Yeti Hopper Two Cooler Review

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Yeti Hooper Two cooler on Rogue River fishing trip. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. You put your hand in the cooler, expecting to find an ice cold drink, and instead, you find aluminum cans floating in warm water. This, my friends, is why it’s actually worth shelling out your hard earned dollars for a Yeti cooler. I recently received the Yeti Hopper Two 40 to review while fishing in King Salmon, Alaska. Unfortunately, the cooler didn’t make it to Alaska, but that’s another fish story.

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Zach Hancock skillfully guides us on Oregon’s Rogue River. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

My husband and I had joined Morrison’s Rogue Wilderness Adventures on a four day fishing trip on the Rogue River. I was excited to test the Hopper Two 40 ice-for-days marketing promise. My intention was to catch my limit of fish in Southern Oregon, fill that Yeti cooler and drive it back to Northern California. We had excellent river guides and beautiful Willie Boats to fish the Rogue, but as luck would have it, the salmon were not biting. The four couples on this fishing trip all caught fish, but timing is everything on a lodge-to-lodge float trip. The last day or two is when you want to catch the Chinook salmon to keep and take home. Fortunately for me, I had two salmon to bring home in the Yeti Hopper.

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Nancy Brown carries her soft-sided cooler

Like a dog carrying a favorite bone, I dutifully carried the soft-sided cooler up and down the wooden stairs or along the dirt path to each historic lodge. Thankfully, the Hopper 40 is lightweight and comes with grab handles and a detachable shoulder strap. I can carry this leakproof cooler as easily as any man.

I like the fact that the HydroLock zipper is positioned on the side of the cooler rather than the top. The zipper location makes it easy to open and the zipper doesn’t bang against you when you are walking. By the way, the U-Dock at the end of the zipper ensures a leakproof seal that will keep the ice frozen; make sure you close that zipper!

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The DryHide interior and exterior fabric is what makes that “tough as nails” promise come to life. It’s made of the same materials they use in the high performance whitewater rafts. It’s resistant to punctures and waterproof. The liner is mildew resistant and FDA food-grade approved. So ya, I drank the water when I drained the cooler and it was tasty and ice cold. Maybe I should add the Yeti to my earthquake preparedness kit?

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Willie drift boat ready for action. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Some helpful things to keep in mind with this cooler. Think of the Yeti like a Christmas present. Don’t open it early or the cold air will escape and items won’t stay chilled. Block ice is the best way to keep things cold, as block ice melts slower. I bought a bag of ice cubes in Galice, Oregon and added two salmon, a box of Lillie Belle Farms salted lavender caramels and a block of cheddar cheese from Rogue Creamery into the cooler. All food items made it back to the San Francisco Bay Area as fresh as when they started their journey in Southern Oregon, minus two caramels. (I never said I didn’t open my Christmas presents early.)

Need to know:
The Hopper comes in several sizes. The Hopper Two 40 has a suggested retail price of $399.99
Properly fill the Hopper with an equal ratio of ice to beer/bottled water or food. Keep your food items in zip-lock bags as there will be some ice melt. Do not use dry ice in your cooler, as the dry ice converts to gas and will expand in the cooler. Ideally, sprinkle rock salt on top of ice for ultimate chill factor.

Insider tip: You’ll want to register your Yeti. The Yeti Hopper comes with a three year warranty and they’ll even send you a bottle key when you register your cooler.

Where to buy:
Yeti (512) 394-9384
Austin, Texas 78716

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Yeti Hopper Two cooler review written by and photos courtesy of Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Thanks to @yeti for supplying me with this travel gear for review. All opinions are my own. Fishing tips welcome.