Weighing travel gear is a great way to make sure you don’t over pack. My whole philosophy on packing is that you can bring what you want as long as you stick to your target weight. What that target weight is, well, that’s up to airline regulations and how much weightlifting you do. But who has time to weigh all of their stuff (other than me)? I’ve done the homework and have created a spreadsheet of typical weights for you.
Why Bother Weighing Travel Gear?
Nobody wants to schlep around a heavy bag. As I have elaborated on in other articles, packing to weight can change the way you look at packing. Rather than thinking of packing a certain number of things, paying attention to the total weight can free you to make better choices. Going through the effort of weighing travel gear can also give you an awareness of why you might be taking more than you need. If I can’t decide between two similar items, a quick weigh takes the choice out of my hands.
What Weight Should I Shoot For?
The overall weight of your bag should be a little less than the maximum carry-on weight for your airline. I aim for 16 pounds, as this is often the maximum weight that is allowed in the cabin of European airlines. US airlines typically allow up to 25 pounds, but that is a miserable amount of weight to drag around, in my opinion. Ultimately, you should be packing to the weight that you can realistically handle. You may only be able to carry 10 pounds, but that’s still possible!
How to Use This Spreadsheet
I have gone through my typical items and made a list of what you might potentially pack. The weights are in ounces. Keep in mind that your things probably don’t weight the same as mine. These are target weights more than absolute weights. If you can do better, great! And for a point of reference, I am 6’2″, I weigh around 180 and I have size 12 feet, so I am larger than a typical woman or man and should have heavier clothes than the average person. That means you can do even better than I do!
You can come up with an estimate of your bag before you even pack. Print out this spreadsheet, grab a calculator and add up all of the items you plan to pack. Compare your results with your actual bag. How did you do? Post results in the comments!
Weighing Travel Gear: The Spreadsheet!
|Weight Spreadsheet||weight, oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz||oz|
|Long Sleeves||6||Long Pants||10||Rain Jacket||12||Light Socks||4||Toothbrush||2||Cell Phone||5||Sunglasses||4||Walking Shoes||10||Zip-Loc Bags||1||Backpack||48||Passport||2|
|Short Sleeves||4||CapriPants||9||Heavy Coat||18||Heavy Socks||7||Toothpaste||2||Headphones||2||Guidebooks||14||Sandals||10||Packing Cubes||2||Rolling Bag||112||Credit Cards||1|
|Sleeveless||3||Shorts||8||Light Jacket/Fleece||14||Underwear||1||Dental Floss||1||Tablet||22||Books||10||Trail Shoes||16||Laundry Line||1.5||Packable Carry-On||5||Local Currency||1|
|Sweater||8||Skirt||6||Vest||7||Bra||4||Deodorant||3||Charging Cords||2||Notebook||4||Flip-Flops||8||Clothing Soap||2||Toiletries Bag||5||US Currency||1|
|Cardigan||8||Dress||8||Gloves||5||Pajamas||8||Comb/Brush||2||Plug Adaptors||2||Pens/Pencils||1||Flats||8||Plastic Cutlery||3||Health Insurance Card||1|
|T-Shirt||4||Belt||8||Scarf||3||Swimsuit||8||Hair Fasteners||1||Back-Up Battery||7||First Aid Kit||3||Slippers||6||Washcloth||2||Driver’s License||1|
|Leggings||6||Hat||3||Face Cream||2||Camera||10||Stain Remover||1||Shopping Bag||2||Plane Tickets||1|
|Jeans||16||Shampoo||2||Laptop||32||Water Bottle||5||Moleskin||2||Reservation Vouchers||1|