Soft Top or Hard Top? Which One is Right for Your Jeep

May 25, 2022

Jeeps are known for their customizability. They look great whether you enjoy offroading adventures or want to cruise the streets in style (or maybe both). When outfitting your Jeep, one critical choice is whether to go with a hard or soft top. As with everything, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's take an in-depth look at both, and by the end of this guide, you will have a better idea of which type of Jeep top is right for you and your Jeep.

What Does a Hardtop Cover Have to Offer

Apart from being removable, a hardtop Jeep cover has the look and feel of a traditional truck or car roof. Here's what you need to know.

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Advantages of a Hardtop

Unsurpassed Durability

The most obvious advantage is that hardtops are more durable than soft top covers. Since they are solid and not made of fabric, they are not prone to rips and tears. You can expect a longer lifespan with a hardtop.

Low Maintenance

Hardtops only need to be washed just like the rest of your Jeep, making them low maintenance. There's no need to worry about sealing it to ensure no leaks.

Better Insulation

Hardtops provide better insulation for your Jeep. This feature allows for better temperature control and a higher comfort level inside the Jeep. During the cold winter months, you will stay warmer, and on hot summer days, much cooler. As a bonus, your ride will be much quieter!

Take Advantage of Extra Storage

Gain additional storage space on the roof with the installation of a hardtop. You can easily install a roof rack to transport gear like bikes, skis, kayaks, etc.

More Protection

Your belongings inside your Jeep will be more secure with a hardtop. It's much more difficult for an intruder to break into a Jeep with a hardtop than cutting a soft top's fabric.

Disadvantages of a Hardtop

More Difficult to Switch

Hardtops are heavier and more cumbersome than soft tops. If you like switching back and forth between riding with and without a top, it can be more difficult to continuously remove and reinstall a hardtop. In many cases, this is a two-person job. Not to mention, a hardtop is large in size, and when it is off your Jeep, you will need a secure and dry place to store it.

More Expensive

Even though hardtops have a much longer lifespan than soft tops, there will still come a time when a hardtop cover needs to be replaced. Hardtops are more expensive than soft tops.

What Does a Soft Top Have to Offer?

Soft tops offer a completely different set of advantages and disadvantages than hardtops. Here's what you need to know.

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Advantages of a Soft Top

Better Maneuverability

Since soft tops are lighter, softer, and can fold, they are easier to remove, store, and reinstall. Of the two, soft tops offer more versatility.

Store Anywhere

You don't need a large dedicated space to store a soft top when it's off of your Jeep. Easily fold it and safely store it in a small space without taking up valuable room in your garage.


Soft tops are more cost-effective than hardtop covers. It will be much less of a financial burden when it comes time to replace your soft top.

Disadvantages of a Soft Top

More Vulnerable

The main issue with soft top Jeep covers is their vulnerability. They are more susceptible to wear and tear, leaks, and rips. The fabric of a soft top cover is not as durable. This means if you choose this option, you must handle it with care. Its lack of durability also makes it easier for intruders to break into your Jeep by compromising the fabric of the top.

Less Control

Soft tops are less insulated, making it more difficult to precisely control the temperature. Furthermore, your ride will be noisier (this may appeal to you).

We've Got What You Need!

Carolina Custom has you covered when it comes to a top for your Jeep! We offer both hard and soft tops in a variety of styles. Not sure what you need? That's okay! Our team is happy to talk through your priorities for your ride and explain all of your options. As the largest custom shop on the east coast, we can help you outfit your Jeep from top to bottom. No project is too big or too small. Contact us today, and let's get started!

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Carolina Custom delivers the most complete and sophisticated array of vehicle customization options in the Southeast United States. To see the real thing up close, schedule your appointment and talk with our team. We’ll show you what “No Limits” really means.
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