Yeti has built a reputation for top-of-the-line coolers that are nearly indestructible while keeping stuff cold for a long, long time. You throw a Yeti into the back of a truck or boat, ice it down, and stop worrying about opening the cooler to find your beer and hotdogs floating in a watery stew. But until recently Yeti never really built a reputation for being particularly, well, mobile. They're great for car camping or a weekend on the lake, but if you want to go rambling on your own two feet, there hasn't been much in the line for you.
They've looked to change that with their Hopper line of soft shell coolers. The first set of had a very messenger bag look and feel, but still seemed aimed towards a hike in/hike out scenario, rather than something you'd really keep on you during the day.
They're expanding the line with the Hopper Flip, a cooler aimed squarely at day trips and hitting store shelves August 25 for $279.99. Yeti gave us a chance to try out the Flip, and it's a pretty gnarly little beast. Unlike the earlier Hoppers, the Flip has a bit more of a rigid structure. You can fit a 12-pack of cans with ease, and add an ice pack on the bottom and top and you've got something that'll keep everything cold for days. The added shoulder strap creates something that's very easy to carry—it rides well on the small of your back or against your hip—while a stiffer frame means you can slip a sandwich or two in and worry less about them getting wrecked.
There's also the Yeti brawniness to everything—we took a multitool to the outside of the Flip to see how much damage we could do, and even sawing at it for a bit produced essentially no damage. The zipper is tough as well—we filled our Flip with water, zipped it up, and turned it over without a single drop escaping.
The Flip is something that's really meant for day trips than longer hikes—you'll be toting about 18 pounds if you use ice packs and carry a 12 pack, a bit more if you use actual ice. (Though if you're doing multi-day backcountry hiking and want a drink at the end of the day, you probably should be bringing a nice bourbon regardless.) But if you want to keep something cold while taking a stroll, it's hard to beat the Flip.