Soft Topper pros and cons

98dango

Expedition Leader
I have a 2000 super duty that where's many hats. I recently sold my Are hard cap. We still like the topper for camping but our recent purchase of a 5th wheel mad it usless. I have a bed couver to keep the hitch and tools dry. We are not big fans of tenets. Who have them do you like them how bad do they leak.
 

mmp3823

Observer
I have one on my 2008 Chevy dually since I use it to tow a fifth wheel also. Mine works great and I only get water in the front corners of the truck bed but it almost seems a little short for my 8ft bed. Might work a little better on a short bed truck. There are a few minor things that I think that they could have improved on but for the most part it works great. I did use magnets to help keep the front from flapping and didn't like using the velcro on the truck.
 

ADVW/Liam

Adventurer
I have a Bestop. It works well, and only leaks a little. I've never seen where it leaks from, but it appears that it is coming from the corners around the bed top and the bottom of he softop. It's a Tacoma, and has the storage compartments in the bed. I believe more water comes from the storage compartments than from the softop. Other than being a big wind sail, it works great. Probably my favorite addition to my truck.
 

TommyG

Adventurer
I had a Softopper on our Tundra for years. It was on year round through the snow/cold in the northeast. I seam sealed it and rarely if ever had water/moisture intrusion. I did manage to crack the rear window once -10 degree day when I opened it and folded it back over the top to put groceries in. If you read the literature you get with the top it warns you never to do this in the cold because the window will crack so that one was on me. The only con for me was not having gear locked and secured in the bed of the truck. It was really nice to be able to fold it down or take it off, by myself, in a couple of minutes. We have a hard shell on our current truck and there are days that I wish I had gone with another Softopper.
 

bijanjames

Adventurer
I've had two, and overall they are very versatile. The clips are prone to premature wear due to sun damage, but my trucks have been garaged kept, so I haven't experienced this issue myself. Overall they are very durable, and won't leak if they are fitted to the truck properly. Make sure to put weather stripping down along the bed rails before installing it, and be sure to line the front window up evenly. Use the supplied weather sealant along all the seams.
 

98dango

Expedition Leader
Looking on line the fit for my truck seems to be crap. I am still not sold on one. The first hand accounts have me feeling better I just worried about the fit at this point.
 

steelhd

Observer
Pros - Its far lighter than a fiberglass top and a quick two minute, one person job, to take it off or reinstall it. Just plop it in a corner of the garage. The sides and back can be rolled up out of the way for access. And they fold forward in seconds to use the bed for a load of bark, rocks, etc. IMO they look good too.

Cons - Not as secure as a lockable fiberglass topper. But having gear out of sight is most of the battle. All topper rear windows collect dust but you can't just brush the grime off the soft vinyl windows without scratching them. And you need to be careful with the vinyl windows in very cold weather.

So far am very happy with my Softopper and will never own another glass topper.
 

98dango

Expedition Leader
Any of you used your topper in snowy conditions. There is a move back to Montana or Colorado in the near future.
 

Tacoma13SR5

Observer
I use my Softopper all the time in the snow. Especially driving between Delaware and Upstate New York. Never had any issue with it when it came to snow. I was always able to get the snow and ice off the top before driving on the roads and never had issues with stuff flying off.
 

beerhiker

Adventurer
I had a Softopper on my Tacoma for about 3 years before I switched to a Leer topper. I wanted to have a secure lockable place for my gear. Softopper leaked a bit around the base frame up front but was otherwise pretty weather tight. Never any problems in the snow. One thing that was concerned me was when driving into strong headwinds at highway speeds the fabric would really bow/suck into the frame to the point I worried it all collapse on its self, but it never did. I do miss how easy it was to remove if I needed to haul something big. Overall a great product.
 
Had a bestop on my Ram for two years. Got rid it because it never fit right, and leaked. They are a one-size fit many deal. This may not apply to your truck, but for my dodge the base was too narrow almost. The rear window also enjoyed coming loose and flap flap flapping on the freeway.

There is a company (CanBack) that makes much better than soft topper or bestop but their vehicles are limited and twice the price. They are also strong enough to carry a load on top and are actually custom made to FIT!
 

tgreening

Expedition Leader
You should be able to tell from the posts so far that for every personal pro there is someone's con. Yep, a Canback top is solid. Try folding it down if you want to carry something tall. Removal involves a bunch of clamps instead of 2 pins and popping some snaps. Double the cost, and frankly the out of and sort of back in business thing that's been going on for what seems like forever doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

The single almost universal issue people talk about when it comes to the soft topper is it seems a bit too short. Like another 1/2" would do the trick. With that said its never been an issue for me. It fits good enough for me considering it's a folding framed, easily removable top made out of canvas. Your never going to make it fit like molded fiberglass. It weighs a whole lot less as well and when I went to ARE for a nice but not incredibly fancy glass top colored to match my Taco it was pushing $3k and they assured me what a fantastic value this was. Yeahhhh
Btw, a hard shell is not secure, period. It won't slow down the thief an instant.

I screwed up the front window on my softopper because I didn't follow instructions. They sent me a brand new replacement, no questions asked.


Bestop: You didn't ask but folks are bringing them up anyway. I've used their products on a number of different Jeeps and it has always been first rate, and the company excellent to deal with. The first top I bought was for a 1983 CJ. A complete replacement kit. After about 4 months a single tooth pulled out of the zipper for the back window, on the top itself not the removable window. It didn't affect anything at all but I contacted them and asked if there was a way I could fix it. They sent me a complete brand new replacement top. The entire thing. I still have that brand new top in its box 14 yrs later and the original is still on my Jeep.


So, my personal preference is for a soft top. Brand, take your pick. There are features of Canback I like, some I don't, and that wishy washy in/out of business thing to think about. Bestop or Softopper I wouldn't hesitate. Both have proven business track records and have demonstrated to me customer service that was first rate.
 

beags86

Adventurer
I have had my softtopper for four years now, I was surprised with how good it preforms in rain and snow, no water inside at all. I never even seam sealed it.
I had them make me a solid rear panel so no one can just walk by and see something. Since you can't lock anything up in them. Out sight outa mind. They didn't mind doing it and it was 40 bucks. Since I am local I just drive to there shop. I have met the owners multiple times. Always friendly. They even offered to help me set it up the first time free of charge. Over all No complaints, I love my softopper.
 

Ryan Rogers

Adventurer
I had a soft topper (brand) on my Frontier, and loved it.

Okay, you can't lock it. That honestly never bothered me. It was easy to put on and take off, kept the bed bone dry inside (even in heavy rain), and was totally stable at high speed (never went above 85mph with it on, though). When I traded in the Fronty, I sold it to another member here...it still looked brand new.
 

getpower1

New member
I have a Softopper on my 2006 quad cab, short bed cummins. Love the top. Can't think of any cons. Bring the thinking down to price and what it was made for, and try not to critique it too much. It's a bed cover that keeps things from flying out on the highway. That's the thing that I like most about it. If I want to take my '97 cummins camping or haul something small with the truck, then I have to tie it down. I'm a commercial truck driver by trade and I don't like the possibility of, or the possible legal problem that may come of, something flying out of my truck. So I probably overdo the tieing down of items in the bed and it's kind of a pain making sure there is no way that something may come out. But my stuff is quality and expensive and I don't want to have to buy it again, either. It's also relatively inexpensive. You can sleep in it (although mine is black and I found that it was too hot in California to sleep in this summer). Ice also probably melts in the cooler faster. It stays hot in there.

Back to hauling gear though...now I can also stack twice as high as the bed is deep, which is another no no for me in an open bed. It's well built, and tight on the truck. No flapping at all going 80 mph or whatever. I am confident in its construction and the zippers. Not a huge fan of the Velcro, but I put it on and it kind of works. When it's hot, the Velcro just comes off of the front of the bed and the front piece just kinda hangs out. It's not going anywhere, trust me. I was only able to keep one piece for the tailgate from coming off and it's kind of a constant battle keeping it on there.

You can easily undo the sides to reach in from any side of the bed, so you don't have to climb in from the back to get to something in the front.

Mine has leaked a tiny bit in heavy rain at the front bed corners. The look grows on you. The only problem that I have had is not really a con because I also liked this about the Softopper. But since the sides don't have Windows, it is a little difficult for me to back the boat into the driveway when returning from a trip. But most of the time, the fact that the sides don't have Windows is a nice feature. People can't see what's in it unless they stare in from the back, they don't have to be removed to fold the top up (which is an issue with the best top...you have to remove the side windows to fold it up and store them somewhere else), and its nice to be able to roll them up really quick if you are going to need a lot of access to one side of the bed of the truck for a while. Like I said, truck driver, so I use my mirrors and have them adjusted properly so the sides don't create a blind spot for me. Vision has never been an issue anywhere but backing into the driveway...not even at the boat ramp.

Again, love it, and will be looking to sell my 2006 soon and buy a Softopper for the 1997 that I am keeping. I have listed the truck for sale before, and actually got more people interested in me selling them the topper than I did for people that were interested in the truck.
 
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