If you’re an avid off-roader who enjoys a good top-down overlanding adventure, a Jeep Wrangler bikini top should absolutely be in your arsenal.
Every generation of the “civilian” Jeep, from the earliest CJ models to the current JL Jeep Wrangler, has made a point of offering a simple, easy-to-remove top. Open-air overlanding is a core part of the Jeep experience. The problem is that the sun can get mighty bright in its peak hours, baking your interior and giving you a nasty sunburn if you’re not careful, and the odd raincloud can quickly put a damper on your otherwise fun and liberating off-road adventures.
The solution to this? A Jeep Wrangler bikini top. A bikini top is just like a traditional canvas top, except it doesn’t cover the sides or rear, so you can get the full open-air experience without the sunburn or soggy shorts. There are loads of great Jeep Wrangler bikini top options on the market today, most of which cost substantially less than your typical full canvas top, and here, we’ve rounded up the best.
Table of contents
- 1. Best Jeep Wrangler JL Bikini Top: Rugged Ridge Eclipse Sun Shade – Full
- 2. Best Alternate Jeep Wrangler JL Bikini Top: Bestop Safari Bikini Top
- 3. Best Jeep Wrangler JK Bikini Top: Shadeidea Sunshade for Jeep Wrangler JK/Unlimited
- 4. Best Alternate Jeep Wrangler JK Bikini Top: Bestop Safari Diamond Bikini Top
- 5. Best Jeep Wrangler TJ Bikini Top: Smittybilt Black Diamond Extended Top
- 6. Best Jeep Wrangler YJ Bikini Top: Bestop Strapless Black Bikini Top
- Q & A
1. Best Jeep Wrangler JL Bikini Top: Rugged Ridge Eclipse Sun Shade – Full
Rugged Ridge’s Eclipse Sun Shade for the JL-generation Jeep Wrangler is a stunning value, with a purchase price well below $100 and the backing of a well-known and respected Jeep accessories manufacturer. Made from a durable mesh fabric that allows some sunlight through without letting you completely bake, this bikini top for Jeep Wrangler is available both for the standard 2-door Wrangler, and as a full-length 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited bikini top, with a five-year limited warranty for peace of mind. While it won’t do much to help guard against rain, if you’re more concerned about being reddened by the beating sun, this bikini top offers more than enough protection.
2. Best Alternate Jeep Wrangler JL Bikini Top: Bestop Safari Bikini Top
Worried about rain? A mesh top isn’t going to cut it. That’s why Bestop – possibly the best-known manufacturer of Jeep tops – offers this Safari-style Jeep Wrangler bikini top, made from the same durable, long-lasting fabric as the company’s traditional soft tops. That means that on top of being sun-proof, it’s also leak-proof, keeping you mostly protected in the event of a downpour. Just as important, the fabric is naturally mildew-resistant, which is important whether it ever sees rain or not, and the heavy-duty composite buckles are as easy to use as they are tough, making this Bestop Jeep Wrangler bikini top an ideal companion for many years and many miles of trail use. Whether you’ve got a 2 or 4-door Jeep Wrangler JL, Bestop has a bikini top to keep you covered.
3. Best Jeep Wrangler JK Bikini Top: Shadeidea Sunshade for Jeep Wrangler JK/Unlimited
Shadeidea might not be one of the better-known, more recognizable Jeep Wrangler bikini top brands, but don’t let that fool you into thinking less of their wares; this Shadeidea Sunshade for the Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited is as well designed and put together as the best of them, with a price tag so attractive you might be tempted to buy two of them. Made from a tough, tear-resistant vinyl-coated polyester mesh material and available in a dizzying array of colors, from vibrant pink to lime green, this mesh-style bikini top cuts down on 90% of the sun’s rays, per the manufacturer, for a hefty dose of sunburn protection. It also helps cut down on wind noise, and it ships with an unbeatable 10-year warranty.
4. Best Alternate Jeep Wrangler JK Bikini Top: Bestop Safari Diamond Bikini Top
What can we say? We like Bestop. And like many of the manufacturer’s Jeep Wrangler bikini tops, this one is available at a price point far lower than its traditional full soft tops, as either a 2-door JK Wrangler top or a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited bikini top. It’s got the same premium Supertop fabric that’s naturally stain- and mildew-resistant, not to mention generously reinforced edges that help prevent flapping and cut down on fabric fatigue. This is a solid, opaque-style top, meaning it will provide at least some amount of rain protection – at least enough for a light drizzle – in addition to its total sun protection. The only catch? This top requires the installation of a Bestop windshield channel, Part Number 51238-01, which is sold separately.
5. Best Jeep Wrangler TJ Bikini Top: Smittybilt Black Diamond Extended Top
Offering maximum protection from a Jeep Wrangler bikini top, the Smittybilt Black Diamond Top for the TJ Wrangler is all the top you’ll ever need, with a super tight fit that helps keep wind flapping to a minimum, and durable, tear-resistant construction using highly weather-resistant fabric with an attractive and tough-looking diamond-pattern texture. Installation is a snap, with no tools required, and beyond blocking something like 100% of the sun’s rays, it will also hold its own in a drizzle. As with some other solid Jeep Wrangler bikini tops, you’ll need to purchase a separate windshield channel, but if you can forgive it that, it’s an outstanding top for the money.
6. Best Jeep Wrangler YJ Bikini Top: Bestop Strapless Black Bikini Top
One of the most sleek, clean-looking, and attractive tops for any generation of the Jeep Wrangler, this Bestop Strapless Black Bikini Top for Jeep Wrangler YJ is an excellent choice. Bestop calls this design a “Targa-style” top, in that it attaches straight to the YJ’s sport bars without any straps to the rear tub, and while that means you get a bit less protection over the rear of the Jeep, it still spans entirely over the passenger area, effectively blocking out sun and light rain. Plus, Bestop’s usual flap-resisting reinforced edges, tough and color-stable fabric, and natural stain- and mildew-resistance are all present here. Sadly, you need a separately sold windshield channel, Part Number 51209-01, for installation, but that’s typical of solid-fabric bikini tops.
Will A Jeep Wrangler Bikini Top Keep the Rain Out?
If you’re concerned about the chances of a light drizzle on your next off-road adventure, we’ve got good news: the typical solid-fabric bikini top for Jeep Wrangler is sufficient to keep you and your passengers mostly dry. Of course, when we say “solid” bikini top, what we mean is those that aren’t made of mesh. That mesh fabric is quite adept at keeping you from getting sunburnt while still allowing a pleasant amount of sunlight through, but it’s completely ill-suited to catching and deflecting water droplets. Solid fabrics are capable of holding water at bay, as most of them are made of tightly woven vinyl-coated polyester or some similar material that doesn’t seep readily.
If, on the other hand, you want protection from anything more than a gentle sprinkle, no Jeep Wrangler bikini top is going to cut it – certainly not at trail speeds. When you’re moving at a crawl, any rainwater that falls on your bikini top isn’t going to be whipped off by the wind like it would at highway speed, giving it a chance to collect and pool so that the next time you hit uneven ground, there’s a puddle just waiting to dribble in through the open sides or back of the top.
How Do I Install a Bikini Top For Jeep Wrangler?
Installation of a Jeep Wrangler bikini top is typically very straight forward, although the procedure will vary slightly depending on the manufacturer and their specific design.
To start, ensure that you have the required windshield channel, if needed. Most opaque, solid-fabric tops require a windshield channel, while many of the mesh-style sun-blocker ones do not. Some tops that require a channel include it in the sale, but many require you to purchase it separately.
On most Wranglers, installing the windshield channel is as simple as slipping it over the top of the windshield frame with the brackets pointed rearward toward the cabin, sliding a pair of clamps underneath the bottom to clamp into the frame, and tightening a pair of fasteners.
With the windshield channel in place (if needed) and your factory soft top or hard top removed, installing your Jeep Wrangler bikini top requires nothing more than your bare hands and a bit of common sense. Every manufacturer has its own restraint and tightening system, so be sure to follow the supplied instructions carefully. We recommend starting from the front of the bikini top and working your way rearward, alternating sides as you go. This will help you 1) ensure that the front of the top is properly aligned with the top edge of the windshield frame, and 2) help you get the tightest possible fit, which helps reduce flapping at speed.
An invaluable piece of advice; try your best not to overtighten any straps. We all like a taut bikini top, but overtightening can place undue stress on the clamps, which are often made of plastic or some composite material, and it can even lead to tearing of the fabric if you really overdo it. You can always go back around and tighten the straps again later if one edge or corner of the top seems a bit loose.
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