Are portable luggage scales accurate? The definitive answer is yes, they are. Traveling light doesn’t just mean packing fewer clothes; it means carrying less weight as well. There are a variety of products, varying in both design and features. We’ll go through them in detail later. They all share one characteristic: Accuracy.

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How to weigh your luggage on a portable luggage scale

You don’t want your portable scale to give an inaccurate weight, so you need to ensure you weigh your suitcase properly before taking it out of its case. If you’re going to be traveling by plane, doing so will save you the trouble of having to pay for an additional fee for overweight baggage.

Get an accurate reading by following these steps.

By considering the following steps you can take an accurate reading from your portable luggage scale

  • Make sure you check your airline ticket and confirm the baggage allowance. This may vary depending on the class you’re flying in, so don’t assume that you know the limits just because someone else has flown before you. Unlike other means of travel, air travel operates on a very strict schedule. Trying to decide what to bring with you could easily cost you your trip. Just be sure you know your baggage allowance.
  • Plugin the required battery pack into your luggage scale and press the power button. Make sure that the first reading is zero pounds. If this is not true, then you’re probably dealing with a faulty scale. Or at the very least, a scale that needs recalibration.
  • Check which unit of measurement you want to use based upon your location and confirm that specific amount on your baggage allowance instruction.
  • You’ll receive either a hook or a loop when you purchase a scale. Place this around your suitcase or backpack handle at the top and be sure it is securely in position. Don’t pick up the luggage until you’re sure you’ll be able to hold it without falling. If you do fall, you’ll have to start over again.
  • Lift the bag for 10-15 seconds so that the scale gets an accurate reading. When the scale reads out a number, it will beep or show a result on its small display. However, cheaper scales may not have any of these features but still provide accurate results.
  • Make sure that the reading is within the range that you allow yourself to use. Remember to confirm that you are measuring in pounds. If you’re traveling by air, check your baggage weight before you go. You may be able to get away with less than your usual luggage size if you’ve been told your baggage allowance.
  • It seems like a lot of writing but it really isn’t. It would be much easier to deal with this at your home rather than at the airport check-in counter just hours before your flight than the headaches caused by having to get to the airport check-in counters with extra luggage just hours before your flight

Types of portable luggage scales

There are two types: the manual scale and the digital scale.

The Manual Scale

The manual scale has an indicator that shows either the weight of the load or travel bag. It has got at least two scales for measuring weight (i.e., in pounds and kilograms). You shouldn’t expect this scale to look pretty in design, which could make it more attractive if you’re looking for simplicity and unassuming.

The Digital Scale

The digital scale has an LED display panel that indicates the number in digital form. There are so many different kinds of scales available, both in design and functionality. These scales are also quite light in weight and easy to handle. If you’re looking for a stylish and classy luggage scale, this is the one you want.

Price of portable luggage scales (+other info)

A good quality portable luggage scale costs between $8 and $50. Depending on the brand you buy, the price for portable luggage scales varies. Besides, manual scales tend to be cheaper than digital scales.

Another difference is choice. If you buy a digital portable luggage scale instead of a manual one, you’ll have a wider range of options to choose from than if you bought a manual one.

Weighing your luggage without a proper portable luggage scale

You can improvise by using other household items if you don’t have a portable luggage scale.

1. Use a bathroom scale

It’s really easy:

  • First of all, check the luggage weight limit for your airline (and your flight) before packing. Remember this number.
  • After that, make sure the scale isn’t leaning on anything. You should also have enough room for you to hold the luggage while standing on the scale. If you’re going to use an electronic scale, make sure it’s working properly before using it.
  • Check your weight without any luggage and see if you’ve gained or lost weight. Write it down in a notebook.
  • Make sure you pick it up carefully and carry it properly so that you get the right reading. If you cannot do it yourself, or if it seems like you might put yourself in danger, get someone else to help you with this step.
  • Hold the luggage firmly in your hand. Wait until the scale reads a firm number before you start counting reading.
  • Write down the new weight reading and subtract the first value from this new reading to get the difference between them: this will give you your luggage’s weight.
  • If your luggage has an extra weight according to the weight limit of your airline then remove some stuff from it and repeat the process.

2. Buy luggage with a built-in scale

There are other ways of handling the weighing process:

Get a scale with a built-in bag. They come in a wide range of sizes, including a variety of luggage that has this feature.

3. Use a kitchen scale that supports the weight

You can also use a kitchen scale if it supports the kind of weight you’re trying to measure. As long as you stay within the limit, you won’t damage the scale. Be aware that the kitchen scale may not be able to accommodate the size of an item such as large bags.

4. Use a butcher’s scale

If you have access to a butcher’s scale, use it. These scales are extremely durable and can weigh up to 100 kilograms.

5. Use an airport scale

If you don’t want to carry your own scale, there are usually many scales available at airports for passengers to use before reaching the check-in counter, so you might be able to avoid the inconvenience of carrying your own scale.

Portable luggage scales vs Airport scales.

Many airline scales are inaccurate. There are even reports that some airlines weigh their passengers’ luggage on one scale and it weighs over the limit, only for them to slide it across to a second scale and the luggage comes in under the limit. There are countless reports of people who weigh their luggage at home and they tell themselves it weighs 49 pounds, only to arrive at the airport to find out that it actually weighs 54 pounds. Airlines make millions of pounds due to weight fees, therefore it is in their best interest not to calibrate their weighing scales too often. If you want to argue that you don’t have any luggage, then weigh your luggage on the scale in front of the counter at the airport. If it weighs less than the maximum allowed, you won’t be charged for excess baggage.

Why Your Luggage Scale Reading May Differ From the Airline Scales

You’re all set for your vacation. You’ve done everything you need to do and you’re sure that nothing will go wrong. When you reach the airport, check your luggage at the airline counter. If the airline scale reads 5 lbs over, you need to weigh yourself again.

This scenario is actually quite common, just Google “Are Airlines Scales Accurate”. Many airline scales are not very precise. Airlines usually calibrate their scales only once a year so it’s understandable why airline baggage scales don’t always match your personal luggage scale. If you weigh your bags at your home, you may not want to leave yourself a 5lb baggage without a buffer. You might be embarrassed by having to repack your bags at the airport or pay excess baggage fees.

What can you do?

  1. Make sure to give yourself a buffer of 5 pounds from the weight of your luggage.
  2. Ask nicely if you want your bag weighed on a separate scale.
  3. Pack a small bag that you can throw some items in from your suitcase.

A digital luggage scale is going to become your new best friend

If you’re flying with an airline like United, a digital luggage scale is definitely going to become your new best friend. Carry-on bags aren’t included in basic economy fares. You’re only allowed one personal item that fits under your seat in front of you (no larger than a laptop). You won’t be able to sneak any extra bags onto the plane without paying for them. If your luggage is too heavy, all the money you saved on your fare could be wasted by paying extra for overweight luggage. It’s not a good idea to begin a vacation by taking a long flight.

Next time you’re flying, be sure to leave some extra room for luggage. If you’re going to weigh yourself at home, you might as well bring your scale with you so you can weigh yourself on your way home. You can always check your weight at home later if you need to.

Final Thoughts: Are Portable Luggage Scales Accurate?

If you’re a frequent traveler, you might want to consider buying a portable scale so you can weigh your luggage before getting through security. Of course, remember to distinguish carry-on luggage from any other kind of checked luggage.

You buy a portable scale for convenience, portabili­ty, reliability (they tend not to break down too often), and most importantly, accuracy

Are portable luggage scales accurate?

Frequently Asked Questions: Are Portable Luggage Scales Accurate?

What are portable luggage scales?

  • Portable Luggage scales are small metal or wooden devices with a strap and hook attached to them so they can be hung from your luggage. The little screen on the scale will show you how much your luggage weighs in real-time.
  • They are lightweight and fairly inexpensive so you can take them with you when traveling abroad and weigh your luggage before you go on vacation, and before you return home, just to make certain you haven’t purchased too many souvenirs and exceeded the weight limit.

How much do I need for my holiday?

  • It’s not always easy to decide how much baggage weight to pay for when you book a flight. There are lots of factors to take into account. How long is the flight? What will the weather look like? Do they have laundry facilities? Do portable luggage scales really measure weight accurately?
  • Some people look forward to packing for a holiday, but for others, it’s just another stressful time. Some people don’t enjoy packing, folding, repackaging and refolding their luggage twice or thrice before each flight. They love the organization and planning that holidays require, from booking hotels to packing extra suncream, they are in their comfort zone.
  • The more people get into the spirit of things, the more they think of hypothetical situations and the more stuff they bring with them. The problem with this approach is that unless your luggage sale prices are accurate, you could unknowingly be losing money.
  • The trip you’ve been planning for months has finally arrived. All that remains is to prepare yourself for it. Use a scale to pack the luggage to the correct size.

How much should my suitcase weigh?

  • If you’re going to buy a new suitcase or bag, then you should consider buying one that’s made from good materials. A hard suitcase is heavier than a soft suitcase, so if you’re carrying less than 20 kg, it’s better to choose a soft suitcase.

Everyone has seen or been those people who have been told that their bags weigh too much. Five minutes later, they’re on their hands and knees at the airport check-in counter, suitcases wide open for the world to see, waiting for someone to come by and help them. Trying to move items from one bag to another, or vice versa. It’s not easy!

Nobody wants to be in this position, and nobody has to, with a little bit of planning and by buying a set of portable scales.

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