How Long Do Yeti Hopper Soft-Sided Coolers Keep Ice?

Yeti hard coolers have some of the best ice retention on the market, able to keep ice cold for at least three to five days and sometimes up to an entire week or two.

But if you want something a bit smaller or easier to carry, Yeti also makes the Hopper — one of my favorite soft-sided coolers. 

But how exactly do they stack up when it comes to ice retention?

Yeti’s soft-sided Hopper Coolers are able to keep ice for 1-3 days, depending on the size of the cooler, how often it’s opened, and the conditions outside.

The M30 (being the largest cooler) keeps ice the longest when full and the smaller the cooler the less time it'll keep ice for. The Yeti DayTrip Lunch Bag (Yeti's smallest soft cooler) keeps ice for a maximum of 1 day.

Below are rough estimates for the ice retention of a few different Yeti Hoppers on a warm day, with your cooler in the shade (or covered by a light towel), and filled at least halfway with ice.

Yeti Soft CoolerIce Retention (Full of Ice)Ice Retention (50% Ice, 50% Stuff)
Yeti DayTrip Lunch Bag24 hours (1 day)6-12 hours (0.5 days)
Yeti DayTrip Lunch Box24 hours (1 day)6-12 hours (0.5 days)
Yeti Hopper Flip 824-36 hours (1-1.5 days)12-18 hours (0.5-0.75 days)
Yeti Hopper Flip 1224-48 hours (1-2 days)12-24 hours (0.5-1 days)
Yeti Hoper Flip 1836-60 hours (2-2.5 days)24-36 hours (1-1.5 days)
Yeti Hopper M20 Backpack Cooler36-60 hours (2-2.5 days)24-36 hours (1-1.5 days)
Yeti Hopper M30 Large Soft Coller60-84 hours (2.5-3.5 days)24-48 hours (1-2 days)

To maximize the ice retention of your Yeti Hopper, choose a larger cooler, start with a higher ratio of ice to drinks, and keep it out of direct sunlight whenever possible. 

If you don’t need to bring a massive hard cooler or don’t really want to lug one around, a Yeti Hopper could be the answer. 

Because their ice retention is more than enough to get through a full day, and sometimes up to three, my Yeti Hopper is my go-to for day trips and short weekend adventures. 

How Long Do Yeti Hopper Soft Coolers Keep Ice?

Even though a soft-sided Yeti Cooler won’t keep ice for nearly as long as a Yeti hard cooler (which is true for almost any soft cooler except maybe the Engel HD30), they still have some pretty solid ice retention.

While Yeti is pretty hush about giving exact numbers, in my experience you can expect a Yeti Hopper to keep ice for 1-3 days depending on the size and how much ice you use as well as how hot it is outside. 

The conditions outside, how often you open your cooler, and the size of your cooler all have a pretty big effect on exactly how long ice will last.

Yeti Hopper Flip ice after 48 hours

To maximize the life of the ice in your Hopper:

  • Keep your cooler out of direct sunlight (or at least covered by a light towel), especially if you have a dark cooler. Dark colors absorb more light energy, which in turn converts to heat.
  • Limit the number of times you open your cooler and close it quickly once opened. Whenever your cooler is open, cold air is allowed to escape and warm air to enter.
  • If you need more than a single day of ice retention, opt for a larger cooler and start with a higher ratio of ice to drinks. The more cold thermal mass in your cooler, the longer it’ll stay cold.
  • Adding a few ice packs to your Hopper, along with your ice, will actually help your cooler stay cold longer AND lower the temperature in your cooler. I’ve had good luck with Yeti ICE packs

How Are Yeti Soft Coolers Insulated?

The reason Yeti’s soft-sided Hopper Coolers are able to retain ice for so long is because of how well and how thoughtfully they’re insulated

A Hopper’s walls are made of more than an inch of closed-cell rubber foam, which is a lot thicker and much denser than the insulation found in most other soft coolers on the market.

Even the Yeti DayTrip lunch bag shown above has thick rubber foam which is denser than most other soft coolers.

Each wall is then covered in a layer of welded DryHide double-TPU, which is a super-dense material that’s able to prevent penetration of the sun's UV rays into your cooler, helping to further extend the life of your ice. 

Do Any Soft Coolers Keep Ice Longer Than A Yeti Hopper?

While Yeti hard coolers have been slightly outclassed in terms of ice retention over the years, their soft coolers still remain among the best on the market.

In fact, the only soft cooler I’ve found that offers better ice retention than the Hopper M30 is the Engel HD30, which maxes out around 78 hours vs the M30’s 72. See the full Engel HD30 vs Yeti Hopper comparison.

Engel HD30 - 32 Quart Heavy-Duty Soft Sided Cooler Bag

This is hands-down THE BEST soft sided cooler for ice retention. It'll keep ice for 3-4 days at a time with its patent pending vacuum valve technology. Features a waterproof inner lining and zipper and super strong 840-D nylon exterior that is scratch and puncture resistant.

Backed by a 1 year warranty and sold for an affordable price this is one of (if not THE) best soft cooler on the market.

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03/07/2024 05:32 am GMT

A few less expensive coolers also keep ice about as well as a Yeti Hopper and are worth considering if you want to save a few bucks. 

Click here to see my full list of the best soft coolers for ice retention.

The Polar Bear coolers have thicker insulation than Yeti coolers and thus can keep ice a bit longer than Yeti coolers.

Click here to read the full Polar Bear vs Yeti Hopper comparison.