Traveling in a vehicle is a nice thing until it gets a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. The temperature fluctuations, among other factors, can also affect the air pressure in the tire. All that said, you need the best tire inflator to rescue you in the times of trouble.
With the years of experience I possess, I have actually gone through a myriad of tire inflators and thus well rounded with their specific features. In this guide I will provide you the best tire inflators on the market as well as the buyer’s guide. Without further ado, let’s delve into the products below.
Best Tire Inflators of 2018
|Pressure||CFM @ 0 PSI||Features|
|150 PSI||2.3 CFM||30 Amps Max. Amp Draw|
|150 PSI||2.2 CFM||Air flow is 6400 cubic inches/min|
|Campbell Hausfeld||125 PSI||2.4 CFM||Just 68 dBa noise|
|Slime||n/a||1.9 CFM||Air hose 82 cm|
|PowRyte||135 PSI||2.2 CFM||20-Piece Accessory|
|Viair||120 PSI||1.47 CFM||Direct clamps to battery|
|JACO||100 PSI||n/a||Heavy duty hose|
|NOOX||150 PSI||n/a||Four display units|
|P.I. Auto Store||100 PSI||n/a||Robust and reliable|
|Powerhouse||100 PSI||n/a||Portable, Lightweight, Convenient|
Viair 40047 – Best Tire Inflator for RV
It comes with accessories to attach to the products such as the RV tires, sports equipment or trailers.
The maximum pressure it has is 150 pounds per square inch (PSI). With this max PSI, it can inflate tires of different sizes.
While it is designed for tires, it can also be suitable for longer trailers since it has the primary and the extension hose totaling 90 feet. It’s a cinch to connect both the primary and the extension hose.
The power cord is 8 inches and the air hose is 60 inches; isn’t that convenient enough to access all tires? Of course it is!
When empowering it, you can either connect it to the car’s 12-volt or directly to the battery using the clamps.
And when inflating the tires, there is no need to manually observe the pressure reading as it allows you to preset it. It will then shut off once the desired pressure has been reached.
And, furthermore, if you’re switching from one tire to the other, you don’t have to manually switch off the unit as it features an automatic shut-off.
Its vibration resistant helps you to in control of the unit without holding onto it. Some units can run into the road because of the vibration.
Also worth noting is the quick turnaround of inflating the tires. What we need is a fast inflator to take us back to the road quickly.
Because of the option to connect it directly to the battery terminal, it can take less than a minute to inflate the tires from 80 to 90 PSI.
Now, do I recommend this product? Absolutely I do! It caters for a maximum PSI of 150 and comes with RV accessories. This makes it an ideal inflator to inflate lots of tires.
It actually takes less time to inflate a single tire. I also embrace its additional features such as an automatic shut-off when you reached a desired pressure or moving from one tire to the other.
SuperFlow – Best for Trucks
It is powerful enough with a working pressure of 150 PSI and a restart pressure of 90 PSI to inflate many tires.
A 37-in tire can be inflated in less than 2 minutes. That’s how quick the unit is although lacking with the turnaround time compared to the first product above.
The base plate is rugged to enhance the durability of the inflator.
With the 24 feet coiled hose you can reach all the vehicle tires with ease, and the inline pressure gauge helps you measure the vehicle specified air pressure.
To power this inflator, you can connect it to the car’s battery using the clamps or connect it to the car’s 12V. It’s one of the high-performing tires with a maximum air flow of 6400 cubic inches per minute.
Considering its features, I would recommend this tire inflator for those traveling in big guys such as SUVs and trucks.
But, compared to the Viair inflator reviewed above, I will still recommend the Viair because it has good features than this one. What entices me with this one is that the price is affordable.
Campbell – Best Portable Tire Inflator with Gauge
Nobody wants a tire inflator that makes noise like a faulty motorbike. Thanks to the Campbell Hausfeld for its low noise operations as the company has invested more on noise reduction for your convenience.
You also do not need to continually maintain or apply any oil to this component. It works effectively with the vehicle voltage.
With its dual piston, it will inflate your tires in a short period of time with the max working pressure of 125 PSI.
Not only is this inflator user-friendly but it is portable with the soft-grip steel handles to move it.Unlike others, it is backed by a one year warranty.
That could be inconvenient to those accustomed to using air hoses especially to reach all the tires on your car and the trailer. Nonetheless, it is still a good tire inflator to consider.
I do recommend it for those looking for quieter tire inflators. It is a relatively high-performing tire inflator, but wouldn’t recommend it over the above models reviewed. Its lack of the air hose can be a drawback to others.
Slime – Best for a Car
As in the name, it is a heavy duty tire inflator for car travelers. Driving to the filling station because of a flat tire is a yesterday habit because of a compact and portable Slime tire inflator to rescue you.
Its “heavy-duty” description is triggered by its dual cylinder and its performance to inflate a tire in less than 2 minutes.
With the air hose of 30 feet, it can reach all the tires. And to avoid over-inflation, the integrated gauge helps you preset the desired pressure as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
To power the inflator you need to connect it to the battery and this optimizes its turnaround time compared to the inflator that is attached to the vehicle’s 12V.
If you get the flat tire in low light conditions, the bright LED will help you to visualize the dial gauge. It can also help to alert other drivers of the car in the sideways.
You just need to apply the inflator as the manual has instructed such as 15 minutes off and 10 minutes on. Traveling is easy with the carry case included.
I would recommend this product especially to the budget-constraint users. It is a chap model and a fairly high-performing inflator.
PowRyte – Best Auto Tire Inflator
PowRyte Air Compressor is versatile, so it can be used for other inflatable products other than you vehicle.
The 2.2 SCFM enables its quick recovery while the 135 PSI helps us to drive more nails. The compressors vertical pancake tank has a capacity of 3 gallons.
The designer provided us with a unique design to enhance its portability. There is an extension cord to reach out to other wheels with ease.
And the low Amp 120-volt helps the compressor to start with ease in unfavorably cold weather. I might say the 22 lbs is a good and portable weight to move the unit from one car to the other.
Moreover, it’s easy to set the pressure gauge to the desired specification to avoid over-inflation or overheating.
With a cut-in pressure of 100 PSI and the cut-out pressure of 135 PSI, I do recommend this air compressor for anyone looking for a portable yet performing tire inflator.
Viair 00088 – Best 12V Inflator
Despite being designed for small cars, it is a good performing tire inflator and could be the rescuer in your long distance travels.
The unit is portable and versatile. You do not need a wall socket to power it as the car’s 12 volt is sufficient.
When connecting this air compressor to your car, just make sure that the engine is running because it can drain your battery intensively.
With this Viair 88P, you can inflate up to 33-inc tires. The inflation can be quite longer when you connect it directly onto the battery using the terminal clamps provided.
Those driving small cars and looking for a portable and affordable tire inflator, I would unhesitatingly recommend this one. It is compact and portable.
Not only can you inflate flat tires, but can also check them before you take every trip. You cannot afford to face the disastrous travel of a flat tire as it can expose you to life-threatening accidents on the road.
JACO – Best Auto Tire Inflator
I mean the goal of these inflators is to reduce the bulkiness found in traditional inflators found at the filling stations.
Also eye-catching is the smart pressure technology that helps you preset the desired PSI level. Then the inflator will automatically shut off once that level has been reached.
Comparing it with analogs inflators, this one has more precision. Thanks to its bright LCD display to help you see the digital air gauge at night. The unit inflates at a rate of 25L/min.
When powering it, you can connect its 10-inch cord to a 12-vold DC outlet of the car. It comes with a 24-inch air hose to reach all the tires and this hose features the twist connect nozzle for a hands-free operation.
Talking about durability, the inflator was designed with components of a premium quality.
It will occupy only little space since you can easily store the power cord and the air hose in its internal storage. And when traveling with it, there is a carry bag included for free.
NOOX – Best for Cordless Tires
That’s a multifunctional tire inflator I found convenient. It has a digital tire gauge so that you can set your vehicle’s specified PSI level.
Meanwhile the microprocessor will keep monitoring the tire pressure.
It’s easy to read the digital tire gauge during the night thanks to the LED light.
This will ensure that you do not put low pressure or too much pressure than it is required. The maximum working pressure is 150 PSI.
I admire the triangular design with the soft PVC to prevent vibration during operation. This triangular design provides stability when inflating the tires.
To reinforce its quality, high quality materials are used so this unit will last you for many years. It features a 3m power cord to connect to the 12-volt DC outlet. The accuracy is approximately 1 PSI and it inflates tires faster than many models in its league.
I would recommend this inflator. It is ideal for travel arrangements where you need to inflate your sport balls or sleeping mattresses.
P.I. Auto – Best Compressor
How about its effectiveness? It’s a good inflator with many features. The unit operates easily by connecting to the vehicle’s cigarette lighter outlet.
The power is enough to inflate a mid-sized car tire in 3 and half minutes. The working pressure max is 100 PSI.
The inflator components are of high quality, so this enhances its durability. Just beware of the metal components as they can get very hot.
What I also like is the accessories that the unit has. These make it a versatile inflator for bikes, motorcycles, small SUVs, cars, etc. It is, however, not suitable for trucks as it is a small air compressor.
Exclusive to the inflator is the digital guide to help you on how to care for this unit. In addition, the carry case has been provided to help you travel with the inflator.
Do I recommend it? Oh, yes I do recommend it for small cars and whole host of other inflatables such as bikes, motorcycles, camping equipment and sport balls. It is one of the affordable inflators under $50.
Powerhouse – Best Electric Tire Inflator
With just under $50, you will be able to own this portable tire inflator made by Campbell Hausfeld. it has a smart technology where it can shut off automatically when a desired PSI level has been attained.
This feature prevents overpressure. Bear in mind overpressure and under-pressure are both detrimental to your tires.
To activate this auto shut-off, you have to set the required PSI level on the digital display on the unit.
When filling a 195/65 R15 tire from flat to 35 PSI, it takes 4 minutes. This is enabled by the power through the 12-volt DC outlet of the car.
The digital interface features the integrated LED for nighttime view and for emergencies. That’s a feature void in other inflators.
We also have to embrace the versatility of this unit in other inflatable products such as bikes and motorcycles.
There is the sports needle to inflate the sport equipment such as the volleyballs, rugby balls or the football. Camping equipment is also an inclusion in the versatility of this inflator.
What Does Inflator Mean?
The inflator refers to a one-hand operated air pump used to inflate tires. We have conventional inflators found at the filling station as well as the mobile and portable ones reviewed in this article.
How Many PSI Does It Take To Inflate a Car Tire?
Each vehicle is made different and each manufacturer has its own specifications.
The amount of PSI (pounds per square inch) is determined by the manufacturer’s specifications not what is being displayed on the tire as maximum air pressure.
Please note that overpressure is detrimental to the traction of your car.
What Does 300 PSI Mean?
It is important to understand the PSI values. PSI refers to pounds per square inch and it is used to measure the pressure. It measures the amount of force in a given area.
Note that the force is directly proportional to the pressure but the area is inversely proportional to the pressure. So 300 PSI means 300 pounds per square inch.
What Is The Most Quiet Air Compressor?
Compressors are generally noisier. But manufacturers are putting more efforts to provide the reduced noises. On average, the noise levels can range from 40 to 92 decibels. The lower the decibel is the quieter the tire inflator.
How Do You Read a Tire Pressure Gauge?
To read the tire pressure gauge, remove the valve cap from your vehicle tire and then fit the pressure gauge. Some pressure gauges can be analog while other digital.
After putting it onto the valve, push a button on the gauge which will then provide the reading. Analog reading is not as precise as digital reading.
How Does a Tire Gauge Work?
It works just like other pressure gauges. The pressure from the pressure gauge will enter through the valve of your tires and start to expand until a desired PSI has been reached.
How Do I Know If I Need To Put Air In My Tires?
Use the portable inflator to check the air pressure and compare against the specifications. Typically, you should at least check the tire air pressure once a month or anytime before you embark on long journeys.
How To Choose The Best Inflator?
These inflators come with different features. Of foremost importance, you need to consider portability, inflation time; power cord and air hose length, maximum pressure and accessories that can help you inflate other inflatable products. Note that some are suitable for heavy cars whereas others are for small cars.
We have come to an end of our tire inflators. We saw how multifunctional these products are in inflating cars, sport equipment and camping equipment. Just make sure you choose the right model among these 10 products.
The bottom line is that they are indispensable to every car owner. The tire can deflate anytime in the middle of nowhere. With this portable tool you will be able to embark on your journey without the need to drive to the nearest filling station.
Take note of the features as you select. For instance, other inflators come with auto shut-off feature while some do not. Be familiar with the PSI values so that you select the best tool. Under-pressure and overpressure can both be bad for your tires.