We’ve all seen them. You know who I’m talking about, right?
Those people who wear 20 + items of clothing in searing temperatures just to avoid the overweight luggage fees at the check-in desk.
While it might be a clever loophole that could potentially save you a small fortune, there are alternatives.
Primarily, knowing exactly how much your bags are going to weigh before you even step in line.
That way, you’re not sweating with the worry of being charged exorbitant amounts of money or sweating with the equally exorbitant amount of layers you’ve had to put on.
And it’s an easy fix for peace of mind – you just have to get yourself a luggage scale.
So, here are the best luggage scales on the market in 2020. You’ll find a buyer’s guide and FAQ will follow to help you weigh up your choice. (Sorry).
Never be embarrassingly caught out at the airport again.
- TOP 12 Best Luggage Scales of 2020
- Samsonite Manual Scale
- Travelon Stop & Lock Luggage Scale
- Camry 110 Lbs Luggage Scale
- Dr.meter PS01 Electronic Balance Digital Scale
- Leokor Hand Scales with Tape Measure
- Dunheger Digital Luggage Scale
- Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale
- Travel Smart by Conair Compact Luggage Scale
- Smaior Luggage Strap Electronic Scale
- Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank
- Smart Weigh Digital Heavy Duty Scale
- Victorinox Digital Luggage Scale
- How to Choose the Best Luggage Scale
TOP 12 Best Luggage Scales of 2020
Samsonite Manual Scale
Review: We’re going with the old school, to begin with, from a company that knows a thing or two about luggage – Colorado founded Samsonite.
This is a super compact and portable mechanical luggage scale that has a maximum weight capacity of 80lbs.
It has a comfort grip handle and adjustable strap for ease of use. Perhaps its best selling point is how little it costs.
- Outstanding price.
- Simple to use.
- Batteries not required.
- Not as accurate as digital readers.
Travelon Stop & Lock Luggage Scale
Review: This Travelon luggage scale is also a mechanical device that is super portable. It has a maximum weight capacity of 75lbs. To reset and check another bag, you simply twist the dial in the center and you’re good to go.
It has a patented stop and lock system where two hands track the weight of the bag and the second-hand locks the weight so you can put the suitcase down to take the measurement.
- Good price.
- Tape measure included.
- Easy to use.
- Batteries not required.
- Again, not as accurate as digital.
Camry 110 Lbs Luggage Scale
Review: The first of our digital luggage scales is the popular and affordable Camry entry. It has a maximum weight capacity of 110lbs, LCD display with a room temperature sensor and a zero/tare function with both a low battery and overload indicators.
It’s powered by a 3V lithium battery which is included. The rubber paint handle ensures it’s comfortable to use.
- Sleek design.
- Nice price.
- Might be a bit small for some to use.
Dr.meter PS01 Electronic Balance Digital Scale
Review: Powered by two AA batteries that come included, this metal-handled electronic scale offers a variety of uses – not just for luggage.
It has a backlit LCD display, built-in measuring tape, concealed weighing hook – which is stainless steel and auto-off function. Its maximum capacity weight comes in at 110lbs.
- Versatile scale.
- 180 degree rotatable handle.
- Compact and portable.
- Not great for those with larger hands.
Leokor Hand Scales with Tape Measure
Review: This super-slim design from Leokor features a built-in tape measure to assist with your luggage volume measurements, while offering up to 110lbs of maximum weight.
For added assistance, the LCD backlight will change from green to red if the luggage is too heavy – beyond the 50lbs allowance.
It’s made from stainless steel and durable plastic and is powered by two AAA batteries which are included.
- Portable, sleek design.
- Simple, one-touch operation.
- Batteries a bit of a fiddle to fit.
Dunheger Digital Luggage Scale
Review: From here on the designs are relatively similar and it might just come down to aesthetics.
This Dunheger model is also a one-touch luggage scale with a backlit display and large, easy-to-read figures.
It is powered by two AAA batteries that are included, and offers an auto shut-off, ergonomic grip, and tare function. The maximum weight is 110lbs and it comes with its own carrying pouch.
- Sleek, stylish grip.
- Bright display.
- Solidly built.
- The triangular clip could be larger.
Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale
Review: Simple, elegant and very popular, this Tarriss product could well be the best digital luggage scale on the market.
Accurate to 0.2lbs, it offers lock in weight, tare, low battery and auto shut-off functions.
There’s also a capacity overload indicator for really heavy bags. It has an easy-to-read display and has a maximum weight capacity of 110lbs. It is powered by a single lithium battery that is included in the purchase.
- Practical, portable and popular.
- Stylish design.
- Well built and durable.
- Long-lasting battery.
- No backlight.
Travel Smart by Conair Compact Luggage Scale
Review: Released by Conair (the grooming brand and not the 1997 Nicholas Cage movie) this dinky portable luggage scale is made from durable polycarbonate and offers a maximum weight capacity of 80lbs.
It has a beeper function that will alert you to luggage being over or under the weight limit, and is available in the rather attractive color of blue.
- No-nonsense, simple design.
- Super portable.
- Lower weight capacity.
Smaior Luggage Strap Electronic Scale
Review: Here’s something a little different offering a three-in-one device that would keep gadget fans happy. Included in this product is a long luggage strap for securing and identifying your bag.
This is secured with padlock clip that lets you choose your own code and is TSA approved so security staff can inspect your belongings without breaking the lock. The luggage scale itself has a weight capacity of 80lbs and is powered by two cell batteries.
- Practical, 3-in-1 design.
- Easily identify bags.
- Not as good as a dedicated luggage scale.
Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank
Review: Another scale with a three-in-one design, this Urbo model is slightly different to the previous device.
This time it comes with a built-in power bank for charging your smartphone while on the go. Its 6000 mAh of power is allowed in your carry-on and would fit nicely into a really smart electronic organizer.
The scale can support up to 110lbs in weight with a read-out from a backlit screen and it also features a 60 Lumens LED flashlight which is always handy when traveling. In fact, it just might be the all-round best travel luggage scale available.
- Highly useful 3-in-one options.
- Super portable power bank.
- Detachable luggage scale strap.
- Again, if just being used as a scale there are more accurate products available.
Smart Weigh Digital Heavy Duty Scale
Review: It might not be ideal for traveling with, but this heavy-duty device could well be the best luggage scale, regardless. The advantages are obvious – no having to pick up and hang heavy luggage in the air while you take a reading.
It can take a whopping 440lbs capacity on its stainless steel platform, providing an instant and accurate reading.
It even has a function to count how many items are being weighed, and the long chord to the read-out scale is a really nice touch for taking measurements of oversized items.
- High weight capacity.
- Able to read large and bulky items.
- Durable construction.
- Expensive for what it is.
Victorinox Digital Luggage Scale
Review: Victorinox are known the world over for their outstanding workmanship and they’ve done it again with this digital luggage scale.
They also make some of the best carry-on backpacks around, and if you’re anything like me, once you trust a company you’ll go back time and time again.
This beautifully designed scale can afford up to 110lbs in weight and is solidly built with a super-comfortable, durable grip. The easy-to-read digital screen has a backlight which turns red when the weight is stabilized.
It’s a highly accurate scale that is built to last – but then at this price – it damn well should be!
- Tough, durable build.
- Quality company.
- Highly accurate.
- Exorbitantly expensive for what it is.
How to Choose the Best Luggage Scale
They might seem pretty straightforward products, but it doesn’t hurt to give you a heads up about some of the things you should look out for before purchasing the right luggage scale for you.
As you might have noticed, each scale has a maximum weight that it will reach before it can’t go any further.
For the most part (and particularly for travel/portable luggage scales) this will either be 80lbs or 110lbs.
Since the maximum weight for your baggage allowance is 50.71lbs (according to the International Air Transport Association) you’re unlikely to need a device that offers a much heavier capacity than this.
A scale’s maximum supported weight should be higher than what you’re expecting to pack.
Obviously, you should be purchasing a luggage scale that is going to give you as accurate a reading as possible.
The number one complaint here is if your scale is off even by a small margin – it could end up costing you big when you arrive at the check-in desk.
Digital devices are much more on the money than mechanical ones – but you’ll be paying more for the privilege.
And even some digital models can be hit or miss when it comes to a spot-on read.
Do your research well and make sure your chosen product is as accurate as you need it to be.
Like all the products you spend your hard-earned cash on – you want it to last. But unfortunately, some will last much longer than others.
Luggage scales are built to take heavy loads, so at the very least they should be up to this task.
Check the straps, the weighing system, clips, construction materials, display and any other fixings or hardware that the device offers.
Look out for well-made, tough and durable products that will take a beating – and that won’t let you down as a result.
Luggage scales can be well built with solid materials while at the same time being highly portable and lightweight – there doesn’t have to be a trade-off.
If you need to carry your device with you, consider how much space it’s going to take and the weight of the scale itself – because it all adds up.
Does it fold down to a compact size? Can you detach certain parts for transport? Does it come with its own storage bag or pouch?
Just a side note here to potentially save you time, money and from stressing out – you should check out these amazing packing cubes to help you organize your luggage. You can thank me later.
Always try to travel as light as you possibly can. Unless of course, you’re intending on bringing back several cases of quality scotch…
Digital luggage scales will have an LCD display that may or may not be backlit.
A backlit display will make it easier to read in low light conditions – and generally gives a punchier, more visibly defined reading.
They look quite cool, too.
The downside is that they tend to drain the battery much more.
It’s entirely up to you as to which you would prefer – but always look out for a model that has an easy-to-read display.
And it should be capable of giving you reading in both pounds and kilograms – regardless of which system you happen to use.
Several of the luggage scales I included in my review also offer other bells and whistles that may help or may hinder you – depending on what you’re looking for.
Some scales come with a built-in measuring tape for ascertaining the size of your luggage. Or for helping you measure anything you’d maybe like to know the length of.
A “weight lock” option is often included – so you can freeze the correct weight on the display and make it easy to read once you’ve set down your heavy bag.
A “tare” button might be a feature – so you can reset the scale to zero when an empty bag is placed on it. This is how you find the weight of the contents only.
Then there are versions that offer three-in-one features, including padlocks, flashlights and even power banks.
There’s one that has a built-in thermometer for taking room temperature readings – although quite what that’s actually useful for remains a mystery – someone tell me in the comments.
Make sure the device you’re considering is going to be all you need. Practical, affordable and useful. There’s no point getting anything superfluous if you’re never going to use it.
The price of a luggage scale isn’t really that much of an issue here as it usually is with other products.
By and large, they’re all roughly in the same ball-park, and I personally wouldn’t spend much more than $20 max.
But feel free to blow the budget on the more expensive models if you so wish – if you’re using it with any regularity – it’ll be a good investment.
Why Do I Need a Luggage Scale?
A little fact for you according to Wikipedia:
By all means, don’t bother getting a luggage scale. It’s entirely up to you.
But I think the answer is self-explanatory.
Let’s stop giving them that cash, eh?
How Do I Use a Luggage Scale?
Luggage scales can be used right out of the box (don’t forget to put the batteries in the digital versions).
Some come with a steel hook that you can position under your luggage handle and then simply lift it off the ground and take the reading.
Others will have a strap that can be fed through the handle and attached to a clip before repeating the same procedure.
If you’re attempting to lift particularly heavy items, it might be a good idea to be elevated beforehand – safely, of course – like standing on a secure step or stool.
Either that, or just get someone strong and tall to do it for you.
Then, simply take the reading when the luggage is steady. Many scales will offer a warning beep or change the display color when the weight has settled. Some will ‘lock in’ the reading so you can put the bag down and still take the measurement.
After that, you’ll realize that you either need to repack or you’ve got a room for so much more stuff.
How Do You Tell if Your Suitcase is Overweight Without a Scale?
It’s actually really straightforward to take a measurement without a luggage scale – but it can be a bit of a hassle and is probably only available in your home.
Start by weighing yourself on your bathroom scales and recording the measurement.
Then, step on the scales carrying your luggage and record that measurement.
Simply subtract the two figures to find out the approximate weight of your luggage.
I say approximate – as this method will give you a rough idea, but it’s in no way as accurate as using a luggage scale.
You’re unlikely to be able to do this while traveling, too – so in the long run it’s better that you pick up a portable luggage scale anyway.
What is the Maximum Check-in Weight of a Bag for Airlines?
Again, according to the IATA, the recommended size and weight restrictions are as follows.
Maximum weight of 50.71lbs (23 kg). A weight limit of 70.55lbs (32kg). An advised maximum size of 158 cm (62.2 in) length + width + height, limit 203 cm (nearly 80 in).
I’ve weighed in with my thoughts on the best luggage scales out there, so hopefully, you have a balanced understanding of how they work and which is the right one for you.
Feel free to leave your comments or any questions you have about the extremely exciting topic of luggage scales. Or anything else for that matter – so long as it’s not too heavy…
Happy (light) traveling!
Get 50 Solo Travel Safety Tips eBook for FREE
No more reading loads of posts about solo traveler safety. Get your 50 point safety list in one eBook. Be ready, stay safe!