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Whynter FM-45G Review

Impressive performance and a sturdy metal build for a little less than some
whynter fm-45g powered cooler review
Credit: Whynter
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Price:  $606 List | $427.50 at Amazon
Pros:  Long cord, good temperature range and control, useful baskets, less expensive
Cons:  Heavy, small capacity, control panel on back
Manufacturer:   Whynter
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 22, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 11
  • Temperature Control - 25% 8.0
  • Insulation - 25% 8.0
  • Energy Consumption - 20% 4.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Portability - 10% 3.0
  • Features - 5% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Whynter FM-45G scores well overall among all the powered coolers we tested while costing a fraction of the price of most other top-rated models. It boasts great temperature control, efficient insulation, and a durable design. Though it's quite heavy and awkward to carry, once in use, we love it. The Whynter has the convenience and performance you need where it counts for a price that's all the more impressive.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on September 22, 2022, with information about updates to this cooler.

Compare to Similar Products

 
whynter fm-45g powered cooler review
This Product
Whynter FM-45G
Awards  Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $606 List
$427.50 at Amazon
$464 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$300 List
$319.99 at Amazon
$240 List
$169.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Long cord, good temperature range and control, useful baskets, less expensiveVery energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, impressive minimum temperature, surprisingly lightweight, long cordGood energy options, solid insulation, relatively lightweight, inexpensiveLargest temperature range, good insulation, lightweight, few moving parts, can be used as a chest or standing upSuper portable, very quiet, can be cold or hot, pretty low energy usage
Cons Heavy, small capacity, control panel on backNot durable, takes a long time to cool, insulation not great, fairly loudNot great temperature control, baskets aren't great, internal shape is challengingNo AC cord included, not the most durable, energy hogCan't control temperature, not the best seal, USB can't be used in computer, plastic hinges, unknown longevity
Bottom Line Impressive performance and a sturdy metal build for a little less than someIf you're on a tighter budget but still want mid-level performance, we recommend this modelAn inexpensive option that's tall and slender with good insulation but unimpressive minimum temperaturesAn impressive temperature range from this lightweight, no-frills thermoelectric cooler (and heater)Quiet and tiny, this is a decent personal cooler, though with several limitations
Rating Categories Whynter FM-45G Costway 54 Alpicool CF45 Koolatron Portable 45 Cooluli Mini Fridge
Temperature Control (25%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Insulation (25%)
8.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
2.0
Energy Consumption (20%)
4.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Portability (10%)
3.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Features (5%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Specs Whynter FM-45G Costway 54 Alpicool CF45 Koolatron Portable 45 Cooluli Mini Fridge
Minimum Temperature Achieved (F) -5.8ºF -8.9ºF 6.4ºF 38.2ºF below ambient 32.4ºF below ambient
Temperature Increase in 36 Hours Unplugged (F) 21.6ºF 27.9ºF 14.9ºF 9.9ºF 26.6ºF
Power Draw in Watts (cooling) 65.5 W 50.0 W
38.9 W (eco)
52.9 W
38.6 W (eco)
62.3 W 33.9 W
Power Draw in Watts (steady) 0.8 W 1.0 W 0.8 W N/A N/A
Power Draw in Watts (heating) N/A N/A N/A 48.1 W 29.7 W
Voltage Use (cooling) 13.39 V 13.47 V 13.25 V 13.29 V 13.84 V
Amperage Use (cooling) 4.91 A 3.72 A 4.01 A 4.69 A 2.45 A
Hours to Cool (measured) 8 hrs 9.5 hrs 23 hrs >12 hrs 20.5 hrs
Maximum Temperature Achieved (F) N/A N/A N/A 130.8ºF 136.0ºF
Temperature Accuracy (diff btwn display and actual) +/- 1.6ºF +/- 3.8ºF +/- 3.4ºF N/A N/A
Weight 54.6 lb 34 lb 30.0 lb 14.2 lb 3.7 lb
Claimed Capacity (volume) 42.5 L
45 quarts
51.1 L
54 quarts
45L
48 quarts
43 L
45 quarts
4 L
4.2 quarts
Measured Capacity (volume) 42.4 L
40.1 quarts
49.1 L
51.8 quarts
45L
48 quarts
45.1 L
47.7 quarts
4 L
4.2 quarts
Capacity (cans) 58 cans 72 cans 62 cans 63 cans 6 cans
Method of Cooling 12V compressor 12V compressor 12V compressor Thermoelectric Thermoelectric
Advertised Achievable Temperature Range (F) -8ºF to 50ºF -4ºF to 50ºF -4ºF to 50ºF 40ºF below ambient and up to 135ºF 40ºF below ambient to 149ºF
Acceptable Ambient Temperature Range (F) 41ºF to 90ºF
(max setting if >90ºF)
50ºF to 109ºF Not specified Not specified Not specified
Exterior Dimensions (D x W x H) 17.25" x 25" x 20" 21" x 27.5" x 14" 27.5" x 13.5" x 17.8" 16" x 21" x 17.25" 10" x 7.25" x 10.5”
Interior Dimensions (D x W x H) 11.25" x 11"/7.25" x 15"/7.25" 10.4" x 12.75"/6.4" x 17.25"/10.6" 10.25" x 14.5"/8" x 12.5"/6.25" 12.25" x 15.5" x 14.5" 5.75" x 5.25" x 8"
DC Cord Length (feet) 9' 6" 7' 9.75" 7' 10" 8' 10" 6' 3.5"
AC Cord Length (feet) 6' 2" 6' 4.25" (AC adapter only)
14' 7" (DC and AC adapter)
6' 8" 6' 11" (AC adapter only)
15' 11" (DC and AC adapter)
5' 8"
Comes With AC cord, DC cord DC cord, DC to AC adapter and cord AC cord, DC cord DC cord AC cord, DC cord, USB cord (3' 1")
Features Displays battery level, drain/plug Eco power-saving function, internal light Internal light, removable baskets, C/F display Heating ability Top handle, heating ability, USB power cord

Our Analysis and Test Results

Whynter FM-45G Updates — September 2022
In our initial testing of this cooler, there was a low power mode that we really loved. However, Whynter has since removed this feature. So though our review text below makes reference to a low mode that draws less power, please be aware that the FM-45G has been updated since our test period and no longer has this energy-saving mode. We have updated our specs chart to reflect the current specs for this model.

Performance Comparison


whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - some of the compressor models lined up, from left to right: dometic...
Some of the compressor models lined up, from left to right: Dometic, ARB, Costway, and Whynter.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Temperature Control


The Whynter exhibits the most accurate display temperature of any model we tested. On average, it registered just 1.6ºF different from the actual internal temperature. Though it's rated to reach -8º F, we recorded its minimum temperature to be -5.8ºF, which is still no small feat and much colder than most of us will ever actually need.


Though it isn't exceptionally fast at cooling its contents, the Whynter also has a Fast Freeze function that can speed this process up considerably. It's not the absolute best performer in this metric, but the Whynter still holds its own among the stiff competition and does a bang-up job of it.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - this intense, yet easy-to-use latch helps seal in the cold air.
This intense, yet easy-to-use latch helps seal in the cold air.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Insulation


Another high-scoring metric for the Whynter, its thick walls and insulation put it right on par with the best of them at keeping food cold, even when unplugged. It's also a solid piece of equipment, with visibly ultra-thick walls and a super sturdy lid and hinge.


The rubber feet proved to be durable and useful, preventing this cooler from sliding all over the place during transit, while internal baskets help secure your food. Though it's not advertised as being one, we used the Whynter as a seat frequently and never had any doubts that it would hold us without caving.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - the drain and plug come in handy for cleaning without seeming to...
The drain and plug come in handy for cleaning without seeming to take away at all from the performance of the Whynter.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Energy Consumption


Since we tested this cooler, it no longer has an eco mode. Regular power mode and Fast Freeze mode use the most energy of any cooler in this review — 65.5 Watts.


whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - reaching into the whynter for a cold drink.
Reaching into the Whynter for a cold drink.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


We like the design of this trunk-style cooler, and its slightly smaller capacity makes it a bit easier to rifle through. It's one of the only models we tested with two internal baskets that are relatively easy to take out even when stuffed to the brim with cold goodies.


It also has a sturdy latch for the lid that can be locked closed. Advertised as a 45 quart cooler, we measured this unit to be just over 40 quarts and able to hold 58 cans. We are surprised by this small capacity — smaller than two of the much smaller-looking thermoelectric models. The Whynter is also one of the only compressor models we tested that doesn't have an internal light.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - we were surprised by the relatively small capacity of the whynter.
We were surprised by the relatively small capacity of the Whynter.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


The Whynter is far and away our least favorite model to carry. It's one of the heaviest in our review, at 54.6 pounds, and has tiny little handles with a simple hard plastic grip — not the most comfortable to carry.


It also has very pointed edges and corners, which we think look quite excellent but also are painful to bump against. Its saving grace is the longest DC cord in this review, at 9' 6", allowing you to place the Whynter where you want it and hopefully never have to move it again.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - not the most comfortable carrying handle for a cooler that weighs...
Not the most comfortable carrying handle for a cooler that weighs nearly 55 lbs!
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Features


While not a flashy cooler, the Whynter mostly has what you need. It does have a drain in the bottom, which comes in handy for defrosting or cleaning spills.


One thing we really like is that the display shows your battery level, which helps to monitor your energy usage — unfortunately, that display is on the back of the cooler, right next to the plug. A rather unfortunate location, we think. The Whynter is also a relatively noisy model — one of the noisest we tested.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - the control panel is located on the right side, just above the plugs.
The control panel is located on the right side, just above the plugs.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


Costing several hundreds of dollars less than many of the compressor models we tested, the Whynter gives some seriously great performance for what you pay. We think this impressive performance coupled with a fairly reasonable price tag (for this kind of technology and engineering) makes it a very high-value item.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - the whynter allow you to bring things you'd normally leave at home -...
The Whynter allow you to bring things you'd normally leave at home - like eggs.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


Offering a fairly great all-around performance (aside from portability), the Whynter has a lot to offer while costing less than several of its competitors. It has an impressively efficient low energy mode, one of the longest DC cords in our review, an excellent minimum temperature, and an overall useful design. Though it is one of our least favorite models to carry and has a smaller internal capacity than claimed, we think the Whynter is a solid powered cooler and for a very reasonable, competitive price.

whynter fm-45g powered cooler review - have an adventure with your whynter!
Have an adventure with your Whynter!
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Maggie Nichols
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