In this article, I will compare the Yeti Hopper M30 and the Backflip 24 to find out which soft bag cooler is the better option for you.
If I’m going hiking, I’ll grab the Backflip 24, as it can also become a backpack for easy transportation during an adventure.
On the other hand, the Hopper M30 has a bigger capacity and is better when transported (i.e., by car or boat), as it can get quite heavy when used to full capacity.
Below we'll investigate more differences between the Yeti Hopper M30 and the Backflip 24.
Main Difference Between Yeti Hopper M30 vs. Backflip 24
It all depends on the size of the cans that will go inside, but the M30 jumps just ahead.
Even if I’ll be carrying only ice, the M30 wins with nearly 30 pounds of ice capacity. The Backflip 24 comes up a few pounds short.
The next difference between these two is how you carry them. The Backflip 24 is meant to be carried like a regular backpack.
On the other hand, the Yeti Hopper M30 can be carried either like a standard tote bag or similar to an oversized messenger bag.
What I Like About the Yeti Hopper M30
I appreciate that extra carrying capacity. That's what coolers are for. While I don't plan on taking this with me through the jungles of South America, I can easily see it keeping my items cooled longer.
Also, with some expert packing strategies, that slight storage amount can make everything last a lot longer.
The M30 also has a nifty way of sealing everything really well, with a strong magnetic strip at the top to keep everything in.
It's effortless to open and stay open, though, with a gentle push to click everything together and seal the coolness.
Another great feature is that you can add other Yeti-based products to it through the Hitchpoint™ grid, which expands upon the cooler's functionality with these add-ons.
The shell on this bag is fantastic and will keep everything at the right temperature and dry when needed.
The material is highly durable and puncture-proof, while at the same time built from a material that will prevent mildew growth.
The design is also great and doesn't have just the standard off-white color. These can be statement pieces and come in six different colors. I would buy any of the color options.
What I Don’t Like About the Yeti Hopper M30
Where the M30 is lacking is in the fact that it isn't exactly leakproof. It'll work just fine when it's right side up, but some of us might not be so concerned about how it's packed. If the cooler is tossed around, it could start leaking.
Another thing to note is that it is quite heavy. The cooler falls in that strange range of “Do I want to get something like this cooler or possibly just go all out and spoil myself with a hard case, more traditional cooler on my next outing?”
I can carry those hard cases with a friend when they get too heavy, and the M30 doesn't make it easy at full capacity.
What I Like About the Backflip 24
This backpack is super portable and neat. It has a durable, leakproof zipper, so you can easily have it on its side without any issue of spillage.
At the same time, as with many Yeti products, it has the Hitchpoint™ grid to make this a truly functional backpack, with all the add-on components that can simply hook onto the bag.
It has a thermoplastic urethane construction that makes it extremely durable not only as a cooler, but also as an outdoorsy backpack.
I can easily see myself throwing this around in nature without any major issues or tears happening.
This durability is always appreciated, even with the functionality of it being primarily a cooler.
To help with carrying the backpack and managing the weight, the Backflip 24 comes with removable chest and waist straps that help keep everything in place and distribute the weight.
What I Don’t Like About the Backflip 24
What I don't like about this cooler backpack is that it really is a missed opportunity. It's built to be only a cooler and to carry cooler-related items.
There's no dry bag space, and you can wear it only if you don’t have another backpack.
It's also heavy to lift and will be weighed down by all those metal cans I’m trying to keep cool for my respite at the top of the mountain or when I reach the lake to go fishing for the day.
Finally, this weight comes with a not-so-ergonomically friendly design that can cut into the shoulders when the bag is being carried.
In addition, the bag doesn't stay upright easily on its own, meaning that it's prone to falling on its side and jostling everything on the inside.
On top of that, it comes at a pretty hefty price point similar to that of the Yeti M30 model, making it a highly priced cooler-only backpack.
Why should I consider a soft-sided cooler like the Yeti M30 or Backflip 24?
It might seem like you’re simply paying for a protective bag over a more durable hard-sided cooler, but that isn't exactly true.
A soft-sided cooler will be much lighter and easier to manage than a hard-case cooler.
Also, soft-sided coolers are much easier to store when they’re not in use.
Did Yeti discontinue the Backflip 24?
Yes; as of 2022, Yeti discontinued the Backflip 24. There was no official reason for it, but it could have been due in part to its overly bulky design.
Nevertheless, many retailers no longer carry it, so if you come across one, and it's available at a reasonable price, it might be worth picking up.
How many cans does a Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 hold vs. a Yeti M30?
The Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 can hold a whopping 20 cans with ice, so it could still be a worthwhile investment if you find one.
Of course, keep in mind that's also a lot of weight on a backpack-style carrying bag. Regardless, you'll be able to get in a great workout with the reward right in your backpack.
The design is much more efficient with the Yeti Hopper M30 vs. the Backflip 24. It’s been said that, without ice, the cooler can hold up to 50 cans!
With ice, it varies, but comfortably 30 cans can be kept on ice and maintain their refreshing status.
The cooler can also hold a lot of game from hunting combined with ice, which can easily be several pounds.
Can a Yeti Hopper M30 be a carry-on?
Yes, it can be. The Yeti Hopper M30 has reportedly been used as a carry-on to help transport sensitive equipment due to its extra padding and temperature control materials on the inside.
That makes the Yeti Hopper M30 a clear winner when it comes to flexibility and usage options.
Yeti products come at a premium, but that's because of their durability and quality. You know that if you keep something inside one of these soft bag coolers, it'll be cold when you hit your destination.
In addition, because they're soft padded, especially the M30, these coolers can be pushed to fit into spaces and be completely full themselves, versus a hard cooler that has more rigid measurements.
You'll also notice that the pricing on these models is quite high compared to that of a standard cooler.
Again, that stems from the higher quality materials and the fact that these protect and are meant to stand what is thrown back at them.
These bags aren't just for carrying a refreshing beverage of your choice; they can be used to keep anything cool for a very long time, especially when there's ice in the bag.
That makes these an excellent companion for hunting or fishing trips, allowing you to keep your catch fresh until you’re ready to cook it.
And because both bags are easy to clean and don't get mildew easily, they’re a perfect option for foodstuffs.
Brandi Jangula is a writer born and raised in the Midwest. The Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota provide some of her favorite locations to hike and camp with her three adventurous boys. Brandi also enjoys cooking, reading, and attending her children's sporting events in her spare time.