Hard top vs. Soft top

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Steelers1407

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Aug 7, 2009
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59
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Ohio
  I am not full time yet but I am three years from retirement at which time I will start fulltiming. I have a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and I have almost completed the necessary mods to be able to do all of the off-roading I want during fulltiming.
  I have noticed that when watching YouTube videos of the different off-roading going on out west, I notice that most people off road with hard tops vs. soft tops. Is there a reason for this? Once I started fulltiming, I was going to put the hard top in storage. Am I missing some needed information?  TIA
 

OutdoorFT

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Mar 20, 2015
Posts
398
Location
Syracuse, NY
Im not an expert but my first thought is being jeeps are known for crazy rock crawling..perhaps safety feature? I could and probably am wrong.

Jealous of you Jeep owners, though :D
 

Ernie n Tara

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May 16, 2009
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4,239
Location
Ft Myers, FL
I can't speak for others but we have the hard top for comfort. It's often hot on the trail so ac is more effective. Also the Jeep gets used day to day and most people find convertibles to be noisy, breezy, and generally unsuited for everyday use. Full disclosure; neither my Rubicon or my 2006 TJ has ever had to top off.

Ernie
 

azwinne

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Oct 1, 2015
Posts
139
Location
AZ
Mainly the noise and air conditioning but also less dust with hard top (because of a/c) but remember too less chance of breakins with hard top.  Had toyota FJ 40s in past with both tops and more recently Jeeps, TJ and now JKU.
 

Steelers1407

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Aug 7, 2009
Posts
59
Location
Ohio
Currently I use both. I use the soft top in the summer and the hard top in the winter. Each has its advantages as described by others. I just prefer the option of dropping the top when the weather allows. Just curious, do any of you use the sunshade Bikini tops?
 

Floridafran

Active member
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Posts
34
It my daily driver, so hard top, for all the reasons mentioned.  Plus many of the places we go are so dusty, we can't even have the windows down, much less the top open. 

To answer about the sunshade Bikini tops - no, I don't so I can't comment about them.

But I do love my Wrangler.
 

Groo

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Aug 6, 2022
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89
Location
UP of MI
Hard tops are slightly lower profile, the glass stays clear for visibility vs going opaque with age, and won't get ripped by sticks. HVAC systems shod easily handle a soft top.
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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9,479
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Westminster, Colorado
Note that this is a four year old post, and several of the posters haven't been back for a year or more, one is even no longer a member here.

The point of glass vs plastic is well taken, however.
 

Old_Crow

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Nov 20, 2016
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3,611
Location
Tom's Place, California
Hard tops are slightly lower profile, the glass stays clear for visibility vs going opaque with age, and won't get ripped by sticks. HVAC systems shod easily handle a soft top.
Note my reply above about the hard top. I have since switched to the frameless soft top and love it.
Yes, it's a bit noisier on the freeway, but I have no one to talk to except the dog anymore, so , no biggie.
A/C works seems to work about the same to me.
The windows come out and it makes into what they call a "safari top", which is a bikini top that also covers the back seat.
Also has the "sunrider" feature where the top above the front seats opens like a sunroof.
 

ButchW

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Apr 14, 2021
Posts
165
Location
La Mirada, CA
Not a jeep... But I have a Suzuki Samurai hard top (tin-top) as a toad... I wanted it for security (Less likely to get broke into), as well as the above mentioned, dust, heat, wind... I do a lot of winter desert camping, and the dust can get pretty bad, and the nights pretty cold... I'm much warmer, and cleaner then all of my friends with UTVs... Sadly no AC in my old Samurai though...
Butch
 

Reinigm

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Joined
May 12, 2021
Posts
301
Location
Westminster, CA
I had a soft top on one of mine and used it to explore the desert. The problem with the soft top is dirt. I had to spend time cleaning the Jeep out every time I took it out. It would get really dusty inside. With the hardtop you usually don't get that.
 

SargeW

Site Team
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Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,359
Location
Where ever we park it!
I have both now. I use both on the trail, but the hard top is a daily driver. Even my soft top has hard doors and AC. Too hot in the desert even when it's not summer. And the dust is killer if you are following another vehicle like a Razor.
 
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