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YETI Hopper Flip 12 Review

A fantastic model for individual use and short sessions
YETI Hopper Flip 12
Photo: YETI
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $250 List | $249.98 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Extremely durable, easy to use, great insulation, tons of handles, convenient size
Cons:  Very expensive, no extra pockets, flips upside down easily
Manufacturer:   YETI
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 15, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Insulation Value - 30% 7
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7
  • Portability - 25% 7
  • Durability - 20% 9

Our Verdict

If you find yourself outside on those hot, humid days when having something cold to drink is an absolute necessity, the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is your new best friend and our Top Pick for a Personal Cooler. For a small cooler, it hangs onto ice like a dog playing tug of war with its favorite chew toy. It also hits a perfect balance where it is small enough to be carried around on most outings and even use as a lunchbox, but is still large enough to hold 12 cans and ice for those times when you need to kick back. It's been slightly redesigned with even more handles for added convenience. The only real downside: it is quite pricey.

Compare to Similar Products

 
YETI Hopper Flip 12
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $249.98 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$239.99 at AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$110 List$114.99 at Amazon
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Pros Extremely durable, easy to use, great insulation, tons of handles, convenient sizeVery durable construction, excellent insulation, useful handles and features, comfortable shoulder strapGood insulation, extremely durable, top opens wide, no zipper to worry aboutSoft cooler body, good pockets and features, comfortable shoulder strapDurable design, comfortable to carry when full, good capacity, relatively inexpensive
Cons Very expensive, no extra pockets, flips upside down easilyZippered exterior pocket not waterproof, very largeMagnetic closure won't stay open, difficult to load alone, huge, picky shoulder strap arrangementExterior and zipper not waterproofLearning curve for best use, not 100% leakproof, no extra pockets
Bottom Line Sized for personal use, this option is a high-performerOur choice for best all around soft coolerSwapping zippers for magnets is an intriguing move, but we're not fully convinced it was perfected hereA pleasant mixture of solid insulation, usable capacity, and simplicity of designWith a unique design and comfortable carry straps, we love it for long distances
Rating Categories YETI Hopper Flip 12 Engel HD30 YETI Hopper M30 REI Co-op Cool Haul 18 IceMule Pro
Insulation Value (30%)
7
9
9
8
5
Ease Of Use (25%)
7
7
6
7
8
Portability (25%)
7
6
5
7
9
Durability (20%)
9
9
9
6
6
Specs YETI Hopper Flip 12 Engel HD30 YETI Hopper M30 REI Co-op Cool... IceMule Pro
Measured Capacity (qt) 13 qt 32 qt 30.5 qt 18 qt 25 qt
Measured Capacity (cans with no ice) 18 cans 48 cans 50 cans 28 cans 39 cans
Carry Style Lunchbox Messenger Bag Messenger Bag Messenger Bag Backpack
Internal Maximum Height (in) 8" 13" 13" fully closed
15" max
11" insert
12" lid
17" fully closed
23" max
Fits Standard Wine Bottle Standing Upright? No - will fit on side Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shelf Life of Food (Measured Hours Below 40ºF) 82 hr 98 hr 73 hr 58 hr 40 hr
Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Hours Below 50ºF) 92 hr 103 hr 76 hr 61 hr 48 hr
Measured Weight (lb) 3.6 lb 5.9 lb 7.1 lb 4.3 lb 3.0 lb
Exterior Fabric 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane Abrasion-resistant fabric 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane Ripstop nylon, polyester shell Mule SkinET 1000D ripstop tarpaulin/vinyl/nylon
Closure Method Zippered flip top, watertight zip Zippered top, watertight zip Magnetic seal and over-the-top clips Zippered flip top Roll-top
Handles and Straps Shoulder strap, top handle, end handles Shoulder strap, end handles, duffel handles Shoulder strap, end handles, top handle Shoulder strap, end carry handles Backpack straps, sternum strap
Additional Storage No; webbing attachment loops Yes; 1 larger exterior zippered (meant to be waterproof but isn't) No; webbing attachment loops Yes; 2 slip exterior, 1 internal zip, webbing attachment loops No; exterior shock cord panel
Removable Liner? No No No Yes No

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.

Performance Comparison


The Flip is a seriously impressive personal cooler.
The Flip is a seriously impressive personal cooler.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation Value


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 35 hours, hitting just below average within a grouping of many much larger models.


This serious-business box lasted another hour beyond that to provide a full day and a half 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.

Results from our laboratory insulation testing.
Results from our laboratory insulation testing.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

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.

We never had to worry about our ice not lasting all day in this...
We never had to worry about our ice not lasting all day in this beefy box.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

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.

With handles seemingly everywhere and a wide, comfortable shoulder...
With handles seemingly everywhere and a wide, comfortable shoulder strap, the Flip is a joy to use.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


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.

The top handle is crucial to being able to pick up this little box...
The top handle is crucial to being able to pick up this little box without flipping it upside down - which happens a little too easily when using the shoulder strap alone.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


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.

Like we've come to expect from Yeti products, the Flip is a...
Like we've come to expect from Yeti products, the Flip is a seriously durable piece of gear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Enjoy spending time in the sun again with your Flip by your side.
Enjoy spending time in the sun again with your Flip by your side.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg