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Top 6 Best Portable Tire Inflators Reviewed – [2019]

The Top-Rated Compact Air Inflator Units Available

In this side-by-side product review Outside Pursuits leads you through everything you need to know in order to compare and choose the best portable tire inflator for your specific needs and inflating requirements. These are reliable, powerful devices able to inflate all types of tires, sporting equipment and compressed air tanks up to 150 psi.

We’ll take a look at the top-rated and best portable tire inflators for the money. Also see: How To Choose A Portable Tire Inflator later in the article. What is the best portable tire inflator?

Quick Answer: The 6 Best Portable Tire Inflators

  1. VIAIR 300P Portable 12 Volt High-Pressure Air Compressor and Tire Inflator
  2. Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator
  3. AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump 150 PSI
  4. Campbell Hausfield Portable 12 Volt Rechargeable Tire Inflator
  5. Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor & Inflator
  6. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

Best Tire Inflators

 VIAIR 300P Portable CompressorSlime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire InflatorAstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump 150 PSI
editors choice
Max Pressure150 PSI150 PSI150 PSI
Power12V DC, engine must be running 12V DC, engine must be running 12V DC
FeaturesHeavy-duty dual battery clamps with 40-amp inline fuse and includes deluxe carry bag and anti-vibration tray
30 foot total reach, bright LED light built in, connects directly to the battery Backlit LED screen and LED flashlight included, overheat protection built in
Customer Ratings4.6 / 5.0 Stars4.1 / 5.0 Stars4.3 / 5.0 Stars

Best Tire Inflators Reviews

#1 – VIAIR 300P Portable 12 Volt High-Pressure Air Compressor and Tire Inflator

VIAIR 300P Portable 12 Volt High-Pressure Air Compressor and Tire Inflator at a Glance – Best 12V Air Compressor:

  • 150 PSI
  • 12V DC, engine must be running
  • Heavy-duty dual battery clamps with 40-amp inline fuse
  • Deluxe carry bag and anti-vibration tray
Starting our list we have the VIAIR 300P Portable 12 Volt High-Pressure Air Compressor, our highest priced option. However, this price is more than justified for this tire inflator’s versatility and quality. This is probably the best air compressor for tires, including truck tires, on this list because of its heavy duty, durable construction.

We’ve also awarded it our best 12v portable air compressor ranking, as it packs a lot of power for its compact size. It’s powered entirely off of your car or truck’s batteries, meaning you don’t have to worry about having it charged in an emergency. Pair that with its included carrying bag and anti-vibration tray and you have a real winner on your hands.


#2 – Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator

Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator at a Glance – Best Car Tire Inflator:

  • 150 PSI
  • 12V DC, engine must be running
  • 30 foot total reach
  • Bright LED light built in
  • Connects directly to your car battery
Of course, not everyone is ready to spend that much money on a portable tire inflator. Maybe you don’t need the best portable air compressor; you just need a reliable piece of equipment in the case of an emergency. The Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator is still an expensive tire inflator; however it comes in at a much more moderate price than the VIAIR, while still promising durability and ease of use.

Just like the VIAIR, this portable tire inflator runs off of your car battery so it’s always ready when a flat tire strikes. The Slime also works great when others are in need, boasting a 30 foot reach and a bright, built in LED.

If you like to off road with others or live in an area with rough roads, this would be a great way to provide security both for yourself as well as your neighbors.


#3 – AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump 150 PSI

AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump 150 PSI at a Glance – Best Portable Air Compressor for Tires:

  • 150 PSI
  • 12V DC
  • Backlit LED screen and LED flashlight included
  • Overheat protection built in
Next on our list is the AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump, a great option for a mid-range emergency tire inflator. The backlit LED screen and built in flashlight make this perfect for dark or stormy days, often when you’re most likely to lose a tire.

However, the real standout feature of this tire inflator is it’s built in overheating protection. This helps ensure this tire inflator has a long life ahead of it, and helps you rest easy that you can use it safely even in tight spaces. Overall, this is a great all around tire inflator.


#4 – Campbell Hausfield Portable 12 Volt Rechargeable Tire Inflator

Campbell Hausfield Portable 12 Volt Rechargeable Tire Inflator at a Glance – Best Home Air Compressor:

  • 230 PSI
  • 12V DC, battery operated
  • Built in power bank for charging other devices
  • Easy carrying handle
If you’re part of a sports loving family, you may find yourself needing a portable tire inflator for more than your vehicles. You may need one for your garage or shed, always ready to pump up deflated basket balls, soccer balls, rafts, or paddle boards.

Whatever it may be, the Campbell Hausfield Portable 12 Volt Rechargeable Tire Inflator will be there as another of the best tyre inflators!

Beyond the affordable price, this tire inflator has a great built in power bank for charging phones, flashlights, or other small gadgets, as well as an easy carrying handle. Overall, this air compressor would feel and look right at home on your garage workbench, and is great for grab and go emergencies or even just stepping into the yard to fix a busted bicycle tire!


#5 – Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor & Inflator

Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor & Inflator at a Glance – Best Small Air Compressor:

  • 120 PSI
  • 12V DC, 110V AC
  • Can be charged with both a wall outlet or car cigarette port
If you have a small car or shed with little extra room for storing a tire inflator, then the Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor & Inflator is something you should check out. It comes in a compact, easy to carry size, making it great for all-around home use as well as emergency situations.

Better yet, it can be charged through a variety of outlets, from the 12V DC outlets in your car to the 110V AC outlets in your home. This is a versatile and one of our choices for best tire inflator with gauge at a very reasonable price, making it a great purchase if you’re looking for a basic model for your home or car.


#6 – EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump at a Glance – Best Budget Air Compressor:

  • 100 PSI
  • 12V DC, engine must be running
  • Built in flashlight
  • Auto shut off feature to prevent over inflation
 Finally, we finish up our list with the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, our best option for budget shoppers. Perhaps you’re limited on money to spend, or maybe your teenager just got their first car (you want them to be safe, but you also know they’ll break anything you put in there!)

Whatever your reasons, this tire inflator is a great budget model, coming with a built in flashlight and an auto shut off feature to prevent you from overinflating your tires.

That feature alone makes it double as a great beginner model for those who may be unfamiliar with tire maintenance. For such a great price, you’ll be impressed with what you’re getting in this model.


Portable Tire Inflator Comparison Table

Best Portable Tire Inflators  PriceMax PressurePowerSpecial FeaturesCustomer Ratings
VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor$106.99150 PSI12V DC, engine must be running 40-amp inline fuse4.6 /5.0 Stars
Slime 40026 2X Heavy Duty Direct Drive Tire Inflator$56.84150 PSI12V DC, engine must be running 30 foot total reach & LED light4.1 /5.0 Stars
AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump 150 PSI$39.99150 PSI12V DCBacklit LED / LED flashlight4.3 /5.0 Stars
Campbell Hausfield Portable 12 Volt Rechargeable Tire Inflator$48.09130 PSIRechargeable battery poweredPower bank for charging other devices3.5 /5.0 Stars
Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor & Inflator$48.36120 PSI12V DC, 110V AC AC or 12V port4.2 /5.0 Stars
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump$36.87100 PSI
12V DC, engine must be running
Flashlight and auto shut off feature4.3 /5.0 Stars

How to Choose A Portable Tire Inflator

If you’ve ever driven a car in your life, I’m sure you’ve had a few nagging worries in the back of your mind. What if I get held up in traffic? What if I’m running low on gas? What if I get a flat tire?

While we can’t help you with the first two questions, we can help you find the perfect portable tire inflator to give you peace of mind in case of a flat tire. Punctured tires are frustrating and frightening, but they’re also a part of any car owner’s life. Having a portable tire inflator handy not only helps you save money versus being towed, but also helps get your car back up and running far faster in an emergency.

best portable tire inflator Rechargeable-Compressor-Campbell-Hausfeld4 image 2-1

Best of all, portable tire inflators have a variety of uses, both in emergencies and in everyday life. Need to pump up that underinflated spare tire to get you to the nearest mechanic, or just pump up your tires to minimize their road wear? Or maybe you need to pump up your bicycle tires, basketball, or paddle board. A portable tire inflator is a great multi use piece of equipment that can help you with all of these needs.

Of course, that also means there are a ton of different portable tire inflators on the market, ranging from pricey to cheap. How do you know you’re getting a good quality piece of equipment? What should you look for when purchasing a portable tire inflator?

Well, we’re here to help! Check out our complete buyers guide on the 6 best portable tire inflators to find the best portable tire inflator for you and your needs!

Our roundups include a variety of prices and designs so you can get a good sense of what’s available. However, we also make sure all of our picks are top quality investments that you’ll be able to rely on, regardless of your budget.

When looking for the best car air compressor for you, you want to pay attention to a few important variables:

Maximum PSI

Let’s look at maximum PSI first. This measurement indicates how much pressure the tire inflator can handle at any one time. It also helps give you an idea of how powerful your new tire inflator will be, and what sort of applications it’s meant for.

Power Source

In terms of power source, tire inflators that hook up directly to your vehicle’s battery are ideal for off roading and emergencies, as you’ll never have to worry about not having enough charge to do the job. On the other hand, these units are a bit limited in terms of portability. For that reason, a rechargeable tire inflator is best for home use, where you’ll need to carry it to be used in many places.

Price and Extra Features

Finally, your price range and any extra features will depend, as always, on how you’ll be using your new tire inflator. Flashlights and backlit screens are great for night time use during off roading, or for dimly lit sheds or garages. Other features like overheat protection lead to a safer unit for any use.

These will ultimately determine the right (or wrong) tire inflator or air compressor for you and your needs.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Tire Inflators

Question: What is the Max Pressure of my tire inflator?

Answer: PSI is an important measurement to keep in mind when choosing a portable tire inflator, and will likely come down to the specific needs of your vehicle. Most car manufacturers mark the maximum safe PSI of your vehicle’s tires on a sticker somewhere in the vehicle, often on the inside of the driver’s side door.

Keep in mind that the maximum PSI of your tire inflator is not the same PSI that needs to go into your vehicle’s tires; that should be much lower. However, the higher PSI tire inflators usually result in faster inflation, meaning less time sitting and waiting to get your car up and running again. For those looking for the best car tyre inflator for off road vehicles or heavy trucks, a higher PSI is probably best. If you just need a general purpose or emergency tire inflator, a lower PSI will do the trick just fine.

 

Question: How is my tire inflator powered?

Answer: When you look at the specs on your new tire inflator, they should give you an idea of how you’ll be powering your new piece of equipment. Each tire inflator will be different, and what you need will be dependent on your individual uses.

If you’re looking for a tire inflator for emergency uses, such as a flat tire on the highway, you’ll want one that plugs directly into the batteries of your car. This way you’ll never have to remember to charge your tire inflator; you can leave it in your car and forget about it until an emergency comes about.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to use your tire inflator in your garage or shed, a rechargeable tire inflator will probably suit your needs better. You probably won’t need it in an emergency, so remembering to recharge it is less of an issue. Instead, being able to use it anywhere without being tethered to a vehicle or wall outlet will probably be your biggest priority.

 

Question: How heavy duty is my tire inflator?

Answer: Much like PSI, this factor really depends on your intended use. Do you enjoy off roading or live in an area with rough pavement or heavy construction? Or do you intend to keep your tire inflator only for emergencies or for home use?

Depending on your answer, you’ll want to look for different levels of build quality, and therefore different price ranges. Tire inflators meant to be heavy duty will be more expensive, but will also have a higher PSI and be designed with off road or off grid use in mind. They’ll hook up directly to your car battery and usually be less portable because of their heavier nature.

Likewise, cheaper, lighter weight, and lower PSI models are more meant for home and emergency use, where you won’t be using them often or under tremendous stress. While you’re shopping around, keep in mind your intended use and use that to inform your final decision when purchasing your new tire inflator. What makes the best tire air compressor for one person won’t necessary make it the best for you!

Buyer’s Tips

After sorting through all six of these options, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. Strange measurements like PSI along with issues of power source and weight can be intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the world of car and tire maintenance. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to find the best tire inflator for your use when you keep in mind a few key things.

To start, tire inflators with a larger maximum PSI will be better suited for larger projects such as off roading or truck tires, while units with a lower maximum PSI are great for everyday home use. Additionally, remember that, when inflating your tires or sporting equipment, you want to check the manufacturers recommended PSI. Do not go over that amount, as that is the safe amount for that tire to be inflated. Not only does that ensure your safety, but it also ensures less wear and tear on the tire over time, helping it last longer and serve you better.

Your next point of concern will be the tire inflator’s power source. Much like with maximum PSI, think about your intended use. Will you be using this tire inflator in your home, for emergencies, or for heavy outdoor use? If you intend to use it at home or if portability is a concern, pick a tire inflator that is rechargeable. On the other hand, tire inflators that hook directly to your vehicle are best for emergencies.

As complicated as it may seem, you can rest assured that any of the options on this list will take care of your needs and come with extra useful features, regardless of the price point you choose.


Thanks for reading The 5 Best Portable Tire Inflators. We hope our review article will help you pick the right product for your needs from among our top picks. Wherever you’re headed stay safe out on the road and enjoy your travels.

If you have any questions or comments just use this Contact Form.

And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:

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Last update on 2018-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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R. L. Moore "El Tigre"

Richard M. aka El Tigre is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. In the summer of 2004 he lived among the Kuna Indians of the San Blas islands in Panama. Today, he manages a real estate investments company based in San Jose, Costa Rica and organizes adventure travel excursions to Costa Rica. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys sport touring and dual-sport riding. Richard lives in Arizona.

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