YETI ditched the zipper and I’m here for it.

By Katie Macdonald
September 21, 2019
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Yeti

Honestly, I became a YETI stan years ago, when I discovered fully frozen ice cubes in my Rambler bottle after it spent hours in a parked car in the dead of a south Louisiana summer. (Yes, it kept my coffee piping hot when I battled New York winters, too.)

And I’m not alone. The Austin-based company has essentially redefined what we expect from insulated containers and has attracted a die-hard fan base to show for it. Its O.G. Tundra Cooler, which keeps ice and drinks cool all day (and night) long with 3 inches of Permafrost insulation, was the top pick in our rigorous cooler test. And the brand’s selection of drinkware and soft coolers continually dominates Amazon’s best-seller lists, with customers raving about the products’ sturdiness and dependability.

So, when I was offered the chance to try out YETI’s brand-new Hopper M30, you could say I was excited.

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The third iteration in its beloved soft-sided Hopper line, the M30 features a show-stopping development: no zipper. Instead, its HydroShield closure (which you might recognize from YETI’s  sidekick dry bag) uses powerful magnets to create a leak-resistant seal. Plus, the zipper-free design means the bag has an extra wide opening perfect for quick and easy access. (But for extra insurance against unexpected openings, it has a pair of quick-release buckles across the closure.)

Like previous Hoppers, the bag has a tough, mildew-resistant exterior, as well as a closed-cell foam insulation to keep drinks frosty. And speaking of drinks, the M30 holds 20 of them in can-form or up to 28 pounds of just ice. It also comes in three classic YETI colors: River Green, Charcoal, and Navy.

Amazon

To buy: $300; amazon.com

To put the bag through its paces, I brought it along on a family vacation in Florida. Every day we went out to the beach, we’d load the cooler up with waters, sandwiches, and adult beverages, and test it in 98 degrees of pure humidity. Spoiler: It didn’t disappoint.

Unsurprisingly, the M30 excelled in keeping its contents cold from sunup to sundown. Despite opening and closing multiple times to grab sustenance throughout the day, I noticed minimal melting inside and absolutely no sweating on the exterior. The cooler even kept drinks we didn’t finish chilled overnight, meaning we didn’t add new ice until day three of our trip.

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As for the magnetic closure, YETI isn’t messing around. The magnets are super strong — so much so I actually found it slightly challenging to open and close the top with one hand. Using both hands wasn’t an inconvenience, though, and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about the cooler opening when I was carrying it on and off the beach. (Also, a beach chair attendant who couldn’t help but check out the cooler observed another benefit: no more zippers getting busted by sand.)

Priced at $300, the M30 is an investment. But, overall, the bag delivers on YETI’s insulated reputation while also introducing an innovative way to open and close your cooler. It was perfect for my beach vacation and would also shine on road trips, at tailgating parties, or even for apple picking adventures as we venture into fall. Whether you’re a die-hard YETI fan like me or are new to the brand, the Hopper M30 is sure to impress.

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