YETI Hopper Flip 12 Review
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YETI Hopper Flip 12
$250.00 at REI
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|$129.95 at Amazon|
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$82.63 at Amazon
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|Pros||Extremely durable, easy to use, great insulation, tons of handles, convenient size||Very durable construction, excellent insulation, useful handles and features, comfortable shoulder strap||Durable design, comfortable to carry when full, good capacity, relatively inexpensive||Simple and easy to use, decent insulation, folds flat for storage, duffel handles||Comfortable to carry, convenient design, good features, tons of dry storage|
|Cons||Very expensive, no extra pockets, flips upside down easily||Zippered exterior pocket not waterproof, very large||Learning curve for best use, not 100% leakproof, no extra pockets||Shoulder strap a little short, zipper and exterior fabric are not waterproof, less durable materials||Zipper not leakproof, thin insulation, less durable, loose sternum strap|
|Bottom Line||A fantastic model for individual use and short sessions, this model is built to last for countless work lunches||When it comes to the best performance, this model takes home the well-chilled trophy||This backpack-style cooler is our favorite model to carry over longer distances||A solid performer that's simple to use, easy to carry, and costs less than most||Though not as hardy as some others, this design combines cooler space and dry storage for an all-in-one pack|
|Rating Categories||YETI Hopper Flip 12||Engel HD30||IceMule Pro||AO Coolers 24 Pack...||REI Co-op Cool Trai...|
|Insulation Value (30%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||YETI Hopper Flip 12||Engel HD30||IceMule Pro||AO Coolers 24 Pack...||REI Co-op Cool Trai...|
|Measured Capacity (qt)||13 qt||32 qt||25 qt||24 qt||13 qt|
|Measured Capacity (cans with no ice)||18 cans||48 cans||39 cans||39 cans||16 cans|
|Carry Style||Lunchbox||Messenger Bag||Backpack||Duffel Bag||Backpack|
|Internal Maximum Height (in)||8"||13"||17" fully closed
|11" fully closed
|Fits Standard Wine Bottle Standing Upright?||No - will fit on side||Yes||Yes||Yes - some flex required, no zipper strain||Yes - some flex required, no zipper strain|
|Shelf Life of Food (Measured Hours Below 40ºF)||37 hr||73 hr||52 hr||55 hr||32 hr|
|Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Hours Below 50ºF)||44 hr||79 hr||55 hr||63 hr||37 hr|
|Measured Weight (lb)||3.6 lb||5.9 lb||3.0 lb||2.7 lb||2.4 lb|
|Exterior Fabric||840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane||Abrasion-resistant fabric||Mule SkinET 1000D ripstop tarpaulin/vinyl/nylon||1000 x 1300D heavy duty polyester with vinyl coating||Recycled ripstop nylon outer/polyester inner|
|Closure Method||Zippered flip top, watertight zip||Zippered top, watertight zip||Roll-top||Zippered top||Zippered flip top, dry storage cinch and clip|
|Handles and Straps||Shoulder strap, top handle, end handles||Shoulder strap, end handles, duffel handles||Backpack straps, sternum strap||Shoulder strap, duffel handles||Backpack straps, top handle, sternum strap|
|Additional Storage||No; webbing attachment loops||Yes; 1 larger exterior zippered (meant to be waterproof but isn't)||No; exterior shock cord panel||Yes; 1 very large zippered exterior pocket||Yes; top half of pack, brain pocket, 2 mesh side pockets|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hopper Flip 12 is a slightly large, personal-sized cooler with an over-the-shoulder carry. It's extremely durable, has handles just about everywhere, and features a leakproof zipper. It's one of the highest-scoring coolers we tested and is our Top Pick for a Personal Cooler. It also is offered in two additional sizes - one slightly larger and one slightly smaller than the version we tested.
The Hopper Flip 12 packs a respectible level of insulation into a relatively small cooler. During our intensive 100°+ F testing, the small-but-mighty Flip maintained USDA food-safe temperatures of 40°F or below for 37 hours, hitting just below average within a grouping of many much larger models.
This serious-business box maintained 44 hours of ideal beer temperatures of 50°F or less. Though some other coolers we torture-tested lasted longer than this seriously impressive result, this cooler is the smallest one to do so well.
The Flip accomplishes this through Yeti's closed-cell foam and leakproof zipper, sealing your contents in coldness. If you're searching for a cooler you can sit next to you on the hot, sunny beach, or leave baking in the sun in your truck all day and still have cold contents, this cooler is up for the task. We have absolutely no complaints about the insulation performance of this personal-sized cooler.
Ease of Use
The Hopper Flip is simple and easy to use. Though it's closed by a tough, watertight zipper, with regular lubrication, this hefty fastener quickly becomes 'old hat' to use. The cooler's large opening makes loading and unloading a breeze, and the durable lining is easy to clean and never let any water leak through in our testing. The interior is actually large enough to be useful for many sizes of possible contents, despite its overall small size. And the sheer number of handles all over this thing makes it very easy to grab and go.
As much as we love the leakproof sealing qualities of the Yeti zippers, they can be a bit of a bear to use. Fortunately, Yeti sends zippered coolers with a tube of zipper lubricant to help make this slightly easier. Much like a tube of lip balm, smearing this lubricant all over the zipper helps to make it glide more smoothly across the giant teeth. Yet it will never be an easy one-handed task to do. Yeti also makes some of the very few coolers we tested that don't have any additional pockets on the outside for dry storage. The Flip does have Yeti's Hitchpoint system of webbing loops on the outside of the box, but of course, purchasing extras to attach to these loops is, well, extra. However, in the scheme of things, these are minor complaints that don't meaningfully detract from the overall usefulness of this top-notch cooler.
The Hopper Flip is a personal-sized cooler that's meant to be easily portable, and it largely delivers on that promise. The wide, soft, padded shoulder strap makes for a comfortable carry, even when the cooler is full. Side handles, a back handle, and even a top handle add even more to the portability of this little cooler. The top handle is the newest major addition to the Flip and one that we find to be crucial to its overall portability. The location that the shoulder strap attaches to the sides of this cooler is a bit close to the bottom of the box. As the long strap lays on the ground while you use the cooler, it can easily get tangled on the corners and edges of the unit. This, many times, had us picking up the whole thing by the shoulder strap, only to find the cooler had flipped completely upside down - devastating if you hadn't yet zipped the top shut and annoying even when it was closed. With the addition of the top handle, it's simple to grab that and start walking away while you adjust the shoulder strap to where you want it to be.
Unlike some of the soft coolers we tested, the Flip is relatively rigid, and thus can't be squished down and stuffed into the back of the cupboard or a suitcase. For most users, this would likely be a small sacrifice for the added performance of this cooler. We also appreciate that the shoulder strap is actually long enough in this model to be able to wear across your body while still being adjustable enough to sling over the outside shoulder - or alternate in between. Some competitors we tested have such short straps that only our smallest testers could get a comfortable cross-body fit, and we appreciate the more versatile strap of this model.
If you're buying a Yeti product, one thing you don't need to worry about is durability. From the 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane body down to the welded seams and reinforced stitching on the shoulder straps, everything about the Flip screams hardy. Despite our years of testing Yeti products, we have yet to run into a durability issue with their design.
We also love that Yeti includes zipper lubricant with your purchase to keep giving your cooler the TLC it needs through its lifetime. They also back their products with a 3-year manufacturer's warranty, which is among the best offerings out there for soft coolers.
With Yeti products, you are going to get premium performance at an even more premium price. Though a slight decrease in price accompanies the latest version of the Flip, it's still not cheap. Though the price tag may temporarily drain the blood from your face, knowing that this cooler will continue to perform for years to come does add value. And if you really like the idea of this cooler but can't quite bring yourself to swallow that triple-digit number, the Flip also comes in a slightly smaller size (that we didn't test, but appears very similar) that shaves a little bit off that sticker price.
The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 takes all of Yeti's trademark performance and durability and boils it down into a small, portable package. It delivers quality insulation for such a small cooler and is a simple and easy to use zippered box, with a comfortable strap that makes carrying it anywhere a breeze. If you're looking for the highest performance, longest lasting personal cooler, this is it.
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