You’re in the check in queue, in your straw hat and linen shirt, you’ve got your sunglasses on, you can feel the heat that’s coming to you already. Oh, but what’s this? Your luggage is 2kg over your allowance! Pay a surcharge or face your suitcase being left behind in the airport without you. Complete disaster.
Take that little weight off of your mind with this list of the five best luggage scales on the market.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Okay, so it seems like a simple process, buy a scale and weigh your baggage. But there’s more to it than that. Here is what you should be looking for when purchasing your luggage scales:
Obviously, if you’re buying a scale that costs as much as the surcharge you’re likely to pay for an overweight bag, you’re throwing your money away. Make sure your scale is reasonably priced.
At the same time, you want a good quality scale, so buying too cheap can mean a compromise in quality
If you’re going on a return trip or catching multiple flights, you will need to weigh your luggage to come back also, meaning that you’ll need to take your scales with you.
Don’t let the scales be the weight that tips you over your limit and look for a strong but lightweight option, which fits in your bag nicely.
An easy to read display window which also stores the previously weighed bag is a real plus. Once you’ve weighed your hold luggage, you’ll also need to weigh your hand luggage.
So, in order to save yourself from writing a load of numbers down, the ability of a scale to store both is paramount
You don’t want to be worrying about whether your scales can even hold the weight of your items, and even worse you don’t want the scale to actually break on you.
Straps are the best carry method, as they’re better for securing the luggage properly to the scale, and the fact that hooks are prohibited from being carried in your cabin luggage, due to risk of accident/damage to the vessel.
You will need to be able to lift the scale properly when your luggage is attached, meaning you need a good and well-designed handle which allows your hands to grip and lift correctly, saving you from damaging both yourself and your luggage.
Something that suits the natural convex and curve of your palm is ideal.
Even if you’re not visiting a country, or using an airline with differing measurement styles on this particular trip, you may be in the future. A scale that can display both kilograms (kg) and pounds (lbs) will save you a lot of time and confusion of converting between the two.
A good scale will carry and display at least 100lbs or 45 kg, which is more than enough for the majority of cargo.
Not a necessity by any means, at the end of the day, a scale is a scale and is primarily used as such, but keep an eye out for any extra functionality within the scale – whether that be a flashlight, alarm, whistle, compass, or anything else that can be useful on a variety of trips.
Your scales should be easy to use and clear without reading pages and pages of instructions. You may have to familiarize yourself with its functions, as with any technology, but you should not be sitting for hours, rummaging through folders to find your high school algebra exam in order to work out how to use it.
The process should be something along the lines of: strap the bag to the scale, lift the scale, wait until the weight has registered, lower the bag, read the weight.
Last, but by no means least, is some kind of coverage. Your travel insurance may or may not cover you for gadgets, and even if it does, chances are you will have an excess to pay that is probably more than the value of the scale you’re looking to buy anyway.
An added bonus for any electronic item is that it is guaranteed or under warranty, making it easy and free to replace if it doesn’t work for as long as the manufacturer or seller suggests that it should. The longer for either warranty or guarantee, the better.
Okay, so now you’re armed with the knowledge of what you should be looking for, it’s time to introduce the contestants. These are five luggage scales which vary from each other whilst still ticking most of the above criteria. Offering you a selection and a choice, without needing to compromise on what you get in return.
The Tarriss Jetsetter is a super sleek , silver scale and comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Travel Inspira comes in two different colours, both red and black, and offers multiple functionality as well as simple and easy to use mechanics.
Etekcity offers precision accuracy for large weight bags. Coming in a silver and black, it’s a stylish scale to boot.
The Dunheger is a user friendly, easy to read scale which is both durable and lightweight.
Balance From is equipped with German developed, high precision sensors with consistent and accurate measurements up to 110 pound or 50 kilogram baggage.
Overall, as you’ll notice from the bullet points, the above choices have very similar characteristics, all providing enough features for most traveling needs. The best suited scale for you obviously depends on your needs as an individual traveler, and taking into account your own requirements before purchasing any gadget is paramount.
With that in mind, and taking into account all of the above values, my requirements for a scale would be prioritised by price, weight, durability, comfort and manufacturer belief in its product (warranty/guarantee).
If I were to choose a scale to take with me on my own travels, all of these would make great travel companions, but the overall winner would be the Tarriss Jetsetter digital luggage scales.
Despite going against my own advice, as this is the most expensive of scales, its lifetime guarantee is just too much of a good offer to turn down.
When going through multiple baggage check ins and bus journeys and other tough tests for all of your luggage, an item with the best coverage can potentially save you much more money than it costs in the first instance.
With similar features to the other products elsewhere, such as weighing limit, backlit display, well designed handle, auto power off to save battery and indicators for remaining battery and weight limits, its extra features are the ones that help it pip the others to the post.
And the fact that they’ve gone to the trouble of including an airport and airline travel guide shows the company really goes all out for customer satisfaction, which is so important in crowded markets such as travel gadgets.
If you have any suggestions for improving this consumer guide, maybe you own one of our featured gadgets, or perhaps you know of other products you think are just as good as these, or even better, make sure you let us know in the comments section.