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- A digital luggage scale is a must for any traveler, particularly those who check baggage or tend to overpack.
- Between its tare function, highly accurate sensors, and an affordable price tag, the Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale stands out among the rest.
A luggage scale is a handy item to bring along on your travels, especially if you tend to overpack or you’re facing restrictive airline policies. As many travelers find, a few extra items here and there can add up quickly. This is especially true if you can’t return from a trip without getting souvenirs for your loved ones at home.
Most digital luggage scales provide fast and accurate readings, and they’re generally compact and portable enough to slip into a piece of carry-on luggage. In most cases, all you need is a battery or two for operation.
Most luggage scales fall within the range of $9 to $20. Many travelers agree that’s a small price to pay, especially when you could end up paying up to $50 or more if your bag is deemed overweight by an airline. There isn’t a lot of variation when it comes to the best luggage scales, but subtle differences can help steer you in the direction of one particular scale.
For example, some scales automatically shut off to conserve battery life. A handful of scales are equipped with a low battery indicator. If you know you overpack, you may want to consider a scale with an overweight warning, which is typically generated in the form of an audible beep.
The majority of digital luggage scales have a weight limit of 110 pounds or 50 kilograms. Most also provide readings in both pounds and kilograms, which particularly comes in handy for international travel. Another factor to consider is the overall comfort and strength of the handle. Heavier bags tend to be tougher to lift and can strain both the handle and hook of the scale, especially if you often pack your bags to the brim.
Here are the best luggage scales of 2019:
- Best luggage scale overall: Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
- Best multifunction luggage scale: Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank
- Best luggage scale for overpackers: Travel Smart by Conair Compact Digital Luggage Scale
- Best battery-free luggage scale: Ellessi Luggage Scale
- Best luggage scale for frequent flyers: Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best luggage scale overall
Why you’ll love it: The Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale has a high-accuracy sensor and is FDA-approved for peace of mind.
Generally speaking, most luggage scales will set you back anywhere from $9 to $20. The Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale falls near the lower end. While it’s certainly affordable, this luggage scale stands out the most for its dependable readings and durable construction.
Highly accurate sensors display precise weights in pounds and kilograms. If you need to convert one form of measurement to the other, simply press the “unit” button to get instant temperature readings. This luggage scale has a capacity of up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms.
Travelers particularly like the tare feature, which allows you to measure objects individually without including the weight of the bag – handy if you’re unsure if a heavy object would set your bag over the weight limit. One Amazon reviewer questioned whether the affordable price tag meant less accurate readings, but concluded that the device “does work simply and correctly, and the airline weights for my luggage were within 1 pound of what this little scale said.”
One feature you won’t find on every luggage scale, especially in this price range, is the ability to read temperatures, available in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The climate sensor keeps track of the surrounding temperature, which is useful if you have delicate or temperature-sensitive items in your suitcase.
Other travelers found the feature helpful when measuring the temperature elsewhere, such as in hotel rooms or waiting outside for a ride. You can check the temperature right on the display screen.
This luggage scale requires one CR2032 coin-sized battery to operate. A low-battery indicator lets you know ahead of time so you’re not surprised by a non-functioning scale. In order to preserve battery life, the luggage scale automatically shuts off after 2 minutes of inactivity. Travelers also appreciate the scale’s compact and lightweight design.
One user wrote, “As someone who camps a bit (where weight is everything) and who travels a lot (also where weight is everything), it is nice to be able to take a scale along that doesn’t really weigh much itself so I can check on my baggage status with confidence.” Other travel-friendly features include durable rubber paint and a secure handle.
Pros: Accurate sensors, low-battery indicator, required battery included
Cons: Small handle can make it tricky to balance larger bags for accurate readings, battery life could be better, display difficult to read in sunlight
The best multifunction luggage scale
Why you’ll love it: The Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank is like packing three travel-friendly tools in one.
When preparing for travel, it’s always best to pack smartly. Sure, a luggage scale is handy, but what if said luggage scale could also double as a portable battery and a flashlight? That’s the thinking behind the Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank.
As a digital luggage scale, the gadget has a maximum weight capacity of 110 pounds or 50 kilograms. It also has an overweight warning, tare, hold, power saver, and low-battery alert functions. The non-slip grip allows for comfortable weighing. A small display indicates weight in either metric or imperial.
While most luggage scales are either left at home before a trip or in the luggage at the hotel, the Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank is meant to tag along with you. Stuff it inside a backpack or purse, and you’ll have a 6,000mAh battery for recharging phones (at least twice), tablets, ebooks, cameras, etc. And for safety, the scale has a built-in 60-lumen LED flashlight for navigating in dark environments. The strap, used for weighing luggage, can be removed.
Because there is a battery, the Urbo 3-in-1 Luggage Scale with Built-In Powerbank is heavier than other luggage scales. Despite the high price, it offers a lot of value – you’re getting three products, after all. Good Housekeeping UK said it is “worth investing in” and it loves “its innovative design.” The publication noted that it’s great for campers, too, but it didn’t like its accuracy with heavier luggage.
On Amazon’s customer reviews, 84% gave it 5 stars, with an overall average of 4.5 stars. Most customers applaud the product, although some reportedly received defective units.
Pros: Built-in rechargeable battery and flashlight, comfortable grip
Cons: Big and heavy
The best luggage scale for overpackers
Why you’ll love it: Every bit of weight counts when you’re traveling, which is where the Travel Smart by Conair Compact Digital Luggage Scale’s audible alert really comes in handy.
This compact digital travel luggage scale is an easy choice if you suffer from a severe case of overpacking. If your bag exceeds the weight limit, it will beep to warn you.
Unlike many other luggage scales, which generally hold up to 110 pounds, this scale has an 80-pound capacity. Of course, if you exceed the general weight limit for most airlines (50 pounds), it won’t really matter. There is a digital display that shows weight in either pound or kilogram, and the blue color helps it stand out from the rest.
The simplicity in its operation makes it foolproof. Amazon reviewers found the scale to be small and lightweight. However, while most customers found it to be accurate, a couple didn’t. One reviewer recommended adding 1-to-2 pounds as a buffer.
Another Amazon reviewer said the Travel Smart by Conair Compact Digital Luggage Scale was not only useful for international flights but a necessity. “Inter-continent flights have different luggage limits and this allowed us to accurately know what we had and shift things around as needed. Bonus – being able to switch to kilogram right on the scale rather than trying to convert to US pounds in our heads.”
The Travel Smart by Conair Compact Digital Luggage Scale is made out of plastic, like most luggage scales. One Amazon customer said the scale felt like it’s melting after some use. Overall, 65% of buyers gave it 5 stars, for an average of 4.4 stars. A big complaint is pricing, so if you don’t need audible alerts, there are more affordable options.
Pros: Audible overweight alert, pound/kilogram conversion
Cons: Smaller weight capacity, a bit pricey
The best battery-free scale
Why you’ll love it: A simple shake wakes up Ellessi Luggage Scale to provide fast and accurate readings.
Most luggage scales don’t require more than two batteries for operation. However, between the inconvenience of having to purchase batteries and the fact that they will eventually need to be replaced, having a battery-free luggage scale means one less thing to worry about (because packing is already stressful enough).
This luggage scale by Ellessi doesn’t use any battery. To activate the scale, simply shake it until it powers on. The mechanical motion creates the necessary energy to power up the scale. One traveler wrote, “It is a great convenience that batteries are not needed,” adding that it’s a relief to not “worry about dead or leaking batteries.”
As with most other digital luggage scales, this one has a weight limit of 110 pounds or 50 kilograms; you can choose your preferred unit by holding down the M/T button.
When you’re in a situation where every pound matters, having an accurate reading is crucial. This scale is equipped with high-precision sensors that deliver accurate results. The scale is “…pretty accurate compared to a calibrated scale at the airport,” wrote one traveler. The accurate readings can “…save you a lot of money for overweight charges.” With a weight of just 3.2 ounces, the scale can be easily transported along with your luggage.
Pros: High-precision sensors, no batteries required
Cons: No overload indicator, a bit pricey
The best luggage scale for frequent flyers
Why you’ll love it: From its compact and lightweight design to a bright LCD display, the Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale checks all the boxes for frequent flyers.
As a frequent traveler, you’re looking for a luggage scale that’s durable, accurate, lightweight, and portable. This digital luggage scale by Tarriss costs a few dollars more than our overall pick, but many satisfied travelers agree it’s a worthwhile investment.
For starters, the scale has a limit of 110 pounds or 50 kilograms, with a precision accuracy of 0.2 pounds or 0.1 kilograms. To test its accuracy, one traveler had “several sets of dumbbells laying around in my office, so I weighed them all. Every one weighed within the 0.2-pound of its labeled weight.” The same reviewer said the luggage scale takes “literally a couple seconds” to lock in the weight, which is then displayed on the LCD.
Aside from its precise readings, the scale stands out for its numerous travel-friendly features. One example is the bright LCD, which doesn’t require help from a backlight to read. This also means you won’t drain the lithium battery faster by using an extra light. The scale automatically shuts off after 30 seconds of inactivity to help conserve the battery. A capacity load indicator lets you know when your bags are too heavy.
This compact scale weighs just 3.3 ounces, and is just the right size and weight for stashing it in a carry-on bag. One jetsetter commented, “This will pay for itself the first time you use it when you don’t have to pay overweight fees; we travel a lot on smaller very restrictive airlines.”
Another satisfied owner said, “I took it to New York with me and was so happy that I could weigh all my new purchases before taking my bags to the airport. With the scale, I was able to move some things to my carry on bag and avoid the weight overage charges!”
Pros: Lightweight, overload indicator, battery-saving features, accurate
Cons: Battery life could be better, needs to be held completely still to get accurate readings, some say there is a lag before it locks in the weight