The Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 is a backpack cooler similar to the Otterbox Trooper we reviewed a while ago. There are some notable differences between the two, and it's no ordinary Yeti Hopper, either.
- Excellent design if you plan on carrying it any distance
- excellent ice retention
- Narrow profile not ideal for keeping your catch on ice
- Capacity prices are higher than competitors
- Dry Leather Shell: Water and mildew resistant, puncture and UV resistant.
- Coldcell Insulation: Made of closed-cell rubber foam, the insulation is superior to standard soft coolers.
- HydroLok Zipper: Keeps the cooler airtight and waterproof.
- Wide Mouth Opening: Unzip the entire exterior of the top and flip it open, allowing you to get as wide as you can with the top completely removed.
- Hitchpoint Grid: MOLLE-style straps point to just about anything you like, and some Yeti-specific accessories like the Sidekick Dry.
Backflip with Yeti Hopper 24
I took every opportunity to escape into the water. That usually means weekends, but I sometimes go a day earlier in the week to go to Tampa Bay to chase tarpon, redfish, snooker, and trout.
My wife also loves the outdoors, so we usually take a tandem kayak. This means space is at a premium. The Backflip takes up less deck space than other coolers of similar volume. This is definitely a plus.
The tradeoff is that you won't level anyone but the smallest keeper. When we got back to the ramp, our future black redfish had to be flattened again before being sliced.
recovery is good
I'm willing to make questionable tradeoffs because of the other benefits you get out of it. The backpack design is definitely better than Otterbox'. Its taller, narrower profile fits my back more naturally, and the straps provide enough cushioning for real comfort.
I don't want to hike five miles into cooler backcountry — I want a hip belt and hiking pack that fits. Still, the Yeti's design is an upgrade over other quality cooler backpacks I've seen and used. If your backpacking plans include hiking in a cool environment, then this is what I want.
This isn't usually an issue with my fishing needs. It's a blessing to be able to carry the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 when we take our kayaks out into the water, or when we're in a boat.
But fishing doesn't always involve boats. Backflips are a solid choice for fly fishing in rivers. Lunch, beverages, and your catch are all in the cooler, leaving your hands free for fishing and excursions.
About that Hitchpoint grid
It is Hitchpoint Grid that dictates the model deal. I use the Backflip in combination with the Sidekick Dry to dry out my phone, purse, and other non-waterproof items without having to keep track of another piece of gear.
You can also strap your fly box and extra gear to it when your fly fishing plans call for excursions in or down the river.
Ice retention is always difficult to judge due to the wide variation in temperature conditions throughout the year. With an average temperature of 78°, I start with 20 lbs of ice and check it once a day to see how long it lasts.
3 days. Take any ice retention tests with a grain of salt. What you actually get will depend on the temperature, humidity, everything you put in the cooler, and how many times you open it.
price and value
It's no surprise that the Yeti is priced at a premium, and the Backflip 24 is just $300 for its 21-quart capacity. If you like the idea of some extra dry storage, add another $50 for the Sidekick Dry (I highly recommend going that route). That's about $50 more than a 20-quart Otterbox and about the same price as a 30-quart Trooper.
Orca also has a backpack cooler that starts at $200. Their baseline model is pretty solid, but it measures 14.25 quarts, so you lose some capacity. Their Realtree Max 5 steps it up a notch with a 28.5-quart capacity, stronger strapping, and a $270 price tag.
Yeti has a higher capacity cost than Otterbox and Orca. Neither of the other two are slouches, but I prefer the Backflip's design when I need to carry it for any practical distance.
the bottom line
The Yeti is a solid product, and the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 is by far the best hiking model I've used. It's also a huge win if you're looking for something that takes up less deck space on your boat or kayak.
Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Backpack Cooler Specs
- External Dimensions: 19-1/8″ x 13-3/4″ x 8-1/2″
- Internal Dimensions: 15″ x 12-5/8″ x 6-1/2″
- Capacity: 21 quarts, 20 cans of beer, 25 lbs of ice (ice only)
- Empty Weight: 5.3 lbs
- Price: $299.99