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Hot Course. But Cold Beer That's the whole point of coolers, right? Sure, maybe you are interested in other non-beer beverages (heresy!), but ultimately, we want to keep things cold in not cold places. I don't know about you, but a warm beer at the turn does not sound like something that is going to motivate me to finish the back nine. Golfers are very creative when it comes to keeping things cold, making sure that we can drink what we want and/or avoid the crazy course prices. $5.50 for a Bud Light can? I'm going to go with no thank you on that one. Instead, we do get creative. We often exploit the fact that we are already carrying a large bag with us, hiding small coolers, or even just cold cans in the pockets. Even the course bar knows the value of cool, with more than one course I've played including a bag of ice with a multiple can purchase. Insulation sucks, but at least there is ice involved. The Coolest of the Cool Which brings us to Yeti Coolers, the coolers known for their ability to keep ice frozen inside for a ridiculously long period of time. Cool side story: this was a happy by-product of the original intention. I was lucky enough last weekend to spend some time chatting with someone from Yeti at a local golf demo day. Much as I like the Yeti stuff, I didn't know their history. Basically, the owners/creators were a couple of buddies who were tired of coolers collapsing on them when they sat or stood on them. With that in mind, they designed a cooler that could stand up to the standing, one that they would want to have out fishing. So they designed these structurally stable coolers, and as fate would have it, found out that they also kept ice frozen for not hours, but days. The rep said that they initially drove a van, loaded with coolers, from store to store trying to sell them, doing all of their own legwork as they demoed to shop owners that they could jump up and down on them. A couple of guys mega engineered a cooler that they would want to use, and Yeti has grown from there. The Hopper Flip 12 First, please don't stand on the Hopper Flip 12, or any of the Hoppers for that fact, because they are soft-sided coolers, and your cooler contents will not likely be improved by your stomping. The Hopper line is not about the stability of the Yeti Tundra, but rather improved portability while retaining Yeti's signature ice sustainability. The Hopper Flip 12 represents the smallest cooler in the Hopper family, and as the name implies, it's the one with the flip top. It comes in two color schemes, with the Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue one depicted here today. My specific goal today is to look into the possibility that the Hopper Flip 12 could become the go to cooler for the golfer looking to take libations and liquids to the course. As such, I'm going to focus on three areas: Contents, Coldness, and Cart-ability Contents: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 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? I'm so close to giving the Hopper Flip 12 the Goldilocks rating of just right. So close. It holds plenty of beer for you cart, maybe even your foursome. Initially I was a bit despondent that it was too short to hold 22oz bottles (a craft beer staple these days) only to realize that three of them would fit on their sides, along with a full complement of 12 cans, some tall cans even. Normal bottles also fit just fine standing up, but let's try not to bring glass to the course. My only grief with the size of the Hopper Flip 12 is that it is just a bit too wide to completely stuff into the basket on the back of the cart. An inch off of the width, and we'd be in the stuff in sweet spot. Coldness: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Yeti is known for cold retention. I've got an old model Hopper 20, and it holds the cold like a champ. The Hopper Flip 12 uses the same construction materials as the other Hopper: Dryhide shell for waterproof toughness, and Coldcell Insulation to keep the contents cold. The big switch this time around is that the top flips open for easier* access to the contents, sealing up airtight via Hydrolok zipper. Hey Dave, why is there an asterisk on easier* in that sentence? Oh, you noticed that did you? Well the cooler is easy to zip and unzip, and the zipper seals out air (that's tight for a zipper btw) but it's a long zipper. Like longcat long. Prepare for a zipping odyssey when you open and close it. It's not tough to do, just takes a while to drive the zipper around the perimeter of the unit. You see though, that zipper is the price of admission when you want the cold to keep cold for a long time. Sure, a lighter gauge zipper would make for an easier zipping time, and a Velcro-sealed flap on the top would make it super easy to get beers out, but both would increase the rate of ice melting/warming. As for ice melting, I did a little, quasi-scientific test in my garage. Basically, I dropped a fully frozen plastic half-gallon of water into the Hopper Flip 12 and checked to see how fast it melted as it sat on my garage floor. I checked on it about every 12 hours. 36 hours later there was still ice, with it finally disappearing some time during the next 12 hours. That's a solid day and a half, and I didn't pre-cool the cooler, or have it full, both of which will stretch out ice life in the Yeti. I also just received a sample of Yeti ice. Supposedly this blue ice pack is legit cold too. Basically, even if I tried to play all four courses on the summer solstice up at Bandon Dunes, the cooler would keep up with the cold side of our bargain. Granted, my body would likely collapse somewhere near the tree on Old Mac... Cart-ability: Yeti Hopper Flip 12 As I said, the size is nearly perfect for the power cart back rack. It'll fit in there, but not super deep. Maybe penetration will improve with a little breaking in over time. We shall see. It does fit nicely on the seat in between the riders though, as it stays in place with a little bungee lashing to the rack. We did find that the flip lid was frequently left in the unzipped conformation, which wasn't a problem until the cart driver (not me) had flashes of Le Mans and the Rubicon Trail. Why am I always in his cart? Anyway, remember to zip the top. It will keep the stuff inside cooler longer and also prevent content loss through the hairpin turns. Under my Clicgear pushcart, yours truly is currently exploring lashing protocols truly as well. I'll let you know if I can figure out a way to quickly mount the Hopper Flip 12 in the cart's down under. Yeti Is Now 2 of 2 For Me As I said above, this is the second Yeti cooler that I have been able to run through the paces and again, I have come away impressed. The do keep your cold stuff cold, and are super durable in their construction. I took the Hopper 20 everywhere last summer, and was not gentile with it. Regardless, it still looks great, and works perfectly. Fun side note. The Yeti coolers float when sealed. Seems obvious, with the air-tight construction and all that, but it was a pleasant surprise when the Hopper 20 dove off of the boat last fall. Circled back, grabbed it, and nothing was amiss. For those of you balking at the $279.99 price, I asked the rep that exact question. I asked â€œWhat do I tell my readers when they ask about the cheaper RTIC, and other brand coolers?â€ Her simple answer was along the line of you get what you pay for. Yeti stands behind all of their products with a comprehensive warranty (3 years on the Hopper coolers, 5 years on the Tundras). Yeti stands behind their coolers, or rather on top of them. I think about the guys jumping on them at their inception. I love that image, and the idea that two guys with an idea can turn that idea into something bigger. Bonus Hopper v. Hopper Coverage! Here are some shots comparing the Hopper Flip 12 to the old style Hopper 20 so that you can check out the size differences. I'm actually hugely curious about the new Hopper 20/30 design as the zipper on my style was somewhere between annoying and predatory on my arm. May need to add another Yeti to the cohort.