Yeti recalls 1.9 million coolers and cases over magnet issues

About 1.9 million Yeti-branded coolers and soft cases were recalled Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because the magnetic closures on various products could detach and cause serious injury.

The recall includes the Yeti Coolers Hopper M30 Soft Cooler 1.0 and 2.0, the Hopper M20 Soft Backpack Cooler, and the SideKick Dry Gear Case, a smaller sealed bag that protects items from water damage. The recalled products were sold between March 2018 and January 2023, including nearly 41,000 products in Canada, through retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ace Hardware and online through Yeti and Amazon.

Yeti said in a statement that it was cooperating with the agency and voluntarily recalling the products.

The commission urged consumers to immediately stop using the products, after receiving nearly 1,400 reports of magnetic closures failing, falling off or missing. No magnet ingestion or injuries from Yeti products have been reported.

If two or more magnets are swallowed, according to the agency, they can attract each other or a separate metal object in the body and can become lodged in the digestive system. Such ties can cause perforations, twisting or blockage of the intestines, infection or blood poisoning and can potentially lead to death.

Cases of magnet ingestion among children and teens have been on the rise since 2018, the safety commission said. From 2010 to 2021, the agency estimated that hospital emergency rooms treated 26,600 cases of magnet ingestion. At least seven deaths, including two outside the United States, have been recorded.

A study carried out last February by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as well as 24 other children’s hospitals in the United States found that more than half of children treated for injuries related to magnets must be hospitalized.

In September, the commission tightened federal safety standards to require loose or separable magnets in certain products to be either too large to swallow or weak enough to reduce the risk of internal injury if swallowed.

Yeti coolers have become a go-to for many people, as numerous home tests have found the products to be among the best in terms of durability and keeping items cold for long periods of time.

The brand got its start in 2006 after Texas brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders created a cooler that could withstand the wear and tear that anglers put on the products. The brand gained popularity in 2014 after introducing its low-cost drinkware and backpack coolers, expanding its customer base beyond outdoor enthusiasts.

The brothers used the same rotomolding process (short for rotational molding and involving resin and an oven) that is used to make kayaks. Instead of focusing on keeping prices low, however, they prioritized making the strongest cooler possible. Prices for Yeti coolers range from $80 for a lunch bag to around $200 for a small cooler and up to $1,500 for their largest model.

Customers affected by the recall should contact Yeti to receive a full refund in the form of a gift card or replacement product, the company said. After customers complete a form through the company’s website, Yeti will send them a prepaid shipping label and packaging to return the product.


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