Yeti Hopper Flip vs Yeti Roadie: Which Is The Better Cooler For You?

Recently my work colleague was looking to buy his brother a cooler for his birthday and was debating between whether to get him a soft sided Yeti Hopper Flip or a hard sided Yeti Roadie cooler.

So I wanted to do a write up on the pros and cons of each type of cooler to help you choose for yourself which cooler will be better suited to you.

The Yeti Hopper Flip coolers are much smaller and more portable than the Yeti Roadie. They are great for day trips or for work lunches with some ice bricks. The downside is they don’t keep ice as long and long term they are harder to keep clean.

Both the Hopper Flip and the Roadie are great coolers so really what it comes down to is what will you be using the cooler for and which version is better suited to your needs.

So let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each of them to help you decide on which cooler is going to be best for you.

Yeti Roadie:

Yeti Hopper Flip 8:

Yeti Hopper Flip 12:

Yeti Hopper Flip 18:

Small vs Large

Size, as well as portability, will likely be the main deciding factors for which cooler you choose.

The Yeti Hopper Flip coolers are much smaller than the Roadie and so they are much better suited to people who will be using the cooler just for themselves.

Take my friend’s brother for example. He is a tradie (Australian for carpenter, plumber or electrician) and he is looking for a good quality cooler to take his lunch to job sites each day.

He’ll likely be using ice packs and only be looking to keep his lunch and his water bottle cold each day. In the hot Australian sun a cheaper insulated lunch box just won’t cut it and the Yeti DayTrip Lunchbag won’t be quite enough.

But at the same time the Yeti Roadie will be too big. Given he will only be using a couple of ice packs the cooler would be mostly empty, which makes it harder to keep your lunch cool.

In the end he opted for the smallest Yeti Flip 8 as it was big enough for what he needed but not too big.

If, on the other hand, you’ll be looking to store more than just lunch for the day then a Hopper Flip may be too small.

Maybe you want to store food and drinks for a weekend away camping by yourself. Or a day trip down to the beach with the family and you need the space where you can fit everyone’s lunch and drinks in plus enough ice to keep everything cold for the day.

Hopper Flip

  • Best for personal day use
  • Small quantities of food/drink
  • Works great with ice packs only
  • Keep items cold for 1-2 days


  • Large enough for multiple people
  • Food for a weekend away
  • Drinks for a backyard party
  • Mostly used with loose ice
  • Keeps items cold for 2-4 days


Another factor to consider is portability. Obviously the smaller an item is the more portable it is but there are other design features that affect the portability of the coolers.

How much a cooler weighs can also be a big factor into how portable the cooler is.

Hopper Flip – Light and Easy To Carry

The Hopper Flips weigh between 2.8 lbs for the smallest version and 5.3 lbs for the largest version.

It has a handle on the lid for single hand carrying or it has an extendable shoulder strap making it very easy to bring with you. Your hands are freed up to carry other things while your cooler hangs over your shoulder.

The Hopper Flip isn’t really designed to stay in your car, it’s designed to be light and portable so you can bring it with you.

Roadie – Heavy and Mostly Stationary

The Roadie is much heavier than the Hopper Flip. While the Hopper Flip is roughly between 3-5 lbs the Roadie comes in at a whopping 15 lbs.

It also doesn’t have a shoulder strap for easy carrying, but instead has a thick and strong pull up metal handle for carrying one handed or molded in side handles for carrying with 2 hands.

When fully loaded it can be quite heavy and difficult to carry long distances.

While the Roadie is more portable than Yeti’s larger coolers it’s designed to stay mainly stationary and just be moved between one area to the next.

Hopper Flip

  • Weighs between 2.8-5.3 lbs
  • Shoulder strap and handle for easy carrying
  • Made to be portable and move with you


  • Weighs 15 lbs
  • Metal handle or side handles for carrying
  • Made to be mostly stationary

Flexibility of Uses

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule in business in that 80% of the profits come from 20% of the products or 20% of the customers or 20% of the work.

When it comes to your cooler the 80/20 rule will likely apply in that 80% of the time you’ll be using your cooler for one main tasks and 20% (or less) of the time you’ll want to use it for something else.

Take my friend’s brother for example. Most of the time he’ll be using it for his work lunch but sometimes he’ll want to take drinks over to a friends barbecue or he’ll want a cooler to take to the beach or to go away with his partner for the weekend.

There are two ways to approach this:

The One Cooler Fits Most Approach

One strategy is to buy a cooler that does your 80% well enough and gives you flexibility for the other uses you might have for it.

While a Roadie might be a bit big for your lunch and a drink it can still do that job good enough and gives you the flexibility for weekends away etc.

So you buy a cooler that isn’t perfect for the 80% but it can do almost everything you need a cooler to do. That way you only buy 1.

If that’s you you’ll want either the Hopper Flip 18 or the Roadie.

Yeti Hopper Flip 18:

Yeti Roadie:

Have The Right Cooler For Each Job

Rather than having a “one cooler fits all” approach you instead get multiple coolers that are perfect for the job.

A Yeti Hopper Flip 8 might be the perfect cooler for your daily lunch without compromise and you may want to get the larger Yeti 45 or Yeti 65 for those camping trips or weekends away.

Yeti Hopper Flip 8:

Yeti Tundra 45:

Yeti Tundra 65:

Ice Retention

Yeti soft sided coolers use a lighter and thinner insulation that the Yeti hard sided coolers.

This means the Yeti Hopper Flip coolers can keep ice for about 1-3 days depending on what size Hopper Flip you choose while the Yeti Roadie can keep ice for 2 days easily and even up to 5 days with the right ice retention preparation and conditions.

So if you only need to keep ice for a short period of time then the soft sided coolers will be suitable for you. If you’re looking for longer ice retention and that’s important to you then you’re better off going for the hard sided Yeti Roadie which has 1.5-2 inches on insulation in the walls and lid.


Price will likely play an important role into what cooler you ultimately buy. You would assume that a smaller cooler = a cheaper price but that isn’t necessarily the case.

The Yeti Roadie, which is larger than all the soft sided coolers, is actually a similar price to the smallest Yeti Hopper Flip 8.

The Hopper Flip 12 and Hopper Flip 18 are actually more expensive than the larger Roadie.

This may have to do with manufacturing costs and how expensive it is to make the soft sided coolers vs hard sided coolers.

Below you can see a comparison between soft sided and hard sided coolers.

Hopper Flip

Yeti Hopper Flip 8:

Yeti Hopper Flip 12:

Yeti Hopper Flip 18:


Yeti Roadie:

Durability and Cleanliness

The Yeti hard sided coolers are made from a thick roto-molded plastic and hard-set insulation which adds further strength to it. They are extremely durable and will likely last you a lifetime.

I’ve had my Yeti hard sided cooler for over 3 years now and apart from some minor scuffs and scratches it is basically identical to the day I bought it.

The Yeti soft sided coolers are not quite as tough and durable. They are made with an 840-denier nylon which is water resistant as well as resistant to scratches and punctures, but it’s never going to be as strong as the hard sided versions.

When it comes to cleaning your coolers also the hard sided coolers are completely smooth and very easily to clean. The soft sided coolers have more crevices, stitching, zippers and other little spots that food residue can get caught. So overall it’s harder to keep clean in the long term.


Yeti Hopper Flip

  • Less durable
  • Harder to keep clean longer term
  • 3-year warranty

Yeti Roadie

  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to keep clean
  • 5-year warranty

Color Options

The Yeti Roadie offers more color options when compared to the Yeti Hopper Flip.

Yet soft sided coolers have approximately 3-4 different color options whereas the Yeti Roadie has about 8-10 color options ranging from basic white to pink or bright blue.

Yeti do limited release colors for both their hard and soft sided coolers. So depending on when you buy will depend on what color options are available to you. However, Amazon often stocks even older colors so you have more options to choose from.

I did a full write up on every Yeti cooler color option if you want to see all the colors or click my Amazon affiliate links below to see what colors are currently available.

See Yeti Hopper Flip color options at Amazon

See Yeti Roadie color options at Amazon

Yeti Hopper Flip vs Yeti Roadie: Which One Will You Buy?

As you can see there are some pros and cons to the Hopper Flip vs the Yeti Roadie and which cooler is best for you will depend on your circumstances, what you’ll be using it for and what you value in a cooler.

Yeti Hopper Flip

  • Smaller size
  • Lighter
  • More portable
  • Great for lunches
  • 3-4 color options
  • Holds ice 1-3 days
  • More expensive

Yeti Hopper Flip 8:

Yeti Hopper Flip 12:

Yeti Hopper Flip 18:

Yeti Roadie

  • Larger size
  • Heavier
  • For mostly stationary use
  • Great for larger quantities of food/drink
  • 8-10 color options
  • Holds ice 3-5 days
  • Less expensive

Yeti Roadie: