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How Accurate are Portable Luggage Scales?

How Accurate are Portable Luggage Scales?

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Old Feb 28, 10, 10:02 pm
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How Accurate are Portable Luggage Scales?

I am seeing lots of ads for portable Luggage Scales. Do you know how accurate these scales are?

My bag is usually around 32-37 pounds depending on which luggage I use; my husband's luggage is right around the 50 pound limit because he packs his tripod in a larger-size suitcase.

One luggage scale I've seen reviewed is the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale. It weighs 10 oz. and can weigh up to 100 pound bags.

Flying out of Orlando, I see many tourists each week trying to manuever clothes and souveniers between multiple suitcases before they check in.

Maybe it would be nice for hotels to offer the use of these scales so people can check their luggage weights at checkout.

Carol Margolis
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:00 pm
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The one I picked up some years ago has always within a pound or so of the airport scales.
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:04 pm
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Compared to what? Airport scares aren't particularly consistent in my experience. Up to +-1kg
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:08 pm
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I have an older dial one (guess they are "first generation" now) and it was always right on to our very accurate home scale (legal for trade grade, not bed bath and beyond grade).

In reality though the scale that matters is the one you put the bag on, I've actually seen a check in person move a 50.4 lb suitcase to the scale at the next check in area (just slide it over) where it weighed 49.6 and went through for free.

What the airports need to do is have a scale way before the counter that people who want to move stuff around can use. I saw one in one airport, not a giant platform one like they have at the counter, but a shipping scale with the head mounted on the wall to make it easy, sort of like the sizers do for carry ons.
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:23 pm
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I'd say for you the scale is definitely not necessary. You are clearly under the limit and will check anyway. For your husband it may be good enough to weigh the bag at home. If nothing gets added during the trip he should still be alright. If he does have something in addition, just put it in your bag (if you travel together).

My bathroom scale was around $50 is from Soehnle (German scale specialist) and is accurate to 100g. Not trade grade but definitely ok.

Another point is to simply lighten your luggage in other ways. Either take a lighter suitcase or make an effort with the packing list or both. Or offload some heavy things like books and electronics into your personal item bag or jacket pockets.

All that to say that the real question is not if they are accurate but if they are needed.

Till
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Carol Margolis View Post
I am seeing lots of ads for portable Luggage Scales. Do you know how accurate these scales are?

My bag is usually around 32-37 pounds depending on which luggage I use; my husband's luggage is right around the 50 pound limit because he packs his tripod in a larger-size suitcase.

One luggage scale I've seen reviewed is the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale. It weighs 10 oz. and can weigh up to 100 pound bags.

Flying out of Orlando, I see many tourists each week trying to manuever clothes and souveniers between multiple suitcases before they check in.

Maybe it would be nice for hotels to offer the use of these scales so people can check their luggage weights at checkout.

Carol Margolis
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/pearlsoftravelwisdom
http://www.smartwomentravelers.com
I have the scale you are looking at and have found it to be very accurate but I would leave a 2 pound cushion just to be safe. We bought the scale after discovering at check in that one piece of luggage had 52 pounds while the other one had 45 pounds so right there in the middle of the terminal we opened our bags to remove the two pounds. We vowed that would not happen again and it hasn't since then with the aide or the digital luggage scale.

Shak
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Old Mar 1, 10, 1:54 pm
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Dumb question here, but why not just weigh yourself on your bathroom scale and then weigh yourself again holding your luggage? I have done this before and it works fine.
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Old Mar 1, 10, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by bcl00 View Post
Dumb question here, but why not just weigh yourself on your bathroom scale and then weigh yourself again holding your luggage? I have done this before and it works fine.
That works fine when leaving and you are only packing only your things and don't bring anything back that strategy will work but if you have packed other things that you didn't bring with you and you were close going down you could very well go over the limit. It is really hard to pack the exact same why you did when packing for multiple people as well.

It is also easy to pack exta things in you check luggage that was in your carry on luggage and without these scales you will not know what your luggage weighs when repacking.

Shak

Last edited by Shak51; Mar 1, 10 at 2:59 pm
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Old Mar 1, 10, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by bcl00 View Post
Dumb question here, but why not just weigh yourself on your bathroom scale and then weigh yourself again holding your luggage? I have done this before and it works fine.

Or just put the luggage on the scale without the math.

That only works when you are home, if you are say out in Napa loading a suitcase with wine, you need another way to see if you are still under 70 lbs or not
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Old Mar 1, 10, 3:57 pm
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I use a 50 pound fishing scale, and that's been accurate for me. I think generally within about a half pound of the weight that the airport scale typically shows me. Easy to pick up in the local stores sporting goods section.
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Old Mar 1, 10, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by piper28 View Post
I use a 50 pound fishing scale, and that's been accurate for me. I think generally within about a half pound of the weight that the airport scale typically shows me. Easy to pick up in the local stores sporting goods section.
Great idea!
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Old Mar 1, 10, 5:45 pm
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I bought a fish scale first because at the time that was the only thing available I could find for weighing 50 pounds. The digital luggage scales came later. The problem I had with the fish scale was that you had to lift your luggage very smoothly. If you had the slightest jump the little tab that marks your weight would jump as well and give you a false weight. For me this got aggravating and when the digital scales came out I jumped on it because after you lift your luggage and hold it for a second or two you will hear a beep and the weight will be displayed for a few minutes even after putting the luggage down.

The digital scales don't cost all that much more then a fish scale and having used both I found the digital scale much handier. I saw the Balanzza digital scale at TJ Maxx today for $15.

Shak
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Old Mar 1, 10, 9:53 pm
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Thanks for the replies everyone!

The issue with weighing our luggage is primarily after we've been traveling and buying things for our kids and ourselves and we have added more weight on the return trip. My husband and I most often depart to different airlines and cities, so we're not there to swap items between bags to reduce his 50 pound plus bag into my bag, so I was wondering if the scale would make sense for us to use while we're still together at our hotel. Plus, I've had the unpleasant experience of trying to cram clothes from one suitcase into another while spread out on the airport floor with people stepping around us, and that wasn't fun

Sounds like a portable scale may work and we should leave a 2 lb margin of error as the airline scale will most likely differ a bit.

Thanks!

Carol Margolis
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Old Mar 1, 10, 10:17 pm
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Make a note of what the scale says and what the airlines scales say when you put it up there, and soon you will know within ounces how accurate it is.
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Old Mar 2, 10, 8:33 am
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I purchased the Taylor 8120 digital scale and found it to show ~ 1 1/2 lbs less than the airport scales...
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