Jeep Wranglers are known for incredible versatility and off-roading capability and Jeep owners are known for wanting the best of the best for their Jeeps. But when it comes to the top of your Jeep, is a soft top or hard top a better investment? Which top will suit you and your Jeep’s needs the best? Here’s everything you need to know about hard and soft tops, to help you enjoy the most out of your Jeep.
The benefits and drawbacks to a Jeep Wrangler soft top
The first and possibly biggest benefit to a Jeep soft top is its versatility. According to Morris 4×4 Center, there is a wide variety of soft top types, including “full tops, half tops, flip tops, and a wide variety of combinations.” You can find soft tops in almost any design and style, made of a variety of materials. This versatility offers personalization to your style and lifestyle, but also to your budget.
Because soft tops are available in a variety of design options and materials, you can also find versatility in a soft top’s cost. Soft tops are almost-always the cheapest route, often costing a small percentage of the cost of a hard top. A soft-top also helps you feel closer to the outdoors, as it is easy to adjust or remove to get more air and enjoy the scenery.
However, soft tops on your Wrangler tend to be less dependable than hardtops because obviously, the material used to make it will not last as long. Not only will you need to replace soft tops more often, but soft tops may also be more likely to get damaged easily. According to 4WD.com, soft tops are also not ideal in certain weather conditions and temperatures.
The benefits and drawbacks to a hard top
Due to its build, a hard top obviously offers your Wrangler better protection in the elements like rain, sun, cold, snow, or even flying debris off-roading. Hard tops are also better at decreasing noise within the cabin, as well as the presence of noxious fumes.
A hard top’s durability can also offer better protection in the event of a crash or collision. This durability and security can also offer better security when it comes to break-ins and thievery. A solid, hardtop, after all, is harder to break into than a soft top.
You won’t have to replace a hard top on your Jeep as often as a soft top, as they are often made of more durable materials. In fact, some owners can keep the same Jeep hard top for the length of the vehicle’s lifetime. And hard tops can often come with added function, like attached racks for bikes or tents.
But hard tops are the most costly type of Wrangler tops and may not fit into every Jeep owners budget. Depending on type, hard types can be very expensive. And because of their durability, hard tops are not easily removed for enjoying the open-air on an adventure. According to CJ Pony Parts, “you will need someone to help you remove the hard top as it is at least a two-person job.”
Wrangler soft top or hard top: which is best?
Both soft and hard tops come with their own advantages and disadvantages, so what’s best for your Jeep Wrangler may depend on your wants and needs. If budget is a concern, soft tops are the way to go, but if durability is your main focus, you’ll want a hard top.
Off-roading adventurers may prefer soft tops because of the easy removal and open-air access. According to the Survival Tech Shop, many Jeep owners invest in both soft and hard top options, “using a soft top in the summer and a hard top in the winter. Then you can swap them for whatever the weather and situation calls for.”