Anytime I see someone rocking a Yeti cooler on a rafting trip or backcountry car-camping expedition, I get covetous. The cavernous food and beverage cooling capacity of Yeti coolers is legendary, some of which are large enough to swallow a boned-out bull elk or the 5-day beer supply of a crew of recovering college students on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Spokane’s General Store carries a wide selection of Yeti coolers, but my first foray into the Yeti cooler world was with the practical, everyday workhorse Hopper Flip 18 cooler. The Hopper Flip has a flip top; soft, durable outer material construction; superior Yeti insulation; an optional shoulder strap; and the capacity to hold cold provisions for one or two people for a day or weekend adventure.
When I brought my Hopper Flip 18 home a day after injuring my knee, a six-pack of American lager wasn’t part of the recovery regimen my doctor had recommended, but I was eager to put the cooler to use. The first sign that the Hopper was going to live up to the Yeti reputation for durable, quality coolers was the effort it takes to zip and unzip the lid. Yeti maintains that its HydroLok system is the best cooler zipper in the world. It definitely won’t come open and leak cold air or water on its own, and when it came time to sample some of the Hopper’s knee-numbing contents, I was surprised by the blast of cold air that greeted my fingers since I’d only deposited a handful of ice cubes a few hours before. Find the Hopper and its many larger Yeti cooler brethren at Spokane’s General Store on Division Street. MSRP: $299. Generalstorespokane.com. //