Buying a boutique cigar humidor box is kind of like opting to build a bigger and better garage for your car collection. Ever seen someone park their Corvette collection inside a dilapidated shack? Neither have we.
But just like collector cars, we can’t take every cigar we own with us when we go out. A safe, snuggly-locked storage solution must be implemented. Preferably something temperature controlled, with 24-hour monitoring capability and extra storage space for tools and memorabilia.
A quality cigar humidor box in the $100-$300 range provides all of these things and then some. What else does it provide you might ask? Quite a bit. Actually.
The following considerations and features all help set a bespoke cigar humidor box apart from an average entry-level stogie storage case.
Some of these features may make the sizable bump in sticker price entirely worthwhile, while others offer additional conveniences and bragging rights. Either way, there are quite a few considerations that make a $100-$300 cigar humidor a cut above the competition.
Storage Size, Design, and Functionality Are All Important
Although a well-made table-top humidor will work as long as it is properly seasoned and equipped with a digital hygrometer for humidors and humidor packs, it will have its limitations.
Many smaller cigar humidors are limited not only in capacity (15-25 cigars being the norm), but they also struggle to offer cigar accessory storage solutions. You have to put that metal cutter, punch, torch lighter, travel humidor case, and all your other humidor accessories somewhere when they aren’t in use. This is why having something like an integrated sliding drawer underneath the main cigar humidor box chamber is a fantastic feature to have on a $100-$300 humidor.
Another consideration is the quality of the calibrated hygrometer and the humidification kit that maintains internal moisture levels. These crucial components play vital roles in how humidity is monitored and adjusted within a cigar humidor, and cannot be omitted or downgraded. Having these two humidity-oriented tools integrated into the humidor’s structure itself offers an outstanding solution. Not only does this design make for a clean appearance, but it also provides more accurate readings and humidity disbursement, while saving valuable real estate within the storage space itself.
Speaking of storage, a capacity level that mirrors the price range you are shopping for is a good smoke signal to follow when seeking out a new humidor. Looking to spend $100-$300 on a humidor? Keep your eyes open for humidors with a 100-300 stick count.
Detachable cedar storage trays with movable partitioning walls are another great feature to look for in a top-dollar humidor. Not only does the integration of cedar trays support additional stogie storage, but it also allows you to separate cigars by style, brand, size, etc while encouraging airflow.
Tobacco Nerd Note: Case Elegance utilizes its patent-pending Hydro System in its Glass Top and Kingston line of humidors to keep moisture levels in optimum condition. Cleverly recessed within the base of the humidor itself to maximize cigar storage space, this simple slide-out humidification system accurately and effortlessly keeps cigars in prime condition. A Klaro Membership humidification solution subscription further ensures that humidity remains stable year-round.
Materials Matter Too
Spanish cedar is the element that turns a plain-old humidor from a humidity capsule into an organic breathing box. Long favored as the preferred form of humidor wood, Spanish cedar is the material of choice when it comes to forming a humidor’s internals, including the lid and coping edges that form the seal.
Not only does this type of expensive evergreen offer an intoxicating aroma, but it also repels insects, is a natural antifungal agent, and absorbs excess moisture as needed. When it comes to humidor wood, nothing works better than Spanish cedar, and everything else just flat-out falls short.
Another component to consider is the quality of the materials used to manufacture the hygrometer. While a snazzy color-matching metal that mirrors other accents on a cigar humidor box are a nice touch, functionality is equally important.
When it comes to building a top tier humidor, any old digital hygrometer for humidors will not do. Premature failure and inferior metal plating flaking and peeling caused by humidity exposure are both concerns. Always make sure that the humidor manufacturer utilizes a high quality hygrometer, and if it doesn’t take your money elsewhere.
Poor seals along the edges of analog hygrometers are prone to foggy and/or hazy displays, while cheaply made digital hygrometers are notorious for glitching and freezing. There is also the concern of inaccurate reading due to compromised or inferior internals. This is why any high quality humidor comes with a hygrometer of equally sound stock.
Another consideration that few people think of, is the hardware that anoints a cigar humidor in various places. A boutique cigar humidor should come with heavy-duty hinges that allow smooth opening and closure, a flush seal once completely shut, and hardware that is of equally good quality. Cigar humidor hinges should never give out and should be externally mounted for a completely airtight close every time.
Tobacco Nerd Note: A humidor that rocks a removable sliding storage tray is another consideration you’ll want to keep in mind. It may not change how you smoke or store stogies, but it sure will make your life a lot easier when it comes time to reach for a cigar that’s been stuffed way down in the bottom of your humidor.
Don’t Forget the Functional Frills and Fancy Accouterments
Have you ever tried to pick up a premium 100+ cigar glass top humidor? Pretty damn heavy, aren’t they? There’s a reason why every top-tier cigar humidor we’ve come across features a set of handles on each side.
With their flat bottoms, cumbersome bulk, surprising weight, and slick outer shells, full-size cigar humidors are a real challenge to relocate without a set of handles. Our advice is simple: If it doesn’t come with integrated handles, don’t buy it.
Stogie security is another consideration to keep in mind when purchasing a cigar humidor. And no, we’re not talking about putting your humidor next to a menacing photo of Mr. T. Though we pity the fool who might try and snag one of that dude’s stogies.
The example we’re alluding to is the Military Glass Top Humidor from Case Elegance. A hardcore humidor featuring edges that have been reinforced with polished gunmetal corner guards, sides that have been outfitted with locking lid latches, and a body construction that is intended to last a lifetime. Durability fosters longevity, which in turn leads us full circle back to the reason why high dollar humidors weigh so damn much.
Finally, there is the whole aesthetic side of the humidor, which on a box that costs anywhere from $100-$300 better be nothing short of spectacular. While mahogany, cherry, walnut, and other traditional finishes are appealing, modern boutique cigar humidors offer far more than just woodsy aesthetics. Real carbon fiber woven shells, piano black wood grain finishing, and an array of colors and gradations are all yours for purchase.
Small touches can make a high-dollar humidor standout too. Things like felt-lined accessory drawers and soft-close magnetic latches are both quite desirable. And let’s not forget the whole custom engraving side of the equation, which grants you infinite access to a world of bespoke finishing options and artforms.
Although pretty much any of the most common types of humidor will work as a form of “cigar garage,” there is something to be said about coughing up the cash and getting a really nice, bespoke humidor.
Exploring cigar culture is more than just having a hobby. It’s a form of expression. A highly personalized voyage into the world of tobacco culture that allows us to personalize our cigar paraphernalia along with our smoking preferences.
A slick finish, glass top, front-facing digital hygrometer, accessory storage drawer, Spanish cedar internals, magnetic closure points, and a brilliant hygrometer system are but a few of the key features to look for in a boutique cigar humidor.
Slick looks aren’t everything though, for a hefty amount of engineering must go into a well-designed humidor. So if you are paying $100-$300 for a cigar humidor, it had best have undergone a boatload of R&D time, and be backed by an overwhelmingly positive wave of customer reviews.
As with any big-ticket storage investment, you will want to spend the money and buy the right humidor the first time. Just like that garage being built out back for that classic Corvette collection.