If you’re looking for a way to make a worn-out Jeep look new, or give the gift of the open-air lifestyle for the first time, consider a new Jeep soft top. The Jeeper in your life may have a soft top already. But the faded fabric and scratched, cloudy windows really make the Jeep look lousy. Perhaps the Jeep came with a hard top only. A soft top makes it so easy to enjoy full-sun driving. The guide that follows will help you pick out a great Jeep soft top as a a gift.
Jeep Soft Top Overview
A soft top makes an excellent gift, so let’s get down to the details in picking the ideal Jeep soft top. Most importantly you need to know if the Jeep or it’s owner has a soft top currently. This may be obvious, as your Jeep pal may be running a soft top now, and it’s just ratty-looking. Look at the driver side soft window. If you see the chrysler “Pentastar” logo embossed in the clear vinyl, that is a factory soft top. If not you may see the logo of the manufacturer of that particular aftermarket top. Either way, that top can be re-skinned with new material and be good as new. The hardware needs to be in good working order for this scenario to work best.
If there’s a hard top on the Jeep, it’s owner may have stowed the soft top away because it was damaged, worn or both. Ask questions to find out if this is the case, and try and determine what may be wrong with it.
If you learn that it never had a soft top, then it didn’t come from Toledo with the hardware to facilitate some types of soft top.
Some essential items for installing soft tops on a Jeep that never had one.
- Door Surrounds – Makes a weather-tight seal around your Jeep’s doors
- Windshield Channel – This holds the fabric taught and seals it to the top of the windshield
- Tailgate Bar – Pull the rear window tight, and blocks rain from entering at the swing gate
If the Jeep never had a soft top, There are a couple of options available for gifting a Jeep soft top. Make sure to read all the way through to see which is right for your situation.
Jeep Currently Has Factory Soft Top
Good Hardware – Bestop Replace-a-Top™. Replace-a-top takes advantage of your still-good factory hardware, and gives you all new fabric and windows without having to replace your existing factory frames and hardware. It’s an economical way to make a soft top look brand new again.
Trashed Hardware – Bestop Trektop™ NX. Bestop manufactures the OEM Jeep tops for Fiat Chrysler, so it’s safe to say that no one does it better. The Trektop NX is available in the standard fabric or the premium Black Twill. The NX features a “fastback” angled rear window, comes with all the essentials listed above, and a lifetime warranty. Trektop NX from Bestop offers 3 versions, NX, NX Plus and NX Glide. The NX and NX Plus are similar in functionality, with the Plus model now offering zipperless rear windows for painless window removal and installation. The Plus also offers an improved In Seat Sunrider® to allow the driver to easily open the roof above the front seats.
The Glide goes a step farther, and opens completely like a traditional convertible vehicle, for the ultimate in open air driving. Oh, and did I mention that colors (other than black) are available now?
Jeep Currently Has Hardtop Only
Since there will be none of the soft top essentials present with “hard top only” Jeeps, the Jeep soft top suggestions would be the same as in the “Trashed Hardware” recommendations above. However, and this is a big however, you do have one unique option here. Jeep recently introduced the Sunrider for Hardtop, an all purpose, all year answer to your open air queries.
Sunrider for hardtop replaces the “Freedom Panels” on 2007-2018 JK wranglers. These are the forward-most roof panels, made to be removable for open air driving with a hardtopp. Freedom panes are clunky to remove and store. If you’re concerned about rain later in the day or on your road trip, you must stow them in the precious cargo area and loose valuable storage space. Sunrider for hardtop gives you the instant access to sun (or shelter) that makes owning a Jeep unique. Flip back for sun, pull forward and latch when bad wether comes.
None of the normal soft top essentials are needed with a Sunrider for Hardtop, making it possibly the best choice for Jeep soft top gift giving for the hard top only Jeeper.