Pontoon boats make an excellent choice for those who want a cruise boat or fishing boat. It is vital to get the right accessories that will improve the pleasure obtained from the boat. One of the best accessories for a pontoon boat is a pontoon hardtop kit. Pontoon hardtop adds both style and protection to the vessel’s passengers.
Installing a pontoon hardtop increases the value of the boat. Apart from shading the boat owner from sun and rain, it also makes the boat stand out. Pontoon hardtops are a trendy add-on because they are easy to install, versatile, and pocket friendly. Careful consideration should be done before shopping for one due to many defective products saturating the market. This article will review the top ten pontoon hardtop kits extensively.
Why Buy A Pontoon Hardtop?
Pontoon hardtops are non-fabric-based pontoon shade covers, and they are usually made from fiberglass, aluminum, polycarbonate, and other materials. Hardtops don’t usually come with a boat, so they are custom-made to fit the boat specifications and attached to its existing structure.
They come in different heights, lengths, and single or dual structures. Below are some of the advantages of buying a pontoon hardtop:
- Pontoon hardtops shield equipment from the sun, which increases the boat’s value and life.
- Pontoon hardtops protect the boat’s occupants from direct sun and unexpected rainfall.
- Pontoon hardtops come in a wide variety of colors so that people can choose what color suits them best.
- They are customizable.
- Pontoon hardtops decrease the risk of sunstroke because they are UV-resistant.
Pontoon Hardtops VS Pontoon Soft tops
Pontoon hardtops and soft tops are very popular in the market. While some people prefer the hardtop for the reasons mentioned above, others instead go for the soft tops. Below is a comparison of pontoon hardtop and soft tops:
- Pontoon hardtops are semi-permanent non-fabric-based tops while soft pontoon tops are made with metal frames and solution-dyed fabrics.
- Soft tops are made from fabric such as acrylic, polyester, and cloth materials suited for marine application. In contrast, hardtops are made from rigid materials such as aluminum, polycarbonate, and other types of sheet metal.
- Hardtops are susceptible to cracks and punctures while softtops can be stretched or folded without cracking.
- Pontoon hardtops aren’t made with high-quality materials and degrades over time. In contrast, soft tops give the user freedom of customization as it is made of fabric for the most part.
Top 10 Pontoon Hardtop Kits
There are various pontoon hardtop kits in the boat market. Careful thought must be put into purchasing a hardtop. Below are the top ten pontoon hardtop kits that money can buy:
Rugged Ridge is insulated by a heavy-duty-pleated nylon which protects the boat’s passengers from heat and cold. The insulation kit is custom fit and reduces engine noise in pontoon boats. It has a unique padding material surrounded by heavy-duty nylon, which provides interior comfort. It also comes with durable hooks and fasteners, allowing easy installation and removal.
Rugged Ridge Hard Top is easy to install and comes with a unique installation material. It can be installed in less than an hour, with a limited five-year warranty.
- The installation process is easy because of the durable hooks and fasteners.
- Rugged Ridge heavy-duty nylon effectively stops heat and cold from affecting the boat’s passengers.
- It comes with durable hooks and fasteners.
- The manufacturers offer a five-year warranty.
- Poor customer service.
Je-Car Hardtop is custom-fitted, and it gives the pontoon a polished and finished look. It is made with a nylon Oxford along with dense insulation material. The Je-Car is lightweight and has an excellent insulation performance which keeps the heat and cold away from the pontoon’s passengers. It also reduces noise from the engine motor and makes the radio sound better.
Je-Car comes with pre-installed tape for simple installation, and it reduces wind noise when the boat is in motion. All the tape needs are to be peeled and stuck to the edges of the pontoon. It has a durable construction because of the composite cotton for padding material. Je-Car doesn’t require any installation tool because each piece attaches to the pontoon hardtop with its pre-installed double-sided table.
- There is a thick insulating layer that keeps the boat from harsh weather conditions.
- The installation is easy to do using the fastening hooks.
- It has a durable construction.
- The price is too high considering the various other options in the boat market.
RT-TCZ is the perfect hardtop for those who wish to protect their pontoon from the elements. The insulation is custom-made and dramatically reduces the noise of the boat’s motor. The special padding is surrounded by heavy-duty pleated nylon, which provides interior comfort. It has a durable hook that allows easy installation and removal.
RT-TCZ comes with a 3M tape for easy installation. It weighs 2.55 pounds and dimensions 20.04 x 17.8 x 5.28 inches.
- The hardtop effectively reduces noise from motorboard engines.
- A 3M tape allows for swift installation.
- It has easy adhesion.
- The small foam strips don’t help with insulation.
The custom-design of Hooke hardtop to fit factory multi-piece hardtops is one feature. Installation is easy with insulation panels that keep heat in the winter and cold in the summer. One has to peel and stick the hardtop in place with reinforced velcro tape. A comfortable interior temperature is kept by the insulation panels.
It features hook and loop fasteners which makes installation easy. Hooke road hardtop absorbs sound to reduce the noise from the engine. The hardtop weighs 1.95 pounds, and the dimensions are 18 x 12.5 x 5.75 inches.
- The velcro tape allows for easy installation.
- It has heavy-duty nylon-dense insulation.
- The adhesive doesn’t stick well and will fall off after a while.
RT-TCZ JK Headliner is a tested and trusted hardtop for pontoon boats. They have specialized designs which can make the pontoon boats unique. The insulation is custom-made, which reduces noise pollution from pontoon boat engines. The package includes a 4× hardtop sound deadener and a rear window heat insulation cotton kit.
It is essential to note that the RT-TCZ JK Headliner has a science design, doesn’t need installation, and is very convenient. There is a thirty-day refund if a customer gets a defective product. The item weighs 2.47 pounds with 19.25 x 14.25 x 6.69 inches.
- This hardtop effectively reduces noise from outboard engines.
- RT-TCZ comes with a thirty-day warranty.
- The adhesive goes on quickly on surfaces.
- It breaks down too quickly.
Hooke Road JL is one of the easiest upgrades one can make to a factory hardtop. The insulation kit is a custom fit for the factory, and it dramatically reduces noise inside the vehicle. The insulation is surrounded by pleated nylon, which provides comfort by insulating the boat from heat and cold. They are easy to install by peeling velcro and sticking them in place.
Hooke Road JL has a dense insulation material. A comfortable interior temperature is maintained by insulation panels. The durable material of the hardtop also absorbs sound to reduce noise inside the boat. It comes with hook and loop fasteners for easy installation.
- Like most hardtops on this list, the Hooke Road Hardtop Headliner installation is easy.
- The style is better than others in its price range.
- The velcro tapes hold it up nicely.
- It doesn’t effectively reduce noise pollution.
Savvy Hardtop is designed to easily mount to most T-tops, pontoon, and bimini tops. They are also designed to hold type 111 life jackets and other gear. A heavy-duty nylon strap, a UV, durable 600-denier polyester, and water-resistant pack cloth comes with the Savvy Craft. Its main compartment has a nylon zipper for easy access to the life jackets.
Savvy Craft T-Top comes with a stretch cord that zig-zags across the bottom, allowing easy access to towels, gear, and other items. Fortunately, it also has a one-year factory limited warranty. The package weighs 1.48 kilograms with a dimension of 37 x 20 x 6 inches.
- The presence of two zippers allows for more versatility.
- Savvy Craft is very durable and will withstand most weather conditions.
- It is UV resistant, which makes it great for an outdoor pontoon.
- There are complaints of the hardtop falling apart too quickly.
URO is one of the topmost manufacturers of hardtops. The hardtop takes less than 30 minutes to assemble, and the package comes with an instruction manual. It comes with a wrench which holds the bolt heads and the wheels in place. It offers good value for money with its package-included dust covers, casters, and manual.
URO hardtop is not heavy-duty, but it offers good durability, especially for light users. It is UV resistant because of the nylon oxford material used in producing the hardtop.
- URO hardtop offers excellent value for money.
- It is affordable for most boat owners.
- The assembling of the hardtop is very easy.
- Users complain of missing bolts upon delivery.
Taylor Pontoon Boat Cover has two adjustable support poles about 27″-50″. The hardtop also has a polypropylene webbing with quick-release adjustable buckles. It is easy to install because of the four injection molded hooks secured to the boat’s decking. Thanks to the non-marring materials, boat owners can rest easy knowing that Taylor hardtop won’t scruff the boat.
Taylor Pontoon Boat Cover ensures that the passengers of the pontoon are protected due to its UV-resistant material. It’s pavilion is mugged marine-grade polyester, supported by a fiberglass pole.
- There are two adjustable tie-down straps for easy installation.
- It has two support poles.
- There are complaints of late delivery.
Yzona Hardtop is the perfect choice for durability and strength. It has a textured black powder coat finish. It is made using a laser-welding procedure. Yzona Hardtop is durable and has a corrosion-resistant surface. The high precision and laser measurement ensure that the hardtop fits the pontoon specifications. The Yzona design enables a quick connection to the back of the hardtop and saves space.
Yzona hardtop is made with specially roto-molded rubber pads, protecting the hard corners from damage and dents. It is easily compatible, and it comes with added security. This hardtop comes with four wheels, and two are locked with protective sponge rings.
- There is a three-year warranty that covers both replacement and replacement.
- The price is a steal.
- It is compatible with most pontoon boats.
- The roof cracks very easily.
How Much Does Pontoon Hardtops Cost?
The cost of a pontoon hardtop depends on the material used in producing the hardtop. Also, the size and construction are all considered when estimating the price of a pontoon hardtop. Pontoon hardtops can cost as low as 1000 dollars and 10,000 dollars.
It is important to note that cost depends on the overall quality of the materials used. The best pontoon hardtops are valued for their longevity and durability. It is advisable for buyers only for the best if they want a hardtop that will last very long. This is because low-quality hardtops will require frequent replacement as they crack under the sun.
However, those who may not be able to afford a hardtop can instead purchase a soft top. Soft tops will cost anything between 200 to 2000 dollars.
A Pontoon ride can quickly become a disaster when the sun comes out in force, and there is no hardtop to protect the passengers from UV rays. Although expensive, the best pontoon hardtops made using heavy-duty nylon oxford will last for a very long time, saving the boat owner the cost of repair in the long run.