- DC 12V
- 2.4 lbs
- Digital Display
- LED Night Light
- Auto Shut-Off System
- Portable Lightweight
- Additional Nozzles
- Full Refund/30 Days Replacement Warranty
Best For RV/Trailers
- DC 12V
- 10.75 lbs
- 2.3 CFM
- 30 AMP Max Draw
- 150 PSI Max Pressure
- Auto Shutt-Off Function
- 3 Pcs. Inflation Kit
- Heavy Duty Carry Bag
Best AC/DC For Home/Car
- 12V Car & 110V Home Outlet
- 4.02 lbs
- 10 AMP Max Draw
- 100 PSI Max Pressure
- Portable Lightweight
- Accessory Nozzles
- Light Carrying Bag
- Life Time Customer Support
Spending a good day out with your family is a real joy. So, you have to pack all the necessary things and do a careful checkup. A checkup about yourself and the ride you’re going to ride on.
Usually, at these times, the most common problem we folks face is tire inflation. So, in today’s hunt, I am going to address the tire inflation issue by giving you a smart solution for it.
If you ask me, there are some crucial things I always do before I go out with my family. I give a thorough check to my ride for any engine-related bugs. Keep a car toolbox for precaution, etc.
But, in my book, the priority goes to tire investigation. So, you don’t need to get your car towing or drag it by yourself to a nearby service station. When the tire goes flat.
That’s why you should always keep a small air inflation device. More precisely, the best tire inflator in your car. That would be portable, powerful, lightweight, and small enough to fit in the car.
Thus, I and my TM team have put up this best tire inflator buyer’s guide. The guide will get you and your car back on your sweet holiday.
Best Tire Inflator 2023 [Buying Guide]
Here, we are going to explain some of the critical factors that you should remember. When you are searching for the best tire inflator for your car.
Inflation Speed (CFM)
The inflation speed or CFM are the same terms. CFM is known as “Cubic Feet Per Minute”. Thus, the ability of a compressor to quickly transfer air in a short amount of time to the tool attached.
So, the higher the CFM faster the transfer. This is one of the most important factors that you should consider. When you are standing on the brink of buying.
Max Pressure (PSI)
PSI for your information refers to “Pounds Per Square Inch” or you can say “Max Pressure”. In simple words, the pressurized air is generated inside the tank by the compressor.
The higher the PSI, the more air-holding capacity the compressor has. If I put it in simple words, the air compressor with high PSI can perform like an air compressor with large tanks.
So, do check out the PSI of the best portable tire inflator you have your eyes on.
Auto Shut-Off System
After PSI I am going to shed light on the “Auto Shut-Off Mechanism”. It does play a great role and makes your work a breeze. Because you don’t need to keep an eye on the compressor all the time.
Auto functionality will eliminate many dangerous risks. Such as compressor overheating, tire over-refilling, and motor burnout due to excessive use. And finally, the worst-case scenario is a tire rupture.
With that capability in hand, you can set the pressure according to your need and the compressor will do the rest.
Power Type (DC/AC)
Another thing you have to consider is the power type of your little compressor. Amazingly, these little machines don’t suck up too much power. But, you know that comes with a condition.
The majority of these compressors are only built to run on DC power. DC is the power that comes from the “Cigarette Lighter” in your car. While AC is the power that emerges from the “Electric Socket”.
But, some compressors run on both DC and AC. Such as Kensun Portable Air Compressor (AC/DC Analog). And do remember, you can’t put the DC into AC.
Further in our buying guide, the next candidate is the Volts. Well, the compressors that we researched are not the power eater monsters.
But, the fact remains that if you have an old battery then you should be careful. The last thing you want is an empty battery in an attempt of inflating the tires.
Another thing you need to consider is that the battery can handle the amps according to compressor needs. Well, the volt range of these compressors is low. So, you don’t need too much power.
On the other side, you don’t want to burn your compressor with too many amps. So, watch out and check if the compressor is up to the challenge.
Portability [Weight And Size]
Weight and size go side by side with the portability. Since you are going to put the tire inflator in your car. You have to make sure about 3 things >>>
- Compact and smaller in size
- Lightweight frame to enhance portability
- And it should be compatible with your ride
But you know, with a compact design you have to make a sacrifice. Large portable air compressors provide more CFM and PSI as compared to smaller ones.
Flashlight For Night
Now, the next issue I want to discuss with you is the “Night Flashlight”. Remember, your little car buddy should be equipped with a small handy-dandy light.
Because at night you don’t want to work in the dark blindly. Since you are not a bat or owl, you can see in the dark.
Or in another case scenario with one hand inflating tires. While with the other hand holding the torch. That’s difficult. So, consider “Flashlight For Night” when you are owning a tire inflator.
Power Cord Length
These portable tire inflators have a relatively short-length power cord when compared to AC ones. If you have a large vehicle but a short cord. Then it becomes a pain to go around all tires to fill the air.
So, get an air compressor with a lengthy cord in case you have a big ride. Or else get an air compressor with an optimal length power cord. If you’re the owner of a slim, smart car.
Now, if you and I debate about the extension cord for any type of air compressor. Then from me, it’s a no-no. Because extension cords are neither recommended for small air compressors nor large ones.
Using a too-long or too-short cord will result in overheating of the compressor. And in a further scene burning of the compressor motor. In the below video section, Gary also explains why you shouldn’t use an extension cord for an air compressor.
Accessories And Attachments
Well, we are nearing the end of our buying guide for the best tire inflators. Keep in check if the inflator has extra attachments with it.
Because with more accessories you can work on different types of tires. Plus, with other inflatable objects like inflating balls, pools, kayaks, etc.
Before I discuss the best tire inflator, there is another concern I have to address. That is the company’s warranty/refund.
Do check the compressor warranty before you take it home with you. So, even if the product gets damaged due to a mishap you can return it or get a refund :).
Best Tire Inflator Reviews 2023
List of Best Tire Inflator
- VacLife Air Compressor – Best Tire Inflator With Gauge
- Viair 40047 400P-RV – best Tire Inflator For RV & Trailers
- Kensun Portable Air Compressor – Best AC/DC Tire Inflator
- EPAuto Air Compressor – Best Car Tire Inflator
- Viair 00088 88P – Best Portable Tire Inflator For SUV, Sedans…
Vaclife Air Compressor Tire Inflator, DC 12v Portable Air Compressor [Best Tire Inflator With Gauge]
9.8 / 10
This dynamic 12v digital tire inflator has a fast inflating speed for standard car tires. The multi-purpose nozzle will help you inflate as well as deflate fast.
Powerful enough with a continuous runtime of 10 minutes to fill tires from cars to RVs. As well as for other inflatables like balls, kid bikes, and air mattresses for guests or camping.
Constructed with an “Intelligent Auto Shut-Off Pressure System”. That serves with 150 PSI max pressure. The system immediately turns off when the compressor reaches the desired pressure. Keeps your care safe from rupture problems, and over-inflation.
Plus, there is an advanced gauge system. It shows all readings like PSI, BAR, KPA, and KG/CM in a digital format.
No, doubt it’s a DC power type. Built with a cigarette lighter socket. This free’s you from the hassle of carrying an extra power source with you.
Equipped with a system like 12V it’s not a power-hungry beast. This is beneficial as you can save a lot of energy and bill costs.
Well, VacLife deserves my respect. Because of its lightweight, compact, and strong body. With only weighing about 2.41 lbs it is an easy transport choice.
Plus, the SciFi body is built with ABS plastic and heavy-duty metal. Which improves durability and ensures longevity. It just looks like a “Robot” from the Transformers movie… 🙂 Just joking around.
Oh! Sorry for not mentioning earlier, It does have sneaky little bright LED light. I must say a good companion for dark nights. Saves you from hazardous things. The name made me remember the “Dark Knight” movie. It was a good watch.
Exceptional power cord length of 11.5ft. 1st benefit – Long enough to reach both front and rear tires. 2nd – Removes you from the “Unplug/Plug Again Situations” when going from one tire to another.
Now, we come to the accessory part. The VacLife is also packed with 4 additional nozzles for different needs. 1st for all types of tires (Car, motor, ATV, midsize SUV). 2nd for sports equipment like boats, balls, and other inflatables.
Hmm, now VacLife is the best budget buddy and cheapest of all in our review. The Gold is the “Customer Service”. They support you with a “Full Refund” and “30 Days Replacement” under your normal use.
- Full Refund/30 Days Replacement
- Strong and durable plastic body construction
- Auto Shut-Off System to avoid over-inflation of the tire
- Compact and lightweight to easily carry around everywhere
- Tetra nozzle kit for cars, bikes, bicycle tires, toys, and other inflatables
- Lengthy power cord reaches front/rear tires to avoid plug/unplug hassle
- The company is extremely responsive with there brilliant customer service
- The LED light is a bit on the weaker side
- The compressor motor is not built for longevity
- Requires rest at regular intervals when filling heavy-duty truck tires
Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit [Best Tire Inflator For RV & Trailers]
9.7 / 10
Off all the heavy-duty portable tire inflators in our review. The Viair 40047 400P-RV has the highest inflation speed of 2.3 CFM free flow.
Gives the fastest inflation speed continuously with a duty cycle of 33% for 20 mins at 100 PSI. Great for RV and trailers with 275/80/22.5 tire size.
The Viair serves you with a max working pressure of 150 PSI. Moving forward there is an automatic shut-off system to use this pressure to its full potential. In simple words, set it and forget it.
The compressor will shut down after it reaches the destined pressure. So, you don’t need to run laps back and forth just to inflate and check your tires. And the overheating, overfilling, and motor burning problem is also eliminated.
Now for the power source, this portable tire inflator is packed with “Heavy-Duty Dual Alligator Clamps”. These clamps are built with an “Inline Fuse” that attaches to your exotic ride’s battery.
Now, this small beast has a heavy demand. It sucks up 30 Amps which is double compared to EPAuto, VacLife, and Viair 88P.
As for the weight, it’s quite the hefty one with a weight of 18.61 lbs. The compact body design with a durable handle makes it easy to carry and move around.
Oh, there is a unique thing about the Viair 40047 400P-RV. That is a Diamond-Plate Sand Tray which makes it vibration-resistant during use.
It has 2 coil hoses of 30ft which makes up a total of 60ft in length. On the other side, the power cord lengthens up to 8ft. Acceptable length for any size of RV or Trailer.
Amazingly, the accessories are exceptional. The RV tire inflator has a 45° Chuck and a 90° Twist-on-Chuck. These chucks make your work easy when dealing with rear dual tires. Because it’s hard to get to the inner valve system.
There is more, the kit also has a “Gas Station Style Inflation Gun”. The gun will support you with a 160 PSI inline gauge and a built-in pressure switch.
Finally, this huge powerful kit has to be stored in a durable case. For that, the Viair is benefiting us with a “Heavy-Duty Deluxe Tool Bag”.
- Built for heavy rides like RVs and Trailers
- High CFM for faster speed with a 33% duty cycle
- Brilliant well-mannered customer service with quick response
- Dual Coiled Long hoses each up to 30 ft and power cord up to 8ft
- Serves 150 PSI max pressure to easily fill heavy RV and Trailer tires
- Exceptional Accessory kit with inflation gun and durable carry case
- The user manual is quite easy and user-friendly if you study it carefully
- Intelligent auto shut-off system to avoid tire rupture and over-inflation
- Solid and durable metal construction increases the compressor lifespan
- Powerful dual-alligator clamps for stronger grip and electrical connection
- Guage gives 2 to 3 PSI off readings
- Cases of missing accessories on delivery
- Hoses and chucks are of adequate quality
- Gets hot after usage. Don’t touch it with bare hands
Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor [Best AC/DC Tire Inflator For Home And Car]
9.5 / 10
Next on our hit list is the “Kensun Portable Air Compressor”. Sounds like a Japanese name to me, correct me if I am wrong.
Now, this smart guy has dual-powerful metal motors. That grants an inflating speed of 0.64 CFM. Ample speed to inflate your sedan, car, bike, or mid-size SUV tires.
It has a max pressure of 100 PSI with a flow rate of 18 – DC & 20 – AC liters/minute. That gives a continuous working time of 30 minutes at 35 PSI.
What is marvelous about this 12v tire inflator is its dual nature. It works on both sides, AC and DC. A 12V car cigarette socket for DC power source. And with a 110V AC plug for home use.
There is also a big bright dial-like pressure gauge with a unit conversion system. Which gives you a clear view and converts KPA/BAR/PSI. As compared to the above EPAuto and Viair, this handsome guy only suck-up 10 Amps maximum.
Now, let me shed a light on its portability. With a moderate weight of 5 lbs, it’s a breeze to carry around as compared to the Viair 88P. On top of that, the sturdy handle gives you a strong grip to lug it around easily.
The first thing you should know is that the black woven inflation hose is small. As for the cord lengths, they are quite long and cover up for the short hose. On the DC side, the power cord is up to 10ft while on the AC side, the cord is about 3ft.
The Kensun Company is generous to provide us with a smart little carrying bag for the compressor. Also, there are nozzles for swimming inflatables and different tire types (cars, bicycles). Further on for sports balls like soccer balls, basketballs, volleyballs, etc.
- It has both AC and DC power sources
- Analog gauge with stable and accurate readings
- Built to work in winter against temperature drops
- Lightweight and compact design for easy transport
- Long warranty with lifetime fantastic customer support
- Comes with a nice and handy-dandy durable storage case
- Screw-on connector to prevent air escape during connection
- Convenient nozzles for cars, bikes, bicycles, and other inflatables
- No auto shut-off functionality
- Low CFM as compared to others
- Slightly slow when comes to filling car tires
- The air hose and AC power cord are of adequate length
- Compressor motor burnt cases when used for heavy-duty work
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump [Best Car Tire Inflator]
9.4 / 10
EPAuto is a well-known 12v tire inflator in the community. It has an inflating speed of 1.06 CFM. That’s a good speed to inflate the tires of your beloved car, bike, sedan, or midsize SUV.
Now, this little fellow has a moderate PSI of 70 with an auto shut-off intelligent system. A great characteristic to avoid overheating problems. The system will shut down the compressor upon reaching the desired pressure.
The EPAuto comes with a “Cigarette Lighter Socket”. This makes it so much easy that you can just plug it into the socket and start inflating.
Another great feature of this rowdy fellow is the amps it runs on. It consumes a maximum of 15 Amps and a minimum of 10 Amps. Plus, there is an additional backup fuse to help you if things go wrong. Not the power-hungry tyrant as compared to Viair 40047 400P-RV.
EPAuto compressor is built with “Tetra Digital Display”. That shows the 4 units PSI, BAR, KPA, and KG/CM. This makes it very easy to read as compared to Analog ones.
Amazingly, it only weighs about 3.75 lbs in a compact size. A very convenient choice to transport anywhere.
Further on it has a bright LED torch that turns on/off with the power switch. The flashlight will support you in the darkness of night.
Well, if we talk about the cord length of the compressor. It has an adequate length of 9ft. Which is plentiful to move around your fancy ride to inflate the tires.
There is a universal valve connector to take down all types of tires. Oh! and also include the extra adapters (both long and short cones) with needles. These are user-friendly for inflating balls, inflatable kayaks, balls, swimming pool accessories, etc.
- Extremely quiet nature
- Highly compact design for easy transport
- Easy to read and set digital pressure gauge
- Auto Shut-Off system to avoid over refilling
- Built-in LED Flashlight for support at nighttime
- The company has an excellent customer support
- Overheat protection system to avoid motor burnout
- It has a slow inflation rate
- Gets too hot with continual usage
- Not built for tires with 40 PSI or above
- No separate button for light. Turns on/off along with the unit
- Sputter or smoke incidents when used with heavy or LT trucks
Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor [Best Portable Tire Inflator For SUV, Sedans, Small ATVs, Light Trucks]
9.1 / 10
Viair 00088 88P is one of the renowned portable tire inflators on the battlefield. Construct with a powerful inflation speed of 1.47 CFM. It’s a robust option for small ATVs, light Trucks, SUVs, and Sedans.
The Viair compressors serve you with 120 PSI maximum pressure on a longer duty cycle of continuous 25 minutes. This means fewer concerns about quick motor burnout.
This raw power can fill up to 33-inch tires. A wise choice for inflating large tires. Plus, there is a top monitoring gauge to help you monitor the PSI.
Now, Viair makes a distinction here. It doesn’t have any DC sockets. Instead, it is combined with dual alligator clamps. You can attach these to your car battery for swift tire inflation.
These “Dual Alligator Clamps” draw up to 20 Amps max current from the battery. Which is more powerful than the 12-volt socket outlet. One important thing you should know about. That the engine must be running during compressor use.
If I talk about the weight of this little beast. Then it’s on the hefty side with a weight of 4.75 lbs. A good balance between power, pressure, and portability.
It has a “LED Work Light”. That’s very helpful. You don’t need to worry about the dark anymore. A tire and user-friendly compressor.
What I love most about the 88P model is its cord and hose length. The power cord is about 10ft long. While the hose is about 16ft in length. A decent amount of length to cover smaller ATVs, SUVs, Sedans, and Trucks. But, the length will be a hassle for larger vehicles.
Another humble thing I want to mention is the Viair 88P has a “3-Piece Inflation Tips Kit”. There is also a twist-on tire chuck made with solid brass. The brass protects the chuck from damage during the inflation connection.
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Built-in flashlight to work in dark moments
- Brass screw air hose fitting to prevent leakages
- Super quiet nature saves from annoying sounds
- Heightened durability due to Powerful metal construction
- Long power cord/air hose removes the again “plug/unplug” hassle
- Heavy-duty dual alligator clamps provide a strong electrical connection
- High CFM/PSI with a longer duty cycle for 33” tires and other inflatables
- No auto shut-off functionality
- The unit usually heats up quickly
- The built-in light is not that powerful
- Not for large tires at much higher PSI
- The power cord is short for larger vehicles
- The weak inline fuse blows up when got beyond 60 PSI
- The pressure gauge doesn’t show the exact accurate reading
My Personal Recommendation
Well, it’s a bit hard to decide. But, I’ll go with the VacLife Air Compressor. It’s a cheaper and a good choice for doing all types of inflation chores. Because I do own a Honda Car so it is the best choice for me.
As for RV and Trailers, the Viair 40047 400P-RV is the best 12v tire inflator. Because it is more powerful than all other 12v compressors. There is a heat issue. But, there are heat-resistant gloves for it. You can use them to avoid getting your hands burned.
Best Portable Tire Inflator FAQs
Q: Why you need a tire inflator?
Ans: A tire inflator plays a really important role in your ride. Having a tire inflator in your car helps you on long trips, traveling, or during outdoor picnics with your family. You don’t have to go to inflation stations when the tire goes flat. You can take care of your car by yourself rather than searching for a station in the middle of nowhere.
Q: How to use tire inflator?
Ans: Here are simple instructions to follow for tire inflation:
1. Check your ride’s tire pressure before refilling.
2. Attach the inflaters hose to your car’s tire stem.
3. Turn on the inflator with the main button.
4. The inflator will start filling the air.
5. Attentively, check the inflator gauge (If the inflator is manual)
6. Turn it off as soon as the needle reaches the recommended pressure limit of the tire.
7. Disconnect the inflator hose.
8. Lastly, check tire pressure with a pressure gauge to verify that the inflator has done its job.
Q: How much does a tire inflator cost?
Ans: It depends on the type of inflation or vehicle you’re going to use the inflator for:
Range $25 To $40 – These are small Inflators used for cars, bikes, bicycles, inflatables & swimming pool accessories.
Range $40 To $80 – These are AC/DC inflators for homes, cars, bikes, sedans, midsize SUVs.
Range $80 To $300 – These are big tire inflators built for RV, Trailers, Truck Tires, etc.
Q: What should I look for in a tire inflator?
Ans: Here are some of the most important things to look for when you want to buy the best tire inflator:
1. Inflation Speed (CFM)
2. Max Pressure (PSI)
3. Auto Shut-Off System
4. Power Type (DC/AC)
5. Volts (AMPs)
6. Portability [Weight And Size]
7. Flashlight For Night
8. Power Cord Length
9. Accessories And Attachments
10. Price And Warranty
Q: Where to buy tire inflator?
Ans: Well, the best place to buy tire inflators is Amazon.
1st. It’s our recommendation is as well.
2nd. The Amazon has a wide variety of tire inflators.
3rd. The prices are competitive and cheaper.
4th. Amazon is trusted by the whole planet.
5th. Amazon’s customer review section with images shows the experience of other customers from all over the world.
Q: What Is The Best Portable Tire Inflator?
Ans: Here is a list of the best portable tire inflators overall:
1. VacLife Air Compressor – Best Tire Inflator With Gauge
2. Viair 40047 400P-RV – Best Tire Inflator For RV & Trailers
3. Kensun Portable Air Compressor – Best AC/DC Tire Inflator For Home and Car
4. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor – Best Car Tire Inflator
5. Viair 00088 88P Air Compressor – Best Portable Tire Inflator For SUV, Sedans…