Best Jeep Soft Tops: Enjoy the Fresh Air in Style
Enjoy the fresh air with ease and comfort with these stylish Jeep soft tops
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PUBLISHED ON September 11, 2019
Cruising around in a Jeep is a pretty great experience. You can go nearly anywhere and conquer almost anything. A jeep’s versatility makes it efficient, fun, and stylish, especially when it comes to choosing a new Jeep soft top. They come in a wide variety of shapes and are simple to remove if you want to enjoy a day beneath the sun or stars. Here are a few high-quality Jeep soft tops to consider if you’re looking to upgrade.
- Best OverallBestop Black Diamond Trektop NX Glide Convertible Soft TopSummarySummaryThis black diamond fabric is durable, thick, and holds tight, which prevents it from blowing around. The vinyl windows come with a 40-mil tint with full-perimeter, heat-sealing capabilities.ProsProsThe side windows are zipperless, and you can slide them off by hand. It also has a flip-back roof panel. Plus, it comes with easy-to-reach storage shelves to store phones and more.ConsConsIt may take a few hours to properly install, and air may catch in the top and cause a loud noise when driving with it folded down. The top also comes with a frame that may block off certain areas of the Jeep.
- Best ValueSmittybilt Black Diamond OE Style Replacement TopSummarySummaryThis factory replacement Jeep soft top comes with heat-sealed windows and wick stop threads that seal stitch holes to prevent air from seeping through the fabric.ProsProsIt comes with 30-mil DOT 31-percent tinted windows, and the fabric is a strong 135-gauge thread that resists mold, mildew, and tears.ConsConsIt may not hold up to a large amount of rain, and water may leak inside if there is a torrential downpour. It is also not the quietest Wrangler soft top when driven at high speeds.
- Honorable MentionPavement Ends Black Diamond Replay Replacement Soft TopSummarySummaryThis top is made from fade-resistant fabric for a long-lasting time out in the sun. It easily fits on any Jeep with an existing frame, and the material is tough and durable.ProsProsThe removable rear windows are DOT-approved 31-percent tinted for a stylish design. They also come with heavy-duty and jam-resistant side zippers.ConsConsThe top can be noisy at high speeds, and it may also be a hassle to install because it is very tight. You may need to stretch it out before installing it.
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Benefits of Jeep Soft Tops
- Protect the Jeep’s interior. One of the main purposes of a Jeep soft top kit is to protect the contents inside of the vehicle. They act as a barrier against the elements to keep rain from falling inside the Jeep and potentially ruining components. They also protect things such as the dashboard, plastic, wood, metal, or vinyl material from being damaged by the sun’s UV rays.
- Add some style. Jeep soft tops are a great way to make your vehicle stand out from the rest. They come in several shades and styles to suit your needs so you can match the fabric to the look of your Jeep.
- Deter thieves. The best soft tops can keep thieves from breaking inside. You can easily lock the zippers to prevent the windows from being unzipped. A soft-top can also take some time to remove, especially if someone doesn’t know how to operate it. This can make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to the inside of your Jeep, plus it makes it obvious if someone is trying to break in.
Types of Jeep Soft Tops
Framed Jeep soft tops come with a frame that attaches to the top arch bar of the vehicle to support the weight of the material. The frame can be a sturdy aluminum or come in a durable metal form. They will generally be more expensive and heavier, and they tend to take up more space due to the many crossbars crisscrossing through the Jeep.
A frameless Jeep soft top is basically what it sounds like: one that does not include a type of frame as support. These will come with a set of rails to connect to the Jeep’s roll cage that holds the fabric in place. While they tend to be on the flimsy side they do leave more room in the Jeep.
Founded in 1956 by Basil Smith out of a garage in Compton, Calif., the company designs equipment for Jeeps. Products it specializes in are aftermarket winches, seat covers, lighting, and tops. One of its soft tops is the Smittybilt Black Diamond OE Style Replacement Top.
Created by Tom Bradley in Boulder, Colo.,in 1954, Bestop is known for making quality Jeep tops. Now located in Louisville, Colo., the company creates soft tops for Jeep Wranglers and CJ models. Two soft tops the company designs are the Bestop Black Diamond Trektop NX Glide Convertible Soft Top and the Bestop Black Diamond Supertop NX Complete Replacement Soft Top.
Jeep Soft Top Pricing
- Under $300: You can get a basic wrangler soft top in this price range. It will generally be what is called a replacement soft top, and it won’t come with a frame. It also will not be as durable or come with a lot of extra functions, such as the ability to become a safari bikini top.
- Over $300: Here is where you will find full-framed soft tops built with stronger and thicker fabric to withstand tears and rips. They will generally come with more features that make them easier to remove. These range from easier-to-access zippers or windows that slide out without the use of zippers.
You want to be sure you buy a quality Jeep Wrangler top that is durable and will last several years. This is particularly relevant if you do a lot of off-roading or highway driving. It’s never good for an item to fail on you out in the wilderness. To ensure you get the best-rated soft top, look for reputable brands, excellent craftsmanship, and thicker fabric. The material can range from black twill fabric and black diamond to denim and sailcloth.
Not all Wrangler soft tops may fit your specific Jeep model. Check your vehicle’s make and model to determine if the soft top is designed to fit properly on it. You should also take into account how many doors your Jeep has and compare it with the soft top you are considering.
Removing the Jeep soft top should not be a hassle or take up a lot of time. You should be able to find one that can be removed in a matter of minutes. This is especially useful for drivers who live in rainy regions or environments where the weather can shift at a moment's notice. You want to be able to easily access the parts and equipment to remove and assemble the top.
- Climate: While you can drive in the winter with a soft top, it can be rather chilly if everything isn’t zipped tightly closed. It may be best to make sure the Jeep is well insulated if you plan on driving when it is cold out.
- Life Span: It’s essential that you get a Jeep soft top that will last you through several excursions. The moment you begin to see wear and tear in the fabric, it may be time to upgrade to something newer or get a replacement top.
- Style: This all depends on your personal choice, but if you value the look and feel of your Jeep, then you should match the soft top with the style of your Jeep. This can be as easy as matching the colors or using the same brand as you do with other parts of your vehicle.
- Storability: If you have a hardtop or don’t want to drive the Jeep with all of the windows stored inside the vehicle, you will need a place to store the top. It is capable of being packed away in a small space, but you need to ensure the place is breathable so the fabric doesn’t get stiff or shrink.
Best Jeep Soft Top Reviews & Recommendations 2019
If you want a complete soft top with a lot of extra additions, this Bestop is designed with convenience in mind. The kit includes the soft top fabric, window panels, and the factory bow for fast installation. One of the most unique and best features about this top is its zipperless functionality. You can slide off all of the windows by hand without having to struggle with zippers or risk breaking them off. This makes it quick and efficient to get the top off and on.
The black diamond fabric is durable, thick, and holds tight to the Jeep to prevent it from blowing around in the wind. Every window comes with a 40-mil tint with full-perimeter, heat-sealing capabilities to keep you cool in the summer. As an extra bonus, if you want that open-air driving experience, you can flip back one roof panel to make a sunroof without taking the whole thing off. Plus, the top comes with easy-to-reach storage shelves to store phones and other items.
Unfortunately, it may take as many as four hours to properly install it for the first time. Another downside is when it is folded down, air may catch in the top and cause a loud noise when driving. The top also comes with a frame that may block off certain areas of the Jeep and make things more difficult when entering or exiting. Also, it sticks up a bit from the back and is not flush with the rear door when it’s folded down.
This replacement Jeep soft top comes with heat-sealed seams to prevent leaking of cold air from the inside and hot air from the outside. It also comes with wick stop threads that seal stitch holes to prevent air from seeping through the fabric. The top is a 23-ounce, multilayer press textured marine-grade fabric that makes it durable, thick, and strong.
The windows are made up of a 30-mil DOT 31-percent tinted glass to cut down on the amount of sunlight that breaks through. You can access, remove, and attach the windows by using the built-in nylon zippers. That mixed with the strong 135-gauge thread makes this top resistant to mold, mildew, and tears.
While it is a sturdy soft top, it may not hold up to a large amount of rain, and water may leak inside if there is a torrential downpour. It is also not the quietest Wrangler soft top when you drive at high speeds. The material will blow around, making a bit of noise, while the zippers can also rattle around.
Honorable Mention: Pavement Ends Black Diamond Replay Replacement Soft Top
As another replacement soft top, this one is made from fade-resistant fabric for a long-lasting time in the sun. It easily fits on any Jeep with an existing frame, and the material is tough and durable enough to withstand scratches and tears. The 23-ounce vinyl is made of coated polyester marine-grade cotton that is both mold and mildew resistant.
The removable windows are DOT-approved 31-percent tinted for a stylish design. They are also heat sealed to protect against the summer’s grueling heat or the winter’s harshest bite. One of the features we found incredibly useful is the heavy-duty, jam-resistant side zippers. This makes it easier to hold and zip or unzip.
One thing to consider with this top is the amount of noise it may make on your drive. However, you will struggle to find any type or brand of soft top that doesn’t produce a lot of noise. This one may also be a hassle to install because it is tight. You may need to stretch it out before installing it.
- To ensure your top fits properly, set it out for a few hours in the weather you will be installing it in. This will allow it to stretch and conform naturally so you don’t struggle to loosen it yourself.
- To ensure a comfortable and secure fit to your Jeep and to prevent it from tearing, find a soft top that fits snuggly. When in doubt, you can consult with the manufacturer to see if they have a sizing chart.
- Keep in mind the type of conditions you will be driving in. Use a more durable one if you plan on hitting off-road trails, or you may want one with easy-to-remove windows if you drive a lot during the summer.
Q: How do I find out if a soft top fits my Jeep?
A: This depends on the make and model of your vehicle. You will need to check with the manufacturer to make sure the top you are looking at will fit your Jeep. The majority of tops are only designed to fit on Jeeps made between certain years. There are several Jeeps such as the older YJ, CJ, and TJ models, as well as newer models like the Jeep JK, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and Rubicon or Wrangler JK.
Q: How do I wash a Jeep soft top?
A: Washing soft top fabric is as easy as cleaning a car. Start by rinsing it with warm water or using a wet towel mixed with soap. Be careful if you use a brush on the material because if you use to much force, it can damage the fabric. Consult the manufacturer for the best way to properly clean your soft top so you don't ruin it.
Q: Can I attach a hardtop with a soft top on?
A: No, you will not be able to put on a hardtop with a soft top attached. You should completely remove the soft top before installing the hardtop to ensure you don’t break or damage any components.
For a durable and versatile Jeep Wrangler soft top, check out the Bestop Black Diamond Trektop NX Glide Convertible Soft Top.
However, if you are looking to save some cash, consider the easy-to-install and stylish Smittybilt Black Diamond OE Style Replacement Top.