Yeti Hopper Cooler Review
While Yeti’s hard-sided Tundra Coolers are what made them famous, they have since expanded to a variety of other products. This includes an impressive and proven collection of soft coolers. Yeti has dubbed these products their “Hopper” Series. While the specific models and selection size is constantly being tweaked, one aspect remains the same: The Yeti Hopper is a serious contender in the premium soft cooler race.
In this huge review, we will discuss the various Yeti Hopper models that are currently out. We will break down their features, test their ice retention ability, and determine if they are a good purchase for you.
But before we get into that, here is a table with our favorite Yeti Soft Coolers.
- 1 Yeti Hopper Cooler Review
- 1.1 Yeti Hopper Cooler Lineup
- 1.2 Yeti Hopper Cooler Features
- 1.3 Yeti Hopper Accessories
- 1.4 Yeti Hopper Cooler Ice Life
- 1.5 Yeti Hopper Cooler Aesthetics
- 1.6 Yeti Hopper Cooler Price
- 1.7 Yeti Hopper Cooler Review
Yeti Hopper Cooler Lineup
The Yeti Hopper Cooler lineup has evolved quite a few times over the years. Yeti will offer up a certain size of Hopper and then remove it from them their lineup some period of time later. The overall design and features of the Hopper have also changed throughout the history of the company.
At the time of this article, Yeti has 5 models to choose from: The Hopper Flip 8, Hopper Flip 12, Hopper Flip 18, Hopper Two 30, and Hopper Backflip 24. You will likely notice that the Flip models are based on the same design while the Backflip 24 and Two 30 have some additional features that make them stand out. In addition to these, it is quite easy to still find older editions of the Yeti Hopper including the popular Yeti Hopper 40.
As is typical of most soft-sided coolers on the market, the number designation in the name doesn’t refer to quarts of storage volume but instead to how many cans it can hold. For instance, the Yeti Flip 12 is advertised as being able to hold 12 cans of soda or beer. We have gone ahead and converted the internal storage area into quarts in the chart below for your convenience.
As you can tell, there is quite a variance in both how many cans of beer as well as how many quarts of storage there are. Interestingly, the Hopper Two 30, despite having significantly more internal storage volume, only was able to muster room for 3 additional beers or 3 more pounds of ice when compared to the much smaller Backflip 24.
But no matter which Hopper model you decide to go with, you will enjoy a very portable soft cooler that is easy to carry when you are in the great outdoors.
Yeti Hopper Cooler Features
The Yeti Hopper has been one of the most popular soft coolers on the market and its lineup of features play a big part in that achievement. We will go over a few in this section.
It all starts with the rugged Dryhide shell that encompasses every Yeti Hopper. This material is Yeti’s special high-density fabric that is both waterproof as well as resistant to mold/mildew. In addition to this, the fabric is extremely tough and very resistant to scratches and tears.
Inside of the cooler bag, you will find equally tough FDA-approved food-grade liner. This means that you can put your edible food and drinks inside without worry about them going bad.
If you still have doubts as to the durability of a Yeti Hopper, simply look at the warranty. Yeti offers a 3-year warranty on their soft-sided coolers. This is among the longest warranties in the industry for soft cooler and it really shows us that they know that their products will last.
And to keep those items cold, these soft coolers are equipped with Coldcell insulation. This is a closed-cell foam that is inserted in between the Dryhide shell and the inner liner. The specific thickness can vary some depending on the model and which well you are looking at, but typically it is around an inch thick.
And the thickest insulation in the world is useless without a great seal. This is where Yeti’s Hydrolok Zipper comes into play. This zipper is waterproof and airtight. In fact, Yeti claims that it is “the toughest, highest-performing waterproof and leakproof cooler zipper in the world.” That is a very bold claim and shows us that Yeti is extremely confident in the performance of their zippers.
And when you want to access your stored items, Yeti’s wide mouth opening will come in handy. This is designed into every soft cooler and it makes accessing items a breeze.
For transporting these cooler bags, you will have multiple carrying options depending on which model you go with.
The smaller Yeti Hopper Flip 8, 12, and 18 models are equipped with a shoulder strap in addition to an overhead carrying handle. Both have a grippy texture on them and are very comfortable to handle. The larger Backflip 24 does away with the shoulder strap but still utilizes the overhead carrying handle.
As for the largest model, the Two 30, the overhead carrying handle has been removed. But in its place are three additional carrying options. You can choose between a detachable shoulder strap and three double-stitched handles located on the front and sides of the bag.
Finally, all Yeti Hopper models come with a Hitchpoint Grid. This is a series of hooks on the face of the cooler that allows for you to hang various items such as keys, gloves, wallet, and more. In addition, they are designed to work with Yeti’s MOLLE Zinger and MOLLE Bottle Opener.
The only major issue that we have is in the lack of additional storage pockets. Outside of the insulated inner, you won’t find much in the way of additional places to store things.
Yeti Hopper Accessories
Yeti also has a pretty robust lineup of soft cooler accessories. These are additional items that you can buy that can help customize your soft cooler and make it better-suited for whatever environment that you throw it at.
Some of the most notable Yeti Hopper accessories include the Sidekick dry, Yeti Ice packs, MOLLE bottle opener, and MOLLE Zinger.
The Sidekick Dry is a special pouch that can be attached to the side of a Yeti Hopper. It is waterproof and has its own zipper, making it great for storing items that you don’t want to get wet such as keys, wallets, and cell phones.
Yeti Ice is Yeti’s own proprietary ice pack. It is engineering to maximize cooling performance and is shaped to fit comfortably in a variety of Yeti coolers (both hard and soft).
The MOLLE Bottle Opener and MOLLE Zinger are designed to hang directly off of the webbing located on the front of your Yeti Hopper. It gives you the ability to add much-desired features (a bottle opener and retractable cord attachment) without creating a lot of clutter or taking up valuable storage space.
Yeti Hopper Cooler Ice Life
Yeti has always been known for its long-lasting hard-sided ice chests. But have they been able to bottle up that magic and apply it to their soft-sided products as well? While most soft coolers won’t have the ice life numbers of a traditional hard cooler, you can still enjoy many hours (if not days) of ice retention with the right product.
Yeti has incorporated various features into its Hopper models to help prolong ice life. This includes a thick layer of insulation, an airtight zipper, and a design that helps to maximize the cooling benefits of ice. But how does this translate to real-life numbers?
Yeti is actually pretty quiet about what they believe the ice life is. While many other cooler brands will display ice life numbers on their site, we couldn’t find any of this from Yeti. So to help solve this mystery, we decided to look into it ourselves.
We put our coolers through our own real-life simulations. This includes filling them up with an acceptable amount of ice, leaving them outside in the heat, and occasionally opening them. The results of our tests can be seen in the chart below:
We found the results of these ice tests quite interesting. There was a pretty linear increase in ice retention as you increased in cooler size. Compared to other models on the market for a given size, the Yeti Hoppers performed extremely well and are near the top in terms of ice life. You can really tell that the thick closed-cell insulation is paying off.
No matter which model you go with, you should enjoy at least a day or so of ice life. This ramps up to an impressive 3 days of ice retention in the largest model, the Hopper Two 30.
It is worth noting that we only used ice in our tests. Yeti sells specialized ice packs that are designed to either replace ice or use in conjunction with them. We have found in other testing that ice packs can provide an added boost to ice life so for those of you who are looking for a bit more “oomph”, consider throwing a couple of ice packs in the cooler bag as well.
Yeti Hopper Cooler Aesthetics
When you are spending this kind of money on a soft cooler, you not only want a product that can perform but also one that looks great. Yeti definitely considered this when designing the Hopper models. Their multi-color designs look great and give a much-needed modern touch to these coolers.
Pictures don’t completely do it justice, but the textured look of the outer shell contrasts nicely with the smooth inner liner and nylon straps.
As for color choices, you are a bit limited. The most you will have for a given model is two colors. These colors are Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue and Field Tan/Blaze Orange. Both colors look great but we do wish that Yeti would expand on their options some.
Also noticeably missing from the lineup are custom colors and soft coolers with team logos. This was one of our favorite things about Yeti hard-sided coolers and we hope that in the future Yeti will consider expanding these to their soft-sided coolers as well.
Yeti Hopper Cooler Price
Yeti certainly offers up a quality product that performs well and will last a long time. Unfortunately, this does come at a very high asking price. Yeti is historically almost always at the top in terms of costs. In fact, even compared to other premium coolers, Yeti almost always requires a deeper pocketbook.
Due to increased competition, we have seen Yeti easing off of their asking prices some. There are so many other great premium coolers coming out on the market and we assume Yeti started to realize that they needed to do something to stay on top.
That being said, Yeti does carry a prestige that few other cooler brands can match. Owning a Yeti Cooler is almost a sort of status symbol and some people will pay a bit extra to enjoy this luxury.
Yeti Hopper Cooler Review
Pros: Impressive Ice Life, Great Build Quality, Multiple Size Options
Cons: Very Expensive, Few Color Choices, Lack of Storage Areas
Features: Dryhide Shell, Coldcell insulation, Hydrolok Zipper, Hitchpoint Grid, Multiple carrying methods
The Yeti Hopper Series is the company’s popular soft-sided cooler lineup. It consists of a variety of models and sizes (that have changed over the years) and that all sticks to the tried and true Yeti method of high quality and impressive performance. If you go with a Yeti Soft Cooler you will enjoy the pinnacle of premium coolers but it does come at a very high asking price.
Insulation Ability –
For a soft cooler, the Yeti Hoppers perform extremely well. This 1+ inch thick closed cell foam really shines and allows these coolers to keep ice for anywhere from 1 to 3 days. You will find that the larger models have the highest ice life but the smaller models are no slouches. In addition to this great foam is the Yeti Hydrolok Zipper that forms an airtight seal (which helps to keep the cold air in and the warm air out). For an added boost to ice life, toss in a couple of Yeti Ice ice packs.
Mobility and Durability –
In terms of toughness, the Yeti Hoppers really shine. The tough Dryhide Shell works in conjunction nicely with the FDA-approved inner liner to form a tear-resistant body. And all of the hardware is top notch. You will find metal hardware throughout and the powerful zipper has no major reported issues of malfunctioning prematurely. And Yeti stands behind these soft coolers with their impressive 3-year warranty.
As for features, there are enough to make most people happy. You will find multiple ways to carry these products and the MOLLE webbing provides a great spot to take advantage of some of Yeti’s accessories. The only thing noticeably missing is a lack of additional storage pockets. You can remedy this by purchasing the Yeti Sidekick Dry pocket accessory but we wish that Yeti would build more places to store items into the cooler itself.
Visual Appeal –
We like the styling of the Hopper Coolers. The multi-color schemes add a nice touch. The semi-gloss sheen of the Dryhide shell looks great and doesn’t fade or lose its luster over time. We are a bit disappointed in the number of colors to choose from, however. Currently, all of the Yeti Hopper models only have one or two maximum colors. While we think both color options look awesome, we hope that Yeti expands on this in the future. Furthermore, we would like Yeti to take advantage of its relationships with various schools and sports teams and offer up soft coolers with team logos on them.
The Yeti Hopper is among the most expensive soft cooler in the industry. While you will enjoy great performance, superior build quality, and a solid warranty, the price of admission may simply be too high for many people. And with more and more brands popping up that are trying to compete with Yeti, you can get very similar performance for a lower asking price from quite a few other sources. Yeti does seem to be taking notice of this, however. They have begun to reduce their asking prices on a lot of their products.
Overall Rating –
The Yeti Hopper series is a solid contribution to Yeti’s impressive product lineup. In terms of size and configuration options, it offers up one of the largest in the industry for soft coolers. And Yeti’s legendary build quality and ice retention rates are also carried over into these models. We do feel that a couple of notable features are missing and an expansion on the color options would be welcome. Also, the asking price may be too high for many. But as we have said before, there is nothing quite like a Yeti and if you are willing to open up your pocketbook, you will enjoy a great soft cooler that will last for many years to come with the Yeti Hopper.