The YETI: not the furry kind, the cool kind.

Normally a YETI is hard to find, but not if you are looking for a way to keep cold stuff cold, or warm stuff warm.

There are many YETI products: coolers, can cozies, and thermal insulated mugs. They have figured out how to capture the cold in many different shapes and sizes. For this review we are going to take a look at the YETI soft side cooler bag, called the Hopper.

The first thing I noticed was the zipper, technical termed “Hydrolock”. Straight line, across the top, no corners to navigate like with other soft sided coolers.

YETI cooler zipper
Hydrolock zipper

And then there is the fact that the zipper is airtight and waterproof. That’s right, put a bag of ice and drinks in it and toss it in the backseat or on the couch. It does not matter if it shifts, or slides, it will not leave a wet spot behind. You can seal the cooler and sit on it, it feels like a thick beach ball, and it will not deflate.

The Hopper comes with two heavy duty straps, and a dedicated adjustable shoulder strap, making it easy to shoulder carry from the store to the car, or the RV/car to the picnic table.

YETI Cooler strap
Shoulder strap


There is also a additional waterproof pouch called the Sidekick you can get to store all those sensitive electronics for the day out on the water, or hiking in the rain. It holds a couple of cell phones and a point and shoot camera with ease, and can be quickly detached should you want to leave the cooler and take the electronics with you.

The Hopper comes in two sizes, a 30-quart size and a 20-quart size. My 30-quart lives in the car; no flimsy store-provided cooler bags for me! My cold stuff stays cold all the way home, no matter how hot the car is. It is perfect for that quick outing with friends, a small bag of ice, and a six pack of cold beverages or two. It will even hold wine bottles standing up. Ice and drinks will stay cold for the whole day, so you can focus on the fun—not another ice run.

The bag is coated inside and out with a thick layer of waterproofing material that they call Dryhide. It can take a beating and not tear or rip.

YETI Cooler Dryhide

There are a couple of minor negatives as I use the Hopper. One is that the exterior texture can be abrasive on skin when you are carrying it over long distances, and the zipper can feel like it is trying to bite your arm when reaching in if you are not careful. Both are easy to remedy, but you need to be thinking as you use it.

While the YETI Hopper is not the cheapest soft sided cooler around, it does come with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Find out more at the YETI website.

-By Brett Greiveldinger

Leave a Comment