Is the Yeti Hopper worth it?
If you’ve been asking yourself this question, you aren’t alone. Yeti makes a mean soft sided cooler bag, but it’s time to put Yeti Hoppers to the test, which inspired our “Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative.”
There are so many quality coolers like Yeti Hopper out there, so we narrowed it down to the top five.
We’ll review factors such as durability and ice retention in these fierce Yeti Hopper competitors, providing you with side-by-side comparisons.
Engel Backpack Cooler vs Yeti Hopper
Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative Comparison #1
First on the list of comparisons is the Engel Backpack Cooler. In fact, it just might be the best cooler in this entire Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative.
Highlights of this Cooler Like Yeti:
- Tear-resistant 500-denier polyester diamond ripstop outer shell
- TPE coating for easy cleaning
- Liner of reflective foil inside (Increases ice retention time!)
- Water-repellant zipper
- Zippered side pocket
- 100% waterproof
- Stainless steel bottle opener
- Available in 23 quart size or 32 quart size
Engel Backpack Cooler vs Yeti Hopper Cooler: Three Important Similarities
What we love most is the Engel Backpack Cooler’s versatility. With an adjustable ergonomic shoulder strap, it can be worn as an over-the-shoulder strap bag or a backpack.
- The Yeti Hopper Two shares these factors, making it just as versatile as the Engel.
- Another way these soft coolers are both fantastic is their leak proof and ultra strong construction.
- And of course, there’s the obvious price factor. These are both expensive coolers!
Engel Backpack Cooler vs Yeti Hopper Cooler: Three Ways Engel Sets Itself Apart
However, Engel’s Yeti Hopper Alternative sets itself apart from the Yeti Hopper in two ways. First, it’s available in more colors. While you can purchase the Yeti Hopper in either Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue or Field Tan/Blaze Orange, you have 8 colors from which to choose an Engel Backpack Cooler.
Our favorite Engel Cooler patterns? The Realtree Xtra Camouflage and the Pink Out Camo Backpack.
Finally, the Engel Backpack Cooler has the advantage of an extra pocket included in the back. In contrast, you have to purchase a Yeti Sidekick if you want pockets for personal items.
2 Ways Yeti Wins in the Engel Backpack Cooler vs Yeti Hopper Comparison
Whereas a Yeti Hopper has a 3 year warranty, the Engel only comes with a 1 year warranty. Additionally, the Yeti Hopper is available in 6 sizes. (The Engel is only available in two sizes.)
AO Cooler vs Yeti Hopper
Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative Comparison #2
Another popular Yeti Hopper competitor is the AO Cooler 24 Pack Canvas Cooler. If you’re looking for a soft cooler to take to ball games, picnics, or the beach, this might be the soft cooler for you, as it’s best suited for short trips like these.
It keeps ice cold for up to twenty-four hours, which is definitely respectable.
The AO is easier to fill up than the Yeti Hopper, due to the supple material from which it’s made. It features a shoulder strap, carry handles, and an external pocket.
AO Cooler vs Yeti Hopper: Tips for Deciding If the AO is Right for You
The AO is user-friendly, as it’s easy to carry and can easily be folded up and tucked away when empty. However, it can be difficult to zip shut when it’s full, and if tipped over, it has the inclination to leak.
In terms of durability, the AO isn’t something to be used for extra long trips. The plastic on the straps may snap if the cooler is thrown around or stepped on. Also, the material isn’t as high quality as Yeti Hoppers.
Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative: Where Are You Headed?
In our opinion, the AO Cooler 24 Pack Canvas Cooler is a fabulous cooler like Yeti but cheaper – much, much cheaper.
Although we don’t recommend getting the AO if you’re tough on coolers or take trips into the back country, it’s great for other things. For example: picnics, overnight trips, or even just bringing lunch to your deer blind.
So, if you’re on the market for a simple soft cooler for relatively gentle day trips, this is the cooler for you.
It isn’t worth the thick stack of cash you’d shell out for a Yeti Hopper, if you don’t intend to take it on rough or lengthy trips.
Polar Bear Cooler vs Yeti Hopper
Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative Comparison #3
The Polar Bear 24 Pack is at least half the price of a Yeti Hopper 30!
Polar Bear Cooler vs Yeti Hopper: Comparison
This soft sided cooler is a little smaller than a Yeti Hopper 30. It can hold ice for 24+ hours. And unlike the Hopper, you can add custom embroidery to your Polar Bear Cooler.
Even after the Outdoor Gear Lab hauled the Polar Bear around from the back of a truck, it was still intact – it just looked well-loved and not as pretty as the Yeti after the same treatment.
Polar Bear 24’s Construction & Ease of Use
We love the ability to position the corners of the bag down so that it’s shaped like a cube, and therefore easier to pack.
Other great features of the Polar Bear soft cooler include:
- Adjustable pad on the shoulder cap
- Small outer pocket
- Bottle opener built into the zipper
Yeti Hoppers are Stronger and Colder – But Here’s Why That Isn’t a Dealbreaker
However, save yourself the cash and buy the Polar Bear, if you plan to use it for things like picnics or watching ball games.
Ice Mule vs Yeti Hopper
Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative Comparison #4
This soft cooler is much cheaper than a Yeti cooler, and it’s an incredible option.
The IceMule Pro Is Pretty Dang Convenient to Use
The IceMule Pro is easy to fill up and empty. The wide mouth roll top facilitates smooth sailing when putting ice and the stuff you want to keep cold in your cooler. A convenient feature is a screw vent air valve which allows you to expel excess air to minimize the size of the load.
We think the inclusion of “mule” in the name is fitting because this little cooler just won’t break down, even after being thrown around, carried and used for long hiking trips..
An IceMule Pro’s price tag is refreshingly low when compared to the price of a Yeti Hopper 30. For a more in depth review of the IceMule Pro, see The Best Backpack Cooler Reviews: Staff Favorites.
Orca Podster vs Yeti Hopper
Review of Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative Comparison #5
The Orca Podster is the best Yeti Hopper alternative, hands down. It’s ultra-durable and can hold ice for days.
These tough Orca Coolers are each about $100 cheaper than a Yeti Hopper. (Estimating.) Another advantage is that you can carry a Podster like it’s a backpack or you can carry it with a single shoulder strap.
While an Orca Podster isn’t cheap like the rest of the Yeti-like coolers reviewed, it’s only about two thirds the price of a Yeti Hopper.
In addition to the excellent quality, the Orca Podster has two major bonuses: First, this Yeti Hopper alternative brand is 100% American made.
Other notable features include:
- Molle-Webbing for Exterior Storage
- Backpack Shoulder Straps
- Water- and Leak- Proof Zipper
- Great Color Selection: Seafoam, Real Tree Camo, Green/Brown, and Coral/Grey
The Orca Podsters have a 3 year warranty, not the lifetime warranty we’ve come to expect from Orca.
Secondly, you have to purchase an extra Pod/Podster Shoulder Strap, whereas the Yeti Hopper already comes with a strap.
Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative
More Soft Coolers For Your Consideration
Yeti Hopper vs Yeti Hopper Alternative
Where to Go From Here
As you can see, there are plenty of options. For picnics and casual use, we recommend the Polar Bear Cooler or the AO Cooler. But for intense usage, the Orca Podster or the Yeti Hopper are your best bets.
So, where should you go from here? Grab those discounts and purchase one of the coolers from above or, if you want to see more options, check out the articles listed below about other high quality soft coolers and even some Yeti Hopper Knock Offs. Happy Trails!