The Best Jeep Soft Top (Review) in 2020

If your beloved Jeep is ready for a fresh new soft top, or you have yet to make the move...

Best Choice
Pavement Ends Jeep Soft Top
Pavement Ends Jeep Soft Top
Premium Pick
Bestop Supertop NX Jeep Soft Top
Bestop Supertop NX Jeep Soft Top
Best Value
Sierra Offroad Factory Style Jeep Soft Top
Sierra Offroad Factory Style Jeep Soft Top

If your beloved Jeep is ready for a fresh new soft top, or you have yet to make the move from the hard side, then now’s the time to take inspiration from this round up of the best Jeep soft tops currently on the market.

The popularity of the Jeep comes from its versatility and the fact that you can easily pop off its top when you fancy a sunny weather change. Putting a new soft top on your Jeep just adds to the joy of driving this absolute road trip classic. When the sun is shining and the beach or open road is calling, you can’t beat that Jeep soft top feeling with your tunes cranked up and the warm wind on your face. If your Jeep could do with a new soft hood, read on. We can help you find your new soft top fix.

The Best Jeep Soft Top

The Pavement Ends 51197-35 model is the perfect replacement for a 1997–2006 Jeep Wrangler’s faded and worn soft top and fits seamlessly on an existing Jeep Wrangler two-door soft top frame and hardware. Designed to fit easily over the existing factory frame, you get a super-durable soft top fabric hood, side and rear windows, and upper door skins. And for a soft top, the fabric is impressively durable, making it a great value when your Jeep needs an upgrade.

Mildew and UV resistant, the top is made from vinyl-coated, marine-grade cotton, and you get a choice of 18-percent tinted or clear panel windows, which are removable. For a slick fit, it is a good idea to let the canvas warm up for a few hours in the sun, but the extra effort it worth it. However, it doesn’t fit Unlimited models.

Key Features
  • Soft top replacement for Jeep Wrangler (1997-2006 models)
  • Requires an existing factory frame for fitting
  • Durable, marine grade fabric that’s UV resistant
  • Choice of tinted or clear windows
  • Comes with a one-year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 51197-35
  • Weight 20.4 pounds

Bestop has created a total package for the Jeep Wrangler (2007–2018 models) with this solid, quality-looking Jeep soft top that is a complete replacement set up. With the Supertop NX, they upped the specs, providing a lux look and performance, which makes it one of the most durable replacement soft tops available. It uses a triple-layer black twill fabric more often found on high-end sports cars, giving it a soft, wrinkle-resistant feel that also creates a solid barrier between you and the elements.

The cover fits snugly on the hardware frame, which is powder coated for corrosion and scratch resistance. Add in tinted removable side and rear windows, tough YKK plastic zippers, and quick-release knuckles as well as an adjustable tension base plate, and you have a superior replacement soft top that should last you some time, in style. Plus, there is a deal-sealing limited lifetime warranty.

Key Features
  • Triple-layer twill fabric and factory-style hardware
  • 40mm thick tinted vinyl windows
  • Long-lasting YKK scoop-counted zippers
  • Fold-back Sunrider sunroof feature for open air driving
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 54823-17
  • Weight 73.3 pounds

Smittybilt offers a super-tough replacement Jeep Wrangler soft top for a not-so-tough price tag, which makes maintaining your Jeep during the summer a breeze. The marine-grade, vinyl-coated fabric resists mildew, fading, and stretching, while the seams are heat sealed to prevent leaking. In a smart, stark black or a choice of four other cool colors, the Black Diamond will fit neatly over your existing factory frame, so there is no excuse to hit the road with a tatty or past its sell by date soft top.

Users also report it is very easy to install.  The windows are DOT approved, and if the temperature rises in the driver’s cabin, simply zip out the rear window for extra ventilation.

Key Features
  • Easy to fit replacement for your old soft top
  • Fits neatly over existing factory frame
  • Wear and tear resistant, marine-grade fabric
  • Heat sealed seams to prevent leakage
  • DOT-approved windows
Specification
  • Brand Smittybilt
  • Model 9970235
  • Weight 23.2 pounds

If a frameless replacement soft top is your preferred style, then check out the Trektop, which aims to take the easy styling of a frameless to the next level.

OK, it’s not cheap but for style, fit and function of a Jeep soft top that doesn’t need all the traditional hardware, the Trektop is a quality frameless Jeep Wrangler two door soft top. Quick to install thanks to its internal aluminum frame and durable sailcloth fabric, the Trektop will add some soft top sass to your beloved Jeep. It will fit factory full steel hard doors and includes top arch bar system, quick-release bow knuckles and factory-style polymer door surrounds. All the windows are removable, as is the sunrider-style foldback sunroof. Just let the fabric warm in the sun for a few hours, then you’ll be quickly set up and ready to hit the road.

Key Features
  • Frameless replacement soft top for 1997-2006 Wrangler
  • Premium UV-resistant sailcloth fabric
  • Internal aluminum top arch bar
  • Fold-back sunroof feature lets more light in
  • Compatible with factory full steel doors
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 56820-35
  • Weight 43.2 pounds

If you are looking for an affordable replacement soft top for your precious 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler, then check out the Bestop 51148-35 model. For less than $300, you can breathe new life into your tired soft top, without having to replace your existing factory frame.

Made from fade-resistant fabric that is durable for everyday use, this Jeep Wrangler two-door soft top model comes from the budget Pavement Ends range by Bestop who have not compromised on their design. It is easy to fit and looks good. The fabric is not quite as thick as Bestop’s premium range, but it is durable and will last well if you look after it. The DOT-approved removable side and rear windows are 31% tinted for a cool look and are heat sealed for extra protection from the elements. And the heavy-duty side zippers are jam resistant. This a great value replacement Jeep soft top for your older Wrangler that will look the part on the coastal road

Key Features
  • Fits with factory frame on 1997 – 2006 models
  • Durable, fade-resistant automotive-grade fabric
  • 31 percent tinted, removable vinyl windows
  • jam-resistant plastic teeth zippers
  • One-year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 51148-35
  • Weight 15.55 pounds

Moving away from the Wrangler for a moment, this replacement soft top from Rampage has been designed specifically to fit your 1995-1998 Suzuki Samurai, Sidekick, Vitara or Geo Tracker.

Lightweight and durable, the 99835R fits neatly over existing factory framework as a complete outer replacement to bring a jaded and faded soft top back to life. Fade-resistant and water resistant, the marine grade fabric can deal with the elements and the wick-stop thread seals will keep out the damp. Add in tinted and removable side and rear windows, and smooth ‘self-correcting’ zippers and your vintage Suzuki will be taking to the open road with a new spring in its soft top step. Easy to fit, easy to use and with a durable fabric that will last a long time, this is a great value hood that should fit your older model like a glove.

Key Features
  • Fits 1995-1998 Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/ Vitara/ Geo Tracker
  • Fade resistant marine grade fabric
  • wick-stop thread repel moisture
  • Includes self-correcting zippers and tinted windows
  • Comes with one-year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Rampage Products
  • Model 98835R
  • Weight 11 pounds

If the soft top on your 2003-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ has seen better days, then give it a new lease of life with this fantastic value Jeep soft top replacement from Sierra Offroad. It’s a straightforward replacement soft top that has been designed to precisely fit a TJ’s OEM frame. The result is a glove-like fit and a quality that looks more lux than the budget price tag.

You get a decent amount for your money too: marine-grade, two-ply waterproof fabric matched to the original soft top and available in either black or khaki; UV resistant thread; heavy-duty, self-correcting zippers; DOT-approved tinted windows; and door seals. The sailcloth fabric also provides a better acoustic experience by lowering noise on the highway. Choose this soft top replacement and not only your bank but your old TJ will thank you for it.

Key Features
  • Replacement tailored for 2002-6 Jeep Wrangler TJ
  • Premium marine grade, waterproof fabric
  • Cut from one bolt of material for consistent grain and color
  • Color coordinated UV resistant polyester thread
  • Heavy duty zippers for smooth operation
Specification
  • Brand Sierra Offroad
  • Model TJ 2003-2006
  • Weight 17 pounds

For proud owners of the classic 2007 – 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited soft top, then check out than this fitted Trektop NX from Bestop if your soft top needs replacing. The Unlimited is a special beast – shown by the fact that the other soft tops in this review can’t fit its four-door design. This easy-to-fit replacement soft top has been designed specifically with the four-door in mind and Bestop has made a really good job of it.

Using the latest frameless styling, this Jeep Wrangler four-door soft top fits neatly without the need for traditional bows or frames and gives an awesome fold-back sunroof for a total open-air driving experience. Add in removable windows, tough YKK zippers and UV-resistant sail cloth fabric that folds back like a dream. You can also go wild safari by removing the side panels for a safari bikini-style look. This is a premium Jeep soft top that offers premium style and flexibility for your money.

Key Features
  • Replacement soft top specifically for the Unlimited (2007-17)
  • Easy to install and use fit and styling
  • Durable, UV resistant sail cloth fabric
  • Removable windows and fold-back sunroof
  • 18% tinted DOT-approved 30 mil windows
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 56823-35
  • Weight 57 pounds

Now here is a real soft top good looker that will keep your 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler in summer head-turning mode.

A frameless model, the Sprint Top from Bestop’s affordable Pavement Ends range is quick to fit and will make your summer an absolute blast! Made from UV, mold, stain and fade-resistant fabric with heat-sealed seams to keep out the damp, there’s a lovely coast-road vibe to this Jeep Wrangler soft top replacement. DOT approved, removable windows with a cool 31% tint as well as removable side and rear curtains and a flip-top sun roof this is a soft top that has been designed to enjoy the weather and the open road. A retro vibe with modern build-quality, what’s not to like!

Key Features
  • Fits Wrangler Jeep 1997–2006 models
  • Frameless design with a great fit
  • Durable, resistant marine grade fabric
  • Features flip-back sunroof panel
  • 31% tinted, DOT approved windows
Specification
  • Brand Bestop
  • Model 5684035
  • Weight 43 pounds

If you are lucky enough to have a vintage Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2002) and want to give it a fresh look, add this quality replacement soft top from Sierra Offroad without making too much of a dent in your bank balance.

You can give your old TJ a soft top facelift with this cool-looking cover that comes in a vintage spice denim color. Created to mirror the original Jeep Wrangler soft top factory styling and fit, this is a replacement that is also designed to last. Made from a super-tough, waterproof and UV-resistant fabric, it also has self-correcting zippers, tinted windows, and door seals. All the fabric seals have also been heat treated to keep out dampness. So, if you want to stay true to the original styling of your old TJ but have the benefit of today’s factory tech, treat yourself and your Wrangler to this great value replacement soft top and enjoy the best of the summer.

Key Features
  • Designed for the Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2002)
  • Marine grade vinyl coated fabric
  • Self-correcting zippers for smooth operation
  • Color matched wick stop thread
  • Built to factory original quality specifications
Specification
  • Brand Sierra Offroad
  • Model 10-40-YJ28895-21
  • Weight 14 pounds
Best Jeep Soft Top Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Look for When Buying Jeep Soft Top

While a Jeep soft top is easier to install and remove than its hard top brother, you still need to consider what you need. When looking for a new or replacement soft top for your Jeep you will want to look out for:

  • Correct fit

If you’re replacing your Jeep’s existing soft top, you’ll need to ensure that the hardware for your new model is the right fit for your vehicle. This includes the framework, which may be different to your factory fitted soft top as well as any half doors and windows (both plastic roll up or glass sider). Also consider whether you want to go for a sturdier new framed soft top, a straightforward canopy replacement or a space-releasing frameless.

  • Build and price

Soft tops are by their fabric nature, less durable than a hard top so look for a quality build, particularly if you plan to put the soft top under heavy ‘road trip’ use or will be using it every day. The general rule of thumb when it comes to a Jeep soft top for sale is to buy the best you can afford, to get the best bang for your buck in terms of its overall lifespan.

  • Typical driving conditions

hmmm, a Jeep soft top in a blizzard, not a good look if we’re being honest. If you live somewhere where the climate is more on the cold side most of the year, a soft top may not be your permanent Jeep roof of choice and it may be wise to stick with a hard top. But if you do get a summer then swapping out to a soft top for a few months is totally do-able. If you have sunshine all year round, then go for the best Jeep soft top you can afford to get the best lifespan.

  • Features

As well as being a soft roof to let the sun and fresh air in, soft tops can also come with optional extras such as removeable windows, storage pockets and a choice of fabric skin colors. You can also consider a model which offers interchangeable materials, so your Jeep soft top can adapt to the road conditions and a changing summer climate.

  • Installation and removal

You don’t want your Jeep soft top to be a hassle as ideally you want to be able to pop it on and go. Look at how easy it is to install your new Jeep soft top and whether you can do it by yourself. Ease of installation – as well as how the soft top will stand up to repeated removal – is essential to picking the right soft top for your Jeep.

Yellow Jeep at the beach

Why You Should Use Jeep Soft Top

The best jeep soft top turns your vehicle into a much more versatile animal, especially if you keep a hard top on standby for the colder months. With a Jeep soft top, you can quickly pop down the hood when the weather is warm and can open up the back of your Jeep for easy to access cargo space for your barbecue, surf board and outdoor gear.

Types of Jeep Soft Tops

There are numerous design variations (windows or windowless for example) but there are basically two types of Jeep soft top – framed and frameless. A framed soft top has a full aluminum frame that attaches to the roll bar to act as a ‘skeleton’ support for the fabric soft top whereas a frameless version uses a series of rails that you connect to the Jeep’s roll cage to support the fabric across the top.

There are pros and cons to both styles, so it’s a personal choice. Framed soft tops are the sturdiest but their aluminum frame can limit the back space you have left. Frameless leaves more cargo space but they can be on the flimsy side when it comes to tough, prolonged use.

Hard Top vs. Soft Top

To go soft or hard, now that’s a question for all Jeep owners! It’s down to personal preference and driving conditions, but we’d say in an ideal world you can have both for when the weather changes for the better or worse. To help you make up your mind, we look at the pros and cons of the hard and soft:

  • Hard tops

Durability and insulation against bad weather as well as road noise, particularly when driving at higher speeds. Their stronger frame means they’ll last longer than a soft top and you can also add on a roof rack to stash even more of your gear. The downsides of a hard top are that they are heavy and bulky, meaning you need more than one person to remove and install one. They can also be more expensive to buy.

  • Soft tops

Lighter and less bulky, soft tops are less expensive and easier to install, usually needing only one person to do the job. They’re also foldable, meaning they are so much easier to store. And, on a hot summer’s day you can pop down that hood and feel the freedom of the open road, knowing you can quickly cover up if the rain clouds take over. But this flexibility means that soft tops are not as robust as a hard top so won’t have the same shelf life. They also don’t afford the same level of protection against the elements and the ride will be noisier.

How to Install Jeep Soft Top

If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, installing your new Jeep soft top should be a straightforward task, once you have removed your old hard or soft top, and can easily be a one-man job. You’ll need to set out the soft top material to align it if it is to fit on your existing frame or set up the top bars for a frameless style then secure it all in place. The side and rear windows will then need to be installed into their retainers and secured in place. You should then be good to go!

It’s a good idea to learn to do it yourself, so you know how to remove and replace if needed but if you are in any doubt, call in a professional.

Best Jeep Soft Top FAQ:

Q: How do I clean Jeep soft top?

A: Keeping your new Jeep soft top clean is a sure way to prolong its life. Your best bet is to hand clean the soft top yourself. All you need is a hand scrubbing brush (make sure the bristles are not too hard as they could scour the top’s soft fabric) to work out any stubborn dirt or stains, and a sponge or soft cloth. It’s ok to use water and a mild detergent on your soft top as this will really freshen it up but try to dry-brush grime and dirt off first. And make sure you rinse thoroughly with fresh water to prevent any ugly water marks on your hood.

Q: How do I fold down soft top?

A: First up, follow the user manual for your chosen soft top. But as a general rule of thumb there are several basic steps to folding down your soft top:

  1. Pull down the material on the top of the 4-Bow (the back fold of the canopy) to release the sail panel retainers
  2. Fold the sail panels and put them away
  3. Undo the hooks from the windshield frame
  4. Take hold of the hooks and the 2-Bow (second panel fold on the top of the canopy) and lift them back towards the rear of your Jeep
  5. Fold all the soft fabric back in a neat ‘W’ shape
  6. Undo the side bows then slide the top back to rest at the rear deck of the vehicle
  7. Fold all the material of the canopy neatly at the back of the Jeep and use the Velcro straps to fasten the folded soft top securely into place.

Voila! Your soft top is down and secured and you are ready to go.

American tuning off-road car

Q: How do I know which soft top will fit on my Jeep?

A: It really does depend on your Jeep’s make, model and year. When buying a new soft top work with the retailer to check that it will fit your particular model of Jeep. To ensure a totally accurate fit, you can always opt for a factory replacement top which is a like-for-like model for the soft or hard top you are replacing. Otherwise, make sure you have your Jeep’s essential details to hand when buying a new soft top so you can check it against the soft top’s full spec.

Q: What’s the life expectancy of my new soft top?

A: It does depend on how you use your new soft top, how you look after it and store it as well as how you actually drive your jeep! But on average, the typical life expectancy of an added soft top for your jeep is between three and five years.

Our Top Pick

For impressive quality at a wallet-friendly price this easy to install Pavement Ends 51197-35 Replacement Soft Top from Bestop scoops our Best Choice title. Designed for the popular Jeep Wrangler 1997 – 2006 models, you get a super-durable soft top fabric hood, side and rear windows as well as upper door skins. And for a soft top, the fabric is impressively durable, making it great value for money when your Jeep needs an upgrade.

Source:

  1. How to Keep Your Convertible’s Soft Top Looking Great – YourMechanic Advice