I live in NY and I bought my 99 TJ last November. It only came with hard top. For the spring I purchased a soft top. Now that fall is approaching and winter is around the corner, was curious to know what your oppinions would be to keep the soft top on for the winter and sell the hard top, or switch to the hard top for the winter and go back to the soft top for the spring and summer.
I had the same issues facing me. I went a head and put my hard top back on for winter. My deciding factor was I didn't want to mess with the zippers come winter and a trip to the store or something. Plus as much snow as we get, I love my rear defroster to keep the snow/ice down when traveling on the highway.
Like others have stated, depending on the severity of your winters, the hard top would be nice to have on. I have some friends that don't even use their hard top in the winter and it just sits, which is a waste of good money that could be used for mods, like stated above. If you have it, use it, if you don't use it, sell it.
when i bought mine last september it had the hard top installed and came with a soft top. the hard top was nice in the winter with the rear defroster and the wiper. i know a lot of people run a soft top in the winter, but i'd rather have the hard top and the glass window going up and down if i need to get in the back than have to deal with a frozen/stuck zipper.
so, in a month or so i'll be swapping my soft top back for the hard top.
I put, also, my hardtop during the winter. The winters are cold here, with a lot of rain and snow, and the rear plastic window doesn't like too much to be rolled during cold weather (it becomes brittle - actually, a friend of mine managed to break it, when trying to open).
I live in Alaska, I would probably use a hard top if I had one,but the soft top works fine in the winter, it does get a little cold when it gets down to negative thirty going sixty miles per, but other than that it stays pretty warm.
I will find out what the soft top will be like this winter, I had to sell my hardtop for multiple reasons. And believe it or not, my soft top is just as quiet on the highway as the hardtop was. As for heat, I am not overly impressed with the heaters in the Jeeps.
Even with my hardtop last year, it was not as warm as I liked at times.