The Kenmore 16922 is an 8.8-cubic-foot chest freezer that's a good choice for a single person or a small family. It doesn't have a lot of features, but it covers the basics, and it's a strong all-around performer in professional tests. Though it's not Energy Star-rated, its smaller size keeps its power use fairly low. Reliability is the Kenmore's weakest point: We read several reports of breakdowns within the one-year warranty period.
A basic, smaller freezer. The Kenmore 16922 doesn't have nearly as much storage space as our best-reviewed GE FCM15PUWW (Est. $350) , but users say it's a good size for a smaller family. Its reduced footprint is a plus for users who live in less-spacious homes. Owners like the Kenmore's two lift-out storage baskets, but several say they wish there were more of them. Another feature some reviewers would like to see is an open-door alarm. However, most people are pleased with the features the Kenmore does have: a single temperature-control dial, an interior light, a power-on light and a locking lid.
Good all-around performance. In professional tests, the Kenmore 16922 is a solid all-around performer. It gets good, though not outstanding, scores for temperature control, efficiency and quietness. It doesn't have an Energy Star rating, but owners say it uses no more power than larger freezers that do have that rating. Like other chest freezers, the Kenmore requires manual defrosting, and one or two owners complain that frost tends to build up quickly. However, it does simplify the process with a drain and an indicator light to let you know when it's time to defrost.
Not exactly bulletproof. Most of the complaints we saw about the Kenmore 16922 are related to reliability. We read a few reports of freezers either arriving damaged or breaking down within a few months after purchase. Owners who experienced breakdowns are disgruntled that the Kenmore's standard one-year warranty doesn't cover the cost of spoiled food. We also read a few complaints about surface damage, such as dents and rust. One of the top reviews at Sears.com urges anyone buying this freezer to "buy the dang extended warranty," which includes $250 worth of food-loss coverage.
ConsumerReports.org evaluates about 20 chest freezers on its website, including the Kenmore 16922. Each freezer is rated for temperature performance, energy efficiency and noise level. Editors also compare each freezer's claimed capacity to its actual, usable space.
Review: Freezers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
About 140 users weigh in on the Kenmore 16922 at Sears.com, giving it an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. The reviews here are overwhelmingly positive, but we found a few complaints about reliability. Several users say their freezers arrived damaged or broke down within months.
Review: Kenmore 8.8 cu. ft. Chest Freezer (1692), Contributors to Sears.com, As of November 2013