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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 â€˜Twoâ€� 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 Hopperâ„¢ 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 â€” 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. Â· New design means your contents go in (and out) more easily Â· Tapered body makes extended hauling more comfortable Â· HydroLokâ„¢ Zipper and wide-mouth opening means great accessibility and visibility to contents Â· DRYHIDEâ„¢ 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. Â· COLDCELLâ„¢ INSULATION - Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. Â· Hitchpoint grid to attach accessories Â· 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 HydroLokâ„¢ 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 â€œ40â€� 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 Â½ 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.