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Old 06-12-2019, 10:27 AM
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Soft Top vs Hardtop Seasons?

So I am still getting used to my new to me 2010 JKU, we live in Austin, TX so it is pretty damn hot right now and going to get worse as the summer continues. My question is, is now not the best time to put the soft top on, or is it a good time so that we can open the top when we'd like? No sure if the soft top is better for spring, and the hard top for summer and winter? Me personally I don't mind the sun am dying to go around with the top down. We have one of those sun shade nets across the top anyhow, but not sure if my kids and wife are going to be down with an overly hot experience even with the soft top and AC. Also, not sure I want to go through the hassle of removing the hard top frequently, although I am working on a DIY lift for the garage once I made room. This is still all new to me. Thoughts?

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:39 AM   #2
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Entirely up to the driver. Everyone tolerates/enjoys the sun differently.

Personally I have no use for a hard top.

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Old 06-12-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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I live in Florida and I usually put my hard top on July - October. It is my daily driver and it is just to hot for my daily commute to work. The winters here is not bad so I can enjoy the soft top more when it is cooler. Every one has their own heat threshold.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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Im in houston, and I can tell you that the soft top at least the black twill gets really hot!.

I have the best top sunrider which is basically a soft top just the freedom panel area, last summer I had the freedom panels with the Mopar headliner, and you could barely feel any heat radiation, back in January I installed my sunrider and while it is awesome and convenient to have the best of both worlds I can tell you that as temperatures keep going up the sunrider may get back to storage till mid October.

You can feel the heat radiating above your head coming from that soft top and mine is the premium material, I cannot imagine how it will fell with the vinyl type or in a JL that have less head room than Jk's
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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My soft top is on year round, don't care how cold or hot it is.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:15 PM
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Thanks all for the comments, good info.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TerryC6 View Post
My soft top is on year round, don't care how cold or hot it is.
^^this for me too.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
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My soft top is on year round, don't care how cold or hot it is.
I agree. If I had one top it would be a soft top. I have both hard and soft. So the hard top goes on around Nov/Dec if the weather is still mild here in Ohio. Guess it depends. The soft top is on from spring until then. Love the soft top. Itís so much easier to remove and go topless. It may be a little warmer in the summer but the AC works great.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:16 AM   #9
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The soft tops will go up, windows on, and doors on this weekend as the daily temps are now over 105. (Jeep said it was 118 going to the meet & greet tonight but we all know jeeps lie) The soft tops come down in October when we cool off into the low 100's. Hers has tinted windows on a Premium, mine has clear windows on a standard top. Both jeeps have spiderweb shades that we leave on under the tops because it stops the re-radiation of heat from the top. Both jeeps have no problem becoming too cold, even when temps approach 120. We sold one hard top and the other one hangs in the garage year round. We only keep the hard top in case we ever make a cross county trip again.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:03 AM   #10
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Soft top year-round. Itís been 100 degrees and itís been 15, the Jeepís AC and heater do a great job of keeping me comfortable.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:03 AM   #11
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I have had Jeeps since the mid '70's, and never had a hardtop.
On my '12 sport, I use a Bestop Trektop NX, and love it.
This past winter, my wife wanted to try a hardtop, so I picked one up and installed it.
After my first upstate NY winter with it(and probably last), the only thing I noticed was it was a bit quieter.
The Trektop NX is not very noisy, probably because of how tight they fit.
I took the freedom panels out once, and it was ok, but there is nothing like a soft top, for me anyway.
The hard top was ok, but I like the soft top much better.
With that said, I have never had to deal with summer heat like you folks have out there
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #12
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I've got a 2002 Wrangler that came with a hard top. Nevertheless, I bought a Bestop Trektop and put it on, storing the hardtop in case I wanted to switch back. I'm coming on to a year with the soft top in place and now plan to sell the hard top because except for a little more noise, I see no difference between the two. The side panels can be removed on extra nice days and the top can be used as a bikini. Or, if bad weather is imminent I can put the sides back on and run the air conditioner or heater. IMHO the soft top provides flexibility the hard to doens't
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:31 PM   #13
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Until I started offroading, I didn't even own a soft top. Started offroading last year. Bought a soft top off craigslist early this spring. I'll keep the soft top on until winter, then put the hard top back on.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:17 AM   #14
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I live in Florida and I usually put my hard top on July - October. It is my daily driver and it is just to hot for my daily commute to work. The winters here is not bad so I can enjoy the soft top more when it is cooler. Every one has their own heat threshold.
I am the same as you. Plus I need to HT on to carry my paddle boards,
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:45 PM   #15
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We are in Kansas...
We installed a Spice Brown soft top on our
'new to us' 2000 tj Sport.
We will purchase a hard top for winter use
in a couple months.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 40Garodge View Post
I've got a 2002 Wrangler that came with a hard top. Nevertheless, I bought a Bestop Trektop and put it on, storing the hardtop in case I wanted to switch back. I'm coming on to a year with the soft top in place and now [B]plan to sell the hard top [/B]because except for a little more noise, I see no difference between the two. The side panels can be removed on extra nice days and the top can be used as a bikini. Or, if bad weather is imminent I can put the sides back on and run the air conditioner or heater. IMHO the soft top provides flexibility the hard to doens't

We are near K.C. ...if you decide to sell your hardtop, let us know. I doubt we will want to make it through 0 degree winter weather with the soft top.
We are OLD !!
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:18 PM   #17
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hard top vs. soft top

I'm in the midwest.........hard top ALL the time even though the car came with a new soft top. Too much work to be changing back and forth. I prefer the better weather protection and noise reduction of the hard top. I have no use whatsoever for a flimsy soft top.

Dennis S.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:30 AM   #18
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I'm in the midwest.........hard top ALL the time even though the car came with a new soft top. Too much work to be changing back and forth. I prefer the better weather protection and noise reduction of the hard top. I have no use whatsoever for a flimsy soft top.

Dennis S.

understood ! We may feel the same way when we get the hard top...however, we drove the tj back from Albuquerque with the new soft top on it and were pleasantly surprised at the lack of wind noise, etc. We look forward to doing the mountains in CO this summer with soft top opened up. We have done so on motorcycles for years...

This is a new adventure...looking forward to exploring in a new way !
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:17 PM   #19
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If it weren't such a royal hassle to change tops, I probably would. However, I bought my Jeep as a winter weather vehicle because in my Cadillac (now replaced by a Prius), I couldn't get out of my driveway when it snowed--it's a rural address and the drive drifts over. So, believe it or not, the end result is that I drive the Jeep less than 1,000/year! I'm too used to a/c, power windows, and cruise control, none of which the Jeep has. It's a '97 with only 80K miles, so previous owners haven't used it as a daily driver either. Other than winter weather, I drive it around town every three or four weeks just to be sure it's running okay. It's reached the age where things are wearing out from age, not from use. I'm not one to work on my car myself. I had it in the shop to have five things repaired, and by the time I got home, three more (unrelated) things had gone wonky.
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[QUOTE=rdvkb;34386175]understood ! We may feel the same way when we get the hard top...however, we drove the tj back from Albuquerque with the new soft top on it and were pleasantly surprised at the lack of wind noise, etc. ]
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:22 PM   #20
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I live in PNW, Washington to be exact and we basically have constant rain all but 2-3 months out of the year. Generally it's nice and sunny July 5/7th thru mid September. I have roof rack on my Jeep for my rocketbox in the winter which makes getting the hard top off a bit of an ordeal so I bought soft top two summers ago so I could go topless with ease in summer. I usually take the hard top off sometime around mid to late June, put it back on in mid September. We've had a prettty dry June so I took it off last weekend and it's been pretty much raining every day since. Go figure!
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:01 PM   #21
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In NC we have soft top season and no top season.

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