Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Cooler Review

"Your New Outdoor Buddy"

Every now and then I get a product in my hands that is everything I could have ever imagined and more. The Yeti Hopper Flip which came out last month is that product. I have taken this thing every day to the Fire Academy as my personal lunch cooler and to a few trips up in the mountains of Colorado, it has done nothing but continue to impress the hell out of me.  

Yeti is the Rolls-Royce of outdoor coolers and is the go to for anyone serious enough about keeping their food/drinks cold as can be while being able to last a lifetime and look damn good doing it. The Hopper Flip hit the shelves last August and has been a hit since. I was able to get my hands on one for testing after seeing it in person at Outdoor Retailer. 

If you have ever owned or dreamed of owning a Yeti Cooler you know they are not cheap by any means. The Flip follows this same principle coming in at $279.99.  I will go further into detail about the price and my ideas on whether or not the Flip is worth it later on. The Flip is Yeti's first real "personal" cooler at only 3lbs and measuring just over 11" x 12". 

"Perfect Size for the Day"

The Yeti to me is the perfect size for a day cooler or a personal lunch cooler. It fits my lunch at the Academy with ease and plenty of room to spare. I did put it to the test to see how many beers the Flip could hold and it stayed true to the 12 listed on the Yeti site. Yeti was nice enough to throw in their Flip-sized Ice pack which I put on the bottom of the beers and lay them down to pack in tight with some room to spare for ice on top if you wanted. The beers stayed ice cold the entire day only with the ice pack which is amazing. The ability to only throw a small ice pack in the bottom of the cooler and be able to keep everything on top without ice in between and getting all your food wet is great. 

"Cold As Ice"

To build on that, I decided to do a test with only the ice pack I was sent from Yeti and the beers. Over a 24 hour period, the Temperature in the beers only raised 3 degrees F while sitting outside on my back porch. Any cooler that can hold a temp like that is a winner in my book. 

Not only does the Flip keep things extremely cold, it looks great while doing it. On the back of the Yeti, there is a 2x3 Velcro patch to throw all of your hard earned morale patches or even a name patch. On either side of the Logo or Velcro patch, there are two rows of mollee style webbing which allow you to attach anything you want. On mine, I decided to throw on a Black Diamond Caribeaner for some looks and a possible attachment point for keys or whatever else. Yeti also sells a bottle opener which can be attached easily to the mollee which is a great idea and way to always have one near your booze box.   

"Shoulder Strap To Match The Cooler"

Each side of the Flip is paired with side grab handles and an attachment point for the included shoulder strap. The side handles are a great option if one does not want to use the strap or needs a quick way to grab the cooler and go. The shoulder strap on the Flip matches the same build quality as the cooler itself. I hate seeing a quality built duffle only to be greeted with a half-ass shoulder strap, which is honestly, a huge part of any bag or cooler you are going to be carrying from place to place like I will with the Flip. The shoulder strap is built from the same material as the cooler itself their "Dryhide Shell" on the outside of the strap and a very soft and comfortable neoprene on the inside. The shoulder strap made carrying the cooler packed with 12 beers much easier. 

"Element-Proof HydroLok Zipper"

Above each side handle runs the patented Yeti HydroLok Zippe. The HydroLok is by far the largest and most secure zipper I have ever used here at RMK and for a god reason. Obviously, a major difference with the Hopper line of coolers compared to the normal hard-sided coolers most people are used to is the zipper on the top. In order to keep everything on the inside of the cooler, you need to have a bombproof zipper that not only keeps the cold in but keeps the water out. I did a quick test up in the Blue River in Dillon Colorado to see how the zipper held up with our lunch inside. The cooler as one would probably guess floats so I had to jump on top of the cooler which helped check off two tests instead of one, however, we will get to that later. After pulling the cooler out of the rocks and water I opened it up to not one drop of water. The HydroLok zipper is the real deal when it comes to a zipper that will no matter what keep your drinks cold and the elements out of the Flip. Below I am going to show mulitple pictures of the HydroLok  (I'd love to run these guys on some of my packs)

While testing the Yeti I was trying to find something I did not like or would change about the cooler. The only thing I found which is really not a big deal but I thought I would mention is when the lid of the cooler is opened and pulled back it will not stay in the open position but swing back shut. I didn't find this to be too big of a problem but it did make grabbing things out with only one hand a little bit harder. It is nice in the way too that you won't ever have to worry about leaving the lid of the Flip open!

As mentioned above the Flip while getting submerged was also able to stand tall while support my 200lbs frame, for a soft sided cooler I feel that this only shows the type of build quality by Yeti on the Flip. This section of the review is where I feel the $279 price tag gets completely justified. Will the Flip keep your drinks cold? Yes. Is the Flip the same size as other personal coolers on the market? Yes. Do other coolers have handles and shoulder straps just like the Flip? Yes. Could you throw other coolers off of mountains and down a river like the Flip? No. 

The Flip is my first Yeti as stated at the start of this review and it will not be my last. It is truly amazing the type of build quality Yeti has built themselves on and you can feel it firsthand with the Flip. The DryHide Shell that the Flip has on the outside is literally as tough as nails, it is scratch-proof and puncture resistant. Throughout my testing, I would slam the cooler down, kick it over, and walk over it. All while the Flip holds on to over 10lbs of beer. Never once did I feel like I damaged the cooler or was worried about what I had on the inside. The soft sided nature of the Flip also acts as a padding layer for the goods inside. 

+

  • It's a Yeti
  • Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Side Handles
  • Velcro patch and Mollee webbing for Attachments
  • Will keep cold for 24+ Hours
  • Water and Element Proof
  • Crush, Puncture, and Scratch Proof
  • Looks Great

-

  • $$$
  • Does not stay open when lid is pulled back

Could you get by with buying a $50 cooler from Walmart? Yes, without a doubt. You just have to ask yourself how many of those $50 coolers will you have to purchase over the years. After testing and getting to experience the Flip for myself I have no doubt that this cooler is worth the $279 price tag. Yes, it is a lot of money for just a cooler but if you use it enough it is well worth it. Each Yeti comes with a 3-year warranty in case you feed the cooler to a walrus or something, but other than that I doubt you will need it. The Yeti Flip will be coming on every adventure I need to keep a few drinks or a lunch cold on here at RMK Outdoors. I will be trying to get my hands on the bigger Hopper 40 for longer trips like camping or hunting at the cabin in Wisconsin. 

 

 

GoRuck 15L Bullet Ruck

I was lucky enough to have purchased my first Goruck hydration bullet about a month ago at the Denver Colorado GoRuck Kill That 5K. It paid off getting to the “Beer and Gear” early to get my hands on this 15L and also the 10L Coyote, which I will be doing on review on later. I got this ruck for $90 which is a little under retail at $120 on the GoRuck website. 

The first thing I noticed about this ruck was that the material felt a lot “thinner” then that of my GR1 or even the Coyote 10L I had bought. This is because the newer hydration rucks are being made of the 500D Cordura instead of the normal 1000D Cordura, which the GR series of rucks is made out of. At first this made me uneasy and feel that I was not getting the normal quality that I had come to except from GoRuck, however this was not the case at all. After a few days with the 15L I learned why the company had decided to change the material it is made of. I used this pack mainly as a hydration bladder pack and extra gear backpack for my biking trips and for my hiking/climbing adventures while I was back in my home-state of Colorado. The pack was noticeability lighter then even the 10L Bullet I bought that had the 1000D Cordura construction. Anyone who bikes/climbs or uses a smaller backpack for any action adventure activity knows that the lighter the pack means more endurance and less effort. I had always been looking for light packs to bike with but they always came with the compromise of quality and reliability I could count on. On the other hand, anyone who knows the GoRuck company knows that their products and quality that their products are built to is second to none. Having this mix of lightweight 500D Cordura and toughness and water resistant Cordura felt like the perfect combination. Cordura aside, the ruck also comes with the same kickass YKK zippers, 2x3 velcro patch, and padded straps that are featured on the higher end GoRuck packs. 

As I said before, I used this ruck mostly while biking throughout Colorado. The lightweight but sturdy construction of the pack made it feel like I had nothing on my back. In the main compartment on my excursions I would bring along a rain jacket, pelican case for my phone and wallet, a bike case storing tire patches and other simple things. Then my Lowepro GoPro case/GR1 Field pocket for my Sony A3000. Everything fit perfectly and still the bag had a slim profile when on my back. 

 On the inside of the front panel, like every other GoRuck bag there is two zipper pockets. The larger of the two is mesh and on the bottom. This pocket is very handy for anything you want separate from the main compartment that you may need to see or quickly grab while on the trail. The top pocket is perfect for smaller items like gum or snacks.

On the front of the bag there is a horizontal zipper pocket that reaches the bottom of the ruck. This compartment is where I would leave smaller and thinner objects during my rides. Keys, headphones, and my knife.

The last pocket of this bag is the hydration pocket for the bladder. On this ride I only brought along my 2L Camelback bladder and it slide right in without any problems. I had also used my 3L Osprey bladder in this pack and that too fit perfectly. The back of the bag has enough padding to support the bladder and keep it upright but not too much so that the bag feels bulky. 

 

On the front of the bag as like most GoRuck products there are four rows of Mollee webbing. I not only love the look this addition gives GoRucks bags but it can be used to attach multiple other “pockets” GoRuck sells and pictured below can be used as a great way to attach a helmet or anything else you can think of. 

Now I know that most of these packs are used for rucking but this was just a quick review to show the different ways one could use the 15L Bullet. Below is a picture of six duct taped bricks in the main compartment of the 15L Bullet. I use this pack on light rucks when I don't feel like lugging around my GR1. I can fit the six bricks in the main comparment and a 20 pound GoRuck weight in the hydration compartment to give me some pretty decent weight in such a small pack.


    All in all I can safely say that the GoRuck 15L Hydration Bullet Ruck is one of my favorite biking bags that I've had. It not only is built of the best materials, water resistant, and super streamlined, but the pack looks great and lets me showcase the patches I have earned while doing something other then rucking.  

GoRuck GR0 Review and Highlights

  The search for the perfect EDC, Range, Hiking, Biking, do it all backpack is thought to be an impossible one. Up until about a month ago I was also a non-believer in the myth of a perfect all-around backpack. The collection of backpacks I have acquired throughout the years ranges from Osprey, Ogio, Camelback, 5.11, Nike, and many others. I've had a pack for everything that I enjoy doing. I had my various Camelbaks and Osprey packs for my biking/hiking and camping adventures. My 5.11 and more tactical bags were my companions when I went to the range or needed a quick "EDC" bag. And finally my Nike bags traveled with me when I decided to go to the gym. If you are reading this then you already know that having this many bags can put a major dent in your wallet. On the other hand, you also know the almost addicting nature certain types of well made bags can have on you. 

  A little over a month ago I was in the market for a new bag I could take hiking as my Osprey backpack which was already on its last leg, decided to tear in the bottom of the main compartment. The Osprey was a great backpack for what I had used it for over the years. Mostly hiking, biking, camping, and a few day carries.  Even though the Osprey was a great and reliable pack it was always missing something. Missing that grit and toughness I was longing for that would make carrying the pack not only practical but admirable.  Having said this I was always keeping my eye open for the perfect backpack. Through my various searches on google and popular you-tubers I stumbled across the seemingly overpriced GoRuck GR0. 

Enter the Goruck GR0

  I’m sure if you are reading this post you are already familiar with the GR0 and the GoRuck company but if for some reason you aren't yet here is the quick overview.  - GoRuck was founded in January of 2008 by ex Green Beret Jason McCarthy.  GoRucks mission statement is “Challenge Excellence and Do Right By People.” There are no other better words to describe GoRuck as a company. The company strives for excellence wether it is through their GoRuck events, superior products, or the people they hire for their company. GoRuck hands down provides the best. The company started out by trying to “bridge” the relationship between the military and civilian worlds and it started with the production of their first ruck the GR1. Shortly after Goruck’s initial product Jason wanted someway to “test” the product before sending it overseas to friends and customers. He came up the Goruck events just to do so. This also became the key focus of Goruck as a company. In their words, “People became our focus, rucking together became our focus, building better americans became our focus.” Not only does Goruck produce great gear, hold hundreds of amazing events nationwide, but they also employ combat Veterans of Special Operations. These “Cadres” run their Goruck events and by doing so make it a very unique experience and help America by “Building Better Americans.” 

  Now that I have properly introduced you to GoGuck as a company I will really bring in the GR0. The GR0 is Goruck’s smaller brother to their best selling and most versatile product the GR1. The main intention of this product was initially to create a versatile “rucksack” capable of almost anything under the horizon, and they came pretty close. With Goruck’s ever-expanding customer base they needed to expand as a company. This evolution sparked the making of the proportionally smaller GR0. The GR0 sits at 11.5”W x 18.0”H x 5.5”D and holds 21L. 

  

  The ruck from head to toe feels amazingly well built. At the top of the ruck there is a a handle, like most backpacks. The difference between Goruck’s handle and those of any other brand is the reinforced stitching. This feature is not only home to the handle of the ruck but the every contact point of the backpack itself. 

  

  The handle of the backpack is rated up to 400 pounds, Ill let that speak for itself. 

  Moving down the ruck to the shoulder straps. Everyone who has owned a backpack knows how uncomfortable thin/narrow straps can be with any kind of substantial weight in the pack. Not only do the extra padded and double stitched should straps on the backpack last forever and add extra padding but they also help disperse the weight and make the ruck feel lighter then it really is. I have had other similar styled backpacks like the 5.11 Rush 12 where the shoulder straps are also very padded and wide. Unlike the 5.11 Rush 12 the straps on the GR0 without weight in the pack feel normal and not overkill. No matter the weight in my ruck the straps stay true to form and function as intended. The straps also connect in a unique way which lets the user flip them over to the front of the pack and access the laptop/hydration bladder compartment.   

 

  The GR0 has 21L of space which is exactly 5L less then the 26L GR1 although, with the amount of storage and pockets I found to be more then enough room for my EDC gear or a day to the range. On the back of the pack there is a padded “bombproof” laptop or hydration bladder compartment. I found this compartment to hold my 13 inch Macbook pro comfortably and with room to spare. When I loaded the pack up for a bike ride or hike and used the hydration bladder I felt the say way. There was plenty of room to not make the bladder feel “squished” to my back like I have had happen in countless other packs. The bottom of the ruck also has some padding for those less polite set-downs with the laptop in the pocket. 

  I found the pocket configuration on the GR0 to be perfect. There were not too many pockets that I had absolutely no clue what to put in them and force myself to overpack, but just enough to hold all of my smaller items without hassle and keep the ruck streamlined. The main large compartment is where I store my 6 bricks and yoga brick while rucking or using to workout with. If I am using for EDC/School I keep my binder, calculator, notepad, a few books and my iPad neatly tucked in. For a day at the range I keep my pistol case, a few hundred 9mm rounds, earphones, field notepad and my gun cleaning kit. 

  On the inside of the front flap you will find two pockets, the upper one solid 1000d and the bottom mesh. In the upper one while on a normal day I can usually fit all of my  chargers/wallet, keys and other smaller accessories. The larger lower mesh compartment holds about 2x more then the one above. I normally throw in extra layers or larger light items. 

  On the outside of the front flap there is another larger pocket. When I have the ruck packed completely full this pocket can be a slight struggle to reach into. I find this pocket day after day to be my “go to” pocket. On a normal day this is where you will find my headphones, Copenhagen, and few pens, meds etc. This pocket actually is much larger then the picture shows and reaches to almost the whole length of the pack itself.

  Goruck has included Molle webbing on the sides/front and inside the ruck which adds a more tactical look without screaming military or guns. I found this feature to be extremely important as I wanted this backpack for multiple loadouts. 

  The Molle webbing can be used to attach many things ranging from carabineers to a mountain bike helmet. Goruck also sells additional “Field Pockets” correlating to the size of the ruck you own. These can be attached either externally of internally depending on your preference or situation. Having wanted to use this pack not only for EDC and school but also for hunting and range days I found this feature to be a huge selling point.  

  Like every GoRuck product the GR0 is built with a 2x3 hook and loop spot on the front. Personally this is my favorite feature of the pack which really adds a simple and customizable option to the GR0. GoRuck sells various 2x3 patches on their site including the one you saw earlier with their reverse flag logo. Not only does GoRuck sell patches but they also give them as a one time reward for completing one of their challenges. Now, not only does completing one of their challenges give you a sense of accomplishment and “badassattiude” but distinguishes you from others while welcoming you to the Goruck family. 

  Lastly but certain not least, a feature that is overlooked by countless major backpack retailers is the zippers that GoRuck stamped onto the GR0. These zippers are “YKK” zippers are known to be some of the best zippers in the world and are self healing. Which means if for some reason your zipper does fail to close you can rip it back and go over it again to seal the gap. Truthfully very few people should ever get this pumped up about zippers but when you use a backpack for rucking, hunter, lifting, hiking, camping they are a crucial part of the system. Not only do these zipper kick ass but they are “glove friendly with heat shrinked paracord.” You will be using these a lot like every other pack. The difference is you will never have to worry about them, or hear them.

The GoRuck GR0 and GR1 currently come in Wolf Grey, Coyote, and Black. They have a price tag of $295 for the GR1 and $265 for the GR0.  Now I know many of you despite my above review will probably think that is completely overpriced for a backpack. I argue otherwise, not only does the GR0 have everything that I pointed out and showed above but GoRuck also backs their rucks with the “Scars” lifetime guarantee. This guarantee pretty much covers anything short of bullet holes, and burns. I know for a fact that I have spent well over $1,000 on backpacks and gym/range bags over the last few years, most of these bags I use the shit out of and end up failing somewhere along the line. Leading me to buy a new and usually, more expensive bag.

 I have no doubt that this ruck will last me for no less then the next 10 years.  Everything GoRuck produces is of the highest standards and not only do I back their products but I back their company as a whole. Ruck On!