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The 6 best luggage scales to avoid paying overweight baggage fees

It's easy to overpack for a trip, but you can avoid this costly mistake. Here are the best luggage scales to defend against dreaded overweight fees.

Published Jul 25, 2023
6 min. reading time
three different portable luggage scales

It’s time for your vacation. You’ve packed, repacked — and lifted your suitcase 10 times, trying to figure out whether it’s over the baggage weight limit. With the help of a reliable luggage scale, also called a baggage scale or suitcase scale, this painful guessing game (and any potential extra fees at the airport) can be easily avoided.

If you haven’t used a luggage scale, these handy, and usually compact, devices allow you to weigh your suitcase in seconds before heading to the airport. Often, these are available in either digital or analog models.

If you’re soon traveling and want to avoid getting hit with overweight luggage fees at the airport, our review of the best luggage weighing scales can help. Keep reading to find the option that suits your needs and budget best.

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Weighing out the best luggage scales

cylinder luggage scale with hook and retractable tape measure
Best overall luggage scale
Samsonite Electronic Scale
$22.40 at Samsonite
rectangular digital luggage scale with hook and retractable tape measure
Best digital luggage scale
NUTRI FIT Digital Luggage Scale
$11.58 at Walmart
circular portable luggage scale
A reliable battery-free luggage scale
Battery-Free Portable Weighing Luggage Scale
$24.99 at Walmart
narrow oval shaped digital luggage scale with hook and screen
Best portable luggage scale
Travel Smart by Conair Digital Luggage Scale
$19.99 at Target

Best overall luggage scale

cylinder luggage scale with hook and retractable tape measure
Photo: Samsonite

Samsonite Electronic Scale

You save $5.60 (20%)
  • Weight: 5.1 ounces

  • Weighs luggage up to: 80 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Accurate

  • Easy to use

  • Tape Measure included

  • Can only weigh up to 80 pounds

  • Some report issues with outer casing

The Samsonite Electronic Scale is user-friendly and accurate. Its compact design means you can fit it in your backpack or suitcase for use on the return trip. Backlighting allows for easy reading of the electronic digital display. It can even show the weight in kilograms, grams, pounds or ounces, which is helpful on international trips.

A measuring tape is conveniently tucked into the handle so you can check the size of your bags. Earning an average rating of 4.3 from Samsonite shoppers, this scale has been tried, tested — and a majority of buyers would recommend it.

Best digital luggage scale

  • Weight: 6.4 ounces

  • Weighs luggage up to: 165 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Rugged construction

  • Backlit display

  • Overweight alert

  • Requires 2 AAA batteries

  • Slightly larger than more compact units

The NUTI FIT Digital Luggage Scale is an excellent choice for precision and durability. It’s considered one of the most accurate luggage scales on the market. It’s so sturdy, it can perform at home or in agricultural and industrial settings. The data lock function allows you enough time to set the suitcase down after weighing and still see the result.

It can weigh luggage in either pounds, kilograms or ounces, which saves you from having to convert the numbers based on the airline you’re using or the country you’re visiting. Additionally, the built-in tape measure gives you a way to ensure your bags meet the required size limits.

Buyers gave this digital scale a 4.9-star average rating, praising it for accuracy and ease of use.

A reliable battery-free luggage scale

  • Weight: 2.24 ounces

  • Weighs luggage up to: 77 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight design

  • No battery required

  • Easy-to-read LCD display

  • Weighs luggage up to 77 pounds

  • Small handle for lifting suitcase during weighing

Looking for the best battery-free luggage scale option? This compact model is environmentally friendly, lightweight and powered by twisting the top half. Just give it a twist, loop the strap through your suitcase or backpack handle, then hold it up by the scale and read the weight.

The American Green Travel (AGT) Battery-Free Portable Weighing Luggage Scale can weigh in pounds or kilograms. It also has an automatic shut-off and auto reset that clears the results between weighing bags.

Tuck this handy little gem into your pocket or bag, and you are equipped to precheck your luggage weight BEFORE you arrive at the airport. Make your return home as smooth as possible by avoiding the crazy expensive excess weight baggage fees.

Best portable luggage scale

  • Weight: Retailer does not specify

  • Weighs luggage up to: 80 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Easy to use

  • Digital display

  • Audible overweight notification

  • Only available in white

  • Lithium battery required

This Digital Luggage Scale from Travel Smart by Conair is a traveler’s best defense against the dreaded overweight baggage fee — especially if you pack it along during your next trip.

Lightweight and with a streamlined design, this scale is made to be portable, so you can store it in your suitcase as you travel from place to place. If you did a bit of shopping or picked up some souvenirs along the way, you can simply weigh your suitcase again before taking your next flight to ensure you’re still below the baggage weight limit.

With this luggage scale, weighing your bags is less of a hassle. How? Its handle is designed to fit comfortably in your hand while you weigh your suitcase. And it will even sound an alert if your luggage exceeds the allowable weight.

If you’re a frequent traveler, we can’t recommend this scale enough. Bring it with you on your next trip and you’ll be certain your travel mementos don’t put you over the limit on your way home.

Our favorite mini digital scale

  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

  • Weighs luggage up to: 90 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Ergonomic handle

  • Sound notification when weight registers

  • Strong attachment strap

  • Weight limit 90 pounds

  • Battery required

Lewis and Clark products are designed with a nod to their adventurous and pioneering namesakes. The goal is to add convenience, comfort and security to the journeys of modern-day global explorers.

This handheld mini digital scale is one of the best tools to guide you in packing your suitcases and or backpacks. The webbed strap that attaches to your luggage for weighing is relatively short. That means you don’t need to lift the suitcase too high to get an accurate reading.

Keep yourself within the luggage allowances and avoid unnecessary overage charges. Then, after you pack, toss it into your luggage to use before your return trip.

Best heavy-duty luggage scale

  • Weight: 10.62 ounces

  • Weighs luggage up to: 300 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Best for heavy items

  • Multi-purpose

  • Comes in two colors

  • Heavier than comparable scales

  • Requires 2 AAA batteries

Available in either black or orange, this is the best portable heavy-duty luggage scale. While it weighs a little more than its light-duty cousins, it's a versatile workhorse. Not only will it alert you to potential overweight luggage issues, but it's also handy for weighing fish, postal packages, bulk foods and much more.

The stainless-steel hooks above and below allow you to attach the scale to a stationary support. Now you can weigh items without juggling them and the scale in the air, which is especially important for your heavier suitcases or other baggage.

Things to consider when buying a luggage scale

Next time you travel, don’t “guesstimate” the weight of your suitcases. It’ll cost you. Airlines are happy to slap a hefty fee onto your overstuffed bags. So, to keep your vacation budget in check and find the right scale for your needs, here are some important features to keep in mind:

  • Lightweight and portable: The best way to weigh your returning luggage is to bring your suitcase scale on your trip. So, you want one that won’t add a lot of weight to your bags and that’s easy to pack.  

  • A comfortable handle: It’s essential that it fits well in your hand as you’ll be holding up to 50 pounds hanging from the scale’s strap or hook. The design of the handle can make a big difference. If it’s too large or has rigid edges it will be more challenging to hold.  

  • Digital vs. Analog: Digital scales are typically lighter, smaller and more accurate than analog models. Analog scales tend to cost less, last longer and can usually be recalibrated.

  • Weight limit: Choosing a baggage scale that can switch between pounds and kilograms allows you the flexibility to be accurate regardless of which part of the world you travel. It’s also important to know the maximum weight your scale can handle. This ensures it’s the best choice for your load.

Which luggage scales get our vote?

All the scales we reviewed are good for different reasons — and offer different benefits. What do they have in common? They’re designed to help you avoid expensive overweight baggage fees. That said, based on our research, the standouts scales from the list above would be the following.

The Lewis and Clark Mini Digital Luggage Scale is one of the best travel scales — thanks to its compact size and packability, ergonomic handle and strap design and its audible indicator, which tells you when it’s done weighing. And the digital display is clear to read.

For a heavy-duty option that will accurately weigh more than suitcases, we think you’ll like the NUTRI FIT Digital Luggage Scale. The data lock feature is a real game changer. It holds the displays for a period, allowing you to release your bag and have time to read the weight.

Shop a new luggage scale, and you’ll have a reliable way to weigh your baggage as you pack. Next time you’re on vacation, you can confidently approach the airline check-in without worry.

Prices updated on 07/25/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Written by
Judith Halish

When not writing, Judy Halish is hiking in nature or spending time with friends. She loves to travel and makes everywhere her home. Drawing on her experience as an Amazon reviewer, she helps her readers find great products to enhance their lives.

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