Review & Install Video
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.
Versatility and Performance.
Enjoy the great outdoors without compromise with the Rugged Ridge Exo Top. This top is the very first of its kind and features an integrated roof rack by utilizing a unique suspended top design that allows complete function of the top without interfering with a fully loaded rack. Ideal for those with active lifestyles, this top transforms to provide access to the open air while driving and can support up to 300 lbs. of cargo weight allowing you to take kayaks, bikes, camping supplies, gear and more to wherever your adventure calls.
This top utilizes an externally suspended design with heavy duty Velcro straps along the perimeter bars to provide a snug and uniform fit. From the front seat you'll have access to a unique Sun Slider function; By unlatching two clips you can slide back the front portion of the top creating an open air environment without ever leaving the driver seat. Rear and side panels are easily removed to create a full safari top without disturbing cargo for complete ease of use and unrivaled performance. Installation and Warranty.
This two in one roof rack and soft top kit features a fully bolt on installation that doesn't require any modification to your Jeep for installation. It does require a factory style header bar, tailgate bar and tailgate bar retainer clips for installation. Rugged Ridge ensures complete quality and performance by providing a five year limited warranty on their Exo Top.
The Rugged Ridge Exo Top is a combination roof rack and softop designed specifically for use on 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited (4 door) models.
- What's in the Box
- (1) Cage Base, LH
- (1) Cage Base, RH
- (1) Rear Cage Bar
- (1) T Bar, Rear
- (1) T Bar, Front
- (1) Center Cross Bar
- (1) Front Side Bar, LH
- (1) Front Side Bar, RH
- (1) Front Surround, LH
- (1) Front Surround, RH
- (1) Rear Lower Surround, LH
- (1) Rear Lower Surround, RH
- (1) Rear Upper Surround, LH
- (1) Rear Upper Surround, RH
- (1) Seal, LH
- (1) Seal, RH
- (1) Soft Top Fabric
- (1) Rear Window
- (1) Side Window, LH
- (1) Side Window, RH
- Installation Info
Installation Time: (approx) 4 Hours
Difficulty Level:Simple installation for anyone
- Will it fit my Wrangler?
- JK Unlimited - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
- JK Rubicon - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17