Hands-on Gear Review

YETI Hopper Flip 12 Review

Price:  $280 List | $247.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Extremely durable, easy to use, great insulation
Cons:  Very expensive
Bottom line:  The best performing personal-sized cooler around.
Editors' Rating:   
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Style:  Lunch-box
Capacity:  12 cans
Exterior Fabric:  YETI "DRYHIDE" heavy duty rubber
Manufacturer:   YETI

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. 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 larger enough to hold a 12 pack of cans and ice for those times when you need to kick back. The only real downside: it is quite pricey. If you're looking for something that fills a similar niche at a lower price point (and with correspondingly lesser insulation performance) you might want to check out the eBags Crew Cooler II.

RELATED REVIEW: The Best Soft Coolers of 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
OtudoorGearLab Review Team

Last Updated:
May 26, 2017

The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is just about the nicest personal sized cooler you can buy, and possibly the most rugged looking lunchbox you could ever hope for (except for those classic batman lunchboxes).

Performance Comparison

The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 was one of the best overall performers in our testing.

In the sections that follow we further detail how the Hopper Flip 12 fared in all of the different tests that make up our individual scores.

Insulation Value

The Hopper Flip 12 tied with its larger sibling, the Hopper Two 30*, for the best score in our insulation test. Yeti's inch thick insulation and sealed zippers really do deliver on the insulation front, and we were incredibly impressed that it was still holding ice after a full 4 days in our test. This is plenty of insulative power to keep some perishable items fresh during a weekend camping trip, or keep some beverages frosty while they sit in a scorching hot car. And if you decide to use it as a lunchbox you can basically be guaranteed that your salad will be crisp and cool.

Hopper 12 ice amount on day 4. Still going!
Hopper 12 ice amount on day 4. Still going!

Ease of Use

The Hopper Flip 12 was one of the best scorers in our ease of use testing. It was bested only by the Yeti Hopper Two 30 and was on par with the Ice Mule and the Coleman 16-Can. The large opening made loading and unloading a breeze, and the durable lining is easy to clean and never let any water leak through in our testing. The only minor complaint we had was with the zipper, which is incredibly heavy duty and completely watertight. When we first got the cooler the zipper felt a bit sticky, but after applying just a bit of the zipper lube (which comes with the cooler) it was silky smooth. Occasionally it still would get caught a bit when zipping around the corners, which is why the Hopper Two 30 earned a slightly higher score in this metric (no corners to deal with there). However, this in the scheme of things this is a minor complaint that doesn't meaningfully contract from the overall usefulness of this top notch cooler.

The Flip 12's wide opening makes loading it up easy.
The Flip 12's wide opening makes loading it up easy.


If you're buying a Yeti product, one thing you really don't need to worry about is durability. Unless you end up using your Hopper Flip 12 to shield yourself from an attacking bear, we really doubt you're going to be able to break it. From the urethane body down to the stitching on the shoulder straps everything about the Flip 12 screams burly. Not surprisingly the Flip 12 tied with the other Yeti cooler we tested for the highest score in our durability metric.

Everything on the Flips 12  from the zipper to the stitching  is durable.
Everything on the Flips 12, from the zipper to the stitching, is durable.


The Hopper Flip 12 is meant to be Yeti's most portable offering, and it largely delivers on that promise. The padded shoulder strap makes for comfortable carry, even when the cooler is completely full. Side handles also Side handles increase carrying options and sewn in daisy chains make it easy to strap the Flip 12 to the seat of your canoe or the luggage rack on your bike. The only portability related downside of the Flip 12 is the fact that it's relatively rigid, and thus can't be squished down and stuffed into the back of the cupboard or into a suitcase. For most users this would likely be a small sacrifice for the added performance of the Flip 12. The only cooler that scored higher than the Flip 12 was the Ice Mule Pro, which has backpack style shoulder straps that make carrying it very comfortable.

The Flip 12 is small enough that carrying it around is fairly pain free.
The Flip 12 is small enough that carrying it around is fairly pain free.


With Yeti products you are pretty much guaranteed that you're going to get premium performance at an even more premium price. With a whopping list price of $280, the Yeti Hopper 12 Flip is no exception. Sure, that's a lot of money to spend on a small soft cooler, but it blows all other soft coolers of the size out of the water. If you just want a simple lunchbox or a small cooler for carrying cold drinks out to the deck then this is pure overkill and a poor value. You be Coleman 16-Can in that instance. However, if you really want a soft cool that can stand up to the hottest of days and the toughest abuse, that premium price is may be well worth it.


The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 takes all of Yeti's trademark performance and durability and boils it down into a small, portable package. If you're looking for the highest performance, longest lasting personal cooler, this is it.
OtudoorGearLab Review Team

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Most recent review: May 26, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

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