Here at Firefighter Garage, we’ve reviewed just about every fire resistant safe out there (see our best fireproof safes review here). But what if you want a waterproof option? Fortunately, there are tons out there.
When looking for a waterproof safe, our top considerations are independent waterproof rating and weight. You can review our full selection criteria at the end of this article. Before we get started, we;d like to note that these are examples selected for our circumstances, and do not represent advice to you or your circumstances, professional or otherwise.
In our opinion the best waterproof safes are:
- Honeywell 1103 Safe – (Best Overall)
- SentrySafe H0100 – (Most Affordable)
- SentrySafe HD4100
- Honeywell 1106W
- SentrySafe SFW082F – (Most Secure)
Best Waterproof Safes
|1.||Honeywell 1103 – Best Overall||We think this safe is the perfect size to fit under a bed or in a closet and would be to carry with the handle. The 1103 version is a great price and will fit A4 documents – but the 1104 version will fit legal documents as well. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|2.||The Sentry Safe H0100 – Most Affordable||This one is our personal pick for a small and affordable waterproof safe box. It won’t hold a whole lot of documents, but it’ll hold a wallet, keys, cash and passport. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|3.||Sentry Safe HD4100||We think this is a nice large safe for protecting A4 documents from water damage. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|4.||Honeywell 1106W||This is a large waterproof box for storing a whole lot of valuables. The thing that gives this safe a leg up on some competitors in our opinion is the wheel tray for ease of transport on flat surfaces. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|5.||Sentry Safe SFW082F – Most Secure||This safe is a step up to a non-portable option. It can be placed on a sturdy shelf. Buyers can choose from a keypad or combination lock option. It’s also got some excellent security features in our opinion. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
1. The Honeywell 1103 – Best Overall
We are big fans of the Honeywell range of safes. And this one holds up to Honeywell’s reputation in our opinion. For starters, it’s got the highest waterproof ratings of any safe we could find at a crazy 100 hours submerged at 39 inches under water. On top of this, they’ve got an independent underwriters laboratory fireproof rating of 30 minutes at 1550°F.
The size is also super convenient. It’s small enough to fit under a bed or in a closet. It’s also designed to hold a stack of A4 documents flat. But it doesn’t store a legal size document (like a will or marriage certificate). For that, they have a slightly larger version called the Honeywell 1104.
The safe is also a lot more portable than many others in our opinion. The handle sits at a really good spot so you can pick it up and carry it like a briefcase.
Why this Safe:
- Good Price Point: Competitors at a comparable quality often can’t compete with the pricepoint of this safe.
- High Waterproof Rating: The 100 hour waterproof seal (at 39 inches submerged) is the best we found.
- Great Size for Stowing it Away: We really like the size – you can fit tons of A4 documents in it but it’s also thin enough to slip under your bed or on a shelf.
- Carry Handle: The carry handle makes this safe turn into a makeshift briefcase for easy transport on and off your boat.
Keep in Mind:
- The Weight: All waterproof/fireproof safes are heavy so you won’t be able to get around this.
- Won’t hold Legal Size Documents: It holds A4 documents fine, but legal size documents are too long and would have to be bent to fit. Note that no safe on this list holds legal size documents, but there’s a model called the Honeywell 1104 that fits legal size documents.
- Key Lock: For this one, you’ll only be able to lock it via key. That’s pretty normal for smaller safes.
2. The SentrySafe H0100 – Most Affordable
The 72 hour water submersion rating of this waterproof box is nothing to laugh about. That’s well above average in the industry. It’s also UL classified to withstand a fire for 30 minutes at 1550°F. So, this one’s packing some serious specs.
But a key reason we like this one is that it’s small and affordable. It can fit some valuable personal belongings in there – like passports and wallets – but nothing too large. We feel it’s great, for example, for locking away the wallets and passports of passengers on a boat for security while they go for a swim in the ocean.
Being small, this one also comes in at the lowest weight of all the waterproof boxes you’ll find on this list. That doesn’t mean it’s light though – it comes in at 17 pounds.
Lastly, we’re impressed that this safe has a nice handle for carrying it around, so in many ways it’s comparable to our top pick.
Why this Safe:
- Affordable: We couldn’t find a good quality fireproof safe much cheaper than this one.
- Decent Waterproof Rating: The 72 hour submersion rating is about standard – maybe a little higher than average in what we’ve seen. It also has a SentrySafe fireproof rating.
- Portable: Because it’s the lightest safe on this list, it’ll be the easiest to carry around in our opinion. There’s also a handle to help you move it about.
Keep in Mind:
- Key Lock: For this one, it can only be locked via a key. That’s pretty normal for small safes.
- Small: It’s the smallest safe on this list and we’d only use it for passports and wallets.
3. SentrySafe HD4100
This safe can hold a whole lot of A4 documents (but not legal size documents). So, it’d be good as a waterproof file cabinet. What’s super impressive about it is that it’s really a waterproof filing system. Hanging files can fit into the dedicated grooves, but the hanging files have to be bought separately.
In terms of waterproofing, it’s also high standard. It’s ETL Verified for 72 hours of water submersion. It also has the 1/2 hour at 1550°F fireproofing, making this safe comparable to other high quality safes on the list.
One thing that did make us a little weary is that it comes in a a whopping 39 Lbs and has no handles. So, we’re not going to want to be lugging this one around. We’d find a spot for it and leave it there.
Why this Safe:
- Large: This is the first of our larger waterproof safes in this review, which is great for storing a whole lot of stuff, but not so great for portability.
- Good Waterproof Rating: A 72 hour water seal is at or above industry standard.
- Great as a Filing System: This one is specifically designed for helping to keep documents waterproof, fireproof, and still well organized!
- Competitively Priced: The price point is great for safes at this size.
Keep in Mind:
- Heavy and No Handles: This isn’t a safe that’s particularly portable. It’s heavy and there isn’t an easy way to carry it around. The Honeywell 1106W (below) solved that problem with its wheels, but the SentrySafe HD4100 doesn’t have that solution.
4. Honeywell 1106W
Honeywell identified a challenge in this size range and tackled it head on: portability. Mid-size safes like this one are supposed to sit under office desks or at the base of a cupboard – but when you want to move them around you’re a bit hamstrung by their sheer weight.
That’s why they sell the 1106W – the ‘W’ standing for “wheels”, we’d assume. The safe and wheel tray are separate so you can take it off the tray when you’re not moving it about, but our guess is most people will just leave it on the tray for convenience.
The waterproof rating is 24 hours, which is closer to the standard lower-end rating for waterproofing but hey, 24 hours underwater is still a long time. It’s also got the standard 1/2 hour at 1550°F fireproof rating.
Why this Safe:
- It’s On Wheels: The obvious reason we’d get this safe ahead of competitors is that it comes on wheels. The ability to roll it around makes life a lot easier… but it’ll only be useful on flat surfaces.
- Nice Size: It’s large enough to store a lot of stuff, including stacks of A4 documents.
- Waterproof: The waterproof rating is 24 hours, which isn’t as good as some, but still decent.
Keep in Mind:
- Won’t fit Legal Papers: While it’s designed for A4 sheets, it’s still not going to fit those 14″ legal papers. For that, we’d go to the Honeywell 1104 safe.
5. SentrySafe SFW082F – Most Secure
This is our top pick for a highly secure waterproof safe that we’d want to leave sitting on a sturdy shelf. It’s got 1-inch bolts as well as a pry resistant hinge bar for keeping your valuables secure. There’s also the option to bolt it to the floor so it can’t be carried away.
Plus, instead of a flimsy key, you’ll be able to step up to either an electronic keypad or combination lock. We love the combination lock because it doesn’t require batteries.
Another cool feature is that it can withstand a 15-foot fall, again a tribute to its security.
The waterproof rating for this one is 24 hour, while the fireproof rating is 1 hour at 1700°F. The reviews of this one on Amazon are worth checking out. There’s a user-uploaded photo of how this safe survived the California Camp Fire (wildfire).
(PS. This safe also makes an appearance in our review of fireproof safes for pistols).
Why this Safe:
- Good Shelving: The safe is separated by a middle shelf to help organize and store all its belongings.
- Digital Keypad: Buyers can choose between a digital keypad or a combination code. We personally prefer a combination code so you don’t have to deal with batter failure, but the digital keypad looks nice, too.
- Security: It has 1 inch bolts and a pry resistant hinge bar that make this the most secure safe on the list in our opinion.
- Backup Key Entry: It comes with get backup keys to gain entry if the keypad fails – which is super important because chances are the day you want to access the safe the batteries will be dead.
Keep in Mind:
- The Price: While this safe has added security features and a modern access mechanism, there’s a price that comes with these features.
- Not Portable: If we got this safe, we’d plan on putting it in a spot and leaving it there.
What we Look for in a Waterproof Safe
We balance the price point against the waterproof rating and size. Size is the biggest change as you go up the price points. You can get a smaller waterproof safe for under $65, while larger ones will set you back three figures.
As you step up into the $150 and up price range, we expect extra security features like pry resistant locks and additional locking mechanisms like combination code locks and electronic keypads.
b) Waterproof Rating
Waterproof ratings range from 24 hour waterproof seals up to 100 hour waterproof ratings. Most people would feel as if 24 hours is a good enough rating, depending on why they’re wanting a waterproof safe.
c) Fireproof Rating
Many waterproof safes also come with a fireproof option. Fireproof ratings are independently certified by underwriters laboratory (UL). They usually come in the form of time and heat ratings – so a 30 minute 1550°F rating means a safe should be able to withstand a 1550°F fire for 30 minutes. For reference, a house fire usually burns between 1500°F and 2000°F at its hottest point.
d) Portability: Size & Weight
All waterproof / fireproof safes are heavy. You can’t escape it.
If we wanted to be able to carry our safe around (e.g. onto and off a yacht, or to and from work), we would want a nice small safe such as the SentrySafe H0100. It will still be quite heavy, but light enough for us to carry around. The smaller ones usually also come with a convenient carry handle. That’s just our personal preference!
e) Entry Mechanism
All of the smaller safes will just come with a key lock. These safes are mostly used for their water and fire proof ratings. They may deter petty theft, but a determined thief will crack in. As you step up to the higher quality non-portable safes like the SentrySafe SFW082F, you’ll be able to get a more secure entry mechanism like a combination code or electronic keypad.
We personally prefer combination codes because they feel more secure and don’t rely on batteries that will one day run out – which means more maintenance!
Smell and Condensation Issues
The final thing to think about is the issue of internal condensation and smell build up.
This is a problem in all waterproof safes.
The only alternative is to get a water resistant bag.
A waterproof safe by definition keeps water out – and IN. All the air in your safe has water droplets in it. Over time that water will start to form condensation on the inside of your safe, and may damage your valuables long-term.
Unfortunately there aren’t a ton of solutions here – except to get Silica mostiure absorbers (links to Amazon) that you can swap out every now and then for fresh ones.
We chose the Honeywell 1103 as our top pick for the best waterproof safe, but we also like the SentrySafe H0100 as a good affordable alternative. The main things we keep in mind on our hunt for the perfect waterproof safe are size and waterproof rating. Once we receive a safe, we’d also throw in a Silica moisture absorber / dehumidifer to prevent moisture build-up.
We hope this buyers guide has been useful for you in your hunt for a waterproof safe. But remember, this article has shared our opinions and a range of examples for our circumstances only, and is based on our online research. It does not constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Your circumstances or experiences will differ from ours. Make sure you do your own research and due diligence and adhere to the rules laid out in our terms and conditions and disclaimer.