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What’s the big deal with the Bestop Sunrider?

DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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Its more noisy than the panels...but not by as much as you might think. It does not bother me.

<snip>

That said...only time it gets really "noisy" is if I happen to get in the draft of a semi.
I've had similar experience. If there are cross winds, you hear more wind noise, but otherwise it is about as quiet as freedom panels.
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DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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You don't need to take the zclips apart when pulling it off, I left the entire thing assembled together when I removed it this winter, "closed" the soft top material, and leaned it vertically against a wall for winter. Worked slick.
Yeah, I want to leave mine fully assembled when I take it off. The only bad part about installing it was those damnable Z-clips.

The plastic side pieces seem a bit vulnerable. Lee@Bestop, how about making a storage case of some kind?
 

SuburbanGP88

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$800 might seem like a big purchase but you're really just leasing it because you can always sell it quick for $500 minimum so over 3 years is less than $10/month.

The convenience is really worth it with the quick flip open option. I don't even like using my power top on my convertibles but 2 latches and a flip I'll do anytime.
 

DeezJT

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i only work 3 miles from home. My other job is 5 miles away. If I had the freedom panels, it ain’t worth the removal on a good day.
now that I have the sunrider, I can open it whenever I want.
 

Empty Pockets

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Seems to me that everyone who has one LOVES IT! Me included. I ordered mine immediately upon putting my Freedom Tops back on the first time. It is still my favorite mod. I wish JEEP would make this an option over the Freedom Panels straight from Toledo.
 

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At nearly the cost of just Mopar soft roll tonneau cover, I purchased and installed the Bestop Black Twill Sunrider and Black Twill EZ-Fold Tonneau. That is how I justify the cost of the Sunrider.
 
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Alans17

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I just discovered a reason, myself. If I’m away from home and don’t happen to have the carrying case for the panels, just tossing them in the back is a bit sketchy.
 

garzilla

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After bought my Gladiator, I did the freedom panel thing for a month and I just wasn't driving with the panels off nearly as much as I wanted. It was a slight hassle remove and install. Those things get HOT in the Texas sun.

I could get a soft top for around $1300 but I know if I did that I would probably never put the hard top back on. That happened with my JK.

So I decided to try out the sunrider - with the demand I figured if i didn't like it, I could sell it easily.

It is one of our favorite add-ons to the jeep. The first day out we had intermittent rain and the top was put up and down on about 4 times. Since then it has become a highly used feature. Less than 10 seconds and top is up. Need it closed? 10 sec. Done. Never have to get out. That's huge if the top is open and it starts raining.

My wife even asked if they had a similar soft top for the JK. Since it's lifted flipping the soft top back isn't super easy.


Sooooo...Super happy with my purchase and definitely not returning it. I use it just about every time I am in the Gladiator
 

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One other reason for the Sunrider with hard top is weight.

For those of you who put importance to the gross weight of the Gladiator with all the add ons, the Sunrider weighs about the same if not a few pounds lesser than the Freedom panels. But you somewhat get the advantage of both the hard top and the soft top with it.

I was surprised to find out that in case of the Gladiator, the OEM soft top is 40 lb. more than the complete hard top assembly.

Hard top with Sunrider: 80 lb
OEM Soft top: 120 lb
 

JeepJunky

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Is it possible to install the Hard Top (Freedom panels) when you have the Bestop parts installed? I am certain i'd have to remove the actual Sunrider, but does everything have to come off to put the freedom panels back on? Has anyone done the wintertime swap yet?
 

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JTBurns

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Is it possible to install the Hard Top (Freedom panels) when you have the Bestop parts installed? I am certain i'd have to remove the actual Sunrider, but does everything have to come off to put the freedom panels back on? Has anyone done the wintertime swap yet?
You'd have to take a the whole sunrider off. 15 mins worth of work maybe, but gotta store it somewhere safe too. I got mine in October and haven't taken the freedom panels out of the bag since. Once I start taking the whole roof off again, I'll use the freedom panels a bit, but I have a baby in the back right now and don't want her staring at the sun, so maybe next summer.
 

Willys2Gladiator

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Yeah, I want to leave mine fully assembled when I take it off. The only bad part about installing it was those damnable Z-clips.

The plastic side pieces seem a bit vulnerable. Lee@Bestop, how about making a storage case of some kind?
I leave mine fully assembled when I go completely topless. No issues. All stays together real nice.
 

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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
You don’t have to leave your truck to open the top, take off the panels, place them in the back seat & then hear them rattle around. If you place them in the pouch even more hassle. Then you run the risk of scratching the paint or plastic or breaking the handles. Then if it rains you have the hassle of putting them back on & getting them sealed. With the sun rider it’s two latches & it’s fully open & it only takes 30 seconds. If it starts to rain or hail in 30 seconds your covered. It makes you more likely to use the topless feature, well worth it.
 

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From the get-go I understood the advantages of the Sunrider. The hangup was on the price and difference in sound. Turns out the sound difference is minimal.

The other thing that I have to consider that not everyone else does is my wife, who is disabled. For her, taking off/putting on the freedom panels is extremely difficult for her to do by herself. If she was in a sudden downpour, I wouldn't doubt that she'd call me to come put the panels on, she'll wait in the back seat. lol. But seriously.

Her only "Moses bringing the tablets" requirements in a vehicle are heated seats and a sunroof. Since JTs don't have a sunroof, it's the freedom panels. With the Sunrider, she can open the top herself and close it. And a lot more vitamin D that what you get with a tiny sunroof.

With our mild winters here, I may not even put the freedom panels on unless we go somewhere where it actually gets cold (like Jackson or West Yellowstone).

For me, beating sun sucks (I'm not bald, so I got that going for me) so I got a brimmed hat (Shelta Seahawk) to help keep me shady.

On my wishlist is the cool seat, since ventilated seats aren't an option for JTs.
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