The Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 is a backpack cooler, similar to the Otterbox Trooper we reviewed a while back. There are some significant differences between the two and it’s also not your ordinary Yeti Hopper, either.
- Excellent design if you intend to carry in any kind of distance
- Excellent ice retention
- Narrow profile isn’t ideal for keeping your catch on ice
- Price is higher for the capacity than the competition
- Dryhide Shell: Waterproof and resists mildew, punctures, and UV rays.
- Coldcell Insulation: Made from closed-cell rubber foam, the insulation is superior to standard soft coolers.
- HydroLok Zipper: Keeps the cooler sealed watertight.
- Wide Mouth Opening: The unzips around the full outside of the top and flips open to give you access just as wide as removing the top completely.
- Hitchpoint Grid: MOLLE style strap point to clip just about anything you like, along with a couple of specific Yeti accessories like the Sidekick Dry.
Using the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24
Every chance I get to escape to the water, I take. That usually means the weekend, but I get to call it a day early during the week from time to time and head out to Tampa Bay to chase tarpon, redfish, snook, and trout.
My wife enjoys the outdoors as well, so we’re usually in our tandem kayak. That means space is at a premium. The Backflip takes up a smaller amount of deck space compared to other coolers with similar volume. That’s definitely a plus.
The trade-off is that you’re not going to lay any but the smallest of keepers out flat. By the time we get back to the ramp, our future blackened redfish has to be pressed out flat again before filleting it.
Getting Back to Good
The fishy trade-off is one I’m willing to make thanks to the other benefits you get from it. The backpack design is definitely superior to Otterbox’. It’s taller, narrower profile fits against my back more naturally and the straps offer enough cushion to be genuinely comfortable.
I don’t have a desire to hike any cooler five miles into the backcountry – I want hip straps and a hiking backpack fit to do that. Still, Yeti’s design is an upgrade to the other premium cooler backpacks I’ve seen and used. If your backpacking plans include hiking in a cooler, this is the one I would want on my back.
That’s not typically a concern for my fishing needs. Being able to have the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 on my back while we carry the kayak down to the water or just from parking to the boat ramp when we’re in the boat is a blessing.
But fishing doesn’t always involve a boat. The Backflip is a solid bet for fly fishing in the river. Lunch, drinks, and your catch go in the cooler, leaving your hands free to fish and hike.
About That Hitchpoint Grid
What seals the deal for this model is the Hitchpoint Grid. I use the Backflip in tandem with the Sidekick Dry to give my phone, wallet, and other water-unfriendly items dry without keeping track of yet another piece of gear.
When your fly fishing plans call for hiking in or down the river, you can strap your fly box and extra gear to it as well.
Ice retention is always a tough one to call since temperature conditions vary so widely throughout the year. With an average temperature of 78°, I started with 20 pounds of ice and checked it once a day to see how long it would last.
3 days. Take any ice retention test with a grain of salt. What you actually get will depend on temperature, humidity, what all you put in the cooler and how many times you open it.
Price and Value
Premium pricing is no surprise with Yeti and the Backflip 24 will set you back $300 with its 21-quart capacity. If you like the idea of some extra dry storage, add another $50 for the Sidekick Dry (I highly recommend going that route). That pricing is about $50 more than the 20-quart Otterbox and the same price as their 30-quart Trooper.
Orca also has a backpack cooler that starts at the $200 mark. Their baseline model is pretty solid, but it’s a 14.25-quart size, so you’ll lose some capacity. Their Realtree Max 5 takes things up a notch with a 28.5-quart capacity, more substantial strapping, and a $270 price tag.
Yeti costs more for the capacity than Otterbox and Orca. The other two are no slouches, but I like the Backflip’s design better when I need to carry it for any real distance.
The Bottom Line
Yeti makes a solid product and the Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 is the most hike in-friendly model I’ve used so far. It’s also a big win if you’re looking for something that’s going to take up less deck space on your boat or kayak.
Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Backpack Cooler Specifications
- Outside Dimensions: 19-1/8″ x 13-3/4″ x 8-1/2″
- Inside Dimensions: 15″ x 12-5/8″ x 6-1/2″
- Capacity: 21 quarts, 20 cans of beer, 25 pounds of ice (ice only)
- Empty Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Price: $299.99