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  1. Dave’s Take: Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30 Having your gear accessible and protected is non-negotiable for almost any pursuit – and yet typical gear cases aren’t built to stand up to the demands of the outdoors, and lack organizational capabilities. Built to be nearly indestructible, the LoadOut GoBox™ can endure seasons in the sun, negative temps in the field, and the daily abuse of being lugged in and out of the truck, the boat, and the blind. Organization’s Final Boss Is a final boss battle even a thing in video games anymore? It seems like most current games are geared toward continuous farming, and/or in-game purchases. I totally get this from a want-to-get-paid point of view, but I pity the modern gamer, myself included, who will never get the satisfaction of watching that impossible final boss finally die. From hitting Bowser with a terminating fireball, to finally punching-out Mike Tyson, nothing satisfies like finally finishing off the last big bad guy. I’ve always held the belief that video games are great problem-solving training tools. Again, not necessarily the games where you just log in and collect resources, but the games where you are presented with real puzzles that one can only figure out with experience and the right tools. Under that lens, golf represents a very similar challenge, with success coming from experiences and tools as well. Sadly, the hours spent playing Tiger Woods Golf did not help me swing like him… If you are anything like me, you probably have a ton of golf gear in your garage. Lots of balls, tees, gloves, towels (oh the acres of towels), training aides, ball markers, souvenirs, and other random golf items that seemed must-haves at the time of their purchase. In total, I think that maybe 1% of all of my golf garage stuff ever sees the course. If we are talking garage putters, that percentage may be a little high. Hi, my name is Dave and I have a putter problem.Regardless, we have all experienced the frustration when the one thing that we needed was left behind in the garage, forcing us to play without warm hands, open bottles, dry socks, or shoes with spikes. We have lots of gear, but still occasionally lack the gear that we need. Today, I present you with something that could fix that issue: The Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30. It may not have been designed with golfers in mind, but I think that golfers will definitely find it useful. Finding Closure in a Container I’ve put numerous Yeti products through the paces over the years, but I think that the LoadOut GoBox 30 may be the first one that is not a cooler, or any kind of drinking thing at all. It’s a bit strange to have deviated from my for the 19thHolefocus, but when I saw this thing on the Yeti site, I knew that it was something that could be perfect for golfers looking to organize their gear. Sure, perhaps golfers don’t hit the rugged outdoors demographic that the GoBox is marketed for, but we have lots of gear too, and it can get just as disorganized as anyone else’s gear, and that can make our golfing experience less awesome. The usage connection is not that tenuous. At its essence, the Yeti LoadOut GoBox is a box to store your gear in, but I actually think that it is the box to store your gear in. The final boss of boxes. You’ve made it past Goro, it’s time for Shang Tsung. Let’s take a look at the specs on the LoadOut GoBox 30 and see what makes it the ultimate organizational ally. DEFENDER MATERIAL: We can’t legally say it’s unbreakable – but this cargo box can withstand serious impact, even in the most extreme conditions. WILDPROOF™ DESIGN: Waterproof and dustproof to keep gear inside protected from unwanted wilderness. 100% WATERPROOF: Gasket, latches, and vent work together to ensure the gear inside stays dry. STACKABLE: Nesting design and non-slip feet keep your setup high and tight. WEIGHT: 11.8 pounds OUTSIDE DIMENSIONS: 20 1/2” × 11 1/8” × 14 5/8” COLORS: White, Desert Tan, & Charcoal MSRP: $249 Basically, it’s the GOAT of TOTES! Now I know that some of you are perhaps shocked that the MSRP on the GoBox is $249.99. Honestly, did you miss the Yeti brand name? Does Yeti make anything cheap? The answer to that second question is no, but not just in terms of price, but also quality. Time and time again, I have put Yeti products through the paces, and they have yet to fail to outpace my performance expectations. If you are thinking “I can just put my stuff in a $20 tote from Target.”, then you may be missing out on just what the LoadOut GoBox 30 brings to the transport table. It’s not just a place to store your gear, but a way to store your gear effectively. Sometimes You Need to Compartmentalize As I said, the Yeti GoBox is all about effective organization and transport. It’s more than just a box that locks (although it locks really well). Inside you will find clever devices that help to keep your gear in ideal isolation. Let’s look inside. Removable Caddy The first thing that you are likely to notice when you look inside the GoBox is the removable caddy. This little tray sits securely on either side, and is subdivided into three different sections. The caddy is deep enough to keep you smaller items from flying out, but shallow enough overall so as to not take away too much from the storage area beneath. It will fit on either side of the main compartment, and it features a retracting handle, making it easy to pick up, but compact when you put it back inside the box. It seems silly to get excited about a caddy handle, but I think that it speaks to the way that Yeti pays attention to design. They could have made a caddy that was all one piece, and it probably would have been cheaper, but in doing so, they would have lost the user-friendliness of the current design, and impacted the storage characteristics of the caddy. Yes, Yeti pays attention to the little things. Center Divider Not that it’s a huge feature, but the GoBox includes a removable divider for the large bottom storage section. Having this divider gives you the option to remove it to store large things, or slide it in to keep smaller objects separate. As a bonus, it also looks like the divider would make a great cutting board. Pack Attic Lid When you look under the top of the GoBox lid, you will find the Pack Attic. The Pack Attic is a fabric (nylon?) storage unit that secures to the lid via Velcro. There is a large zippered compartment, and two smaller zippered sections built from perforated fabric. It’s almost like there is a simple briefcase attached to the lid. The large section has a fairly significant volume, and the zippers should keep the contents from migrating during travel. Making the GoBox a GolfBox As I mentioned above, golfers have a bunch of gear. Sure, most of it gets crammed into our bags, but we still need extra storage in our garage, or perhaps something like the GoBox to organize our surplus stocks, or perhaps store those items that are not needed each round. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some of that “sometimes” gear out of your bag? With the GoBox, I saw the opportunity to get all the needed gear in one well-organized container that could easily be loaded into the trunk along with my clubs and cart. The initial question was, of course, would it all fit in the trunk? That answer was an easy yes. As you can see from the photos, the Yeti LoadOut GoBox had no issues fitting in my trunk with my Clicgear cart and Nike Hybrid bag. For reference, the car used for testing was an Acura TLX sedan, maybe my favorite car ever. With the GoBox system, I just throw the three things into the trunk and head to the course. I’m not searching for the specific small things that I might need, because I know that they are all in the box. What’s in the Box, Dave? The short answer to that question is “lots of stuff”. I tried to think of what I could need occasionally that I wouldn’t want to store in my bag all of the time. Most of what is in there is “extra”. You’ll see extra balls, socks, clothing layers, phone charger, and so on. Again, what could I need that I may run out of, or don’t want to lug around in the bag all of the time. I definitely see the contents changing with the seasons, but the main theme of backing up the golf bag should persist. The only storage issue that I can see some of you having is with the shoes. For reference, my shoes are size 11, and they pretty much fill the section on the bottom. If you wear something larger, you’ll likely not be able to put the caddy above them, or may need to remove the divider to make them sit flat. What Goes in Your GoBox? Although its price is potentially prohibitive, I think that the Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30is a great product for golfers. You can keep all of your stuff organized, and have an easy system for bringing your needed gear to the golf course. You need not search for your stuff, because you know it’s in the GoBox. Just take the box and Go! So, what do you think? Can you see a GoBox making your life easier? What would you put in your GoBox?
  2. With the Warming Comes The Coolers! Truth be told, it wasn't that cold in NorCal in the winter. I've played some cold rounds of golf, but I'd definitely qualify them as California cold. That's the cold where I'm wearing three layers of pants, and those that live where that snow stuff falls would likely view the weather as tropical, and be playing in shorts. I'll concede the point that some of you are more winter resistant than I am. But the winter is finally going away. Even if it's still snowing like a beast on your driveway, the fact that it's The Masters week means that spring is here! There may not be much evidence of spring in Minnesota right now, but the azaleas and green jackets of Augusta sing the song of spring's arrival. That means that summer is coming soon too. Oh, how I long for the searing embrace of July... While my body may appreciate the eminent increases in temperature, my play beverages typically do not. Right now, I welcome all warmth on the course, but is a couple of months, warm beer will not be the accepted recipe for quenching thirsts. As such, I thought that there would be no better way to kick off the 2018 19th Hole season than to review the latest cooler from YETI. Last year, I decided that the YETI Hopper Flip 8 was the greatest golf cooler ever created. This YETI Backflip 24 will be the first 2018 contender to that throne. It holds 24 Cans, Flips Open, and Goes on Your Back So the name is not crazy innovative, but it's catchy, and it tells you exactly what to expect from the YETI Backflip 24. This cooler expands Yeti's soft sided cooler Hopper offerings into uncharted territories. Sure, they have other coolers that can hold about 20 cans, but the Backflip 24 is the first cooler that can be worn like a backpack. How is a backpack cooler appropriate for golf? We will get to that shortly, but first let's take a look at the cooler itself. Specs and Features: YETI Backflip 24 Like YETI's other soft sided coolers, the Backflip 24 comes equipped with the standard specs that make these coolers cold-securing beasts. To review: DRYHIDE SHELL The Hopper's high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. COLDCELL INSULATION Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. HYDROLOK ZIPPER The toughest, highest-performing waterproof and leak proof cooler zipper in the world. I've been using YETI Hopper coolers for a couple of years now and they have definitely lived up to the expectations. I've taken them to the golf course, camping, on road trips, to all-day youth rugby tournaments, swim meets, and so on, and never once has the Yeti failed to keep its contents cool, or suffered any kind of mechanical failure. The Backflip 24 features the same insulation and zipper system as the other soft-sided Hopper coolers, and the combination of the two, really keep the cold insides cold. The combination of YETI Ice and normal ice kept the inside of my Hopper 40 cold for days last summer while camping. Remember though, no dry ice, or the YETI will become pressurized as the dry ice sublimates. A high pressure cooler is not a safe cooler. It's a Cavernous Cooler The YETI Backflip 24 devours cans and bottles. Twenty-four cans fit inside without issue, fitting in as three rows of eight cans, or as two sideways rows of twelve each. In either configuration, there was room left over for ice. I think that the picture above does the best job of showing the capacity of this beast. I have placed a six-pack and a 22 oz. bomber inside of the Backflip 24. Yep, that tiny little bottle in there is a 22 ounce bottle. This cooler should be able to store any of your tall beverages, easily swallowing a champagne bottle, or a fifth of one's favorite spirit. Only the tallest magnum will poke its nose above the lip of the Backflip. Back That Cooler Up The real design tweak with the Backflip 24 is that it is designed to be worn as a backpack, allowing you to take the weight of the cooler, and canned content, off of a single strapped shoulder, and distribute it over both shoulders. Spreading the weight around reduces the overall strain of carrying the cooler, much like adding the second shoulder strap did with the golf bag. The shoulder straps and back pad are sufficiently padded for comfort, though I wish they were a little more ventilated. Most of the modern backpack systems utilize some kind of geometric foam system in the straps and pads to maintain comfort while facilitating cooling by improving air flow. These pads are a bit old school. Once you load it all up, you are looking at quite a bit of weight on the back. Here is a shot showing the weight of a cooler loaded up with 24 cans. Add some ice, and the weight would be even higher. Thankfully, YETI has added two optional strap systems to help with the load. There is a chest strap that you can attach to remove some of the shoulder pull, and a waist belt that really helps to move quite a bit of weight from the shoulders to the hips. Those of you who have done any backpacking know of the power of the waist strap. YETI vs. RTIC SIDE NOTE Since this is always a point of discussion, I thought that I'd share my experiences comparing the two brands. I actually have also purchased a few RTIC coolers in the past year, buying three of the 8 can lunch box sized coolers for Christmas presents last December. Side by side, the quality and design differences between the two brands was pretty obvious, with the YETI being better built. Sure, you'll save some money with the RTIC, but that savings is reflected in what you get in the product. RTICs are nice, but the YETI coolers are of higher quality, at least in my opinion. OK, It's A Cool Cooler, But GOLF? So you may never require twenty-four beers on a golf course, but if you need them, the YETI Backflip 24 will snuggle nicely into the cart rack between the seats and the clubs. The base diameter is just perfect to slide in, and even with the tall profile, the cooler doesn't immediately call attention to itself. You are one jacket cover up away from full marshal avoidance. You can keep a foursome worth of snacks and beverages cold in the Backflip 24 without issue in your cart. Out of the riding cart, the Backflip 24 loses some of its golfability. It's probably not going to work too well on your back, if you are also planning on carrying a golf bag on your back. I suppose you could put your golf bag on your back, and the cooler on your front, but Ms. Manners would definitely frown on that look. Push carters will probably also balk at the wearing of the cooler, though it's much more of a possibility when your clubs are on a cart. You could wear the Backflip 24 while you push your clubs, but odds are that you are pushing your clubs to get their weight off your back in the first place. If you are a walker, I'd go with the Hopper Flip 8. Off of the course, I've really found value with the backpack configuration of the Backflip 24. Using a more traditional cooler, I can't count the number of times that I've run out of hand and shoulder space when trucking gear to a youth sporting event, or even when heading to a neighborhood BBQ (walking there, naturally.) Putting the cooler on the back frees up all kinds of carry-ability for other stuff, and the weight of the beverages and such really dissipates when placed on your back as opposed to your hands or single shoulder. Though I'll likely never use this cooler when walking the course, it has become the goto cooler for other beverage requiring events. It cross trains very well. BONUS COVERAGE: YETI Sidekick DRY One of the complaints that I've had with the stock YETI coolers is that there aren't exterior, or interior pockets to store your non-cooler junk like phones, wallets, and keys. It would be nice to have a spot for them so that they need not be stuffed into pockets or socks. For my Hopper 12, I purchased the previous incarnation of the Sidekick, and it did a nice job of holding the extra junk, easily attaching to the HitchPoint grid on the outside of the cooler. The issue was that the zipper on top was not totally water proof. Resistant, sure, but the contents were not dry-bag secure. Such is not the case with the new YETI Sidekick Dry. This pouch opens like a dry bag, with a double layered system that prevents any water penetration. The top folds over, and then a series of plastic and magnets securely seal that inner opening. This new Sidekick attaches to the cooler using the same HitchPoint system, aka perfectly measured loops that attach via Velcro. If you are looking at this cooler, I'd take a look at the Sidekick Dry too as it makes the overall product much more of a one stop carrying item when the Backflip and the Sidekick Dry are combined.
  3. Dave's Take: Yeti's Hopper Two 40 http://yeti.com/hopper-two-40-cooler The Abominable Cooler My goal for usual goal for the 19th Hole product reviews is to find the ultimate products for us to take to the golf course. I'm looking for things that help our beers stay cold, and our cigars stay rich while we stroll through nature whacking the white ball. With today's review, let's get the obvious out of the way first. Unless you are sponsoring a beer hole at a scramble, the Yeti Hopper Two 40 is likely not the cooler that you'll be taking to the golf course. This thing is a beast, it's volume rivaling, maybe even surpassing the volume of your golf bag. If you want a golf course cooler, go with the Yeti Hopper Flip 8 that I wrote about a little while ago. It's perfect for golf. So why am I writing about a non-golf friendly cooler in a golf forum? Well there are two reasons actually. First of all, there are some real design improvements in the ‘Two� version of the Hopper compared to the original. I've been using the original Yeti Hopper 20 for over a year now, and without a doubt, the improvements are significant, and worth sharing. The second reason that I wanted to check out the Hopper Two 40 was purely beer centric, fitting nicely into the libation loving content of the 19th Hole. I was looking for a cooler that would hold road trip beers. Not beers that I take on the road, but rather those that I acquire while visiting breweries (yes, plural). I didn't want a small cooler that could only hold cans, I wanted a frigid beast capable of holding growlers. Thus chilling gallons, not ounces, was my objective. Yeti's Hopper Two 40 Specs The original Hopper™ proved that a soft-sided cooler could be anything but soft, and we wanted our new Hopper Two to push the limits even further. With the Hopper Two, we've extended the cold-holding power with a tapered body that's more comfortable on longer hauls. We also wanted to make loading (and unloading) easier and increase visibility — new zipper placement gives you both. And lastly, we wanted to make sure the Hopper Two is still 100% leakproof, tough-as-nails, and keeps ice-for-days. Check, check, and check. The Hopper Two 40 is the soft portable cooler that's built for larger hauls and longer days, now with a wider opening and easier access. · New design means your contents go in (and out) more easily · Tapered body makes extended hauling more comfortable · HydroLok™ Zipper and wide-mouth opening means great accessibility and visibility to contents · DRYHIDE™ SHELL - The Hopper's high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. · COLDCELL™ INSULATION - Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. · Hitchpoint grid to attach accessories · MSRP: $399.99 What's New With TWO My relationship with my Yeti Hopper 20 began back with the The Recreational Golfer article that I wrote for the blog last summer. It was my first real exposure to any Yeti product, and because of Yeti's reputation, I went into the relationship with some expectations. Yes, I did just use the word relationship twice in the above paragraph, and that was on purpose. Relationships have their highs, and lows, and we work with both of those if we want the relationship to continue. Yes, I'm currently in a relationship with my Hopper 20. In the ways that counted, the Hopper 20 performed like a champ, living up to the Yeti coldness pedigree. No matter the activity, golf, rugby tournament road trips to Oregon, camping, or a New Years Eve party, the Hopper 20 kept things perpetually cold, and resisted all of my accidental attempts to damage it. After more than a year of use, it's bloodied, but unbowed. As you know though, it's rarely the big things that sour relationships. Rather it's the little annoyances that start to erode the happy place. For me, the real irritation of the Hopper 20 was the carnivorous zipper opening. Teeth That Bite Yeti coolers are water/air tight, and that feature plays a big role in their ability to stay cold so long. For the Hoppers, this feat is accomplished by the HydroLok™ Zipper. The teeth of the zipper lock so tightly together that not even air passes though them. Impressive engineering, for sure. My issue with the Hopper 20 is that the opening at the top is so tight that the zipper teeth always bite into my arm when I load and unload the cooler. The flat-topped design makes the unzipped opening tight and narrow. Arm-hairs beware! You can see right away that the new version of the Hopper has shifted from the flat top to one that is more peaked. While this may remove your ability to rest a beverage on the top of the cooler, it allows a couple of very significant features to be added. First, there is a top handle. I appreciate the top handle on the new Hopper Flip 8, and I definitely feel the same way about the handle on the Hopper Two 40. If you want to pick up the old Hopper, you needed to grab both side handles, or the shoulder strap. When you combine this with the more rounded profile of the older Hopper, you get an initial lift that often had an unbalanced list to it. With the Hopper Two 40, the narrower top shape, and the central top handle allow for much easier transport. Ergonomically, it's much more balanced and fits nicely into your hip or low back when you throw the strap over the shoulder. The most significant improvement that the new shape facilitates though is the ability to mount of the zipper on the side of the cooler rather than the top. When I first unzipped the Hopper Two 40, I was excited to see that there was actually space between the sides of the zipper. When I load this one, my arm still touches the edges, but no longer are the edges pinching in on my arm. This cooler is so much easier to load and unload than the original Hopper. I can't overstate just how much of an improvement the new zipper placement design is over the original. What to Do With the Yeti Hopper Two 40 As I said above, the Yeti Hopper Two 40 is not a great cooler for golfing. It won't even come close to fitting in the back of your power cart, and even considering somehow suspending it below your push cart is pure madness! So what activity niche does this cooler fit into? Actually, there are quite a few adventures that I think are ideally suited for the Hopper Two 40. Soccer Games Those of us with kids know that it is time once again for youth soccer. If your town is like mine, this means thousands of parents carting their little kickers around on Saturday mornings. Snack parents should take a long, hard look at the Hopper Two 40. This thing will devour all of the Gatorade bottles and orange slices that you can throw at it, and still have room for hopefully not needed things like injury ice packs. I can totally see teams investing in one of these coolers as part of their equipment package, rotating the possession of the Hopper to whoever has snacks that week. Car Camping The Yeti Hopper Two 40 is not for backpacking. I don't see how anyone would want to lash this monster to any part of one's body for any off-road walking. It's just too large for that, though your small kids could likely use it as a canoe at the lake. However, if you are driving in somewhere to camp for the weekend, this cooler is great. It won't leak in your car, it keeps the ice icy, and it will hold all of the food and other stuff (aka beer) you need. Boating For the love of God, don't put the Hopper Two 40 in your kayak, but if you go out on the water in something larger, you'll likely appreciate the Hopper tech. It'll keep stuff cold, and you want that, and should you somehow lose it over the side of the craft, its air-tight design means that the Hopper Two 40 will float. Though I have not tried it, maybe a kayaker could actually seal up the Hopper Two 40, and tow it behind the boat. Seems like that would work. Maybe I'll give that a go next time I'm out paddling and in need of forty cans or refreshment (aka every time paddling). Beer Adventuring This was my initial intended purpose for the Hopper Two 40. I wanted a cooler with the storage capacity, and the wait in the car ice longevity that would allow the beer acquired through multiple brewery visits to remain cold. My previous experiences have led me to trust the Yeti name for cold keeping, so the question really came down to one of capacity. Contents: Yeti Hopper Two 40 I predicted that the Hopper Two 40 would hold a lot. Really going out there on a limb, huh? The “40� in the name is referring to its ability to hold 40 cans, plus ice. Think about that for a second. You can go and buy that huge 30-pack of cans, drop it in the Hopper Two 40, and after you add ice, there is still room for more beer! Here are a couple of shots I took to show you the massive capacity of the Hopper Two 40. Hopper Two 40 vs. Can Hopper Two 40 vs. Wine Bottle Hopper Two 40 vs. Yeti Rambler ½ Gallon Jug Hopper Two 40 vs. Three Beer Growlers Here is where the rubber hits the road for the brewery adventures. Sure, lots of small breweries are now offering their beers in cans, or even crowlers (can growlers), but the 64oz. growler remains the staple tool to take beer home with you. I think that the magic growler number is three. Any more than that and you may not be able to drink it fast enough to enjoy the beer's freshness. Any fewer than three limits the stops you can make as you tour breweries. You can see in the above photo that the Hopper Two 40 laughs at three growlers. Even though they look small in the photo, remember that those are 64oz. bottles. Holding three growlers represents no challenge for this cooler. Take a look at all of the open space inside! The Yeti Hopper Two 40 will take your three growlers, lots of ice, and still leave you with room for additional content. Feel free to add a six-pack of cans, a fist full of 22oz. bombers, and/or perhaps even another growler. Leave your house with the Hopper Two 40 holding a bag of ice (maybe some Yeti Ice), and return with enough fresh beer for yourself, and maybe even a not so small gathering of friends. This Beast Takes Burdens The Yeti Hopper Two 40 is a monolithic cooler. Look at how it dwarfs my poor little roadster! It's tough to overstate the immense volume that this Hopper can hold. If you need to tote forty cans, a dozen bottles of wine, or three growlers, and still have room for ice, this is the cooler for you. It may not become part of your golf gear arsenal, but it's the killer app for snack parents, and traveling alcohol procurements. Remember too that it will also keep warm things warm, perhaps making this Yeti a welcome addition to chilly autumn tailgates as well.
  4. Yeti Hopper Flip 8 http://yeti.com/hopper-flip-8-cooler Yeti Triples The Flip Back in May, I reviewed the first Yeti flip-top cooler, the Hopper Flip 12. I ran that cooler through Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability trials. The hopper Flip 12 was great at holding beers and keeping them cold, but the size was a little large for ideal golf course usage. That said, the Hopper Flip 12 was my go to summer poolside BBQ cooler this summer. I even bought a Yeti Sidekick for it to hold the keys, phone, and such, and it couldn't have worked out better. Yeti has now added two new Hopper Flips to the line-up: A larger Hopper Flip 18, and a smaller Hopper Flip 8. The Hopper Flip 8 is the one whose golf potential caught my eye, and the one that I'm sharing my thoughts about with you today. The Hopper Flip 12 was so close to being the ultimate course cooler. It was just a hair too large. My thinking was that the smaller Hopper Flip 8 could hit the perfect sweet spot, with a size of large enough to carry, but small enough to fit. Yeti's Hopper Flip 8 Specs One of the joys of a day trip is traveling light. The Hopper Flip in a new smaller size is perfect for keeping your food and drinks cold while out in the field. The Hopper Flip 8 has the insulation power only a YETI can offer, and is engineered to be tough – because flying solo doesn't mean you won't get a little dirty. The Hopper Flip 8 is your new day trip MVP. Cubed body makes it easy to haul and store HydroLok™ Zipper and wide-mouth opening means great accessibility and visibility to contents DRYHIDE™ SHELL - The Hopper's high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. COLDCELL™ INSULATION - Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. Hitchpoint grid to attach accessories Double-stitched top handle MSRP: $199.99 The Hopper Flip 8 has the same Yeti bones as the Hopper Flip 12, and that's a good thing. Yeti is known for making coolers that can withstand punishment while keeping contents cold, or warm if you need it to go that way. Should something go south with your Yeti, they also have one of the best warranty reputations in the business. While similar to the Hopper Flip 12, the Hopper Flip 8 does have one fantastic new feature: The Top Handle. Sure, we lose a bit of the flat top surface area, and the Yeti logo, but I welcome the new handle with nothing but enthusiasm. As I said, I used the Hopper Flip 12 quite a bit this summer, and the lack of top handle was a bit inconvenient. Sure, you can just lift the cooler from the shoulder strap or side handle, but as soon as I picked up the Hopper Flip 8 from the top handle, I knew that Yeti made a great decision by adding it. It's so much easier to carry, and it gives you another place to anchor the cooler to things, like a kayak, or a push cart. How Cool is the Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Like I did with the Hopper Flip 12, my goal is to see if the Hopper Flip 8 is the go to cooler for the golfer looking to take libations and liquids to the course. Once again, I'm going to focus on three areas: Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability Contents: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Simply put, Contents is all about what the cooler can carry. There is a fine line here that a cooler must walk along to be ideal for golf. Too large and its bulk decreases its ability for it to fit into the cart, and thus lowers its Evade the Marshall sub-score. Hold too little, and why bring it in the first place? As you probably picked up from the name, the Hopper Flip 8 holds eight beverages, more specifically, canned beverages. The Hopper Flip 8 will swallow eight standard, or tall cans and still retain enough room for ice. Drop the load down to a six-pack, and you can even fit a sandwich and snacks in there. Bottles are another story. As you can see from the photo, the lid will not close when filled with bottles, however, if laid on their side, bottles will fit, just not eight of them. If you go the bottle route, it becomes a Yeti Hopper Flip 4-6 depending upon brand. I try not to bring glass to the golf course anyway, so this is not a huge capacity knock for me, but YMMV. I have been known to slip a 22oz bomber into my coolers though, and I was pleasantly surprised that one will actually fit in the Hopper Flip 8. The neck will rest above the side insulation, but the lid will zip closed with no issue. In this configuration, it becomes the Yeti Hopper Flip 8+1 (cans and a bomber). Coldness: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 The Hopper Flip 8 features the characteristic Yeti construction materials found in the rest of the Hopper line. The Dryhide shell fights off the elements, the Coldcell Insulation keeps everything cold, and the Hydrolok zipper seals the cooler frog-butt tight. That zipper is also airtight by the way. Should you drive the cart into the water hazard, your golf bag will sink, but the Yeti will float, allowing you to retrieve beverages to enjoy while you contemplate how you got to this place in life... This time around, I didn't run a how fast did ice melt experiment to check for coldness. If I'm taking this to the course, I need 4-5 hour results, and not 48-hour statistics. Every time I took it to the course, there was still ice in the cooler at the end of the round. Obviously any beverages still in the cooler at that point would be cold too. For reference, round temperatures ranged somewhere between 85 and 105 °F. Viva Summer! Coldness Bonus: Yeti Ice While I did always have regular ice in the Hopper Flip 8, I also had a two pound block of Yeti Ice in there. Yeti Ice actually took me a bit by surprise. Like you, I've used reusable “blue ice” packs before. Cheap ones from the grocery store have always seemed to work fine, but I think that the Yeti Ice works better because of... SCIENCE! You see, the Yeti Ice has a freezing point below that of water, so when the normal ice starts to melt, the Yeti Ice will actually be able to refreeze the water. If you leave a frozen block of Yeti Ice on the counter, it will even collect moisture from the air and pretty quickly become covered in icy frost. You can see that a little in the group photo on the two-pound block (the other two were not frozen). As a bonus, the Yeti Ice also fits perfectly into the Yeti coolers. The two-pounder sits nicely atop the cans in the Hopper Flip 8, and the four-pound Yeti Ice does the same in the Flip 12. Cart-ability: Yeti Hopper Flip 8 This is probably the category where I had the greatest expectations for the Hopper Flip 8. A profile just a bit smaller than the Hopper Flip 12 suggested that it should fit perfectly in the rear basket of a power cart. And you know what? It does! The Yeti Hopper 8 just snuggles right into that basket, and it even leaves some room for your other junk in there as well. The profile is low enough that you don't even really see it in the basket at all from a distance. Toss a jacket over it and you are in full cooler-stealth mode. Attaching this one to the push cart was easy. I just shortened the shoulder strap all the way, looped the strap over the cart console, and then lashed the top handle of the cooler to the cart frame with a bungee cord. Easy rolling and access all round. I did need to unhook the bungee when opening it, but the long zipper would mandate that regardless of how it was attached. Now bringing a cooler to the course is an at your own risk activity. Some courses will rupture forehead veins if they see one. Thing is though, the cooler is not the problem, more so it's the contents of that cooler. If you have a course that is really tight on this kind of thing, I have a suggestion for you. Bring it empty. How many times have you bought multiple beers at the course that they then give to you in a plastic bag full of ice? Wouldn't it be better to take the cooler into the bar, and then just add the purchased beers and ice to it? The Yeti Hopper 8 will definitely keep beers colder than a plastic bag. Just a thought. The 8 is Great If my goal was to find the ultimate take to the course cooler, I think that I have accomplished that with the Yeti Hopper 8. It carries enough stuff, keeps it cold, and fits into golf carts like a champ. Other brands out there may have some contenders, but as far as the Yeti line-up goes, the Hopper Flip 8 is the cooler for the course. At $199.99, it's definitely an investment, but this cooler actually should get lots of non-golf usage as well. I find that it also makes a perfect lunch cooler. It will keep your food cold, and if load it up with something warm, and it will stay warm. The volume of the cooler allows you to pack all kinds of food containers inside, and the Yeti toughness should stand up to all but the most vicious daily commute. Plus, after you empty the cooler out at lunch, you'll then have one that's nice and open for filling up with malty goodness on your way home, or even better, to the golf course. Bonus Hopper 8 v. Hopper 12 Action Shots! So not much action happening here, but if you are wondering how the size compares with these two, here you go. By the way, I have one more Yeti Hopper in the review queue, and it's a big one and a road trip is involved!
  5. Avoiding The Rough in the Drink Cart I truly believe that improvements in golf equipment have increased my enjoyment of the game. I love that my clubs are forgiving. Better gear has truly translated to better golf for me over the years, or at least less complaining about my equipment. One place where golf technology still lags though is in the beverage cart. Maybe it's not so much a technology lag as a lag in market awareness. For seemingly forever, the beer "choice" on the beverage cart was whether you wanted a small can, or a large can from a big three brewery. Thankfully, there has been some craft brewery penetration at my home course, but the options in the drink cart definitely do not reflect the amazing beer options here in NorCal. Small breweries have exploded into existence in the past decade, and with their emergence, the beer drinker has more libation choices than ever before. You can check my New Brew Thursday beer thread for some great beer options, discovered by both myself, and our hop head MGS forum members. Lots of good beer in that thread. As I said, you are not likely finding a ton of beer diversity at the golf course. This means that if you want to enjoy a (good) beer while you play, you need to bring it with you. Now stuffing a few cans into one's golf bag is not a new thing. I'd be willing to bet that has been going on as long as we have had canned beer and golf bags. The issue for some of our small favorite breweries is that they are not large enough to can or bottle their beers. What if you want to take one of these fine establishments' beers to the course? You've basically have one option, the glass growler. Glass + Grass = Pass There was a time when I collected growlers. Each brewery had their own logoed glass growler, and I thought that they made great souvenirs. Plus, there was a time when breweries could only fill their own growlers with beer. Thankfully, that's no longer the case here in California. Now you can fill just about anything with beer. The question now becomes, what is the best growler for bringing beer to the course? On the cheap end, you have the traditional glass growlers. Unfortunately, they are very breakable, and being non-insulated, they also necessitate some kind of cooler coming to the course as well. Insulated, metal growlers are definitely the better way to go. Luckily, there are a ton of insulated bottle choices out there today. Options range from those with simple screw tops, to growlers equipped with CO2 fueled tap systems. There are even growlers that can survive being shot out of an air cannon! I'm not kidding. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTEMYkKV6Kg And that's the growler that I have for you today. The new Yeti ½ Gallon Ramber Jug. The Rambler® Half Gallon Jug is built to take on the wild, whether that's rough tumbles from the truck cab or fishing the Texas flats in August. Like the rest of the Rambler series, it's constructed from 18/8 stainless steel, has double-wall vacuum insulation, and comes ready with our No Sweat™ Design. But this Rambler Jug is also outfitted with our MagCap™ and dock, so your cap is never out of reach while you grab a drink. The one-inch of lid insulation locks in your drink's temperature unlike any other water jug out there. If you want to take your cold (or hot) drinks further for longer, the Rambler Half Gallon Jug has you covered. The Yeti Rambler Jug is like no other beer vessel that I have in my growler arsenal. About all it shares with the others is an ability to transport beer. We have ventured into next level territory here. Survive the Apocalypse Construction The Yeti Rambler Jug is a beast. It weighs just under four pounds empty. That's a lot, putting it about two pounds heavier empty than my same volume (64oz) Hydroflask. If I was to pinpoint the location of the extra weight, I'd place some of it in the jug's husky handle, and the remainder in the insulated lid and body. The lid is crazy thick, helping to keep the liquid inside cold. For other vacuum bottles, the lid is the one place where you don't have that double-walled construction. Because of this thickness, the Yeti Rambler Jug's small lid is physically pretty far away from the main chilled volume, likely preventing much environmental heat exchange. In addition to improving insulation, the huge removable top makes the jug easier to clean than any other narrow-necked container. No longer do you need to wonder if you left a little bit of the last fill in the bottom of the container. So easy to take apart and clean. Transporting Beer Getting back on track, the main goal here is to transport beer from the brewery to the course, keeping it cold and carbonated for maximal enjoyment during play. For purely scientific purposes, I took the Rambler Jug to one of my favorite breweries, Device Brewing, here in Sacramento. The staff at the brewery see a ton of growlers, and yet they were definitely interested in the Yeti Rambler Jug. They took it all apart, asked a ton of questions about it, and seemed ready to buy one after we finished the fill. It definitely caught the eye of the beer-filling professionals. [For the curious, I filled the jug with their Pincushion Pilsner that had been dry-hopped with Mosaic hops. Delicious, and only 5.1% ABV and so it's very golf friendly.] After filling, I threw the jug in my fridge overnight, and took it to the course the next morning. The bulk of the Rambler Jug does make it a bit of a challenge to pack in the golf bag. It may fit in a big cart bag pocket, but was too large for my carry bag, and also too large for the mesh section in the Clicgear console. Had we not had someone in our group riding, I probably would have needed to rig up a carry system for it on the pushcart. Carabiner off a cart tube or something. It does fit nicely in the power cart storage basket though, and you could bring a clip and secure the handle to the basket if you are worried about it moving around while you motor. It was shot out of a cannon though so it will probably be fine... Our round started off a bit congested, so we decided to help with pace of play by cracking open the Rambler Jug on the second tee box. Nothing better than a cold beer at 8:30 am on a Sunday. Probably didn't speed up the groups in front of us, but we cared a little less. The beer was still cold and carbonated 20 hours after it was filled. Obviously it would be cold since it had been in my fridge, but carbonation could be lost should there be any air leakage. Four nice pours later and we were on the way. The small lid attaches to the larger lid magnetically so you can't lose it during pouring, or chugging. Great insight from Yeti by including this feature. We finished the round about four and a half hours later. Though it was 102 °F, the remaining beer in the jug was still cold and carbonated. Full disclosure, a couple of us had a refills during the round. The beer had warmed a bit, but not much. I'd still call it cold. In contrast, beer in a glass growler would likely have boiled away at that point. I dig this jug a bunch. My only real critique for the course is that it does get heavy when filled, and that its bulk makes it tough to pack when walking. One way that you could get around this is by purchasing one of the Rambler Jug Mounts that Yeti is offering. I think that there is a way to mount the jug holder on my Clicgear. If that can be figured out, it's a 100% go for me. If I owned my own power cart, there would be a jug mount attached to it for sure. At $99.99 for the ½ gallon jug, and $129.99 for the gallon version, the Yeti Rambler Jug is no small investment, but it does seem like it will last forever. If it survived a cannon shot into a wall, I'm not sure how I could do something worse to it on the course. Yeti's 5-Year Warranty probably covers you pretty well regardless. Bonus Coverage: Yeti 20oz Rambler Tumbler You may have noticed the sweet Yeti Rambler 20 tumblers in the jug photos. In my mind, this was the best way to enjoy beer on the course. Bring it in the Rambler Jug, and then share it in the Rambler Tumblers. When I talked with a Yeti rep a few months ago at a golf show, she suggested the 20oz model as the ideal size. Both the 10oz and the 30oz Ramblers are just a bit wider at the base, and so they don't fit that well into the cup holders. The 20oz fits great in the power cart. And also pretty well in the larger Clicgear cup holder. These cups do a great job of keeping beer, and I assume other beverages, cold and contained. The new Yeti DuraCoat Color finishes are bright, and provide a little nicer tactile interaction than the classic smooth stainless. The blue finish is especially awesome, matching my blue wedges nicely. Double Bonus Coverage: Yeti MagSlider Lid Yeti's new Yeti MagSlider lid is now included with the Rambler 20 tumblers, and available ala carte if you already have a tumbler. It is the show stealer for me. The problem with the tumbler for me has always been lid hole slosh. Beer squirts out the lid hole when I push the cart over various terrains. This new lid ends that issue immediately. How it works is that there is a black plastic rectangle that attaches to the lid via magnets. Once on, it slides back and forth to cover, or reveal the opening. It doesn't seal the lid 100%. It will drip if you invert the cup, but it blocks all course slosh. Plus, the sliding piece can be easily popped off for cleaning. No longer will you accidentally grow bacterial cultures in your tumbler. This thing is just brilliant. Even if you currently have a Yeti clone tumbler, you should get one of these lids. I tried it (covertly) in the 20oz Walmart version and the MagSlider lid fits perfectly. It'll be a satisfying $10 purchase. If I was Oprah, the MagSlider lid would be a favorite thing for sure. With the Rambler Jug and Tumblers, Yeti has set the standard for fresh beer transport and enjoyment on the course. Cheers!
  6. Ozark Trail Tumbler Product Spotlight Lets get this thing going again. I bring you a Product Spotlight on the Ozark Trail Tumbler. For those of you that don't know, Ozark Trail is an outdoor brand owned by Walmart. Below is a snippet from Walmart about the product, as well as my quick review of the product. Enjoy! Yesterday I kept this out in my work vehicle for 8 hours on a 60* cloudy day and my coffee was still warm; today I had an ice water that I left out in my vehicle for 8 hours on a sunny 70* day and while the ice was melted, the water was ice cold.......it's actually still cold as I'm drinking it 11 hours after it was poured. This Tumbler would be perfect for the golf cart, take drinks with you to the course or have the bar tender make your drink in it, it's guaranteed to keep your drink hotter or cooler than a cheap styrofoam cup. **I did not create this video, I just saw it on Facebook, which is what lead me to purchase the Ozark Trail tumbler** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enBQ_v3NSwM Pros Stainless Steel Double Walled Fits easily in cupholders, including golf carts Keeps cold drinks cold for hours Keeps warm drinks hot for hours No sweating Comes in various sizes to fit your needs Price Cons When filled it feels like it weighs 15lbs No closing of the drink port, so it will spill You can purchase this 30oz tumbler at Walmart, for the amazing price of $9.74, https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-30-Ounce-Double-Wall-Vacuum-Sealed-Tumbler/117753955
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