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Old 09-03-2014, 09:01 PM   #1
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Help me choose a frameless top.

My factory top wore out after 15 years and I bought a bestop half top since I had one on my previous wrangler about 10 years ago. I didn't realize that they changed the design a little bit and I don't really like it now. So now I'm shopping for a full top but I no longer have the hardware and getting a top with the hardware is over my budget, at least from what I've seen so far.

Based on my research, Rampage tops should be avoided since they seem to be very problematic with stuff tearing all the time. I'm seeing tops like softopper, pavement ends, Bestop, and I think two others I can't remember.

Can anyone with experience recommend me to a good frameless top that I won't be replacing again in the next 3-5 years?

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Old 09-03-2014, 09:08 PM   #2
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Bestop Trektop NX has been solid for the last 3ish+ years. Starting to get a bit of wear, but damn near as tight as day one. I like the rampage storage design, but the build quality is lacking. Softopper appears to be well built, but to be honest I can't get around the looks. The windows just look out of proportion IMO.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
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Softopper is the only one I have yet to hear of having a single issue. I have heard of both leak and other issues with both rampage and the nx from threads like this over the last couple years. It's also the only one still made in the USA.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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I hate my rampage top looks good but, I would not recommend. Had to have mine re-stitched 3 time in a year and a half also the straps have stretched so far I have to tie them in knots as the Velcro no longer touches the other half, and if you have to send it back for warranty work you pay the shipping and it is not cheap and they wont refund the shipping cost.
The reason it burns me up so much the first strap was un-stitched when I opened the box. Rampage just really didn't care and the top has just gotten worse. It looks like I will be getting a new top spring of 2015. So rampage lifespan for me 2 years.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SurfKaster View Post
Bestop Trektop NX has been solid for the last 3ish+ years. Starting to get a bit of wear, but damn near as tight as day one. I like the rampage storage design, but the build quality is lacking. Softopper appears to be well built, but to be honest I can't get around the looks. The windows just look out of proportion IMO.
That is the only thing stopping me from getting the softopper. I really can't get over the small windows. I mean why would they make em that small when they have all that space? Plus I would think the thicker windows would flap less than the soft top material so why not use MORE window?

But what keeps me looking back at the softopper is the "everything included" deal. I need a header and new tailgate bar cuz my tailgate bar is falling apart. No more tape will hold it together.

Any thoughts on Pavement End's top?

Amazon.com: Pavement Ends 5684035 Black Diamond Frameless Sprint Top for Jeep Wrangler: Automotive
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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Can't comment on Pavement Ends, but the bestop's NX trektop comes with all the hardware too. The header latches to the windshield & it comes with tailgate bar/retaining clips + the door surrounds.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:43 AM   #7
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If you get a softopper get the model that uses the factory door surrounds.
A lot of people like softopper tops but it appears most of them are running the model that uses the factory door surrounds.

I have the model with their door surrounds and they SUCK !
Softopper has been less than helpful on the customer service for me. I asked a bunch of questions before ordering and they flat out gave me bad info. They have not responded to multiple emails about problems with the top.

My softopper looks like crap where the top meets their door surround. It appears the door is open. The sides are adjusted all the way tight and still flap while driving. It leaks water at the rear tailgate when the top gets wet.

My next top will by the Bestop Trektop NX.



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Old 09-04-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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If you get a softopper get the model that uses the factory door surrounds.
A lot of people like softopper tops but it appears most of them are running the model that uses the factory door surrounds.
+1 to the factory door surrounds. I have them and have none of the issues reported by 996 and others that have the Softopper surrounds.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:26 PM   #9
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I'm a huge fan of Bestop tops. My current is what I believe to be a rampage (OEM replacement, not frameless). My Prev jeep had quite a few different tops/accessories. All her Bestop, and all were higher quality.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #10
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Another vote for the Softopper. My biggest complaint is their solution for window storage, but a Spiderwebshade TJKini cures that nicely.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfKaster View Post
Bestop Trektop NX has been solid for the last 3ish+ years. Starting to get a bit of wear, but damn near as tight as day one. I like the rampage storage design, but the build quality is lacking. Softopper appears to be well built, but to be honest I can't get around the looks. The windows just look out of proportion IMO.
X2 on the Trektop NX, very popular top and very functional. its a fastback, safari top and sun rider in one...
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddeprived View Post
My factory top wore out after 15 years and I bought a bestop half top since I had one on my previous wrangler about 10 years ago. I didn't realize that they changed the design a little bit and I don't really like it now. So now I'm shopping for a full top but I no longer have the hardware and getting a top with the hardware is over my budget, at least from what I've seen so far.

Based on my research, Rampage tops should be avoided since they seem to be very problematic with stuff tearing all the time. I'm seeing tops like softopper, pavement ends, Bestop, and I think two others I can't remember.

Can anyone with experience recommend me to a good frameless top that I won't be replacing again in the next 3-5 years?
I would also recommend the Bestop Trektop NX if you're looking for a quality frameless that will last. Bestop has a good reputation for a reason. You'll pay a little more up front but you'll end up with a top that will last a good long time. Let me know if you'd like a quote on that top or any others!

-Ryan
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:43 PM   #13
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Another Trektop NX, here...i've had mine for about 3 years and its been great here in Colorado. Its the only top i have and run it daily.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:47 PM   #14
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Check out Rugged Ridge. Good quality and tight fit. My has held up well.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:48 PM   #15
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Softopper!!!!

But yes get the model that uses the factory door surrounds.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:25 PM   #16
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I've had the trektop nx for a bit over a year and the material is as good as new..I also like the fact that it has the sunrider feature and you can also take all the windows off to have just the top of the jeep covered...it also comes with everything you need to install it
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:38 AM   #17
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Softopper with factory door surrounds!! I've never had the top down so many times. Never really took my old top down because it was a pain. Also really easy to run in safari mode, which is my goto when there's a chance of rain!
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:13 AM   #18
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You softopper lovers pls post pictures and try to convince me that the windows are bigger than I think they are. I am easily convinced and I love pictures.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:47 AM   #19
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Here's some pics of mine. There's something else I haven't seen anyone else mention, the top is very easy to adjust for fit and finish. All the zippers on the top are held on by velcro, makes the adjustment quick and easy.





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Old 09-05-2014, 07:57 AM   #20
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Frameless

Is it true the frameless tips are more prone to flapping at expressway speeds?
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:40 AM   #21
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Is it true the frameless tips are more prone to flapping at expressway speeds?
Mine is and does.
Hard to see it but the side window is loose and flaps. It is adjusted all the way tight with the Velcro mounted zippers.

The side windows sit concave when slow or stopped. The flap at speed. If I roll up the windows and put the vent fan all the way up it will convex the side windows and push them out tight.
I need to take a video or it as this topic comes up alot.

Also here are the hideous looking door surrounds.


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Old 09-05-2014, 08:56 AM   #22
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Is it true the frameless tips are more prone to flapping at expressway speeds?
For me no, & I drive I95 daily. Back windows want to suck in a bit if I have the front cracked, but as far as flapping around it's tame. Granted the top has started to bounce around a bit more after 3+years, but nothing noticeable.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #23
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Thanks for the pictures!

I have the factory door surrounds on mine so I'm set there. I still can't get past the small windows. I asked my gf which she preferred without hinting anything to her and she chose the PE top and then asked "why are the windows so small on the other one?" LOL geez that didn't help!

I'm now comparing warranties and it seems PE wins with a 3 year compared to 1 year on Softopper.

I guess I'm leaning towards PE.

Rampage is completely out of the race for sure.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #24
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Mine is and does.
Hard to see it but the side window is loose and flaps. It is adjusted all the way tight with the Velcro mounted zippers.

The side windows sit concave when slow or stopped. The flap at speed. If I roll up the windows and put the vent fan all the way up it will convex the side windows and push them out tight.
I need to take a video or it as this topic comes up alot.

Also here are the hideous looking door surrounds.
That really must be the difference between the version using the Softopper door surrounds and the version using factory door surrounds. I have factory and have zero issues flapping - it's more stable than my factory OEM (albeit 17 yo) top was.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:04 PM   #25
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Softopper:
Owned 2 one TJ one LJ.
No issues with anything.
Up/down extremely easy
Road noise no louder or quieter not an issue
Quality top notch
No issues with in road (noise, sucking of windows, etc)
Stays very tight
Water right
Cleans up well
MADE IN USA


But if I didn't get Softopper,
Bestop trex NX is the next best in my opinion.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:38 PM   #26
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trektop NX





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Old 09-05-2014, 06:19 PM   #27
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Excuse my ignorance, what is the benefit of a frameless top?

I'm in the market as well but was leaning towards the bestop replace a top.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:07 PM   #28
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I've been running the pavement ends sprint top for the last 3-4 months. No complaints so far. It seems to be a quality piece. It's made by Bestop and is almost I identical to the Trektop NX except that it uses the factory windshield header and door surrounds. It actually has a longer warranty than the Trektop too - 3 years vs 2 for the Trektop.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:17 PM   #29
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Excuse my ignorance, what is the benefit of a frameless top? I'm in the market as well but was leaning towards the bestop replace a top.
Part of it is looks, part of it is just avoiding all the framework, and the biggest part for me was the speed and ease of taking it down and up. Someone told me frameless aren't meant to be taken off... Still not buying that statement because it's just so easy.

Another perk of some frameless tops is running in safari style with a few zips of 2-3 zippers.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:24 PM   #30
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i personally never take mine off...

i just zip my windows out and flip my sunrider. That way if it rains i can just flip the top back and close it.

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