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Dave's Take: Yeti Hopper Flip 12


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Hot Course. But Cold Beer

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 12.jpg

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.

 

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 14.jpg

 

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

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 6.jpg

 

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

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 7.jpg

 

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.

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 9.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 10.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 11.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 13.jpg

 

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.

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 21.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 22.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 23.jpg

 

 

Coldness: Yeti Hopper Flip 12

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 5.jpg

 

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.

 

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 8.jpg

 

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.

 

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 19.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 18.jpg

 

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 “What do I tell my readers when they ask about the cheaper RTIC, and other brand coolers?” 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!

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 1.jpg

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.

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 2.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 3.jpg

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 - 4.jpg

 

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It's a no-go for me if it doesn't fit in the basket.  Someday, someone will make a Yeti-type cooler that fits perfectly in a golf cart basket.

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Yeti makes some of the best tumblers and coolers on the market - there is no disputing their quality, that is for sure

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For those of you balking at the $279.99 price, I asked the rep that exact question. I asked “What do I tell my readers when they ask about the cheaper RTIC, and other brand coolers?” 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.

 

 

It's a shame that companies think they have a superior product when a competitor can make it for half the price. The guys who started RTIC came from Yeti. The guys at Yeti (based in Austin) sued RTIC (based in Houston) because their product was too similar. Yeti won and now RTIC needs to change a few things on their hard coolers and tumblers as well as change up some stuff on their website. Living in Texas, you find fan boys from both companies that rival the fan boys of TaylorMade and Callaway. Hearing Yeti customer service say 'you get what you pay for' is probably how Titleist talks to people when they ask about the Kirkland Signature golf ball. The fact is, you get a very, very, very similar product. Independent websites have performed tests to show how similar the products are...sound familiar?

 

It's a no-go for me if it doesn't fit in the basket.  Someday, someone will make a Yeti-type cooler that fits perfectly in a golf cart basket.

RTIC has a golf cart basket compatible cooler. It's called the Softpak Lunch Box. It holds a six pack of beer plus ice. However, both RTIC's and Yeti's 'soft' coolers don't really collapse all that great. They have so much insulation in them that they are still rather rigid to be considered a 'soft' cooler. 

 

I've seen guys with Polar Bear Nylon series soft sided coolers that can wedge into the basket of a golf cart...just don't buy the 24 can capacity soft sided cooler and expect it to fit. A guy I played with the other day had an Ice Mule bag, a backpack that collapsed down really small when not in use. Now, both coolers mentioned are day coolers. They keep your ice for about 12-15 hours max. These aren't the Yeti style coolers that you take on a weekend trip. And if you need ice on the golf course for 12 hours, then you aren't drinking your beers fast enough...and that calls for a totally different discussion!

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It's a shame that companies think they have a superior product when a competitor can make it for half the price. The guys who started RTIC came from Yeti. The guys at Yeti (based in Austin) sued RTIC (based in Houston) because their product was too similar. Yeti won and now RTIC needs to change a few things on their hard coolers and tumblers as well as change up some stuff on their website. Living in Texas, you find fan boys from both companies that rival the fan boys of TaylorMade and Callaway. Hearing Yeti customer service say 'you get what you pay for' is probably how Titleist talks to people when they ask about the Kirkland Signature golf ball. The fact is, you get a very, very, very similar product. Independent websites have performed tests to show how similar the products are...sound familiar?

 

RTIC has a golf cart basket compatible cooler. It's called the Softpak Lunch Box. It holds a six pack of beer plus ice. However, both RTIC's and Yeti's 'soft' coolers don't really collapse all that great. They have so much insulation in them that they are still rather rigid to be considered a 'soft' cooler. 

 

I've seen guys with Polar Bear Nylon series soft sided coolers that can wedge into the basket of a golf cart...just don't buy the 24 can capacity soft sided cooler and expect it to fit. A guy I played with the other day had an Ice Mule bag, a backpack that collapsed down really small when not in use. Now, both coolers mentioned are day coolers. They keep your ice for about 12-15 hours max. These aren't the Yeti style coolers that you take on a weekend trip. And if you need ice on the golf course for 12 hours, then you aren't drinking your beers fast enough...and that calls for a totally different discussion!

Thanks for the info. Always interesting to dive deeper into this stuff.

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It's a no-go for me if it doesn't fit in the basket.  Someday, someone will make a Yeti-type cooler that fits perfectly in a golf cart basket.

Aw heck Kenny. Redneck Engineer it. I showed a buddy of mine how to attach one to a cart with ratchet straps. 99% of the courses here will not let one carry a personal cooler unless one has health concerns like I do and have to keep plenty of cold water on hand. The staff will check a cooler for alcoholic beverages. Most of the courses I play know me  so they do not check. 

 

LOL I have a large Yeti Fishing cooler but I did not buy it. I fell off a truck on US 17 one day I tried to chase the guys down but they were hauling butt. I kept it but it is giant. No damage but a little "road rash" really impressed me. LOL again it is norm down here to see coolers laying beside the road in fishing season busted all to heck. The one I found did not have any nasty fish stuff or beer in it. Actually it was empty I think that is why it flew off the truck or out of the boat they were pulling. I keep it out by the shop in the summer and ice down a case of water in it. I transfer the water from it to my smaller cooler I carry in my work truck. I have a bulk ice station down the street from me and I usually ice the case of water down on Sunday and it will last all week out back in the shade

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Great write up Dave, I don't drink beer so I have no need for my PowerAid and Water to be that cold.  I have a BagBoy Chiller bag with the chiller pocket and a small bag that will hold 4 bottles.  I freeze one and then put it in the bag then in the pocket.  4 bottles will hold me even on the hottest days. Now were I a beer drinker I would be all about trying to keep it colder than the Chiller bag can do.

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I'm digging the RTIC stuff as well. I have the 30oz tumbler and took it with me on the drive to Florida. It kept the coffee at a drinkable temperature for 6 hours...all that for about $10 from Amazon.

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Dave that's a really nice review and lots of good photos.

I'd never buy this product for two reasons. Doesn't fit the cart and costs way too much.

I use my el cheapo cooler bag from Academy and while at the golf course during the 100* days in the summer I just add ice if necessary. For Free! Guess what? It keeps anything in the bag super cold. Just like Yeti. Imagine that. More Ice=more cold. Science. It's settled. LOL

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Dave that's a really nice review and lots of good photos.

I'd never buy this product for two reasons. Doesn't fit the cart and costs way too much.

I use my el cheapo cooler bag from Academy and while at the golf course during the 100* days in the summer I just add ice if necessary. For Free! Guess what? It keeps anything in the bag super cold. Just like Yeti. Imagine that. More Ice=more cold. Science. It's settled. LOL

I ditto the great job on the review and I also ditto the price point and cooler size as a road bump for buying one. Now if I won it as a prize I would definitely find a good use for it!

 

 

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I use a $20.00 Polar Cap soft cooler with a flip top. It holds 12 beers and ice. It gets through 18 holes just fine.

 

My buddy spent $300.00 on a Yeti soft cooler that holds 2 cases of beer. He says it was a waste of money and his old cooler is better...lol.

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Timely review as I'm looking for a cooler for my new golf cart.  This one isn't going to work though.  Aside from the price it won't fit in the compartment where I want to put it.  I have a space about 12" x 8" x 20" in a compartment under the rear seat.  I think I need a true soft sided cooler bag rather than the rigid soft sided bag.

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I might pick up the similar RTIC lunchbox version one day. Right now my RTIC tumbler full of ice and a Mio bottle get me through every round of golf. Especially when there are adequate water jugs on the course

 

 

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It's a shame that companies think they have a superior product when a competitor can make it for half the price. The guys who started RTIC came from Yeti. The guys at Yeti (based in Austin) sued RTIC (based in Houston) because their product was too similar. Yeti won and now RTIC needs to change a few things on their hard coolers and tumblers as well as change up some stuff on their website. Living in Texas, you find fan boys from both companies that rival the fan boys of TaylorMade and Callaway. Hearing Yeti customer service say 'you get what you pay for' is probably how Titleist talks to people when they ask about the Kirkland Signature golf ball. The fact is, you get a very, very, very similar product. Independent websites have performed tests to show how similar the products are...sound familiar?

 

RTIC has a golf cart basket compatible cooler. It's called the Softpak Lunch Box. It holds a six pack of beer plus ice. However, both RTIC's and Yeti's 'soft' coolers don't really collapse all that great. They have so much insulation in them that they are still rather rigid to be considered a 'soft' cooler. 

 

I've seen guys with Polar Bear Nylon series soft sided coolers that can wedge into the basket of a golf cart...just don't buy the 24 can capacity soft sided cooler and expect it to fit. A guy I played with the other day had an Ice Mule bag, a backpack that collapsed down really small when not in use. Now, both coolers mentioned are day coolers. They keep your ice for about 12-15 hours max. These aren't the Yeti style coolers that you take on a weekend trip. And if you need ice on the golf course for 12 hours, then you aren't drinking your beers fast enough...and that calls for a totally different discussion!

 

Dang, I think Rtic might be under priced! Just checked their website, all their coolers are listed for exactly half the price of the comparable Yeti but... They're all out of stock! How can you get a new one? Ebay except... they are all going for $75 to $100 above retail making them almost the price of the Yeti stuff!

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Dang, I think Rtic might be under priced! Just checked their website, all their coolers are listed for exactly half the price of the comparable Yeti but... They're all out of stock! How can you get a new one? Ebay except... they are all going for $75 to $100 above retail making them almost the price of the Yeti stuff!

 

The three weeks leading up to the end of the lawsuit, RTIC was dumping their inventory. You could find the massive RTIC 65 cooler that YETI sells for $400 and RTIC currently sells for $200, was on 'clearance' on the RTIC site for $130. They were getting rid of all their inventory because they probably knew the lawsuit wouldn't work out in their favor. Most of their coolers are currently in stock, but yes, the smaller soft sided coolers are out. You can give them a call and they're pretty good at determining when they'll be available. 

 

Old RTIC website had references to YETI's price and their slogan was: Keeps the ice at half the price. It was a direct hit towards YETI. Each comparable product had YETI's price and RTIC's price so you could see it was exactly half the price. After the lawsuit, their slogan is 'Over built - not over priced'. You don't see anymore references to YETI on their site. RTIC isn't allowed to sell in brick and mortar stores and there's a couple other restrictions in place as well, but selling direct to consumer is one of the reasons why they're cheaper than buying a YETI at a local sporting goods store. 

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The three weeks leading up to the end of the lawsuit, RTIC was dumping their inventory. You could find the massive RTIC 65 cooler that YETI sells for $400 and RTIC currently sells for $200, was on 'clearance' on the RTIC site for $130. They were getting rid of all their inventory because they probably knew the lawsuit wouldn't work out in their favor. Most of their coolers are currently in stock, but yes, the smaller soft sided coolers are out. You can give them a call and they're pretty good at determining when they'll be available. 

 

Old RTIC website had references to YETI's price and their slogan was: Keeps the ice at half the price. It was a direct hit towards YETI. Each comparable product had YETI's price and RTIC's price so you could see it was exactly half the price. After the lawsuit, their slogan is 'Over built - not over priced'. You don't see anymore references to YETI on their site. RTIC isn't allowed to sell in brick and mortar stores and there's a couple other restrictions in place as well, but selling direct to consumer is one of the reasons why they're cheaper than buying a YETI at a local sporting goods store. 

 

You sir, are officially are the forum's refrigeration guru!

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Timely review as I'm looking for a cooler for my new golf cart.  This one isn't going to work though.  Aside from the price it won't fit in the compartment where I want to put it.  I have a space about 12" x 8" x 20" in a compartment under the rear seat.  I think I need a true soft sided cooler bag rather than the rigid soft sided bag.

 

Have you thought about an insulated styrofoam shipping box? If its likely to stay in your cart then you can probably find one that's the exact size you want - and super cheap.

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Nice review and write up, I know the YETIs are high quality and I saw them at the expo, but didn't know about RTIC.

Any chance YETI partners with a golf bag manufacturer for a built in cooler pouch that actually works? Or may a nice streamlined insert?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

What's in my  :cleveland-small: bag:

Driver :  :cobra-small: F9 10.5, Fujikura Speeder 757 TR 

Fairway  :cobra-small: F9 15.5° Oban Kiyoshi Black 75 05 (X)

Hybrid:  :cobra-small: King F7 18° KBS Tour PROTO Hybrid 95 S+

Irons:   :srixon-small: z585 4i - 6i,  z785 7i-PW, Nippon Modus 120X

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX  50.11, 55.11, 60.10  TT DG S400 Black

Putter:  post-53756-150768041262.jpg Honey Badger 34" 

Ball:  :srixon-small: Q-Star Tour

 

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