GringosAbroad Ecuador

GringosAbroad helps expats and travelers navigate Ecuador. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

9 Best Luggage Scales for International Travelers (Buyers Guide) Digital, Manual, Electronic

Posted in: Product Reviews, Resources & Gear

We’ve all been there. Balancing our huge bag on the bathroom scale and trying to see the weight. Then frantically moving stuff between bags at the airport to meet their weight limits. In this post, you’ll learn how to weigh your luggage with these best luggage scales. They are light, accurate, and surprisingly inexpensive.

best luggage scale

Guide to Choosing the Best Luggage Scales

This is a pretty comprehensive guide. If you don’t want to read the full article and just want the best luggage scale, here it is:


Best Digital Luggage Scale: Etekcity

High accuracy weight sensor and super light weight makes this our favorite digital luggage scale.

Weight capacity of 110 lbs is more than double the allowed weight by most airlines. And it’s accurate to 0.1 lbs (50g).

Check current price on Amazon

Plus, it weighs just 5oz and easily slides in a packet for transport. 2 minute auto shut off saves battery, memory function, temperature sensor, and impact resistant ABS makes this the best travel luggage scale.


Best Manual Luggage Scale: Travelon Stop & Lock

If you don’t want to worry about batteries and electronics, the Travelon Stop and Lock is going to be your best option for a manual luggage scale.

Check current price on Amazon

Measures luggage up to 75 lbs (34 kg) with an easy stop and lock function. Just hang the luggage on the hook, wait for the dial to stop and it locks at the weight. You can then remove the bag and check the weight.

It also features a built in tape measure to check your luggage dimensions for airline requirements. This is a functional and durable choice. Just weigh and slip into your bag for your return trip.

portable luggage scale

Looking for a way to keep your gear dry while exploring? Check out our guide to the best dry bags for adventurers.

Buyers Guide to Luggage Scales (7 Factors)

Anyone who travels internationally knows the importance of a good luggage scale. Most airlines today allow you to bring at least one bag with you on the plane but will charge for any luggage that you check in with you.

You may face some high fees if the items in your bag go over the weight limit too, which will vary from airline to airline. Not only do you need to worry about what you bring with you, but you also need to consider what you’ll pick up and want to bring back from those foreign destinations. That is why you should know how to buy the best luggage scales for international travel.

Stop balancing your luggage on the bathroom scale! There is a better way. A lightweight luggage scale will help you avoid overage fees and the stress of packing.

Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best luggage scale.

1. Weight Capacity

Every airline limits your luggage weight. If you’re over, they often have significant fees. We’ve paid from $50 to $120 for overweight bags. The best luggage scale will tell you the exact weight of your bag as it sits.

When choosing your luggage scale, make sure that it has a weight capacity over the maximum airline weight. For example, most airlines allow up to 50lbs for checked luggage (some are less – some first class flights allow up to 70 lbs per bag). Most luggage scales will have a maximum weight range of 70 to 110 lbs – more than enough for the majority of travelers.

2. Types of Scales

Most of the international luggage scales we found will fall into one of three categories.

The first of those is a manual scale, which has a gauge at the top that shows different weights. You can attach your bag to the hook on the bottom of the scale and lift up on the top. This will weigh your bag and show you the weight on the gauge.

Though most of the other scales use the same design, electronic models run on batteries and have screens that show you the weight. These digital scales are usually more accurate – or at least easier to get an accurate reading.

The final type of luggage scale is the floor model scale. This is usually digital and not super portable. So while it will likely be the most accurate scale, it will probably only work for your home base.

3. Scale Size and Weight

Two things to consider when choosing a luggage scale is its size and weight. This is especially true when you pick a scale that you will take with you on international trips.

Portable models are very lightweight and can weigh just a few ounces but still support the full weight of your luggage. Scales that are bigger, bulkier or heavier will take up a lot of room in your bag and add to the overall weight, which can weigh heavily on your back and upper body.

4. Scale Accuracy

There is no point in buying a scale unless it’s accurate. You want to look for those that are accurate down to a fraction of an ounce too because this will help you avoid the high fees and penalties that some airlines charge for heavy bags.

If the scale isn’t accurate, you might face some high fees when you check-in before your flight.

5. Measurement Type

The two common measurement types that you can choose from include analog and digital.

Some travel enthusiasts swear by analog models. These scales do not require any batteries and feature a gauge that has a series of markings across the face. Each marking corresponds to a different amount of weight. You may find that these models aren’t as accurate, especially as they age over time.

Modern travelers often prefer digital scales because they are accurate down to a fraction of an ounce and have bright screens. Instead of struggling to read the scale and view the weight on the markings across the face, digital scales show you the exact weight on an LED or LCD screen.

6. Durability

Another thing to consider when buying a luggage scale for international travel is its overall durability. Does the scale have a hook firmly attached to the bottom? Can it keep up with your travel demands? Does it use a cheap plastic housing or case?

Those with a cheap housing can cause problems because that case can break in transport. This is especially true of adventure trips that you take and any trips where you might throw or drop your bag. You need to make sure that the case and the scale are both durable enough to withstand everything that you do at home and during your trip.

7. Additional Features

Some of the additional features you might look for in a bag scale include a battery saver and a built-in temperature gauge.

Battery saving features are common on digital and electronic models. When the scale notices that the battery is dying, it will flash a light to let you know about the problem and then shut itself off. This feature can also come on if the scale accidentally comes on in your bag.

A built-in temperature gauge is a feature that some find handy. You can press one button on the scale and view the current temperature of the room in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

best travel luggage scale

Concerned about theft while traveling? Here’s our guide to the best anti-theft bags and gear for travel.


9 Best Luggage Scales for International Travel

With these seven factors in mind, we have selected the following 9 models as the best luggage scales for travel.

The portable scales are surprising inexpensive – they range from under $10 to over $40. While this might sound significant, just keep in mind that most overweight fees start at $50 (we’ve paid USD$120 for a single overweight bag). You could save the price of the scale on your first trip!

And when you arrive at the airport with correct weight bags, it’ll be a less stressful and a quicker check in.

Okay, let’s get started!


Best Digital Handheld Luggage Scales

When you look at some of the top luggage scales available on the market, you’ll often find that digital scales are among the best.

Instead of struggling to read the tiny print on a manual screen and fighting to reset the scale, you can view the weight on an LCD or LED screen and press one button to reset it. There are a few digital scales and handheld models that are worth the price.

1. Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Etekcity
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 5.1 by 1.2 by 2.1 inches, 4.8 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 1/10th of a pound (1.6 oz or 45 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Very
  • Other Features: Temperature sensor, low battery indicator
  • Ideal for: Travel, farmer’s markets, package estimating

It is accurate up to 110 pounds and weighs only 4.8 ounces, which makes it easy to take on your trips. This scale comes with a lithium-ion battery and has a low battery indicator that flashes “lo” on the screen to let you know when it needs replacing. It also has a tare function that lets you measure the weight of an empty container and see how much the contents you add later weigh.

One of the best digital scales is this Etekcity model. Not only can you use it when weighing your luggage, you can use it for weighing foods at the market, and to estimate the weight of packages you send through the mail.

2. Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Tarriss
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 5.8 by 1.2 by 1.9 inches, 5.3 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: 0.2 lb / 90 grams
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Very
  • Other Features: Double hook closure, LCD screen, automatic shutoff
  • Ideal for: Business and pleasure travelers

With one touch of a button, you can switch between pounds, stones and kilograms to measure the exact weight of a bag.

It is accurate up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms and will give you a valid weight down to 0.2 pounds or 0.1 kilograms. This scale has an automatic shutoff that shuts down after 30 seconds of inactivity to save the battery and a double hook closure that keeps your bags from sliding off the hook. The backlit display lets you view the LCD screen without wasting the battery too.

Best Floor Model Luggage Scale

For the most accurate luggage scale, you should consider a floor model scale. While this isn’t very portable (for your return trip), you’ll know exactly the weight of your bag before heading to the airport from home.

Floor model scales are products that you can use to weigh your luggage before a trip and to check on the weight of boxes you want to mail through the post office too.

This model is especially good for people who don’t have a lot of upper body strength and might not be able to hold a 50 – 70 lb bag on a handheld scale.

3. Smart Weigh Digital Scale

  • Brand: Smart Weigh
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 440 pounds or 200 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 10.6 by 10.6 by 0.5 inches, 5.5 pounds
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 1/10th of a pound (1.6 oz or 45 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Very
  • Other Features: Compact design, works on larger items, suitable for shipping packages
  • Ideal for: Travel and package estimating

Smart Weigh makes the best floor model scale, which you can use to weigh bags and estimate the shipping costs of the packages you send through the mail. It features a small scale that attaches to a digital screen via an included cord.

This lets you weigh heavier objects and view the weight on the LCD screen. Capable of reading weights of up to 400 pounds, this scale is great for weighing gifts that you want to send to others. You can choose between imperial and metric readings and even weights in both pounds and ounces. As long as a bag weighs at least six pounds, you’ll get an accurate reading.

Best Battery Free Digital Luggage Scale

A common problem that those who travel more frequently experience is that the batteries in their digital luggage scales give out with little to no warning.

You might weigh your bags at the beginning of your trip and then find that the scale no longer works when it’s time to head home. The best digital scale that does not require a battery uses nanotechnology to ensure that it can also read the weight of your luggage.

4. Ellessi Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Ellessi
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 5.8 by 1.3 by 1.3 inches, 4.8 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 1 oz (29 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Very
  • Other Features: Steel hook, LCD screen, shake power technology
  • Ideal for: Business and recreation travel

If you want a digital luggage scale but don’t want to carry batteries with you, try out this Ellessi scale. It uses the same shake technology that some flashlights do. As long as you give it a good and powerful shake, the scale will have enough power to accurately measure your bags.

This scale has one button that you can touch to turn it off and to switch between measurement modes. It displays accurate information on the LCD screen and features a steel hook on the back. That hook connects to your bags and gives you an exact weight reading in seconds.

Best Premium Digital Luggage Scales

You do not need to spend a lot of cash on a digital scale, but you may want to spend a little more on one of the premium digital models.

These scales are more accurate than others and work on a variety of bags. You can use one to weigh your purse and carry-on luggage as well as checked suitcases. Some are even suitable for use at farmer’s markets and when shipping too.

5. Conair Travel Smart Compact Digital Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Conair
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 80 pounds or 36 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 4.5 by 1.5 by 8.5 inches, 4.8 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 0.5 lb (226 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Fair
  • Other Features: Steel hook, beeps when the bag is over or under the limit
  • Ideal for: International travelers

With this Travel Smart luggage scale from Conair, you can travel smart each time you head to the airport. The best feature on this model is that it has a maximum setting built-in that tells you exactly how much weight you can take with you.

If your bag is under or over this weight, the scale will beep and let you know. It is a little longer than some of the other best luggage scales but has a measurement that gives you readings in kilograms or pounds. The steel hook on the scale also connects easily to all types of bags and suitcases.

6. EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale

  • Brand: EatSmart
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 110 pounds or 5o kilograms
  • Types of scales: Digital
  • Scale size and weight: 5.2 by 1.0 by 3.5 inches, 7.2 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 0.1 pounds of the bag’s overall weight (45 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Very
  • Other Features: Clips to bags, LCD backlit display, cycle through measurements with one touch, SmartGrip included
  • Ideal for: Frequent travelers

The SmartGrip handle that comes on this EatSmart luggage scale ensures that you can keep a hand on your bag and get an accurate measurement. This model gives you readings of up to 110 pounds and will tell you the exact weight down to 0.1 pounds of the bag’s actual weight.

It can also provide readings in kilograms when flying from foreign destinations. Thanks to the backlit LCD screen, you can see your weight in any situation and without squinting your eyes. It shuts itself down after 20 seconds of inactivity to make the battery last longer and lets you cycle through the settings to weigh a new bag.

Best Manual Luggage Scales

It’s easy to focus so much on digital and electronic models that you forget about the manual scales that are out there.

These scales have a convenient design that makes them easy to use and lack many of the expensive parts that can break as you throw your bag around. You can use one of these scales to weigh your luggage as you travel off the beaten path too.

7. Samsonite Black Manual Scale

  • Brand: Samsonite
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 80 pounds (35 kilograms)
  • Types of scales: Manual
  • Scale size and weight: 1.0 by 1.0 by 1.0 inches, 6.4 ounces
  • Scale Accuracy: Within 0.2 pounds of the bag’s full weight (90 grams)
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Fair
  • Other Features: Measuring tape built inside, steel hook, convenient carrying handle
  • Ideal for: All travel

Samsonite has a great reputation for the suitcases and bags it has made over the years and is also responsible for this handy luggage scale. This manual scale has a solid white face with black markings around the sides that tick off the weight of your bag up to a total of 80 pounds or 35 kilograms.

A built-in measuring tape pulls out from the scale to let you measure the size of your bags to avoid airline fees. The steel hook on the bottom makes it easy to attach your bags and lift the scale to weigh each one. It also has a convenient carrying handle that you can use while weighing luggage.

8. Travelon Stop & Lock Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Travelon
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Manual
  • Scale size and weight: 11 by 7 by 3 inches
  • Scale Accuracy: Down to a fraction of a pound
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Good
  • Other Features: Reset knob on the front, built-in tape measure, steel hook, bright color on the face
  • Ideal for: Recreation and business travelers

The bright fluorescent green markings on the face of this Travelon luggage scale make it easy to see the exact weight of any bag in both pounds and kilograms. You can hold the scale in one hand and use the attached steel hook to weigh your bag as soon as you lift up your arm.

Once you finish weighing one bag, you can move to the next with a quick turn of the reset switch on the front of the scale. This scale can also help you avoid the high fees associated with larger bags because it has a built-in measuring tape for accurately checking the measurements of those suitcases.

9. Smartrip AccuDial Analog Compact Luggage Scale

  • Brand: Smartrip
  • Price: Check current price on Amazon
  • Weight capacity: Up to 80 pounds or 35 kilograms
  • Types of scales: Manual/analog
  • Scale size and weight: 6 by 2.3 by 1.2 inches
  • Scale Accuracy: Down to a fraction of a pound
  • Measurement type: Imperial and metric
  • Durability: Good
  • Other Features: Sliding handle, sliding hook, compact size, clear white face with black measurements
  • Ideal for: All types of traveling

One of the easiest scales to read is the AccuDial, which has black markings on a solid white face. You can see the arrow spinning around that face until it settles at the right level to show the weight of a bag in both kilograms and pounds. The best features of this model include the sliding hook and handle.

When weighing a bag, you can slide the book and handle out and then slide them back into the scale to keep it compact. Those features also reduce the footprint of the scale when it’s in your bag. This scale also has a handle that helps you keep a comfortable grip on your luggage.

best way to weight luggage

When we moved to Ecuador back in 2009, I didn’t even know luggage scales existed. It would have helped as we slogged our six checked bags (and over 75 lbs of books). Here’s what we would have done differently in our move.


FAQs About Luggage Scales

Which luggage scale is best?

We can’t tell you which luggage scale is the best because it can depend on factors such as how often you travel and where you travel or which airlines you use and what you carry in your bag.

Some of the factors to consider include weight capacity, accuracy, durability, and manual or digital. Check the first section above for more.

If you want our recommendations, you should check out this manual and this digital luggage scale.

What is the best way to weigh luggage?

The best way to weigh luggage is with a dedicated luggage scale. You can check the current weight of your bag and keep an eye on that bag as you add and remove items. This can help you stay under the airline’s limit, even if you remember a few things you forgot on your way out the door.

How do luggage scales work?

Luggage scales typically work in a few different ways. Many people are familiar with manual and analog models. They have a hook on the bottom that you connect to your luggage. When you lift the handle on the top of the scale, it uses gravity to determine the weight of the bag below.

Digital models work in the same way but are more accurate and can meet the weights determined by your airline.

Floor models: There are also some models that you can use for both shipping and traveling. They have a scale that you can place your luggage on top of and a USB cord that connects to this scale and accurately measures the bags on top.

best digital luggage scale

Are home luggage scales accurate?

Yes, most home luggage scales are extremely accurate and can tell you the weight of a bag down to 0.1 pounds. If you’re tired of arriving at the airport and finding that you’re over the airline’s limit or close to the limit, you’ll want to use one of these scales.

How much do airlines charge for heavy luggage?

You can expect to pay from $50 to $100+ for an overweight piece of luggage.

When you use one of these scales, you might wonder about just how much you can save at the airport. The maximum limit that most airlines have is around 50 pounds for the bags you can bring onto the plane.

You’ll face other fees for transporting heavier bags in the cargo hold too. These costs can vary between airlines but will generally cost at least $100 per flight. Some airlines charge even higher rates too.

How can I weigh my luggage without a scale?

If you do not have a luggage scale, you can use an ordinary bathroom scale. You should first get on the scale and weigh yourself.

Once you write down that weight, pack your bag with everything you need and get back on the scale. You can then subtract the first weight from the second weight to get the exact weight of your luggage.

While this method can work it can be difficult to get an accurate reading because of the wobble that comes with standing on the scale while holding your luggage. A scale designed for weighing luggage makes everything a little easier.

how to weigh luggage with bathroom scales

Can you weigh luggage on a regular scale?

Though you can weigh luggage on a regular scale, you should use the steps outlined above.

Most home scales require a certain amount of weight to work, which is usually more than your luggage weighs. The method we described above can help you find out how much your luggage weighs right now.

How to weigh luggage with a bathroom scale

Watch on YouTube

best luggage scales

Your Turn

As you look over our list of the best luggage scales for international travel, you can find one perfect for all the adventures you want to have.

A good luggage scale will pay for itself the first time you avoid paying for an overweight bag.

Have a tip or question? Join me in the comments below!

You might also enjoy:

Check out our guides:

Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares