(approx) 4 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
- How to Install Rugged Ridge Exo Top on your Wrangler
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I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Exo Top, fitting all 2007 and up JKs. There is of course a version of this top available for those of you with the two-door and the four-door JK, so make sure you get the right one for your Jeep. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of this top which is a two out of three wrench installation. There is no major modification or drilling necessary to get this installed on your Jeep. But because this is a roof rack and a soft-top in one, there are a lot of pieces and the installation is a little bit more involved than some of the other tops that are available. We're also gonna talk through the construction and a few of the features of the top.This top is for those of you who are looking for a very unique soft-top that has a lot of unique features but also has a built-in roof rack that is also very functional. This top is very different because it actually is a soft-top suspended from a roof rack, as opposed to a standard frame top that is a top stretched over the frame. That allows you to utilize the roof rack without having to change anything with your top, you can throw items right up onto the roof rack at any time without needing to make any modifications to the top. However, if you have the roof rack already loaded, you can still put the top back. Again, very unique, a lot of different configurations.Now, because you are getting a soft-top and a roof rack in one and you do have so much functionality here, this is going to be a little bit more expensive than some of the other soft tops on the market. However, I don't think you're going to find a high quality roof rack and a quality soft-top with all of these features that you can buy for the cost of this top. As far as construction goes, as I mentioned this is a roof rack and a soft-top. The roof rack itself is made of steel, covered in a textured black powder coat finish. And like I said before, you don't have to do any major modifications or drilling to the Jeep to get it installed, although it does attach to the sport cage in a couple of different locations. And you will have to do a little bit of cutting on your sport cage covers. It's not really a big deal, you're just making a couple of slits so that you can get all of your brackets installed. And if you were ever to remove this top and go back to either a standard hardtop or soft-top, chances are you're not going to notice those small slits anyway. Once you have the roof rack installed, of course the second portion of this is the soft-top. This does come with tinted windows and it's a standard OEM soft-top material. So it's gonna hold up really well, it's going to hold the weather out, keep the warmth in and of course, be good and watertight as long as you install it properly. Like I said before, what makes this top unique is that it's just soft-top suspended from a roof rack. So as you can see behind me, you have your soft-top hanging on the inside of the roof rack with buckles and velcro, giving you a very safari like look. There are also a ton of different configurations with this top. Like your standard top that has a sun rider feature, you can just flip the front of the top back. But instead of it holding back, it actually slides back. You can also slide it back further to give an open air driving experience for both the front and the rear seat passengers. There are also configurations where you can remove the rear three windows, giving you a very safari look and feel where you can still have a cover over the passengers keeping the sun off of your head, but not have the windows then giving you again that open air driving experience. Finally, you can fold the top so that it lives completely over the sound bar which gives you that completely top down feel. Of course you still have the roof rack in place or you can fold your top into the trunk area like a standard soft-top, giving you a ton of different configurations. This is a very versatile top. And no matter which configuration you are in, you still have that roof rack that's able to hold 300 pounds. So whether you're just rolling around on the street and need some additional cargo space or if you're carrying all your gear to the campsite for the weekend, you're gonna have more than enough room.As far as the installation goes, I am gonna give this a two out of three wrenches. It's not that this is a particularly difficult installation but there are a lot of steps because you're installing both the roof rack and the soft-top at the same time. The first step in the installation is to remove whatever top you currently have on your Jeep completely. After that, you can assemble the roof rack portion of your Exo Top and install that on your Jeep. The next step is to install the slider and bow assemblies and this is where you have to make a couple of small slits in your sport cage covers. Don't worry, when you remove this top and go back to any other top, it's not something you're really gonna notice. Most of you shouldn't be bothered by making these small cuts. After that bow and slider assembly is in place, the next step is actually putting the soft-top in place but because this is a soft-top that suspends from the roof rack instead of being stretched over a frame like a factory top, you install it a little bit differently. You're going to start from the back putting the soft-top underneath the roof rack but over top of the seats. Slide it forward toward the windshield frame and use the velcro and the straps to attach it to the roof rack. Finally, once that is completely installed, you can then install your three windows and you're finished. The whole installation process is probably going to take you right around three hours. And while you don't need any specialty tools, you are working on a Jeep so you are going to need some torque space to get this done. When you consider the value that you get with this top for the purchase price, it is a little bit difficult because there's not a lot to compare it to. This is a very unique item. However, if you look at the cost of a quality soft-top and a quality roof rack and add it together, it's certainly going to be more than the cost of the Exo top. So if you're going to use the functionality of the roof rack and all of the different configurations available of the soft-top, I think that this is a really good buy. Still, whether you have a hardtop on your Jeep and you're looking for a soft-top and a roof rack or you currently have a soft-top but you like the look and the functionality of this configuration, I think this is a very fairly priced roof rack and soft-top that is unique and unlike anything else you can find. So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Exo Top, fitting all 2007 and up JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.
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March 01, 2020
Great addition to 2015 Willys wrangler
6 months ownership, still working great. I like having the exterior frame while also being able to remove the soft top under the frame. I'm happier with this than my OEM/bestop soft tops.Helpful (0)
March 01, 2020
Grate roof and cage
I am really happy with the roof so far the lack of directions with the kit was a bit disappointing but it was able to find the info online. I was also missing a strap that that goes from the roof to the cage But the product is really good so farHelpful (0)
July 02, 2019
Awesome . . . mostly.
Some not-so-awesome aspects: 1. Louder than the OEM top due to a looser fit between header and sound bar along the top of the door surrounds. Significant wind noise and dome-effect in the soft top when driving over 30 mph. 2. Soft top material is thinner and less rugged to the touch than OEM material (2012 JK). Concerns about longevity. 3. For the price, I would have expected the soft top material and fit to have been more on par. I feel a more appropriate price would be about $900 rather than $1200. Awesome aspects: 1. Everything came thoroughly packaged with no missing components. 2. I was able to install this with the help of my 10-year-old son in 6 hours without any hang-up's or assembly issues. 3. The final look and functionality (minus notes about the fit above) of the product is great, with no issues sliding back the header or switching the top into its different configurations. 4. Cargo rack is solid with no shaking or creaking. Powder coating is very well done. Overall, I am satisfied and will be keeping the EXO-Top. The benefits outweigh the set-backs, in my opinion.Helpful (2)
December 05, 2018
Good could be A LOT better.
I give it 5 stars on quality, because the material for the rack is really sturdy and the soft top is great. 3 stars on $$$ because the exo top is less for a 4 door than a 2 door by $300. I gice it 3 stars for fit because on the soft top fit does not close all the way on the back and it is uneven on one side, it is not tight, it is loose, and watch for faulty parts I got a couple of them that dealt with the instillation of the sun roof.Helpful (8)
November 23, 2018
Holds water on top. Noisy. Had 6 months an it leaked everywhere.Helpful (9)
March 13, 2018
Dont listen to the one star review. He was clearly an impulse buyer and didnt do his research. This is an amazing top. I use it to haul two nine foot pontoon style float tubes. I have been flying at 75 through the mountains of tennessee and could barely tell the tubes were up there. The frame is solid as a rock when installed. I have had some issues with materials here and there. Unlike every other company i have dealt with though Rugged Ridge actually stands behind their warranty. If I could give it ten stars I would.Helpful (10)
July 14, 2016
I ordered the Exo Top a while ago and was really looking forward to the functionality of a soft top and a roof rack. Nowhere in the description did it mention you need door surrounds (I was going from a hardtop to the ExoTop. While I like the roof rack aspect (after installation and use), the softtop part on the back end would allow for poolage of water after a rain storm which would then roll off the top, down the back window and into the rear cargo area of my Jeep (yes I had the tailgate bar and trim on). Not a very good design IMO.Helpful (13)
April 07, 2016
Great product. Easy fit-up. Just as advertised online. Very happy with purchase.Helpful (12)
Is there any additional hardware needed for this top?
The original factory soft top hardware is required for this top. If you are missing any of the hardware, you will need the Rugged Ridge Summer Brief/Bikini Windshield Header (J16174). You will also need Mopar hardware 55395757AC, 55395760AB, 55395761AB. You can source that hardware through Mopar directly. Here is the link to the header: https://www.extremeterrain.com/omix-ada-rugged-ridge-jk-1330806.html.
Can this top be installed with factory half doors? All the pictures shown seem to have full doors.
These can be used with factory half doors.
What is the Static and Dynamic weights for this roof rack top? I would like to add a Roof Top Tent that weighs 180 lbs and then two people gear = about 510 lbs.
The Rugged Ridge Exo Top will have a 300 lb static weight rating, making it unable to support your intended load.
DO you guys have any add-ons for this rooftop (other than the Spartacus roof rack)? life for the side bars.
No, currently Rugged Ridge does not offer any additional add- ons for the Rugged Ridge Exo Top- you may be able to use generic add ons that mount to the tubing though.
Are the side/rear windows sold separately? Just in case they stolen or get damaged on trails.
Hello! Unfortunately we do not carry the windows separately, if they were to get damaged, your best bet would be to reach out to the manufacturer!
Hi! The Rugged Ridge Exo Top is a soft top with a roof rack built in. It is not designed for use with a hard top.
Hello, as long as you don't exceed the 300 lbs Carrying Capacity you should be fine.
(approx) 4 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
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