If you own a jeep, we bet you’d agree that driving with the top off and feeling the Summer’s sun and the breeze is a lot of fun. But one hindrance always gets in the way – the difficulty of removing the hardtop.
More often than not, the Jeep Wrangler hardtop is too bulky and difficult to get off without a few friends giving you a hand.
Aside from that, if you don’t have the right equipment to remove it, you risk damaging your hardtop or the jeep or even hurting yourself (especially your back).
Do you know what the solution is? Getting the best jeep hardtop hoist.
Keep reading to discover the hard-top lift/storage system that fits your needs.
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What Is Jeep Hardtop Hoist? Why Do You Need It?
A hoist refers to an appliance designed to lift or lower loads, typically using a chain or rope wrapped around a lift wheel. The appliance can be operated manually, pneumatically or electronically.
Hence, a jeep wrangler hard top hoist is an appliance that lifts or lowers your jeep’s hardtop, and it’s normally operated manually or electronically. If you know how elevators work, then you should know jeep top lifts aren’t much different; they use the same mechanism.
There are numerous reasons why getting a jeep hardtop hoist is a great step.
Here are a few:
Go ahead and look at our jeep hardtop hoist reviews to find the one that works for you.
Our Top 8 Best Jeep Hardtop Hoists Picks for 2021
1. Harken 4-Point Kayak Hoister
Second on our list is the Harken 4-Point Kayak Hoister, which is also a pretty amazing system for someone looking for an inexpensive yet efficient lift for a jeep top.
When it comes to factors like the ease of use and the versatility, this is one of good winches out there. First, it’s a simple system, and to lift with it, you use a block and tackle technique and just pull on a single rope.
The rope is part of a system of pulleys that amplify the force you exert, and the jeep top lifts off without you having to struggle.
As you can see, that’s a really easy mechanism. And besides, the kit comes with a handbook containing a set of instructions that guide you step by step though the mounting and the operation.
And talking about the mounting, this is the part that makes many people shy away from getting a hoist but tell you what? The Harken 4-Point Kayak Hoister’s installation is a cinch.
You just drill holes in the ceiling and attach the eyelets, the socket set, and the braking system, and after setting the ropes right, you’re all done. It’s that easy.
You might be concerned about your safety and that of the top and the jeep while working with this pulley but tell you what? The braking system is a safety assurance, and with it in place, you have nothing to worry about.
That’s because if you accidentally let go of the rope, the rope will be stopped from sliding through abruptly and the jeep top will not fall on you or the jeep; it’ll stay suspended right there.
2. Jeep Hardtop Storage/Hoist by Harken Hoister with BONUS T Knobs
Here’s yet another inexpensive option from the Harken Hoister brand. This hoist system is not only easy to install but also very versatile in that it fits all jeep wrangler models. It’s particularly a great fit for jeeps manufactured between 1987 and 2016.
Being a 4-point lift, the system makes it easy to lift the top off of your vehicle by giving you good support and stability. This feature also makes it easy to store the top attached to the hoist, as the balance created the 4-point mounting is excellent.
Worried about safety? Don’t be. You can be sure that even if you released the rope accidentally before getting the hardtop safety to the top, the hardtop would not drop and hurt someone or damage something.
That’s because the ball bearing has a self-locking ball which is an anti-drop mechanism to prevent inadvertent dropping.
Looking for something extra to convince you that this is the fairest deal? Well, guess what? The kit comes with six easy-removal bolts.
When you remove your hardtop, make sure that when you attach it back, you use these bolts instead of the factory bolts. These are designed for easy removal, and you don’t even need a tool to get them off.
With them, it will be very easy to remove the hardtop each time you want to enjoy the summer air. Realize, however, that these bolts are only compatible with a 2007 or later jeep model.
3. PHL-1R Pro HeavyLift Storage Rack by Racor
This is for those of you who prefer to remove their jeep top without using any machines. Perhaps you’re strong enough, and your top isn’t all that heavy, and all you’re looking for is an innovative means to store it.
Well, if you’re in such a situation, then what you need is a good storage system like the PHL-1R Pro HeavyLift Storage Rack by Racor.
This is a garage storage rack for mounting on the ceiling, and it has a pulley system that makes sure you’re able to lift and store your goods up there without any stress.
The best thing about this system is that it’s not just meant for hardtops. If you have a good not exceeding 250 pounds in weight, and you want to keep it out of the way in the garage, then the Racor storage system will be most helpful.
The operation follows a really easy mechanism because here’s all you need to do: load your item on the rack, secure it there with straps, then crank the handle to lift the rack. It’s that simple!
So, after removing your hardtop, you just place it on the rack and crank the handle to move it up.
This hoist/storage is superior when it comes to the performance and the durability. On that note, the support beams are made of heavy-duty steel, and the rack is also made from high-grade materials to ensure the system can support tough weights and endure use for years on end.
The safety lock ensures that your goods don’t fall accidentally.
4. Goplus Electric Hoist w/Remote Control
There are numerous reasons why we’d rate the Goplus Electric Hoist the jeep hardtop hoist, and seriously, if there were time, we’d talk about this amazing gadget all day.
If your jeep top is huge and very heavy, then you definitely shouldn’t go for just any hoist you see in the shops; you need a super sturdy lift. And talking about sturdiness, almost nothing beats this Goplus machine.
The cable is made of highly potent carbon steel, and it is braided and enhanced with anti-twist mechanisms to make it very strong and able to withstand extreme strain. This cable is around 39 feet in length, and the diameter is an eighth of an inch.
Almost all the other hardware, including the clamps, is made of steel, and as steel is known to be robust, the entire system is durable even with heavy use. You can expect it to serve you excellently for years, even decades.
There are two heavy-gauge lift hooks, and together, they can handle a maximum weight of 440 pounds. You know what that means? The can lift just about any jeep top out there.
And with a high-grade motor, which is ETL approved, the power supplied is more than enough to handle the weight of the load and conduct an efficient lift.
What’s more, the motor is designed in such a way that it delivers power efficiently without consuming much energy.
So, if you’re looking to save on energy, this hoist would be a perfect pick.
5. Hoist-A-Top 014-210 Lange Hardtop Removal System
Up to this juncture, we’ve only talked about mechanical hoists. While these maybe simple, they’re definitely not the best option when it comes to ease of use. If you’re looking for the optimal ease of use, an electric winch is the way to go.
The Hoist-A-Top 014-210 is arguably the best jeep hardtop hoist for someone who needs an electric system. This winch is super easy to use, if that you’ll not to pull on anything to get it to work; all you have to do is press a button and watch the hoist do all the work. Yep, it’s that easy!
So, if you have a back problem or any other issue or just don’t like the word ‘manual’, then this top end hoist is perfect for you.
There’s a rear hook, dubbed the Smart Hook (that’s a trademark, actually), and this makes it possible to lift and store the jeep top with the rear window shut.
The winch has another trademarked item, the Balance Blade, and this makes certain that the frame is able to support and balance your top superbly.
That way, you can be almost a hundred percent certain there can be no damage to the top or the jeep during removal.
Maybe you’re worried about using a hoist because you don’t know if the finish of your top will get ruined by the hooks of the hoist. Well, you know what?
That’s not something you should worry about if you’re using the Hoist-A-Top 014-210, and this is because its hooks are rubber coated to protect the finish. The other hardware that comes into contact with the top is foam-coated for the same purpose.
6. Hardtop Quick Removal Thumb Screw & Nut Kit by Amazingli
Up to this point, we’ve told you about the finest hoists in the market. But now that this article is generally meant to address hardtop welfare, we feel there’s need to talk a little about how to ensure the hardtop is screwed firmly to the jeep yet easy to remove.
The factory screws that hold the top to the jeep are okay, but they’re not the best with regards to stability and ease of removal.
They’re especially poor when it comes to the ease of removal because more often than not, you have to use a tool to remove them.
But with the Hardtop Quick Removal Thumb Screw & Nut Kit, all that can change.
This kit comes with eight pieces of t screws, nut plates, and washers, all of which are perfectly designed for both the stability and ease of removal of the jeep top.
With these versatile fasteners, you’re able to ensure that there are no loose parts on the top because they create a firm connection with the body of the vehicle.
Don’t have screwdrivers or wrenches there with you? No worries. Because guess what? The thing that attracted us to these fasteners is the fact that you don’t need to use any tools to remove them. That denotes speed and convenience.
Another awesome thing about this kit is that it’s compatible with a wide range of jeeps. It’s compatible with a wide range of jeeps including the Jeep Wrangler TJ, JKU, YJ, JK, Unlimited X, Rubicon X, and more.
7. The 7803B 4 Point Hoister System by Harken Hoister
Allow us just to state that we absolutely loved the Harken Hoister 7803B and that we believe you will love it too.
The reason as to why we rated this winch as our top pick is that it is not only super effective, turning what used to be a 3-men job into a 1-man job, but also inexpensive.
If you’d like a mechanical, no frills system to help you remove your hardtop, then the 7803B would be an excellent selection. This hoist is a four point, meaning that your jeep top’s supports get spaced out and thus properly balanced. If you want your top to remain suspended up there after removal, then this support will be most helpful.
Another amazing fact about this lift system is that it offers you lots of versatility. You get to choose your ideal number of points. You can go for a 1-point, 2-point or 4-point system, depending on the shape and weight of jeep top.
If you love products that come with everything needed for the installation and operation, then you will love this winch. The components include eyelets, pulleys, a rope, and a braking system.
In case you’re wondering, the eyelets are for the system’s attachment and subsequent support on the ceiling.
In the event that you lose grip of the rope while pulling the jeep top up, you don’t have to worry about it dropping suddenly and getting damaged or causing damage. Why? The braking system prevents an abrupt movement of the rope.
8. Smittybilt’s 510001 Hoist
Last on our list is the Smittybilt’s 510001 Hoist. This handy implement is great for a number of reasons, first of which is the performance. Do you know the winch can lift up to a thousand pounds! Well, there aren’t many hoists out there that are that strong, so this is a feature to take note of.
Basically, the hoist is made of a frame assembled with roll pins and a pulley system for the lifting and lowering.
It’s an easy to use hoist that has a 200-amp motor, and this by the way, along with the robust nature of the other hardware, is what gives the lift so much power to lift up to 1000 pounds.
As it’s run electronically, the system makes it super easy for you to lift and store your jeep top. There are no ropes to pull and the only part that involves real work is mounting. Once the installation is done, then the rest is smooth and easy lifting.
There’s one issue, however – the instructions are not very helpful. Fortunately, if you have even just a little measure of technical skills, you’ll not have much trouble. Consider using the block and tackle to lower the speed when lifting and lowering the hoist.
Another amazing thing worth noting about this tool is that it is compatible with a range of jeep models, including the YJ, CJ, JK, TJ, and more.
Things To Consider Before Buying of Jeep Hardtop Hoist
There are a few considerations to make when purchasing a hardtop lift for your jeep. Here are a few of them:
Jeep tops vary in size and shape, and hoists are manufactured to suit different tops according to the jeep model. So, before hitting ‘buy’, you got to first check the specs and ensure that the lift suits your exact jeep model.
Realize that if you use a hoist that is not compatible, you could end up damaging your hardtop or even worse, the hardtop could drop from its suspended position.
Maybe, for some reason, you’re unable to tell what hoist suits your jeep. In that case, our advice is that you go for a jeep wrangler hard top hoist that is rated as compatible with all or almost all jeep models (there are several such hoists in our review). That way, there’ll be a high chance of getting the correct product.
This is a very important consideration. The question to ask is, “Will the lift work well within my garage space?”. Because you see, some hoists, especially the top-mounted ones, will have instructions like ‘needs a ceiling height of 10 ft’.
So, the ceiling height is the biggest space factor to look at, with 10 feet being the standard for most hoists.
With the top-mounted lifts, there’s always an installation process. What matters is the difficulty involved, and to have a reliable picture on this, you need to check what the people that have used the lift are saying.
The reliability of the instructions is very important if you’re to have an easy time doing the installation so watch out for that.
If the hoist is easy to install, three hours installation time should be enough.
Powered or not powered?
This factor is related to the ease of use, but it also affects the costs involved. If the ease of use is the most important aspect to you, then you’ll definitely want to get a powered lift that comes with a motor.
With that, you’ll only be pressing a button or even using a remote control to raise or lower the hardtop. But then, be prepared to pay more money, perhaps even 200 dollars more than someone buying a lift that’s not powered.
If you’re on a budget or if you’re okay with pulling a rope to operate the lift, then you’ll want to go for a mechanical lift. Due to the absence of the motor along with a few other features, this kind of lift is a lot less expensive than a powered one. A good one will cost you a hundred and something dollars.
Top Rated Jeep Hardtop Hoist Brands in The Market
Harken Hoister is a US brand that was started over five decades ago. It was the brainchild of two brothers and was initially set up in a small backyard, but over the years, Harken Hoister has grown tremendously and established itself as one of the most respected, most popular hoist brands not only in the United States but also in other parts of the globe.
As a matter of fact, lifts manufactured by this brand are often used in the Olympics and the America’s Cup, and this is enough proof of the quality involved.
If you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive, totally reliable lift for your hardtop, then Harken Hoister is one of the brands to consider.
The Lange Originals has been around for more than 20 years. Currently, this is one of the most preferred lift brands in the jeep community, and this can be attributed to the high quality of its winches.
Operating from Salt Lake City, Utah, the company manufactures and sells a selection of lifts for almost all Jeep Wrangler models, with free delivery in the US.
Racor started manufacturing garage storage racks in 1985, and with revolutionary engineering through the years, the brand has managed to emerge a giant in the sector. Today, it has more than 50 different types of garage storage solutions.
What is most appealing about the products it makes is the innovative design that makes it so easy to save space.
If you’re looking to gain control over your garage’s clutter without spending a fortune on it or using too much effort, a Racor storage lift will be very useful.
Smittybuilt was founded back in the 1950s by Basil Smith and was initially a small shop known as Rock-ett Products.
After some time, the brand developed into a bigger company producing a wider range of products, and it was renamed Smittybuilt, after the founder’s nickname ‘Smitty’.
Today, Smittybuilt focuses on availing great accessories for trucks and jeeps, and some of its most popular products include bumpers and hardtop lifts.
If you’re looking for a truly exceptional electric lift for your jeep top, you can never go wrong with Smittybuilt.
How to Lift and Store a Jeep Wrangler Hardtop
The hardtop is a removable part of the jeep, but taking it off is not that simple; it often requires two to four people to pull it off. However, with a hoist, you can do it all by yourself, and without struggling. But how does this implement really work?
The following is a step by step guide to removing the jeep hardtop with a hoist.
Some winches are pretty strong, and they can keep the hardtop suspended high up in the air and out of the way. But before you make up your mind to keep the top suspended up there, there are a few things you should make sure of:
Some of you might think that hardtop storage is a piece of cake. Maybe you think you can just whip it off and stash it wherever it fits in the garage but have you checked how much a replacement would cost you?
Well, that’s why proper storage is vital. Storing the top suspended is okay as long as it’s not in the way of your daily activities.
You might, for different reasons, find it inappropriate to store your top attached to winch at the ceiling. In that case, consider this method:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What types of hardtop hoists are there?
There are two main types of hardtop hoists, namely, mechanical and electric. Mechanical winches are simple and don’t have a motor.
To operate them, the user normally has to pull or release a rope. Electric hoists, are a bit more complex in that they include electrical parts, but they are also super easy to use as you only have to press a button to get the lift to work.
How does a jeep top winch work?
Normally, there are hooks or straps used to cradle the top, and then the mechanical lever or rope or the electric switch is worked to lift the top. But before all that, all the fasteners on the hardtop have to be removed.
What’s the easiest way to store my jeep top?
We’d recommend you get a good winch and mount it onto your ceiling. When you lift your jeep top off using the winch, let it stay suspended high up at the ceiling and out of the way.
How much is a jeep wrangler hard top removal system?
A good mechanical jeep top lift will cost you between 100 and 200 USD, but if you need an electric one, you’ll likely pay between 300 and 400 USD.
Why do I need a hardtop lift for my jeep?
For easy jeep top removal. Without a hoist, it normally requires two to four people to lift off the bulky item.
And if you try doing it on your own, you might end up hurting your back badly or drop the top and damage it or damage something else. But with a good hoist, you can safely remove your jeep hardtop on your own.
How do you remove a jeep top?
Removing your jeep top is a fairly easy process. You just free the panels by unlocking the black clips and then unscrew each of the screws (usually six in number with three on either side) at the top.
How do you install a jeep top winch at the ceiling?
Most hoists come with guidelines on how to do the installation, but basically, all you need to do is drill some holes on the ceiling and attach some eyelets and socket sets there. The braking system normally goes to the side wall.
The eyelets will act as support for the entire system so be sure to choose good sites on the ceiling where to attach them. Drill on timber rather than cardboard.
We hope that our review has helped you find a winch that works for you. Both the mechanical and electric lifts are very helpful, reducing a three-men job to a one-man task, but obviously, the electric removal systems are easier to use as you just have to press a button.
But then again, if you’re on a tight budget, a mechanical, no-frills winch works better for you as it will help you save some cash.
Go ahead and share this article with your friends so they too can find the best jeep hardtop hoist.