In today’s market, gun safes are as numerous and varied as the companies that build and distribute them. Personally, I’m always looking for a portable gun safe that will provide me with easy access to my firearm while considering the safety of the safe and the likelihood of it operating when I need it (my last one didn’t, but more on that in a bit).
There are probably a dozen different types of these portable gun safes; some of which include: biometric safes that cost hundreds, safes with combination locks and electronic push button safes. With all the options available, some customers quickly feel overwhelmed and unable to decide which safe is best for them. Even once you’ve decided on the type of safe you want (let’s say it’s an electronic push button), you still need to consider the specific size you need…a lesson that I recently learned the expensive way.
I was on a personal trip to buy a new portable safe about two months ago. My portable gun safe that I had been using for most of the past decade decided it was going to piss me off; in that two of the four passcode numbers suddenly did not respond to my presses. I hadn’t used the physical key to the safe in years and had lost it, so the weapon I had housed inside my safe was completely inaccessible for a period of significant time.
As the brilliant human being that I am, I quickly realized (took about a month) that it wasn’t good for me to have a gun safe that I couldn’t at all to access ; not to mention quick access.
So I did some research and decided on a specific make and model and bought it. The new safe I purchased had the exact features I was looking for and I thought it was sized appropriately for where I wanted it to go. I landed on a push-button digital safe whose interior lights up when opened. If you ignore the next catch, this was the perfect model for my needs.
After installing my new safe, I attempted to secure it under the seat of my vehicle and quickly realized I had a problem. He wouldn’t fit under my seat… I don’t mean he wasn’t going to completely hide under my seat; I mean it wouldn’t fit under my seat at all. Shoot. There’s $150 for nothing.
Beyond the obvious size and shape considerations of various portable safes, there are also other things to think about before purchase like where exactly do you plan to house the safe, how quickly did you you need to access the contents of the safe and what type of lock/unlock method you prefer depending on your specific needs.
That’s part of why I found it so perfect that just a few days ago a company contacted me and asked me to test out a portable safe that was similar in style to the one that I had just purchased. I couldn’t pass up the chance to help you not make the same mistake I just did, so I agreed to test it for them.
A company named vincent sent me one of their many versions of portable gun safes and I have to admit my first opinion once I got my hands on it was that it really was a product quality.
Opening the outer shipping box, I found a solid, well-padded box inside. I opened this box to find a closed safe completely surrounded by strong packing materials. If you’ve ever read my reviews, you know that the way a company packages its products usually coincides with my final opinion of the product. A former chef says, “The restaurant eats with his eyes first, so make sure the food is appealing from the first moment he sees the dish. I certainly have the same opinion of the product packaging. No one I know wants to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an item only to find their prized purchase shaking freely in the box it came in, or conversely, shoved into the box looking like 20 pounds of packed gear in a 10 pound box. If the first impression of a product matters to you, Wincent has surely nailed its packaging.
Product description (ELITE RSzero)
The specific vault that Wincent gave me to test is the Portable gun safe ELITE RSzero. The safe is matte black and comprised of a heavy-duty, precision-formed 18-gauge steel cabinet. On the top of the safe there are four digital buttons backlit with a blue LED. The buttons are large enough to easily press while wearing gloves and are spaced far enough apart for users with large hands. Additionally, each number (1-4) is embedded in the metal and users can easily and clearly place their fingers in the correct groove if they need to unlock the safe without looking.
Much to my delight, this safe was by far the easiest I’ve programmed to date. The instructions provided were crystal clear and at no time did I receive feedback from the vault that something had gone wrong during the programming process. Each of the included RFID devices was programmed in about one second (literally one second) and they were all immediately functional without any error messages.
The safe also opens in a rather unique way. Once the lock is disengaged – whether by password or RFID chip – the safe makes a pneumatic James Bond sound and the lid releases and begins to open. The moment the safe lid opens, the internal LED light illuminates to aid in quick retrieval of items inside. When you’ve retrieved the items inside, simply press down on the lid to close it and re-secure your items. The lid closes tightly, giving the impression that your items are well protected inside. The lid is not at all flimsy or cheap and the lid action is stiff but smooth. When fully closed, it provides a satisfying click alerting users that it is securely closed.
The safe is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that WINCENT says maintains power for over 6 months between charges. To charge the RSzero, simply plug the included USB-C charging cord into the front of the safe and it immediately begins accepting charge. The instructions ask users to charge the safe before using it and I found it to be about 75% charged from the factory. After just a few minutes on the charger, the safe was charged and ready to use.
To ensure that the items in the safe remain unharmed, the inside of the safe is lined with a layer of memory foam. Additionally, the safe can hold a firearm up to 8.5 inches in overall length, which for reference is slightly larger than a full-size Sig Sauer P226 (which is 8 inches) .
What’s included in the box
What may be one of the highlights of the Wincent ELITE RSzero is all the accessories included. Those are:
2 RFID key fobs
2 RFID stickers
USB charging cable
Locking and unlocking the ELITE RSzero
The RFID devices included with the safe allow it to be opened quickly with just one click, which greatly increases the speed of access. According to Wincent website“This gun safe uses the high frequency IC chip sensor RFID card with encryption technology that cannot be cracked…which makes it much safer than other brand safes with a ordinary RFID function in the market.”
The coolest part of all this for me is the many options available to quickly unlock the vault. I also know of other safes that sell RFID chips, but the inclusion of these was a pleasant surprise for me. I can’t say if WINCENT’s RFID encryption is significantly better than its competitors (as they say), but I can definitely say that the RFID devices work quickly and reliably every time I’ve tried them.
As you’ve probably seen in the photo above, two of the RFID chips are in the form of key fob clips, two of them are in the form of stickers (I’ve placed some one on my phone case as an example) and one comes in the form of a wristband (think Fitbit). I tried all the RFID devices and without fail each one unlocked the case on the first try. I can’t say how RFID devices will work in a year or two, but I can say right now they are definitely working as advertised.
With all the features and functions listed, you might think the safe is pushing the $200 mark, but in reality, it’s currently on sale at the WINCENT website for only $79; marked down from its normal price of $99.
All in all, the WINCENT RSzero portable safe is a fantastic safe at any price. Features, simple setup and ease of use are its strong points and I will say this is definitely a safe I will be using in my personal collection for years to come.
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