One of the benefits of owning a jeep is going without the hardtop. Enjoying the warmth of the sun and the breeze passing through hair and shirts, something we all cherish.
But here’s the catch, the top isn’t exactly a basket of apples. You cannot just attach and remove it without any assistance. Even with human assistance, experiencing back strain while removing the top is a common occurrence.
But hey, we live in an era of innovation, so why not take advantage of that? The accessory that makes removing tops is the hardtop hoist. You can remove the hardtop all by yourself. Not only that, the hoist provides a convenient place to store the top, the air!
Since there is some heavy lifting involved, you cannot compromise the security. You need the best jeep hardtop hoist that can easily remove and securely store the hardtop.
- Best Jeep Hardtop Hoist Choices In 2020
- Top Jeep Hardtop Hoist Comparison Chart
- Best Jeep Hard Top Hoist Reviews
- 1. Harken JEEP Hardtop 6:1 Hoist | Best Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Hoist
- 2. Garage Smart Motorized Jeep Hard Top Hoist | Best Winch For Jeep
- 3. Racor Ceiling Storage Heavy Lift | Best Hoist For Home Garage
- 4. Harken Garage Storage Ceiling 8:1 Hoist | Overall Best Hoist For Jeep Hardtop
- 5. Partsam 440 lbs Lift Electric Hoist | Best Electric Hoist
- 6. Smittybilt 510001 Hard Top Hoist | Best Jeep Top Hoist
- 7. Five Oceans Overhead Electric Hoist | Best Electric Winch
- 8. RAD Cycle Products Bike Hoist | Best Bike Hoist
- Jeep Hardtop Hoist Buying Guide
- Type of Hoists Considering Operation
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Best Jeep Hardtop Hoist Choices In 2020
The mechanism jeep hardtop hoist works on is simple science. It uses a pulley system to multiply the force put by you and lift the top. The hoist also helps reinstall the top without scratching or damaging it.
Good hoists provide several benefits. First, it makes the job a one-man job which would’ve otherwise needed several persons. Second, it keeps the top level to ease the reinstalling. Third, it works as storage, saves garage space and protects the hardtop from damage.
There are some models that require manual labor to lift the roof, while advanced hoists come with a motor that makes the job fully automated. They also come with varying weight-lifting capacity.
Top Jeep Hardtop Hoist Comparison Chart
Best Jeep Hard Top Hoist Reviews
There is a wide range of hoists on the market, each coming with its own specialties. Some models have better weight carrying capacity than others. Some are easier to install.
Some hoists take the manual labor away and use a motor to lift the hardtop. There are automated models that can be controlled via Android/ IOS devices. Considering the diversity, we decided to take nothing away from our readers and review different hoists with the most versatile features.
1. Harken JEEP Hardtop 6:1 Hoist | Best Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Hoist
Harken has a great line of pulley and hoist setups for general storage, canoes, bikes and of course, jeeps and car tops. The kit we’re reviewing, 7803 model comes almost all-inclusive including most hardware, bracket, and line you might need.
This device is designed to be used by one person. The 7803 model comes with three variations, 10 feet, and 10 feet with T knobs and 12 feet with T knobs. All of them has a weight carrying capacity of 145 pounds or 66 kilograms.
What makes Harken insanely popular is its ease of use. You can control it with a single control rope. It is very easy to set up on your ceiling. There is an instruction manual to help you during the installation.
Despite being simple, don’t think it has a lack of control. The rope is double braided, while the other parts are made of durable stainless steel. The package contains 6 thumb screws to assist you with the hardtop removal process.
The lifting system is designed to pull all four corners evenly from one point. The 6:1 pulley system reduces the force required by you by 1/6th of the total weight. Not only that, this system has a locking mechanism in place to grip the rope in case it slips off your hands.
Harken is one of the most reliable brands when it comes to winches. The 7803 model allows a good height allowance and can carry a decent weight. The 6:1 mechanical advantage will reduce the force required from you. As for installation, it might seem challenging for first timers and take 2-3 hours. But the process gets easier as you work thanks to the clear instruction manual.
2. Garage Smart Motorized Jeep Hard Top Hoist | Best Winch For Jeep
Till now, all we’ve discussed is the mechanical winch models. Surely, they are cheaper and work just fine for jeep owners. But that doesn’t mean they’re the easiest and most convenient ones.
If you’re ready to take things up a notch, go for Garage Smart Motorized Hardtop Hoist. This is an electric system. The setup is all the hassle you have to ever encounter. After that, just lift your finger and press button, Bam! All the heavy lifting is done by the motor.
The system has an innovative weight sensing technology which makes accidents an improbable occurrence. You can control the whole operation from you android or IOs device. With smart lift and smart lower buttons, you can choose the points you want your jeep top moved to.
The structure also uses an interior gear brake system to stop the spool the when the motor loses power. It has a unique “My Lifter’ app that makes sure the hardtop remains balanced and the motor doesn’t carry more weight than it’s supposed to.
The winch works with ceilings 8 feet high at a minimum. If you hate back straining, pulled muscle, pinched fingers or manual labor right before a nice drive, go for this one. With adjustable arms, this one is the best winch for Jeep TJ and other models.
If you hate the word ‘manual’, then this one is the perfect choice for you. It comes with reliable construction and additional features like Smart Lift, Weight Sensor, and Smartphone App. It’s costlier than manual ones, that’s only because it offers more features and conveniences.
3. Racor Ceiling Storage Heavy Lift | Best Hoist For Home Garage
This one is slightly different in terms of working principle. This isn’t exactly a hoist, rather it’s an elevator that helps you carry and store vehicle hardtop, kayak or any other heavy objects. In essence, it’s an additional storage space in the air.
Those who have a hardtop that isn’t that heavy or has an extra person all the time to support the pulling, will find this top convenient. It has a 16 square feet wide platform that lets you store anything, and a pulley system that makes it easy to pull and lower the platform.
The platform is made of high-quality steel. You can carry up to 250 pounds of weight on this. The steel cables that hold this platform facilitates 8 feet vertical lift. To makes sure the platform stays in place, they are equipped with a locking mechanism.
The epoxy finish on the construction makes it even more durable. The loading mechanism couldn’t be easier, just load the top or other time, tie it with the straps and use the crank to pull the platform up. Overall, this one works as a much needed extra storage for an otherwise chockfull garage.
This one doesn’t facilitate the removal of the car upper part. In that sense, it’s not a hoist per se. But it delivers the second advantage a hoist provides, and in a better way. It works as additional storage. As the package includes all the wires, nut, bolts, washers and hooks you need, no matter how much challenging it feels, you’ll never feel underprepared for the task.
4. Harken Garage Storage Ceiling 8:1 Hoist | Overall Best Hoist For Jeep Hardtop
This one comes with almost the same price as the previous one but is better in all aspects. While the previous one provided 145 pounds capacity, this one allows for a whopping 200 pounds weight capacity.
This is a four-point system. That means the top is strapped and tied on all four corners. But the thing is, the patented design distributed all the weight equally. And the mechanical advantage of 8:1 makes it possible for the user to lift it with a single roof.
That also means the task can be done by only one person. The model allows a secure winch system for a 12 feet height. The package comes almost complete for easy installation, although you might have to visit the hardware store once.
The device has a sublime security system in place. The construction consists of stainless-steel attachments and double braided rope. Even if you find it difficult to hold the hope, a safety lock will prevent the rope and the hardtop from falling.
This is a quality device that comes almost at the same price as the 7803 model, but with a better mechanical advantage, weight capacity and height allowance. It’s meant to be used for 4 door jeeps but does its work with efficiency and safety.
5. Partsam 440 lbs Lift Electric Hoist | Best Electric Hoist
Since we’re talking about electric winches, it would be a shame to leave one of the best-rated jeep hardtop hoists on the market. As the name suggests, this model comes with 440 pounds or 200 kilograms of weight capacity.
There are other models (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0774Q5SZ9) that provides even more weight capacity, you know, just in case. The system uses a single/double line system just to facilitate different needs from the users.
For instance, the potential weight capacity of 440 pounds is for a double line system. If you use a single line, the capacity will reduce to 220 pounds. The lifting height and speed are respectively 38 feet and 33 feet/min for single line, while its 19 feet and 16 feet/min for the double line.
The movement of the rope and straps are controlled by a button. The motor runs on 4.1A current and 110/120 V voltage. The manufacturer also provides one 3 feet short and one 5.5 feet long straps. Both of them are 2 inches in width.
The main job of loading is done by anti-rotate steel wires. These wires are zinc plated and heat resistant, thus safe and secure to use. It comes with an emergency stop switch to ensure maximum protection while moving the hardtop.
This is an electric winch that comes with a secure and strong construction. It has a brake and emergency stop for security. You can alter the capacity by switching between single and double line. The zinc plated steel cable doesn’t twist or rotate while lifting the hardtop.
Yes, it can be noisy while operating. But I guess you won’t mind a little bit noise for a minute, especially when you can lift your hardtop safely and securely.
6. Smittybilt 510001 Hard Top Hoist | Best Jeep Top Hoist
Smittybilt is known for insanely powerful winch models (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K150VAI) that can carry up to 10,000 pounds of weight. But of course, if you don’t want to overkill it and save some bucks in the process, go for the Smittybilt 510001, the one we’re reviewing here.
This one is designed for different Jeep models like CJ, TJ, YJ, and JK. The 510001 model itself can carry quite some weight, 1000 pounds at maximum to be exact. The system features an electric hoist system and a powerful 200-amp motor.
The frame is made of heavy-duty steel tubes along with roll pins. This is a three-point system, unlike the Harken models. But the points distribute the weight evenly, thus lifting 1000 pounds isn’t a tough feat.
You can lift the top with the rear window closed. Also, it has rubber stops and cushioned rollers to protect your vehicle upper part from any scratch. Since it’s an electric winch, no rope pulling is involved. All you have to do is make sure the system is installed correctly, and it’ll automate the lifting process for you.
This is a convenient electric winch that comes with a high weight carrying capacity. It works with almost all Jeep models and you don’t have to keep the rear window open to operate it.
As for instructions, you can finish the task with some technical know-how knowledge. Also, there are several YouTube videos explaining the steps.
7. Five Oceans Overhead Electric Hoist | Best Electric Winch
There are very few winches on the market that comes with as many options as Five Oceans offer. I mean, you don’t have to overkill with a highly powerful device if you know what exactly you need. FO comes with several weight and control options and they’re decently priced!
You’ll find models coming with 220 pounds to 2200 pounds of weight capacity. All of them are electric jeep hardtop hoists. They are be easily controlled by remote without needing any manual labor.
This one also comes with single and double-line capacity like Partsam. You can lift 220 pounds at a rate of 33 feet/min with a single line. As for double line, the weight capacity is 440 pounds and rate is 16 feet/min.
This kit comes with everything you need to get started right away. You’ll get a 39.4 feet wire cable, a remote to control the system, stop bracket, line blocker and other accessories. The stop bracket stops the winch is the line blocker starts pulling upwards. This protects the spool, line and the winch.
The motor is 460-amp powered, capable of lifting vehicle tops, engines, tools, and machinery. The device is certified with an IP rating of 40 by laboratories like Canada Underwriters Laboratory Inc., Intertek, etc.
Being an automated motor-powered winch, all you have to do is install it and relax. The installation is also made easy thanks to the detailed manual provided by manufacturers. The kit includes braided steel cable, mounting brackets, and lift hook. You will get hanging bars for a very cheap price in local stores.
8. RAD Cycle Products Bike Hoist | Best Bike Hoist
This isn’t exactly a jeep hoist, that’s because the weight capacity is low, 75 pounds. It’s actually a bike hoist, but serves the same purpose, freeing up garage storage and using air space instead.
This is a flexible, stylish, easy to use bicycle winch. Once it’s mounted, you can hang the bike either vertically or parallel to the joists. Not many winches offer that kind of option.
The spacing between the hooks can be modified and adjusted. This makes it a universal device for all bike types and sizes. The whole structure is made of heavy-duty aluminum. So, it won’t be affected by corrosion and will probably last a lifetime.
RAD can be used on ceilings 12 feet high. The hooks that hold the bike are rubber coated, so there is no chance your beautiful bike will get scratches from hanging. The rope is thick and capable to carry the bike. For more secure operation, a safe locking mechanism is included, in case the rope slips off the hands.
For a bike winch, this one is versatile and honestly, slightly unorthodox. But you’ll love the fact that you can keep your bike in different positions. The structure is made strong and durable, making it the best bicycle hoist you can get.
However, the wood screws might be soft to handle the load (not guaranteed, depends on your package). Just purchase them for a few dollars and you should be fine.
Jeep Hardtop Hoist Buying Guide
You’ll be lifting your rooftop and probably storing it in the air. Thus, you need a hoist that can carry the load easily. Each winch has a certain lifting capacity, make sure your jeep top weighs less than that.
Most of the winches on the market have 250 pounds of maximum weight capacity, which should be enough for your jeep wrangler. If you need more capacity, there are certain models that can go up to 1000 pounds capacity.
You have to make sure there is enough space to install the hoist and store the hardtop if needed. For this, you need to think three dimensional and makes sure there is ample space.
Usually, hoists need a minimum of 10 feet of ceiling height for them to function properly. Less than that and you’ll probably lose the benefit of storing them in the air.
However, if your garage ceiling is lower than that, there are some products that allow installation at a minimum of 7 feet height. Problem is, they might not come with the full features 10 feet winches offer. If your ceiling is even lower than 7 feet, you should go for a portable hoist.
Ease Of Installation
Installing a hoist isn’t some rocket science. Often, it’s basically a simple task. But you need to know your way around installation tools and right measurements. Manufacturers usually provide clear instructions to make the job even easier.
If you do not have the necessary skills or tools, then the probable course of action is hiring someone professional to do the job for you. It might include some potential costs, but you’ll get a clean job.
If you don’t want to bother yourself with installing a hoist on the ceiling, then a portable floor hoist is the next best option.
There are three power options when it comes to lifting your vehicle top. The good old manual power, manual-mechanical power, and motor driven mechanical power.
For those who are reluctant to use any type of hoist, use manual power. Often the process includes two or more people to lift the top and place it back. This method requires muscle power and you need more than one people to be available for the task.
Compatibility with Your Vehicle
All these features won’t matter if your winch isn’t compatible with the vehicle. Although hoists don’t have any major difference in terms of working principle, compatibility is still an issue.
Variation in Jeep models can influence factors like proper and secure functioning of your winch. There are hoists that work better for some specific jeep models better than other models. Manufacturers usually provide information on that.
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Type of Hoists Considering Operation
Those who want to make the process a bit easier can consider mechanical options.
1. Manual Mechanical Hoists
The system consists of lever, pulleys, and ropes to give you a mechanical advantage while pulling the top. The principle is simple, pulleys and ropes increase the force applied by your multiple folds and lift the vehicle upper part.
The system is measured in ratio. The ratio of how much weight you apply and how much weight the system can lift with that force. For example, if you lift a 100 pounds jeep top using a 5:1 mechanical advantage, then you need to apply force 1/5th of the weight, 20 pounds.
If you can lift 15-25 pounds of weight with ease, then a manual mechanical winch will work just fine for you. Obviously, if you want the job to be automated, powered mechanical hoists are the only option.
With mechanical winches, there’s a possibility that the rope might slip off from the hands and the hardtop can fall. This can damage your car part or even worse, injure you. To avoid this incident, make sure the hoist comes with necessary safety equipment, stops, and locks.
2. Motor Powered Mechanical Hoists
These hoists use motor power instead of any manual input and do all the work for you. These models are suitable for those who can’t or doesn’t want to spend muscle energy to lift the top.
With these models, all you have to do is pressing a button. Make sure the winch has enough weight carrying capacity to actually lift the vehicle upper part. They also come with a remote-control box to make the job easier. Some advanced winches take things up a notch and are controllable via Bluetooth or smartphone.
The motor should have more carrying capacity than you actually need. Otherwise, the motor will burn down and you’ll have to buy another one.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do Jeep Hardtop Hoists work?
Answer: Hoists come with hooks and straps to lift the top. First, all the fasteners from the hardtop are detached and removed. Second, straps are used to cradle the top. Third, the straps are attached to a rope that is attached to hooks on the ceiling and the wall. Fourth, mechanical lever or motor power is used to lift the top.
2. How to Remove Jeep Hardtop?
Answer: The hardtop can be removed by the steps described below.
- Disengage block clips and remove the freedom panels.
- Unscrew the bolts on the sounder, located on each side of the backlight.
- Release the two wires attached to washer fluid and rear wiper.
- Unscrew 6 bolts connecting the body and the top.
- Use A hoist or at least two persons to remove the top.
3. What Types of Hardtop Hoists Are There?
Answer: If you consider the type of force needed to lift the roof, then there are mainly two types of hoists. They are mechanical and electric. Mechanical winches need manual labor to work, but the force needed is reduced significantly due to the pulley. Electric winches come with a more complex design and electrical parts. But they are automated and all you have to do is press a button.
4. How Much Does A Hardtop Hoist Cost?
Answer: The price can vary depending on whether it is mechanical or electric, weight carrying capacity and build material. Usually, you’ll get mechanical models between 20-200 USD. Price for electric models can vary from 150-400 USD.
5. How to Install A Jeep Top Winch at The Ceiling?
Answer: Usually, hoists come with detailed instruction on how to install them. All you have to do is drill some holes on the ceiling and attach socket sets and eyelets. This will connect the top with the braking system. The braking system is installed at the side wall.
The eyelets basically carry the whole weight, so make sure they are tightly installed and stable. Don’t install them on cardboard, use timber instead.
6. Can the Hoist Work On Angled Ceilings?
Answer: Yes, they work on angled ceilings as well. But you have to be careful when installing the winch. Pay close attention to the point of attachment. The cable should be longer in parts where the ceiling slope is higher. Make sure the weight of the hardtop is evenly distributed.
If you want to enjoy the perks of owning a jeep to the fullest, you should be able to take off the hardtop whenever you want. But removing the top can be a difficult thing to do all by yourself, you can hurt your back or damage the hardtop.
The best jeep hardtop hoist makes the job easier. You can remove, store and reinstall the hardtop all by yourself. With electric removal systems, you won’t even have to use your force, except for one finger press.
Many men, many priorities. Keeping that in mind, we have reviewed the top products from different types and categories. Hopefully, you’ll find here the ultimate hoist best suited for your requirements.