YETI Hopper vs Roadie – YETI Hard VS Soft Cooler

Everybody has different needs and different plans. As a result, a product that might call your name may not call your friends. To solve this problem, there arevarious models of the same product. You can pick and choose whichever product you will use the most.

This will also be the case when you go shopping for portable coolers. Your big question might be whether to buy soft or hard coolers. So, among YETI Hopper vs. Roadie, which one should you go for? Because each of these products has distinct features and will cater to different needs.

Hence, a wise decision would be to know about the ins and out of the product and the brand before you make a pick.

Quick Comparison

YETI Soft and Hard Coolers

The brand has a diverse line of coolers, and they kept every customer in mind while designing these. Hence, they manufacture two distinct kinds of coolers known as soft and hard. They also have small storage units and water bottles for added convenience.

Soft coolers have a range of capacity they can carry, and it extends up to 30 pounds or more. Meaning, they can store as easily as a hard cooler, but the outer exterior is less secure and hard. However, that makes the product lightweight and easy to carry. Thus, a soft cooler is more portable.

On the other hand, there are hard cooler series such as the Tundra and Roadie. They are so strong and bear-proof. Besides, the storage of these units is more accessible, and when securely attached, no one will be able to steel these units. Likewise, the hard coolers are more protected and sturdy for harsh weather.

Yeti Hopper vs Roadie

If we want an ultimate showdown between the Yeti Roadie vs. Hopper, you should know the exact specifications of these products to conclude. This is why we will discuss the distinct features of each product.

Outer Exterior

The backflip line is a distant cousin of the original Hopper series and has similar yet enhanced features. The Hopper Flip cooler is also deemed as a portable cooler, and it has a zipper that runs across the top surface. This allows the user to open the lid completely. The zipper is airtight and waterproof and 100% leak proof.

Accordingly, the backflip 18 also has a super-strong exterior that is budge-proof. The outer surface provides an extra layer of insulation to the ice. The covering is about an inch thick on each side, and the bottom and top portions are 1.5 inches. This is enough to prevent the internal structure from getting damaged.

Another evolved version of the backflip is the 24 backpack. This is an amazing product as it can double up as a backpack too. The cooler features are still present on the backpack, but it becomes easier to carry the cooler around.

However, the covering on the bag pack is not like a regular backpack. It is made of dry hide shell which is FDA approved and food-grade safe. Even UV rays cannot penetrate through this layer.

You can latch this backpack to a boat, and it will not get punctured from any sharp objects, let alone get crushed. The Flip 24 also has hydro lock zipper like the original series, and it opens wide. It is dense yet comfortable covering which will protect the ice from melting.

Yeti Roadie 20 is on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to a portable cooler. It can still deliver, but it is a hard cooler. This only means the exterior is made out of solid object instead of dense fabric. As Yeti likes to call it, the robot molded construction makes the Roadie bear-proof.

So, in the unlikely event that a bear shows up during camping, your Roadie will be scratch-free. It has a 2-inch of massive walls on each side and a lid with freezer quality. It blocks the heat from entering the cooler and stops the exchange of energy. The lid and the cooler fit perfectly, thanks to the ingenious interlock system.

Moreover, heavy-duty rubber latches known as the t-rex latches hold the lid and the cooler together. There are two t-rex latches placed side by side, and it creates a barrier for the coolness which cannot escape.


The whole idea of this product is that they can be portable and can be carried easily anywhere at any time. All the Yeti products deliver in this field provide maximum life to the ice with the help of any electricity or power generation. As a result, these coolers become uniquely portable.

Likewise, Flip 18 has a rectangular shape to it and zippers on the top that go all the way around. There are hand handles as well as D shaped hoops on each side. You can attach a shoulder belt or hook the cooler to the boat using the hoops. The handles on each side also have rubber padding to provide better grip.

There are four hitch points on either side of the cooler that make space for attaching accessories such as the Yeti sidekick or the molle bottle opener. The Flip 18 is compact and can hold up to 18 pounds of ice. This means enough beers for you and your friends.

Accordingly, the Yeti Flip 18 is 15.6 inches long and weighs about 5.1 pounds. You can open the zipper and place the bag upside down to drain the water. The Flip bag pack 24 means it can hold 24 pounds of ice plus it is more portable as it can be carried like a bag.

The bag is taller than a Flip 18 and has handles at the back which can be used to carry it on the shoulders. The shoulder flaps also have latches that can be hooked around the body for a more secure attachment. Like other soft coolers, the Flip 24 also has multiple carrying options which include two handheld handles on either side.

Besides, this model also has strong hitch points on either side, but there are 10 in total. This means the 24 can carry more accessories if the user wants. It is incredibly comfortable to carry.

Despite the weight, it can put on after storing multiple bottles of beers and ice because of the shoulder handles. It is about 12 inches in length and 7.4 pounds of weight. With this capacity, it can hold 20 beer cans easily.

Among the hard coolers, the Roadie 20 is very versatile. It is a hard cooler, you cannot carry it as a backpack or by hand. However, it has hooks and latches that make it easy to carry. The lip grip handles on either side helps the user to move the container around. Since the cooler is box-shaped, it has a proper angle to be carried around.

Similarly, there is a big metal handle that is attached to the cooler and can be pushed back to the sides. It gets locked in the middle when clicked. Hence, the user will not have to carry a box that wobbles. The handle is solid too and will not break off.

The cooler can be attached to the boat using the lip grip, and the rubber padding at the bottom of the box prevents the cooler from slipping and sliding. It is known as the bear foot mechanism. The length of this product is 19 inches and weighs 15 lbs. This can hold about 20 pounds of ice.

Insulation Capacity

The cooling system of these coolers depends a lot on the insulation mechanism. The hard and soft coolers don't have much difference in this field. Regardless the system is top-notch, almost all the coolers can last for more than 24 hours straight.

Accordingly, Flip 18, which is one of the products from the Hopper series, has a cold cell insulation system which can store ice for more than 48 hours. The inside of the cooler is lined with food-grade rubber and polymer which is also anti-microbial. This means the food will not get fungus attacks.

It has rubber padding as a heat capturing device which keeps the ice from melting. It is a container, but the exterior is made of dense fabric that offers protection from any kind of external elements. No punctures, mildew or UV rays can get through this.

You can ride through the scorching heat without worrying about any damage to your cooler. The FDA approved liner is something you can rely on.

The Backflip 24, similar to the Flip 18, offers state-of-the-art cooling. The insulation on this model can retain ice for two to three days. Its closed-cell rubber foam enables maximum heat retention. You can be sure that the food inside stays completely healthy as well. Thanks to the anti-microbial rubber and polymer; similar to the Flip 18.

Accordingly, the resilient exterior fabric holds a rubber-padded inside. This further retains the cold for the maximum effect. After a certain point, the ice will melt. You can easily discard the remains by flipping over soft coolers and leaving it to dry.

Roadie 20, on the other hand, takes insulation to a whole new ball game. The 2-inch thick walls know how to keep the cold inside and never let go. This is enhanced by its innovative permafrost insulation technology.

It employs commercial grade foam attached to the wall and lid. These are pressure injected to prevent any of the colds from escaping. You can store ice for three to five days. Once they eventually melt, you can take off an openable cork to let the water automatically drain out.


Soft coolers and hard coolers like the Hopper and Roadie are tailored to suit different applications. Both might be interchangeably used, but that causes inconvenience. So naturally, they are used for their own purposes.

Flip 18 is excellent for its incredible portability. It was made for people who want to go on trips and still enjoy a cold drink. The design alludes to this fact. To enhance its portability, it allows itself to store around 20 cans. As a result, it sacrifices its storage facilities.

However, Flip 18 has no separate compartments. Flip 24 also suffers from the same issue. Without different compartments, you cannot store certain types of food together. For example, if you were to store beer and sandwiches together, the food would get wet and stale.

Thankfully, YETI understands this issue. As such, you can buy these compartments. But unfortunately, they have to be bought separately.

The roadie 20 comes built with these compartments. These are used for long travels. That is why they have such a high cold retention capability. They can store a variety of items without interfering with each other.

Likewise, its high level of cold retention decreases its storage capacity. Unlike the soft coolers, it can hold up to 14 cans. That is enough for its solitary long journey usage.

Should You Buy a YETI?

When it comes down to coolers, it's hard to find a brand as good as YETI. Whichever of their models you choose is up to you. In case you prefer heavy-duty use, go for the Roadie. For portability, go for the Flip 18 and 24. We can argue about YETI Hopper vs. Roadie all day.

Therefore, whatever you buy, you will get your monies worth.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can you drain water from the soft coolers?

The soft coolers have zipper system which opens partially or fully. Simply, tip over the cooler upside down to drain the water and keep it in that position till it dries off

Is perma frost system more effective?

Depending on personal preference one will prefer perma frost over cold cell insulation but both are effective

Are D locks available in hard coolers?

D locks are unavailable in hard coolers buy they have special knots on each side to tie the product down to a boat or any secure place

Will the rubber inside the cooler deteriorate the food?

The inside of the cooler is FDA food grade approved and is anti microbes, it will not only keep the food cold but also protect the food from fungus attacks

Are the hitch points any good?

They are helpful as they allow the user to attach different accessories

Are there separate compartments in the soft coolers?

The soft coolers do not have separate compartments for different kind of food but there are accessories which can act as a compartment

Can the hard coolers endure rough weather like hail storm?

The hard coolers are bear proof so it can endure rough weather like heavy snow and hail storms


Now that you know everything that is to know about these coolers, you can finally make a choice. The YETI Hopper vs. Roadie debate does not matter. They are both excellent choices. So, it is up to you to choose the one you need the most and enjoy a nice cool trip.

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