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If you’re any bit familiar with the outdoors, it’s hard not to hear about YETI. This brand has taken the market by storm in the last few years and as a marketer myself, I find the brand growth truly amazing. Many brands spend decades, if not centuries to build this type of love for a brand, but many times they spend too much time focused on marketing and not enough time on product innovation. While YETI does a great job at marketing its brand, the main driver for brand growth is innovation. The cooler market has been asleep at the wheel for decades focusing on being “good enough” versus “we’re going to make the best damn product on the market while exceeding nearly every customer’s needs”. The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is one of the most recent additions to the YETI lineup and as you can expect, they nailed it.
A year ago, you would head over to your local target to pick up a cooler that could keep your 12-pack cold for $15-$20. Today, YETI completely reimagines what a 12-pack cooler should be and sticks a $280 price tag on it. Somehow, you want to buy one for you and every member of your family. The level of quality in the Hopper Flip 12 completely exceeds anything that you come to expect from a soft sided cooler.
YETI Hopper Flip 12 Quality
The YETI Hopper Flip 12 is unlike any soft sided cooler that I’ve used in my life. To start, the Flip 12 isn’t like your typical flimsy soft sided cooler. This cooler has some oomph to it. The walls of the cooler are one inch thick with ColdCell Insulation which keep the walls from collapsing in, but they also add significant weight. On the inside of the cooler, you get a thick rubber lining that isn’t going to tear from a bottle cap snap and it’s not going to get an odd pinch point where the material rubs against itself and creates a tear. I say this as both of these issues have happened to me with previous soft sided coolers.
The outside of the cooler is made with YETI’s DryHide Shell that is smooth to the touch, but can definitely taking a beating. I’ve used this cooler plenty of times over the past six weeks for testing and while I don’t expect any cooler to show significant wear over this amount of time, it is evident to me that it’s not going to wear down easily. The one thing that I think can wear this cooler down faster than most things is sun damage. After years of excessive exposure to the sun on any type of fabric, the durability will decrease. Perfect example, patio furniture. These items sit in the sun and weather 365 days a year for most of us and they won’t last as long if you don’t cover them. That said, protect your investment and keep the cooler in a place away from the weather when not using it.
Zippers Made for Hazmat Use
Zippers are often one of the biggest fail points on a soft sided cooler. They aren’t usually designed to be waterproof and they are break within a couple years of use. The zippers on the YETI Hopper Flip 12 are the best I have come across. According to my sources at YETI, these zippers are the same zippers that are used in Hazmat suits. These suits aren’t designed to keep out hazardous chemicals. The smallest leak in a suit could be lethal, so when I saw this grade of zipper on a soft sided cooler, I was floored. As I mentioned before, YETI has completely reinvented the way we think about coolers. One potential downside to the zipper is that they are a bit sticky and hard to slide open or closed. This makes it hard to close the cooler with one hand as when you pull the zippers, the cooler will move with you unless it is locked into place. This may pose a challenge for those with disabilities or for someone who is injured.
Get the Accessories
If you’re going to spend the $280 for the Hopper Flip 12, spend a little more to get the accessories that fit the YETI Hopper Flip 12. I have the 4lb YETI Ice and it fits perfectly in the bottom of the cooler. I really like the YETI Ice as it keeps the cooler and your goods extremely cold, but without the mess of melted ice. The other accessory that I like is the Sidekick which is a waterproof pouch that attaches to the YETI Hopper Flip 12. This is great to store your important goods in such as keys with a remote, cell phone, wallet, etc. I found this to be most handy when using the cooler while stand up paddle boarding as there is a greater chance of falling in the water.
If you haven’t been able to tell by my article, I am completely in love with the YETI Hopper Flip 12. This is my first YETI Cooler and I am completely blown away by the level of quality and craftsmanship. As it is no surprise, the price of the Hopper Flip 12 is significantly higher than most if not all other comparable coolers on the market. There are a lot of things that you can do with $280, but if you have the means, you won’t be disappointed. For more information visit yeti.com