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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-21-2013 03:47 PM
JeepinDad I've got a TJ so I have nothing to add about your freedom tops and what not. I do, however, know my better half appreciates the pack of hairbands I wrapped around the shifter so she doesn't have to worry about her hair getting in her face.
07-21-2013 03:41 PM
MrMurph My wife drives our Unlimited as a DD, She is 5-7" and can handle the soft top by herself. She also loves the sunrider option, it really opens up the top almost as well as having the top all the way back. After looking at the hard tops, she wouldn't even consider getting one, she likes the top back or off as much as possible.
07-21-2013 03:15 PM
tlminh My wife is 5'2 and weighs 110 and she cannot get enough leverage or strength to be able to put the entire top back up

She's now pregnant again and it's even harder for her now with the damn belly in the way
07-21-2013 02:29 PM
ScreamingLemur
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJeepChic View Post
I am 5' 5" and have no problem with my soft top. I open the tailgate and stand in the back of my Jeep to lower and raise my top.
I'm 5' 6" and do the same thing. It took me way too long to figure that move out. Before, I had been standing on the back seat to raise the top. Standing on the rear bumper with the gate open is way easier.
07-20-2013 04:19 PM
JeepDawg97
Quote:
Originally Posted by oOoYTSEJAMoOo View Post
Didn't the top come with a bag for the panels? My jeep did. I also have a JKU, and the panels go in the bag, that has built in straps that attach it to the back of the rear seat.
It came with the bag but it takes forever to put them in it. I would only use it if I were storing mine at home. It's much faster just using a blanket that I keep in the back to protect them. They make better bags to hold them that aren't so difficult to use. Taking the hard tops on and off isn't difficult. But putting them in the factory bag now that's a pain.
07-10-2013 01:43 PM
Apparatus802 I'm 5'7" and have a soft top. I find it easiest to put the top down by getting in the jeep and standing on the front seats to push it to sunrider, then I climb in the back seat to push it all the way down. Only takes a few seconds. It rains here a lot (Savannah), so I mostly run it with the back side and rear windows off and leave the top up.

I'd say definitely have her try it out at the dealership.
07-10-2013 10:50 AM
KittyPrawn
Quote:
Originally Posted by michiganadam View Post
Ive nver met a woman who had enough critical thinking ability to do it, sorry.
Wow. Really? I'm a little ashamed for the women you know.
07-10-2013 10:18 AM
4X4Lady
Quote:
Originally Posted by michiganadam View Post
Ive nver met a woman who had enough critical thinking ability to do it, sorry.
To do what? Remove the panels? Then you haven't met me Heck I had to show my husband how to remove them!
07-10-2013 08:41 AM
michiganadam Ive nver met a woman who had enough critical thinking ability to do it, sorry.
07-10-2013 07:39 AM
4DoorCrush My wife takes the freedom panels off. She is 5'2 and a halfish
07-10-2013 07:30 AM
vmaek
Quote:
Originally Posted by oOoYTSEJAMoOo View Post

Didn't the top come with a bag for the panels? My jeep did. I also have a JKU, and the panels go in the bag, that has built in straps that attach it to the back of the rear seat.
If it is used it might not. Mine didn't.
07-10-2013 07:24 AM
thinkxingu
Quote:
Originally Posted by oOoYTSEJAMoOo View Post

Didn't the top come with a bag for the panels? My jeep did. I also have a JKU, and the panels go in the bag, that has built in straps that attach it to the back of the rear seat.
They all come with that seat-back bag, but it's much easier to just stack them up in the back.
07-09-2013 09:46 PM
oOoYTSEJAMoOo
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepDawg97 View Post
I'm 5'4 and I take my freedom tops off whenever I get the chance. Awkward yes a little but I have it down pat now. I keep a blanket in the back of my jeep n I put the first panel on the carpet then put the blanket down n put the other on top of that. I can have them installed in 5 min and uninstalled in 5. I'm a petite frame too. But I'm strong enough to maneuver the freedom panels well enough. I have a JKU by the way. Hubby just bought a 2 door soft top so I haven't had a chance to try taking that top off yet. I would say dual tops. The hard top is great when traveling since it makes loading stuff super easy having the flip up window. We also have two large dogs and its easier to load them in with the hard top than a soft top would be. I think both options are great.
Didn't the top come with a bag for the panels? My jeep did. I also have a JKU, and the panels go in the bag, that has built in straps that attach it to the back of the rear seat.
07-09-2013 09:36 PM
JeepDawg97 I'm 5'4 and I take my freedom tops off whenever I get the chance. Awkward yes a little but I have it down pat now. I keep a blanket in the back of my jeep n I put the first panel on the carpet then put the blanket down n put the other on top of that. I can have them installed in 5 min and uninstalled in 5. I'm a petite frame too. But I'm strong enough to maneuver the freedom panels well enough. I have a JKU by the way. Hubby just bought a 2 door soft top so I haven't had a chance to try taking that top off yet. I would say dual tops. The hard top is great when traveling since it makes loading stuff super easy having the flip up window. We also have two large dogs and its easier to load them in with the hard top than a soft top would be. I think both options are great.
07-09-2013 08:51 PM
vmaek
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddr1 View Post
I opted for the hard top, and soon will get a soft top. Just keep in mind that a soft top is a lot cheaper to buy after the fact than a hard top.
I know people rock the soft top all winter, but I love the hard top for the colder months. Just seems to be quieter and warmer.
+1 for hard top during the winter.
I am taller than your wife and don't have a problem getting the freedom panels out or in with a rack on top but they are awkward, slightly heavy and clumsy. I am not really worried about them too much and just throw them in the back of the jeep. The soft top is easy to put down by yourself, and I have to go through more steps than most because of the light bar from my rack. I can't just flip it back, but can do it all rather quickly. Getting it back on works best if I am standing on the back of the jeep but it is still a bit tough. My vote is get the hard top then buy a cheap soft top off Craig's list. I am happy to have both and learned really quickly the best way it worked for me. She will figure out a way that works well after a couple tries.
07-09-2013 07:28 PM
Muddr1 I opted for the hard top, and soon will get a soft top. Just keep in mind that a soft top is a lot cheaper to buy after the fact than a hard top.
I know people rock the soft top all winter, but I love the hard top for the colder months. Just seems to be quieter and warmer.
07-09-2013 05:01 PM
thinkxingu
Quote:
Originally Posted by angry pug View Post
thinkxingu - not sure where in NH you're located but I live on the Seacoast and recently purchased a 13 JK w/ a soft top. All my friends who own Jeeps in NH said that a soft top is more than adequate for New England winters... in fact, the sales guy who sold me my JK advised against the hardtop, saying that the softtop is more than capable.
I'm just north of Nashua, and really the only thing holding me back from just a soft top is the rear window and the fact that it's not wired for hard top if I want to add it.

Pug, et al, talk to me about the lift assist. How easy is it?
07-09-2013 02:50 PM
angry pug thinkxingu - not sure where in NH you're located but I live on the Seacoast and recently purchased a 13 JK w/ a soft top. All my friends who own Jeeps in NH said that a soft top is more than adequate for New England winters... in fact, the sales guy who sold me my JK advised against the hardtop, saying that the softtop is more than capable.
07-09-2013 02:35 PM
KittyPrawn I probably don't reach the same cold temps you do, but I didn't have issues in the winter. Well, for groceries, I don't even generally have to touch the rear window to slide things in. Unless you're using brown paper bags that are overflowing, you should be okay there. Otherwise, you can just zip up the sides and flip it over the roof while you load things in and out. Might be better than rolling when cold.
07-09-2013 12:10 PM
thinkxingu
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyPrawn View Post

I think the rear window is an issue. I didn't have any trouble staying warm in my TJ or JK in winter with just a soft top either in NJ or VA. You also have to make sure to clear heavy snow off the roof. Or I do for safety anyway
We have a garage, so I'm not worried about snow or rain, but trying to slide a carriage or groceries under the soft top bar will be a pain.

Anyone know if the premium top rear window is more flexible in winter?
07-09-2013 10:06 AM
KittyPrawn
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Interesting idea- they are not. And I assume the swap would bring my price lower or close to same for premium.

But there's still the issue of the rear window/insulation in New England weather.
I think the rear window is an issue. I didn't have any trouble staying warm in my TJ or JK in winter with just a soft top either in NJ or VA. You also have to make sure to clear heavy snow off the roof. Or I do for safety anyway
07-09-2013 09:55 AM
thinkxingu Interesting idea- they are not. And I assume the swap would bring my price lower or close to same for premium.

But there's still the issue of the rear window/insulation in New England weather.
07-09-2013 09:55 AM
NJeepChic I am 5' 5" and have no problem with my soft top. I open the tailgate and stand in the back of my Jeep to lower and raise my top.
07-09-2013 09:51 AM
KittyPrawn
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
It looks like most of the remaining Rock Lobsters around here are hard tops, so it might not matter too much- though it's good to know others' experiences, so if a soft came along I might snatch it up.
Are they color matched hard tops? If they aren't, your dealer may be able to switch it to a soft top from another Jeep.
07-09-2013 09:14 AM
thinkxingu It looks like most of the remaining Rock Lobsters around here are hard tops, so it might not matter too much- though it's good to know others' experiences, so if a soft came along I might snatch it up.
07-08-2013 11:16 PM
JeeperJake agree the rear hard top is PITA....

on the other hand, the exquisite description above by Nano makes unnecessary steps. I've actually removed both my Freedom panels while stopped at a red light AND stowed them in the rear without leaving the driver seat.

Yes, it was a trick that I studied long & hard to figure out & unless someone is reallyReallyREALLY interested I won't bore you all.

Probably if I were 5'2" that little trick would have been a lot harder to do.

I appreciate the lure and advantages of the easy-flipped soft top. I have one that has never been mounted. Maybe someday.
07-08-2013 10:37 PM
UnlimitedJ33per Heck, I'm 6'3" and a guy and I can tell you it's a no brainer that the soft top is easier. However I bought it aftermarket. I live in Ohio so I wanted the hardtop, then I hopped on CraigsList and found a brand new factory top for $500. This soft top is GREAT. Sunrider is twice as open as the freedom panels. And the sunrider is so much more convenient than storing those panels.

You're like me, you have actual weather haha. Constantly looking at the radar and hoping it doesn't rain. You can either lug the freedom panels along, or just toss back the sunrider and forget it. Taking the rear of the hard top is a major PITA!! And it will be compounded by the fact that your wife is so short (if you don't have help). Get both, but start with the hard top if you don't have the luxury of a dual top group
07-08-2013 09:21 PM
jkjeeper06 My girlfriend is 5'4" so she is a little taller and has a small frame. She can't do my freedom panels. If she climbs in the jeep it is very easy for her to work the soft top. I may vote for the soft top if you want it to be easier for her

BUT since you're in New Hampshire I'd definitely get a hard top on the jeep and buy a used soft top. You can usually get them for $500 or so and the hard top is extremely nice in the winter with snow and for skiing
07-08-2013 05:18 PM
legitposter My wife is small but is quick with the freedom panels... And that's while keeping a spyderwebshade on. It takes her probably 90 seconds for removal and maybe 180 seconds for reinstall.

That time doesn't include storage time because we just throw them in the garage. If you require actually putting them in the storage bag and then into the trunk then double that time, or even triple. The storage bag is a b*tch!

You just have to get used to the process.
07-08-2013 05:10 PM
2resa I'd go with the hard top from the start and then troll the forums or craigslist for a used soft top. I think you'll find a better deal on a used soft top compared to someone selling their hard top. I'm 5'4 and I can get the panels off by myself in the rare occasion I have the hard top on. Soft top is much easier to get up and down but I have to stand in the back seat.
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