We Tested This Fireproof Document Bag to See if It Can Take the Heat

Hopefully, you’ll never need to put this simple product to the test, but in the event of a fire, your most important documents and small personal items will be safe.

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Keeping your documents and belongings safe in the event of a fire may seem unnecessary, particularly if you already take proactive measures to ensure the safety of your home. If a fire does start in your house, however, it can reach temperatures over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit in only 3½ minutes, according to the San Francisco Fire Department, engulfing and destroying a home in a short time. While your family’s safety is obviously the priority in any emergency, ensuring the security of keepsakes, prized possessions, or vital documents beforehand is a good idea.

I tested six fireproof document bags for a broader guide on the best fireproof document bags, exposing them to extreme temperatures and flames, and found the Engpow Fireproof File Organizer Bag to be the best. It’s designed to resist extreme heat caused by fire and keep the documents inside the bag from combusting. Here’s how it stacked up in my hands-on testing.

Engpow Fireproof File Organizer Bag With Lock: At a Glance

A person pulling their passport out of a pocket inside the Engpow Fireproof File Organizer Bag.
Photo: engpow.com

Rating: 9.6/10

SPECS

  • Heat resistance: 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Size: 10.64 inches tall by 14.18 inches wide by 3.94 inches deep
  • Material: Silicone-treated fiberglass

PROS

  • Multiple pockets, sleeves, and compartments make storing and organizing items easy
  • The built-in lock ensures items don’t fall out during transport or jostling
  • Comes with an additional bag to protect a tablet or other files
  • Outperformed all of the other models in our test when exposed to flames

CONS

  • The smaller bag did take quite a bit of damage during the test

Get the Engpow fireproof document bag at Amazon for $34.99.

What is the Engpow fireproof document bag?

The Engpow fireproof bag is a zippered, soft-sided case designed to keep items safe in the event of a fire or flood. While not truly fireproof (none are), this bag is designed to withstand temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, protecting any contents inside against combustion caused by the extreme temperatures.

This bag has multiple pockets and compartments. Inside the top of the bag are four pockets for passports, journals, and other small items. Then there are two two-sided mesh folders. One has 16 slots for credit cards and an ID as well as multiple pockets for items such as USB drives or batteries for electronics. The other mesh folder has multiple larger pockets for tablets or documents. Finally, the main compartment is quite deep; it’s large enough that it could easily fit a family’s most important documents or other valuables.

This fireproof document bag features fiberglass construction for strength and durability with a silicone coating to protect it from heat. The zippers on the exterior of the bag latch into a built-in lock for safekeeping.

Easy Setup

I found that it doesn’t take long to set up this bag, and if there are items of awkward sizes to store, the large compartment can likely handle them. The pockets are all appropriately sized for the documents or items they’re meant to carry, which means that they’re snug and secure but not difficult to use. Plus, there are options for items such as USB drives, which can either sit in the mesh compartments designed for them or in the large zippered compartments meant for loose items.

Once all the items are stored away, the zipper protects the contents from fire and moisture. The two zipper tabs also clip into the built-in lock, and then the bag is ready to protect the items inside.

Organized Design, Ample Space

One of the Engpow document bag’s biggest strengths is its design. Very few document bags offer this much organization as well as protection against heat and water. Plus, it’s actually quite good-looking—especially compared with other fireproof document bags that I tried. It looks more like a briefcase than a fortress against the elements, and it features a useful carrying handle as well as a luggage strap to slide over the handle of a suitcase.

I also liked the way the organizer was set up. The mesh folders flip like pages of a book, and each side has storage for more items. There truly isn’t a lack of space with this bag.

Also, when I first saw the lock, I thought it was a gimmick since one could easily slice the bag open and take the contents. However, the lock’s purpose is mainly to serve as protection against accidental opening or unzipping, and it proved very effective during the test, while other bags with hook-and-loop closures struggled to stay shut.

Surprisingly Durable

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Every bag in the test proved to be waterproof, but how did the Engpow document bag perform under actual fire? Very well.

None of the bags in the test (the Engpow included) are designed to withstand exposure to flames; they’re supposed to be stored in a safe. If they’re engulfed in flames, they will melt and take damage. However, when I exposed each of them to 60,000-plus BTUs of propane-fueled flames, the Engpow sustained the least amount of damage. The zipper melted a bit, but that was pretty much the extent of the damage. The paper placed inside sustained no damage at all.

Other bags did not perform as well. Some shriveled and seams began to separate. Others were less recognizable after the test, and one even allowed the document inside to burn a little.

With that said, it’s important to note that the smaller bag included with the Engpow did not do well on its own. This bag should likely be used inside the Engpow organizer bag, or simply used as waterproof storage. I wouldn’t trust it on its own in extreme heat.

Is the Engpow fireproof bag worth the money?

The Engpow was one of the more expensive bags in the test, so the question is, is it worth it or are there other bags that can do the trick for less?

Based on my testing experience, the Engpow is worth the money. It offers more storage than most of the other bags, and the organization comes in handy when separating documents, cards, electronics, photos, and other items. Most of the other bags are just large, empty pockets that you’ll have to place an organizer inside of, but the Engpow offers organization on its own.

Also, the Engpow might be more expensive, but it also outperformed the other bags when exposed to flames. That’s a solid benchmark for choosing a fireproof document bag. If it was stored in a safe as fireproof document bags should be, it would perform even better.

Should you buy an Engpow fireproof bag?

The Engpow performed the best of all the fireproof bags in my testing, and it offers a great value for its included organization and sizable storage space. However, if you don’t have many documents, cards, passports, birth certificates, or other important items, the Engpow is probably more bag than you need. In that case, I would suggest the small fireproof money bag from Roloway. It can also withstand temps up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and even after the fire test, the Roloway remained largely intact.

However, if you have a lot of items, electronics, documents, photos, or other belongings that you want to protect in the event of a fire, the Engpow is the way to go. It performed the best when exposed to heat, and the amount of storage it has inside (along with organization) should be able to handle most households’ entire collection of important paperwork and documents. I do believe that it would perform even better if placed in a safe, but it proved that it could withstand direct exposure to flames during our test, and that’s one of the most important factors to consider.

Get the Engpow fireproof document bag at Amazon for $34.99.

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 spent years working in the trades and tests a wide range of tools and home improvement products.

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