Yeti has launched a new range of rugged cool bags, just in time to save you from the summer heat. We've been testing one out during the recent heatwave, and are seriously impressed. The Hopper Flip range (opens in new tab) includes three different sizes of soft cooler, and promises some compelling chilling powers. These have been been available in the US for a while, but we're pleased to hear they're now also available to buy the UK – perfect for getting out and about this summer.
This brand's hard coolers are somewhat iconic, especially stateside; we rank them amongst the best camping cool boxes you can buy. But you don't always need a solid cooler, and in fact sometimes it can be more of a hindrance than a help, especially if you're lugging it around empty.
You can't sit on them, but soft coolers are lighter and comfier to carry, too. In fact, the Hopper Flip bags are really comfy to carry, thanks to the some ultra-squishy rubber padding on the removable shoulder strap. They come with a premium price tag, but they feel appropriately high-end to match: the build quality is impeccable, all the fittings feel super sturdy, and there's big, splashy branding everywhere you look.
On the outside you've got a 'DryHide Shell' made from high-density fabric designed to block UV rays and repel mildew. It's tough enough to withstand plenty of bumps and scrapes and the base perimeter is reinforced with an extra layer, to remove that potential point of weakness. The 'Hydrolok' zip is completely leak-proof – for if you want to boost chilling potential with ice – and Yeti has thrown in some zip lube to smooth the way (no, we haven't come across this before either, but it looks like a chapstick and we're mindful of not mistaking it for one). There are also multiple sturdy handles as well as daisy chain loops down the front and back for attaching any extra bits and bobs you might need.
The most important bit, really, is this bag's cooling powers though. The brand says this new range uses the same industry-leading insulation behind the rest of the best Yeti coolers on the market. The secret is a thick layer of closed-cell rubber foam between the outer case and and inner lining, which does indeed do excellent job of locking to cool air in. The entire top opens up so you can easily access whatever goodies you have packed inside, and the top and base have flat panels built in that provide stability and mean you could happily rest things on top.
There are three sizes to choose from. The Hopper Flip 8 (£200) is the smallest, and will hold 8 cans or equivalent, based on a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio. That's the one we've been testing, and it's a good pick if there's just one or two of you out for a picnic lunch. In the middle of the range is the Hopper Flip 12 (£250), which holds 13 cans, and if you're catering for a crowd you'll want the Hopper Flip 18 (£300), which holds 20 cans. You'll can also pick up a lunch bag (£80). Check out the Hopper Flip range at Yeti US (opens in new tab) / Yeti UK (opens in new tab).