The Yeti Hopper M30 is a reliable soft-sided cooler that keeps drinks cool all day, but it can be a struggle to access due to its strong magnetic closures.
The newer version of the M30 features “Magshield Access” so the top stays open, but the original versions of the M30 close unless you're actively holding them open. This can be a really pain in the butt when trying to load or get items out of your cooler. However, there are some clever hacks to easily keep your Yeti Hopper M30 open.
To keep your Yeti Hopper M30 open while loading or unloading push the sides together with both your knees or stick your hand and forearm in to prop it open. To keep it open hands (and knees) free either use 2 cans stacked on top of each other to prop the cooler open or makeshift a wooden stick or bucket ring to keep it open while loading.
While keeping the top open is one of the most frustrating aspects of this cooler for some people with a few simple hacks it's actually really easy to do.
This problem was so prevalent that Yeti actually went ahead and made a video showing some of the best tips. You can watch that below, but read on as we have even more tips that what Yeti offers in their video.
Don’t like using your arm to do the work? Learn multiple other techniques to keep the Yeti Hopper open and ready to go.
1. Use Your Elbow as a Prop
The most straightforward method to keep your new cooler open is by using your elbow as a prop. Open up the cooler and slide in your arm. Press your elbow to one side and your open palm to the other and the cooler will stay open.
While using this method, you must have your drinks and ice nearby so you can load with your other arm.
This method is great when you have nothing else to use or when you just want to grab something out of the cooler and can't be bothered setting up a stick or anything else to prop it open.
2. Squeeze The Outside with Your Knees
If you want both arms free, you can utilize your knees to keep your cooler from shutting itself. Position the soft-sided cooler so the sides are sitting between your open legs, touching the inside of your knees.
Open the cooler and then squeeze both sides of the cooler inwards using your legs. This will create a wide opening to easily load in ice, cans, and whatever else you have and the cooler won't be able to close itself.
This method also requires you to have whatever you wish to load nearby because you can’t move your legs away from the cooler once it’s open.
Again a great method of grabbing a few things out of the cooler. Whether it be giving drinks to friends or getting out all the snacks or food you need for tonight's dinner.
3. Push It Against Something Solid
Using the same idea as squeezing it between you knees instead of using 2 knees you can push one side against something stable like a cupboard or cooler and then use your leg to push the other side inwards.
Once open this will stop the cooler from closing and this technique you can do whilst standing, and it keeps both arms free.
4. Use 2 Cans To Prop It Open
If you’re loading canned drinks into the cooler, you can use them to form a wedge to keep the magnets from shutting the cooler. Stack two drinks on top of each other, turn them sideways, and wedge the drinks into the cooler opening to form a kind of stick.
With the cans holding things open, you can use both your hands to pour in ice, add more drinks and do whatever else you need to. When you’re ready to close the cooler add the two drinks inside, and it will shut itself.
You can also use a single long bottle as a prop or a thermos, shaker bottle, or any other long drink you have available. Even one can will work to prop the cooler open a bit, but 2 cans is wider and allows for easier access.
5. Get Someone To Help You
It takes 2 hands to open the Yeti Hopper M30 and sometimes the simplest solution is to simply get the help of someone.
You or they can hold open the cooler while the other person grabs whatever you need. Not the most convenient options, but if you have multiple people and someone to help this can work great.
6. Make a Bucket Ring
If you don’t want to purchase a special loading accessory, you can always make one. You’ll need a plastic five-gallon bucket to create this simple accessory.
Use a saw or another cutting tool to cut the top lip off the bucket. This lip is your ring accessory that will hold your cooler open. Use sandpaper to smooth the rough edges created on the underside of the lip.
Open the flaps of the Yeti Hopper and insert the hand-crafted ring to hold it open for easy access. With the ring in place, you can drop ice, drinks, food, and everything else into the center of the ring for simple loading.
This ring is lightweight, and it’s something you can keep with your cooler whenever you want to load or unload. Click here to see video instructions.
7. Invest in a Loading Stick Accessory
Instead of utilizing your elbow and arm to hold the cooler, you can also purchase a specialized stick to keep the cooler open. There are loading sticks sized perfectly to sit in the Hopper’s opening and hold it open. This loading stick at Amazon is affordable and made from high-quality materials. It's the one I recommended.
Pull the cooler top open and wedge the loading stick in position. Once the stick is locked in place, you can pour in ice and any drinks or food you want to keep cool.
8. Use a Small Plastic Garbage Can
Purchase a small plastic garbage can that’s slightly narrower than the opening of the Yeti Hopper. Cut away the bottom half of the garbage can using a utility knife to create a large, sturdy funnel for your cooler.
Sand down any rough edges on the garbage can to create a smooth accessory. Set the garbage can down into the opened Yeti Hopper to prop it open and create a loading funnel.
Add ice and accessories through the opening of the garbage can to fill it up. When you’re finished loading the cooler, pull out the can, and it will close itself.
9. Prop it with a Hard Ice Pack
Yeti offers a large ice pack that will help keep the hopper cold even without ice. Get one of these hard-shelled ice packs for your cooler to keep everything cold, and it will double as a loading prop.
Pull open the cooler opening and set your ice pack inside sideways to keep things open. A wide ice pack creates ample room to load the cooler. When everything is loaded, slide in the ice pack, and you can add less ice while keeping your cooler chilled.
You can check out my list of the best ice packs for coolers and take your pick from the variety that are there. But Yeti Ice Packs are great and fit perfectly in the Yeti Hopper coolers as well as the hard coolers.
10. Upgrade Your Yeti Hopper M30
The original Yeti Hopper M30 is great and you can read my review about it. But one of the major problems with the Yeti Hopper cooler is the fact that the lid doesn't stay open.
Yeti saw this feedback and actually redesigned the opening to the Yeti Hopper M30 and M20 coolers so now it comes with “Magshield Access”.
Once open the lid will now stay open so you can easily load items into it or get things out of it. Then with just a little push it'll easily close, just like before.
If you need an excuse to upgrade your cooler and buy a new one maybe this is it?
Yeti's largest soft cooler features extra large mouth that stays open when needs and closest with strong magnets creating a leak-proof seal when closed.
The cold cell foam keeps items cold for days and the ultra-tough DryHide Shell is puncture, scratch, mildew and UV resistant.
Now that you know how to keep the Yeti Hopper open with and without special accessories, you know all you need for simple and effective loading.
Choose your favorite propping method and stop struggling with your cooler. Many new buyers wonder how to keep the Yeti Hopper open, and now you know that it’s easier than you might think.
This rugged soft-sided cooler is challenging for some users to use, but with some practice, you’ll be opening and closing the cooler with minimal effort.
You could also consider making an accessory or purchasing something like the loading stick to help you fill your cooler. Now that you know how to keep the cooler open, spend time reviewing our Yeti Hopper cooler review to learn about its best features.