I snapped up this Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale before heading back East to bring my son home from college for summer break. Since bags over 50 pounds can incur hefty ($50 and up) surcharges, I wanted to make sure our luggage stayed within the weight limits. The $20 I spent on it more than paid itself back. It’s accurate; we filled a few of the bags to 49 pounds, and sure enough, that’s exactly how they tipped the scale at the airport check-in counter. Zero overweight baggage surcharge = one happy camper.

It would also come in handy on international flights when carry-on cabin baggage can be subject to weight limits.

This particular model displays either pounds or kilograms, and uses a strap as opposed to a hook to attach the bag for weighing. That makes it somewhat easier to secure the bag, although it can still be a strain on your back and leg muscles when you’re using it to hoist a 49-pound bag off the floor (trust me on that one) to get a reading.