5 Best Portable Fireproof Safes (2020)

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Rosie and I picked the Honeywell 1104 as the best portable fireproof safe. It is large enough to fit legal size documents, has the top fireproof rating, and can still be stored under your bed.

The best portable fireproof safes are:

  • Honeywell 1104
  • Sentry Safe CFW20201
  • First Alert 2602DF
  • Honeywell 1108W
  • Humbert Fireproof Lock Box Bag

the best portable fireproof safes

If you are ready to get the best portable fireproof safe now, check out the Honeywell 1104 on Amazon.

Best Portable Fireproof Safe

1. Honeywell 1104

Quick Review: By far our favorite portable safe. Top fire rating, big enough for legal documents, and fits under the bed. It’s the perfects size and we love the carry handle, too.


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What we Like:

  • Top Independent Fire Rating: The independent company UL has certified this as having a 1 hour fireproof rating at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the top rating UL gives in this class of safe.
  • Fits Legal Documents: We love the size of this case. It fits cash, passports, A4 documents and legal documents like birth certificates.
  • Fits under the Bed: I love that it fits so much stuff, but you can still just scoot it under the bed.
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle makes it as easy to carry as a briefcase – but beware of the 56 lbs (25 kg) weight!

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • It’s Heavy: All safes with a decent fireproof rating will be heavy – it’s really a direct trade off. This one comes in at 56 pounds, heavier than others on this list.
  • Downgrade: You can also downgrade to the Honeywell 1103 which is the same safe, but lighter weight and more affordable. You’ll sacrifice the UL fireproof rating though – the 1103 has a 30 minute, 1550F rating from Honeywell. If you’re okay with sacrificing the top fire rating, check out the Honeywell 1103 now on Amazon.

2. SentrySafe CFW20201

Quick Review: Get this if you don’t have a need to store legal size documents. It’s a well constructed safe that’s smaller than the Honeywell but also a lot lighter which we like.


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What we Like:

  • Lighter than the Honeywell 1104: We like that this one maintains a high fireproof rating (UL: 1 hour at 1700 Fahrenheit) but also comes in at a much lighter weight than the Honeywell 1104 above.
  • Fits A4 paper – Just: To give you an idea of the size, you can fit an A4 piece of paper flat in the box, but the rounded corners clip the A4 papers a little.
  • Good Keys: Keys for personal safes are notoriously poor quality. But I found these keys to be decent quality compared to other personal safes.
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle makes it as easy to carry as a small briefcase.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Beware the Weight: The product description online says 10 lbs. In reality, it’s heaver than that, but still not nearly as heavy as our Honeywell 1104.
  • Product Description Inaccuracies: Also, note that some online product descriptions have its UL fireproof rating at 30 minutes. The true UL fireproof rating is 1 hour (when you get it, the packaging will state this).
  • Doesn’t fit Legal Size Documents: Note that if you’re trying to store legal size documents (8.5″ by 14″), you’re better off going with the Honeywell 1104.

3. First Alert 2602DF

Quick Review: The First Alert 2602DF has a sturdy key code entry system that many people may like. Its fire proof rating is lower than the first two on this list, but it’s still decent.


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What we Like:

  • Fits A4 paper – Just: It’s the same size as the SentrySafe CFW20201. Internal dimensions are 8.5″ x 12.5″. You can fit an A4 piece of paper flat in the box.
  • Key Code Entry: You can access this safe by key code or the two spare keys that come with the box. We aren’t usually fans of key code entry safes, but this one feels quite sturdy.
  • Realistic Weight: The weight comes in at 26 lbs. This was accurate upon arrival – so props for accuracy in their product descriptions

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Medium Fireproof Rating: Its fireproof rating is lower than the ones above – its UL independent rating comes in at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
  • Requires Batteries: You’ll need 2 x AA batteries to operate the key code. Make sure you get quality brand name batteries that will last a long time so it still works when you need to access the safe!
  • No Carry Handle: We do wish it came with a nice comfortable carry handle.

4. Honeywell 1108W

Quick Review: Get this one if you want a safe on wheels. It’s large, but comes on rollers to make transporting it easier. High fireproof rating.


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What we Like:

  • The Wheels: This safe wouldn’t be portable without the wheel tray you can elect to buy with the case. But, with the wheels, you can scoot it around an office pretty well.
  • The Size: It’s big! I will fit legal size documents or a whole stack of A4 files. It is basically the Honeywell 1104 (our favorite pick) but higher for fitting more documents within it.
  • The Fireproof Rating: It’s got the highest independent UL rating of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. That’s excelent.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • The Weight: You won’t be able to carry this around. You’ll need to purchase the wheels if you want to make this a truly portable safe.
  • Doesn’t fit Under your Bed: Every safe on this list except this one fits under the bed. Unfortunately for this safe, you’ll need to find a discrete hiding spot in a closet or elsewhere in your home.

5. Humbert Fireproof Lock Box Bag

Quick Review: As an affordable alternative to a safe box, consider getting a fireproof bag. It’s lighter weight and very portable, but not independently certified by UL.


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What we Like:

  • Light Weight: It weights a heck of a lot less than a safe, making it a lot easier to carry around.
  • Extra Large: It fits a whole lot of stuff, including legal size documents, cash, and passports.
  • Affordable: Fire resistant bags are more affordable than safes. 
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle on the top of the bag makes it easy to grab-and-go when a fire approaches.
  • Manual Lock Code: It comes with a traditional combination code padlock. This is my favorite sort of locking mechanism, and much safer than either key or electronic code.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Not Independently Fire Proof Verified: ‘Fireproof’ bags are really fire resistant. They don’t get UL independent certifications and I suspect that’s because they won’t have nearly the degree of fire protection as an actual safe. 

What to Look for in a Fireproof Safe

Here are key factors to look for when making a decision about what safe to buy.

Portability

Obviously, portability is your main concern. That’s what got you reading this page in the first place.

Unfortunately fireproof safes are very heavy. They need to be in order to be truly fireproof.

But, somethings to look for to help with portability include:

  • Carry Handle: Get a safe with an easy carry handle to help you to move it around. It will still be heavy, of course.
  • Wheels: The Honeywell 1108W solves the portability issue with wheels. That’s a great solution and definitely something worth considering.

You may also find that a smaller safe or one with a lower fireproof rating will be lighter. It’s up to you to make the decision about the balance between weight and fireproofing.

Independent Fireproof Rating

The most trustworthy fireproof rating comes from the independent certification company UL.com. UL usually provides three fireproof ratings:

  • High: 1 hour at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium: 30 minutes at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Low: 20 minutes at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit

We have placed a high premium on fireproof ratings. Safes #1 (Honeywell 1104), #2 (SentrySafe 20201) and #4 (Honeywell 1108W) on this list all have the highest UL rating. Safe #3 (First Alert 2602DF) has a medium UL rating. Safe #5 (the Humbert Lock Box Bag) does not have an independent fireproof rating. 

Size

If you want to store legal size documents without bending them, your best bet are either the Honeywell 1104 or Honeywell 1108W. Otherwise, you could get away with a smaller safe like the SentrySafe CHW20201 (#2 on the list) which just fits an A4 paper flat.

Locking Mechanism

You will find either a key lock only option, or an option that involves electronic code with key lock backup. Be aware that electronic key codes require batteries that may die or falter on you when you need them the most.

What about all the Bad Reviews Online?

Fireproof safes have notoriously bad reviews online. Here’s our take on those bad reviews and what you need to know.

Moisture, Moisture Everywhere

People are constantly complaining that their safe contains condensation and moisture which causes water damage to their valuables.

This happens with every single type of safe in the world.

Of course a locked box is going to cause internal moisture issues. You’re locking out moisture, but you’re also locking it in. The air inside the box has moisture in it. That moisture will inevitably cause condensation and other water issues.

The solution: Place your goods in a freezer grade zip lock bag before placing them in the safe. Try to ensure the bag has minimal air or moisture in it before sealing it.

Breaking Keys

Personal safes come with notoriously weak keys that can break without much effort. For us, the solution has been to get the keys cut when they arrive and ask the locksmith to provide a high quality metal key.

Some safes come with keys that cannot be cut – fair enough. The best you can do is be gentle and careful.

While I’m talking about it – make sure you store the spare key offsite so you can access the contents of the safe if the worst happens and your home burns down.

The Solution: Get a copy of they keys cut using high quality materials.

Theft Protection

Many reviews also state that they found it easy to break into their safe using a screwdriver or other jibbing mechanism.

Yes, it’s true. Personal safes deter thieves but a determined thief will still break in. If you want a truly thief-proof safe, you’re looking at forking out thousands of dollars.

The Solution: Hide your safe in a discrete location. A safe is an obvious honeypot for thieves – so keep it somewhere that a thief wouldn’t expect to find it.

Final Thoughts

I hope this review of the best portable fireproof safes has given you a good idea of what’s out there on the market. There are trade offs between weight, size and fireproof rating that you’ll need to determine for your own needs. Remember that once you’ve gotten your safe you’ll still need to do some fire safety due diligence by creating a fire safety plan, getting a high quality fire detector and fire extinguishers for your home. You might also want to consider getting a fire blanket for your kitchen.

Related Article: Best Fireproof Safe for Legal Documents
Related Article: Best Fireproof Safe for Cash and Passports