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What’s the big deal with the Bestop Sunrider?

Alans17

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Not trying to crap on it. It’s a serious question. It’s not that hard to remove the freedom tops. Only takes a minute. So what makes the Sunrider so great? The one advantage I can see is that you do it from anywhere without having to worry about storing the panels, but it seems like a tonneau cover would solve the same problem and provide extra utility for the same price or (much) less.

Am I missing something? I’m new to Jeeps and this product gets rave reviews so I feel like I’m missing something. Thanks
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jrb517

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If you have 850 bucks just burning a hole in your pocket and want to shave 30 seconds off of your time to go topless... there's no other option out there! I personally can't justify half the price of a factory soft top for it. :piggybank:
 

DeezJT

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I was an early adopter for the JK. Bestop sent me me the sunrider and give my thoughts on it. After 3 months, I decided to sell the oem freedom panels and never look back. For several years, there was no leak, and best of all no discoloration, rips/tears from everyday use.
I miss not having the sunrider for my Jt so I do have plans to purchase one. The freedom of when to open/close is so convenient. The freedom panels cannot replicate the convenience. It’s truly a must have for any jeep with a hardtop.
 
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DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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Not trying to crap on it. It’s a serious question. It’s not that hard to remove the freedom tops. Only takes a minute. So what makes the Sunrider so great? The one advantage I can see is that you do it from anywhere without having to worry about storing the doors, but it seems like a tonneau cover would solve the same problem and provide extra utility for the same price or (much) less.

Am I missing something? I’m new to Jeeps and this product gets rave reviews so I feel like I’m missing something. Thanks
I bought the Sunrider on sale (about $680); that purchase was part and parcel of my overall decision process when I bought the Gladiator.

I special ordered my JT to get exactly what I wanted, instead of just trying to find a compromise on the lot. When it came to deciding on tops, I was trying to decide between soft top only, hard top only, or dual top group. I ruled out ST only because I wanted HT for long-distance highway travel. After some soul-searching, I ruled out dual top, because I just didn't think I would like going through the switching process on a regular basis plus storage of the top not in use.

So the Sunrider was my compromise. I ordered the JT with HT only, and bought the Sunrider. I have the HT with Freedom Panels installed for trips, and the Sunrider for local driving when I want "top down" experience. And switching and storage is a whole lot easier than the full top.

I live in South Florida, which makes top down driving a frequently-desired experience. Flipping the Sunrider back is a whole lot more convenient than removing Freedom panels. even though that itself is easy, as OP pointed out.

YMMV. This is just my explanation of why I bought it.
 
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MR GRANITE

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My freedom panels came off day 1 and are in the storage bag. Sunrider came off my JL and over on the JT in 10 minutes. I think it is one of the best add ons you can do. Not sure where the man bun remark came from? Starting to see more Sunriders in the area.
 

Ravenron

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I guess it really comes down to personal preference. I really like being able to walk out of work, sit in the Jeep and roll the top back. No muss, no fuss. All the goodness of a convertible without having to remove the panels and stow them or tie them down somewhere. Also, here in Colorado, it can rain at ANY time in the mountains so, to enjoy the tops off, I either have to carry the Freedom Tops with me or risk soaking the interior. With the Sunrider, the Jeep is weather tight when closed...no leaks.

I figured I would put my Freedom Tops back on for the winter but so far haven't felt like I needed to.

It is a bit expensive but I consider it to be the best mod I've made to the JT.
 

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Ravenron

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Surely a nice product but to my eye, when open, It is a visual wart/man bun.
I think I saw this in another thread...cracked me up...

The good news is, you can't see your own Jeep's top back when driving...so who cares?

Toupee Blowback.jpg
 

db305

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Not trying to crap on it. It’s a serious question. It’s not that hard to remove the freedom tops. Only takes a minute. So what makes the Sunrider so great? The one advantage I can see is that you do it from anywhere without having to worry about storing the panels, but it seems like a tonneau cover would solve the same problem and provide extra utility for the same price or (much) less.

Am I missing something? I’m new to Jeeps and this product gets rave reviews so I feel like I’m missing something. Thanks
don't have to store the panels and you don't have to get out to do it. also can close it in a few seconds if rain comes out of nowhere. i didn't mind the freedom panels at first either, but i'll never go back now especially since i don't need to carry a protective bag around anymore.

also helps that i was able to get a twill one for $500 from a member here.
 

DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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I guess it really comes down to personal preference. I really like being able to walk out of work, sit in the Jeep and roll the top back. No muss, no fuss. All the goodness of a convertible without having to remove the panels and stow them or tie them down somewhere. Also, here in Colorado, it can rain at ANY time in the mountains so, to enjoy the tops off, I either have to carry the Freedom Tops with me or risk soaking the interior. With the Sunrider, the Jeep is weather tight when closed...no leaks.
Agree with this completely. Ditto here in Florida for rain, at least in the Summer.

Plus I can go top down even while at work, as I often have to visit project sites.
 

fun2drum

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For one thing, I think the thing looks very Jeepy and cool whether open or closed. If you're more into the ordinary clean-lined SUV look, then I can understand how you may not like the way it looks.

Second, sure it's pricey but you just bought a Jeep truck with bumpers, winch, lifts and monster truck tires - and you're complaining about price? Fine, but I can have it open or closed within 5 seconds at a traffic light or even if I'm going under 30 mph. No scrambling in a downpour to get the panels out and in place. That, my friends, is priceless.
 

noside85

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ride on the highway with the top down into a storm WITHOUT the bestop....you're gonna have a bad time. Imagine pulling over, running out back, rolling tonneau cover, getting correct side of freedom panel located, installing it, doing the other side, closing the bed up and getting back in. Guess what? All your shit is soaked so you shoulda just kept going and be soaked, but not late.

It's great for quick trips otw to work or around town. Just pop the top off and go. You will ride with top down more with the sunrider than with freedom panels, I guarantee that. I use it more than any other mod I can think of

In the winter I just put the panels back on and run hardtop til spring. Keeps it warmer, I guess.

That said, it is not worth over $800 to me. Get it used or on sale for under $700 and walk away happy.
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