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When you are making a trip, everything needs to run smoothly. You don’t want any unexpected setbacks, least of all having to pay an excess luggage fee at the airport for carrying a few extra pounds in your suitcase. Weighing luggage at home, without using the proper tool for the job, can be a tedious and difficult task.
It is essential when traveling that you have a way to check the weight of your luggage before going to the airport. This is especially true before you fly back home, as you have most likely made a few purchases while you were away. The best tool for the job is a luggage scale, which will allow you to comfortably and accurately measure the weight of your luggage. This shopping guide will help you find the luggage scale that is best for you, from the wide-range of different models currently available on the market.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Our Selection: The Best Luggage Scales on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Luggage Scales
- 3.1 What exactly is a luggage scale?
- 3.2 What types of luggage scales exist on the market?
- 3.3 What is the best type of design?
- 3.4 Is it a good idea to buy a luggage scale with additional features?
- 3.5 How are luggage scales used?
- 3.6 How much weighting capacity do I need?
- 3.7 Is auto shut off an important feature?
- 3.8 What are the advantages of luggage scales?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Luggage scales are devices that measure the weight of our luggage with great accuracy, saving you from paying an unexpected excess luggage fee. They are small and very light gadgets, which makes them easy to take with you on your next trip. If you are staying in a hotel, you most likely won’t have a way to weigh your bags before your flight home. A luggage scale is an essential travel tool to keep in your suitcase.
- Luggage scales are simple and easy to use, not only for weighing your luggage but also for packages you are planning to send. These days there are many different types of designs of different models of luggage scales, with a variety of functions. These include tare weight measurement, energy saving with auto shut off, or a tape measure to check the dimensions of your suitcase.
- When buying a luggage scale, it is important to look at whether the hook is metallic or nylon. A nylon hook will allow you to weigh larger suitcases. Make sure you check if batteries are included in the purchase, or if they must be bought separately.
Our Selection: The Best Luggage Scales on the U.S. Market
In this section we feature the four best luggage scales, in four different categories. We hope that this will give you an overview of the different types of models currently available on the market. All these products are top sellers, with fantastic customer reviews, and offer great value for money.
- Most Popular Luggage Scale
- Luggage Scale with the Best Display
- Best Analog Luggage Scale
- Best Luggage Scale with a Metal Hook
Most Popular Luggage Scale
This is the most popular luggage scale on the market. It has a tare function, auto shut off and a thermometer. This digital luggage scale can be used for a variety of different things, such as weighing produce at a farmer’s market. It is FDA/FCC/CE/ROHS compliant and has a one year warranty.
Luggage Scale with the Best Display
This luggage scale is very easy to use. It has a clear backlit LCD display with data locking that makes reading easy. The zero/tare function instantly resets the scale back to zero, allowing you to calculate the net weight of your luggage. It is super portable, and the small and lightweight design easily fits into your bag or purse and is the perfect travel companion.
Best Analog Luggage Scale
If you want an analog luggage scale that doesn’t require the use of batteries, we strongly suggest that you take a look at this product. Save on overweight fees with this compact and portable scale that weighs up to 75 lbs. Simply suspend your luggage from the hook and wait for dial to stop. The tape measure allows you to check the dimensions of your luggage, so you can be sure it is not oversize.
Best Luggage Scale with a Metal Hook
This versatile luggage scale uses both a metal and nylon hook, so you have the best of both worlds. The unit of measurement can be easily switched (lb, g, oz, kg) with just one button. The maximum measuring weight is 110 pounds, so it is large enough to suits the needs of frequent travelers. It has a tare function, and a backlit LCD display that can be used in the dark.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Luggage Scales
Due to the large range of different models currently available on the market, choosing the luggage scale that is best for you can be a little tricky. Information is power, and it is important to have a solid understanding of the characteristics and functions of the devices to make an informed choice. In this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about luggage scales, to give you all the information you need.
What exactly is a luggage scale?
A luggage scale is a device specifically designed for determining the exact weight of luggage or packages. They are useful for ensuring that your luggage does not exceed the maximum baggage restriction of the airline you are flying with when traveling, and also for determining the cost of sending a parcel. They are particularly useful for travelers, as they are lightweight enough to pack in your luggage, so you can weigh your bags before catching your flight home.
What types of luggage scales exist on the market?
There is a wide variety of different luggage scales currently available on the market, so there is definitely something for everyone. Generally speaking, luggage scales can be classified into two broad categories: digital or analog.
- Analog scales: These are very robust tools, with a weighing system based on the use of an elastic spring. They do not require batteries to be used. This is very handy for travelers, as they may be in situations where it is not easy to replace or charge a battery, especially when running late to catch a flight. Analog scales are less common these days than digital models.
- Digital scales: These scales use either a replaceable watch battery, or a rechargeable internal battery. They are great for travelers as they usually weigh less than a few ounces. They are easy to use and typically have a weighing capacity 60% higher than analog models.
In the following table, we summarize the characteristics of analog and digital scales:
|Criteria||Digital Scales||Analog Scales|
|Battery||Require batteries||Do not require batteries|
|Precision||Very precise||Not very accurate|
|Extras||They offer extra tools that are very useful for travelers.||Do not offer any extra functions.|
What is the best type of design?
Luggage scales usually come in a T-shaped design, or utilize a hook. T-shaped scales consist of a grip with a nylon strap, which is adjustable to suit any type of luggage. This design is very easy to use and allows you to lift the luggage with one hand.
Scales with hooks are very useful because of their durability. However, when making your purchase it is very important to check the size of the hook. If it is too small, your suitcase could become unhooked when you are trying to measure it. This will make it harder to get an accurate reading, and may force you to buy a replacement hook.
Is it a good idea to buy a luggage scale with additional features?
Yes, many of the extra functions that the most popular luggage scales include are very useful when traveling. A tape measure will allow you to measure the dimensions of your luggage, the thermometer is a useful tool to have if you want to check the temperature when arriving in a new location, and the tare function will allow you to calculate the net weight of your luggage.
How are luggage scales used?
As we mentioned previously in this article, there are many different models of luggage scales currently available on the market, and each one has its own particular characteristics and functions. This means that the first thing you need to do after purchasing your new scale, is to carefully read the manufacturer’s instruction manual, because it will explain all the different functions particular to the model you have selected.
These days many of the most popular luggage scales on the market include a battery. If you have purchased one of these models, you will need to remove the security seal placed by the manufacturer in the battery compartment. If your luggage scale has an internal battery, you should fully recharge it before use.
The third step is to turn on your scale and select the unit of measurement you want to use. This is usually a choice of kg, g, oz or Ib. Finally, you need to attach your luggage to the hook or strap of the scale, and then lift it carefully with both hands and wait for the reading. It is a good idea to weigh each piece of luggage three times to ensure it has been weighed correctly.
How much weighting capacity do I need?
Airlines are very strict with respect to the dimensions and weight of checked bags, but sometime less so with carry-on luggage. Generally speaking, if an airline imposes a limit on the weight of carry-on luggage it will be around 20 lbs, while checked bags cannot weigh more than 50 lbs. This means that you should buy a luggage scale that has a capacity of at least 60 lbs, or even more if you typically exceed the baggage limit or send very heavy parcels by courier.
Is auto shut off an important feature?
Yes, absolutely! The automatic power off function that is a feature of most of the best luggage scales these days is essential. It will allow you to conserve battery power, and save you from the frustrating scenario of not being able to weigh your bags before a flight, because the device was mistakenly powered on for several hours.
What are the advantages of luggage scales?
Saving time, money and effort is always a big advantage. This is especially true if you are traveling, and is the reason why it is so important to have a dependable luggage scale. Luggage scales are usually ergonomically designed and do not weigh more than a few ounces, allowing them to easily be taken with you on your next vacation.
When you are ready to catch your return flight home after a long trip, a luggage scale can let you know if all the souvenirs you have bought can fit in your checked luggage without exceeding the baggage limit. Many airlines offer big discounts for booking excess baggage before arriving at the airport, so it is very handy to have this information in advance. Luggage scales also have other uses apart from weighing bags and parcels, such as weighing ingredients for cooking. It is a gadget that the whole family can use. Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages:
When buying a luggage scale it is important to keep several factors in mind, so that you can find the option that best suits your needs. Different models of scales offer different functions, and are suitable for many other tasks – apart from just weighing bags. In this section we list the most important factors you should consider when making your purchase.
- Type of Scales
- Type of Hook
- Units of Measure
- Weighing Capacity
- Extra Functions
Type of Scales
The first thing you need to decide is if you want to purchase a digital or analog luggage scale. The only real advantage of analog models is that they do not require the use of a battery. On the other hand, digital scales usually have a more ergonomic design, are easier to use, do not weigh more than a few ounces and provide much more accurate readings.
Type of Hook
The last thing that buyers usually consider when purchasing a luggage scale is the type of hook it uses, however they soon realize its importance when they go to use their new device. Generally speaking their are two main types of hooks: metallic and nylon. A metal hook is not usually easily adaptable to different types of suitcases, while a nylon strap offers great versatility.
When it comes to any type of electronic device, battery life is always an important factor to consider. You may prefer the idea of a luggage scale that has an internal rechargeable battery. Most models use a replaceable watch battery, which are widely available, but do present an additional cost.
Units of Measure
It is important that the luggage scale you choose has more than one unit of weight measurement. In the USA airports have their scales calibrated to pounds, but other countries mainly use kilograms. If you have a scale that can give you a reading in both units of measure, it will help you avoid having to calculate complicated conversions between the two systems.
Another important factor to consider is the weighing capacity, which usually varies between 20 – 100 pounds. Depending on how you plan to use your scale, this will be more or less of an issue for you. For frequent travelers, we recommend an weighing capacity of at least 60 pounds.
There are several functions that you should look for when purchasing a new luggage scale. Auto shut off is very useful for conserving battery life. Tare allows you to calculate the net weight of your luggage, while overload will let you know if you are trying to weigh more than the capacity of your scale.
Luggage scales are one of the most useful tools for travelers. Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, they will help you to avoid those nasty excess baggage fees when flying. These days there are many different types of luggage scales that offer lots of different features, that can be very useful when embarking on your next trip.
There are several key aspects to consider when purchasing a luggage scale, such as the weighing capacity, the extra functions it offers, the type and life of the battery, and the design of the hook.
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(Source of featured image: David Pereiras Villagrá: 30853105/ 123rf.com)