Which Yeti cooler bag is best?

If you’re sick of lugging around a bulky hard cooler but need something that holds ice effectively, you can find soft coolers that fit the bill. Yeti cooler bags are light yet rugged and can hold ice for longer than basic hard coolers, making them a perfect choice for day trips and weekend trips. 

The Yeti Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler is a top choice for those who need something spacious yet easy to haul around. 

What to know before you buy a Yeti cooler bag

Bag style

Yeti soft coolers come in three main styles: 

  • Tote: Tote-style coolers have a magnetically sealed lid and are designed for carrying on the shoulder. They’re light, convenient to carry and tend to be spacious. 
  • Backpack: Even soft coolers can be heavy and awkward to carry to your picnic spot or camping pitch, especially if it’s a bit of a hike. Backpack coolers are easier to carry over longer distances, evenly distributing weight between your shoulders. 
  • Zip-up: These coolers have zippered lids that flip open, much like conventional soft coolers. They’re slightly bulkier than totes and backpacks, but some prefer the zipper closure to the magnetic alternative. 

Capacity

Yeti coolers generally list their capacity in cans. Its soft coolers can hold anywhere from 8-26 cans. Naturally, the larger the capacity, the bigger the cooler is and the heavier it is while full, so it’s a trade-off between size and portability. 

Yeti takes ice into account when it lists its cooler capacities. For example, if Yeti states a cooler holds 12 cans, it doesn’t just hold this number of cans. Rather, it holds 12 cans plus ice at a 2-to-1 ice-to-can ratio. Therefore, its coolers can hold way more than the listed capacity if you’re going on a picnic or day trip and don’t need huge amounts of ice to keep things cool for days.

What to look for in a quality Yeti cooler bag

Leak-resistant

Cool bags from Yeti can have zipper closures or magnetic strip closures, but both are completely leakproof. This lets you fill your cooler with ice while knowing that it won’t leak as the ice starts to melt. The problem with Yeti’s leakproof zippers is that the shark tooth design that makes them watertight also makes them somewhat tricky to open and close.

Waterproof

These coolers are waterproof both inside and out. The interior waterproofing is vital to keep melted ice from seeping into the insulation. The exterior waterproofing protects the cooler from splashes at the beach or pool and keeps it from soaking up moisture if you set it down on damp ground. 

Wide-mouth opening

If you’ve ever tried to load up a cooler bag through a small opening, you’ll know what a pain it is. The wide-mouth openings found on Yeti coolers make them much easier to fill and far more user-friendly. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Yeti cooler bag

These coolers are effective and highly durable, but they aren’t cheap. Expect to pay $250-$450, depending on size and design. 

Yeti cooler bag FAQ

How long do Yeti soft coolers hold ice? 

A. They hold ice for roughly one to three days, but it’s hard to give a definitive answer because it depends on various external factors. These include the ambient temperature, exposure to direct sunlight, the type and quality of ice and the temperature of the cooler when you add ice. You can make ice last longer by sacrificing a bag of ice to chill the cooler before tipping it out and adding the ice you want to keep. 

How do you clean a Yeti cooler bag? 

A. You can clean the inside and outside of a cooler bag with warm water and mild soap. After cleaning it with this solution, rinse it thoroughly with clean water and dry it off with a dishcloth or towel. It’s best to leave the lid open for at least a few hours to ensure it’s completely dry inside before storing it. This helps prevent musty smells and mold or mildew from forming.

What’s the best Yeti cooler bag to buy?

Top Yeti cooler bag

Best Yeti Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

Yeti Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

What you need to know: This rugged cooler bag holds 26 cans or equivalent, plus plenty of ice. 

What you’ll love: The wide-mouth opening makes it easy to load. Its magnetic design is completely leakproof and seals quickly and effectively. It comes with integrated handles plus a removable shoulder strap. 

What you should consider: Some people find it hard to keep open while loading, but others don’t have an issue.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Yeti cooler bag for the money

Best Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Portable Soft Cooler

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Portable Soft Cooler

What you need to know: Holding 12 cans plus ice, this is an excellent compact soft cooler.

What you’ll love: The leakproof zipper top stays open while loading. The shoulder strap makes it easy to carry but is removable if you prefer to use the handles. It comes in a range of 13 colors.

What you should consider: It takes two hands to open or close the zipper. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Yeti Hopper Soft-Sided Backpack Cooler

Yeti Hopper Soft-Sided Backpack Cooler

What you need to know: The backpack design makes this cooler more comfortable to carry over distance. 

What you’ll love: It fits 18 cans plus ice. The magnetic seal is leakproof, and most find it easy to open. The outer material is rugged, waterproof and puncture-resistant. You can attach carabiners to the fabric loops to carry extra items. 

What you should consider: It’s heavy when full, so you might not be able to carry it as far as you think.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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