The Yeti Hopper's new magnetic closure makes the popular soft cooler even better, proving it's worth it to occasionally fix things that aren't broken
Yeti's Hopper soft cooler is known for its durability and performance. I've had mine for more than three years and have taken it on more trips and adventures than I can remember. The previous edition had an effective zip closure but it wasn't always fun to use as it chafed my wrists whenever I needed to access the cooler. The new $300 Yeti Hopper M30 solves this problem with an innovative magnetic closure that's much easier to use and far better on my wrists.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then consider Yeti coolers extremely flattered. Its soft-sided Hopper cooler, with its zippered closure and daisy chain attachment points, might be the most ripped-off item in the outdoor industry — and for good reason. Now, there are soft coolers everywhere, all touting the same portability, durable design, and convenience as Yeti's Hopper. But nothing's quite like the original. I've taken my first-gen Hopper on more adventures than I can remember. It's kept my beer cold in Mexico, my sports drinks cold at bike races in Colorado, and effectively saved my life by keeping my insulin cold in a southern Arizona desert. Despite almost three years of being thrown into the back of pickup trucks, slung over my shoulder, or checked on airplanes, the Hopper's still my go-to portable cooler.
Perhaps its best quality is how well it keeps ice. From ice packs and gas station bags of ice to the old standby of half-full plastic soda bottles frozen overnight, the Hopper works well with it all. I've even been in 105-degree days in Mexico where the Hopper was able to keep our water, soda, and insulin cold for over two days, and it still had traces of leftover ice chunks. I'm sure it could have lasted longer, but we certainly couldn't.
My time spent with the Hopper hasn't been a unanimous joy, however. One of its main features that still gives me fits after all these years is the zipper. Don't get me wrong, the zipper itself functions perfectly fine. Not only is it reliably waterproof but it's the same kind of thick zipper find in waterproof-necessary drysuits. For the Hopper, it's just not that great of an experience to use. Reaching into the zippered cooler means scraping your arm on its teeth while fumbling around for a beer or soda. After spending a day crack climbing and shoving my hands and wrists into abrasive granite, I wanted a beer but wasn't keen on scuffing my wrists to do so. The new Hopper Luckily, Yeti fixed this issue in its newest iteration of the Hopper by introducing a magnetic closure. Called the M30 ($300), this new cooler promises the same waterproof tech as its predecessor, albeit with an easier means of opening and closing — of which I'm able to corroborate both claims as mine's both yet to leak and much easier and more comfortable to open. With the M30, opening requires a simple pull of the two sides of the cooler and that's it — the thick magnets even close on their own to seal it. This also has the benefit of making sure you don't leave the Hopper open after quickly taking something out, a feature designed to keep ice intact longer. Built to haul The M30 holds 7.2 gallons, which equates to roughly 20 cans of beer or soda (with ice), or 28 pounds of ice. That should be plenty for any weekend trip and I rarely find mine overstuffed. Yeti continues to use its ColdCell foam, which helps keep ice even in beating desert heat. The cooler also has welded seams designed to prevents leaks. It's not a cheap cooler at $300 but if I can rely on it for my insulin even after using it for more than three years, I'm happy to invest in something that I know won't let me down. Cheaper coolers often suffer from broken zippers or cracked seams. There are two buckles on the outside of the Hopper that reinforce the magnetic closure, as well as daisy chain attachment points where you can use a carabiner clip to carry other accessories. There's also a bottle opener on the side and an extra-long padded strap if you want to carry the cooler across your body. The bottom line
The old Hopper was one of the most reliable coolers I've used, but the new M30, led by its magnetic closure, quickly took its place. I've used the original for over three years and while there's nothing technically wrong with it, the pain of using the zipper closure had me eyeing for an alternative — and the M30 was just what I needed. The $300 price tag is sure to cause some amount of sticker shock but it's worth the investment if you get outside often to hike or travel.
Should you buy it? If you're on the hunt for a reliable, portable, durable soft cooler, then yes. Yeti's been at the top of the cooler industry (for both hard and soft coolers) for years, and there's a reason why it continues to impress. With the M30, the brand's taken everything that worked so well in previous iterations like the ability to keep ice for days on end and a durable exterior built to take a beating, and combined it with a brand new closure system. Out goes the abrasive zipper and in comes an easy-to-use, fluid magnetic closure. It's worth the $300 investment.
What are your alternatives? The soft cooler market brims with alternatives. Whether that's the IceMule Pro that features a roll-top closure system and convenient backpack straps or a soft-sided cooler from Polar Bear, there's no lack of variety. Picking one ultimately comes down to how you plan on using it, and what your budget is. Maybe you don't need an expensive, $300 cooler. If not, some IceMule Pro sizes run for just $115.
Pros: Magnetic closure is much easier and more comfortable to use than a zipper, holds up to 28 pounds of ice or roughly 20 cans of soda or beer (with ice), an included padded strap allows for comfortable cross-body carry Cons: Its $300 price tag is a little steep, it won't take the place of a more rugged, higher capacity cooler Get the Hopper M30, $299.99, at YetiJoin the conversation about this story »
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To ensure that the baby stays warm and safe without a blanket or swaddle, many parents...To ensure that the baby stays warm and safe without a blanket or swaddle, many parents buy sleep sacks, which are essentially wearable blankets. After much research and testing, we found the Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket to be the best sleep sack for most babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents keep blankets, toys, and other objects out of the crib for the first 12 months to limit the risk of suffocation and of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Many parents decide to buy sleep sacks in lieu of blankets to keep their newborns warm. Sleep sacks are basically zippered cloth sacks with armholes. You don't have to worry about extra material blocking breathing or your baby becoming uncovered at night. Sleep sacks come in a variety of materials and sizes. When I first started using them, I felt overwhelmed by the choices. Plus, you'll need different weights or thermal overall grades (TOG), depending on the season and where you live. The TOG lets you know how much insulation is in the material. When I looked at the best sleep sacks for babies, I evaluated each one based on material, design, and cost. I also relied on my own personal experience to select the best sleep sacks you can buy. Here are the best sleep sacks you can buy: Best sleep sack overall: Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket Best wool sleep sack: Merino Kids Baby Sleep Bag for Babies Best summer sleep sack: The Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic Best winter sleep sack: Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack Best organic sleep sack: Burt's Bees Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket Prices and links are current as of 6/04/2020. Added additional guides at end. The best overall The Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket is super soft, high-quality, and well designed. Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket is super soft and available in a range of sizes and weights for any season. The bag has two-way zippers to make nighttime diaper changes easier. The roomy design allows babies plenty of room to move around and doesn't constrict the hips. The sack comes with a seal of approval from the Hip Dysplasia Institute. I started using these sleep sacks with my baby around the 2-month mark after using swaddles. My absolute favorite was the Halo SleepSack Plush Dot Velboa Wearable Blanket. The sleep sack comes at a TOG 1.0, which is suitable for fall or early winter. If you want a warmer winter sleep sack, I also used the winter-weight Halo at a TOG 2.5 for cold winter nights. The Halo sleep sack is by far the best choice you can make when it comes to wearable blankets. What to Expect, The Bump, and Good Housekeeping rank the sleep sack as one of the best too. My only criticism is that you need multiple sacks to cover different temperatures and seasons. You also need to have two sacks of the same weight in case of accidents. Pros: Super soft, roomy and hip-friendly design, high-quality Cons: Need different ones for each season The best wool sleep sack The Merino Kids Baby Sleep Bag for Babies offers excellent temperature regulation for any season. While I adore Halo sleep sacks, the Merino Kids Baby Sleep Bag is another great option, although it is pricey. However, the quality and longevity of the sleep sack really do justify the cost. With other sleep sacks, you'll need to buy at least two for every season, but with Merino Kids, you only need one sack for the first two years. Wool regulates body temperature better than cotton or polyester. I never worried about either of my children being too hot or too cold when they wore the Merino. Not only does the Merino regulate body temperature, but it's also exceptionally well-made. After almost three years of using the same sleep sack between two children, it's held up well. Just be to use specially formulated wool shampoo when you wash the sleep sack. I used NikWax Wool Wash. You also have to line dry to avoid shrinkage or the moisture-wicking ability of the sleep sack. But the odor-resistant qualities of wool, require you to wash it less frequent washing. Pros: Regulates temperature, grows with baby, good for all seasons, super soft and cozy Cons: Expensive, handwash only The best for summer The Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic mimics a parent's touch with its lightly weighted center that can soothe fussy babies. The Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic comes in soft, breathable cotton, making it perfect for hot summer nights. At a .05 TOG, you won't find a sleep sack lighter than this weight. The bag can also be used year-round depending on clothing and temperature. The most unique design feature is a gently weighted pressure pad on the center of the chest to give the sensation of a parent's touch. Before greeting the world, babies spend nine months snug in the womb, and once outside, they need constant contact. The Nested Bean mimics the soothing touch of a caregiver. The smart design also has two-way zippers to facilitate quick middle of the night diaper changes, adjustable straps, and is reversible for stomach sleepers. While back is best until your baby rolls over, once they do, your baby might prefer the tummy frog position. For those with swaddling needs, Nested Bean also offers the Zen Swaddle Classic in a similar design and material. Read our full review of the Nested Bead Zen Sack here. Pros: Light and soft material, mimics a loving touch, adjustable straps, reversible, two-way zippers Cons: Expensive, need more than one as your baby grows The best for winter The Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack keeps hands, feet, and toes warm through cold winter months. The winter weight 2.5 TOG Baby Deedee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack keeps your baby warm at night. The quilted duvet material adds an extra layer of warmth to the 100% cotton exterior. It will be hard to find a winter-weight sleep sack better than the Baby Deedee. Not only is the sleep sack super warm, but the fabric is also breathable, so you don't have to worry about them sweating. Putting a baby in the cocoon-like design is more comfortable with its equally smart shoulder straps. The straps lay flat, making it easier for you to place your baby in the sack and then snap the shoulder straps together. You don't have to lift up the arms and move them through the holes, possibly waking up your baby. From the high-quality materials to the smart and warm design, you can't go wrong with the Baby Deedee from the first winter storm to the smell of spring. The company also has a Sleep Nest Travel sack for camping or outside use. Pros: Breathable, soft material, ideal for winter Cons: Pricier than other sacks, not for all seasons, large head opening The best organic sleep sack The Burt's Bees Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket is an organic cotton sleep sack that will keep your baby warm at night. Burt's Bees Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket is made with 100% certified organic cotton. It's certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). You can really feel the softness of this sleep sack's material to give babies extra comfort. The design features a bottom zipper to allow for quick diaper changes and an interior zipper guard and snap tab zipper pull for safety. You won't have to worry about accidentally zipping up your baby's skin. At a TOG of .05, the Beekeeper is perfect for the warmer months; pair it underneath a jacket or blanket to add an extra layer of warmth for the cooler seasons. Pros: 100% organic, gentle on sensitive skin, zipper guard, cute designs Cons: Not for all seasons Check out our other baby gear guides The best diaper delivery Once you become a parent, diapers are a fact of life. Save yourself a bit of time and hassle by having diapers delivered to your door by a great diaper delivery company. The best cloth diapers Cloth diapers are easy to use, economical, and better for the environment. To narrow down the options to the five best cloth diapers, we consulted other parents, researched user reviews and product specs, and relied on personal experience to find the best cloth diapers. The best diaper bags Whether you're looking for a well-organized bag that can store all the things or you want something that looks cute while you carry it around, there's a diaper bag to meet your needs. We tested a variety of styles to find the best diaper bags you can buy. The best baby bottles There are many different baby bottles to choose from, from ones designed for colic to others that mimic breastfeeding. Some babies prefer certain brands and designs over others, so we tested and evaluated each bottle in this guide according to these considerations. The best bottle warmers When your little one is screaming in the middle of the night for warm milk, having a baby bottle warmer will save your sanity, and hopefully, some sleep. Pop a bottle in one of these warmers, and you'll have a ready-to-go meal at an ideal temperature. These are the best bottle warmers. The best breast pumps Whether you're running an errand, taking a short trip or heading back to work full-time, you'll need a good breast pump to get you through those times when you can't breastfeed your baby directly. These are the best breast pumps you can buy. The best baby thermometers We consulted a pediatrician, looked at current research, and talked to parents to select 11 of the most popular digital baby thermometers to test. Depending on your child's age, you will want to use a rectal, temporal artery, tympanic, or oral thermometer. The best baby wipes Baby wipes are an essential supply for diapering. They're also ideal for all sorts of other uses, including wiping bigger kids' hands, cleaning messes off tables before and after meals, and attacking spills before they set in and leave a stain. The best umbrella strollers An umbrella stroller is a smart investment to make when it comes to buying baby products. Once your child needs a sippy-cup holder and footrest, it's time to purchase an umbrella stroller. The best jogging strollers There's a huge difference in quality between the best and worst jogging strollers. But once you near the top, there are several amazing options. Which one you should get depends on preference and priorities. So here are the best of the best in a variety of categories. The best baby swaddles While swaddling does come with some controversy, it's hands-down one of the best ways to get a fussy baby to sleep. But like all baby products, swaddles come in all shapes and sizes. Here are the best baby swaddles you can buy.
Leggings may not be pants, but that doesn't mean that you can't wear them to work....Leggings may not be pants, but that doesn't mean that you can't wear them to work. The tights of today have come a long way since, say, 2010. In fact, there are now a number of companies making leggings that look a whole lot like pants — minus the discomfort, annoying buttons, and general constriction. The best leggings for the office can keep you comfortable and chic all day long, and we love ADAY's leggings best of all. Who says going to work has to be like going to purgatory? At least, insofar as your wardrobe is concerned — as for the content of your work itself, that's a totally different story. In fact, I submit to you that the right pair of leggings are the perfect bottoms for days when you just can't bring yourself to pull on slacks, a skirt, or a dress. I'm not suggesting that you run around in sheer pantyhose-esque leggings for all to see, but as it turns out, the tights of today have come a long way since, say, 2010. There are now a number of companies making leggings that look a whole lot like pants — minus the discomfort, annoying buttons, and general constriction. When it comes to picking your favorite pair of work-appropriate leggings, you'll want to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, your leggings must be comfortable. If they're not, then you might as well just go back to your more quotidian wardrobe options. Luckily, most leggings these days are indeed extremely soft, breathable, and livable, which makes them an excellent alternative to anything else in your closet. Second, you'll want to be sure that the leggings are opaque and structured enough that you don't feel the need to constantly cover your rear. You know what I'm talking about — if you're wearing the wrong pair of tights, you're constantly pulling down your shirt or opting for boxier, looser tops that cover your derriere. But that, my friends, is no way to live. You'll also want to keep in mind the formality of your office. There are some tights that could get you near the business formal zone, but of course, you'll want to exercise caution and determine just what you can get away with. And finally, you'll want to keep price points in mind. While office-appropriate leggings may cost you a bit more than your run-of-the-mill leggings, they still shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. No matter which of our favorite office-appropriate leggings you choose, we're sure you'll love your new work apparel. Here are the best leggings for work you can buy: Best leggings for work overall: ADAY Best ethically made leggings for work: Everlane Best variety of leggings for work: Spanx Best petite-friendly leggings for work: Banana Republic Best size-inclusive leggings for work: Universal Standard Updated on 09/04/2019 by Mara Leighton: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added option for petite-friendly leggings and size-inclusive leggings.The best leggings for work overall ADAY's leggings not only look great and feel comfortable, they also have pockets and other great little details. It is a universally accepted truth that pockets make clothes better, and ADAY understands this concept well. The only way to make work-appropriate leggings even more of a blessing is to give them pockets. And that's exactly what ADAY has done with its leggings. ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's leggings. You'll want to check out both the Crop & Roll and Throw & Roll options. Thanks to small details like gunmetal snaps, zippered pockets, and slit details at the ankle, these tights look too good for a workout (but would certainly stand up to one). While the Throw & Roll leggings actually have zippered pockets, which I frequently use to hold small things like keys, lip balm, and the like, the Crop & Roll leggings also have a discreet compartment large enough for your phone or perhaps a small wallet. While most tights don't have any space for pockets, ADAY somehow manages to incorporate this very necessary detail in a way that looks effortless and chic. It's also certainly the aspect of these tights that I appreciate the most. After all, how often do you get to pull your phone right out of your leggings? Both pairs of tights are made of material that is quick-drying, sweat-wicking, and sunscreen- and oil-resistant. Plus, they have an elastic waistband with an adjuster so that you can keep the tights tighter during a workout and looser during the workday. While many other work-appropriate leggings are, at their core, workout leggings that just so happen to be good work clothes, too, ADAY takes the opposite approach. The company has a wide range of tops, jackets, and even jumpsuits that pair nicely with its fabulous leggings. ADAY leggings aren't necessarily cheap (they start at $98, but our two favorites cost $125 each), but that price is more in line with high-end athleisure lines like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty that charge similar prices for workout-only gear. — Lulu Chang Pros: Leggings that are truly made for work, convenient pockets, little details add sophistication Cons: While less expensive than some other brands, ADAY leggings are still quite pricey Shop all of ADAY's leggings here The best ethically made leggings for work Everlane's pants are comfortable and stylish, plus, they offer transparent pricing and were made in ethical working conditions. Everlane clothes always look good, but more importantly, they make you feel good too. And we're not just talking about the brand's soft, durable construction — we're also referencing its ethical and transparent sourcing and production methods. When it comes to work-appropriate leggings, Everlane has quite a few options from which to choose. And it just so happens that two of my favorites are very much on sale right now. Take, for example, the Stretch Ponte Skinny Pant. They're in Everlane's "choose what you pay" section, and cost just $47. And they just might be the best $47 you've ever spent. The Ponte Pant definitely feels like a great pair of tights, but looks far more refined. As the name suggests, the final effect is of a slimming skinny pant, and the midweight ponte knit makes it appropriate all year round. It's also stretchy enough to keep you breathing, but fitted enough to hug you in all the right places. Thanks to an elastic waistband and a side zipper, these pants give you a flattering, elongating effect. I also love the Stretch Ponte Crop Pant, which closely resembles its skinny sibling, but has an even more flattering length for the more petite gals out there. And while cropped pants sometimes make me look like a truncated version of myself, these leggings somehow make my legs look just a bit longer. Plus, they're great for showing off your favorite pair of shoes. — Lulu Chang Pros: Affordable, comfortable, extremely easy to care for, ethical production processes Cons: When these on-sale items go away, you may have to wait a bit for new work-appropriate leggings from Everlane Shop Everlane's bottoms collection here The best variety of leggings for work You may not think that you can wear Spanx as pants, but the brand has come a long way to prove you wrong. Believe it or not, your favorite butt, thigh, and midsection shaping Spandex tights can now be worn to work. And before you try to tell me that you don't work at a tech startup and consequently couldn't possibly get away with wearing Spanx as pants, let me redirect you to the brand's new and improved offerings, which now far exceed expectations. The folks over at Who What Wear have been styling Spanx leggings as pants for quite some time, and although I was skeptical at first, I've since become a full-fledged Spanx convert. The real draw of Spanx, of course, is that they are absolutely leggings. They're not comfortable pants or tights-esque bottoms — they're just leggings. That means that by design, they're stretchy, form-flattering, and comfortable. Plus, because they're Spanx, they also help maintain your shape and help you live your best and most fabulous life. If you're working in a more casual office environment, I'm a huge fan of the brand's jeans-like leggings, which are available in petite, regular, and tall inseams. They're not made of denim (they're mostly cotton, with some polyester and Spandex for stretch), but they have an extremely convincing denim print that is flattering on just about any body. These jeans also have Spandex's patented Gut Check shaping technology to keep your midsection in check, and fully functional back pockets combine form with function. I'm also a huge fan of the brand's velvet leggings (sizes XS to 3X, equivalent to sizes 0 to 28). While you may raise your eyebrows at such a seemingly gaudy pair of bottoms, you'll be convinced otherwise once you don them yourself. Available in four elegant yet unique colors, these tights look beautiful paired with a chunky sweater or under a dress. They add just the right level of sophistication and intrigue, and believe me, no one will ever believe that they're Spanx. Of course, if you want to err on the side of caution, you could always go for the brand's seamless offerings, which prevent any embarrassing camel toe situations in the office. For the most daring of all among us, there's the faux leather look, which I've often paired with a simple black top for a sleek effect. All in all, Spanx's leggings are comfortable to wear, easy to care for, and best of all, appropriate for the workplace. — Lulu Chang Pros: Wide selection of styles and colors, great shaping technology, less expensive than some other brands, inclusive sizing Cons: Some women have found the shaping technology too constricting Shop Spanx's collection of leggings here The best petite-friendly leggings for work Banana Republic's petite leggings are fitted and structured like traditional workwear, and have slight compression for a sleek fit. Banana Republic is one of our team's go-to destinations for reliable petite work pants, and their Petite Devon Legging is a great example for why. The Petite Devon sits at the waist, runs fitted through the leg to the ankle, and is offered in three inseams that produce the effect of nicely tailored workwear. The three leg lengths are 26-inch petite, 28-inch regular, and 31-inch long. Petite sizes go from 00 up to 14. The bi-stretch material (a blend of cotton, rayon, and elastane) is machine-washable, stretchy even after multiple washes, and has a mild compression for a sculpting and smoothing look. It moves with your body throughout the day and offers targeted support in necessary areas. A hidden zipper keeps the look streamlined, and darts added in the back lend a figure-flattering fit. This option is on the expensive side at $89.50, but it's not unusual for high-quality workwear — especially if you'll be wearing them often and skipping the dry cleaner fees. It's also worth noting that some reviewers encountered quality issues with the zipper, though most people tipped their hat to fit, versatility, and comfort. Another benefit to shopping at a big store like Banana Republic is catching your favorite items on sale. While 40% off styles may be unlikely at smaller startups, it's commonplace here. If you shop strategically, it's more likely you can get a deal. — Mara Leighton Pros: Comfy "legging-fit" with the look of a work trouser, stretchy fabric that withstands multiple washes Cons: Slightly pricey, some reviewers noted quality issues with the zipper Shop Banana Republic's collection of leggings here The best size-inclusive leggings for work Universal Standard's sizing ranges from 4XS to 4XL, and the site's Fit Liberty policy states that if your size shifts, they'll replace the eligible clothes for free. Universal Standard was founded to address the fact that while 67% of the women in the U.S. reportedly wear a size 14 or higher, the options available on the market typically don't reflect that. The company's sizing options range from 4XS to 4XL (the equivalents of sizes 00 to 40). And to reflect their mission to provide all women with a shopping experience focused on style rather than size, the line spans basics, trendy pieces, workwear, and luxe staples like premium leather jackets. Universal Standard's Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are technically pants, but they have the feeling of leggings. The midweight ponte material is soft and designed to be pill-resistant, and they have a flattering high waist with a flat band that won't roll or twist. As the name suggests, there's also an out-of-the-way pocket and matte black zippers at the ankles for dressing them up or down. If you need a petite version, Universal Standard offers that too. The company also guarantees that if your size shifts up or down within a year of purchase, it will exchange any piece in its Fit Liberty collection for your new size, for free. The Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are included in the collection. In terms of cons, the Ponte Pants are available in only two colors (black and olive) though that tends to be the standard for work-adjacent leggings, and are recommended for hand wash and hang dry. At $80, they may also be a bit more expensive than you're hoping to spend, but the Fit Liberty policy does sweeten the deal a little bit. — Mara Leighton Pros: Wide selection of sizes, petite styles, generous fit policy Cons: Relatively more involved fabric care, slightly pricey Shop Universal Standard's collection of leggings here