Any outdoor enthusiast is likely to have heard of Yeti at least once in their search for outdoor gear. The brand has been steadily building a reputation for offering some of the best outdoor products you can find on the market.
Yeti are known for their coolers. While they have certainly expanded their product range over recent years, their coolers will likely always be what they are truly known for.
In this article, we look at one of these coolers – the Yeti Hopper M30 Soft Cooler. Many outdoor enthusiasts prefer a hard shell cooler to soft coolers but the Hopper M30 may change some minds.
Yeti Hopper M30 Review
The Hopper M30 Soft Cooler is the new and improved version of the Yeti Hopper range. The biggest change from the original Hopper comes in the form of the magnetic closure Yeti calls MagShield. The magnetic closure eliminates any opportunity for cold air to escape your cooler while also allowing the wide mouth opening to stay open while you get a cold drink out.
If you like to carry a few accessories with you on your outdoor adventures, the built-in hitch point grid gives you plenty of room to attach your gear to the outside of the cooler.
With a carrying capacity of over 20 cans, the Hopper M30 Soft Cooler can hold all the supplies you need for a day or two in the wild.
- Closed-cell foam insulation locks the cold air in your cooler keeping everything inside cold and fresh
- The shell is made from high-density fabric that is puncture resistant and can withstand UV rays too
- Weighs seven pounds when empty which is quite a bit lighter than some other Yeti coolers
More on the Yeti Hopper M30 soft cooler
The external shell of the Hopper M30 Soft Cooler is made from a high-density fabric Yeti calls DryHide. The material in question is actually 840-denier nylon that is TPU laminated. It is extremely durable and is water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and puncture-resitant. It can also handle being exposed to UV rays so you don’t need to worry about your cooler getting damaged in hot temperatures or allowing the heat from the sun getting inside.
It has a leakproof interior liner which prevents any accidental spillages from leaking out through the coolers lining and making a mess.
The interior liner is actually even more impressive than just being leakproof as it is made from an anti-microbial material that makes it mildew-resistant too. This material is food-safe though so you can keep loose fruit and veg in your cooler without having to wrap them first.
Yeti have designed the Hopper M30 Soft Cooler with thoughtful engineering.
One of the biggest issues with older versions of the Hopper was the zipper closure. Lots of owners said their zipper broke which pretty much made their cooler unusable. Yeti listened to this which is why the magnetic closure used on the M30 is much more user-friendly.
It is designed to stay open allowing you lots of space for loading ice packs, food, and even a few cold ones into the cooler before gently pushing it closed. Once closed it forms a tight seal keeping warm air out and cold air in as well as preventing any leaks from making it out too. Yeti have also added two quick-release buckles that add another layer of security to the closure system.
The design of this Yeti soft cooler has allowed for more insulation to be built into it. The closed-cell foam offers impressive cold holding capabilities with ice retention of up to three days being possible depending on how you prepare and pack your cooler.
One seemingly underrated feature of many soft coolers is a shoulder strap. The Hopper M30 has a comfortable shoulder strap that is useful for helping you carry it when it is full of food, drink, and ice.
This can be particularly useful if you are using your soft cooler to carry your frozen goods grocery shopping from the store to your car and then from your car into your house. This type of grocery shopping can be quite heavy so the Hopper M30 not only keeps your frozen food cold on the journey but also helps you carry it inside when you get home.
The wide base keeps the cooler upright even when empty. This makes loading much easier as the cooler will stand up without any support being required.
If you like a range of carrying options then the Hopper M30 Soft Cooler has you covered with a lot of carrying handles to choose from. It has a shoulder strap, hand-carry handles on the top, pick-up handles on both sides, and a single handle on the lid if you want to grab it in a hurry.
Tie-down points are also available on the cooler so you can anchor it to your truck bed, tailor, or boat.
If you are just carrying ice in your cooler, then it can comfortably hold up to 36 pounds of ice.
When using a 2:1 ice to can ratio, you can carry up to 26 cans in the Hopper M30.
Value for money
At $350, this soft cooler comes with a heavy price tag. While other, more ordinary soft coolers will be cheaper, it will be a challenge to find one with the same impressive cold holding capabilities and all-round quality engineering as this Yeti cooler.
What About Other Soft Coolers?
At over $100 cheaper than the Hopper M30, the Engel HD30 could be a more budget-friendly option of the soft cooler. It has welded seams which do a very impressive job of preventing any leaks as well as keeping cold air inside the cooler.
A nice little feature of the Engel HD30 is the molle bottle opener attached to its front.
If you prefer to have your hands free on your travels, the IceMule Pro has a backpack-style design that could be just what you’re looking for.
It has a 100% waterproof exterior so is much more than just a cooler for barbecues and camping trips – the IceMule Pro can handle some truly tough environments. At less than $130, it’s substantially cheaper than the Hopper M30 too.
For less than $100, you might not be expecting too much from the Igloo Reactor 30-Can Cooler Bag but you’ll likely be very surprised. With a leakproof interior liner, waterproof exterior, and far superior cold-holding capabilities than the price gives it credit for, you can keep your food and drinks cold for up to two days with this cooler.
With a zipper closure instead of the magnetic seal that the Hopper M30 has, it might not be your first choice for practicality but it certainly delivers on its ice retaining abilities.
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