I am quite sure no-one would like to rock up to the check-in counter and find their luggage to be a kilo or two overweight.
You might have seen people frantically rearranging their items adjacent to the counter just to avoid any extra fees.
If you add being marginally late due to traffic to this scenario, then you have a mini-crisis brewing.
Fortunately, luggage scales are here to help. Picking the right one, however, can be a bit complicated.
Irrespective of whether one is into the habit or packing light or to the brim it’s much better to know exactly how much your luggage weighs.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Airlines can be quite strict with respect to weight limits and excess baggage fees are getting steeper by the year.
Carry-ons are no different and can come under scrutiny too. Accuracy & ease of use is pretty much everything and our list consists of the best you can buy in the market today.
10 Best Digital Luggage Scales
We’ve picked out and reviewed what we think are the 10 perfect travel luggage scales in 2018. Some have numerous other features which make them even more useful during your adventures.
1. Camry - EL62
- Fluctuates slightly at higher weights
First up it’s the Camry and we can easily say that this is one of the best digital luggage scales in terms of core functionality. Many scale variants have entered the market but this Camry has outperformed them all.
The accuracy is great. We also really like the large blue LCD display which is extremely easy to read. A lot of simple scales in the market don’t make use of the hold function but this Camry does. The beep function and the data lock come in handy considering the LCD will be covered when you do lift the suitcase with both hands. Some users have reported larger fluctuations when dealing with weights north of 50 pounds. The overall build quality is quite good providing for a lightweight yet sturdy feel. This luggage scale does not have any bells and whistles like flashlights and more, which would have made this an even more impressive product.
2. Jetsetter by Tarris
- Marginally Pricey
- Some folks reported battery issues
In addition to being one of the most popular digital luggage scales, the Tarriss Jetsetter is also one of the best designed. Everything from its sleek appearance and build make for a truly great product.
The length of the device is similar to the Camry as it also employs the elongated handle. What we really like about Tarriss is their customer service. The after sales service is probably the best in the industry.
The Jetsetter is slightly more accurate than most scales for weighing luggage in the market as it boasts an accuracy of 0.2 lbs. The LCD display is not backlit with an aim to prolong battery life but some users did report that the battery life is a bit short. The auto-lock and shut off displays are quite handy. To top it all off the Jetsetter comes with a Lifetime Warranty too, which makes it one we highly recommend.
3. Precision Voyager by EatSmart
- Can accidentally turn on when tightly packed due to button design
The EarSmart is a different prospect design wise to all the other scales on the list. As far as accuracy goes it doesn’t get more accurate than the precision voyager.
This digital scale performed very well when weighing multiple times with a consistently accurate reading. There is a bright backlit LCD display on the top of the device for reading the weight. This device does have an Auto-off & a hold function. Unlike most luggage scales, this does not have a hook but instead a strap buckle that can be used to fasten the luggage before lifting. The strap is quite durable too which is handy. Even though Eatsmart calls it a two-handed design its quite difficult for folks with reasonably large hands to use both to lift the suitcase. Lighter things like backpacks and carry-on can be lifted easily. We feel it would be much better if a wider design was employed for the handle. This is also a slightly pricier option for the features it has.
4. Camry - EL10
- No backlighting and lock in sounds
The 2nd Camry on the list employs a narrower design and is a very popular luggage scale amongst many travelers. The Camry comes with a temperature sensor and a Tare function as well. This helps the device to stay useful and relevant even when you are not travelling.
The tare function is perfect when you want to weigh things like food items in a tray or measure the weight of individual travel gear. This is especially applicable when you are on hiking trips and would like to keep the weight to a minimum.
This device we feel could be better in certain facets. A longer handle would make it easier to lift larger weights in a more comfortable manner. The device is marginally cheaper than the other Camry but lacks any beep sounds or hold function which can make it a bit difficult to ascertain the weight with a very high accuracy.
5. Smart Weigh - GO110
- The handle design makes it hard to lift heavy luggage
The first thing that stands out about the GO110 by Smart Weigh, is its build quality. The sleek design and finish, makes it one of the more durable products on our list. The weight lock feature is great but the speed with which the device locks in the weight is all the more impressive.
The bright blue LCD display is great and easy to read. The device uses the popular CR2032 lithium battery which offers good life but can be a tad hard to replace at certain times.
Whilst the GO110 is an impressive portable luggage scale thanks to its compact design and lightweight it, however, might not be the most convenient. When we travel internationally, the weights we are allowed to carry can be more which in turn means your suitcase has the potential to be quite heavy. The design of the handle on the Go110 requires the user to lift the luggage with 1 hand and this can put an enormous strain on one's back or make it very hard for older folks to lift the suitcase.
6. Accuoz Rechargeable Luggage Scale
- Textured grip not present throughout
- Clear instructions on powerbank usage needed
A featured packed scale that is very economical and can prove to be useful throughout the course of any trip.
Normally when you are traveling, you are faced with a conundrum whereby you are trying to decide if the scale is worth carrying along for your return trip. In most situations, buyers tend to leave the scale behind as it can't be used for anything else and it just takes up space. With the Accuoz the same scenario might play out differently thanks to its numerous features. You have a power bank, flashlight to go with the other functions such as Tare, hold etc.
This is one of the reasons why we liked this scale. As for accuracy when it comes to weighing your luggage it fared quite well too. (+/- 1lbs) The accuoz has a textured grip at the top which could have been better if it was the case throughout the body of the scale. The powerbank is just 2600mAh meaning you can take it aboard planes easily (Carry on only), it also means since most phones have a 3300~mAh capacity it won't charge it fully.
7. NONZERS luggage scale
- Some users reported having issues with the back cover
This digital luggage scale adopts a slightly smoother profile with a super clear LED display. This piece made by NONZERS, is another extremely accurate option on the list.
The elongated handle design is employed here with a button also present at the top to change the display unit. This device is available in black only. The scale itself is super light making it convenient to take it along during your travels too. The weight tends to lock in very quickly and the overload indicator is quite handy especially if you decide to weigh a lot all at once. This device can also be used to weigh heavy packages you wish to send since the hook design offers much more of a sturdier feel when lifting. The additional features are what makes this device a great option for many travelers around the world.
8. LEOKOR Luggage Scale
- Build quality with regards to the battery casing is a bit flimsy
The LEOKOR is another very accurate option for those who like to travel internationally constantly. As you might know all too well, the luggage dimensions allowed tend to vary sometimes from place to place and the tape measure really comes in handy here.
The build quality is very good and is quite similar to the Camry which we touched on earlier. The plastic base and the stainless steel top make for quite a sleek appearance. The hold function and the ability of the scale to detect an overload come in very handy. The down side is more or so related to the plastic which has quite a flimsy feel and you can shake the battery cover loose if you happen to use this scale quite often. Overall, The Leokor is an accurate yet different scale with a clean & clear LED display. It does also auto shut off after 60 seconds of inactivity to preserve battery life.
9. Balanzza Ergo Digital Baggage Scale
- Scale itself weighs a bit
- Accurate only to within 2lbs
The Balanzza is another well-built luggage scales that is popular amongst frequent travelers. If you are not into the habit of packing your luggage scale with you then this scale will help.
The Balanzza is quite well made. It has all the usual refinements that are common in digital scales like weight locking in, beep sounds etc. The clasping mechanism is not the smoothest around but it works just fine nonetheless.
The scale is quite accurate when weighing items above 10lbs and some users have reported having accuracy issues which leave it displaying a result lighter by a pound or two. This is not an issue for most people but for some who like to pack and measure till the very last pound this might not help. The scale itself is marginally heavier than others on our list which means it might be a tad annoying to take it with you wherever you go.
10. Air Weigh LS-300
- Some users reported durability issues
- Not accurate enough for those who really like to cut it close to the limit
- Plastic feel
The LS-300 is a different option for those looking for a scale with the weight on its side. A compact design makes the air weigh a preferred choice for a lot of travelers. This luggage scale employs a hook design with two buttons on the top and can be lifted using two hands.
This scale can weigh up to 75 pounds which is much lower than the 110-pound standard set by most scales on the market. It comes with a replaceable battery which is very handy. The major question mark is with respect to the durability. Unlike other sturdier options, the LS-300 has a sort of plastic feel. In terms of performance, the LS-300 is a solid mid-weight. It does not offer the accuracy that the Jetsetter or the Eatsmart boast but it certainly gets the job done for folks who are not looking to cut it too close to the limit. Overall, we feel that this is slightly pricey given the features and accuracy on offer.
Best Mechanical Luggage Scale
Strengths & Weaknesses:
- Weight lock feature is handy
- No battery needed
- Not as accurate as some of its digital counterparts
- Weight accuracy is +/- 3 lbs which depending upon the person can be a lot.
Our first and only non-digital option in the list is the Samsonite manual luggage scale. Samsonite is an established luggage brand with other terrific travel gear as well and this one is no different. The mechanical options always have the added advantage that no batteries are needed. You can simply buy and forget about it too. At first glance, the device was a bit wider than first thought. The hook design is great despite having a slightly flimsy appearance. The Samsonite’s downsides lie in the core functionality. The scale is accurate but not to the level that the digital weighing scales offer. Overall, this is definitely a great option for those who don’t want to go digital and desire something that is very durable and compact.
How to properly use luggage scales
Make sure you do not strain your back when you lift. Avoid using 1 hand alone to carry heavy weights. Make sure you use 2 hands unless the scale itself restricts you. Ensure you lift the weight vertically by pushing down with your feet and keeping your back straight. A good weighing scale in addition to being accurate will also facilitate this. Lifting heavy weights in angles and in an incorrect fashion can result in back injuries.
Luggage Scales Comparison
|Product||Image||Weight||Battery Type||Capacity||Additional Functions|
|1. Camry - EL62||4oz||3V Lithium Cell||50 Kgs/110 lbs||Hold, Overload,Tare|
|2. Tarriss Jetsetter||4oz||Lithium Cell||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Overload, Auto Off, Hold, Low Battery Indicator|
|3. EatSmart - Precision Voyager||7.2oz||Lithium Cell||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Auto Off, Hold|
|4. Camry - EL10||6.3oz||3V Lithium Cell||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Tare, Hold. Temp Sensor|
|5. Smart Weigh - GO110||3.7oz||Lithium Cell||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Hold, Auto Off|
|6. Accuoz||~4oz||In-Built PowerBank||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Weight Lock, Overload and Low Battery Indicator, Flashlight, Tare, PowerBank(2600mAH)|
|7. NONZERS||2.7oz||AAA||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Low battery, Overload, Tare, Hold|
|8. LEOKOR||4.8oz||2 AAA||50 Kgs/ 110 lbs||Hold, Tape Measure, Auto Shut off, Overload, Low Battery Indicator|
|9. Balanzza||2lbs||3 AAA||44 Kgs/ 100 lbs||Hold,|
|10. Air Weigh LS-300||6.4oz||Lithium Cell||34 Kgs/ 75 lbs||Auto Shut off|
|11. Samsonite Mechanical Luggage Scale||3.5oz||N/A||36.2 Kgs/ 80 lbs||Weight Lock|
Mechanical vs digital luggage scale
A quick glance through our list might give you a good indication of what is the more accurate option. Even though the mechanicals these days are far more accurate than the good old spring scales back in the day, the mechanical options are indeed going out of style as the digital options are getting more and more accurate. An added benefit is the hold function and you don’t have to peer uncomfortably around to see how much something weighs. There are also numerous other features that make them an attractive proposition.
How accurate are they really? Compared to the scales the airlines use
This is a bit of a tricky one cause you need to factor in the slight errors that can arise both in your scale and in the scale used by the airlines. We are dealing with very fine margins of course. Most of the good ones we listed above are accurate to 0.1lbs in actual terms. The airline scales are usually super accurate but in our experience, an overall variance of 0.2lbs is quite common.
This is very much related to its core function of weighing luggage. Make sure the scale you buy has the ability to weigh at least 50 pounds as this is the standard for a lot of airlines. Whilst weighing scales are reasonably accurate try not to cut it too close with non-digital scales. Most luggage weighing scales we have selected weigh up to 110 pounds which should be more than enough for carry on and check-in baggage.
Will the airlines accept the readings on your luggage scale?
No. Not really. If there is a discrepancy between the weight your scale shows and what is seen on the counter then the best you can do is request them to weigh it again or some may even be generous enough to try it on a different scale. Their weighting belt scales have the final say so make sure you test your luggage scale on other objects if you can as soon as it arrives.
Are airline scales themselves accurate?You often hear stories of people arriving at an airport having weighed their luggage at home and being safely under the limit, only to get to the front of the check-in queue and be told they’re going to have to pay for excess baggage. When you’re running a bit late for your flight, arguing with an overworked employee at the check-in desk is stress that you really don’t need.
If you’re traveling on a budget, paying an excess baggage fee just isn’t an option, and even if you’ve got money to spare I’m sure you’d rather spend it on cocktails on a tropical beach rather than on a fine for being a few pounds over the weight limit.
To answer the question…
Broadly speaking, and I know you might not want to hear this, yes (to an extent). All scales at airports in the US and in most countries around the world have to be calibrated on yearly basis. However, as was pointed out by someone who really knows their airlines in an article on the Huffington Post, once a year is not a lot for a set of scales that are pressed into service hundreds of times a day, 365 days a year. It’s inevitable that the reading may be slightly off, and that the bag that was 47lbs on your bathroom scales might weigh in at 52lbs on the airport scales.
An easy solution would be to make sure you leave a buffer.
When packing, it’s best to leave a buffer of at least 1-2lbs under the weight limit, in case either your scales or the scales at the airport aren’t quite right. It’s worth sacrificing that extra pair of jeans to avoid any unnecessary stress when you’re jetting off on holiday.
Hold & Auto Off functions
Whilst these might seem like add-ons to some people they are vitally important to digital luggage scales. Most scales on the market have the LCD display on top of the handle which means it can be difficult for you to see the reading as and when you hold. So a scale that retains the weight for a few seconds after you have done the reading is an excellent option. These often times cost a couple of bucks more but are definitely worth it. Auto-off similarly is an important function that helps you preserve battery life, especially if the scale gets turned on by accident when tightly packed.
The majority of scales in the market make use of Lithium batteries. These are quite effective but might take a tad longer to replace especially if you are traveling through a less developed part of the planet. The AAA option could be a good bet if you are a frequent traveler. Low battery indications are quite handy as well.
Is luggage with a built-in luggage scale better?
A: Yes & No. Self-weighing suitcases do offer you the advantage of weighing as you go. You will be able to see exactly how much a suitcase weights after each item is added. No luggage scale in the market currently can offer that in real time. However, the inbuilt scales or even overweight indicators on some suitcases are known to not be consistently accurate or can break down a tad easier. Portable scales also give you the advantage of weighing things like your carry-on, backpack & so much more.
You will often find backlighting common on most LCD displays whilst these are useful, the trade-off is usually battery life. Other features like power banks, thermometers and flashlights can make the device useful throughout the trip. Otherwise, the scale has to sit idle in your luggage till the next use. The tare function is another such function that helps you weigh accurately in many different situations.
We haven’t given too much weight to the additional features like temperature sensors, flashlights & the likes, in our review process.
Are features like flashlights etc all that useful?
In our experience, nope, they aren’t too useful. While they really add to the stat sheet of the product we found our smartphones to be quite adequate in providing light. Other features like temperature sensing have very limited applications which. When choosing its best to rely on something that’s accurate.
We did, however, really value the Tare function. This basically allows you to weigh individual items as you can weigh your bag initially following which you can simply weigh as you go along from the weight of the bag onwards. This is such a cool feature to have since you can weigh individual items and then decide if you’d like it in your carry-on or your checked luggage based on its weight & space it occupies.
Irrespective of which options you do decide to go with they will have their pros & cons. The best approach to avoiding overweight baggage fees is to give yourself a buffer of a pound or two. Additionally, always aim to pack light this way you will have plenty of room for souvenirs should you decide to bring some back for the people that matter to you.