The Best Fireproof Document Bags to Keep Valuable Papers Safe, Tested

These protective bags offer a level of security for important papers and other valuables. We tested several models to see if they could stand the heat.

By Glenda Taylor and Tom Scalisi | Updated Jan 19, 2024 12:18 PM

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A group of the best fireproof document bags together on a rocky, sandy surface before testing.

Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

Documents such as medical records, banking statements, and bills can be stored in the cloud or on digital thumb drives. However, paper documents still play a role in business and personal life, so it’s important to protect them. Whether looking to secure a will, a visa, a certified copy of a birth certificate, or even valuables like jewelry or a laptop, a fireproof document bag can help.

We decided to test several fireproof document bags to determine which models stood out above the rest. Keep reading to learn how each one performed in our hands-on tests and earned the title of being a best fireproof document bag for inclusion in this guide.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Engpow Fireproof File Organizer Bag With Lock
  2. RUNNER-UP: Roloway X-Large Fireproof Bag
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Colcase Fireproof Document Bag
  4. BEST WITH WATERPROOF: FlyPal Fireproof and Water-Resistant Bag
  5. BEST LARGE: DocSafe Multilayer Fireproof Document Bag 
  6. BEST SMALL: Roloway Small Fireproof Money Bag
One of the best fireproof document bags outside undergoing testing by being blasted with a DeWalt 68,000-BTU heater.

Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Fireproof Document Bags

We knew going into this testing that fireproof document bags are designed to protect shoppers’ most important documents. We also understood the unique nature of this testing: We’d only get one shot to see if each of these six bags would perform as advertised, so we had to ensure we were exposing them to extreme heat—simulating the realistic conditions for which they are designed. However, we also had to test without breathing in chemicals or setting the house ablaze. To safely and accurately complete this testing, we fired up a 68,000 British thermal unit (BTU) propane heater outside and then placed each bag directly in front of it on a concrete surface.

We kept each bag in front of the heater for 10 minutes. Our goal was not merely to see how well the document bag survived the heat but—most importantly—how well the paper we placed inside each document bag stayed intact. After 10 minutes, we moved the bag away from the heat, let it cool, and checked the contents.

It’s important to note that none of these bags are designed to withstand actual flames. Most of them are intended to be kept inside a safe. All of the bags suffered a lot of damage during the testing but still achieved their purpose since the papers inside remained intact.

Our Top Picks

These fireproof document bags all handle intense heat and feature strong, reliable closures. Depending on the specific need, the best fireproof document bag for any shopper might well be among the following models.

Best Overall

The Engpow Fireproof File Organizer Bag With Lock open and fully loaded with documents as well as closed and locked.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 10.63 inches tall by 14.17 inches wide by 3.93 inches deep
  • Materials: Silicone-treated fiberglass

Pros

  • 4 mesh bags can hold multiple items and documents
  • 2 compartment folders offer plenty of space for larger items
  • Includes a combination lock to keep sensitive documents safe

Cons

  • The smaller bag suffered quite a bit of damage, so it would be better used inside the main bag.

Featuring multiple fireproof layers and numerous compartments, the Engpow fireproof document bag is well suited for protecting valuable items while keeping them organized for easy retrieval. It measures 10.63 inches tall by 14.17 inches wide by 3.93 inches deep, offering plenty of room in the main compartment to store letter-size folders and papers.

This model is constructed of two layers of silicone-treated fiberglass that protects the contents from heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes a combination lock to keep the contents secure. The inside of the zippered top contains four mesh bags for securing passports or certificates and two additional compartment folders to hold items like business cards and up to four flash drives.

The Engpow bag withstood the heat better than any other full-size bag in our testing. The zipper and its seam melted, but the rest of the bag was almost entirely unscathed. We also liked the dividers inside the bag for organizing documents, IDs, cards, and other important items. It came with an additional smaller bag that we could place inside for extra protection. However, that bag took much more damage—although the paper inside remained intact.

Get the Engpow fireproof document bag at Amazon.

Runner-Up

The Roloway X-Large Fireproof Bag and included small document bag on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 12 inches tall by 15 inches wide by 5 inches deep
  • Materials: Silicone-coated and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-coated fiberglass

Pros

  • Large storage space
  • Combination of zipper and Velcro-type closure ensures a tight seal
  • Includes a comfortable rubber handle and adjustable shoulder strap

Cons

  • Storage in a fireproof briefcase or safe recommended

For protecting documents and other valuables from heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, shoppers will want to consider this Roloway fireproof document bag. The bag measures 12 inches tall by 15 inches wide by 5 inches deep, which is large enough to store a stack of documents along with other valuables, or even a laptop.

This bag is made from two layers of silicone-coated fiberglass. It features a high-quality, lockable zipper (lock not included) and a Velcro-type closure. It also includes both a handle and an adjustable shoulder strap.

The Roloway did take some damage during our test, especially around the hook and loop flap. It also smoked considerably more than the other bags. We were initially concerned that the smoke was the paper burning inside, but it stayed in perfect condition. Overall, this is a relatively simple bag with a lot of storage space, making it a solid choice for anyone looking to protect quite a few documents in the event of a fire.

Get the Roloway extra-large fireproof document bag at Amazon, Walmart, or Roloway Safe.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Colcase Fireproof Document Bag on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 15 inches tall by 11 inches wide
  • Materials: Silicone-coated fiberglass and aluminum foil

Pros

  • Zipper and flap closure with 2 separate compartments help organize documents
  • Dual-layered design provides additional protection from fire
  • Pockets are large enough to fit legal-size documents

Cons

  • Paper was still intact after the testing but did sustain some damage
  • Number of documents the bag can hold is limited by its size

Protecting valuable documents doesn’t have to break the bank. The Colcase fireproof document bag comes with an affordable price tag and resists 2,000 degree Fahrenheit conditions with dual layers of silicone-coated fiberglass.

This 100 percent fireproof bag is 15 inches tall by 11 inches wide, making it suitable for small and large documents, jewelry, or a laptop. To ensure even more protection, it features both a zipper and a flap closure.

The Colcase bag was the only document bag in our testing that allowed the paper inside to burn at all. However, the paper was still intact after the test, which truly surprised us due to the significant damage that the bag sustained. This bag won’t hold many documents, so users will have to prioritize which documents they protect and which they risk (or buy multiple document bags).

Get the Colcase fireproof document bag at Amazon.

Best With Waterproof

The FlyPal Fireproof and Water-Resistant Bag on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 12.6 inches tall by 16.6 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep
  • Materials: Silicone gel, fiberglass, aluminum foil, and nonwoven fabric

Pros

  • Plenty of interior space for larger items, such as cell phones or hard drives
  • Includes a lock for an extra layer of security

Cons

  • Zipper was difficult to use even before being exposed to extreme temperature

The Flypal fireproof and water-resistant document bag is a reliable and secure solution for safeguarding important documents and valuables. This bag is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the impressive features make it a must-have for protecting belongings.

The FlyPal bag is equipped with a lock, providing an added layer of security. With a spacious interior and an additional zipper pouch, this bag is 12.6 inches tall by 16.6 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep, which is large enough to organize documents, cell phones, or even external hard drives and keep them readily accessible.

The first few seconds of our heat test for the FlyPal bag were initially concerning. The hook-and-loop closures failed immediately, and the flap started to funnel hot air right toward the zipper. The lock also started to melt immediately. However, after 10 minutes, it didn’t withstand much more damage and survived the testing quite well. The paper inside was still completely intact. Our biggest complaint with this model was that it was difficult to work the zipper even long before we exposed it to the heat.

Get the FlyPal fireproof document bag at Amazon.

Best Large

The DocSafe Multilayer Fireproof Document Bag closed on a white background with a small inset in the corner of it open and filled with documents.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size:12.5 inches tall by 17 inches wide by 7.2 inches deep
  • Materials: Silicone-coated fiberglass and aluminum foil

Pros

  • Large size provides fireproof storage of multiple items and documents
  • Multiple compartments and pockets can neatly store documents, jewelry, and electronics
  • Exterior reflective strip allows for better visibility

Cons

  • The reflective strip melted away almost immediately during testing

The DocSafe fireproof document bag is an ideal solution for keeping a large number of important documents and valuables secure and protected. This bag is a generous 12.5 inches tall by 17 inches wide by 7.2 inches deep, offering ample storage capacity for all essential items.

Designed with multiple pockets, slots, and compartments, the bag will help organize belongings with ease—from passports and legal documents to USB drives and jewelry. One notable feature of the DocSafe bag is the reflective strip on its exterior. This strip enhances visibility, so the bag is easier to locate in low-light conditions or emergencies, such as a house fire.

The DocSafe bag was one of the most secure and durable bags in our testing. While the reflective strip only lasted about 30 seconds, the rest of the bag fared well, though it was far from reusable. The closure stayed shut, and the zipper remained mostly functional. Just as was the case with most of the bags in our testing, the paper inside the bag remained in perfect condition.

Get the DocSafe fireproof document bag at Amazon.

Best Small

Two Roloway Small Fireproof Money Bags, one white and one grey, shown on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 5 inches tall by 8 inches wide
  • Materials: Silicone-coated fiberglass

Pros

  • Compact size is suitable for small items and travel
  • Fold-over Velcro-type closure keeps contents securely in place
  • Affordable compared to similar options available

Cons

  • Best if stored in a fireproof safe or a larger fireproof bag

Just the right size for safely stowing cash, a passport, or folded documents, the Roloway fireproof bag tucks inside a suitcase or a backpack easily. It measures a diminutive 5 inches tall by 8 inches wide and will protect valuables in temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

This Roloway money bag is made from silicone-coated fiberglass and features a fold-over Velcro-type closure at the top. Pair it with a larger fireproof bag for added security, or store it in a fireproof safe for even more protection.

After testing the thin Colcase fireproof document bag (our #3 pick), during which the paper sustained some damage, we had similar concerns about this small bag. We feared it would burn quickly, as would the paper inside. However, that wasn’t the case. The bag withstood the flames quite well. The edges of the hook-and-loop flap melted, but the zipper and the paper inside stayed intact. In fact, the bag was mostly reusable, which surprised us.

Get the Roloway small fireproof document bag at Amazon, Walmart, or Roloway Safe.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing a Fireproof Document Bag 

A fireproof document bag is more “fire-resistant” than fireproof, as this type of protective bag can and will fail to protect its contents from a raging fire. Instead, it offers a modicum of security against intense heat if a fire starts and the document bag is nearby.

Most fireproof document bags are made from silicone-treated fiberglass, and the better ones include two or more layers of treated fiberglass for added heat protection. Some also feature aluminum foil liners. If the bag is amid actual flames, don’t expect the contents to escape unscathed. For absolute fire protection, consider a fireproof safe that is rated to withstand flames for 1 or 2 hours.

Fire-Resistance Rating 

No federal regulations exist for testing fireproof document bags, but manufacturers use materials known to be fire-resistant. To determine the level of fireproof protection, look for the maximum amount of heat the bag can withstand, typically between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some bags bear a rating of “UL 94,” which means that Underwriters Laboratories, a global safety certification company, has tested and approved the materials for resisting fire and melting. Still, not all bags will have this rating, and the rating is not an assurance of absolute fireproof protection.

Size and Compartments

Fireproof document bags range in size from envelope-size bags with a single compartment to larger briefcase-size bags with multiple zipped compartments or pockets for keeping papers organized. Additionally, some fireproof document bags sell in sets, with a smaller bag the user can tuck inside the larger bag for additional protection.

Water and Heat Resistance

Most manufacturers also advertise their fireproof bags as waterproof or water-resistant, which is an important feature. If the bag is in a burning house or the trunk of a car that’s in flames, the fire is likely to be doused with a water hose, so it’s essential to have a level of water protection for the stored documents in the bag.

Lockability and Closure Style

Fireproof document bags typically close with either a zipper made from fire-resistant materials, or they feature a snug-fitting Velcro-type closure. Some models include more than one type of closure, such as an interior zipper and an additional Velcro-type closure, increasing the bag’s fire resistance.

Items Being Stored

Common items stored in a fireproof document bag include property records, birth certificates, paper money, passports, and notes with written passwords to online accounts. Some bags are large enough to add other valuables, such as jewelry, antique photographs, digital thumb drives, or even tablets or laptops.

Tips for Using a Fireproof Document Bag 

Simply storing documents in a fireproof bag offers a measure of protection, but don’t stop there—always store the bag itself in a safe location. A few tips can help users gain the most protection from a fireproof document bag.

  • When selecting a fireproof document bag, consider choosing a size larger than necessary to accommodate additional items in the future.
  • The higher the fire-resistant rating of the bag, the safer the items will be. For optimal protection, look for a bag that can withstand at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fireproof bags can trap moisture inside, making documents smell musty or encouraging mold or mildew. Make sure all papers and valuables are dry before placing them in the bag.

FAQs 

Fireproof document bags offer some protection for essential paperwork and other items against heat damage, but they don’t offer a 100 percent guarantee against a raging fire. Shoppers considering purchasing a fireproof document bag likely have some questions.

Q. Can a fireproof bag replace a fireproof briefcase? 

A fireproof bag is not as protective as a fireproof briefcase, but it will still help protect documents and valuables. Storing the bag inside a fireproof safe or a fireproof briefcase will offer additional protection.

Q. How fireproof are fireproof bags?

A quality fireproof bag will protect documents from igniting due to intense heat if they’re near a fire, up to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above that level or the bag falls directly into the fire, its contents could be damaged or destroyed.

Q. What is a fireproof bag made of? 

Most fireproof document bags feature one or more layers of silicone-treated fiberglass, which is known for its fire-resistant properties.

Why Trust Bob Vila 

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Tester

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including BobVila.com, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes. He also owns and operates a pest control blog, RiddaBugs.com. He spent years working in the trades and tests a wide range of tools and home improvement products.

Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor.