Robbins Tops Award Winner  - February, 1997

Robbins Cloth Top with Glass Window

Robbins replacement top

[10/12/2009] Reviewed by: Pat O'Brien

Applicable to: '99-'05 1.8 liter

Robbins cloth top with zippered, heated glass window.

Everything came in one box, well organized. Can't comment on the instructions. Installer opened the box at 8AM and finished by noon the next day; I don't think he was working hard to do it at that speed. The top was very difficult to close when first installed; the tips of the top clamps barely reached to the windshield frame. After a couple of weeks of being clamped in place, the cloth relaxed so much that top was easier to open and close than the vinyl cover had been.

The glass rear window of my 04 was broken in a parking lot; replacement required a complete new top cover. While driving around with an open rear window, I was reminded that I'd enjoyed opening the zippered panel on my 97 Miata while driving. I chose cloth because I think it looks richer than vinyl. I ordered the top from Moss and took it to the installer (I had to lower the top to carry the box). The installer didn't report any unusual problems. I may be imagining it, but I think this top is shapelier than the standard top, which seems a bit rigid and boxy where it wraps around the side. I think the overlapping seams of this top look better around the rear window than the plastic trim around the window of the standard top. I'm happy with the appearance of the cloth.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins Streamline Sunfast Canvas Top

[8/28/2008] Reviewed by: David F Smith -

Applicable to: '99-'05

This is the latest Robbins aftermarket convertible top for the Miata. It's based on the design of the NC ragtop -- all one piece, without a separate rear panel for the window -- but it's advertised as compatible with the 1990 through 2005 models. It comes in vinyl or "Sunfast" cloth (the latter is a bit more expensive), with or without an attached rain rail.

After nearly 10 years of service, the vinyl top in my 1999 Miata was looking very much the worse for wear. The color had faded, and as is common with the early NBs, the main seam holding up the rear window panel had torn about halfway through, leaving the window sagging on the one side and leaking a bit in heavy rain. I shopped around a bit and picked up this black Robbins canvas top through Goodwin Racing, who cut me a good deal and shipped the top on time with no problems. Now, the top itself is a lovely piece of work. It's all one piece, so I don't have to worry about that inner seam coming loose, and it's compatible with the NB as advertised. The fit is as tight as a drum -- I've noticed no leaks after a couple of days of hellacious Southern thunderstorms. The cloth version cost a few extra dollars, but in my opinion it's worth it. The black canvas just soaks up the light. It looks a lot classier than vinyl. That said, a warning for shade-tree mechanics -- installing a new top is a pretty serious undertaking. My copy of Keith Tanner's "Miata Performance Projects" suggests that the job should take five or six hours. In my case, it took two mechanically-inclined and experienced amateurs with all the appropriate tools closer to 14 or 15 hours over two days. There are a couple of points in the process where you have to get it right the first time. If you don't glue the front flaps onto the header bow correctly, for instance, you may be up the proverbial salt creek. Manhandling the new rain rail back onto the frame studs and bolting the retainers back in will leave you with some painfully aching fingers, too. (Speaking of the rain rail, I recommend shelling out for a top with a new rain rail attached. The old one may still be serviceable, but cutting it loose from the old top and riveting it onto the new one looks like it would add a whole lot more complexity and difficulty to the job.) I don't regret going the DIY route, because it saved me the $600 my local Mazda dealer quoted for the labor (that's as much as the new top cost all over again), but it was a heck of a lot of work. If you decide to follow suit, make very sure that you keep all your parts organized, and keep careful notes on how to disassemble and reassemble things like the quarter-panel trim in the proper order. The aforementioned book might be worth checking out, too -- it's no substitute for the Robbins instructions, but it fills in a few gaps and offers some helpful suggestions that don't appear in the official documentation.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Robbins Cloth Top Glass Window

[2/9/2008] Reviewed by: -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05 '06+ 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

New Robbins Cloth Top Glass Window Defroster

High Quality like Mercedes! Blue matches silver MSM better than Black! Extra material in box for a 2nd top, yes, that much extra material! Car has 101,000 miles and looks new with this top. 1 week later, topless like the Girls Gone Wild Video, 90% of the time down, 365 days a year in So. California!

$600 top bought for $200! Owner totaled car before top was installed. $180 labor to install! Looks so HOT and FANTASTIC, car looks new! Bought a Top cover to protect it from the sun, rain, birds and dew!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Robbins Auto Tops

[5/18/2006] Reviewed by: Christopher Mortlock -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Sunfast Canvas w/ zipless glass window.

Just a re-cap on my new top. After having the top installed back in Feb., I waited a total of 5 weeks before I decided to drop it. The first time around was alittle stiff (which is expected). After dropping the top a total of 10 times, I noticed that the seal around the window from the inside was starting to seperate. Mind you that it was only in the upper 70's to very low 80's over here at the time. After time the whole upper seal of the window was seperated!! I quickly made a call to Ravenwing Performance about the ordeal. They in turn quickly got in touch w/ Robbins about the situation that i was having. Within an hour's time I got a call from Robbins apologizing about the problems that I was having w/ the top. They quickly sent a completely new top out to USA Auto Spa as well as contacted them about my problematic top. This kind of customer service is by far the best I have ever encountered with any business!! :) But...unlike Ravenwing and Robbins, USA Auto Spa gave me nothing but attitude about my whole dilemma. It seemed they were more concerned on how they would get paid for re-doing the work!!!! After making another call to Robbins, I was told directly by Mr. Robbins himself, that everything was well taken care of and that my new top was already at USA Auto Spa and also to call him directly if I encounter anymore problems. It would seem that USA Auto Spa had my new top for well over 4 days, and was unaware! Finally... after a long game of phone tag, I got my new top installed on the 17th. Ironically, this top looks way better than the last one I got. I was told to give it a week.....then go topless! :)

All in all....this top is of the quality that one would expect from Robbins. I'm very happy with it. But as far as doing future business with USA Auto Spa..... rest assure that is not going to happen. Just my 2 cents.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins Sunfast Canvas (Zippless glass window) Conv. Top

[2/6/2006] Reviewed by: Chris Mortlock -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Sunfast canvas conv. top in a wide range of colors, with a zippless glass window.

After much consideration....I decided to go with a Robbins sunfast cavas/zipperless glass convertable top. After talking to a couple of owners with rear windows (glass or plastic) with zippers, and the problems they faced with deterioration of the materials around the zipper due to the desert weather...I thought this would be the best way to go. Not only would the material around the glass window be stronger, but the structure would'nt be compromised by a zipper with the added weight of a glass window. Also, the plastic windows have a tendency to turn yellow and become brittle here in the desert, if not properly cared for. I ordered the product through Ravenwing Performance along with new side cables and B-pillar retainer clips. I've ordered products from R.W. before, and was very impressed with their customer service as well as their products. I had the top shipped over to USA Autospa to have it properly installed, so as to not void my warranty on the top. It took them a total of 6hrs. to install the new top. The end result was outstanding!!! This is by far one of the best tops that i've seen yet! Only probelm is that I won't be able to go top-less for about three weeks until the top properly atunes itself to the car.

A well manufactured product. A big thumbs-up from me! :) The glass window in the back dramatically improves rear visabillity.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins sunfast no zip top

[10/13/2005] Reviewed by: William F. Eadie -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Robbins "Sunfast cloth" no zipper glass top.

I paid $600.00 for this product and had it professionally installed for another $395.00. Well worth the expense after a bad experience with a zipper vinyl top which ripped after less than two years. The glass window is just too heavy. Looks very classy on my 1992 custom blue beauty.

I live in the south and opted for the sunfast top which is more expensive. Whatever you do, buy a ZIPPERLESS top. You won't regret the extra $$ and will find it so simple to raise and lower.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins Sunfast Cloth Top with No-Zip Window

[1/18/2004] Reviewed by: Padraic MacLeish -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

This top looks great installed on the car. The no-zip option was definitely worth a slight premium over the zip windows. The visibility out the back is just fine, and although it's brand new now, the materials and manufacture seem to be of high quality.

This top was not too hard to install, and any difficulties were certainly the result of attempting to follow the instructions included in the package. There are a few important things to note in Robbins' instructions, but they also completely omit some steps in the process, such as threading the cables through the top. Make sure you thread them through before the top is already glued to the front bow, or you'll be cursing like I was.

I would buy this top again, but I would read the directions carefully first, then follow my intuition while installing. If you don't have a full 6 - 8 hours to spend, it might be worth it to drop a couple hundred bucks for a professional installation.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[7/1/2002] Reviewed by: Anonymous

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Replacement top with glass rear window

It installed well, as described in the articles by writers... Looks great, however, I am somewhat disappointed in the final product quality. It has been less than one year and the fabric attaching the bow over the seats is separating from the top... I would probably consider one of the less expensive competitors if I were to replace the top again...

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/20/2001] Reviewed by: Bob Estes -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Cloth replacement top with glass rear window

I ordered the top (~$650) and had it installed by a local shop ($250) with out incident. Initially the new top looked and performed beautifully. A little over one year later the fabric that the zipper attached to has ripped. The window is so heavy that it places a lot of stress on the fabric. I also see tell tail signs that overall the fabric is wearing poorly. I expect to soon have leak holes throughout. I will be lucky to get two years service from this product.


Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/10/2000] Reviewed by Mario Luna -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

90-97 Black Sun-Fast w/Glass Window

My experience is an epic and a triumph, definitely worth the money I payed. Hey,look at my smile! I love my new top!

This review is for anyone who owns and loves their Miata, and has the embarassing problem of having a faded, or worse yet, cracked vinyl window on their top.

I purchased my Robbins Sun-Fast cloth top w/glass window from Finish Line (thanks guys!),spent a meager $125 for a professional install. My girlfriend and my '96 love me for it! It has dramatically improved the overall appearance of my car. This top is beautiful. To put the top down, it's a simple unzip operation, and vice versa. Once on, 2 days later it rained. Not only could I see through my rearview (no longer a blur of lights and mysterious shapes) but backing up no longer requires a prayer! I can see! No leaks, no guessing, only clarity. My only question is, why did I wait 7 months before putting one on? I'll never know. But know this My Miata looks very sharp WITH the top up.

Do your Miata a big favor if you are looking to replace your top, go with a Robbins Sun-Fast. I strongly recommend it.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[6/12/2000] Reviewed by Rickie Garcia -

Applicable to '90 - '97

Cloth laminate top with a glass rear window. Black with no defroster.

Beautiful construction and materials. I see why this top won an award it is simply marvealous. The appereance over the original is startling. Gives the ar an expense exotic look.

The instructions included in the kit are of the lowest possible quality and the pictures are barly comphendable. That is probably why they recomend professional installation. Also the channel in which the passenger side tension cable runs was glued too small and required some persuasion. Its on now is beuttiful, the top fits so tight that you could bounce a quarter off of it. Tap the top when its wet and watch the beaded water bounce. Six hours for a mechinically inclined 18 year old to install.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/11/2000] Reviewed by Anonymous

Applicable to '90 - '97


Three weeks of Michigan winter use. Down once when it went above 70 in March.

When I ruined the plastic window, I decided to get the cloth top with the unheated glass window. The top (installed by a trim shop for $200) fits perfectly and looks fantastic. The glass window is a major improvement over plastic. Even in Michigan, I think the rear defroster would be superfluous. The normal heater/defroster, working in such a small space, keeps the rear window clear. The extra expense for a defroster that is almost guaranteed to be quickly damaged does not seem justified.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Thomas Di Salvio -

Beautiful improvement over vinyl top w/ plastic window, a classy cloth top w/ glass window from Robbins.

I needed to replace my top due to some unfortunate vandalism.

I was reffered to three places by my insurance company. I chose Westside Aupaulstry (sorry for misspellings) in Houston,TX because they had a screaming good special going on and they are reasonably close to where I live.

They did a great job. However, It took Robbins 4 weeks to ship the top to Westside Appaulstry (I was told it would only take one week for shipping and installation combined). Westside told me, that Robbins told them, the delay was due to the glass company Robbins uses having the glass on back order. When Westside received the top, they installed it in a few hours, and my Miata was finally whole again. (Westside did patch the holes so I could drive my Miata while I waited for the top to arrive.) The first time I washed my miata after the installation of the new top, there was some minor leaking on the inside of both door windows. Hey, I was concerned, and I decided to monitor the leakage problem before I went screaming to Westside. Ironically (or luckily) it has never leaked again, even when I was caught in a horrible Houston downpour.

It has been 3 months and, so far, I am very pleased with the results.

Beautiful top. (I get so many compliments, especially from Miata owners.) Quality seams and threading so far. Glass makes visualization through rear window crystal clear. (Wish it came with defroster and tinting.) No change in blind spot. (I use a small blindspot mirror taped/glued to my OEM driver side mirror)
Cloth is total class versus vinyl. (check it out for yourself.)

Total cost (installation, shipping, and top itself) $800.00 + tax (~$826.00)

[5/23/2000] Followup by Thomas Di Salvio -

Applicable to '90 - '97

Robbins cloth top with glass window

This is a follow up posting. You can read my earlier reveiw(s) on this product as well. I purchased this top in Oct. 1998. 1 year and a half ago. The top still looks beautiful. The stitching is all holding strong, and there is only very mild sun/weather related fading. I get many positive coments on the "looks" of my car. Two days ago I ran into an old friend and he asked me how much I paid for the car. I challanged him to guess. His answer was $35,000.00. Hey this is a stock '90 miata. I guarantee you a cloth top makes all the difference in the world of the perceived value of your car. Of course, don't underestimate nice shiney waxed paint. The Robbins top has been a great top. If you need a top get a CLOTH one... and I STILL can reccomend Robbins witout reserve. I'll try to keep posting from time to time. I fineally learned how to spell upholstry, now I just need to get a defroster )

Reviewed by: Bob Finkle -

About a year ago the top on my '92 Miata deteriorated to the point that backing out of a parking space at night became an adventure. I limped along but finally succumbed to the necessity of replacing the window along with the deluge that is El Nino (yes...I live in Southern California). I initially thought I was going to get away cheap by having a replacement vinyl window sewed in as the top itself was still in good shape (or so I thought). I purchased an aftermarket replacement window ($150) and headed to a local top shop that had quoted me $200 for the installation. When I got there the installer shook his head...pointed out several shortcomings in the replacement AND my original top. He highly recommended the Robbins Top as a replacement. He added that the Robbins Factory was in Santa Monica (about 50 miles from my house) and that he could get the top in a couple of days. The light went on above my head and I figured why not eliminate the middle men. I called The Robbins Top Company in Santa Monica (after checking out their web site) and found that yes indeed THEY DO INSTALL WHAT THEY SELL!!!! I set up an appointment for the following Monday and had the top installed there at the factory. I was told if I didn't want to wait all day it would be necessary to be there by 7:45. I was first in line at 7:15. Total cost, including top, installation and homage to the State of California....$730. The job was finished at 11:00. The installation was done nicely. The view through the rear window can only be described as "awe inspiring!" While I was there other vehicles in for tops included 3 other Miatas, a Mercedes, a Jaguar and (my favorite) a new black Porsche Carrera...his frame was bent and the guy behind the counter told me it was going to cost him $3,000 to repair. Course if you live out of Southern California I guess this does you no good...sorry. Robbins Top Company is located at 711 Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica, CA.

Reviewed by: Arthur & Amy Richwald -

Our Miata is a white 92 with some of the typical upgrades, Panasport rims w/Yoke AVS-I, Konis adj., Borla exhaust etc. I had never thought much about the top, but it's the one thing most Miata's have in common. It covers a large section and they are all the same, plastic and vinyl. One day I put my hand through the back window clearing ice off. Yeah, I know it's stupid and I should have known better, so I taped it up (ugly) and drove around for another 7/8 months. While shopping I discovered that buying a new top is like buying new tires, you get what you pay for and everyone has a preference. I looked at factory, three window and a lot of other tops, but the Robbins cloth top w/glass window seemed to be the one for me. I envisioned a little more of the "classic" look for my baby. seemed to like it and Robbins has quite a good reputation. So eventually we (my wife) ordered ours. Moss Motors had the top in stock and in their usual professional way it arrived a few days later. I have a friend named Chris who builds computers, understands schematics, tears apart all types of cars and in general knows more than any one person has a right to know. He also put a top on a MGB last year, so I asked him what he thought about us installing the top ourselves. He thought no. He explained that for $700 it was not worth taking a chance of a wrinkle, tear or faulty seal in the finish. I concurred with his opinion and started looking for installers. SHOP AROUND !! I got installation quotes for $200-1500 from experts who didn't know what a Miata was. I finally picked the one I felt was most knowledgeable. As I dropped off my beast I looked at some of the work which the owner was doing. Classic cars and a new corvette with tops that were better than perfect. I picked up the beast a few days later after telling the owner that there was no hurry (do not rush the installation). About a block away I noticed the difference, the top was a deeper black than any vinyl top could ever be. When I walked up to the car and saw the rear window I just stood there and smiled. With earlier cloth tops the lowering process was different. Robbins changed it with their new cloth top which is lowered just like the original (unlatch, unzip, fold back). The top is now better and costs less. On the drive home my rear view mirror gave me a clear view that I had never had with the top up before. Gone were just shapes and colors, now I could see details. Looking from the inside, one word sums it up......QUALITY. The seams are flawless and the zipper is built to last. Outside fit is perfect, it looks better than I can describe, as for the fit, well......I can bounce quarters off my top and it makes a drum noise, can you do that on yours?

After four months I am still impressed. Total price including installation ran about a grand, which for me is a lot. You can get other after market tops for as little as $250-300, the real question is why would you? Spend the extra money and make an investment on a top that will last. My friend Rick's 90 red Miata just had the top slashed, I told him to get the Robbins, get the cloth and get the glass. He was quoted $750 from the dealer for a new top (plus installation), he got the Robbins. If you are in the market for an upgrade that will stand out or just a new top, I recommend the the same thing to you as I did to my friend, Robbins, cloth and glass. You can Email me later and thank me.

Robbins Top 3 window Black

[8/4/2003] Reviewed by: Joe -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Vinyl top w/ 2 corner windows

First off, if you set your mirrors right the Miata has no blind spots. The windows and glue have come loose all over, and it leaks in the back a bit, side windows are very scratched after normal use. But all this I can deal with, it only leaks behind me, except for some of the window seals. What I really cannot stand about this top is that the zipper skips in spots, one has come off trying to get it through a skip point. It only zips on a 3 inch wide strip, if i'm lucky. Had to resort to safety pins and the rolled up towel trick. OK, but when you drive through a torrential rainstorm where you can hardly see, and the wind blows the back window completely off, flapping around on the trunk lid while you get completely soaked, that is unacceptable.

I can handle the cheap vinyl that rips and comes undone. What really gets me is the zipper on the top. I dont have money for a new top so I'm stuck knowing that i threw away a perfectly good OEM top. Robbins supposedly makes very good tops, which I don't doubt, if you buy the good ones. But after my experience with this one, I would certainly look at other brands. I would have paid the extra $300-$500 for a 3 window top that will last more than one summer in perfect shape. In my book, Robbins' name is highly tarnished after having owned this top. They just shouldn't sell this top. Reccomend against buying it. Its not at all necessary.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[8/21/2000] Reviewed by Jed Sutherland -

Applicable to '90 - '97

Replacement 3 window top, black

I had this top installed because the previous after market top had been destroyed by vandals. I wanted the 3 window version because I expected it to improve safety and visibility. This has indeed been the case. However, after about 15 months of use (including 2 summers), one side window is coming loose from the surrounding fabric (it looks to be heat sealed in place). The shop where it was installed says that Robbins does not warranty this type of problem and that they can put temporary repairs in place after the summer ends and I stop raising and lowering the top (translation I'm going to have this problem every year). The other side window is starting a crack where it folds when the top is down.

Not satisfactory to have the side window separate like this. Definitely would not buy a 3 window top again.

[9/28/99] Reviewed by: Colin CHENG -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Vinyl Black Soft Top with 3 plastic windows.

To get to the point for anyone thinking about this product, read this review.

I bought the soft top back in 1997 for my original 1990 red Miata. The window had taken a beating from the environment and vandals.

Installation was referred to a local convertable soft top specialist. Look under "Auto upholstry" in Yellow pages. Cost $100 Canadian.
Took them a half day.

At the time of purchase, three windows was a unique idea! And very affordable too! I was SOLD! Too bad though, because now my side windows are cracking and literally peeling off. There are also mysterious holes that have surfaced from the creasing by the corner windows. Now I am VERY upset. Not to mention all the loose threads by the zipper surrounding the rear window.

Conclusion after 2 years of use. Great idea, but disappointing quality. Don't Buy it.

Email me with questions or concerns.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Robert Schettini -

After market replacement top for Miata. 3 plastic windows in rear.

About 2 years ago I had a Robbins 3 panel replacement top installed on my 92 Miata. The additional 2 side windows provided exceptional visibility and all but eliminated the typical blind spots on my Miata.

Two years later, however, I have discovered that the workmanship of the Robbins top is not as good as the standard Miata top. The quality of the standard top was exceptional (I replaced it because I carelessly cracked the rear window on a cold day).

After only two years, the Robbins top is starting to deteriorate. The pieces that connect the roof to the support bars of the roof frame are glued together instead of being sewed. As a result, my Robbins top is now flapping in the wind because the top is no longer connected to all parts of the roof frame.

The upholsterer that originally installed my top is going to attempt to re-glue the top together - but he's not optimistic. I have thus far been unable to contact Robbins to see if there is anything they will do to correct the problem.

In closing, let the buyer beware. The Robbins top is exceptional in concept, but the quality might not be worth it.

Reviewed by: William Rutledge -

Three-window convertible top replacement.

I had the product installed by a shop after a thief slashed my original top. After one year the top is developing some problems. The side windows are beginning to seperate from the top and have become kinked and there are pinholes where the top folds.

I would replace the top with an OEM top if I had it to do over again.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Dan Reyes -

I ordered a Robbins 3 window top from PBC (Performance Buyers Club) and got it 3 days later. It had no parts (rivets) and no installation instructions except on the order of how to tighten the nuts that attaches the rear of the top to the car. Larry Cohen's experience and Brian Dore's top installation instructions found on helped. The top looks great. No more blind spots. It's December here in Southern California and quite cold but had to turn on the a/c because of all the sunlight coming in the car. I just wish that Robbins had the rain rail pre-installed with the top. The great Tech-support guys at PBC said that the 3 window top don't come with it. The rivet sizes are (2)5/32 x .250 and the rest 5/32 x .187.

Reviewed by: Enrico Massagli -

A replacement vinyl top with three clear plastic rear windows. Construction is from 36 oz. Haartz Single-Texture material. Rear windows have wide heat seals, and dual zippers, which means you can unzip from the center, or from either side. Robbin's has a reputation for producing first rate products, and this unit is no exception. It is available in black or tan, and with a plastic or glass center rear window.

I took advantage of Moss Motor's Winter sale and ordered the black with plastic rear window. Other mail order houses could learn from Moss, as the top arrived via UPS literally days after I ordered it. Not having any experience with convertible tops, I took it to a local automotive upholstery shop and had them install it. They charged me for 4 hours of labor. Labor rates vary in different parts of the country, but in California $60 an hour is about par. I left it with them in the morning and picked it up that afternoon. I asked the shop owner his opinion of the top, and he said "it's a Robbin's, it's the best". Fit and finish is every bit as good as the original top, and you once more have the smell of "new car" vinyl in the cockpit. Driving away from the shop I experienced a mild shock at the fact I was no longer "driving from the back of a cave". While it's no replacement for driving with the top down, you suddenly realize how many blind spots the original top has. The center window in the Robbin's top is about 30% larger than the stock rear window. Adding the two side windows really lets a whole lot more light in. (and vision out). With the original top my peripheral vision ended at my left shoulder. Now a quick glance lets me see back to the rear fender. On the passenger side from the driver's seat you really have a panoramic view. It's one of those things you need to experience. Just telling you about it, cannot do it justice. It is equal or better than the original top in quality of material, fit, and water proofing.

Why didn't the warlords at Mazda make the top like this to begin with ? I have taken great care of the original top, especially the rear window and zipper, so replacing it took considerable thought. Thinking back to the number of times I merged left in traffic cussing the "black hole" behind me (especially at night) was the deciding factor. So far there has just not been any "down" sides, other than I wish I had gotten it sooner.

Robbins Vinyl Top

Robbins replacement top, black vinyl, zippered window, rain rail included

[5/29/2012] Reviewed by: Robert Hiebert

Applicable to: '90 - '97

NA direct replacement top with zippered plastic window and rain rail.

Robbins has a good reputation for a quality product and I found this to be true myself. This was my first experience replacing a convertible top. Because of my lack of experience the job took all day, but it really wasn't all that difficult. My only complaints are minor. Robbins does not encourage DIY installations. They even go so far as to say installation by a non professional may void the warranty. They offer no step by step installation guidance and the instructions that come with the top are vague at best. Fortunately there are many good write ups regarding installation on the forum. Included with the top are two rivets for the tension cables and 8 for the top itself. The tension rivets are 3/16" dia. so the cable end and header bow must be drilled to accept the larger than OEM size. The other rivets are 1/8" dia. and I thought they were too small for a direct replacement for the OEM. I drilled the rails so they would accept 3/16" rivets as well. Other than those two minor issues the installation was straight forward. The fit up is good, and time will tell if what looks like good quality will pass the ultimate test.

I see no reason why I would not buy another Robbins top should I need to replace another top in the future.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[8/8/2005] Reviewed by: Stephen Sterling -

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Blue Cabrio Vinyl top from with heated glass.

I ordered this top from Cabrio World for my 99 10AE Miata. They had to custom make the top due to the color choice. My top was delivered 10 days from the day I ordered it. To my suprise what showed up was a dark blue Robbins top with all of the hardware and instructions. In all of my on-line searches I had never seen a Robbins top offered in blue. My friend Mike and I ready all of the installation articles in the garage and with our fingers crossed we began tearing the old top off yesterday afternoon. We were able to completely remove and install the new top in 5 hours in my parking spot. First let me say that the quality of the top easily surpasses the factory top. All of the holes punched in the new top lined up perfectly. The Speedy snap fasteners made switching the rain rail over a cinch. The kit also came with extra padding to reduce ware on the top from 2nd and 3rd bows. We chose to do the install with the frame on the car. There were only to flaws with this approach. First we were out in the sun and got cooked, second it was really tight when removing the bottom piece of weather stripping and the last 2 rivets on each side. The only truly difficult parts of the install were when mounting the metal frame work that holds the rain rail in place on the new top and when finally closing the top for the first time. The top looks awesome! There are no leaks or wrinkles and it fits like a glove. I am very impressed with this product and proud to have done the install myself rather than paying someone $250 to do it for me. One piece of advice I have is that everyone clean out the drain hole for the rain rail while the top is off. I didn't fully understand how the rain rail worked until I washed the car this mourning and found two puddles behind the seatbelt towers. I fish around with my finger and found that the drain hole was full of mud and debris. I clipped off a 2 foot section of a wire hanger shoved it down the hole entirely moving it around up and down. By the time I pulled the hanger out it was completly drained. Once again I fully recomend this top to anyone looking for a great looking replacement!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins vinyl top with a no-zip glass window

[7/5/2005] Reviewed by: Mike Pullin -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

This is an aftermarket convertible top with a no-zip glass window for NA Miatas. It is available in vinyl or cloth and in black or tan. I chose the tan vinyl option.

I purchased this top, with an attached "rain rail," from GoMiata for less than $500 with shipping. It arrived within a week of ordering. The people at GoMiata were very helpful and professional. They also had the best price of the various Robbins dealers I contacted. Cloth verions of the top are about $200 more. The top was for a '94 BRG M-edition Miata (with a tan interior and top) that I had purchased used several months earlier. After purchasing the car, I discovered that the OEM top was leaking under the back window. Then, the zipper broke. It was time for a new top. I called the Mazda dealer and inquired about the cost of the top and nearly had a heart attack. After some more research, I ordered the Robbins top. I inquired with several local shops about installation, and got quotes that averaged about $300. I decided to install it myself. Installing a top on your Miata is not for the faint-hearted. It involves many bolts in difficult locations, glue, and rivits (yes, rivits!). It took me an entire weekend. However, the instructions given on this website and in several popular Miata repair books are very helpful. The various published instructions for top replacement are torn on the issue of whether or not to remove the top's frame from the car during installation. I chose to remove the frame. I think this is the right approach. Removing the frame isn't hard and it provides better access to a couple of otherwise hard to reach areas. When you order the aftermarket tops you can get them with or without a rain rail. The rain rail is a plastic gutter that drains water running off the top into two holes that run into the rear fenders. When I pulled my old top off, I found that my rain rail was brittle and cracked. You can buy the rain rail separately or try to reuse your old one, but that would mean that you would have to rivit the rain rail to the top yourself. I recommend buying the rain rail attached. Notes for those attempting installation: The 13 bolts that secure the back of the top to the body are difficult to get started and the rails are difficult to get into place. The no-zip design requires the installation of two nylon straps onto the frame, which requires drilling some holes into the frame and then riviting the straps to the frame. In any case, the top fit the frame perfectly. The new vinyl is stretched tight, with no puckers or wrinkles.

The new top looks great and it does not leak. The no-zip glass rear window is a big improvement over the zippered plastic window. The visibility is excellent and all you have to do to lower it is pop the latches and open the top. As you close the top, the window is lowered down on a set of straps until it rests on the rear deck. The vinyl seems to be high quality, at least as good as OEM. The tan color is excellent, a good match to other newer Miatas that I've seen. My old, worn top looks almost grey in comparison. A disadvantage to this top is that you can't drive with the window unzipped and the top closed. Also, the inside of top does not have sleeves to hide the frame bows. The top simply rides along on top of the bows. I highly recommend this item. I was able to install it myself and would do it again. However, if you don't normally work on your own cars, I'd find a shop in your area to do it for you. The shop will be earning their money!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins Vinyl Top W/Glass Window

[4/24/2005] Reviewed by: Gary Whitting -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Robbins Vinyl Top W/Glass window

I just recently replace the top on my wifes 1996 Miata. I went with Robbins vinyl top with glass window. Having no expierence prior to replaceing the top, I was unsure if I should turn it over to the professionals. After reading tons of installation information. I decided to go with Robbins and do it myself.The installation directions were very good. When I replace the top on my 1990 Miata will only buy a Robbins top.The top looks better than the original. My wife loves her her new top by Robbins.

If you plan on replacing the top on you car yourself, here are a few suggestions.You need two people. Work with someone who has done one before. Make sure you have at least four to five hours to complete.You must be patient and take breaks. The most important thing is make sure you have a Robbins Top!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins vinyl top with glass window

[5/25/2004] Reviewed by: Gautam Bose -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

V. Good. I've had it almost 2 years -- no trouble yet. I like (1) the glass rear window -- COULD NOT BELIEVE how much better than the vinyl window, until I used it (2)the zip pull for the rear window -- much better than stock (3) the price -- cheaper than OEM top. I didn't like (a) increased noise (though I stopped noticing after a couple of days) (b) Very slight fading -- black top now has faint brown undertones...

Good value.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins vinyl top with glass window

[10/21/2003] Reviewed by: Christian LeHew -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Robbins Vinyl Top with Glass Backlight. Black medium weight vinyl, tempered glass rear window that seems to be only slightly smaller than the OEM plastic window.

Installed November 1999 on my '91. Installation instructions are terrible, so before you do anything, find someone who has some experience. You'll need a rivet gun, a drill, pliers (both wide and needle-nose) and several different sized sockets and wrenches. You'll also need a helper for some parts. Installation is difficult for a novice. Initial quality of the top was good. I had a slight wrinkle near the back window that has never quite gone away, even after several adjustments. The ring handle on the inside zipper broke about 2 years ago. About a year ago (3 years on the car), I noticed the edges around the side windows were starting to crack. They're now quite worn. About 3 months ago, the vinyl strip that holds the top to the center bow came unglued. I've also noticed the top has shrunk slightly, as a small portion of the frame around the side windows is now showing.

As FYI, my OEM top was in good shape at 8 years old, when a vandal sliced through my top. After only a few years, this Robbins top is deteriorating quickly. When it's time for a new top (maybe I can get 2 more years out of this one), I'll skip Robbins.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Robbins vinyl top with fixed glass window

[9/1/2003] Reviewed by: Keith Kimble -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Replacement convertible top. Vinyl with zipperless (fixed) glass rear window.

Purchased two weeks ago to replace original top.

Original was in great condition, except for broken zipper on plastic window. I went with vinyl top because the Sun-fast (cloth) top in tan doesn't remotely match original color. Short-term results are great. Top looks terrific, is completely water-tight with first washes (OEM never was), fits tightly, and is quiet at highway speeds. Top boot goes on as easily as with OEM top. Only problem so far is that the window, despite being similar in size to OEM, seems to be positioned slightly lower (likely necessitated in order to lower top with rigid glass). This means that, with top up, taller drivers (like five nine plus) will have a restricted view out the rear view mirror unless they adopt a "Ciao, Sophia" driving position (slouched). Since my top is down 90% of the time in sunny So Cal, it really makes no difference to me. I've noted other comments about durability problems. We'll see. My OEM was pretty pristine (except the zipper) after ten years of mild climate and garaging.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/15/2001] Reviewed by: Brian Stevens -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Vinyl replacement top with a glass rear window.

I've had bad experiences with two of these tops. I had one installed just after Hurricane Fran hit us in '97. Within two years the top started coming apart at the first bow back from the windshield. Still under warranty, I had it replaced, although I had to pay labor. Again, within two years, the top started coming apart in the same place. I went back to the business that installed the top, but they had retired. I then called Robbins. After waiting for callbacks from them for several weeks, they finally told me to fax in my receipt, so I did. Again waited several weeks for a response (had to call them). I was then told that the top was not covered under the original warranty. They said I did not get another 2-year warranty when I had the first top replaced, even though I had the same exact problem. I was also told that all replacement and OEM Miata tops have the same problem. My OEM top was 5 years old and had no problems, except the branch that ripped th! rough it during the hurricane.

I can NOT recommend this product to anyone. The quality is poor and the company refused to stand by their product.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[12/13/2000] Reviewed by: Jason Strand - 

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Vinyl Top with a Glass Window

Since I'd recently broken my rear window I was in need of a new rear window and decided to just get the whole top replaced since it was looking kinda shabby. Went with the Robbins Vinyl top because the shop installing it said that it would be repairable in the event of any damage and went home waiting for my cars new clothing.

The car looks much cleaner now with the new top. The glass rear window is a lifesaver and I feel that it is as much a safety devices as brakes and a roll-bar. The original blind spots still exist but being able to see unrestricted out the rear window is very much appreciated. And with this being snow country I can actually clear off my rear window in the morning without fear! The top was definitely worth it and if I ever need another top I'll definitely go with Robbins, although I might try the cloth one in the future.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[6/12/2000] Reviewed by R. Louis Dodson -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

High-quality vinyl top with glass rear window. Direct replacement for stock top.

Robbins made little improvments on the original Miata top when they designed this one. Very good workmanship and very sensible design. Glass window is fantastic.

Much has been said about these tops so I'll keep it short. Great top! I recommend glass. Like others, I installed it myself. Here's my 2 cents

- Buy a rivet gun. $10 at Wal-Mart

- There's no need to take off the frame for the lower B-pillar. You can take out the plastic clips by using a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Be careful, don't break the clips. If you strip the screw there, cut the old top away, spray WD-40 on the screw from above, then turn the screw with pliers. You'll ruin the screw buy a new one or leave the retaining to the clips.

- Tighten 10mm nuts in order supplied by Robbins it prevents wrinkling.

- Difficult to install, not for the faint-of-heart or weak-of-fingers. All the bruises and scratches I have right now on my arms, along with my sore back, are testament to the difficulty of this install. I saved $200 (min) and spent quality time with my baby. To me it's worth it, but I'm a certified Miata nut. Feel free to email me with questions.

 Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Dick Bipes -

I found the Robbins top to be a high quality product and a good value. I purchase the top from Moss a few months ago during a pre-season sale. The glass backlight is a huge improvement over the plastic window. I find the vinyl to be nearly identical to the original top.

I installed the top myself in about 6 hour's time (my son assisted with removal and reinstallation of the frame assembly into the car). I did not think that installation was particularly difficult, but it does take some time and care as there are a lot of parts to remove and replace. Installation requires drilling out some rivets and replacing them with new ones and fastening some flaps with contact cement. I found the Robbins instruction sheet to be lacking. The photos are of poor quality, making it difficult to identify parts and locations. The text is sparse and is not an extensive step-by-step. I used the Grainger and Shoemark Mazda Miata Enthusiast's Shop Manual for guidance. It is much more complete and has many good photos and drawings.

Included with the glass top is a pair of spacers which are added to the stock stops on the ledge behind the seats. These hold the frame, when folded down, about 3/4" higher than with the stock plastic window setup. This extra clearance is evidently needed for the glass window. This results in the top projecting above the beltline a little higher than stock when in the open, folded position. I'm very pleased with the fit and finish of the installed top. I do however find I need to push the leading edge of the top towards the windshield in order to get the latches to mate with the windshield header. I did not have to do this before. I expect this may not be required as the top stretches and ages a bit.

I recommend the Robbins top and, for those with a moderate amount of mechanical ability, do-it-yourself installation.

Reviewed by: Keith Gray -

Robbins black vinyl top with glass rear window. This is the new redesigned version which allows for unzipping the glass window the same as the original plastic window. The rain rail is included. The top was purchased through Moss Motors.

I installed the top myself, and I'll comment on the experience in a seperate response to the Tech Tips section of What few difficulties I encountered were my faultand were not caused by this product.

This purchase is among the best I have ever made. Right up there with my first set of clipless pedals and aero handlebars for my triathlon bike. The quality of the materials and construction is first-rate. The installed top looks super (I really feel bad for any Miata owner who doesn't have one), and the view out the glass rear window is spectacular.

The instructions were much more useful than previous reviewers had indicated. It took a short  while to get oriented to the illustrations, but after that they were relatively easy to understand. My one complaint is that the instructions with my top were for the previous model, which  directed me to drill a few holes in the rearmost bow and insert some sheetmetal screws that weren't needed. I called Robbins about this, and they acknowledged their mistake. It seems  that some of the old instructions were included in the first shipments by mistake. If this does happen to you, Robbins will gladly fax the correct instructions. I didn't need them myself.

I highly recommend that anyone who plans on keeping their Miata beyond the life of a plastic rear window make the modest investment required to upgrade buy this top. You'll be glad you did!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Keith Richmond -

Vinyl convertible replacement top with glass rear window. Revised design that allows glass window to be lowered while top is up. Works with OEM boot cover!

Absolutely fantastic! Fit and finish are well above OEM quality. I think the zipper will last a lifetime. Brandon at Performance Buyer's Club did an outstanding job on the installation - well worth the $200 installation fee. With the new design for the rear window, you can now use the OEM boot to cover the new top!!! Only drawback I've noticed is that the window doesn't extend as high as the OEM plastic one did so I find my rear vision looking up hills has decreased.

The best top I've ever seen. Kudos on the new design. If I ever need a new top again (without a plastic window to crap out I can't imagine I will) I would get this one.

Reviewed by: Larry Cohen -

A friend of mine recently purchased a 1990 Miata (red, of course). It had the original top and plastic back window. One morning while it was still just a little too cool out, he put the top down and the old back window shattered into a million pieces from the cold. Rather then just replacing the window, he decided to go for a new top with a glass back window. It took about an hour to get the old top off the car. We removed the frame and worked on the floor away from the car. The directions that come with the top are useless. They are very detailed with close-up pictures of pieces that we couldn't identify if someone held a gun to our heads so we just used common sense. This is not a job for the average Miata owner. It is best that the installation be done by an upholstery shop. We both have experience working in a body shop and had the right tools available. It is necessary to rivet the new top to the frame, route cables through fabric, contact cement the header and finally reinstall the frame back on the car. You need two people to do this. When we finally got it back together it was mega tight. It took both of us to get the top clamped to the header latches for the first time. It took us 5 hours start to finish and the results were spectacular. Not a wrinkle in it and the glass window looks great.

The quality of this top is as good if not better then the factory. Mazda should have offered a glass window since the start. Two thumbs up! I recommend this as a must have. If your window is due for replacement, the top probably isn't too far behind.

Robbins RC Vinyl Top (Standard 1 window)

[3/6/2001] Reviewed by: Michael J Mooney -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Robbins one window soft top

The top looks beautiful but squeaks like crazy anytime the pavement is at all bumpy. No one else has reported the problem but had I known of it beforehand I would have gone with the less aesthetically pleasing, but quieter, factory vinyl top.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Gregory Bednarchik -

Top quality. Materials are excellent. Zipper is beefy-better than factory. The side seams (where there is Velcro that falls off on the factory one) is an improved design.

Robbins single plastic window replacement top

[7/4/2007] Reviewed by: Christopher Mortlock -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Robbins Autotops vinyl zippered plastic window.

After having the second sunfast cloth top with zipperless glass window from Robbins installed, I thought all my problems with this top was over. I was wrong. After six months, I've noticed that the outside seam on the driver's side was starting to seperate. Yet again the glue used was not up to par. Instead of the glue coming apart from the inside by the glass window seal (as with the last top), it is now from the outside along the driver's side. After contacting Robbins and getting ahold of Scott Owen (the same rep that I dealt with the last time. Good Guy.... very curtious), I decided to go with the vinyl zippered plastic window this time. Scott agreed. Being all the work was done through Autospa USA, against my better judgement, I decided to have them do the unistall/reinstall the new top, in order to keep the warrantee good. The new vinyl top by far looks way better than the sunfast cloth top that was on there the last two time. Also, the visibility with the vinyl top/zippered plastic window is by far superior to the zipperless glass window. Whereas the glass window would hang low... the plastic one does not.

For the NA miatas... this top was made for this model (looks way better, as well as fits better). Plus, if by chance something was to happen to the rear window... I could replace it without replacing the whole top (unlike that of the sunfast cloth zipperless glass window). Would I ever deal with Robbins Autotops again? I'd have to say......YES! You just can not beat the customer service you get from these guys, as well as the quality of product.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[7/26/2003] Reviewed by: Michael Reagan - edsi348@

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Robbins softtop w plastic window

I had a professional install on my 96 Miata, at 65k miles. I took the installer's advice since he claimed that he installed these tops all the time and never had a problem. Eight months later and $600.00 out, the seams are splitting in the corners. This is unacceptable since the OEM top lasted six years. I am going to see my installer next week about repairs, but frankly I wouldnt recommend this top, unless Robbins agrees to replace it. 8 months is unacepptable

I will update my comments after I reach some satisfactory results with either the installer or Robbins

Not an installed item

Reviewed by: Doug Brown -

Black vinyl with single plastic window. Comes with rivets and poorly detailed instrucions. The economy top doesn't come with a rain rail. The top is gorgeous though, and gives your car that "new car" smell.

I took it to a top shop that had it done in four hours. I was going to do it myself but after looking over the Enthusiast manual, I decided that pulling my teeth would be less trouble. I say this because I don't have a drill or rivet gun. The top fits like a glove and makes car, a red 90, look new again.

The wind noise is the same volume, but there are not any leaks. The zipper goes around the window instead of straight across like on the OEM. Overall, I'm very pleased with the top, especially knowing that I got it all done for less than $500:)

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Anonymous

A convertible top with rain rail attached and zip-down plastic rear window.

Almost a week with the top: I LOVE IT!!!! The cloth is a bit pricey, but it is pure quality, right down to the stiches and zipper pull (a big hoop in place of a sliver of steel). No leaks: Water just beads up, like on a wax job. Car seems a tad quiter at hwy. speeds, but that may just be me.

It took me three weeks working from 6:00-2:30 at a Boat factory (read: sweat shop), and then rushing to get to my other job: 3:30-6:00 as a medicine delivery boy. Hard work, and I could have loafed around and got a vinyl top instead, but I figured that my car is worth a little bit of hard work. Besides, it took me three years to finally get it. It looks and feels like the top that comes factory on the Boxter! Great product.

Reviewed by: Mauricio Castillo -

Black vinyl top with zippered posterior plastic clear window, rain rail attached.

I decided to do it myself and followed instructions available in the net, those that came with the product, and those from the Miata Enthusiast Manual. Truthfully, none work by themselves and information from all is required for optimal results. I will not detail the process, but anyone who is interested may email to me and i will answer their questions. Anyway, it took me three afternoons to complete the installation! I feel proud of the results as it looks better than the factory one and I did it all by myself. You will need a two car garage and a sheet to place all of the parts on the floor. Go out and buy all tools needed in metric size and also a rivet gun with a rotating head. All tools can be bought for about $30-40.00. Taking to the old top of is not difficult although it does require drilling out many rivets. This part took me about 3-4 hours. You can do this easily by following the instructions on the net and those that come with top. There are some rivets on the bottom of the B pillar which are a real pain in the neck, I ended cutting the old top to get it off. Once the old top is off, you will need to drape the new one over the frame and attach it in the front. Now comes the difficult part. You will need to remove the frame, follow the instructions in the Enthusiast manual for this. Place the frame and top upside down on the floor and attached it to the bottom of the B pillars (not easy). Remove the plastic covering for the rain wells inside the top well. Remove the old rain rail (which looked of better quality than the one that came with the new top). Return the frame and top to the care (difficult if you are working alone). Screw the rain rail on, not easy and you may want to remove the seats (I had a bruise on both hips after finishing the installation). Replace all of the side rivets, plates, gaskets, and rails. Attaching the inner top flaps to the bows was not easy either and this is the only part of the installation I am not totally happy with. The new top was very
I paid about $260.00 for the top without shipping. I arrived on time. I am very please with the quality of the product. The instructions are a poorly xeroxed copy and are basically useless.

Reviewed by: Jack Hourcade -

Standard black replacement top, one single plastic window

I decided my '90 Miata needed a new top. The installer I selected praised the Robbins far above all others, so although it was not the cheapest I decided to go with his recommendation, and ordered one mail order. It's now been installed for two weeks.

I have found the fit, appearance, and overall quality of the Robbins top to be equivalent or superior to the original top that comes from Mazda. The installer said installation was smooth and uneventful. I have had it in the rain, and there are absolutely no leaks anywhere. I had not realized how yellowed and opaque my old rear window had become until installing this new top. The difference in clarity is stunning. I am very satisfied with the Robbins top.

Back to Product Reviews 12 August, 2012

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