This little scale seriously would have come in handy for me in August of 2007.

It was the butt-crack of dawn at the DFW airport. My husband and I were at luggage check-in, surrounded by four large drum cases, a duct-taped box, an oversized duffel bag and a few carry-ons – all the belongings we took when we left Texas for a year in Brazil.

My husband had practice-packed, a concept I still wonder whether or not he invented. Literally, he packed all our drums, music equipment and clothes in cases, boxes and bags a month before our flight to see how he could make them fit best. United had a 50 lbs policy – that’s the limit before you got hit with some hefty luggage fees.

He had taken our luggage to the vet to use their scale for animals – that’s how serious he was about avoiding those charges.

“Fifty point two,” the check-in lady said sympathetically, patting our carefully packed box.

Duct-tape was ripped off, cases were opened, and sticks and cymbal stands and shoes were redistributed while a surprisingly patient line of travelers watched.

We managed to shift everything around and avoid the fees, but when you’re moving to a new continent for the first time, that kind of last-minute stress is best avoided.

I was out of town when the Mini Luggage Scale Balanzza kindly sent me to review arrived in the mail. My husband opened it, tested it, and called me immediately.

“This thing is brilliant.

It is. It’s also (according to Balanzza) the “smallest and lightest scale available on the market,” about the size of a suitcase handle, with a short lanyard and plastic clip attached. There are three buttons beneath the screen on front; power, unit (lb or kg) and reset. Turn it on, clip it to your bag, lift as if the scale were a handle and wait for the beep. The weight will be displayed on the screen.

While its practicality for travelers is clear, I’ve found other uses for the Mini Luggage Scale as well. Shipping gifts, for example – no need to guess at those UPS prices.

I’ve found it to be pretty accurate within .1 of a pound. It certainly beats driving to the vet, and it absolutely beats unpacking all your belongings while the line through security grows ever longer.

Price: $24.95

Contest closed!

And the winner is……@rachelskaggs! Congrats, Rachel!