Have you ever gotten stuck in the middle of nowhere just because your tire got deflated? Is it always an uphill task to cater to your child when they ask you to pump up a ball or some toy? The answer lies in a unique yet useful item on your shopping list, a portable air compressor.
With the overwhelmingly high number of options that are available, it becomes difficult to make the right choice. Often people end up buying a weak and useless air compressor at exorbitant prices. Therefore, it is necessary to compare and contrast the different models available and then make a sound decision.
This article will guide you towards buying the best portable air compressor that is well suited for your needs. So, let’s get started.
Amongst the plethora of portable air compressors available in the market, here are the top 3 best candidates for your convenience.
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Best Overall pick
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor
- Auto overheating protection
- Auto shut-off
- An easy to read display
Best premium pick
Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
- Solid brass twist-on tire chuck
- Highly powerful
- Attaches to a battery
- Easy to check tire pressure
Best budget pick
BREEZZ Auto Tire Air Compressor
- Durable ABS-plastic and stainless steel
- Long cord reach
- Easy to read display
The Best Portable Air Compressors in 2021
Apart from the best three mentioned above, you can further find a list of seven more options that are as good and effective as the three mentioned above.
With this detailed description list, along with the pros and cons of each model, you can narrow down your options and select a model to your liking.
1. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor
It is one of the best quality portable air compressors present in the market. The compressor needs no separate socket or a different type of cable for connection. You can directly plug it into the cigarette lighter sockets of your car.
The compressor is powerful enough to inflate a variety of tires like that of sedans, cars, and small size SUVs. However, it cannot be used for heavy vehicles like truck tires.
Apart from vehicles, you can also use the compressor for inflating football, bounce-house, air mattresses, etc.
The machine has a clear LED display that shows four important units; PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM. It comes with an auto cut-off feature that prevents the machine from getting overheated.
- Auto shut-off and automatic overheating protection;
- Small and lightweight;
- Very quiet, makes no loud and disturbing sounds;
- CE certified.
- A small power cord of only 9 feet;
- Complaints regarding the improper functioning of the device sometimes.
2. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
The Viair 00088 88P portable air compressor is known for the durability of its material. It has a 12V 120 PSI working pressure, which can be used with the car engine kept running. The machine is powerful enough to inflate tires up to a size of 33”, which makes it suitable for trucks, sedans, and small ATVs.
It has a pressure gauge located on the top of the machine that makes it easier to check on the pressure while in use. The compressor is, however, not successful with bicycles.
It comes with a sixteen feet air hose that makes it easier to inflate all four tires of the vehicles at once.
- Small and lightweight, making it highly portable;
- A 16 feet air hose and 9 feet power cable;
- Bright LED light;
- High pressure power.
- The motor is noisy;
- Because of the long length, hose and power cord can get tangled;
- There is no carrying case for the machine.
3. BREEZZ Auto Tire Inflator
This portable air compressor is not just powerful, but it is also fast in its action. It can inflate a tire from 0-35 PSI in less than 4 minutes! This efficient and fast functioning of the machine makes it a perfect choice when it comes to handling emergency situations.
Apart from the powerful motor, the air compressor also contains a bright LED light display that makes reading the pressure units clear. It can be used to inflate a range of tires as well as other objects like air mattresses.
The compressor has an option that shows the desired pressure. This removes the risk of over-inflation, as it will automatically turn off.
- Very small in size;
- Fast and efficient
- Durable body;
- 10 feet long power cord;
- LED light
- No carryon bag
4. Oasser Portable Electric Inflator
One of the best features of the Oasser air compressor is a large 2200 mAh lithium battery. The battery is not just long-lasting but also recharges very quickly.
It can be used for inflating tires of cars like SUVs, bikes, bicycles, and other small objects like balls, outdoor baby pools, etc.
The machine has an option to pre-set the pressure, preventing any over inflation. It also has a bright backlight that makes it easier to read the display at any hour of the day.
The design is aesthetically pleasing, and it can provide a maximum pressure of up to 130 PSI. The machine has a unique pistol-shaped design that provides ease of control. A bright LCD display makes working with the compressor convenient even at night time.
- No power source is required.
- Sleek and compact design
- Multipurpose, can be used for a range of products
- Bright LED display
- Cannot be used for heavy vehicles like trucks;
- Cannot be folded
5. Kensun AC/DC Swift Portable Air Compressor
The Kensun compressor comes from a high-quality manufacturer with a promising product. The product hardly has any shortcomings. It comes in a unique design that permits the device to be plugged into any socket, be it home or the car.
The device is perfect for any type of product ranging from heavy-duty vehicles to small toys and balls. It can work continuously for about 30 minutes at a pressure of 35 PSI.
- Multiple nozzle attachments;
- Analog pressure gauge;
- Long-running time
- Fast inflation
- Only an 80cm hose.
- Doesn’t come with a carryon bag
6. VacLife Portable Air Compressor
This air compressor is made with durable ABS plastic and stainless steel. It has a four-unit display, showing PSI, BAR, KPA, and KG/CM2. It has the capacity to inflate the tire of a medium-sized car within 3-5 minutes.
It is the fastest and the most efficient of its kind. It comes with a 13 feet long cable, which makes it convenient for inflating all four tires at once.
- Fast inflation
- 13 feet long cable
- Bright LED display
- Auto shut-off
- Short product life
- The durability of the hose can be an issue.
7. Avid Power Compact Air Compressor
This air compressor is highly compact and can fit in any corner of your house or your car. It has a short inflation time, reaching 0-35 PSI in under 10 minutes. The length of the charging cable is an extraordinary 3 meters, which makes charging all four tires of even a long vehicle convenient.
The 12V lighter plug can be used in the car. Thus there lies no need for a wall socket. It also has a digital monitor display that helps in keeping track of the pressure status.
- Long power cord
- Extremely compact
- Easy to store
- Auto shut-off
- Might face functionality issues in a cold climate.
8. HAUSBELL Portable Air compressor
The HAUSBELL 12V DC portable air compressor contains a pre-set pressure option that auto cuts-off the pressure the moment the desired levels are reached. It has a fast inflation capacity that can go from 0 – 35 PSI in under 5 minutes.
The machine contains a bright LED display that provides better readability and resolution. It shows four display units digitally; PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM2. The motor is of 120W, which makes it more powerful and efficient. It can be used for a range of tires such as cars, bikes, bicycles, etc.
To top it all, it comes in a travel bag, making it comfortable to carry it on the go.
- Fast inflation
- Auto shut-off, preventing over inflation
- High resolution LED display
- Powerful motor
- The hose and power cable length aren’t long enough.
9. FORTEM the extra mile Electric Auto Air Compressor
This air compressor is easy to carry, made-for-road machine for your car. It doesn’t require a wall plugin and can be easily operated using the cigarette socket of the car.
The air compressor has a pre-set option, which will cut off power automatically when the desired levels are reached. This helps prevent inflation above the desired level for the tire.
It also has a bright LED display with, and built-in LED light, making it convenient to read the display at any hour of the day.
It is made from a durable and lightweight material that makes it an easy carry-on bag. The length of the air hose and that of the power cord are 50 cm and 300 cm, respectively, making the activities easy and convenient for vehicles of varying sizes.
- Auto shut-off
- The long length of the power cord and air hose
- Heavy duty
- PSI max only up to 100
- It cannot be used with heavy vehicles like trucks.
10. Audew Auto Digital Tire Inflator
This is yet another air compressor that can be easily operated using the cigarette socket of the car. It has a one-touch switch feature that makes it easier to start and stop the machine.
The machine comes with an ‘Inflate Right’ technology, which automatically shuts off the motor at the desired tire pressure.
The LED light and the digital display are strong with a bright backlight, making it easier to read the device even in the dark. The motor is powerful enough to inflate tires of heavy vehicles like trucks, ATVs, RVs, SUVs, etc., and can also be used for sports equipment.
- Auto shut-off
- Bright LED light
- Compact design
- Cord length not good enough
Portable Air Compressor Buying Guide
A portable air compressor is similar to that of a regular air compressor, just smaller and compact in size. It can easily fit in the boot of your car or sit in any corner of your house. Portable air compressors come in various shapes and sizes to choose from. They are not only effective in pumping air mattresses and footballs; they have enough power to inflate car tires as well.
After reading the list, one can easily conclude that every air compressor is unique in itself. However, there are some basic features, which are common for all the air compressors. Here are a few things that you must surely consider before finalizing an air compressor for your car or home.
The Auto shut-off and Pre-setting feature.
Many air compressors available in the market come with these features built-in. They make the entire process of inflating the tires quite handy and convenient. You won’t be left stressed and anxious as to when to stop the machine or if the tire is inflated to the optimum level.
The pre-setting will ensure a desirable pressure adjustment is entered, and the auto shut-off can make sure that the tire is at the perfect pressure. The two features make sure that the tire isn’t over or under-inflated, which can be a probable risk to the vehicle.
Attachments and extensions
Make sure that the air compressor that you are choosing comes with multiple ranges of attachments.
Multiple attachments ensure that the machine can be used on a wide variety of products. It makes it convenient for you to use the compressor not just for tires but even for air mattresses, inflatable toys, and other sports equipment.
These will also help you to make additions to the advice at a later stage. So, always go for an air compressor that fits your needs but comes with additional benefits as well.
The air compressor comes with two types of screens; digital and analog. The compressors also come with a backlight along with a digital screen.
It is better to go for an air compressor that has an LCD digital display with a backlight. This makes it easier to track the pressure even in the dark. The analog display will not compromise the functionality of the machine; however, it will be more difficult to read the same.
An LED emergency light is also another feature that one should look for. The light has no impact on the functionality of the machine, but it will come in handy in the case of roadside emergencies. So, without any issues, you will be able to use the device in case of emergencies and when it is pitch dark.
Size of the machine
The reason behind buying a portable device is to be able to carry the same anywhere with ease. If the machine is heavy and big, it might take a significant amount of space in your car’s boot and make it difficult to load any luggage. Therefore, when you are making a choice, make sure the machine is compact and lightweight.
Lightweight does not mean you have to compromise on the durability of the product. A good quality, durable, the lightweight machine might cost slightly more expensive than the regular ones, but you will be able to enjoy the benefits for a longer time.
An air compressor can be a gift in times of crisis. Your entire road trip can be ruined just because your tire got deflated in the middle of the road. A portable air compressor is not just any ‘garage’ machine. It can be very useful for your car as well as for those fun getaways to the mountains. You can just fill in your air mattresses, set up a tent, and enjoy the sunset with your family.
You don’t have to worry about charging them beforehand or go searching for a connection. Almost all the models available in the market can be plugged into the 12V cigarette lighter socket in the car. Some even come with multiple nozzle adaptor that can help fit the compressor into any socket.
Making the right choice is the key, keeping in mind the basic features like the display, pre-set feature, auto-shutoff, attachments, etc., can ease your process of buying a product that is not just handy but also comes with a long life.
A portable air compressor is, therefore, a must-have if you are into camping, long bicycle rides, or simply because you like to be careful and cautious.
The product list and guide should be of great help to you in finalizing a quality product that suits your needs as well as your budget.