Jeep Soft Tops – How to Pick a Jeep Soft Top

Picture yourself riding through the wilderness with the wind rushing through your hair and the sun’s warm rays beaming down on you. This exhilarating open air experience is one of the main reasons people choose to purchase Jeeps. But when the rainy months come, you don’t want to be deprived the joy of driving your Jeep, and the simple solution is to install a Jeep top.

At its most basic, you can break it down to two options: Jeep soft tops and Jeep hard tops. Jeep hard tops are going to be more durable, standing up strong to the harsher elements in nature. However, once you install the hard top, it is going to be similar to driving any other type of vehicle. A jeep soft top is convertible, allowing you more flexibility and maintaining more of the elements that made you want to purchase a Jeep in the first place.

These days, around 85% of Jeeps come with a soft top. If yours is one of the few that doesn’t come with a Jeep soft top, or you want to replace your current Jeep top, something important you’ll have to keep in mind is the year your Jeep was manufactured. Here’s the basic breakdown of labeling your Jeep according to year:

– CJ: 1945 – 1986
– YJ: 1987 – 1996
– TJ: 1997 – 2007
– JK: 2007+

When you decide to purchase a Jeep soft top, you’ll need to determine what kind of hardware, or frame, your Jeep has. This will determine which type of top will fit your Jeep. The type of hardware you have is largely based on the year your Jeep was made. For example, a CJ Jeep is most likely going to have different hardware than a TJ Jeep, and thus will likely need a different type of soft top in order for it to fit correctly. It will also make a difference whether your hardware is Factory Original or Aftermarket.

It is also important to know what hardware you have because if you have a CJ Jeep, it’s likely that the hardware has become damaged from the general wear and tear of the road. As such, it is more likely that you will have to get new hardware along with your new Jeep soft top. If you have a newer model TJ Jeep, your hardware is probably fine and you can likely just purchase your new Jeep top. Keeping these factors in mind will streamline your selection process and ensure that you get the right Jeep soft top for your particular vehicle.