First Look: Yeti Soft-Side Cooler

It was unveiled this afternoon on a webcast. We don’t have all the details, but a new soft-side cooler is coming to market from YETI called the Hopper.

The high-end — read: $299.99 — flexible cooler is transportable and leak-proof. It’s made of the same tough material as whitewater rafts. The zipper, similar to those seen on drysuits, is the “toughest kind of zipper in the world,” Yeti states.

Hopper was unveiled on a webcast today

Most Yeti coolers are hard-side beasts. The Hopper is the opposite — throw it over your shoulder and hike into the woods, or toss it in the bottom of a canoe. Those are situations where Yeti sees the Hopper being used.

Weight is 5.5 pounds when empty, and it holds 18 cans (or a cited 9 quarts of food) in its 6.5-gallon interior. The outer is a thick nylon fabric coated on both sides. The company says it is tear-proof and puncture resistant.

Drysuit zipper

Radio-frequency welded, it has no stitching. Close-cell foam is the insulator to keep the items inside cold.

Made to be highly transportable

How long will it hold ice? Yeti doesn’t publish ice-retention times because there is no official industry standard. The spec is contingent on air temp, the number of times you open the cooler, how cold the ice is when it first goes in, and more.

But said a Yeti rep about the Hopper: “The best I can say is that it will ‘keep ice for days,’ which is a tagline Yeti uses in some of its marketing materials.”

The Hopper comes to stores in October for $299.99. We will get a cooler in house soon to test with ice, beer, food, and other goods (all portable) tucked inside. —Stephen Regenold

Fishing, hunting, and canoe camping are markets for the to-be-released cooler
Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.