Reviews You Can Rely On

YETI Hopper M30 Review

This product has been recalled due to a serious safety issue and should not be used
yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review
Credit: Yeti
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Price:  $350 List
Manufacturer:   YETI
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 11, 2023
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Insulation Value - 30% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 6.0
  • Portability - 25% 6.0
  • Durability - 20% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Yeti Hopper M30 has been recalled by Yeti and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Do not buy this product; if you own it, immediately stop using it. Yeti is offering owners of this product a replacement of equal or greater value or a full refund in the form of a gift card.
REASONS TO BUY
Do not buy this product
REASONS TO AVOID
This product should not be used
Important Safety Recall — March 2023
Yeti and the CPSC have issued a recall of 1.9 million Yeti soft coolers including the Hpper M30. The magnet-lined closures on these products can fail and release the magnets, which poses a risk of serious injury or death if ingested. Yeti asks all customers currently in possession of the Hopper M20, Hopper M30 and SideKick Dry to immediately stop use of these products. More details on the recall, and a list of all products affected can be found on the official Yeti recall notice.

Our review of the product prior to the recall is included below, but simply FYI. We do not recommend anyone consider buying this product or using it.

Editor's Note: This review was revised on March 11, 2023 with additional information from the manufacturer on the recall of Yeti Hopper M30.

Compare to Similar Products

 
yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review
This Product
YETI Hopper M30
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $350 List$240 List
$239.99 at Amazon
$135 List
$134.95 at REI
$250 List
$250.00 at REI
$86 List
$80.10 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Do not buy this productVery durable construction, excellent insulation, useful handles and features, comfortable shoulder strapDurable design, comfortable to carry when full, good capacity, relatively inexpensiveExtremely durable, easy to use, great insulation, tons of handles, convenient sizeSimple and easy to use, decent insulation, folds flat for storage, duffel handles
Cons This product should not be usedZippered exterior pocket not waterproof, very largeLearning curve for best use, not 100% leakproof, no extra pocketsVery expensive, no extra pockets, flips upside down easilyShoulder strap a little short, zipper and exterior fabric are not waterproof, less durable materials
Bottom Line This product has been recalled due to a serious safety issue and should not be usedWhen it comes to the best performance, this model takes home the well-chilled trophyThis backpack-style cooler is our favorite model to carry over longer distancesA fantastic model for individual use and short sessions, this model is built to last for countless work lunchesA solid performer that's simple to use, easy to carry, and costs less than most
Rating Categories YETI Hopper M30 Engel HD30 IceMule Pro YETI Hopper Flip 12 AO Coolers 24 Pack...
Insulation Value (30%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Use (25%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Portability (25%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (20%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
Specs YETI Hopper M30 Engel HD30 IceMule Pro YETI Hopper Flip 12 AO Coolers 24 Pack...
Measured Capacity (qt) 30.5 qt 32 qt 25 qt 13 qt 24 qt
Measured Capacity (cans with no ice) 50 cans 48 cans 39 cans 18 cans 39 cans
Carry Style Messenger Bag Messenger Bag Backpack Lunchbox Duffel Bag
Internal Maximum Height (in) 13" fully closed
15" max
13" 17" fully closed
23" max
8" 11" fully closed
12.5" max
Fits Standard Wine Bottle Standing Upright? Yes Yes Yes No - will fit on side Yes - some flex required, no zipper strain
Shelf Life of Food (Measured Hours Below 40ºF) 78 hr 73 hr 52 hr 37 hr 55 hr
Days of Cold Beverages (Measured Hours Below 50ºF) 88 hr 79 hr 55 hr 44 hr 63 hr
Measured Weight (lb) 7.1 lb 5.9 lb 3.0 lb 3.6 lb 2.7 lb
Exterior Fabric 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane Abrasion-resistant fabric Mule SkinET 1000D ripstop tarpaulin/vinyl/nylon 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane 1000 x 1300D heavy duty polyester with vinyl coating
Closure Method Magnetic seal and over-the-top clips Zippered top, watertight zip Roll-top Zippered flip top, watertight zip Zippered top
Handles and Straps Shoulder strap, end handles, top handle Shoulder strap, end handles, duffel handles Backpack straps, sternum strap Shoulder strap, top handle, end handles Shoulder strap, duffel handles
Additional Storage No; webbing attachment loops Yes; 1 larger exterior zippered (meant to be waterproof but isn't) No; exterior shock cord panel No; webbing attachment loops Yes; 1 very large zippered exterior pocket
Removable Liner? No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results


The Yeti M30 is a large, messenger bag-style cooler with a shoulder strap, two handles over the top (like a tote), and a single handle on the backside for easy grabbing. It features a watertight magnetic strip closure system rather than the zipper of old.

Performance Comparison


yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - the latest in yeti's hopper line-up.
The latest in Yeti's Hopper line-up.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation Value


The M30, with its signature closed-cell foam, maintained 40°F or lower temperatures for an impressive 78 hours of our torture testing, proving itself to be one of the best in the biz.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - the performance of large models (over 20l) in our insulation testing.
The performance of large models (over 20L) in our insulation testing.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

In addition to thick, watertight magnetic strips sealing the top of this cooler, it also has two over-the-top straps that clip the whole thing closed and pull the top in tighter to add just a little extra insulation and protection against spilling if tipped. And unlike the tough zippers of other Yeti coolers that need plenty of muscle to open and close them, the magnetic strips close themselves, so you never have to worry about accidentally leaving the cooler open again.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - gone is the zipper of old and instead this watertight magnetic strip...
Gone is the zipper of old and instead this watertight magnetic strip seals in your provisions.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


The ability of the magnetic strips to "auto-seal" the cooler when not in use does become a bit of a hindrance when trying to load this cooler by yourself. It wants SO badly to seal that it chomps hungrily on your hand, wrist, or whatever you're trying to put in/take out of the cooler. You almost need three hands, something to wedge this cooler open, or a sturdy object to push the cooler up against to be able to hold it open while filling it with all your weekend goodies. It does open wider than its predecessor, but only if you can hold it that way, as it doesn't stay on its own. We found ourselves struggling in the grocery store parking lot, holding one side against a lower leg and the other side on a hubcap to be able to fill it with the required bag of ice to keep everything cold. "Frustrating" and "annoying" are some of the more PG words uttered while attempting to dump a big bag of ice into this cooler.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - though you can fit a good amount of food in this cooler, it is...
Though you can fit a good amount of food in this cooler, it is exceptionally challenging to load it up alone, due to its new magnetic closure that never ceases attempting to consume whatever extremities venture inside.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

We appreciate the extra security of the two over-the-top buckles in securing this cooler, but we're baffled as to why they're not adjustable. When the cooler is full to the brim with goodies on ice, the straps simply aren't long enough to stretch over the top of the cooler. And once the ice has melted a bit and you've eaten down your rations, the straps are on the loose side. And, like most Yeti coolers (but unlike most competitors' coolers), there's not a single extra pocket of dry storage anywhere on this bag. Sure, Yeti's HitchPoint system lets you buy and attach any extra pockets or gadgets you want, but we think a cooler should come with a little bit more right off the bat. Yet again, we think the initial design elements for a truly great and convenient cooler are there, but our testers feel that the devil is the details, especially with this cooler.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - these over-the-top straps are not adjustable, but we wish they were.
These over-the-top straps are not adjustable, but we wish they were.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


As one of the largest coolers in this review, the M30 is never going to be an impressively portable option. It weighs just over 7lb even before you fill it to the brim with gallons of liquids, containers of food, and ice to the top. For its style of carry (messenger bag), it's not awful, but it's not amazing. The shoulder strap padding is wide and comfortable, which makes it much more pleasant to carry. With two tall over-the-top handles, it can also be carried like a tote for a quick grab out of the car or onto a picnic table. There's one more handle near the top on the backside as well, that functions as a quick grab - particularly when the cooler is empty. We aren't the biggest fans of how the shoulder strap connects, though. It's clipped onto each end below the corner, making the strap in an unpredictable arrangement when you grab it quickly. Sometimes it's where you want it for carrying, but more often, it's oddly placed and needs to be pushed one way or another over a corner or two to get the optimal carrying comfort. It's not a dealbreaker, and we appreciate the versatility to be able to carry it on either side or even cross-body, but it takes an extra step and can be a bit annoying at times.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - the shoulder strap easily catches on the protruding top corners of...
The shoulder strap easily catches on the protruding top corners of this cooler. It's not a dealbreaker, but it is a bit annoying for an already bulky cooler.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Constructed of 840D double-sided thermoplastic urethane, this bag is seriously durable. Welded seams, thick, reinforced connection points, and waterproof everything help this cooler practically exude durability. It's highly abrasion resistant and impressively puncture resistant. And without the zipper woes and upkeep of previous models, it's built to last a long time. Our only real complaint about the construction of the M30 is that ours seems to hold onto a strong ammonia-like smell on the interior. As you have no choice but to store it closed, that intense smell builds up - even just overnight! - and makes us wonder why it seems to be off-gassing this odor and if it will affect the food we store in it. None of the other Yeti coolers we tested have this issue, but we found several other reports of similar off-putting scents from other online user reviews.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - like we've come to expect from yeti products, this one is built to...
Like we've come to expect from Yeti products, this one is built to last for years to come.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


Yeti isn't known for being a cheap brand, but their products time and time again are built to get the job done and last for years. If this large, tote-style bag is what you're into and you're over the zipper, perhaps this is one is worth it. However, we feel that there are some usability issues that make this cooler less than ideal for a single person and that there are better options out there. Perhaps some updates to this model in the future will change our minds - we would certainly love to see that!

Conclusion


In this latest version of Yeti's largest Hopper soft cooler, they've done away with the cumbersome zipper and added a magnetic strip instead. Though we like the idea behind this switch, it makes it exceedingly difficult for one person to load and unload this behemoth bag easily. If you have the older version, we don't think this one is worth the upgrade, and there are other coolers that we like more all-around.

yeti hopper m30 soft cooler review - we have mixed feelings about this cooler's switch from a zipper to...
We have mixed feelings about this cooler's switch from a zipper to this Hungry Hungry Hippo-style magnetic closure system.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Nichols
 
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