Review: Balanzza Mini Luggage Scale – avoid nasty surprises at the airport!

Traveling with bags means trying to stay one step ahead of the airlines – and staying one step ahead of them, means knowing exactly how heavy your bags are. There no nothing more annoying than arriving at the airport, only to discover that you overpacked, and will either have to pay up, remove some items or move items between bags.

To help prevent these nasty surprises, you could consider investing in a portable luggage scale. Last year, we mentioned the Balanzza Ergo digital luggage scales – and now Balanzza has introduced a more compact version of their award winning product – the Balanzza Mini.

The Balanzza mini is the smallest digital luggage scale in the world. The device is about three times smaller than the original version – but still provides the same features and 100lbs. capacity.

To weigh your bag, you simply strap the scales to your handle, turn the unit on, and pick it up. As soon as the Balanzaa Mini beeps, you’ll have an accurate measurement. The scales are accurate to 0.2lbs – which is probably a better result than many uncalibrated airport scales.

The Balanzza Mini compared to the larger Balanzzo Ergo. Both are very accurate, but the reduced size and weight of the Mini has its obvious advantages. That said – with very heavy bags, the larger version may be more comfortable to lift.

The Balanzza Mini retails for $24.95, and is available directly from Balanzza, select Bed Bath & Beyond stores and a variety of online retailers.

The scale doesn’t lie, at least not in New York

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we’re all dreading the thought of stepping on the scale the next day … and making all kinds of empty promises about jogging and losing weight and not eating like that again next year. Some of us we’ll even unleash a stream of profanities and accuse the device of lying. Out in Queens, however, a few scales have been tested, and they won’t be fooling anyone at turkey-time.

Inspectors from the Department of Consumer Affairs have verified that the 741 luggage scales at New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports. On the first run, 92 percent were found to be in compliance, and following repairs, a re-inspection showed a 98 percent success rate. The remaining 2 percent? Don’t worry: they won’t be used until they’ve been repaired.

With the extra fees that can be triggered by hefty bags, this is a pretty serious issues, especially in a market where airlines are trying to pick up a little extra revenue and consumers have become sensitive to additional charges.

Gadling gear review – On Your Weigh luggage scales by Travelon

In this Gadling gear review, I’ll introduce you to a product that is becoming increasingly important for travelers. As more and more airlines start charging for (excess) baggage, you’ll run the risk of a nasty surprise at the airport.

With the Travelon “On Your Weigh” portable luggage scales, you’ll be able to weigh your luggage before arriving at the airport, giving you plenty of time to juggle things around a bit, or if you need a good excuse to leave some of those horrible souvenirs at your hotel.

The On Your Weigh scales are very lightweight (6.8 ounces) and are just 6″x3″.

To use the scales, you simply press the “open” button on the front, 2 rubber coated grips pop out, and a hook extends from the bottom. To weigh your luggage, you turn the scales on, and hang a bag from them.

After about 5 seconds (when your luggage stops swinging), the scales display the weight on a backlit LCD display mounted on the top. Once it has a reliable measurement, it stores the final weight on the display for 30 seconds.

Despite their simple appearance, the scales are pretty smart – the LCD display color changes from blue to red when the weight exceeds 50 pounds. You can also change that overweight warning to 40, 30 or even 20 pounds, for really stingy airlines.

In addition to the “open” button, the On Your Weigh scales have just 2 buttons – one to turn them on, and one to switch between pounds and kilos. Its maximum weight capacity is 110 pounds, or 50 kilos and it is accurate to just .22 kilos.

One additional reason for using these scales is to beat the airline scales – many airports are operating poorly calibrated scales, and if you come across an airport scale that reports something way out of line with your own measurement, it’ll give you a valid reason to ask for a re-weigh using different scales, or even ask to see the calibration sticker.

The On Your Weigh scales cost $29.99, and are available from many Travelon retailers. Follow this link for a list of their retailers.

I wish products like this were not necessary – but airlines have given us no choice. I’m especially impressed with the compactness of the On Your Weigh Scales, and the extra touches put into its design. The color changing LCD display is sheer brilliance. If you regularly push the limits of your baggage allowance, I highly recommend adding the On Your Weigh scales to your travel gadget arsenal.