10 Best Jeep Soft Top Review & Buying Guide 2018

The entire Jeep community prides itself in being unique. Most people use warm, sunny weather to go to the beach, prepare barbeque, and start bonfires at night. While there is nothing wrong with that, Jeep enthusiasts have something different planned – Cruising twisty back roads “topless” in the company of friends and other Jeep enthusiasts. This guide will help you find the best jeep soft top to enhance your driving experience.

Top 5 Best Jeep Soft Top: Editor’s Pick

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Soft Top Model
Editor's Rating
Price
Bestop 54853-17 Trektop Pro Hybrid
Bestop 54823-17 Supertop NX
Pavement Ends by Bestop 51197-35
Smittybilt 9970235-Black Diamond OE Style Replacement Top
Bestop 56820-35 Trektop NX Soft Top

Imagine dropping the top off your Jeep, and driving on back roads with the music on full blast as the sun shines down on you and wind blowing through your hair. Tell me, is there a better feeling? You can turn this fairy-tale into real life by installing a soft top on your Jeep. This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about these soft tops so read on to move a step closer into living through this blissful experience.

Top 10 Best Jeep Soft Top Reviews:

1. Bestop 54853-17 Trektop Pro Hybrid

Do you recall the feeling you got when you first laid your eyes on your brand new Jeep Wrangler? It was pretty cool, right? That’s the same feeling you’ll get once you install the 54853-17 Trektop Pro Hybrid Soft Top from Bestop. This soft top brings together versatility, durability, and extreme ease of operation. That’s why the product achieved the first position on our list of the best top for jeep wranglers.

Just like other soft tops from Bestop, the best Jeep soft top comes with patented features that every Wrangler enthusiast looks for in a soft top. This soft top not only comes with great features such as full hard top, but it also comes at a much cheaper price. It also weighs less and removes quickly than aftermarket hardtops.

The 54853-17 Trektop comes with a real glass rear hatch complete with gas-assist struts for hassle-free operation. Also integrated into the soft top is a rear glass defroster grid, as well as electrical connectors that are OEM compatible. As for the side windows, the soft top comes with glass sliding panels for increased ventilation and large dog noses. This soft top is available in premium twill fabric and a wide variety of colors, including black, granite grey, oak tan, navy blue, pebble beige, crushed red pepper

Highlighted Features:

  • Made for 2007-2018 Wrangler 4-Door models
  • The soft top comes with easily installable and removable side window panels and rear hatch
  • Rear glass hatch that allows for hassle-free operation and  easy accessibility to rear cargo area
  • Rear glass hatch comes with gas assist strut, and integrated defroster connect
  • Side windows come with slider panels that allow for extra aeration in the back
  • Features Bestop’s patented Sunrider flip-back panel that conveniently converts the soft top into a safari bikini top for open-air driving

2. Bestop 54823-17 Supertop NX

Bestop has pushed the limits of soft tops with this highly advanced and complete soft top kit for 07-18 Jeep Wranglers. The Bestop 54823-17 Supertop is made using triple-layer black twill fabric that has superior quality and durability that surpasses many other fabrics commonly used on soft tops for jeeps. The best soft top for jeep wrangler unlimited is quite flexible, has a softer feel, and features a smooth wrinkle-resistant appearance. This fabric is similar to the fabric that’s typically found on high-end sports and luxury cars such as Rolls Royce and BMWs.

The 54823-17 Supertop NX Soft Top also comes with replaceable and removable rear and side windows. It also features top of the line YKK scoop count zippers and extensive surface heat-sealing for protection against extreme weather.  For lifelong durability, the manufacturer has used 135 gauge polyester industrial threads all the way through with finished seams. The premium factory-style hardware is coated in black powder to offer resistance against scratching and corrosion.

Other helpful features that have been incorporated into the 54823-17 Supertop NX Soft Top include Quick-release bow knuckles, top arch bar, as well as adjustable tensioning. If you like driving in open-air, you will love the Bestop patented flip-back Sunrider sunproof panel that easily opens to let you enjoy the sun and fresh air while driving.

Highlighted Features:

  • Perfect for all Bestop door kits (sold separately), lower fabric half doors, upper doors, element doors, and 2-piece doors.
  • Features a 30-ounce multi-layer fabric that’s extremely durable, soft, and wrinkle resistant
  • Features 40mm-thick tinted vinyl windows (31 percent tint) that offer privacy and UV protection
  • Comes with YKK scoop-counted zippers that guarantee durability and dependability
  • Has a fold-back Sunrider sunproof in JK, TJD, and models, allowing for open-air driving
  • This soft top folds compactly at the back of the rear seat for convertible top operation

3. Pavement Ends by Bestop 51197-35

Replacing your old soft top with the best Jeep soft top does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. This Pavement Ends Soft Top not only favors your pocket budget-wise but also offer more features and high-quality material. Its affordability has made it popular among many people in the recent years.

The soft top fabric is designed to fit over factory hardware and to offer quick installation using the existing factory hardware and frames. The automotive fabric is of exterior grade thus lasting long and giving your Jeep a great appearance. The vinyl windows are DOT approved and heat-sealed to prevent leakage and offer longer life. The soft top has upper door skins and tinted side and the rear windows.

This soft top is just what you need because it will give that desired fresh look for your Jeep at an inexpensive price and without having to give up on features.

Highlighted Features:

  • Its automotive grade fabric is durable and does not fade. It has 31 percent tinted vinyl side and rear windows.
  • Its replay kits require factory bows, tailgate bar and frames to be in good condition.
  • Its replay kits include rear and side windows, soft top fabric and upper door skins (where applicable).
  • It has sturdy OEM quality heavy duty plastic teeth zippers that feature jam-resistant technology.
  • The soft top requires factory hardware for installation.
  • The pavement ends fabric is mildew and UV resistant due to the vinyl-coated polyester, marine grade cotton fabric that makes it.
  • It comes with comprehensive, detailed instructions.

4. Smittybilt 9970235-Black Diamond OE Style Replacement Top

Nobody wants to ride their jeep in old or worn out tops. If you are considering replacing your old top with the best Jeep soft top, then you should go for the smittybilt 9990235 black diamond OE style replacement top. Not only will it replace your top but it will also give your Jeep that charming look that makes it appear as good as new.

The marine grade, vinyl-coated fabric used to make the OE replacement lasts long and does not fade or stretch to maintain its original shape. Smittybilt uses self-correcting zippers that are heavy duty and designed for smooth opening and closing. Materials used for the windows are DOT approved. The waxed coated 135 gauge threads resist mold and mildew. If you feel like you need more ventilation in your jeep, you can always zip out the rear window. You can check out your favorite color from the variety of colours available. You can now enjoy your favorite road trips without having to endure extreme weather conditions.

Highlighted Features:

  • It has self-correcting zippers that are durable and run smoother.
  • Made of marine grade durable vinyl coated OEM style fabric that does not fade or stretch. DOT approved first quality material is used to make the windows.
  • It includes front upper replacement door skins. Its rear window and side window can completely zip out in case you need full ventilation.
  • It fits original factory OE hardware or framework.
  • It fits over original factory OE hardware thus giving a complete replacement.
  • Its seams are sealed using heat to inhibit leakage.
  • Its wick stop threads are of fantastic quality and help seal the stitch holes.

5. Bestop 56820-35 Trektop NX Soft Top

If you are looking for a Jeep Wrangler soft top replacement, you can never go wrong with this Bestop 56820-35. This modern-styled soft top will without a doubt update the look of your Wrangler. Unlike the stock top that’s on your Jeep, the fastback styling on this Bestop 56820-35 fits on your wrangler snugly to give it a fresh, clean, new look. What’s more, installation is easy. It does not require traditional frames or bows.

On top of improving the look of your Wrangler, this particular Bestop provides excellent functionality. For starters, it features a full aluminum frame to reduce the overall weight of your Jeep, and improve its gas mileage. What’s more, the textured exterior of this Bestop 56820-35 features sailcloth fabric, an industry best when it comes to UV resistance and fade-free durability.

For those that are looking for the best Jeep soft top for their Wrangler, you will be glad to learn that the Bestop 56820-35 provides everything you desire in a modern soft top. It comes equipped with a Sunrider-style fold back sunroof and removable tinted windows. By folding down the sunroof and removing the windows, you can convert your Wrangler from a daily driver to a fun, weekend car.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 1997-2006 Wrangler (except Unlimited)
  • Next-generation styling
  • Material: Textured exterior, aluminum frame
  • Color: Black Diamond
  • Fold-back sunroof for more sunlight and air
  • Compatible with any Bestop door kit
  • Top Arch Bar system
  • Factory-style polymer door surrounds
  • Quick-release Bow Knuckles
  • Easy fit and function installation
  • Two-year limited warranty
  • Item Weight: 43.2-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 75 x 32.3 x 6.3 inches

6. Pavement Ends 51148-35 Replay Soft Top

If you are looking for an affordable replay soft top for your Jeep Wrangler, the Pavement Ends 51148-35 should be one of your first considerations. Why is this budget-friendly soft top worth it? Well, the Pavement Ends brand is owned by Bestop which is a leader in producing some of the best soft tops on the market. This means that the 51148-35 and other soft tops from the Pavement Ends brand are made with the same precision as Bestop soft tops.

What’s more, this particular Pavement Ends soft top comes with all the features you could ever want in your replay soft top. You get tinted, removable rear windows, and a fold-down sunroof to let more sunlight into the cabin and give your Wrangler an airy feel when cruising down twisted back roads on the weekends. Another advantage of this replay soft top is that it uses factory frames, bows, and tailgate. These items make for an easy installation process that does not require drilling, cutting or welding.

The contents in the package include a fabric soft-top, upper door skins as well as side and rear windows. Despite the low price of this replay soft top, its contents are built to last for years. For instance, the soft top is made of marine-grade fabric cotton that’s fade, mildew and UV resistant plus its heavy-duty plastic zippers are jam resistant.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler except for unlimited models
  • installation requires factory frames, bows, and a tailgate bar
  • Durable, fade-resistant fabric exterior
  • Color: Black Diamond
  • Removable side and rear windows with DOT-approved tints
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Item Weight: 15.55-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 32 x 9 x 9 inches

7. RAMPAGE PRODUCTS 99835R Factory Soft Top

If you are looking for a factory-fit soft top to install on your vintage Suzuki Sidekick, Samurai, Vitara or Geo Tracker, the 99835R soft top from RAMPAGE PRODUCTS is without the ideal product for you. The impressive thing about this Rampage soft top is that it is designed to be a direct replacement for the worn out soft top in your Suzuki.

It’s built with factory-grade precision and manufacturer specifications for an easy fit and function installation. All hooks, holes, fitting, and other mounting points align perfectly with your vintage Suzuki. This means that no drilling, cutting or welding is required to install this soft top. Installation requires the original hardware and equipment that came with your Suzuki’s factory soft top.

What are some of the features to expect in this 99835R factory soft top? Well, the soft top features OEM-grade fabric that’s built to last for years. The material is built to withstand all weather conditions with its water repellent and UV resistance properties. Last but not least, this soft top is also built and optimized for easy use and function. The self-correcting zippers on the windows of this soft top sum up its ease of use and user-friendly functionality.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 1995-1998 Suzuki Sidekick, Samurai, Vitara or Geo Tracker
  • Fade-resistant marine grade, wick-stop threaded fabric soft top
  • Color: Black Diamond
  • Heavy duty zippers with self-correcting technology
  • Removable side and rear (tinted) windows
  • Easy installation
  • Protected by a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
  • Item Weight: 11-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 30 x 9 x 9 inches

8. Pavement Ends 56840-35 Frameless Sprint Top

The 56840-35 from Pavement Ends is one of our favorite Jeep frameless soft top. It is one of the best-looking soft tops currently on sale. No one can argue with the fact that it multiplies the coolness factor of your Jeep by at least ten times. Another impressive thing about this frameless soft top is that you cannot tell that it’s a product from Pavement Ends (a budget brand owned by Bestop). It looks just as premium as any premium product from Bestop.

What about the features of this particular frameless soft top? What else does it have going on for it apart from its excellent design and low price? Well, this soft top is designed and optimized to provide an open, airy feel when cruising down roads. This open-air experience is achieved through its features which include a flip back sunroof, removable windows, and removable curtains.

You can also expect maximum durability and excellent functionality with this soft top. Just as with other soft tops from Pavement Ends this frameless variant features an all-weather resistant fabric top. It is designed with a water repellent and UV resistant fabric to prevent stain and mildew formation as well as color fade. The soft top is also designed with factory precision for an easy, and drama-free installation.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler
  • Factory-specification marine-grade thread soft top
  • Features: flip-back sunroof panel and Removable D.O.T. approved vinyl windows
  • YKK scoop-counted zippers
  • Removable side and rear curtains
  • Color: Black Diamond
  • Three-year limited warranty
  • Item Weight: 43-pounds
  • Item Dimension: 58 x 18.1 x 5.7 inches

9. Bestop 56823-35 Trektop NX Soft Top

If you are looking for a soft top for your Unlimited Jeep Wrangler, the Trektop56823-35 from Bestop is one to consider. Unlike the other Trektop soft tops featured on our review, this particular variant is specifically designed to fit unlimited models of Jeep Wranglers. The others cannot be installed in Wrangler unlimited models.

As one of the premium soft tips from the Bestop brand, this soft top provides a Safari Bikini function for your weekend outings. With this function, you can remove the top and take out the rear and side windows to give you a relaxing, open-air driving experience. If you own a Wrangler unlimited, nothing is more fun than driving around your friends in Safari Bikini mode.

If you are worried about the practicality and durability of this particular soft top, you will be glad to learn that it is not just about the cool factor. The Trektop 56823-35 is a combination of premium materials and precise design from the excellent crafters at Bestop. You get maximum durability and simple functionality plus a snug, elegant and wrinkle-resistant fit for your Wrangler.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
  • Features a next-generation design
  • Easy fit and function installation
  • Color: Black Diamond
  • Fold-back sunroof
  • Removable windows with YKK scoop count zippers
  • Compatible with all factory and Bestop replacement Door Kits for Unlimited Jeep Wranglers
  • Item Weight: 57-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 60 x 27 x 7.5 inches

10. Sierra Offroad Factory Style Soft Top

If you own a vintage Jeep Wrangler TJ and are in the market looking for the best Jeep soft top, you should consider the Sierra Off-road soft top. It features a factory-style design that fits perfectly in your Jeep’s original factory frame making it the perfect replacement for your old, worn out soft top.

When it comes to soft tops, you will find that most manufacturers only offer black-colored soft tops. But not Sierra Offroad. This brand is unique in that it gives the buyer an opportunity to choose soft tops with custom colors and patterns to match or contrast their Jeeps.

But how is the build quality of this particular Sierra Offroad soft top? Well, the materials used to build these soft tops are all of top-notch quality. The soft top’s fabric is made from a combination of denim and sailcloth vinyl. Sailcloth vinyl is considered more durable than diamond vinyl and has acoustic properties that cancel out wind noise at high speeds. The spice denim exterior is further laced with waterproof and UV resistant polyester threads.

When it comes to functionality, interested parties will be glad to learn that there are plenty of features to interact with this soft top. To name a few, the self-correcting zippers allow a smooth operation while the removable windows create an open-air driving experience.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fit: 1997-2002Jeep Wrangler TJ
  • Features DOT approved windows
  • Marine-grade vinyl coated fabrics
  • Heavy-duty, self-correcting zippers
  • Factory-spec Velcro straps for a secure mount
  • Color matched wick stop thread
  • Easy fit and function installation
  • Item Weight: 14-pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 35 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches

 

Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Selecting Jeep Soft Top

Here are some of the things you should know and consider when buying a soft top for your Jeep:

  • Hard Top vs. Soft Top

What is the difference between a Jeep Wrangler soft top vs. hard top? Let’s start with Jeep Wrangler hardtops. Their defining traits of hardtops are their durability and their superior insulation against cold weather and noise insulation when traveling at high speeds. Their drawback is that they are heavy and bulky. You need at least two or more people when installing and removing them

On the other hand, the best Jeep soft top is lighter and less bulky. This means installing and removing them is less of a hassle, and is a one-person job. Soft tops also look cool. The problem with soft tops is their short life cycle and their abysmal level of insulation. While you can get away with having a soft top Jeep during a hot summer season, you will struggle in winter. The soft top does a terrible job in insulating the cabin from the freezing cold.

  • Framed vs. Frameless Soft Tops

The supporting/attachment system is the key element when differentiating between framed and frameless soft tops. A framed top has a skeletal aluminum frame that attaches to the roll bar to support the fabric material. Meanwhile, a frameless top uses a series of rails that are connected to the roll cage to support the fabric material of the top.

Both configurations have their pros and cons. Framed soft tops are sturdy, but their skeletal frames limit space making it harder to load and unload cargo. On the other hand, frameless tops are a little flimsy due to their lack of sufficient structural support. However, their lack of frames means more cargo space as well as easier loading and unloading of goods as there are no obstructions.

  • Quality of Build Material and Price

The quality of the construction materials largely affects the durability of your Wrangler’s soft top. Soft tops are notoriously known for their tendency to break down as a result of wear and tear. If you are planning on utilizing your soft top every other day, it makes sense to buy the highest quality soft top.

It is always wise to buy high-quality things for their reliability and long lifespan. However, if you live in a cold area that rarely experiences summer, it is possible that you take your Jeep out only a couple days per year. In this case, you can be forgiven for selecting cheaper options. That said, be prepared to loosen your purse strings to get the best quality soft top.

  • Climate Condition in Your Area

It is not a secret that soft tops are terrible in winter conditions. If you live in hot climate areas that don’t experience winter, you can do with a soft top as your permanent roof. However, if you live in areas that experience freezing winter periods, don’t discard your hard top just yet. Store both tops safely and alternate between them depending on the season.

  • Features

What kind of features do you want in your soft top? There are many types of soft tops, and each type has its unique appeal. Fold down sunroofs, and removable windows are the most common features shared by most Wrangler soft tops. Some of the rarer and most sorts after features in Wrangler soft tops are; power retracting top for automatic opening and closing, Bikini Tops and Sunriders for an open-air driving experience, modular tops for their superior weather insulation levels, etc.

  • Installation and Removal Process

What if you want to take the top off completely? How hard is it? Is it a one-person job? How long does it take? It is important to find out the installation and removal process of a soft top before you buy it. This is especially true if you use your Wrangler frequently and live in an area with unpredictable weather patterns. In such a case, you might need to continually change between your Jeep’s hard and soft top as the weather continues to fluctuate.

 

 

Jeep Soft Top Removal and Replacement (Installation)

Finally, the day has arrived. You are removing your old, beat up soft top and replacing it with a newer top. Here is how you go about it;

  • Removing a Soft Top

Step 1: The first step is to unzip and remove all the windows

Step 2: Store the windows safely away from children, pets and high-activity areas. Insert padding between each window to prevent scratches.

Step 3: Next, undo all the clips and lower the soft top

Step 4: Fold the soft top material neatly and bundle it together with the help of bungee cords

Step 5: Undo the two Torx bolts to separate the Jeep’s roll cage from the top’s tubular frame.

Step 6: Wiggle the soft top loose and remove it from the Jeep.

Note: This entire process is a one-person’s job.

  • Replacing/Installing a Soft Top

Now that you’ve removed the old soft top, it is time to replace it with a new top. At this point, your Jeep is ready for the new top. This is also a one-person’s procedure. Follow the steps below to complete it:

Step 1: Start with the metal frame. Align it and lock its clips into place at the front of the Jeep and on the rear runner.

Step 2: Take the soft top material and place it on the metal frame making sure everything aligns

Step 3: If everything aligns, secure the bottom rear part in place by inserting the plastic runners into their sockets

Step 4: Next, secure the upper middle and rear soft top material to the frame. Get inside the Jeep to get better access.

Step 5: Install the windows by fastening the window retainers with the zippers provided. Fasten two retainers and two zippers on each side. The rear window requires three zippers to hold its large retainer bar.

Step 6: Secure the windows in place by strategically inserting pins into the grommets

Step 7: Enjoy your new soft top

How to Clean Jeep Soft Top?

Cleaning a Jeep soft top is a fairly simple process. One option is taking driving your Jeep through an automatic cleaner. The automatic cleaner is unlikely to damage your soft top. However, your Jeep’s interior will likely become wet due to the leakage caused by high-pressure water hitting the Jeep from multiple directions. Another drawback that comes from using automatic washers is that loud, scary noise produced by high-pressure jets blasting the soft top.

Is using a brush an effective way of cleaning a soft top Jeep? A brush is a good way of getting rid of stubborn stains in your Jeep’s soft top. However, if the bristles are too rigid, they can damage the soft top’s fabric and even severely scratch the soft top windows. In case you are wondering how to clean jeep soft top windows, the best method is by hand using a sponge or a piece of cloth. A quick tip when cleaning a soft top is if you are going to use soap or detergent, make sure you rinse it off completely and wipe with a soft, dry cloth to prevent unsightly water marks.

How to Fold Down Soft Top?

Step 1: Pull down the material on the top of the 4-Bow to undo the sail panel retainers on the lower rear of the Jeep.

Step 2: Neatly fold the sail panels and put them away safely

Step 3: Move to the front of the Jeep and unlatch the hooks from the windshield frame.

Step 4: Grab the unlatched hooks and 2 Bow then lift them top-back towards the rear of the Jeep.

Step 5: Fold the soft fabric material in a systematic “W” shape then rest the header part on top of the rear deck.

Step 6: remember to open the rear swing gate so as not to damage the rear-mounted brake light when lowering the top onto the rear deck.

Step 7: Next, undo the side bows, then slide the top back and rest them at on the rear deck of the Jeep

Step 8: Using the accordion style of folding, fold the soft material neatly at the back of the Jeep. Use the Velcro straps to fasten the folded soft top in place securely.

Step 9: Collect all the material hardware and store it safely in the Jeep

Step 10: Make sure everything is secured in place tightly so that nothing is hanging outside the Jeep

Note: Folding down a Jeep’s soft top is a one-person job, but having an extra set of hands will speed up the process and make it easier.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Jeep Soft Top:

Q-1: Which is the cheapest frameless Soft top?

  • Well, there are many cheap frameless soft tops on the market to select. It also depends on your car’s make and model. For instance, if you are looking for a cheap soft top for your Jeep YJ, the Pavement Ends 56840-35 from Bestop is one of the favorite budget Jeep YJ frameless soft top.

Q-2: How do I know which soft top will fit on my Jeep?

  • This all depends on the make, model and year of your Jeep. There are a variety of soft tops on the market for jeeps. You can play it safe by choosing a factory replacement top which is a like for like model with the old top you’re replacing. Replacement tops fit like a hand to a glove. Other choices include frameless tops, replay tops, Trektop tops, and so on.

Q-3: What’s the average life expectancy of new soft tops?

  • The average lifespan is about 3 to 5 years. However, the lifespan can vary depending on how you use it, how you drive your Jeep, how you store it, etc.

Q-4: Can I get replacement parts for my soft top?

  • Yes. Replacement parts can vary from hardware pieces to an actual soft top. Depending on the brand you are purchasing, the replacement parts can be costly. Sometimes it is better to purchase an entire soft top kit over individual replacement parts. Therefore, do your due diligence to determine your best course of action.

Q-5: Can I install a soft top kit by myself or do I need professional help?

  • Installing a soft top kit for your Jeep is a straightforward task. If you have time, the right tools and are keen on saving money, we recommend you learn how to do it then DIY. If you don’t have the time, patience or desire to do it, you can use the services of a professional for a fee.

 

Final Note

There’s no denying that the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most versatile vehicles in the world. Its appeal stretches from soldiers who’ve used it in wars to off-roaders and celebrities who use it for various reasons. Taking the versatile Jeep and installing a soft top increases the cool factor and desirability of the Jeep.

Soft tops Jeeps are becoming increasingly popular, and are seen as a symbol of a “cool” kid. As you’ve seen in our review, these jeep wrangler soft top for sale come in a wide range of styles that match all personality types. In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed our jeep soft top reviews and that our post provided some insight into which soft top suits you best. We wish you an exciting buying experience.

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