By Steve Garrett
Picture this. You're the proud new owner of a Jeep JK or JKU. It's a perfect day for wheeling, and you head straight out on the trails. Before long, you think about stopping to take the Freedom Tops off and enjoy the sunshine. You stop, pull the tops off, then go to throw them in the back only to realize there's no good way to store them. You just have to stack them on top of each other. Even if you got the MOPAR storage bags, they only protect the finish. Do you happen to have a blanket or pillow to put between them? How about some tie down straps? How are you going to protect your new investment and enjoy it to the fullest? You might be thinking, "I'll just leave the tops at home next time." But where? The garage? Sure, you could lean them up against the wall or lay them flat on the floor, but the wall could spell trouble if you have animals or kiddos, and laying them flat takes up a lot of real estate. Maybe in the house? Same problems. So what on earth is a discerning Jeeper to do?

I give you the Sto-R-Top:

This is a patented Freedom Top storage solution from Gene Mayfield of Carthage, Missouri and his company Highly Driven Products. I met Gene and his wife recently, and I can tell you he is the personification of American ingenuity. A true Jeeper who loves the hobby and the vehicle, Gene saw a need in the marketplace, then decided to do something about it. He developed and fabricated this design himself, and it's produced by a US manufacturing company using US sourced materials.

Full disclosure, I was initially skeptical about the practicality of this product. My first impressions were that it would be good for the mall crawler crowd, but more dedicated wheelers probably wouldn't have use for it. Well, I've been using one for about a month now, and I've been incredibly impressed by it. It's so easy to use, my seven-year-old can figure it out and it allows me to take advantage of all those random times the weather is unexpectedly awesome.

The rack ships with all hardware needed: Bungee straps, user instructions, and a decal of course (who doesn't love decals?)

Assembly takes about 10 min, and then you're ready to go! No drilling or modification to the body of your rig required. The rack just slides in the back of the Jeep and uses the bungees with the factory tie down rings to hold everything down. Something to note, though, if you have a 2007 JKU, like I do, you won't have factory tie downs in the rear (which came standard for 2008 and later models). I haven't used the bungees at all, and haven't had any issues.

My rig is my daily driver, and I wheel pretty hard when I get the chance to go, so I thought I'd have some trouble without them, but I was wrong. The rack did slide and bounce around a little, but no damage to the tops and with the bungees, it would be even more secure. For those who prefer 'at home' storage, there is a wall mount available for purchase separately,

which I highly recommend that you spring for, as it doubles the usefulness of the rack. The wall mount allows you to take the Sto-R-Top out of the Jeep, easily hang it on the wall, and put your tops up out of harm's way.

You can also simply set the rack on the ground and store your tops that way, safe from being knocked over.

Whether on the wall, in the back of the Jeep, or on the ground, the rack folds flat so it takes up very little space when you're not using it.

When 'deployed', the locking pins secure the arms in place very well, so you don't have to worry about them coming loose and dropping the tops and there's still available storage space. With the bungees, it sits firmly against the back of the rear seats due to the alignment tabs, which can double as storage hooks for lighter gear when the rack is on the wall. However, the rack is rated for about 30 lbs when mounted on the wall, and the tops are about 30 lbs together, so be careful hanging extra stuff on it. And to top it off, you can still see out the rear window when the tops are back there.

Overall, this rack is well engineered, well built, and versatile. In my opinion, if you've got a hardtop JK or JKU, this rack should be in your garage. The rack also works with the Renegade and it's removable glass.

Check them out at