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backpack
02-12-2013, 10:08 PM
I need to start to do practice packing with weight limit so I need a scale for my luggage, Since I don't live on the hip U.S coasts, the product needs to be widely available, I can't waste money shipping back and forth.

I am very very very exited to play with my new Travel Dyneema bags.

I have brainstormed a minimalist wardrobe that matches my bags colors and can handle most weather.

autolycus
02-13-2013, 08:47 AM
I recommend the Balanzza luggage scales. The mini version is even small enough to easily take with you in case you plan to buy souvenirs and want to make sure you stay within your weight limits. It is available from LL Bean among other places.

Here's their list of retailers that sell it (or others of their products): ::: Balanzza ::: Where to Buy Retailers USA (http://www.balanzza.com/distributors/?cat=1)

backpack
02-13-2013, 12:03 PM
I will need to take the small one and bring it with me.

I read a couple of reviews about the Balanzza which said that the batteries are hard to put in, the scale turns itself on and drains battery and sometimes the display doesn't work.

Obviously your experience differ.

Lani
02-13-2013, 01:16 PM
One suggestion I would offer is to go to your local US post office. Many of them have those automated postal machines that allow you to weigh your package. When my husband and I were planning our trip to Europe and we were on a very strict weight quota for our carryon bag, we packed it with what we thought would work, then took it to the post office to get them weighed. We thought that would provide far more accuracy than the step-on weight scale we had at home.

BPritchard
02-13-2013, 05:07 PM
I've used th following scale. Easy to use and the display is on the handle where you don't have to be a contorsionist to read the weight.
Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale w/ 110 lb. Capacity & SmartGrip
Amazon.com: EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale w/ 110 lb. Capacity & SmartGrip: Health & Personal Care (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EZG9X4/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i01)

autolycus
02-13-2013, 05:09 PM
I will need to take the small one and bring it with me.

I read a couple of reviews about the Balanzza which said that the batteries are hard to put in, the scale turns itself on and drains battery and sometimes the display doesn't work.

Obviously your experience differ.

I haven't had those problems, but I don't travel by air a ton, so I may have just been lucky.

This is going to be a bit of an out there suggestion, but have you tried looking at a sporting goods stores (or sporting goods section of Walmart, Target, etc.) for a small fishing scale? Many of them are still being made without any batteries, just a spring.

daisy
02-13-2013, 06:56 PM
I have one of these which I've been happy with
Salter luggage scale (http://www.amazon.co.uk/HoMedics-Group-Ltd-9500-SVDR/dp/B001ISKB4I/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top)

I lugged it all over europe for 8 weeks in 2011 and I may have used it once .. to check my carry-on before the flight out, or maybe not.(we only flew in/out -- all boats/trains/cars once we were in europe, so weight wasn't that critical for most travel)

backpack
02-14-2013, 08:49 AM
It seems that the Eat Smart is the U.S version of the Salter, so far two great reviews and I found a local retailer!

Keep the suggestions coming, because the smart minds of Tom Bihn forum users are always great at providing a nice brain storming.

ceb
02-14-2013, 12:32 PM
I know that we all love our electronic gizmos - but...

I use a Samsonite analog model that I bought on sale at ebags a few years ago. It is very accurate and uses no batteries. You set the black hand to zero and then you lift the bag by the handle on the scale. You put the bag back down and then you look at where the black hand is pointing. That's how much your bag weighs.

It doesn't have an alarm clock, built in radio nor does it make you coffee or give you the weight of your bag to a tenth of a gram, but it gives you a good accurate reading. Batteries won't leak or run down.

Now, how accurate is it? From my testing with a variety of products with a known weight, I have found it to be accurate to less than a half pound off for a 50 lb suitcase. Dead on for a 10lb bag of sugar and just a hair off for the 25lb bag. It is certainly more accurate than the scales at airports which are notoriously wrong - always in favor of the airline. I've argued with them successfully by pulling out my scale and showing them - asking them to use another scale.

TavaPeak
02-14-2013, 01:00 PM
Used a Balanzza scale (from REI? Target?) when we packed checked bags to go to Uganda. We were carrying conference and humanitarian supplies--a 50 lb limit per bag. At Ethiopian Air, the bags were weighed. Bag #1: 49.8 lbs. Bag #2 50.0 lbs. Score!

The Balanzza scale was big and bulky, and had a built-in flashlight, which wasn't used on the trip. I'd probably replace the scale with a smaller one. However, several folks have borrowed it for trips to Ecuador, Indonesia, etc.

tangfj
02-14-2013, 01:14 PM
Ebags makes a good scale that I've used in the past.

It's cheap and works!

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/gripscale-digital-luggage-scale/222176

tangfj
02-19-2013, 03:38 PM
I have the eBags gripscale that I've used with a lot of success. It's lightweight and easily packable which is nice...

eBags GripScale Digital Luggage Scale | Seen on Good Morning America - eBags.com (http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/gripscale-digital-luggage-scale/222176)

Anniegill
03-12-2013, 08:21 PM
It seems that the Eat Smart is the U.S version of the Salter, so far two great reviews and I found a local retailer!

Keep the suggestions coming, because the smart minds of Tom Bihn forum users are always great at providing a nice brain storming.

Sure seems like a silly name for a scale that weighs a bag, the "eat smart scale"! None-the-less I ordered one and weighed my new Aeronaut, it weighs 3.3 #, it has something in it. So it's very easy to use, pretty accurate and packable. I recommend it.

Edwin
02-21-2014, 11:34 PM
Why not you use any hanging scale because they are cheap and also provide you almost accurate results for your measurement. I have bought one last month in $15 and i think its enough for small measurement that i need. I buy that from ebay.

ChrisG
03-01-2014, 08:13 PM
I have an older version of the Balanzza that we bought back in 2004 before we went to Australia and it's worked well for us over the years. It seems to be very accurate when compared to most of the airlines' counter scales, and its small and light enough to bring along to check the return trip weight. I'm sure I've probably had to replace the batteries sometime in the past 10 years, but I can't remember having any problems in that regard.

I had a spring scale before the digital one, but never liked it. Even though it had the indicator arrow that would show the weight after you set it down, it didn't seem reliable and seemed like the indicator would "rebound" sometimes once the weight was removed. The digital does a much better job of showing the weight after you set the luggage back down IMO.

Edwin
04-26-2014, 01:58 AM
Why not you search on ebay because there are many luggage scales there. Most of these scales are digital and you can easily get accurate result (http://www.scaleforless.com/Tor-LEQ-10-Portion-Control-Scale/dp/B00BEDUHHI) with that for your luggage weighting.

PeterB
07-08-2014, 01:15 AM
Digital counting scales are better than spring scales ChrisG. I personally use a Bench Scale with Stainless Steel Platter. It is quit good and working well for me over the 6 months. It has PS-IN108 indicator with serial output which enable me control well over my all weighings.

PeterB
07-12-2014, 12:06 AM
The digital was bought for weighing objects upto 1000 lbs.15' load cell cable. Its structural steel channel frame (http://www.myscalestore.com/10000x1lb-48-x-48-floor-scale-w-indicator.html) is very effective. Its package are configured and calibrated with 10000 divisions which enables me to have more accurate measurements.

PeterB
07-12-2014, 12:08 AM
bench scale (http://www.myscalestore.com/industrial-scales/bench-scale/)

backpack
07-12-2014, 10:46 PM
I followed autolycus previous post suggestion.

I went to a sporting good and bought a fishing scale with a wide hook, able to hold my TB bags handle and the top handle of 2 other bags.

We had a strict weight limit and it worked perfectly, it was lightweight enough to be carried on the trip.

In addition, it has helped me to transition to ultra light packing with confidence.

jeff
07-13-2014, 10:28 PM
Spring scales aren't worth squat any more. Period.

For $10-20 you can get a digital strain-gauge scale that is going to be much more repeatable over time, and much more accurate. You're not going to get a calibrated-to-1% spring at anywhere near that price, which is what you'll need to hit 25 kg within 0.25 kg or 50 pounds within 0.5 pounds.

If you want a tiny bit of peace of mind with your scale, water weighs 1 kg per liter. A 1-gallon plastic jug of water has ~3.8 kg of water in it, so a couple of them on your scale should weigh around 7.7 kg (plastic milk-style bottles weigh ~60 g (http://waste360.com/mag/waste_hdpe_bottles_2)). You can use milk as well, though it is a tiny bit heavier (3-4% (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/AliciaNoelleJones.shtml) or about 8.0 kg total).

Edwin
07-18-2014, 11:29 PM
I think jeff is right you can't get accurate results with spring scale and other cheap scales (http://www.scaleforless.com/) after few months. Because you don't calibrate them so you must find a digital one to get accurate measurement.

bchaplin
07-19-2014, 03:51 AM
For $10-20 you can get a digital strain-gauge scale that is going to be much more repeatable over time, and much more accurate.

Thanks, @Jeff. Can you link to one of these scales?

jeff
07-19-2014, 08:28 AM
I've got a first-generation Balanzza which isn't really "travel size" except for our trips that involve scuba diving. In that case we're taking not only clothing, but wetsuits and equipment, so getting the weight distributed among three bags each is key. It looks like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Balanzza-Digital-Luggage-Authorized-Dealer/dp/B001GKUH0G/), but I'm not sure if its the same model. The Amazon reviews suggest that the current Balanzza scales are good as well. There is a link earlier in the thread to Balanzza "Where to buy."

The actual weighing mechanism on the scales ("load cell") is relatively common and inexpensive from semi-custom fabricators in Asia these days, so it comes down to something that has decent quality control (or a good return policy from the retailer, since you'll never be able to find the "manufacturer" for most of these makes) and then how it feels in your hand, and how easy it is to use.

I'd just search "luggage scale" on Amazon and pick one to try that you think you'd like the way you hold it, how the luggage attaches, and how you'd read it. There are several there in the $10-20 range with a big enough number of reviews to get a good idea of how people like them and what the failure rate might be.

When you start looking at several of them, you start to see that what is probably the same scale "guts" gets sold under several different brand names. There is one I'm looking at for $5.99 that looks just like the ones that generally sell for $11.50. What's the difference? Your guess is as good as mine. Mine is that when you sell through Amazon fulfillment you end up paying a bit more commission to Amazon and you have a higher return rate than selling direct.

They're all going to have a small number of people that find them unreliable or inaccurate. Some of that is just manufacturing and quality control. Some is that if you don't hold the scale reasonably level, you won't get an accurate reading. (For example, twisting your hand so that one end of a 4" scale was a half-inch higher than the other.)

Some complain about lithium "coin" cells being hard to find or expensive. Yeah, if you buy them at your local drug mart, they're going to kill you on price. Thing is that they are available through Amazon for a buck or two and should last several years.

Trust your gut on a decision, especially if the retailer has a good return policy.



Edit -- Follow-up on rough checking accuracy

The right way to check/calibrate a scale

7401

One Target distilled water jug weighs ~3.9 kg on my scale, so two would be ~7.8 kg. Again, this isn't to calibrate your scale, just to provide a sanity check.

7402

bchaplin
07-19-2014, 09:07 AM
Thanks!
That is the type of scale I have. I will use the water method to check if it is accurate.
I can see the point of the simpler kind they sell in travel stores (the spring-loaded ones, I guess?). But I am more interested in weighing individual items as part of the planning process, and I don't take the scale with me while I am actually traveling.

jeff
07-19-2014, 10:11 AM
I'm pretty happy with the CJ-4000 and use it daily for coffee brewing. A big driving factor on that is that the CJ-4000 can be set to disable the auto-off feature, which is important for a 4-5 minute coffee brewing process. The CJ-600 and CJ-4000 (it is claimed) use a slightly better load cell than in the $10 variety. Keep it out of the sun as the display window may warp (permanently) if it gets too hot.

Checking my old orders, that calibration weight (http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Scales-500WGT-Calibration/dp/B0010TGEQE/) runs $9 these days. A 1 kg weight (http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Scales-1KGWGT-Calibration/dp/B002UL9ZEO/) is $17 (but apparently has some problems with that specific model, reading the reviews). I don't recall what calibration mass you need to calibrate a CJ-6000. A "Class M" calibration weight is plenty good (http://www.zwiebel-weights.com/Download/technical-data-zwiebel.pdf) for our purposes - 0.08 g on a 500 g weight for M2, 0.25 g for M3. "Traceable calibration" doesn't make it any better, unless you have some legal requirement to meet.

RhoFro
07-19-2014, 05:04 PM
Just picked up an Expedition Backpack Scale (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TABMPC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) from Amazon. After searching around, this was one had great endorsements. Should be here next week so I'll be able to test it's accuracy with a gym weight.

backpack
07-19-2014, 06:57 PM
The right way to check/calibrate a scale

7401

One Target distilled water jug weighs ~3.9 kg on my scale, so two would be ~7.8 kg. Again, this isn't to calibrate your scale, just to provide a sanity check.

7402


The apparatus in the picture, is obviously, -not- a travel size scale.


I needed to bring the scale with me, so it had to be lightweight

I wanted to shop locally, so I first asked forum members for advice, did an online search and found the small scale.


I tested it by weighting my TB bags, first empty (I trust the TB Crew to have the best and most accurate weight apparatus) then loaded.


At the time, the reviews about the brands you mention where negative. I checked many sites including travel, consumer review sites and others.

I know that some sites, especially shopping ones, have reviewers for hire to "boost" ratings.


I do not want my fellow TB travellers to be disappointed by a digital scale that refuses to work, just hours before leaving for the airport, in a middle of the night.
Or, on the return trip, after a really nice shopping spree, in a country where the person doesn't speak the local language.


In many countries, kilos are used, and it is easier to see both kilos and pounds on a manual scale.