Whynter FM-45G Review
Cons: Heavy, small capacity, control panel on back
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$470.75 at Amazon||$349.99 at Amazon||$188.08 at Amazon||$150 List||$49.99 at Amazon|
|Pros||Excellent low energy mode, long cord, good temperature range and control, useful baskets, less expensive||Very energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, impressive minimum temperature, surprisingly lightweight, long cord||Largest temperature range, good insulation, lightweight, few moving parts, can be used as a chest or standing up||Easy to use, has wheels, cool cord storage, energy efficient, relatively inexpensive||Super portable, very quiet, can be cold or hot, pretty low energy usage|
|Cons||Heavy, small capacity, control panel on back||Not durable, takes a long time to cool, insulation not great, fairly loud||No AC cord included, not the most durable, energy hog||Short cords, doesn’t reach very cold/hot temperatures, still need to use ice||Can't control temperature, not the best seal, USB can't be used in computer, plastic hinges, unknown longevity|
|Bottom Line||Performance where it matters for a lower cost||If you're on a tighter budget but still want mid-level performance, we recommend this model||Impressive temperature range in a lightweight, no-frills thermoelectric cooler||Handy to use, but it doesn’t eliminate your dependency on ice||Quiet and tiny, this is a decent personal cooler, though with several limitations|
|Rating Categories||Whynter FM-45G||Costway 54||Koolatron Portable 45||Knox Gear 48 Quart||Cooluli Mini Fridge|
|Temperature Control (25%)|
|Energy Consumption (20%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Whynter FM-45G||Costway 54||Koolatron Portable 45||Knox Gear 48 Quart||Cooluli Mini Fridge|
|Minimum Temperature Achieved (F)||-5.8ºF||-8.9ºF||52.7ºF with contents
|52.7ºF with contents
|42.8ºF with contents|
|Temperature Increase in 36 Hours Unplugged (F)||21.6ºF||27.9ºF||9.9ºF||11.5ºF||26.6ºF|
|Power Draw in Watts (cooling)||65.5 W
38.9 W (eco)
|62.3 W||46.1 W||33.9 W|
|Power Draw in Watts (steady)||0.8 W||1.0 W||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Power Draw in Watts (heating)||N/A||N/A||48.1 W||39.0 W||29.7 W|
|Voltage Use (cooling)||13.39 V||13.47 V||13.29 V||11.90 V||13.84 V|
|Amperage Use (cooling)||4.91 A||3.72 A||4.69 A||3.88 A||2.45 A|
|Minutes to Cool (according to display)||145 min||80 min||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Hours to Cool (measured)||8 hrs||9.5 hrs||>12 hrs||>12 hrs||20.5 hrs|
|Maximum Temperature Achieved (F)||N/A||N/A||130.8ºF||103.1ºF||136.0ºF|
|Temperature Accuracy (diff btwn display and actual)||+/- 1.6ºF||+/- 3.8ºF||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Weight||54.6 lb||34 lb||14.2 lb||14.4 lb||3.7 lb|
|Claimed Capacity (volume)||42.5 L
|Measured Capacity (volume)||42.4 L
|Capacity (cans)||58 cans||72 cans||63 cans||57 cans||6 cans|
|Method of Cooling||12V compressor||12V compressor||Thermoelectric||Thermoelectric||Thermoelectric|
|Advertised Achievable Temperature Range (F)||-8ºF to 50ºF||-4ºF to 50ºF||40ºF below ambient and up to 135ºF||40ºF to 130ºF||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"||16" x 21" x 17.25"||15" x 22" x 16"||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"||12.25" x 15.5" x 14.5"||12" x 17.75" x 12"||5.75" x 5.25" x 8"|
|DC Cord Length (feet)||9' 6"||7' 9.75"||8' 10"||4' 10"||6' 3.5"|
|AC Cord Length (feet)||6' 2"||6' 4.25" (AC adapter only)
14' 7" (DC and AC adapter)
|6' 11" (AC adapter only)
15' 11" (DC and AC adapter)
|3' 11"||5' 8"|
|Comes With||AC cord, DC cord||DC cord, DC to AC adapter and cord||DC cord||AC cord, DC cord (both permanently attached inside lid)||AC cord, DC cord, USB cord (3' 1")|
|Features||Displays battery level, drain/plug||Eco power-saving function, internal light||Heating ability||Cord storage, drain/plug, wheels and pull handle, heating ability||Top handle, heating ability, USB power cord|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Whynter exhibits the most accurate display temperature of any model we tested. On average, it registered just 1.6º F different from the actual internal temperature. Though it's rated to reach -8º F, we recorded its minimum temperature to be -5.8º F, which is still no small feat and much colder than most of us will ever actually need.
Though it wasn't exceptionally fast at cooling its contents, the Whynter also has a Fast Freeze function that can speed this process up considerably. Though not the absolute best performer in this metric, the Whynter holds its own among the stiff competition and does a bang-up job of it.
Another high-scoring metric for the Whynter, its thick walls and insulation puts 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 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.
One of only two coolers we tested with a specific energy-saving power mode, the Whynter is solid when it comes to saving electricity - if you want it to. On its "Low" mode, this cooler uses just 35.5 watts — among the lowest of the models we tested, including the thermoelectric coolers!
However, this is slightly offset by the regular power mode and Fast Freeze mode, which both use the most energy of any cooler in this review - 65.5 W. But if the ambient temperature is below 90º F, you can safely use the low power mode to save your battery while still keeping your food chilled.
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 the only model 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 were surprised by this small capacity — smaller than two of the much smaller-looking thermoelectric models. The Whynter is also the only compressor model we tested that doesn't have an internal light.
The Whynter is far and away our least favorite model to carry. It's the heaviest in our review, at 54.6 lb, 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.
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 does offer a 1-year warranty, which is a nice safety blanket for an appliance this large.
Costing several hundred 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.
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, the longest DC cord in our review, an excellent minimum temperature, and an overall useful design. Though it was our least favorite model 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.
— Maggie Brandenburg