Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 11:34 AM
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Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top


Can the interior of a 97 Wrangler (with a soft top) be kept comfortable during a long cold winter. (Central Wisconsin style, 20 - 30 below)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 12:00 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

IMHO you'll have a couple of problems:

1. Weight of snow on the top.
2. Cold causing problems with cracking of windows.
3. It's just darned cold!

Not much can be done for #1 except perhaps a fake bow inserted between the sports bar and the top to keep water from pooling and snow from weighting down the top.

Be very careful scraping windows.... it's a killer in the deep Jan and Feb cold.

California Tops does make an inulation insert, pricey but good.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 12:18 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

Thanks for the input, you've just made my upcoming purchase decision very clear.
I definitely agree with #3!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 01:54 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

I survive quite well in Michigan winters with my soft top. I use a brush, for the plastic windows. I don't use this brush for anything but the plastic windows. The heater is quite sufficient to stay warm in the winter, but I lived through several winters with a drafty (had to brush snow from the seats every morning) soft top on my cj5 before I got my wrangler.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 01:56 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

As far as snow and ice on the top, I wait till i get going down the road and gently tap the inside of the top. The snow and ice blow right off.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 02:00 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

Couple of friends and I all run soft tops in the winter....they have TJ's and I have the CJ with the YJ besttop.....you shouldn't have any problems....just don't go around whacking the windows to get the ice off!

whats a.......heater? [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 02:16 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

I was going to tell you that I've been plenty comfortable through several winters without my hardtop (I've got two just too lazy to put it on some years). Then I saw your location. I've never been cold in my life until I spent a winter in Fond du Lac.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 05:13 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

I like my hardtop and hard doors in the Wisconsin winters. The soft top isn't too bad at keeping the warm in, but the snow/ice/frost thing sucks on soft windows.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 05:27 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

I guess I drove a farm truck too much to worry about side or back windows. My old CJ-5 with a soft top. I froze. My CJ-7 with a hard top. It will get warm, but it takes awhile. My 02 TJ with a soft top. The heat will run you out of there in a short time. Iím just used to using the side mirrors I guess. I try to make sure they are clean and look out them. Besides, with all the deer in the road, Iím never looking back.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2002, 06:53 PM
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Re: Cold Weather- Hard Top vs. Soft Top

To answer your original question:

Neither top has any insulation properties worth speaking of. I wonder if the plastic windows of the soft top conduct heat as well as the glass windows of the hardtop. Anyway I don't believe that there is any "comfort" difference between tops (I own both).
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