View Full Version : Soft or Hard which do you prefer???

04-01-2011, 09:40 PM
Im in the early stages of a search for a new vehicle. Im leaning towards a Jeep Wrangler 4dr. Itll be my daily driver in a suburban area. Im trying to decide if I want a hard or soft top. This is Maryland, so we have a couple of good snow falls (6+ inches) during winter and a usually hot and humid summer.

Theres an option to get both; but I dont have a garage to store the hardtop in if I took it off, and Im positive if I take it off itll pour while Im out with nothing to use for cover.

So what do you suggest hard or soft top.

Any preferences on the different models of the Wranglers.

chad newton
04-01-2011, 09:42 PM
Get the hard top, you can always take it off and put a soft one on but you will still have the hard top.

04-01-2011, 09:48 PM
If you are only buying one, get the hard top. It's unbelievably expensive to buy the hardtop separately. I have both tops for my '01 and if I had it to do over again, I'd skip the soft top entirely because it is a huge pain in the ass. When I was still using it, I would only switch to the soft top every other year or so, because it took me that long to forget how much it sucks. Then, after a couple years of the hardtop only, the soft top would start to seem like a good idea again. I still have it hanging up in my garage but I doubt if I will ever install it again; at this point it is just a backup I can install quickly in case one or more of the hardtop windows get broken out and I can't get them replaced right away.

04-01-2011, 09:55 PM
I love my soft top but our winters are not that bad here, the Jeep is also no longer my DD. If it is a DD then a hard top is nice for a few reasons with a bikini top or soft top for summer when you just don't feel like topless Jeepin.

04-01-2011, 10:15 PM
Yeah, the hard top makes the most sense to me; but I keep thinking a Jeep "needs" a soft top. Any problems with leaking during rain. My biggest problem with the hard top is no place to store it if I would take it off.

Any thoughts about other options? If I go with the soft top, I was thinking about the "half doors" for a more traditional Jeep look. I dont want to just spend money but Im at that stage in my life where I want what I want---and I just dont know what I want....

I made the mistake of buying a aftermarket catalog for Wranglers and now Im reeeeely confused I want I want I want....

04-01-2011, 10:24 PM
We are looking at a newer 4 door ourselves for the XO as a new DD. She wants a hard top for security reasons. My soft top never did leak when it was an outside Jeep, it lives in the garage now though, it's a '94. If was me I'd find a way to store the hard top if you only have a very short summer. I have had a few Jeeps that never had a top on the whole time I owned them all cj5s.
You bought a Jeep catalog? www.4wd.com it's a free one and has loads of stuff, like the Sears Christmas ones when we were kids.

04-01-2011, 10:33 PM
I take the top off in May and keep it off till mid Oct. What is the point of a wrangler if you dont' have the doors and top off? I put a bikini cover on when teh main lid is off. It helps to have neoprene seat covers as some rain does get blown in. Last summer I put up on of those pop up lawn shade tents and parked under there in big rains. A $99 redneck garage.
2004 rubicon

04-01-2011, 10:36 PM
My top will be off no later than mid April and stays off till end of Oct. Before the kids I never thought about a 'kini top, I have one now but hardly use it. There is an emergency top that a few friends have that doesn't use the top bows, they all say it works great for those summer storms that pop up. Another option for over night is a trail cover. I had one but gave it away like a dunce.

04-01-2011, 11:12 PM
Soft top.

Hard tops are for wimps! :biglaugh: :wink:


04-01-2011, 11:19 PM
Soft top.

Hard tops are for wimps! :biglaugh: :wink:


OK well that settles it...

04-01-2011, 11:31 PM
OK well that settles it...Maybe living in a tropical country, has made me a little biased?

But then again, - the hard top allows air conditioning!

Give me a soft top please.

I have some great photos from an Amazon adventure in 1999.

Ten of us. (Ten jeeps.)

Only one jeep a soft top.
Guess who that jeep belonged to?

Yes........The 'sucker' on WT! :sad:


04-01-2011, 11:48 PM
Any problems with leaking during rain.

No problems with it leaking, just that raising and lowering it is a royal pain. It isn't like a regular convertible top; you have to remove the side and rear windows separately, and either leave them behind, or carry them with you. The windows are a pain to take in and out, and the zipper suck and get messed up. Forget about ever leaving anything in the Jeep unless you have special lock boxes installed, and locking your doors will just buy you slashed side windows. Maybe I was just spoiled by my MG's soft top, but that is a miracle of convenience in comparison, and anytime a feature on a modern vehicle is less convenient to use than the same feature on a 50 year old British car, then they are doing something wrong.

04-02-2011, 12:03 AM
OK so its the soft top and 3 or 4 Vickers K's (errrr RPKs) for the Popski's / LRDG look


Maybe this is a better option for the RPKs

04-02-2011, 06:41 AM
Soft top or no top without a doubt! Hard tops Jeeps are so, muscle car with auto transmission!

04-02-2011, 01:13 PM
Soft top or no top without a doubt! Hard tops Jeeps are so, muscle car with auto transmission!

Says the guy in Indiana. Here's a picture taken in front of my house in MAY a couple of years ago....


04-02-2011, 01:38 PM
I'd get the hard top. I had a CJ5 with a soft top. It was great in the summer when I could take it off. But then came winter and when I went to buckle it on the sides you would have needed a come along to pull it as much as it had to go to snap it in place. If you were it is warm all the time A soft top is great but if you have 4 seasons a hard top is the way to go

04-02-2011, 02:00 PM
My brother bought a 4 door Wrangler last year with the hard top and it is great. You could always buy one of those small plastic garden sheds to store it in if you can't do better. For that matter you could build a small plywood lean to probably even cheaper.

04-02-2011, 09:37 PM
Hardtop, snow can make the top supports collapse on soft toped jeeps.