Badger Top v. Roversnorth Top: A First Hand Face to Face Comparison - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 18th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Badger Top v. Roversnorth Top: A First Hand Face to Face Comparison

I thought I would do this because, even though most people know badger is better, few people really know why it is better.

What I compared: ~2 year old, little use Badger II FDS and an ~2 year old, little use Roversnorth top.

Why do I have both: I have a lot of stuff. RN came to me cheap when I needed a top, Badger II came with my most recent D90 purchase.

What I compared them on: a 1995 ST at speeds up to 100mph (not a typo).

Pros for the Roversnorth top: easier to get on and off (you will see why later), the plastic windows seem to be of slightly better quality

Pros for Badger top: much better fabric, seems are much better sewn, Badger II, like it or not, is a neat set up (you can roll up the sides and remove the entire rear portion so it acts like a surrey top--badger I is basically the same design as Roversnorth -- because roversnorth copied Badger's top), fits perfectly in every way, more adjustment room, much quieter at speed as you can still talk and hear the radio up to about 90mph before it gets loud.

Cons for the Roversnorth top: too big -- at speed it flops loudly and the side windows will push in so much they pull out of the belt rail -- anything above 65mph and it is unbearable, fits poorly around the front windows which cause the seals to pull out from behind the door tops and leak, upside of this is it is really easy to put on as you don't have to put any stress on it to get it in the belt rail, couple errors in sewing -- one seam was too long which made it impossible to tuck in the side window properly and two of the velcro strips are in the wrong place which makes sealing around the door tops even worse than it would be otherwise, no holes on the B-pillar for the snaps so you can't use a drop curtain and it is probable that they will eventually wear through. It is 1994 or 1995/97 specific so I had to trim some foam on the B-pillar to make it fit right (not a big deal, but badger is universal so if you sell or get a newer truck it is fine).

Cons for Badger II: harder to get on, especially when cold, because it fits so tight and perfectly, wait time on getting one (although Chris tells me this has been shortened and he is considering stocking a couple--or at least he tells me that so I will shut up about it). Tough to get the flaps in the sides to attach the back piece.

Conclusion: The Roversnorth top is fine and would be the greatest thing since sliced bread if Badger did not exist. It is much better than the besttop and about on par with the tickford other than it is too big rather than too small like the tickford. However, Badger is, in every concievable way, much better, and noticably so.
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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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I have to say your comparison post is very accurate. The one negative I noticed about the Badger II gutter top that I bought was there was a gap between the rear curtain and the rear door. The gap was about a half an inch. It may have been because my rear door is lower for some weird reason. The good news is Chris suggested that it would sealed up with a piece of 3M door trim. No leaks and a tight fit. Badger Coachworks...worth every dollar!
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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Abel Villesca
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Thanks for the write up! I've got a Bestop on my 95 now and can't wait to upgrade to a Badger II.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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I forgot one other thing, on the badger (as Cred alludes to) the top is level with the rear tailgate. On the Roversnorth, it hangs over by about an inch, trapping itself in the tailgate everytime you close it unless you hold it out of the way. Really annoying, but it does provide a better seal.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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barry f
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Weird my badger hangs over rear door and if I don't hold it up it gets caught.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
Weird my badger hangs over rear door and if I don't hold it up it gets caught.
Correct. Later model Badgers have the hanging flap. Our customers have hated it and Chris now makes our rear windows without the flap. Chris told me it was a deisgn feature people wanted so that is why he makes them like that now.

That is another + for the smaller shop (Badger). If you order something you can have changes made (within reason). Order a production top from a parts source... not gonna happen.
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  #7  
Old January 18th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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I don't know about quicker delivery time. I called two weeks ago. I was told at least 8 weeks. I inquired about the badger 2 in black which I assume is the most popular model. I decided that by the time I received it, I would not need a good sealing top here because it will be moderate in temperature by then. I spent the money on other rover parts.

I am in a business that producing more than one part at a time reduces the cost of making the part and therefore increases profit. I'll think about a purchase again in a few months when I have an extra couple of grand laying around.
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  #8  
Old January 18th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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one would think if you were going to copy someone else's product it would be better. I still have issue with the whole deal being copied from the start!! Sorry to rant, well not really...
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  #9  
Old January 19th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Nice comparo Ron. The description of the Rovers North top sounds very close to what I've experienced with mine. It came with my truck and like you said, it's a pretty fine top, so I haven't looked to change it. Would love to get a Badger but have spent the $$$ on other parts instead. Once the temps warm up it's hardly ever on and it's great to be able to quickly pop the RN top on in the rain on the side of the road. I abuse the RN top by throwing it in the back of the truck under gear and the windows are usually thrown in the garage someplace so it's good in that I do not stress about it.

Mine is loud at highway speed but must fit tighter as it doens't pop out of the rails above 65 and it's not totally unbarable. Would love it to be quieter but the one thing I wish could get fixed is the fit around the doors. Any time it rains the back is totally dry but the doors will let water in. I'm not looking for a duck's ass fit but something a little bit better than it is now would be great.
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