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Old 03-01-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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Hardtop vs Softtop

So, I have an 06 silver tj X edition currently with a soft top. Do you all think me buying a hard top for next winter would be a smart investment or just keeping the soft I have?

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Old 03-01-2014, 04:26 PM   #2
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Having both is nice. I had a vehicle with a soft top, and if you have storage space, a hard top is great. My TJ has a hard top, and I prefer it over a soft top. A hard top is a bit more quiet, but not that much. I think the bottom line is having a good top, whether hard or soft. Just my opinion though, having had both.

Also, in harsh winter conditions, a hard top might be better.

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Old 03-01-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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I have 3 tops. The hardtop is great in the winter. It provides a good seal from the elements, and keeps the heat in. The noise level is near deafening, not matter what top is used. I ran the Jeep with the stock soft top the first year and we froze our feet and other body parts off. I just could not get a good enough seal to keep the winds from howling through. I installed a bimini, for a short time when going to the surf to fish, but since traveling with the two pups, often, I gave up on this quickly. I prefer the hardtop, but the others are great to have too. The bimini, however, was the most fun, and turned the most heads.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:44 PM   #4
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for me its either a hard top or no top, the soft top is ok but if your gonna put the top down then spend the 30 minutes or so putting it all back together you might as well just have a hard top and a lift to take it off. You should not be using a top at all in the summer time, thats a waste of a jeep, hide your valueables and leave that top off, put it in the garage or put the hard top on if its gonna rain, otherwise, leave the top of and enjoy the ride. sell your soft top on CL and put it towards a hardtop that you can also find on CL, thats where i foundmine in great shape with windshield wiper and defroster for only 900 bucks, plus i sold the soft top to him for 150 so it only cost me 750 for the top. Thats my opinion at least, hard top or no top.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the advice!

I definitely don't plan on using a top this summer unless it's a spider shade top just to keep my balding head from blistering! Haha

I was just asking about the hard vs top deal due to having a baby. She'll be around one next winter and I don't plan on neglecting my jeep so I was trying to see what would be better baby wise I guess. So far all I've gathered is that both are fine just depending upon if the tops in good condition or not!
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:51 PM   #6
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I like having both. Hard from November to April and soft from May to October. But the winters here ca be brutal.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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That's my dilemma, this winter has been unusually bad for us, but at the same time my soft top has been fine. It's held up good and I haven't froze from it so I may give it another shot. I also, don't know why, just don't like the hard top look.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #8
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I use both. Lived in Alaska too. Hard tops have some advantages. Noise is not one. The windshield seal is just as loud as soft top. Warmer? Maybe slightly. Not like it is insulated. Holding snow weight a definite plus. Windows that don't get cold and brittle a definite plus. Easy rear access with out frozen zippers and a frozen plastic window decimate plus. Defroster. Well haven't used it much. Have a garage. Guess it's useful. Rear wiper handy for cleaning the window but not needed in rain. Soft top. Can take out all the windows and roll in the shade. can take it down and get a tan. Just as quiet as a hard top. Damn near as warm as a hard top. Dis advantage. Sucks to get into in the winter. No security. Snow weight may stretch it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
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I have just a soft top, and an old one at that for the moment. I was fine in sub zero temps as long as I let her warm up.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:00 PM   #10
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I have both and like having both. The Jeep is my daily driver and the thought of having to fight with the rear soft window during the winter and risk breaking it is reason enough to want a hardtop. Plus the soft top will last that much longer by not being used a 1/3 of the year. That being said, I suspect that, despite climate change, I routinely experience more colder temps than in Kentucky.

As far as sound goes, my sail cloth top is pretty quiet when fully buttoned up and the hardtop is a little quieter.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:14 PM   #11
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X2 jjvw. My soft top has lasted forever not using it in winter.

Edit. Guess that's another plus. Hard top is a lifetime item. And extends the life of your soft top. If you keep the jeep forever like me. 14 years since new so far it will pay for it self eventually. But that's a big timespan.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:28 PM   #12
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I love having both. Hardtop goes on in the end of october and soft top comes back in march or april
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:31 PM   #13
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I only have a hardtop. I have a real nice interior & I would like to keep it that way for as long as possible. I wish someone would make a frameless softop WITHOUT side & rear windows. Instead of the windows, just have the fabric. That way, you could run topless, & if it starts to rain, you could just leave the softop attached at the rear, & pull it into place at the windshield. No rain would get in, no windows to have to zip into place. Of course this would be for emergency purposes only. Just to get you out of the rain. You wouldn't have use of your rear view mirror, only the side mirrors.

I am always seeing softops for sale, that say that there are a few rips in the top.
I wonder if it would be worth the trouble to buy a couple of these softops, & have some cutting & sewing done to make ONE softop that has no windows.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
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Cut eye holes lol.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:36 PM   #15
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So with the entire hardtop or no top statement, what do you plan on doing in a flash rainstorm/thunderstorm? You can only sit back and enjoy the ride for so long. I don't know about you, but in Georgia we get showers like that almost daily during the summer time. With a baby, you wouldn't wanna be stuck out in the rain. It also seems that hardtops give a false sense of security, they may be a bit harder to break in too, but if someone really wants to get in, they will. If you can only have one, I'd say soft top.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:36 PM   #16
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Cut eye holes lol.
Hahahah!
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:35 AM   #17
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... If you can only have one, I'd say soft top.
Agreed. But, the day I have to make that decision would be a sad one.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:43 AM   #18
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If I lived further up north I'd probably want one for winter, but down here mine just hung in my garage for two years before I sold it. I say get one to try it out. As long as you don't pay a stupid price for one you can always get your money back. Best time to buy one would be spring or summer when folks are trying to unload them. Also keep in mind you really need a place to store it & it's a two man job unless you buy/fab a hoist.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:51 PM   #19
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I think I'm just going to roll with my soft top for now. It's in great shape, no holes or tears, so why spend money on a hard top when I still need things such as a winch, front and rear bumpers, and tires ya know?
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:00 AM   #20
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I think I'm just going to roll with my soft top for now. It's in great shape, no holes or tears, so why spend money on a hard top when I still need things such as a winch, front and rear bumpers, and tires ya know?
I agree.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:22 AM   #21
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Soft top is nice for those rain storms that come out of no where, easy one person using, being able to just unzip the back window(i liked not having a back widow and the windows down. good air flow)

Hard top is nice for winter,highway driving, rear window defroster and wiper, loading and unloading the back or taking out the seat is easy.

Dont miss the zippers on the soft top. hate those things.
Hard top is spacey and discourages me from taking it off as much.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:05 PM   #22
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Soft top is nice for those rain storms that come out of no where ...
But from the videos I've seen, it looks like it takes you a while to completely get the softop back on. Meanwhile, you're getting soaked.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #23
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A minute maybe 2 to get the top up. But usually you can see the clouds coming...
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:56 PM   #24
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It takes much less time than it would if you had your hardtop removed and at home. I'll take a couple minutes compared to waiting out the storm while still be drenched
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:20 PM   #25
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I'd say it depends on where you live and how much inclement weather you have is the bigger part of the decision. I haven't put my hard top back on since switching to the soft top.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:05 AM   #26
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I know for a fact if you put the soft top completely back on and do it right it'll take a good 10+ minutes. I plan on buying a tarp/cover for those anyway.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:18 AM   #27
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I know for a fact if you put the soft top completely back on and do it right it'll take a good 10+ minutes. I plan on buying a tarp/cover for those anyway.
Over time you will get MUCH faster at putting the top up and windows in. Takes about 2 minutes once you have a system and are in a hurry.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:32 AM   #28
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Over time you will get MUCH faster at putting the top up and windows in. Takes about 2 minutes once you have a system and are in a hurry.
Yea I still say 2 minutes with practice. Which is fast but still an eternity when its raining. Just get a weather app and keep looking skyward. If you still get surprised by the rain (it will happen no matter what), that's what the drain plugs are for. If you go topless with a hard top and it rains your SOL. Even if you have a tarp you still can't drive it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #29
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Yea I still say 2 minutes with practice. Which is fast but still an eternity when its raining. Just get a weather app and keep looking skyward. If you still get surprised by the rain (it will happen no matter what), that's what the drain plugs are for. If you go topless with a hard top and it rains your SOL. Even if you have a tarp you still can't drive it.
Or this...
Jeep Wrangler Power Top by Rugged Ridge
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:59 AM   #30
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I have both and wouldn't have it any other way. Especially this winter. I've used the rear defroster several times after it sitting in the parking lot all day when I come out from work. Plus I love the clarity non-distorted look that only glass can give you on the sides and back. I keep the Jeep garaged in both summer and winter. However I am thinking of not installing the soft top this summer just because it's always down anyway.

But I do like having the soft top on for spring and late summer. There's been some days when it's hot during the day and you go somewhere with the top down, only to leave later at night and the temperature dropped considerably. That's when it's nice to just put the soft top up and drive home warm. Like others say, you do it enough times and you get pretty fast at it. I could have the top up and windows on in about 5 minutes.

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