ORH Soft Top Review [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: ORH Soft Top Review


PhilD
01-23-2008, 01:50 PM
The Offroad Heros Soft Top (http://www.trailduty.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=76) appealed to me as it would allow me to have just one weatherproof top that I could easily remove the rear window and side windows, and then just have a safari top. Ideal for driving to the around town, to the trail, and then having a safari top for the trail and not have to mess around switching tops.

I had tried the Bestop safari top, with duster and windjammer, and although the safari top and duster were great, the windjammer left a lot to be desired. The window was too small and it left foot wide gaps at the sides. So after spending over $400 on Bestop products, I still didn't have a very usable product for me, although I did use that setup for the most part of last year as nothing else was available.

The ORH top arrived in one box, and although there was no damage from shipping, I could see how it could happen. I have spoken to ORH and this will not be an issue in the future.

The install would have been very easy, apart from my RockHard sport cage fouled on the soft top header brackets. I worked around this and it didn't rake too long to find a fix that would work.

The material seems to be good quality, and the top is generally welll made. There were a few loose ends in the stitching here and there, while not a problem, they looked unsightly. I used a lighter to melt the thread back and tidy it up.

Despite my doubts about how well the door frames would seal against the doors, they work very well. The door frames are essentially 3/8" steel rods formed into shape, and for such a simple solution work very well.

There is a very solid bar for the front header and another similar bar at the rear of the main top to keep it flat and tensioned via two straps.

It takes a few minutes to get the windows flat and smooth, but that wasn't helped by the cold weather. A few hours in the sun would make the task much easier.

The rear window fits to the tail gate via velcro, and I can't say this appealed to me, it works, but I'd like to have seen another solution. That said, a solution like the factory soft top rail is going to add to the relatively low cost of this product.

Wind noise is not as bad as I anticipated, not quite as quiet as the factory soft top, but not that much louder either. Very surprisingly it doesn't flap around, helped in part by the angled header which keeps the top high. Even with a window open it didn't flap. I could get it to flap a very small amount with all four windows open, but not by much. With the windows closed and positive pressure the top balloons a little, but that is a not a bad thing.

With a crosswind I noticed that the rear straps hummed a little, but the usual trick of putting in a twist solved that. It's been raining here for the last few days, albeit only lightly, and there are no signs of water intrusion at all.

Due to the very large tinted windows, visibility is excellent, the best I've seen on any top for the JK. For passing, a quick glance over the shoulder really opens up the blind spot area. Even with a decent sized tire blocking the rear view, visibility is still pretty good.

I personally really like the design and think it gives the Unlimited a better stance and helps remove the stretched Jeep look. For me the ability to easily switch from a weatherproof top to a safari top is the deal winner.

Overall, I am happy with the product, like the look, and plan to get a lot of use out of. It is well made, although not quite as well finished in places as Bestop products, ie: the stitching, but for the price, I think it is pretty good value for money. If you want a top that is as quiet as the factory offerings, then this may not be for you, but if you are used to safari tops and want flexibility then this may well be the perfect all weather solution, I know I have no plans to use my factory soft top again.

Unfortunately due to the weather the last few days I haven't had a chance to take any good pics, but these will give you the idea.



http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_1.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_2.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_3.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_4.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_5.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_6.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_7.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_8.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_9.jpg

BigO
01-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the review Phil. :beer:

I have a question about the header over the windshield. I'm not a big fan of how it looks when the top is rolled forward to open everything up. How does the header attach to the top of the windshield? Would it be a pain in the butt to completely remove the safari top part rather than roll it up?

Oh, and a memo to ORH: It would be nice to get more detailed info on your website.

PhilD
01-23-2008, 02:33 PM
How does the header attach to the top of the windshield? Would it be a pain in the butt to completely remove the safari top part rather than roll it up?One bolt either side, would only add a couple of minutes to the process.

MichaelW
01-23-2008, 05:08 PM
Very nicely written Phil. :beer:

I would have to say that what you have written is along the lines of what I expected. I also agree that the biggest appeal after the look is the ease of going from one style to another without packing extra stuff.

My factory top is already worn in places from scraping along branches on the windows and rubbing holes in the top on trees and this will most likely be my replacement.

Good stuff.

I wonder if Ed has any plan at all to incorporate the factory soft top tail gate bar as this would bypass the velcro that seems to draw some concern?

:bounce:

PhilD
01-24-2008, 07:13 AM
I wonder if Ed has any plan at all to incorporate the factory soft top tail gate bar as this would bypass the velcro that seems to draw some concern?I guess if he gets enough requests, he may well add it.

The velcro actually works pretty well, and allows you to easily tension the rear window. Having the tail gate bar, would require some re-thinking of keeping the rear window pulled tight.

Like I said, I just personally don't like the velcro, I like things to be more "finished", but it does work well and I have no problem with it.

FzyPChz
01-26-2008, 08:30 PM
Nice PhilD! Sorry to hijack the thread, but what seat covers do you have? Leather?

PhilD
01-27-2008, 08:10 AM
Nice PhilD! Sorry to hijack the thread, but what seat covers do you have? Leather?Vinyl, synthetic leather, pleather, or whatever you want to call them. I didn't want leather as I wanted something that was more suited to getting wet, muddy, etc, and would easily clean up.

They are made by Iggee (http://www.trailduty.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=57) and fit perfectly, they are lined with foam, and are available in a range of colors.

http://www.trailduty.com/images/igee_jk.jpg

PhilD
01-27-2008, 08:11 AM
The wind's died down for the last couple of days, and without the strong winds buffeting the vehicle, the top is much quieter. Definitely very similar to the factory soft top now.

PhilD
02-07-2008, 07:03 AM
Last weekend i got to use the soft top for the reason I wanted it. 250 mile drive to go wheelin, remove windows, wheel, replace windows, drive 250 miles home. It worked out great, took just a couple of minutes to remove the rear window and side windows, and just a couple of minutes to put them back in.

I ended up wheelin' with a safari top, but driving there and back in a weatherproof Jeep. Worked out perfectly.

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_safari_1.jpg

http://www.trailduty.com/temp/orh_safari_2.jpg

Gear
02-07-2008, 07:28 AM
Wow, that looks great Phil. I need to put my stock 4 door soft top up for sale. I will put it on the list of things to do.

venom
02-07-2008, 11:23 AM
I finally got to do just the opposite!
We had a couple of days of decent weather here in West Texas and I got to roll my center section up for a awhile.
I was worried about driving on the highway with the windows in and the center rolled up that the wind would come straight in and catch the back windows and blow them out or something but that's not the case.
Air seems to mostly go up and over - probably thanks largely to the un-aerodynamic brick styling that we all love so much :thefinger:
Takes about 2 minutes to roll it up or put it down.
The first night I was driving home and looking up at the big starry texas sky I was :D all the way home.

After living with the top for a couple of weeks, I figure I've put it through some of the toughest treatment it's gonna see. This time of year we avg 20MPH sustained winds and gusts over 50MPH - pretty much Hell for a soft top, especially with temps in the 20s.
So far I'm still very impressed with the top.
I'm still waiting for my new center section - my original was very slightly damaged in shipping- Ed said that a lot of them were and volunteered a replacement immediately.

http://www.jkowners.com/forum/gallery/files/1/4/6/zoojeep.JPG
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/gallery/files/1/4/6/playin.jpg
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/gallery/files/1/4/6/zoojeep3.JPG

PhilD
02-07-2008, 11:37 AM
Nice pics, makes your Rubi look very cool :smokin::smokin::smokin:

skibum
02-07-2008, 02:50 PM
Wait a minute.........how come nobody's jumping in to accuse you guys of being shills for ORH (or accusing you of being Ed himself)? Oh yeah, cuz this is not that other place and people here just want to talk Jeeps (not s_ _t).

Glad to hear that everybody who's bought one of these so far seems to really like it. As soon as I accumulate enough money, this is the third thing on my list (tires and front bumper first). Makes the Unlimited look a little like an old Jeepster Commando a friend used to own (hope that doesn't offend anyone) and that I really liked the looks of. :)

FzyPChz
02-08-2008, 08:18 PM
Wait a minute.........how come nobody's jumping in to accuse you guys of being shills for ORH (or accusing you of being Ed himself)?

:laughing2::laughing2::laughing2::laughing2:

I'm saving up my money to get this top too!

luigi0523
02-09-2008, 09:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum
Wait a minute.........how come nobody's jumping in to accuse you guys of being shills for ORH (or accusing you of being Ed himself)?

I posted some pics on jk forum the other day showing my new TREKS Offroad Equipment bumpers, sliders & skids. There was a couple of people that asked about the top. They were soon met with a post from one of the mods, with history and warnings about SONIC and his thread on ORH Tops.:shaking::laughing::laughing::laughing:

SO I GUESS! I'm just another dumbass that can't think for himself.:bawling:

Alec W
02-09-2008, 11:58 AM
Without doubt this will be my next major purchase for the JK after I get my gears installed.

venom
02-09-2008, 12:01 PM
hmmm I wonder what they look like on a jeep that isn't red :devil:

skibum
02-09-2008, 05:17 PM
hmmm I wonder what they look like on a jeep that isn't red :devil:

Who cares. :laughing2: Besides which........aren't all Jeeps RED? :D

venom
02-10-2008, 12:09 PM
Who cares. :laughing2: Besides which........aren't all Jeeps RED? :D

nah, only the best ones :grinpimp:

Anyway, got my tracking # for my new bikini section from ORH :mr-t:

venom
02-10-2008, 09:12 PM
Just did a mod tonight that makes it even easier to use the ORH top
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10867
moving the 3rd brake light inside the spare and getting rid of the stalk
more room for your hand to secure the velcro plus I think it looks better without the 3rd brake stalk sticking up
its not as easy as a swing out tire carrier, but its a hell of a lot cheaper till I can get one!

skibum
02-11-2008, 12:42 PM
Nice job on the brake light Venom. That looks way better than the stock setup.