc3d
I believe Bestop makes the factory tops... I've had my eye on the ones over at but shop around and you may find a better price. If you don't have the hardware installed for a soft top, unfortunately you're gonna have to pay quite a bit for a soft top since you'll need to get the hardware.

Also, if you want the ride to be fairly quiet, I hear the sailcloth material tops are MUCH quieter than the standard tops.

This should help you out a bunch!

"We don't build great brakes because we think you don't know how to drive, we build them for the guy on the road in front of you that doesn't." - Black Magic Brakes
s3nt3nc3d is offline   Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 878
I'd say BestTop is your best value,I beat the crap out of mine,Its 7 years old,I hit 6" trees with the middle of my windsheild frame in 4L,The trees slowly dent the frame,drag over the Best Top,no rips yet,some minor wear from it though
ou812 is offline   Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
oldman's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: locust grove georgia
Posts: 362
check craigs list in ur area. i found one with all the hardware for under 400 or less. i know it was cheap. i have 2 tops and 3 sets of windows side and rear.
oldman is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 02:09 AM   #5
blacksport's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: valdosta
Posts: 134
What color is your hard top? Want to sell it?
blacksport is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 06:49 AM   #6
Neil F.'s Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Marlton, NJ
Posts: 6,662
The factory OEM frame is the best. Bestop makes the OEM frame and fabric but Bestop does not sell the frame. They have their Supertop frame but it is difficult to use. The best ting you can do it to find a used OEM top. They are around. There are several Jeep web forums so keep on the for sale sections. Craigslist and ebay are others. A good condition top and frame will be 400 +/- There are other parts required door surround, tailgate bar, clips for the bar and roll bar barackets. These may or may not be included with the used top. If not, thoseparts can add up to a couple hundred. Any 97-06 top will fit. 01+ top are more desireable. They are the sailcloth indicated above.

There is an awsome deal here.
Neil F. is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
that's what she said

WF Supporting Member
jgano23's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: \m/-_-\m/
Posts: 16,482
Send a message via AIM to jgano23 Send a message via Yahoo to jgano23
you really can't beat a bestop soft top, imo. but if price is a major issue and you can't fine one on craigslist or ebay, i would look into pavement ends. i am fairly certain that pavement ends is bestop's sister company of imported tops. i am not 100% sure of that but you can pm geoff@bestop. he can answer any of those questions.
jgano23 is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 AM   #8
Neil F.'s Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Marlton, NJ
Posts: 6,662
Bestop is the parent company for Pavement Ends but from posts I have read, quality is not there.

From a post Geoff wrote:

And if you want to know a couple of industry secrets (pssst, lean close):
Bestop makes the OEM stuff for Chrysler, as most people now realize. But we also make the Pavement Ends brand.

Same technology, same patents, same headers and belt-rail rubber gasket-thingy. Just made a little less expensively in China, thinner "glass" in the windows, things like that.

Oh - and less manufacturer support, so buy from someone you like.
Neil F. is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 10:35 AM   #9
Sponsoring Vendor
BestopTeam@Bestop's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,659
Stillwater: The closest to factory is the Bestop Supertop. Bestop does make the factory OE tops for Chrysler, and the differences between factory and aftermarket are pretty small. It's not cheap, but most people seem to decide that the difference in price between an inexpensive top and Bestop is not that huge.

Pavement Ends is a subsidiary of Bestop. They use the same technology, same design, etc. The fabric is a bit lighter, the windows are a bit thinner, and you can't get replacement parts. But it is a good product and worth looking at.

There are other brands out there, but the good ones are all expensive.

Otherwise, all the advice above sounds pretty reasonable to me, but Neil may be splitting hairs a bit: the Supertop hardware isn't THAT complicated to use. It's what all of us with older Jeeps are using now. I absolutely agree with Neil that buying used is a viable alternative, but to be careful and get all the bits and pieces. We sell replacement parts but they ain't cheap.
BestopTeam@Bestop is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 8
No, I live in Minnesota so I want to keep the hard top. It is Black.
Stillwater Richard is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #11
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Stillwater Richard is offline   Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #12
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Thanks for the great advice. I think I will go with the Super top from Best top.
Stillwater Richard is offline   Quote
Old 02-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #13
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
My two cents: Wife bought new a 94 YJ 4.0L Wrangler 5spd, took it to Panama for 2 yrs, then moved to San Diego, CA, in 96, had a Bestop installed (said old top was a pain in the butt) and also purchased slider windows. Now in 2012 the seams are starting to come apart on the top (but you say its only 16 year old top) I would say thats pretty damned good for a vehicle that was never stored inside.
I need to replace top, hardware is not the easiest to raise and lower, and back gate has interference with back window. What are my options to replace with simpler hardware?
Bestop has hardware that allows top to fold back above front seats, looks cool but is it easy to release? Do the clamps/clips for the A post (Windshield) mount to the YJ? Does the new hardware allow the top to be lowered and raised easily?
P3orion is offline   Quote
Old 02-10-2012, 02:02 AM   #14
zombie & ninja slayer

WF Supporting Member
Redsand's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: southern illinois, no where near chicago (allendale)
Posts: 2,276
by far besttop is the best

"It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again"
Redsand is offline   Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 07:27 AM   #15
bulldawg9921's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 33 I love mine. Same situation hard top only no soft top parts. This kit came complete. Door channels, windshield channel and tail bar. Goes on in minutes and all fits great. The price was great and shipped in no time.
bulldawg9921 is offline   Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 07:35 AM   #16

WF Supporting Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,920
Not to muddy the waters---had you considered one of the Frameless tops? From what I hear -----again----Bestop's is the might save on hardware??? IDK justwondering---also I just like that look better...a few less parts to break/ wear out also.
jp2611 is offline   Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #17
402captain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 117
I have a softopper also. I love it. With no frame I can have it fully to fully off in 5 min.
05 TJ---> ION 171 wheels, softopper keeping the rain out

City of Champions: Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots
402captain is offline   Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 08:13 AM   #18
BigThunder's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 125
I have a Best Top for my YJ - It's great and very durable. However, for my LJ, I'm really considering the Rampage frameless. I don't have one, but I've read some really good reviews on this forum and others as well.
BigThunder is offline   Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 02:42 PM   #19
AirWick's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NOVA
Posts: 134
Not sure if it's something you would consider but I just recently purchased a Rampage Frameless top for under $350 on Amazon. If you do look into that, you'd need door surrounds, tailgate bar, and windshield header. I'm pretty sure you can get them in a bundle if you look around. Good luck.

14 Anvil Jeep Wrangler JKU, 2.5" RK Max Travel Kit, Bilstein 5100 Shocks, GY Duratrac 315/70/17, Level 8 Alloy Wheels, Poison Spyder Brawler Lite Front Bumper and Rear RockBrawler bumper, Dynomax Exhaust, 10th Anniversary Rubicon Hood
AirWick is offline   Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
JK Soft tops, how long to take down and put up? texascc JK General Discussion Forum 40 02-22-2010 03:52 PM
soft tops crazyredneck TJ General Discussion Forum 5 09-16-2009 02:21 PM
Quick question on YJ soft tops Habs33 YJ General Discussion Forum 6 05-06-2009 06:26 AM
Aftermarket Soft Tops TaylorHuston TJ General Discussion Forum 11 10-20-2007 07:50 PM
Soft Tops? MarkRules TJ General Discussion Forum 2 05-18-2007 06:15 AM

Download our Mobile App

» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 PM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC. is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC