While there are hundreds of different kinds of soft coolers on the market, from insulation bags to Styrofoam boxes you can buy from your local gas station, we haven’t quite seen anything like the Yeti Hopper collection.
It may cost you more than you would hope for a cooler, but what you get in return is a high quality cooler that stands up to even some of the best hard-shell units out there.
Because it’s easy to be skeptical, we want to take you through our Yeti Hopper 40 review to give you the full truth and nothing but it!
Whether you’re hitting the foggy coastline of the North Pacific or taking a walk down to the local lake, the Yeti Hopper 40 is a soft cooler that can get the job done.
Features and Benefits
The ice retention is the most prominent advantage of the Hopper 40, especially considering the fact that it’s a soft-shell cooler. With the cold cell insulation, you can easily keep your food and drinks cold for 2+ days. Even during the summertime at 95-degrees, the heat is no match for the Hopper. Put this side-by-side with any other soft-shell cooling product and you’ll notice the difference in a matter of hours.
The HydroLok Zipper on the Hopper 40, a design taken from high-grade hazmat suits, is 100% leak-proof and airtight. This means that the zipper protects water and heat from getting in and melted ice and cool from getting out. The zipper is also made to be snag-proof, and Yeti even gives you a small bottle of zipper lubricant to make sure it stays in shape.
When it comes to durability, the Hopper 40 is much tougher than other soft-shell coolers on the market. It has built-on D-Rings that latch tightly and have tons of pull. The Dry Hide Shell with RF welded seams seems nearly indestructible, and stays in tact even when dragged through the rocks and dirt. UV rays and mildew are no match. Wherever you end up in the wilderness, this cooler is ready to rough it by your side.
As for actually accessing your goods and packing up your cooler, the wide mouth design makes things very easy. As you open it up, you’ll be able to see everything on the inside. This makes it so you don’t have to dig around through ice to get your favorite drink, a small but lovely feature. Packing the wide mouth is much easier as well.
YETI has included a hitchpoint grid on their bag too, which is essentially a pair of stitched strap handles that run down the vertical side of the cooler. Backpackers will know it as a MOLLE system. Essentially, you can hook, clip, clamp, and attach a wide array of tools and accessories to the bag. Not only does YETI have a ton of these tools and accessories that they sell separately, you can easily hook on your own things like bottle openers, fishing tools, karabiners, etc. You’ll find that it will become an essential little addition to your cooler.
The portability of the little YETI Hopper 40 is really what makes it shine. The reason most people like to get soft-shell coolers in the first place is because they’re so easy to carry around. At just over 6lbs, transporting this thing from place to place should be an absolute breeze. They’ve even included some extra padding on the shoulder strap to make it a bit more comfortable. This is also thanks to the purse-like design, different from the boxy and awkward-to-carry coolers that we see most often. When you’re all done, you can easily compress it and store it in a tight space.
Yeti Hopper vs. RTIC SoftPak 40
The most prominent differences between the RTIC 40 and YETI Hopper is the shape. The Hopper bodies are a much slimmer shape that is very helpful when you’re carrying your cooler at your side. On the other hand, the RTIC SoftPak 40 can be helpful if you want a larger lid that stays more true to your traditional cooler. If you’re packing tons of stuff or pouring large bags of ice into the RTIC, it’s a much easier process.
The seams aren’t nearly strong with the RTIC coolers in terms of build, and the fabrics don’t seem to compare either. There are many wear and tear tests online that shows the superiority of the YETI coolers in this manner. In terms of ice retention though, both coolers do about the same job.
YETI Hopper 20 vs. 30 vs. 40
The only true differences between these coolers are the amount of things they can hold inside, the weights, and the dimensions. The Hopper 20 holds 20lbs of ice, the Hopper 30 holds 30lbs of ice, and the Hopper 40 holds 40lbs of ice. It is truly up to you to decide how much of that ice you can actually carry when the bag is slung around your shoulder.
Keep in mind too that the bags are each about a pound heavier than the one before, not a massive difference, but a difference the least. Lastly, consider that the dimensions are slightly bigger on the insides and outside of each bag. If you’re planning on carrying around bigger, but not necessarily heavier, items, than a bigger bag might be a better choice for you.
There are always pros and cons of each of the top coolers on the market. It's important to compare to find the one that suits your needs best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Hopper 40 have a warranty?
The Hopper 40, along with all of the other products in Yeti’s soft-shell line, comes with a three-year limited warranty. This limited warranty only comes into play if you notice a defect in the product in terms of manufacturer error. There are other conditions for the warranty that you can read about here.
What is a MOLLE System?
MOLLE (pronounced “Molly”) is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. The acronym was first created to classify a generation of load-bearing equipment that was being used by the armed forces of the US, Britain, and a variety of NATO countries. The YETI calls their MOLLE system such because it utilizes the same rows of heavy-duty nylon stitching that is able to hold a variety of accessories, pouches, and more.
How Do I clean my Hopper 40?
You only have to use a simple solution of water and dish soap to give your Hopper a brand new look. Simply rinse it out with fresh water when you are done using it and wipe it dry with a clean paper towel. We would recommend that you leave it open for a day or two after you give it a clean to make sure that it dries out nicely, or else you could end up with a moldy mess.
For a soft-shell cooler, the Hopper 40 is one of the best on the market and an easy winner in terms of soft-shell ice retention, which is far superior to all other soft-shell coolers on the market. It can keep your food and drinks cold for days and will last you for years because of it’s incredibly durability. It’s easy to shy away from this cooler because of the high price, though keep in mind that it is more of a long-term investment than a short-term reflex purchase.
Overall, we have to give the Hopper 40 a capital A+ for the array of high-quality design features. From the open mouth design, to the durable construction, to the compact design, and everything in-between, it’s easy to see why so many people love the line of YETI coolers. In terms of soft-shell coolers, you’d be pressed to find something that could match it.
For a deeper look at some of our other favorite beach cooler on the market, head on over to our buyer's guide at finbin.net/best-beach-coolers.
YETI Hopper 40
- Price - 9/109/10
- Insulation - 10/1010/10
- Mobility - 9/109/10
- Durability - 10/1010/10