I've used both. A hard top for a few years and a soft top after that. I honestly didn't notice much if any difference in the heating ability going from the hard to the soft top.
The major downside is that you cannot scrape the soft top windows as they get brittle in the cold. Just let the interior warm up and the ice will melt away. Make sure you clean and lubricator the zippers in the spring as they will get some corrosion if there's salt in the roads.
Be sure to clean it off often to prevent excess weight. I usually cleaned mine everyday it snowed, sometimes multiple times a day depending on how much snow we were getting.
Park your Jeep under cover. Some have used some pvc pipe to keep the top from sagging from snow and melting snow that changes to ice puddles. You could add a layer of plastic to help with the heating across the top.
A 89 yj with a 4.0 aw4 sye out of an 92xj. Now the hard part is done time to get it up in the air just a bit. Working on 8.8 with 3.73 and lsd for the rear. and new D30 hp with 3.73 .
For those who have not figured this out I'm old school but can handle the new too.
I got rid of my CJ hard top a long time ago and just use a soft top and soft doors year round. To keep the heat up front I installed one of those dividers you would use to make like a half cab with a bikini top in the summer. I cant remember the name of the thing. It basically makes it like a two seater and installs behind the front seats from the roll bar to the floor. Works great. Heat stays up front.
And dont try and open or fold the windows when its cold.
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