Differences between bikini top and mesh top

5 Major Differences Between Bikini top and Mesh top on Jeep Wrangler you should look for

When you remove the stock hardtop or the soft top, you feel like you have to have a top on your wrangler, you can choose other options to install on your wrangler. When you decide to do away with the stock hardtop or the soft top, there are other options available in various configurations.

In this article, we’ll look into 5 major differences between bikini top and mesh top on jeep wrangler that you shouldn’t ignore, while buying one. Read the article to know more.

Some are available as one-piece hardtops, making them easier to install and remove than the standard three-piece stock hardtop. When you get a one-piece hardtop, it’s basically the same as the old hardtop. So, the only thing that changes is the convenience of removing and installing it.

But the top is one piece means that you will have to ask for a hand or use a hoist to remove the whole top rather than the stock hardtop, where you only require assistance removing the rear panel.  

Some one-piece aftermarket hardtops come slanted at the back, while some come flash as the stock hardtop. But when most wrangler owners decide to remove the stock hardtop, they go for soft tops.  

Some remove the hardtop and install the stock soft top or something similar. Soft tops are better than hardtops in so many ways except for security, safety, and durability. Wranglers with soft tops also tend to have very cold cabins in freezing weather conditions.

The cabin is hot when temperatures are extremely high. But this is not an issue as the temperature can easily be regulated by closing and opening the windows and using the AC to heat up the cabin.

The only major disadvantage is that you’ll find the battery charge depreciating quicker when you use your AC to heat up the cabin.  

Aftermarket soft tops come in many configurations and designs. Some cover the whole wrangler from the windshield all the way to the trunk with a diagonal or straight back, while others cover some part of the wrangler, depending on your choice.  

Most aftermarket soft tops come either with frame or frameless. Framed soft tops come with a frame attached to the top bar of the jeep to support the weight of the soft top.

These are made of thick material than frameless soft tops. They are also more durable than frameless soft tops. Frameless soft tops are lighter, so they don’t require frames to support any weight. They have attachment features that attach to the roll bar.

Some have rails that attach to the roll bar, while others have straps. Most of these do not take up much space in your wrangler when carried around, as they can be rolled or folded to fit in minimal spaces.  

Difference between mesh tops and soft tops


  • Mesh Tops 

mesh tops are moderately priced, but the price is lower than that of bikini tops. Most mesh tops are made of lower-quality materials than bikini tops. They do not require extra accessories for installation and removal, which makes the production costs lower.  

Differences between bikini top and mesh top
  • Bikini Tops 

Bikini tops are made of high-quality fabrics to protect the cabin and its occupants from weather elements. The better the material, the higher the price of the top. Accessories are also required to install the top, which contributes to the cost of the top.  


  • Mesh Tops 

Due to the structural composition of mesh tops, they tend to wear out quicker than bikini tops. The materials used to make mesh tops also contribute to this. If a slight tear occurs on the mesh top, it will expand quicker than a tear on a bikini top. It is not easy to repair a torn mesh top, but they are cheaper, and you can quickly get a replacement. 

  • Bikini Tops

Bikini tops are made of better-quality materials that are made to last long. Some manufacturers even offer a lifetime warranty for their bikini tops which assures a buyer of the durability of the top.   

Protection against the elements 

  • Mesh Tops 

These come in different configurations. They can fit on the top, either front or rear, and some can also cover the whole top, excluding the trunk. Some wrangler owners remove the freedom panels then install the mesh top.

Some manufacturers make their mesh tops to install the stock hardtop or the soft top with the soft top still on. Mesh tops are only made for providing shade in the cabin and do not protect the cabin and its occupants from rain, debris, or dust.

That is why it is recommended you have a backup plan when it rains or when the weather becomes too hot. When getting a mesh top, ensure you do not leave a space between the roll bar crossing and the top instead.  

  • Bikini Tops 

Bikini tops, also known as safari tops, are made of waterproof fabric that does not allow water, dust, or debris into the cabin. The fabric is thinner than the factory soft top; thus, the cabin is much cooler with the bikini top on. Bikini tops also serve the same purpose as mesh tops, but they are better than mesh tops.  

Due to the material used to make bikini tops, the air in the cabin can only be regulated by opening the windows or leaving the backside open when installing the top. But this will allow water into the cabin if it rains.  


  • Mesh Tops.  

Mesh tops are made of perforated material thus cannot be used to store anything. For example, if you try using the mesh top as a MOLLE storage, you risk ripping it.

The gaps in the material are points of weakness on the mesh top. On some mesh top packaging, there is even a caution that you shouldn’t place or hang anything on the top.  

  • Bikini Tops

With bikini tops, you can customize them to hold some small equipment or other stuff, but they cannot hold that much as the fabric cannot hold much. Moat bikini tops are frameless, meaning that they have no structure to support much-added weight if you decide to do so.  

Differences between bikini top and mesh top

If you want to put some extra weight on the top, you can improvise bows to prevent the top from sagging, which can lead to tearing.  

Installation and removal. 

  • Mesh Tops

Mesh tops are easier to install and remove than bikini tops. Installing most mesh tops involves tying bungee cords or straps around the roll bar. This also makes the mesh top easier to remove. You can fit the factory soft top or hardtop with the mesh top on, so there is no need to remove it when reinstalling the factory top.  

  • Bikini Tops

Installing and removing bikini tops can be hard since most have accessories that you have to install first then install the top. Most bikini tops require bows, header channels, and clips that are mounted onto the factory bolts onto the frame. These take time and effort to install.  

Removing might also be tricky, especially if the accessories have to be removed together with the top in order to install the factory soft top or hardtop.

You might also have to remove some factory components such as the door surrounds in order to install the ones compatible with the bikini top. Very few bikini tops allow installation of the factory hardtop or soft top on them.  

Which one should you choose? 

Note: Mesh tops are more convenient than bikini tops 

If you are looking for a top that helps you control the summer heat in your wrangler’s cabin, you can remove the freedom panels on your hardtop wrangler and install a mesh top.

You can also install a mesh top on a soft top wrangler. On soft-top wranglers, you can install the mesh top on both the front and the rear and still have the soft top on. when you feel the heat is too much, you can roll back the soft top.  

Bikini tops offer all-around protection against weather elements. The only difference is that most of these aren’t available to cover part of the roof and do not let the air blow over and in the wrangler. If you are looking for a top that you will use constantly, a bikini top is best suitable for you.  

If you are looking for a top that you will use constantly, a bikini top is best suitable for you. Bikini tops are also durable than mesh tops. If you install mesh tops wrongly, the probability that the top will tear off is high.  

Differences between bikini top and mesh top

Both of these tops can be used with the stock tops on, and when making a choice, it all comes down to personal preference. Some prefer the mesh tops as they look better, while others prefer the bikini tops to make the wrangler look better.  


Aftermarket tops are mainly used in place of the stock wrangler tops during summer weather. The bikini top and the mesh tops are better at keeping the cabin cooler than the stock wrangler top. They can also be easily removed and installed if need be and installing the stock tops over these aftermarkets tops is also possible.