Dry ice is a great way to keep things cold or frozen in your cooler. But if you have a Yeti Hopper soft cooler are you able to put dry ice in it and is it dry ice compatible?
No, Yeti Hopper soft coolers are NOT dry ice compatible and using them with dry ice could potentially damage the cooler. This is because the soft interior lining cannot handle the extreme cold of dry ice. Only the Yeti Tundra, Roadie and Tank hard coolers are dry ice compatible.
Yeti clearly states this fact on multiple places on their website and unless you want to risk damaging your Yeti Hopper cooler I would stick to regular ice.
However, in saying that if you REALLY need to keep something frozen in a Yeti Hopper there are some ways you can use dry ice in them whilst also protecting the inner lining from the extreme cold.
Why Can't You Put Dry Ice In a Yeti Hopper
Yeti Hopper coolers are amazing soft coolers and they can keep ice for 2-3 days at a time.
Dry ice is colder and can be more convenient than regular ice given it turns directly into gas and doesn't make anything in your cooler wet.
It's a great option for keeping things frozen or for keeping items in a cooler cold and using less ice overall. Making it a lightweight option which would be great for a portable soft cooler like the Yeti Hopper series.
However, you can't put dry ice in a Yeti Hopper. Why?
Yeti doesn't clearly state WHY you can't put dry ice in a Yeti Hopper but I would assume it's because the inner plastic lining of the Yeti Hopper can't handle the extreme cold of dry ice.
Plastic can get still and brittle when it's cold leading to it breaking or damaging more easily.
While the inner plastic lining is fine for regular ice at 32ºF (0ºC) dry ice is WAY colder at -109ºF (-78ºC). So having dry ice come in direct contact with the inner lining could cause it to become brittle and break more easily.
Yeti products are designed to last for years and the Yeti Hopper is backed by a 3 year warranty so it makes sense they wouldn't want you doing anything that will break your cooler prematurely.
The Yeti Tundra, Roadie and Tank are all made from a thick roto-molded polyethylene (PET) plastic which is rigid and can more easily handle the extremely cold temperatures of dry ice. More about what coolers are made of and how they work.
What Does Yeti Say About Using Dry Ice In Their Cooler
Yeti says in multiple locations on their website that you shouldn't put dry ice in your Yeti Hopper cooler. However, they never explain exactly why or what will happen if you do.
On their Hopper FAQ page they say:
CAN YOU PUT DRY ICE IN A HOPPER SOFT COOLER?
Nope, not a good idea.
And on their page about using dry ice in a Yeti cooler they state:
CAN YOU USE DRY ICE IN EVERY YETI COOLER?
The short answer is no. Dry ice is only recommended in the Tundra and Roadie Hard Coolers, as well as, the YETI TANK Ice Buckets. It is not suitable for use in Rambler Drinkware, the YETI V-Series, or the Hopper Soft Cooler Family
How To Use Dry Ice In a Yeti Hopper
If you really need (or want) to use dry ice in a Yeti Hopper then how can you do it without damaging your cooler?
While this still isn't recommended there are some simple steps you can take to use dry ice in a Yeti Hopper and have little risk of actually damaging the cooler.
Layer The Dry Ice In Towels
To reduce the risk of damage to your cooler you'll want to add a thick layer of towels between the dry ice and the inside lining of your Yeti hopper cooler.
If you want to keep items close to the dry ice and keep them frozen then I would suggest first wrapping the dry ice in a few layers of newspaper, put your items close to the dry ice and then wrap in all in a couple of towels before putting it inside your Yeti Hopper cooler.
Alternatively if you want to just keep items cold but not frozen you could simply wrap the dry ice by itself in towels and place in the bottom of your cooler then place your other items outside the towels.
The towels will act as insulation stopping the extreme cold from the dry ice directly touching the walls of your cooler keeping it safer and less likely to get damaged.
If I really needed to use dry ice in my Yeti Hopper then this is what I would do. However, it's important to note that Yeti do NOT recommend this with this product.
Using Dry Ice In Your Yeti Hopper Could Void It's Warranty
Yeti Hopper coolers come with a limited 3-year warranty, but this warranty only covers you if you're using the cooler as it's designed to be used.
Because Yeti clearly states on their website that you shouldn't use dry ice in the Yeti Hopper if you do use dry ice in your Hopper and it breaks as a result then this may not be covered under warranty and you'll have to pony up the money for a brand new cooler.
So be careful if you do decide to use dry ice in your Yeti Hopper and if possible use a Yeti Tundra or Yeti Roadie for dry ice instead.