YETI Hopper Portable Cooler Review

YETI Hopper Portable CoolerToday’s YETI Hopper Review is one I’ve been dying to share with readers because it will make you never want to return to your old cooler! Portability and durability are two of the most important factors to me in almost anything I buy for outdoor activities.

I’ve had coolers in the past that leak water or are ridiculously heavy to tote around, making them inconvenient. The YETI Hopper 30 can solve the issues you may be having with warm drinks, leaks, and oversized coolers.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Soft Cooler

A soft cooler is a great alternative to a bulky, hard cooler. If you’re not sold on the durability factor, you should be. Some soft coolers are so durable that they can stand up to the same wear and tear a hard cooler can but without some of the drawbacks.

Because of their design, they can also have extra layers of insulation to help them keep your contents cooler for longer periods of time. If you need a cooler that’s more versatile and portable to carry wherever you need to go, you may want to consider a soft cooler. Before you buy a soft cooler, consider the following:

  • Will it be comfortable to carry? How are the straps designed?
  • Is the outside material durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear?
  • Is its insulation sufficient to keep your contents as cold as your current cooler?
  • Will it be large enough to meet your needs?

The YETI Hopper Portable Cooler

It is a soft-shell cooler that promises to stand up to anything you can throw at it! The cooler claims to be 100% leak-proof, puncture resistant, and locks in the cold for days. Plus, it can hold up to 24 cans of your favorite drink. The YETI Hopper 30 can be a perfect solution for you if you need something truly portable, yet large enough for your camping trips.

Pros

  • HydroLok Zipper to keep cold in and eliminate spills
  • Puncture resistant DryHide Shell
  • Easy-to-carry handle for portability

Cons

  • Price tag is high compared to others
  • Tight opening can be difficult to get objects in and out before it’s broken in
  • Ice may last less than 24 hours, depending on weather conditions

Features & Benefits

Durability

If there’s one thing I love about this YETI cooler, it’s the durability. When you’re doing things outdoors, you want something that can stand up to the elements. This cooler passes that test admirably.

It’s so durable, in fact, that the owner’s manual mentions how difficult it might be to open the cooler the first several times because of its rugged build. After using it several times, the cooler gets worked in and easier to open, yet maintains its shape and durability.

The YETI has a DryHide Shell that makes it resistant from punctures from rocks or branches, and it will also resist damage from UV rays and water. The bottom is constructed with a tough elastic polymer to protect the cooler further as it sits. No matter your outdoor activity, this cooler can most definitely stand up to whatever you throw at it, making it a great option for you if you’re into strenuous outdoor activities or frequent trips.

Size Capacity

One of the most exciting features of this particular cooler is the amount that it can hold. Whether you’re going on a day trip to the beach or a week-long fishing trip, this cooler can work for you.

YETI suggests a 2:1 ratio of ice to contents, but insists that you can fit about 24 drink cans, four tubs of ice cream, or six-foot long sub sandwiches using this ratio. It’s important to note that when your cooler is brand new, you may not find it easy to fit this much in there. The cooler’s owner’s manual states that it needs to be worked in before becoming easier to open, so you may find it easier to have another person help you load it up.

Portability

While larger, hard-shell coolers may be beneficial for those camping at one site for a few days, they don’t work for people who plan to travel around. That’s where I find this YETI cooler to be a gem. It’s only six pounds when empty, so it’s light enough for the average person to comfortably carry. Even when it’s filled, you’ll find comfort in the specially-designed straps and handles, which you can carry by hand or put over your shoulder.

As someone who puts convenience and portability first for outdoor gear, I love all the options on this cooler. It even has handles on the sides to make it simple for moving in and out of your vehicle. Plus, you can use the Hitch point Grid system to accessorize your cooler with keychains, bottle openers, or your favorite YETI accessories.

Leak Proof

One of the downfalls of purchasing a low-priced cooler is that you often run into issues with leaking. Having your ice or water leak from your cooler defeats its purpose. My review is singing the praises of this cooler for that reason.

Yes, it’s on the higher end of the price ranges for coolers, but if you’re looking for something you never have to worry about leaking, it’s well worth the price. You can zip it up, tip it over, shake it, or even stomp on it, and it won’t leak a single drip of water. This is especially important when you’re transporting your cooler in your vehicle, so you won’t need to worry about it leaking on your interior.

Plus, no leaks mean your contents stay colder, and ice doesn’t melt.

Alternatives

Polar Bear Nylon Series

The Polar Bear Nylon Cooler is another portable cooler option, with a comfortable strap for easy carrying. Its price point is much lower but it also doesn’t provide a waterproof and tough, rugged exterior. This cooler may be best for you if you’re looking for a lightweight, portable cooler that won’t need a lot of protection from the elements.

Polar Bear Cooler vs. YETI Hopper

  • Lower price
  • Unbreakable hardware and zippers for extra durability
  • Nylon, rather than DryHide Shell
  • Comes in sizes for 12, 24, or 48 cans
  • 7 color/design options

I suggest looking into the Polar Bear Cooler if you need an excellent cooler with a lower budget.

AO Coolers Canvas Soft Cooler

AO Coolers Canvas Soft CoolerAO Coolers provides its Canvas Soft Cooler for the lowest price of these three soft coolers. The canvas material can provide a rugged exterior against normal, everyday use, but may not hold up to tough wear and tear. The shoulder strap on this cooler removes, so it can be versatile, depending on what you need it for. AO Coolers adds double insulation to this cooler so that it can maintain ice for about 24 hours.

AO Coolers Canvas Cooler vs. YETI Hopper

  • Canvas rather than DryHide Shell
  • Comes in sizes to hold 12, 24, 36, or 48 cans
  • 6 color/design options
  • Priced for the lowest budgets
  • Side pocket for holding objects that need to stay dry

Conclusion

If you’ve ever had a cooler leak or not be as portable as needed for outdoor activities, you understand how inconvenient it is. You need a cooler that will stand up to wear and tear so it can function like it’s supposed to.

The YETI Hopper cooler is an excellent choice for you if you need a cooler for frequent, outdoor use that can keep your contents cold for hours, without worrying about leaks. Click here to learn more about the YETI Hopper cooler, and see for yourself why it’s one of my top recommended outdoor gear products.

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