Open-air motoring is central to the Jeep experience, but no one likes a sun burn. Thankfully, there are plenty of well-made, affordable 2020+ Jeep Gladiator soft top and sun shade options, running the gamut from unobtrusive mesh bikini tops that can be left installed under the factory top, to full-coverage vinyl bonnets that will protect you and your cabin in the event of an unexpected light shower.
Here, we’ve rounded up six of the best Jeep Gladiator soft top (sun shade/bonnet) options – even a twill sunrider for use along with the factory hard top – to show you just how much choice you have when it comes to protected open-air motoring in your new JT.
Jeep Gladiator Soft Top vs. Hard Top
Though it is technically a truck, the Jeep Gladiator is still a Jeep and there are two schools of thought when it comes to protection from the elements – soft top or hard top.
A Jeep Gladiator hard top is undoubtedly better when it comes to providing protection from the rain and sun and it also has the benefit of not making nearly as much noise on the highway. A hard top is also better for temperature control when it’s warm or cold outside.
But when the weather is perfect and you want to experience some open air riding, a Jeep Gladiator hard top is much more difficult to remove. You need a friend to help you and should expect it to take some time to remove it…and even more to put it back on.
A Jeep Gladiator soft top (full factory soft top, mesh shade or something in between), on the other hand, is much simpler to remove if you want to go with a full open cockpit. You can do it by yourself and it’s not terribly complicated to put it back on again. It also provides some protection from the sun and rain.
On the downside, a Jeep Gladiator soft top can make a lot of noise on the highway. Things can also get a lot hotter inside, so your air conditioner may end up working overtime. And while a full factory soft top will keep the rain at bay, a mesh sun shade won’t do much to protect you from a downpour.
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Bestop Mesh Bikini
Bestop is a well-known name in the world of aftermarket Jeep tops, and this Bestop mesh bikini is one of the most attractive Jeep Gladiator sun shade options out there. It’s a Safari-style top that covers both the front and rear rows, with a light, breathable mesh fabric that blocks out just enough of the sun’s rays without interfering with your open-air freedom. Best of all, it doesn’t require a separate windshield channel, and it can be left installed underneath your factory soft or hard top, so there’s no need to reinstall it every time you go out for an open-air romp.
Shadeidea Jeep Gladiator Black Mesh Screen Sun Shade with GrabBag Pouch
Very affordable and easy to install, the Shadeidea Jeep Gladiator sunshade is available in either black or orange, featuring vinyl-coated super-high-strength polyester, and capable of blocking approximately 90% of the sun’s rays. It fits under the factory Gladiator hard top, so there’s no need to remove it when you’re done having fun in the sun, and the manufacturer even boasts that you can lay out on top of it like a hammock to relax – so long as you weigh less than 150 pounds. Just make sure your Gladiator isn’t still turned on and still in gear when you do.
Mopar Sun Bonnet Jeep Gladiator
You can’t go wrong with genuine Mopar parts and accessories, and Mopar offers two sunshade options for the 2020+ Jeep Gladiator JT: one mesh, and one solid black vinyl. Both are full-length bikini tops that fit nice and snug with the factory sport cage, and they feature a zippered removable rear section to let even more fresh air into the cabin. The mesh bikini top provides adequate protection from the sun without completely blocking it out, while the vinyl version is handy if the weather forecast calls for a light shower.
Spiderwebshade Jeep Gladiator Top Sun Shade
If you were holding out for more color options, you’ve got them with this mesh sun shade from Spiderwebshade. A total of 12 hues are available, covering every color in the rainbow plus tan, gray, pink, white, and black. It’s quite a bit more dense than many other mesh tops, meaning you’ll get more protection from the sun’s harmful rays, but the design still allows for air to pass through for superior wind noise reduction and an open, airy driving experience. No additional header is required, and this top can be left installed under the factory top.
Topcar Mesh Bikini Top Cover
If you’re looking for a Jeep Gladiator soft top with a cool – dare we say patriotic? – design, check out this mesh bikini top from Topcar. This is the least expensive of the bunch, but reviewers still praise it for its strength, fitment, and performance. The mesh top installs quickly and easily using nylon buckles, and the manufacturer boasts 98% protection from direct sunlight. If the Captain America-esque star design isn’t your thing, there’s also a version with a black and white American flag.
Bestop Black Twill Sunrider
Looking to capture all the benefits of open-air driving while keeping your factory hardtop in place? Then check out the Bestop Black Twill Sunrider. It’s essentially a twill acrylic fabric convertible top that takes the place of your bulky factory Freedom Panels, providing a weatherproof, year-round solution that allows you to let the fresh air in whenever you fancy, without any hassle. Best of all, it’s made in North America, and comes with a Limited Lifetime warranty, so you know it’s of the highest quality.
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