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In 2000 Shane Bennett and David Chen, the founders of SnoMaster, designed their own 12v compressor. Their goal was to build fridges and freezers, that work in the best possible way even when you are on an off-road or desert tour. The compressor is insensitive to dust, dirt, vibrations, and even severe oblique positions.

Designed for usage in Africa, the fridges and freezers made by the South African company are unique. During the development, the most important thing for SnoMaster was the satisfaction of their customers. That is why they do not make compromises that would affect the practicability of their products. The fridges and freezers are continually updated and perfected. That is the reason why no other portable fridge is designed as thoughtful as the ones made by SnoMaster.

General information

The temperature can be defined for each cool compartment in a range from -22°C to 10°C in 1°C-steps. Every compartment can be used as both fridge and freezer. There is no binding division in freezer or fridge as well as no minimal temperature difference. You are free to combine them however you want.

One of the biggest advantages of the SnoMaster fridges with two cooling compartments is the possibility to open each compartment separate, thanks to the disconnected lids. This prevents the temperature from increasing in the compartment you did not need to open and helps to reduce power consumption and to prevent unwanted thawing of your food.

You can buy fridges with a maximum volume of 12 to 95 l. These fridges are grouped to five series.

Classic, Expedition und Tongkua Series

There is no need to buy extra basket inserts or protective covers for the best comfort while using the SnoMaster fridges and freezer. Following equipment is in scope of delivery.

Stainless steel cover

The honeycomb shaped outer layer of the cooling box is made of stainless steel and does not only make the fridges look good, but it provides easy maintenance and gives it additional stability. The cover is unsensitive to scratches, compared with plastic, aluminium, or plain steel. In contrary to plastic, the stainless steel will not brittle or lose its colour over time.

The high stability of the cover enables SnoMaster to insert the polyurethane insulation foam under higher pressure and this leads to a better insulation of the inside. This insulation layer has a thickness of 60 mm for the boxes of the Classic Series and 70 mm for the boxes of the Expedition Series. Even if the temperatures are high and the cooling box loses the connection to electricity, the insulation layer provides a cool inside. Connected to the electricity it supports a low power consumption.

High Quality hardware and detachable lid

All fasteners and handles are made of stainless steel and the hinges are made of aluminium, which leads to a high durability and an insensitivity to corrosion. The lid can be locked with a padlock (not in scope of delivery) if needed.

All hardware is screwed on the cooling boxes and can be replaced easily. The lid of most models is detachable.

Aluminium-/plastic-inside with drain hole

The sidewalls inside the cooling boxes are made of durable aluminium which needs low maintenance. They conduct the cold well and enable the inside to cool down faster, compared with plastic.

The floor pan is made of plastic. Water will not be able to enter the insulation layer, because the plastic of the floor pan also covers the lower part of the sidewalls.

For hygienic and practical reasons, there are no cooling coils, sheets, unreachable corners, or brackets inside the cooling box. This way dirt cannot be hidden in corners or behind sheets and nothing is going to get rusty.

Every cooling compartment has a drain hole for easy cleaning. They also help with defrosting your cooling box. The only thing you must do is pull out the plug and let the water flow away.

SnoMaster high performance compressor

You have a five-year warranty on your SnoMaster compressor. In purpose of optimizing the power consumption and cooling ability, the compressor speed is regulated in three stages automatically. Using the control panel, you can put the pace up to the highest or down to the lowest stage if you wish so. The compressor runs most energy effective on the highest stage. To limit the starting current, the compressor always starts in a slow pace and gets faster after a minute.


  • Fast: high temperature in the surroundings, alternating current, fast cooling necessary

  • Auto: normal temperature in the surroundings

  • Slow: low battery capacity, target temperature higher than 5°C, target temperature reached, only for maintenance

In general, it is best to let the cooling box regulate the pace by itself, but if you sleep next to it you can turn the pace down to reduce the sound. Noise should not be a big problem anyway, since the cooling box only reaches a sound pressure level of 47,3 decibel.

The cooling capacity does not change because of the power source. Even if you are using the 12 V in your vehicle, the cooling box will be able to run on full capacity.

The compressor can be used at surrounding temperatures of up to 55°C and it is protected of overheating. If the temperature hits 90°C the compressor will switch off until the temperature is lower than 75°C. Between 75°C and 90°C the compressor is running at low pace.

The capacity of the SnoMaster compressor is 20 % higher than the capacity of the often-used Danfoss-Compressor BD35F and it is also slightly higher than the bigger model BD50F. The higher capacity leads to better efficiency and enables a lower power consumption.

You can use the cooling boxes with the 12 or 24 V socket in your vehicle or with 100 to 240 V alternating current sockets.

If the cooling box is connected to direct current and alternating current at the same time, it will use the alternating current. If the power supply stops while the cooling box is turned on, it will turn back on automatically when power is available again. The maximum of power consumption of the compressor is only 5 A. Therefore, it is not a problem to use the cigarette lighter for powering the cooling box.

Besides the two plug contacts for the power supply, there is an easily accessible 15 A-flat-type automobile fuse. The temperature control as well as the compressor are protected by a reverse polarity protection. That way incorrect wiring is not damaging the SnoMaster cooling box.

All necessary wires are in delivery scope. If you want to use 230 volt you will not need an additional cable. For a permanent wiring you can detach the screwed-on cigarette lighter plug. If you use the sockets in your vehicle, they should be at a minimum of 120 W (10 A at 12 V, 5 A at 24 V). If you use your own wiring, the dimensions should be 2 * 2 square millimetres.

Separate lids for every cooling compartment

A big advantage of the SnoMaster cooling boxes with two cooling compartments is the separate lids. Opening the lid of a cooling box always leads to rise in temperature inside the cooling compartment that must be compensated afterwards. The less food is in the cooling box the bigger is the rise in temperature.

Therefore, cooling boxes with only one lid have a big disadvantage. If you are using one compartment as a freezer the rise in temperature is even worse. Many producers try to compensate this with an extra plastic lid for the smaller compartment. This makes handling more laborious because you always must lift to lids. If you want to use the bigger compartment as a freezer, which is impossible for most of the other cooling boxes anyway, there is usually no lid for that.

Three basket inserts

All SnoMaster cooling boxes are delivered with three basket inserts made of plastic layered metal. Cooling boxes with only one cooling compartment are equipped with two stacked inserts on the left and one insert on top of the compressor on the left. Cooling boxes with two compartments contain two stacked inserts in the left small compartment and a big insert in the right stepped compartment, including a separation insert for the big basket.

Remote control

Besides the Leisure Series, all SnoMaster cooling boxes come optional with a remote control. You can control the whole cooling box with it. For example, it is possible to check the status of your fridge in the back while sitting on the front seat. This is especially helpful if the cooling box is permanently installed in your vehicle and reaching the control panel is hard. This is no problem anymore thanks to the remote control.

The remote control enables you to check the battery capacity and the functioning of the fridge more easily. It shows the target and the actual temperature and you can change the target temperature.

Furthermore, you can also see the status of the power supply and you can control the battery guard. It is also possible to switch the cooling box on and of and control the compressor.

You can also use the remote control in the dark because it has backlight and it also comes with a small LED flashlight. The power supply of the remote control is a battery pack that can be recharged by a common smartphone charger with micro-USB or with the integrated solar panel on the back.

Note: There is only one kind of remote control and even if your cooling box only has one cooling compartment you will get the remote control with a double temperature display.

Lighting and opening alarm

Every cooling compartment contains an energy saving LED lamp, that switches on automatically if the lid is opened. The remote control is equipped with a LED flashlight.

If you forget to close the lid, the cooling box will remind you after 90 seconds with an alarm.

Cooling and freezing temperatures up to -22°C

The target temperature can be determined for every cooling compartment between 10°C and -22°C. You can use every compartment as freezer or fridge however you wish. If you buy a cooling box with two compartments you can choose between two fridges, two freezers or one fridge and one freezer. Almost every other cooling box besides SnoMaster has a determined division and you are seldomly able to control the temperatures separate. This may lead to sub-zero temperatures in the fridge and to frozen drinks or damaged food.

Each cooling compartment has its own LED display showing the actual temperature. You can adjust the temperature in steps of 1°C. The bright LED displays with big red numbers enable you to read them even in bright sunlight.

Battery guard

In purpose of preventing deep discharge of the power supply, all cooling boxes are equipped with a battery guard. It can be regulated in three steps between 10.0, 10.7 or 11.8 V respectively 22.2, 23.5 or 25.0 V. If the voltage drops below this minimum, the cooling box switches off. This prevents a complete discharge of the car battery and it secures that the car will start.

As soon as there is enough battery voltage, the cooling box is switching on automatically. This happens, depending on your specification, at 11.4, 12.0 or 12.9 V respectively 23.4, 24.8 or 26.3 V.

Protective Cover

The protective cover is in scope of delivery of every cooling box besides the model SMDZ-LP65. Its main purpose is the protection of the surface of dirt and damage, but it is also an additional insulation. This is especially helpful if the cooling box is not installed in the inside of the vehicle but for example on the loading platform of your pickup.

The protective cover is closed with a durable zipper and it is equipped with a storage bag and a bag for bottle caps.

Bottle opener

You have the possibility to install a bottle opener either in the front or on the right side. It is in scope of delivery, robust and can be screwed on at prepared attachment points. If you install it on the side, the bottle caps will fall into a pocket in the protective cover especially made for that purpose.

Maintenance and self-diagnosis

A dirty capacitor reduces the cooling capacity and increases the power consumption. That is why SnoMaster makes cleaning it very easy. You can simply blow the dirt and dust out through the ventilation grille with compressed air. To make that even easier, you can take off the side flap after cutting the power supply.

SnoMaster cooling boxes have an integrated self-diagnosis system, that gives you an error message on the temperature panel if something is wrong.

  • OC: temperature sensor does not state results. Check the connections and restore them or tighten the screws.

  • SC: temperature sensor is broken. Repair needed.

  • -28 / LL / HH: temperature control is broken or valve is not able to close. Repair needed.

Classic vs. Expedition Series

The difference between the Classic and the Expedition Series is the thickness of the insulation layer. The Classic Series has an insulation layer with a thickness of 60 mm and the cooling boxes of the Expedition Series have an insulation layer with a thickness of 70 mm.

Low Profile / Tongkua Series: Pickup-cooling boxes

The model SMDZ-LP65 is special because it was especially developed for pickup loading platforms with a cover above it. Not only is the cooling box reduced in height, but it is also specialized in withstanding hot surrounding temperatures. Heat dissipation was improved by a specialised evaporator and fans. This cooling box comes without the protection cover in purpose of preventing heat build-up. The thickness of the insulation layer is 65 mm.

Traveller Series

The cooling boxes of the Traveller Series are a good alternative to the other series of SnoMaster, if you only have little space available. Because of the reduced thickness of the insulation layer to 45 – 60 mm, the dimensions of the cooling boxes are smaller. On top of that the separation between the compartments of cooling boxes with two compartments is reduced in this series. This leads to a bigger inside.

There are two basket inserts included.

Leisure Series

The fridges and freezers of the Leisure Series are more compact but still powerful and are the perfect cooling box for the driver’s cab or the trunk. It is ideal for the daily use, short vacations, camping, a picknick, barbecue or for grocery-shopping. Thanks to its plastic casing, they are lightweight and easy to carry around. Because of the reduced thickness of the insulation, the proportion of dimensions to storage volume is better compared with the cooling boxes of the other series.

The model SMDZ-LS18 is perfect as a second cooling box in the driver’s cab to provide cool drinks and snacks. With a cooling capacity down to -12°C it can keep your frozen goods frozen during a long drive and therefore an ideal addition to a big cooling box.

The model SMDZ-LS35 is the perfect, compact cooling box, providing the same cooling capacity as the big SnoMaster cooling boxes, but needing less space.

The casing is made of durable plastic in a dark grey colour. The sidewalls are, depending on the model, completely or partly made of fast cooling steel. The lid has a robust folding clasp, that works reliable even after years of usage.

The insulation layer of the model SMDZ-LS18 has a thickness of 25 mm, while the model SMDZ-LS35 has an insulation with a thickness of 45 to 50 mm.

All models of the Leisure Series are compatible with the 12 or 24 V direct current cigarette lighter socket. The SMDZ-LS35 can also be used with 100 to 240 V sockets.

In the front of the cooling boxes is a USB-port that can be used for charging your mobile phone.

The SnoMaster compressor is only installed in the bigger model, while the smaller ones have a special, very compact compressor produced by Secop (PBC-1.4).

The model SMDZ-LS28 has a storage space of 21 l and an insulation layer of 45 to 50 mm.