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Portable scale for luggage and food
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Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Portable scale for luggage and food on 09/30/2013 16:27:32 MDT Print View

Can anyone recommend a portable scale that can:

1 - Weigh airplane luggage, so it has to handle at least 50 lbs, resolution about 1 lb at the high end.

2 - Weigh food bags, so it has to be accurate to better than an ounce or so at the few lb level.

Or maybe we need two portable scales?

When packing for a return airplane flight you generally have to keep the weight below 50 lbs per bag or they charge you a lot, so I'd like to bring a scale with me.

And after arrival we often have to sort through (say) ten days worth of food to put together just enough for (say) a two or three day adventure. We always err on the high side and land up hiking out with lots of food left. And although we weigh everything at home, after one or two few-day trips everything is partially eaten and the weights are useless. We need to weigh things again.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Portable scale for luggage and food on 09/30/2013 16:44:26 MDT Print View



This $50 scale will hold the highest weight until you reset. If you add weight during a measure it will capture and hold the new value.

Pay attention to the "capture and hold" routine. Most luggage scale handle it poorly. Also, there are scales that look like this, but don't "hold the highest".

Edited by greg23 on 09/30/2013 16:47:25 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
$2.77 solution on 09/30/2013 17:31:33 MDT Print View

"Hold the highest" would be nice IF you slowly, gradually, raise the luggage from the floor without hitting anything on the way up. Otherwise, you will get a falsely high reading.

Without "Capture and hold", it can be tricky by yourself to weigh 50-60-70 pound bags. It's easy with two people for one person to look from the side as the bags hang from the scale.

I'm thinking "$50" was a typo by Greg. These things only cost $30-50 at the Hudson News at the airport. On eBay, they are $3 including shipping. Here's the kind I got four of (for me, and gifts for frequent flyer friends):

$2.77 including shipping. Takes two AAA, not included.

Weighs to 50 pounds (in pounds, kg or jin), starting at 0.02kg / 0.04 pounds and thereafter in 0.01 kg (10 grams) / 0.02 pounds increments. I'd never had a disagreement with airline scales so at 50 pounds it is within half a pound, my sense is that it is closer than that. I hadn't checked the low end until just now, but I weighed a pound of butter package at 1.08. Then I tared it with the empty cardboard box and got 1.04 for the butter and wax paper around each cube. Assuming the Amalgamated Diaries of Wisconsin doesn't put in any more butter than required (I'm pretty sure about that), it appears to be within 0.01-0.02 pounds (i.e an error < 1-2%).

Definitely not for selling pot much less cocaine (at street-level quantities), or tweaking your soda-can alky stove, but for checking fuel canister levels, etc, it seems adequate. Great for luggage and food drops and postal parcels. For stuff that doesn't hang easily, just tare it with a plastic grocery-store bag hanging from the hook. Pro tip: at home or on the road, hang it from a closet rod for easy, eye-level use.

I take about 80 flights a year, so I actually don't use it myself. Once we moved to Alaska, I calibrated my arm for 70 pounds by hefting and weighing many bags. Then, post 9/11 and the 50-pound limits, I recalibrated my arm. I can pack a bag to 49 +/- 2 pounds and then I leave a book or some 1-2 pound object near the top in case I need to shift something to another bag.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Who shaves the barber? on 09/30/2013 17:40:31 MDT Print View

I put my scale (URL above) on a scale. 3.1 ounces.

Edited: 3.1 ounces WITH batteries.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 09/30/2013 17:41:29 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Scale on 10/01/2013 10:33:53 MDT Print View

$50. Nope, not a typo.

"False" highs haven't happened yet. And I'm not very careful.

There are others other there for less and if they do what you want, by all means go there.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Portable scale for luggage and food on 10/01/2013 11:53:00 MDT Print View

If you search for "luggage scale" on Amazon, it will turn up a bunch of them. I got mine in 2011 for $20. I don't think they sell it anymore but it looks like this:
Luggage Scale

One suggestion. Get one that has a solid hangle AND a relatively large display. Remember that you may be holding up a dangling 50lb bag with one hand and trying to hold it steady while you try to read the display...

Also, mine is accurate enough to weigh small items as well.