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Progress Report: Humidor Ratings

Cigar Aficionado Rates Humidors with Staying Power
Stacey C. Rivera
From the Print Edition:
Vince McMahon, Nov/Dec 99

(continued from page 3)

These specialty humidors are not boxes you can expect to find in stores and most cases are obtained through contacting the maker directly. Custom-made, the humidors these manufacturers provided for rating are truly one-of-a-kind items. Therefore, buyers should be aware that the humidors they buy from these makers may perform differently than the boxes that we tested. Scores are given as a guideline to craftsmanship of each manufacturer. Cainarca, Linley and Hillsdale are other respected specialty makers that we did not review in the interest of keeping the ratings to a manageable size.  

Approximately $2,450 / (905) 838-1820
Spanish cedar
Humidification: One passive Sikar device
Tray, dividers, analog hygrometer, lock and key
Score: A-  

The humidor we tested was constructed with a variety of exotic woods, including burled amboyna, black-dyed maple and eucalyptus. In terms of performance, it was the best of the custom-made boxes and one of the higher scored all around. The cigars from this box were silky. Aesthetically, we found the box lacked the sophistication of an Elie Bleu and not all of our editors were fond of the marquetry. Of course, any box you buy should reflect your own taste. The Bocephus humidors are made to order and available through select tobacconists.  

$895 / (800) 704-4367
Spanish cedar
Two passive devices
Tray, dividers, analog hygrometer, lock and key
Score: B+  

The humidor we rated was a very traditional box, of solid design and wood. The humidification system is identical to that in the Elie Bleu and worked very well to keep our cigars in smokable condition. This is a good performer and not a bad buy. John Christopher has switched its focus from retail to custom-made units sold by select tobacconists, including TinderBox USA.

Harley Davidson Executive Humidor $7,900 / (212) 719-0800
Spanish cedar
Humidification: Two passive devices proprietary to Coopers Classic Car & Cigar System
Details: Tray, dividers, analog hygrometer, two leather pouches, lock and key
Score: B+  

The design alone will make this humidor a must buy for some enthusiasts of cigars and Harley Davidson motorcycles. The box seems to rival the size and weight of the classic "Hawg" it seeks to imitate. Appointments are fashioned from Harley parts--handlebar tassels, gearshift rods, etc.--and it includes two leather pouches (think saddlebags) for utensils. Barber's design never lets a cigar sit on a flat surface. He uses a system of lattice and airway channels cut into the Spanish cedar to allow the cedar more surface area and to increase the circulation of humidified air. This was the only humidor in our test that was seasoned (Barber insisted the box must be seasoned and did it himself). We found his system to have some flaws. The humidification devices are too close to the cigars on the top tray when closed and some of our cigars grew mold. The cigars on the bottom fared better. We also felt the slots were too wide and could damage the cigar's wrapper. The top tray is held in place with Velcro and it required some effort to pull out.  

SHRIVER $3,700 / (303) 651-6544
Spanish cedar
Cigar Oasis fan-operated active humidification system
Details: Three trays, dividers, digital hygrometer, lock and key

This was the only unit we tested with an active humidification system. An electric fan circulates air throughout the humidor, which we found didn't work any better to hydrate cigars and, in fact, it took some getting used to. The real problems with the Shriver come from the design. Although the wood used in the box is attractive, the seams were uneven and the back seam showed signs of bowing. The lid is far too heavy and during our evaluation, the hinge came apart from the lid. We also didn't like the handles used to open the lid, which stick out from the humidor like ears. The tray system is difficult to maneuver; sometimes the trays were loose and sometimes they were tight and had to be forced back into position. Considering the price of this box, it should function better.  

Limited Edition Humidor from Tupperware (407) 826-8484
Passive sponge device
Not Scored  

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Comments   5 comment(s)

Devon Buy — Petaling Jaya, ---, Malaysia,  —  February 19, 2013 11:05pm ET

I have posted an article on constructing your own humidor DIY-style at and have found it to be quite usable, maintaining quite good humidity levels at 70% plus minus. I currently use it to store my Romeo y Julietas and Monte Cristos.

I'm sure there is still room for improvement. Would appreciate any comment with suggestions. Thank you.

Ted Nitka June 22, 2013 5:11pm ET

My company, ( submitted a humidor in the original 1997 review. We received one of the highest marks for our Treasure Dome model.

Ted Nitka June 22, 2013 5:11pm ET


David Savona June 24, 2013 9:38am ET

To clarify the comment from Ted Nikta regarding Cheap Humidors, they were rated by us in the 2003 review on humidors. The humidors did well, however I would correct the comment. Rather than "one of the highest marks" the humidor did fairly well. There were 9 humidors that scored better than the one we reviewed made by Cheap Humidors and several that tied with it. That said, there were several humidors in the review that scored much, much worse. Overall we gave the Cheap Humidors product a score of B-, which we stated was better than anticipated given the name.

For the full review, click here:

Aaron Hois February 22, 2014 11:53pm ET

I recently came across a web page called Lance Allen humidors I went ahead and purchased one of the humidors and was really impressed with the craftsmanship and its ability to retain humidity. Th what I can tell he specializes in makes custom orders though but I think its worth checking out just passing it along

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