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Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Review

A durable and portable favorite with top-notch insulation at a crazy high price point
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Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Review
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw
Price:  $325 List
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Manufacturer:   Yeti
By Genaveve Bradshaw and AnnaMarie Houlis  ⋅  May 2, 2024

#2 of 19
  • Insulation - 30% 10.0
  • Convenience - 25% 3.5
  • Portability - 25% 9.6
  • Packability - 10% 3.3
  • Durability - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

The Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack has some of the best insulation we've seen out of all of the top-ranked soft coolers we've tested. This cooler can carry 36 cans and has a 20.1-liter capacity that will keep your perishables cold for days on end. It is also the most durable and portable cooler we tested. Also, if you love the M20 but prefer a more compact, tote-style soft cooler, we've got you covered with the Yeti Hopper Flip 12.
Extremely durable
Comfortable to carry around
Water-resistant material
Difficult-to-clasp buckles
Lacks pockets

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Bottom Line This is by far the most durable and insulated soft cooler on our listThis is one of our top choices for the best all-around soft coolerThis budget-friendly cooler lacks a zipped top, yet keeps its contents fresh among the restA great cooler that's simple, easy to use, and less expensive than mostThis soft cooler has the lowest price tag of the soft coolers we've tested. While it isn't going to give you everything you need, it'll get the job done for quick and easy trips
Rating Categories Yeti Hopper M20 Bac... Engel HD30 Arctic Zone Titan D... AO Coolers 24 Pack... Lifewit Large Insul...
Insulation (30%)
Convenience (25%)
Portability (25%)
Packability (10%)
Durability (10%)
Specs Yeti Hopper M20 Bac... Engel HD30 Arctic Zone Titan D... AO Coolers 24 Pack... Lifewit Large Insul...
Measured Capacity in Cans 36 cans 63 cans 30 cans 36 cans 24 cans
Measured Capacity 20.1 L 41.8 L 19.4 L 23.4 L 13.2 L
Food Shelf Life (Measured Days Below 40ºF) 3.6 3.0 2.1 2.3 1.6
Cold Beverages (Measured Days Below 50ºF) 4.0 3.3 2.3 2.5 1.8
Carry Style Pack Tote Lunchbox Lunchbox Lunchbox
Can a standard sized wine bottle fit? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, but can only fit small bottles horizontally
Measured Dimensions L x W x H 15.3" x 9.9" x 18.1" 20" x 9.5" x 17" 15.1" x 11.3" x 12.1" 17" x 9" x 12" 10" x 6.7" x 8.3"
Measured Weight 5.2 Ibs 4.5 Ibs 3.6 lbs 2.8 Ibs 0.8 Ibs
Closure Method Roll Top Zipper Zipperless Zipper Zipper
Available in Different Sizes? Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Exterior Fabric DryHide™ Shell 840 denier fibers and an outer wall constructed with Thermal Plastic Urethane (TPU) Polyester Canvas Ripstop Oxford fabric with PU coating
Additional Storage No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable Liner? No No Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

At 15.3 by 9.9 by 18.1 inches, this roll-top pack weighs 5.1 pounds but fits comfortably on the shoulders. The Yeti Hopper M20's DryHide™ Shell is water-resistant, so water only beads on the material instead of soaking it. Overall, the Yeti Hopper M20 is a clear winner.

Performance Comparison

You can't beat the Yeti Hopper M20 when it comes to keeping things cold.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw


After testing various top-quality models according to the USDA Safe Food Temperature scales, we were impressed by this Yeti model's ability to keep our food and beverages cold. It remained below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 3.6 days and below 50 degrees for four days.

You can confidently take this cooler along with you for longer-term use. Whether you're going away for a beach weekend or on a camping trip, this cooler has enough space with 20.1 liters of capacity. So anything you stuff inside—from sandwiches to hard seltzers—will stay cool for the weekend (even a long weekend).

yeti hopper m20 backpack - the yeti hopper set the standard for insulation.
The Yeti Hopper set the standard for insulation.
Credit: Matt Lighthart


The Yeti Hopper M20 also scored highly in terms of ease of use. Packing it is a little bit challenging, since the top only opens about five inches if you physically pull it apart. And because it is deep and quite long, you do need to reach shoulder-deep into it at times. What we did enjoy is that this pack still maintains its shape even without ice or anything in it.

Overall, it's relatively easy to pack and clean. The cooler opens at the top; it has a hard magnetic strip and two buckles, which we found shockingly difficult to open and close. There is a lip over the magnetic strip that folds over one time, and the buckles secure it. (The buckles were the biggest source of pain we had with this cooler.)

Here we are measuring the capacity of the Yeti Hopper M20.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

You can easily clean the M20 off by hosing it down. You can also use a gentle dish soap if there are stains. Just be warned that the bag doesn't stay open on its own, so drying the inside can be a bit tricky. The bag doesn't fold down or collapse easily, so its storage footprint is quite large for a soft cooler. But that's largely due to the materials made to contribute to its great insulation and durability.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - this yeti model is fairly convenient, but we wish it would open...
This Yeti model is fairly convenient, but we wish it would open wider and buckle easier.
Credit: Matt Lighthart


The Yeti Hopper M20 also scored highly in terms of portability. While this cooler weighs a little more than the rest of our lineup at 5.1 pounds, the weight distributes quite comfortably when you wear it on both of your shoulders. The backpack straps are padded, and the length is adjustable on both sides. While there is no waist strap, it does come with a removable chest strap that you can clip onto the daisy loops on either strap. This way, you can also customize the strap height, which is convenient. The back panel beneath the straps is made of a black semi-padded material that is smooth on the skin. It feels more like cloth than neoprene, so it's comfortable.

We didn't experience any bouncing around when we wore the pack. But if you prefer to carry the cooler instead, the side and back handles are handy for lifting. Note that this cooler does feel quite heavy when full, but the handles are conveniently located to distribute the weight well. Because of how big and bulky it is, we believe it's thoughtfully designed to lift and lower with ease.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - this cooler is on the heavier side, but the adjustable straps are...
This cooler is on the heavier side, but the adjustable straps are easy to use.
Credit: Matt Lighthart


The Yeti Hopper M20 isn't the best packability-wise. The opening at the top doesn't open very wide, which makes it difficult to fit bulkier stuff inside. We found that our arms tended to brush against the insides of the cooler and the magnetic strip, as well, when we were loading it up and taking cans out of it. It's especially difficult since the cooler seems to want to shut itself while you're packing it. The width of the bag also makes it very difficult to pour a bag of ice inside.

However, there are exterior loops to clip carabiners and an additional daisy chain on both sides of the pack. Each backpack strap also has seven clippable loops on either side, so you have tons of options for clipping items to the outside of the pack, as well as stuffing items inside.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - this pac rolls and buckles shut at the top opening.
This pac rolls and buckles shut at the top opening.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw


We put the Yeti Hopper M20 through the ringer to test its durability. As one of the most expensive coolers on our list, we expected it to perform well in our durability category — and it did. It holds up wonderfully in wet conditions, with only a few water droplets on the exterior when submerged in water.

The shoulder pads were damp upon removal from the tub, but they dried in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the interior of the pack was completely dry with no signs of moisture. For not being zipper-sealed, this pack surprised us with how well it did.

The Yeti Hopper M20 in our water soaking test.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

The M20 also didn't sustain any damages throughout testing. You can rest assured that it will last you, whether you're just taking it to the pool or out river-rafting. It's built to withstand adventures and can handle rough terrains. While it won't be as sturdy as a hard cooler (which you can use as a stepping stool, table, or seat), you can be confident that it's still strong enough to adventure alongside you.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - the yeti hopper m20 crushed our soak test.
The Yeti Hopper M20 crushed our soak test.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Should You Buy the Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack?

Whether or not the Yeti Hopper M20 is for you largely depends on your budget for a cooler. If you're in a position to invest in a more expensive cooler, this one is a great option. While expensive, this cooler is sure to last you a long time. It is the most durable and well-insulated soft cooler we have tested, and it's easy to lug around either on your pack or with the handles.

However, if you are not in a place to purchase a soft cooler for hundreds of dollars, the Yeti Hopper M20 is not the cooler for you. If you are looking for a cooler that can double as a stepping stool, table, or camping chair, a hard cooler might be a better option, as well. Yeti has a whole range of hard coolers at similar (or more expensive) price points, but the money might be better spent if you can use the cooler in different ways.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - the yeti hopper m20 is an all-around top pick for a long-lasting...
The Yeti Hopper M20 is an all-around top pick for a long-lasting cooler.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

What Other Soft Coolers Should You Consider?

If you don't want to spend a lot on a cooler, you can also check out mid-range options. The RTIC Backpack 30 is another backpack-style option that is also both durable and portable. While you won't get quite as good of insulation, this cooler comes at about a third of the price of the Yeti Hopper M20.

If you're only looking for a throw-around cooler you won't use much; an awesome budget-friendly option is the Lifewit large Insulated 24. This cooler is highly affordable and has lots of convenient features. It weighs only 0.8 pounds (compared to the 5.2 pounds Yeti Hopper M20, but it still boasts 13.2 liters of space.

yeti hopper m20 backpack - while the yeti hopper m20 is a great option, it's on the pricier side.
While the Yeti Hopper M20 is a great option, it's on the pricier side.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Genaveve Bradshaw and AnnaMarie Houlis