Avoid Extra Baggage Fees with These Luggage Scales

Two handheld luggage scales, one weighing a dark blue duffel bag and one weighing a dark blue rolling suitcase.

Most airlines have a weight limit for how much each of your checked suitcases can weigh, especially if you’re traveling internationally. If you exceed this weight limit, even by half a pound, you will be charged a penalty fee. Since most airlines charge a fee just to check bags, the last thing you want is to pay even more money for them, especially since overweight baggage fees tend to be much higher than the cost of checking the bag alone. The obvious solution is, of course, to weigh each of your checked bags individually before you go to the airport. You may be able to achieve this with your bathroom scale. However, these often aren’t entirely accurate, especially if your bag is already close to the airline’s weight limit. That’s where luggage scales come in. Since they are designed specifically for the purpose of weighing your bags and suitcases, they are considered more accurate. If you want to add a luggage scale to your travel inventory, here are a few we recommend.

Purchasing a Luggage Scale

Here are a few things to think about before buying a luggage scale:

  • Portable vs. Floor: When it comes to picking a luggage scale, you’ll have the choice between a portable one and an analog one. Portable models are small and weigh luggage from a hanging strap or hook at the bottom. Floor models are very similar to classic bathroom scales, just more accurate for weighing luggage. Portable models are small enough to bring on your trip and weigh your bags before your flight home as well, which is handy for ensuring that the souvenirs you bought don’t exceed the weight limit. Floor models don’t offer this same convenience, but they tend to have higher weight capacities.
  • Weight Capacity: You are going to want to ensure that any baggage scale you buy has a high enough weight capacity for your typical luggage size. Fifty pounds is the standard limit for checked bags on most airlines, so you will want to make sure your baggage scale has a higher weight capacity than that. Some airlines don’t even allow you to check bags that weigh over 100 pounds. If you want to play it safe, look for a luggage scale with a weight capacity of at least 110 pounds. That way, you will always know for sure if your bag or suitcase is too heavy to be allowed on a plane.
  • Display: With both portable and floor luggage scales alike, you will have a choice between an analog and digital display. If you opt for a digital display, look for one that’s backlit, so you can read it no matter the time of day or available lighting. Whichever display type you pick, look for one with the biggest possible screen, so it’s easier to read. And also consider if it shows luggage weight in pounds, kilograms, or both. If you travel internationally, you may find it worthwhile to invest in one that shows both so you can alternate between the two as needed.

Easy to Read Display: FREETOO Digital Hanging Scale

A handheld cylindrical red luggage scale with a gray strap and green digital screen.Even the best luggage scale in the world isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t properly read the display. Thus, picking a model with the easiest possible to read screen is crucial. This model is designed specifically for this purpose. The LCD screen is both a breeze to read and won’t put any strain on your eyes. The green backlight will be crystal clear at all times, even in pitch black. It can display your suitcase’s weight in either pounds or kilograms. It has a weight capacity of up to 110 pounds and is highly accurate, with a deviation of no more than a mere 0.1 pound. The scale itself only weighs 90 grams and small, making it lightweight enough to slip into your pocket, wallet, or even the smallest luggage compartment. The lacquer handle surface is anti-scratch and anti-fading to ensure that it’ll hold up to constant travel.

Easy to Read Display

FREETOO Luggage Scale Portable Digital Hanging Scale for Travel, Suitcase Weight Scale with Superior Piano Lacquer 110 Lb/ 50Kg Capacity, Battery Included

A compact, portable luggage scale with a green backlit LCD screen that is a breeze to read no matter the time of day.

Best Pair: Etekcity Luggage Scale for Travel

Two matching handheld, chrome and black, curved luggage scales with black straps.

Sometimes one luggage scale alone just won’t cut it. Maybe you have so many suitcases that it’s more efficient to use more than one, or you and your significant other or a friend are traveling together, and you want to weigh your own suitcases separately. Or maybe you simply want to have a spare luggage scale on hand if your first one accidentally breaks or the battery runs out. Whatever your reasoning, if you are planning on buying more than one luggage scale, consider this pair. Like most handheld, portable luggage scales, both are compact, lightweight, and small enough to slip into your pocket. They have an ideal weight capacity of 110 pounds, accurate within 0.1 pounds, and can display weight in kilograms. As a bonus, they have a thermometer sensor, perfect if you have temperature-sensitive luggage or items inside your bags. The thermometer measures both Fahrenheit and Celsius. The rubber textured handle is comfortable to hold, even when holding the heaviest baggage. The auto-off function helps save battery life, and both luggage scales will alert you when their batteries are running low.

Best Pair

Most Compact: Etekcity Scale with Backlit LCD Display and Hanging Hook

A handheld square shaped luggage scale with curved handle, metal hook and black carrying case.

At under six inches long, this hooked model is especially compact and portable. And, unlike many others, it comes included with its own drawstring carrying pouch for protection and to keep it from rattling around freely in your luggage. This scale’s compact size doesn’t negate its effectiveness, either. It has a weight capacity of up to 110 pounds and is able to detect items weighing as little as 0.1 pounds. Not only is the backlit LCD screen easy to read, but it can display your luggage’s weight in pounds, ounces, grams, or kilograms, depending on your personal preferences. The durable stainless steel hook offers greater security while your luggage hangs from it and can be stored in the back slot of the scale so it won’t scratch or damage your other belongings. It has several other useful functions, such as an overload indication for items over 110 pounds, a low battery indication, auto switch-off after 60 seconds of inactivity, and an optional data hold function.

Most Compact

Best Weight Capacity: Smart Weigh Digital Heavy Duty Luggage Scale

A classic floor luggage scale with an attached display device.

This model is a great option for a floor luggage scale, and even though it’s not as compact as a handheld scale, at 10.63 by 0.51 by 10.63 inches, it’s slim enough to fit into many suitcases and bags. The impressive 440-pound weight capacity makes it suitable for a wide range of items and will easily let you know if your bags are overweight. Its minimum reading is six ounces, and the LCD display can show weight in pounds, ounces, kilograms, and grams. Readings are instant and accurate, especially when resting on a hard, flat surface. The tare weighing option allows you to place more than one suitcase at a time if desired, and the PCS function gives an accurate count for multiple items. The LCD display reader is attached to the scale by way of an extendable display cord so you can adjust and place it in the spot most convenient for you to read. The USB cord provides an extra power source just in case the battery dies or runs out on you unexpectedly.

Best Weight Capacity
Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »

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