Best Portable Car Key Safe for Outdoor Enthusiasts

    What is the best car key safe to keep your key secure and safe whilst you are out surfing, diving or doing some other outdoor activity where you can't take your cars key with you.

    Are you in to outdoor activities, like running, water sports such as freediving, surfing, scuba diving and don't fancy taking your key with you, or can't? I bet you ask the question.

    Back to top

    Where to keep my keys when running?

    There is an answer to this question! In a car key safe. This is exactly what me and my partner have been doing for over 3 years now. When I go trail running, when we go diving and snorkelling and especially when we go surfing. The last thing we want to do is loose our car key whilst out in the surf, we would never find it.

    Back to top

    Comparison of Key Safes

    Below we have compared what we think are the best car key safes available today which you can use to secure your keys whilst you are out. We have compared them under similar situations, as best we can. Every time we have gone out diving, running, swimming or surfing we took a car keysafe with us so we could lock our car key and other small valuables away whilst we were out.

    Why Couldn't We Put The Key In Our Wetsuit

    We have two keys, one is an electronic fob for our Peugeot and the other is a Fiat Panda with a normal non fob. We could take this key in to the water and put away in our wetsuit, but we've had it rub on our legs and they aren't comfortable at all.

    Regards our electronic car key, that has to be stored away in a weather proof box, we have been keeping our Peugeot key in a Frostfire for nearly 3 years now and it hasn't faltered.

    Back to top
    Comparison

    Without a doubt, the best key safe we have tested is the Frostfire Mooncode. It has a large storage area, is very robust and even has soft foam backing and a rubberised shackle which means that when locking it to your car door it won't scratch the paintwork.

    The other three were still solid choices, The Master Locks were both cheaper than the Northcore and had 2 options, one for bigger keys and one for smaller keys. They both cover the number combination so making them look a bit more discreet. The Northcore also only uses 3 number digit, which is easier to get in to that the others which use a 4 digit number.

    They will all keep your keys safe whilst you're out running or in the water, doing whatever it is you do. It depends on how much you want to spend and what climate you live in.

    Review of Frostfire Mooncode Key Security Lock

    This is a review of the Frostfire Moondcode security lock for keeping your keys save while you are away from your car. This particular key safe we have had for a number of years, we review our experience. 

    Frostfire Mooncode 1555 Key Lock

     

    Technical Details
    Season
    all seasons
    Portable
    Yes
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.6/5
    Price
    ££
    Warranty
    No
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Frostfire
    Number of seats
    1 seats
    Dimensions
    interior dimensions: 10 x 7 x 2.8 cm
    Weight
    680 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    The Frostfire Mooncode is a heavy duty safe to keep your keys in. It is made from a strong weatherproof zinc alloy case and a steel shackle mechanism. We have used the Mooncode many times now. When it arrived it came in a neat plastic package with all the instructions needed written on the back.  A couple of favourite characteristics are that there isn't much to it, in essence it is a heavy, rigid looking but portable key code safe perfect for deterring petty criminals that are near your vehicle. On the back of the key safe there is soft padding which helps when placing the lock against your car not to leave scratches or take off any paint. 

    Frostfire Mooncode 1555 Key Lock

    To open you need to make sure the digits are set to the correct numbers, if yours is brand new it will be 0-0-0-0. You can then pull the door open. The door of the Frostfire Mooncode is the heaviest part to the safe which is quite different to other portable key safes. Due to the heaviness of the door once the key code is correct if the Mooncode is sat up vertically the door will fall open. Once the compartment door is open you can see that there is a good amount of space provided inside, I have stored up to 4 car keys happily inside. I would suggest taking of car fobs or key ring accessories as there shackle needs to come down quite far into the the compartment when locking and random shaped items attached together could cause the shackle to not come out and leave it attached to your car. I would keep to using just the keys themselves inside it.  

    Frostfire Mooncode 1555 Key Lock Car

    To attach the shackle to your car, find a secure as well as accessible spot as you will need to do an all in one action to attach it. Once the Mooncode is open you will see there is a small lever to the top left you will need to swipe this to the right and this will unlock the shackle. You pull the shackle up and out, attach it around the what you have decided to attach it to and with your keys/belongings in the safe close the door and scramble the numbers around. It needs to be done in this order as it will not lock. Make sure to fully clip in the shackle at the top before closing the compartment door. A number of times just before going surfing doing this in a rush I have tried to close the compartment door without the shackle fully in, causing it not to close and lock. Additionally another error is the key code being opened in the correct number code but then while finding a secure place to attach it you slightly move one of the number around a little this again will cause it not to lock. So it is worth fully understanding how the Mooncode works before setting out on an adventure with it as it can be quite frustrating. 

    It is fairly easy to change the code on the inside of the compartment draw in the lower right corner there is a silver switch. You need to push this over and up then go back to the front and but the number digits how you want them. Move the same silver switch down and back across, close the door and it should now have reset the code.

    The Mooncode is weatherproof however I would recommend trying to keep it as dry as possible and when your get saltwater on the key safe after surfing to wipe it off with a damp freshwater then dry cloth. Our Mooncode after a few years in now suffering with a few rust issues and the shackle had become a little sluggish in use, just requiring a little WD40 really. As the number dial is exposed to the elements, the dial has also become a bit stiff, again nothing a little WD40 wouldn't solve. 

     

    Pros
    • Strong zinc alloy casing
    • Hardened steel shackle
    • Soft grip handle
    • Foam backing to prevent scratches to your car
    • 4 digit number code
    • Good value for money
    • Can be used as a portable or wall mountable key safe
    • Next day delivery available with Amazon Prime
    • Great for surfers, water sports enthusiasts and campers 
    Cons
    • No cover for the number dial
    • Requires regular cleaning/maintenance 
    • Can be a little fiddly on cold fingers
    Verdict

    The Frostfire Mooncode is designed with outdoor people in mind, having had ours for a number of years it still being in use I can highly recommend even with its few quirks and maintenance needed. 

    Review of Master Lock 5414D Shackle Car Key Safe

    We're avid divers and surfers and we tested the Master Lock Shackle Car Key Safe whilst we went out in to the sea.

    master lock shackle car security key lock

     

    Technical Details
    User Guide & Manual File Download
    Season
    all seasons
    Portable
    Yes
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.4/5
    Price
    £££
    Warranty
    Yes
    Warranty length
    30 years
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    MasterLock
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    4.6 x 10.5 x 13.5 cm
    Weight
    680 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    No

    This is a large key safe, perfect for any outdoor enthusiast, it can hold any size key you put in it, including electronic keys. What we really like is the weather shield which sits in front and on top of the combination numbers. Unlike the others it hides the front completely, making it less obvious what it is.

    master lock shackled car security key lock

     

    Another thing we liked is that the key, once in, didn't move around, so locking the door on top of it was easy. With the Frostfire we occasionally got the key stuck in the hinge as we closed it, nothing to write home about but still a little design problem that could be fixed.

    master lock car security key lock

     

    As you can see above, there is ample space for more than one car key, so if you had a group of you heading in to the surf or for a dive, you can put a groups worth of cars in to your key safe.

    What we love with the Master Lock keysafes is they come with a 30 year warranty, which is a great reassurance to their build and longevity.

    We have used it a couple of times now and it has worked perfectly, we have locked it to the tow loop on the front of our car when we've parked at the shore, it's out of sight and we know we have a safe car whilst we go on our adventures in the outdoors.

    The only thing we weren't happy with is that the shackle section will fit around a car door handle, it doesn't have a rubber coating like the Frostfire does, this is why we have locked it on to our tow mount under the car.

    Pros
    • Sturdy and tough car key safe
    • Has front protector shield which hides the combination and protects it further
    • Comes with 30 year "Lifetime Warranty" http://www.masterlock.com/service-and-support/faqs/warranty-information
    • Big enough for multiple keys, cards, etc
    Cons
    • Not fully waterproof so can let water in
    • Not the cheapest of the bunch we have tested
    • It can fit around car door handles but it doesn't have any rubber to protect your car so better on a tow loop
    Verdict

    A solid and robust car safety key box which will hold your keys and others securely when you're out in the water or somewhere you can't take a key.

    Review of Northcore Keypod

    This is a review of the Northcore Keypod, a surfing brand known for making surf accessories such as dry robes we see how well their Key Pod functions in keeping our car key safe. 

    northcore-key-pod

     

    Technical Details
    Season
    all seasons
    Portable
    Yes
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    3.8/5
    Price
    ££
    Warranty
    No
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    Northcore
    Number of seats
    1 seats
    Dimensions
    Internal Dimensions: L 9cm x W 6.3cm x D 2.8cm
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    Before trying this out with our car we had a good look at its new design, this is the 5th generation model of the Northcore key pod already from first glance you can see its extra strong and that there is now a 4 digit code rather than 3 numbers.  

    north-core-key-pod-open

     

    The keypod is pretty heavy but this is down to the many steel parts to the structure. As a brand new model, the digit number code will be 0 -0 - 0- 0.   To open the keypod once you have have turned the numbers to the correct number code, it is very simple. You just need to pull up the shackle at the top and will open the keypod key compartment. I have to say I was both very impressed by the simplicity of this and the large compartment. Proving a good deal of space for not only my car key but our friends car key, there would easily be enough from for credit cards/cash in there as well. The strength to this keypod is also clearly seen by the steel material,  thick quality of the shackle and with the duel locking system, there is also a strong steel pin that acts as the pivot point. 

    northcore-keypod-close-up

     

    To reset the number code, put the dial to 0-0-0-0 and raise up the shackle and swing it to the right and push it down. Change the number to the number code you wish to use and then raise the shackle up again swing it back round and lock it in.

    When attaching to your vehicle, choose a secure and stable place such as your tow hook or door handle if possible. There is soft foam padding to the back of the keypod which will prevent it from leaving any marks or scratches on your vehicle. 

    The keypod is weatherproof but I would recommend using a cloth to wipe it down especially if you are using it for going surfing as saltwater will encourage the steel to rust and apply oil to the parts to ensure it continues to function well for years.

    Pros
    • Super strong alloy structure
    • Large amount of internal space for a set of keys
    • Strong fastening mechanism
    • 10mm steel shackle
    • 4 digits rather than 3 for extra security
    • Next day delivery with Amazon Prime
    • Soft foam backing to key pod prevents scratches to car
    • Can be attached to any suitable part of your car
    Verdict

    This is a great device for outdoor and water sport enthusiasts, designed specifically for your car with its steel strong, weather resistant, back padded design. If you are still hiding your key above one of your car wheels you need to be seriously considering the Northcore Keypod

    Review of MasterLock Lock Box for Keys

    This is a review of the Master Lock Lock Box for keeping your keys safe. We test out how effective it is when using it to keep your car keys safe in while away from your car. 

    Master-Lock-Box-Keys

     

    Technical Details
    Season
    all seasons
    Portable
    Yes
    Self Inflating
    No
    Fits 3 Door
    No
    Fits 5 Door
    No
    Rating
    4.1/5
    Price
    ££
    Warranty
    No
    Vehicle
    car
    suv
    truck
    van
    Brand
    MasterLock
    Number of seats
    0 seats
    Dimensions
    Internal dimensions: 68 x 78 x 32 mm
    Weight
    449 g
    Washable
    No
    Next Day Delivery
    Yes

    The MasterLock Lock Box provides you with a secure place to put your keys while you are away from your vehicle it you are doing an activity where you don't want to take your car keys with you. 

    The lock box is heavy duty and the lock mechanism appears of a good quality. 

    To open the lock box firstly you will need to pull down the dial cover to reveal the numbers. The numbers are pretty small however I guess this does make it harder to anyone who maybe watching you to see the code. If this is the first time you have used it and the lock box is brand new the key code will be 0 - 0 - 0 . Push on the door to release and pull the door open. You can then add your keys, now because of the large locking mechanism I found that realistically you can only get in about 2 keys maximum and these keys could be two small Yale style keys or one car key. Once you have your key(s) in close the compartment door. Push and hold the door while scrambling the number dial round and then slide up the dial cover.

    Master-Lock-Box-Keys Open

    To reset the number code you will need to find the reset lever in the compartment in the top right corner of the compartment door, push the lever left and pull forward. Move the number dial to the the number code you would like and then push the reset lever back which will spring back to original position.

    The handy part to this lock is the ability to attach to pretty much anything secure, my partner and I regularly like to go surfing so we tried the MasterLock out on our car. To attach, you will need to open the lock box (as above) you will find a small lever on the inside of the compartment to the top left (be careful not to get this confused with the reset lever on the top right or you will be resetting your number password). Push the lever to the right and hold, this should release the shackle so that now you can pull it up and out of the lock at the top. We quite easily attached the shackle around the tow hook of our car, depending a point on your car which allows you to attach this could mean this part is a little fiddly. Once attached close the compartment door shut and scramble the numbers, pull the dial cover up and your key is now safely in the lock ready for you to go and enjoy your activity with peace of mind.   

    Before purchasing this lock I would check the internal dimensions with your car key size to see whether it fits properly as the internal space is very small. 

    To protect your locking mechanism I would recommend to store it with the compartment door closed to prevent the mechanism rusting. Also try to keep it somewhere dry such as your glove box to prevent moisture or dirt getting into the shackle lock. The overall size of the lock is quite small so is easy to otherwise take with you if unable to store in your car or if you travel in a friends car. 

     

    Pros
    • Heavy duty material
    • Suitable for up to two yale size keys
    • Strong lock
    • Resettable key combination
    • Has a handle
    • Can be attached at various points of the car
    • Next day delivery available with Amazon Prime
    Cons
    • Small internal compartment
    • Not suitable for large built in remote lock keys
    Verdict

    This is a small lock although only providing a tiny space suited for Yale keys and possibly your car key the lock is strong, robust and will be more than suited to keeping your key(s) safe while away from your vehicle. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are The KeySafe Locks Made Of

    They are all made of metal, the metals differ slightly but they are all of a robust build and would be very very hard to break in to.

    How Do The Car Key Sages Lock

    They all use number combinations, so you don't need to have anything with you to lock it. You just need to remember the number combination to get your keys out.