Portable air compressors are highly useful for avoiding roadside emergencies and more. With an air compressor on hand, you can quickly pump up sports equipment, air mattresses, and inflatable toys straight from the car. Most portable air compressors plug into a 12V cigarette lighter socket – something a lot of vehicles feature. This means you’ll be able to inflate anything from anywhere. Most air compressors also come with various nozzle adaptors, so yours will fit what you need it to easily.
Portable air compressors are just like normal air compressors. However, they are designed specifically to be transported. They come in a range of sizes that are easy to store in your car either for holidays or safety. They are powerful enough for car tires but also for smaller inflatables. A lot of them are also perfect fot bicycle tires. You can avoid the disappointment of being stranded with a flat tire.
With so many portable air compressors on the market, it’s hard to know which is the best for you. Read on for our list of the 10 best portable air compressors and their unique features.
View the Best Portable Air Compressor for Car, Below.
- EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor
- VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
- VacLife Portable Air Compressor
- Kensun AC/DC Swift Compressor
- FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Electric Auto Pump
- Viair 00088 88P Portable
- Ryobi P737D Portable Power Inflator for Tires
- Kinverch Jump Starter Air Compressor
- Audew Auto Digital Tire Inflator
- HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor
1. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor
Best Portable Tire Inflator for Your Car
The EPAuto 12v DC Portable Air Compressor Pump is a digital tire inflator that plugs directly into a cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle. It runs at 12VDC between 10-15 amps and is 120-180 watts. You can use this tire inflator for a range of different vehicles such as cars, bikes, sedans, and midsize SUVs. Please be aware that it's not suitable for LT, HT, and truck tires. The best tire inflators aren't just limited to tire inflation; this one also comes with adaptors for balls and inflatables.
The display is easy to read with four units: PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM. The portable air compressor comes with a bright LED flashlight torch and has an auto-shutoff feature to prevent over inflation. You don't need to worry about it exceeding the desired tire pressure. It also has automatic overheating protection and will stop if overloading occurs.
This portable air compressor is diverse and suitable for a range of tire types as well as inflatables.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
Best Portable Air Compressor and Tire Inflator
The VIAIR 400pm tire inflator effortlessly inflates 35-inch tires with from 0 to 30 PSI in under five minutes. The air compressor has a working pressure of 150 PSI and a maximum duty cycle of 33 percent. Additionally, it can operate on a low power draw offered by any 12-volt battery.
This is a favored air compressor for off-road enthusiasts. It comes with inflation tips and a 5-in-1 inflator/deflator open-ended air hose. This makes it one of the best portable tire inflators on the market.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. VacLife Portable Air Compressor
Best Portable Tire Inflator for Speed
The VacLife Portable Air Compressor is extremely durable. It's made with ABS plastic and stainless steel. The auto-shutoff technology is a useful feature that stops the inflator when the tire has reached the desired tire pressure. In addition, the LCD digital display is large and allows for precision. This makes it easy to use and calculate the desired values. These include. PSI, BAR, KPA, and KG/CM2.
The multi-purpose air compressor can inflate a mid-sized car tire in 3-5 minutes, making it one of the fastest tire inflators on the list. You no longer have to stop at the nearest gas station if you have a flat. The power cord is also one of the longest, at 13FT, making it even easier to inflate all four tires of longer vehicles.
If speed is your priority, then this air compressor is ideal. It can inflate a car tire in 5 minutes or less. Never worry about losing tire air and gaining a flat again.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Kensun AC/DC Swift Compressor
One of the Best Portable Tire Inflators for Home Use
Kensun makes this AC/DC Swift Compressor. It's unique in design - it can plug into both home wall sockets and car cigarette lighter sockets, making it possible to use everywhere. In addition, this tire inflator comes with a selection of nozzle attachments that will fit almost every inflatable item. This includes heavy-duty tires, bikes, motorbikes, sports equipment, and inflatable toys. You can use it both inside or outside.
This model of tire inflators comes with advanced functions. These include an analog pressure gauge, a range of pressure selections, and a continuous working time of 30 minutes at a 35 PSI. Furthermore, the black woven hose is durable and measures 80cm.
This portable air compressor is ideal if you'll be using it at home; the wall socket makes inflating smaller items convenient.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Electric Auto Pump
Best Portable Tire Inflator for Durability
This electric auto pump by Fortem is ideal for on-the-go convenience. It plugs into cigarette sockets in any vehicle, and you can operate it effortlessly with the flick of a switch. Once the PSI has reached the desired pressure, it will stop automatically to avoid over inflation. This digital tire inflator is heavy-duty and robust. Additionally, it comes with several adaptor attachments to fit a range of different vehicles. These include cars, motorbikes, bicycles, ATVs, Jeeps, sports equipment, air mattresses, and inflatable toys.
This car and truck tire inflator is fast and simple to operate. It features a built-in LED light for roadside emergencies, ensuring less hassle for you even at night. Storing and transporting this air compressor is convenient with the included carry bag. Fortem has made the body from durable yet lightweight plastic. They've also built the hose to withstand pressure, ensuring you'll get long-lasting use out of it without weighing you down. The hose length is 50cm, and the cord length is 300cm for easy-to-reach inflation.
You can be sure this air compressor is sturdy and durable.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Viair 00088 88P Portable
One of the Best Portable Tire Inflators for Large Tires
Vlair has made this 00088 88P portable air compressor from durable materials powered by alligator clamps attached to the battery. You can use the 12 volt – 120 PSI max working pressure when the engine is running. It's suitable for small ATVs, trucks, and sedans with up to 33" tires. It features a LED power indicator for convenient use and a long 10ft power cord, meaning it suits long vehicles with this long reach.
The 16ft air hose makes inflating tires even easier. The pressure gauge is placed on top of the unit to keep track of pressure easily. While this portable air compressor is good for larger vehicles, it doesn't work with bicycles. However, there are a number of tire inflators out there that will tackle the tire pressure on your bike!
This portable air compressor is extremely powerful. It uniquely attaches to your car battery for inflating large tires.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Ryobi P737D Portable Power Inflator for Tires
Best Handheld Portable Tire Inflator
This battery-powered handheld portable tire inflator has the air pressure of a bit unit. The ergonomic pistol grip handle is easy to hold and you can effortlessly transport it to inflate tires on the go! You no longer have to stop at the nearest gas station when you have a flat. Keep it in your car or truck. You can even strap it to your bicycle! (Please note that the battery isn't included.)Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Kinverch Jump Starter Air Compressor
Top Power Station Air Compressor Choice
The Kinverch Jump Starter Air Compressor provides 1000 peak and 500 instant amps. It's ideal for emergencies and is fully transportable. The tire inflator and portable air compressor pump boast 150 PSI to inflate tires easily. It comes with numerous nozzle attachments for autos, bicycles, ATVs, air matters, water toys, and more. In addition, this compressor inflates a tire in 6 to 8 minutes.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Audew Auto Digital Tire Inflator
A Great Tire Inflator for Tackling Truck Tires
You can operate the Audew Auto Digital Tire Inflator easily by plugging it into the cigarette socket of your vehicle. The 3-meter cable inflates all four tires easily, and it works rapidly with automatic inflation. The one-touch switch makes starting and stopping it convenient. In addition, the Inflate Right technology allows for automatic shut-off when you reach the correct tire pressure.
You can re-set the pressure needed before turning it on, and once it reaches this, the inflator will turn off automatically. The LED lights are bright and long-lasting for ease of use even at night. You can easily carry this compact design with you, so you never need to worry about being caught with flat tires again. It's also ideal for inflating bikes, motorbikes, RVs, SUVs, ATVs, trucks, cars, and sports equipment. Additionally, Audew includes adaptors for inflatables.
This portable air compressor is easy to use and will switch off when the ideal pressure is reached with a clear, digital display. It's one of the best portable tire inflators for tackling truck tires.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor
A Good Tire Inflator for Safety - Features a Light
The HAUSBELL 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump has a pre-set option. This means the tire inflator will turn off when it reaches the desired pressure level, preventing over inflation. Its powerful 120-watt metal motor is durable and can inflate a tire from 0 to 35 PSI within 5 minutes. You can easily plug it into the cigarette lighter in any car to use anywhere. The large LCD is easy to read with a high resolution.
The bright LED flashlight means you can easily operate the tire inflator in darkness when an emergency strikes. You can inflate tires of all vehicles such as cars, bikes, sedans, SUVs, and motorbikes. This is something that not all tire inflators offer. So if you have a lot of vehicles, this is the one for you!
There are three different adaptors for inflating sports equipment, balloons and inflatable toys. It's also equipped with four display units: PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM2. In addition, this portable tire inflator comes in a convenient travel bag to make it easy to carry.
This portable air compressor features a large light. This is ideal if you need it on dark nights. Not all tire inflators will come with such an impressive feature.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Each portable air compressor has different features to think about when buying. Some of the things to consider when you shop for an air compressor are:
Some portable air compressors have an analog screen, and some have a digital display. Usually, modern air compressors have an LCD digital display which is much easier to see, especially in the dark. Analog displays aren’t always as accurate and can be more difficult to read.
Pre-Settings and Auto-Stop Feature
While most portable air compressors on this list have a pre-setting option and an auto-stop feature, some don’t. These features will make your experience much easier. You can avoid having to judge when your tires have reached the optimum tire pressure level – you’ll just know.
The auto-stop feature will ensure your car tires reach the best pressure without the risk of under or over inflation which could damage your vehicle. If you’re going to be using your compressor as a tire inflator, you’ll need this feature.
Again, this is another feature common in most modern portable air compressors. Having a light is imperative for roadside emergencies that might occur at night. This light will help you inflate your tires and keep you safe by alerting others to your presence.
If you choose a portable air compressor that comes with a selection of attachments, it’ll fit a wider range of devices. This will make your air compressor more useful in the long run as you won’t be limited to tire inflators. You can also inflate air mattresses, sports equipment, and inflatable toys, making your compressor ideal for taking on holidays. You’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
How to Use a Portable Car Air Compressor
Using a portable car air compressor is simple. However, they vary slightly, so it’s worth checking the instructions. Once you’ve connected the plug to the cigarette lighter socket, it’ll be ready to use. If you have pre-settings on your air compressor, use the display to determine the correct pressure before you put the nozzle into the tire’s valve and secure it with a chuck.
Once this is done, you can let the air into the tire. Again, keep an eye on the pressure gauge attached to the air compressor. This will ensure the pressure doesn’t exceed the desired levels, even if it’s fitted with an auto-stop feature.
How to Plug an Air Compressor Car Adaptor into the Wall
The easiest way to use a car plug in a wall plug is to invest in an adaptor. This will safely allow you to use the wall plug while still keeping the car plug attached.
How Long Should a Car Portable Air Compressor Last?
This will depend on how much you use and look after it. Often, it’s worth checking if the air compressor or tire inflator has a warranty, as this will ensure you can replace it if anything goes wrong.
Even if your portable air compressor has an auto-stop feature, it’s still worth keeping an eye on the pressure levels, especially if you’re nearing the maximum level PSI your air compressor can reach.
Did you know?
When using a portable air compressor to inflate your tires, you’ll need a tire chuck to connect between the tire valve and the nozzle of the air hose. While most modern air compressors should come with everything you need to transform into a tire inflator, it’s worth checking.