The solar-powered Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 is a great choice for eco-conscious consumers, thanks to its biodegradable-plastic construction, which will decompose in a landfill. The biggest downside is its solar-power reliance; users say it requires more light than is readily available in some bathrooms, making it a pain to use. It has a weight capacity of just 330 pounds, lower than the typical 400- or 450-pound capacity of most bathroom scales.
Accurate, with a low weight capacity: The Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 gets excellent reviews from professional testers and owners alike. The Tanita HS-302 does not require batteries or electric power but is instead powered by a solar cell that works with either sunlight or interior lighting.
Reviewers say the scale is accurate and consistent; editors of Good Housekeeping magazine call it "an average scale with average performance." It has a weight capacity of 330 pounds, which is measured in 0.2-pound increments up to 200 pounds and 0.5-pound increments from 200 up to 330 pounds. The Tanita scale displays weight only, and unlike some other bathroom scales, it does not track weight loss over time or store weight readings for multiple users.
One owner who posts feedback on Amazon.com says, "I wanted an accurate scale no bells and whistles just the correct weight. I got it with this scale. It works great when it has enough light. That is the problem I have with it. I am not weighing myself outside naked in the sunlight, nor do I have a skylight in my bathroom." The inability of this scale to operate in dim lighting conditions is the primary drawback noted by owners.
Requires ample lighting to work: The Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 is an easy-to-use digital bathroom scale, with a 12-inch long by 13-inch wide platform and a 1.2-inch LCD display. The Tanita's solar-powered operation creates ease-of-use issues: Not only does it not work well in dim lighting, but users have to transport it around their homes to find an area with sufficient lighting. On the other hand, it means there are no batteries to replace.
Its weight capacity (330 pounds) is lower than the typical 400- to 450-pound weight limits of most home-use bathroom scales. Some users say the platform could be wider for easier use, although its smaller size makes it easier to store or slide out of sight when not in use.
Few durability complaints, extended warranty: Several owners say they have had the Tanita Solar Digital Scale for years, and it still works as well as it did the day they received it. There are a few users, however, who say that it stops giving accurate readings within the first month of use. The Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 is backed by a three-year warranty.
Biodegradable materials appeal to eco-conscious consumers. The Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 is made with biodegradable resins (ABS plastic) that will break down in a landfill, a feature that appeals to eco-conscious consumers and users who have homes based on sustainable design. The scale has a plain white finish, which users note as not overly trendy and unobtrusive in most bathrooms.
Regarding the scale's biodegradable composition, AlternativeConsumer.com adds, "In addition to being solar-powered, Tanita's new HS-302 Solar Digital Scale is made with ABS plastic using biodegradable resins. The new material, Terramac, is purported to reduce carbon emissions in making the scale's housing by 20% while making the scale more landfill friendly, (biodegradable)."
Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org tests 11 bathroom scales in its latest report, including the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302. Scales are rated on accuracy and consistency, although there is little analysis to accompany the ratings.
Review: Best Bathroom Scales, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, February 2010
2. Good Housekeeping
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors at Good Housekeeping magazine test 26 bathroom scales in this undated report, including the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302. Editors say the Tanita Solar Digital Scale is "an average scale with average performance." Details on the selection process -- other than by specifications -- are unclear.
Review: Bathroom Scale Reviews, Editors of Good Housekeeping magazine, Undated
Review Credibility: Good Less than 40 owners who contribute reviews give the product an average rating of 3.4 stars out of 5. Most agree the scale is accurate and consistent, although some add it requires more light than available in most bathrooms.
Review: Tanita HS302 White Solar Powered Digital Bathroom Scale, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Sept. 19, 2012
4. The Independent (U.K.)
Review Credibility: Good The Independent, a British publication, picks the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 as one of the 10 best bathroom scales, saying it gives "accurate readings" and is an eco-friendly choice.
Review: The Ten Best Bathroom Scales, Clementine Logan, Dec. 29, 2009
Review Credibility: Fair AlternativeConsumer.com, a blog about eco-friendly products, does not test the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302 but does praise its eco-friendly credentials. Editors here like that the scale is biodegradable and is made from a plastic that produces less carbon dioxide during its manufacture.
Review: Tanita Solar Digital Scale Made with Bioplastic, "Maureen", Dec. 30, 2009
6. The Huntsville Times
Review Credibility: Fair This article focuses on fashionable or unique bathroom scales, but the products are not personally tested. Each scale, including the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302, receives a brief overview that focuses on the scale's features.
Review: Step Up to Scale Back with Fabulous New Bathroom Scales, Mary Anne Swanstrom, Jan. 21, 2010
Review Credibility: Fair EarthTechling.com, another environmental blog, focuses on the environmentally friendly aspects of the Tanita Solar Digital Scale HS-302, although the scale is not tested.
Review: Solar Powered Bathroom Scale Offers a Greener, Slimmer 2010, Susan DeFreitas, Dec. 31, 2009