TJ Fest 2021
Join us in Moab, Utah from 4/24/2021 to 5/1/2021 for the first annual TJ Fest 2021. Click here for more information.

Soft top or hard top?


teagan_tj

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
31
Location
roseville
hey everybody its time for me to get a new top for my jeep i currently have a soft top but i need to get a new one. I cant decide should i get a soft or a hard top? feel free to leave links to tops you recommend.
 

tworley

Bent Currie Club
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
4,579
Location
Morrison, CO
Stick with a soft top. Easier to remove, store, and IMO just as quiet (or loud?) as a hardtop. Bestop is the go-to brand and OE manufacturer.
 

DaveC

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
270
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
I originally wanted a hard top; my TJ only came with a soft top. Figured I'd give it a year before pulling the trigger on a hard top and now I don't think I ever will. I can run with the top up/enclosed, top down, top up with windows out or any combination with the sunroof flipped back (I have a Bestop Supertop NX). I've figured out a pretty simple system to load and organize my hunting gear in the back without having to unzip the rear window, so not having a flip-up hatch like a hard top has become a non-issue.

I didn't expect the TJ to be as quiet as our DD vehicles (2005 GMC Sierra and 2015 Nissan Altima), but it's not that bad either. At freeway speeds, I can still have a conversation with the passenger or hear the stereo just fine. At less than freeway speed, it's really hardly noticeable. I have one buddy with a YJ with a hard top, and it's noisier than my TJ with soft top. Another buddy has a 2019 JL with hard top, and I was shocked at how noisy it is (louder than my TJ).

For me, the benefits of the hard top (slightly better insulation in the summer months and minimally additional ease of cargo access) aren't enough to outweigh the inconvenience of taking it on/off and storing it when off.

If you do decide to go with soft top, go with a Bestop, as the quality of the top will be a big factor in whether or not it lives up to expectations
 

Cedar128

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
44
Location
New Jersey
hey everybody its time for me to get a new top for my jeep i currently have a soft top but i need to get a new one. I cant decide should i get a soft or a hard top? feel free to leave links to tops you recommend.
For only one top go with a soft top or you'll regret it when you see everyone else riding around with their tops down.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Web98
OP
T

teagan_tj

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
31
Location
roseville
I originally wanted a hard top; my TJ only came with a soft top. Figured I'd give it a year before pulling the trigger on a hard top and now I don't think I ever will. I can run with the top up/enclosed, top down, top up with windows out or any combination with the sunroof flipped back (I have a Bestop Supertop NX). I've figured out a pretty simple system to load and organize my hunting gear in the back without having to unzip the rear window, so not having a flip-up hatch like a hard top has become a non-issue.

I didn't expect the TJ to be as quiet as our DD vehicles (2005 GMC Sierra and 2015 Nissan Altima), but it's not that bad either. At freeway speeds, I can still have a conversation with the passenger or hear the stereo just fine. At less than freeway speed, it's really hardly noticeable. I have one buddy with a YJ with a hard top, and it's noisier than my TJ with soft top. Another buddy has a 2019 JL with hard top, and I was shocked at how noisy it is (louder than my TJ).

For me, the benefits of the hard top (slightly better insulation in the summer months and minimally additional ease of cargo access) aren't enough to outweigh the inconvenience of taking it on/off and storing it when off.

If you do decide to go with soft top, go with a Bestop, as the quality of the top will be a big factor in whether or not it lives up to expectations
thank you so much for the in debth cause i was thinking about noise and space for my fishing/ hunting gear also i will 100% be checking out the best top!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaveC

Goatman

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
4,029
Location
Upstate NY
I'll try and muck up the thread. Depending on where you live, having windows you can see out of, and able to scrape down and frost off would be my main concern. And I think everyone here knows at least one person who got robbed when some asshole cut through the fabric to get in to the Jeep.
I've never had a soft top that actually kept all the rain outside the Jeep. Half doors that bend open a bit on the highway. Roof fabric stretched low with an iceberg on top. And the possibility of ripping as you try and remove that 25 lb ice block.
If you live in the south or west security is still an issue. I know people that got looted in their own driveway as they slept. Wake up and find a big slash in the soft top. Or at the mall, or work.
If none of these are a concern to you then go for the soft top. Best is to have both. You can always remove the rear glass of the hardtop in the summer if you are happy with a targa top.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 04solartj

Apparition

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
3,551
Location
Twin Cities, MN
yall have convinced me soft top it is!!
Since you live in Minnesota where it’s 9 months of winter I’d consider a hard top if you drive it year round.

If it’s not your primary vehicle then get a soft top.

Ideally get both at some point.
 

glowell222

Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
99
Location
Northern VA
Well, I have and recommend both.

My soft top is a Quadratop from Quadratec that works with the original frame hardware. it's definitely not high quality, but it was certainly cost effective and keeps the rain out and the a/c in, when necessary. I also have quick disconnects for the frame bows so I can remove it quickly.

The hardtop goes on in November, and it is much warmer and quieter than the soft top despite what others may say, plus I like the rear window defogger and rear window wiper/washer for those nasty days after snow. I built a storage dolly out of some extra 3/4" plywood, extra 2x6, and some casters, two of which lock. I line it with a Phineas and Ferb blanket that usually sits in my cold weather kit. This allows the top to be stored in a vertical position, and it takes up the space of a very small couch-I still have plenty of room to park the Jeep in the garage in the same bay.

I have a remove-a-top hoist system that I bought from Quadratec a long time ago (before the JL was released), and that allows me to single-hand the top removal.

The soft top goes on in spring, dependent on how the weather of that particular spring turns out.
 
Last edited:

WallyWest

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
457
Location
PA
I've heard the twill soft top from Bestop is actually quieter than the hard top. And very durable. But also expensive.

Don't have one myself, that's just what I've heard.
 

Steel City 06

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,809
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I've heard the twill soft top from Bestop is actually quieter than the hard top. And very durable. But also expensive.

Don't have one myself, that's just what I've heard.
For me it was. Once I fully insulated the hardtop, then the hardtop was quieter. But uninsulated, the Twill was quieter.
 

Starrs

TJ Expert
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
5,770
Location
Indiana, United States
Do you have somebody that is dedicated to help you remove the hardtop every time you want it off? I see no reason to own a hardtop anymore after all the jeeps I’ve had. Bestop Black twill would be the only top I would own for a tj. If you have to be worried about somebody slashing your top to rob you I would think they could also break glass to get into your jeep if you ran a hardtop. You cant worry about what if’s. Soft top is an all season top and a 1 man operation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cedar128

Apparition

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
3,551
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Do you have somebody that is dedicated to help you remove the hardtop every time you want it off? I see no reason to own a hardtop anymore after all the jeeps I’ve had. Bestop Black twill would be the only top I would own for a tj. If you have to be worried about somebody slashing your top to rob you I would think they could also break glass to get into your jeep if you ran a hardtop. You cant worry about what if’s. Soft top is an all season top and a 1 man operation.
13DF0EC7-9916-42A3-AECE-C1337CA4C15C.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: InOmaha and J R

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
766
Location
Virginia
I was originally skeptical when I replaced a soft top recently with one of these.


However, after receiving and installing it, I'd do it again. As is always the case, do your homework before buying!
 

03sahara

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
67
Location
Québec
Like most people are saying it depends on your plans here in Canada I put my Jeep away in the winter so I like to put the hardtop when in storage. It’s also nice for the spring and fall when the temperature isn’t quite warm enough to put the top down. I also think the hardtop is quieter than my oem soft top but It’s old and I’m about to replace it.
 

InOmaha

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
646
Location
Omaha
My neighbor has a hard top lift in his garage. He can get his top off and stored away before I can get my windows unzipped. He can definitely put his back on faster. He has a soft top hanging along the wall he doesn't use.

I live in a generally safe area and park inside. So I don't worry too much about the soft top. I'd like a hard top, but LJ tops are few, far between, and expensive. I have other priorities.