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Old 09-13-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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what is the best replacement softop?

im lookin into getting a new softop for a 99 wrangler and i was wondering if anybody has any opinions on which brand to buy from. id like one thats quieter which seems to be the sailcloths but i cant trust what a company says about itself...

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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Bestop sailcloth

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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Without a doubt, Bestop Sailcloth. Hands-down. Not only are all of Jeep's factory installed soft tops made by Bestop, all new Jeeps since around 2000 have come with Sailcloth which is dramatically quieter than any other softtop fabric.

I replaced my '97 TJ's OE soft top (made by Bestop) with a Sailcloth "Replace-a-Top" from Bestop and the interior noise reduction was dramatic. I wouldn't buy any other top besides a Sailcloth from Bestop. Incidentally, Sailcloth is a 3-layer fabric so the difference between your soft top fabric and Sailcloth is dramatic, Sailcloth is a much heavier and far more substantial fabric.

The other soft tops are mostly made in China from cheaper/thinner fabrics that are loud and don't hold up nearly as long.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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I've heard that the sail cloth is the best, but I got the next one down the Bestop Replace a top and so far I've had no problems at all with it, I installed it in March and yea maybe it makes more noise I don't know, but for my money I think I got the best possible value and quality.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Without a doubt, Bestop Sailcloth. Hands-down. Not only are all of Jeep's factory installed soft tops made by Bestop, all new Jeeps since around 2000 have come with Sailcloth which is dramatically quieter than any other softtop fabric.

I replaced my '97 TJ's OE soft top (made by Bestop) with a Sailcloth "Replace-a-Top" from Bestop and the interior noise reduction was dramatic. I wouldn't buy any other top besides a Sailcloth from Bestop. Incidentally, Sailcloth is a 3-layer fabric so the difference between your soft top fabric and Sailcloth is dramatic, Sailcloth is a much heavier and far more substantial fabric.

The other soft tops are mostly made in China from cheaper/thinner fabrics that are loud and don't hold up nearly as long.
but are they worth paying almost twice the amount?
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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but are they worth paying almost twice the amount?
Yes... in both the added interior quietness and especially how much longer it will last.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
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but are they worth paying almost twice the amount?

That depends, do you want quality? or junk? You get what you pay for, I was lucky mine is a regular top but its made here, and after checking on line about who makes what and where its made, Yea next time i might pay twice as much for American Quality.
Besides, if its made in China ya can't eat it, it might contain lead.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Without a doubt, Bestop Sailcloth. Hands-down. Not only are all of Jeep's factory installed soft tops made by Bestop, all new Jeeps since around 2000 have come with Sailcloth which is dramatically quieter than any other softtop fabric.

I replaced my '97 TJ's OE soft top (made by Bestop) with a Sailcloth "Replace-a-Top" from Bestop and the interior noise reduction was dramatic. I wouldn't buy any other top besides a Sailcloth from Bestop. Incidentally, Sailcloth is a 3-layer fabric so the difference between your soft top fabric and Sailcloth is dramatic, Sailcloth is a much heavier and far more substantial fabric.

The other soft tops are mostly made in China from cheaper/thinner fabrics that are loud and don't hold up nearly as long.

My uppers on my half doors are marked 'pavement ends'....Not factory? The 'pavement ends' marking arent anywhere else thats caught my eye.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
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I put the Bestop Sailcloth on my 98 TJ and been holding up great. Only thing was when I ordered it, I asked them why they didn't sell a version for Jeeps with the hard doors. They sent a reply "Because we just don't sell it that way". Kind of irked me but I ended up selling the door windows on Craigslist for $100. Not sure if they still sell it that way or not.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:23 PM   #10
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My uppers on my half doors are marked 'pavement ends'....Not factory? The 'pavement ends' marking arent anywhere else thats caught my eye.
Pavement Ends is the lower-cost line of soft top products marketed by Bestop under the Pavement Ends brand name. That line of products was introduced to compete against the low-cost imports.

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I put the Bestop Sailcloth on my 98 TJ and been holding up great. Only thing was when I ordered it, I asked them why they didn't sell a version for Jeeps with the hard doors. They sent a reply "Because we just don't sell it that way".
There is no difference in the soft or hard top for half vs. full (hard) doors on '97 and newer Wranglers.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Pavement Ends is the lower-cost line of soft top products marketed by Bestop under the Pavement Ends brand name. That line of products was introduced to compete against the low-cost imports....


Thanks for the clarification...And you DO know a couple things!
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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Bestop is the best top. However I'm also a fan of the Viking top (the design is very good IMO) I believe the manufacturing has been taken over by Rampage or something like that. Its a frameless top.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:47 PM   #13
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Well, I went the cheap route and bought a Smittybilt top and it sucks! You definitely get what you pay for. It's loud, the stitching is poor, and the zippers tear. Bestop Sailcloth is what I will get next.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #14
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Well, I went the cheap route and bought a Smittybilt top and it sucks! You definitely get what you pay for. It's loud, the stitching is poor, and the zippers tear. Bestop Sailcloth is what I will get next.
Smittybilt's products including their soft tops are made in China. I wouldn't touch a Smittybilt product anymore for that reason. They didn't used to make all their products in China but they do now.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
There is no difference in the soft or hard top for half vs. full (hard) doors on '97 and newer Wranglers.
I know there isn't a difference in fit but I was hoping there would be a difference in price when I ordered it since I didn't need the upper window halves since I have hard doors.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:01 PM   #16
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A quick clarification, if I may:

The Bestop Sailcloth isn't really a top. It's an upgraded fabric for the Replace-A-Top. We've all just started using "sailcloth" as shorthand.

Replace-A-Tops use your existing factory hardware. All the door surrounds, tailgate bars, windshield headers and frame come from your existing factory top.

If you need new hardware, then a Replace-A-Top will not work for you.

As Jerry will quickly point out: the TJ factory hardware is usually considered better than the TJ aftermarket hardware. So with a Sailcloth R-A-T, you get the best available fabric, and re-use the best available hardware. Plus, still cheaper than buying a full top.

If you need a full top, with hardware, then you have some more choices to make. Supertop or Trektop, one of our competitors, etc. Let us know.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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I put the Bestop Sailcloth on my 98 TJ and been holding up great. Only thing was when I ordered it, I asked them why they didn't sell a version for Jeeps with the hard doors. They sent a reply "Because we just don't sell it that way". Kind of irked me but I ended up selling the door windows on Craigslist for $100. Not sure if they still sell it that way or not.
And to clarify this:

Bestop sells the Sailcloth Replace-A-Top both with and without doors. Always has.

Bestop doesn't sell direct, so I assume the poor answer you got was from the retailer.

The top itself is, indeed, exactly the same.

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