Imagine being stuck in some far-off backwoods with a flat tire. In such situations, you will realize that you need a tire inflator more than ever, anywhere you go. While there are ways in which you can fix your flat tire on a roadtrip, nothing beats being well prepared for those issues. There are lots of portable tire inflators in the market today we made it our job to look for the best. Here are some of our favorites.
- Is there a difference between an air compressor and a tire inflator?
Answer: The tire inflator is a particular type of air compressor. In general, air compressors shift electric energy generated by the engines or battery into potential energy. This potential energy is then stored as pressurized air. This pressurized air is then changed into kinetic energy, where in turn is used to give power to a wide variety of tools. The tire inflator is mainly utilized to pump car and truck tires. This device comes in many sizes and shapes. There are small, portable ones that fits right into car boots and used for emergency purposes. Bigger ones do not fit in the car but they can pump tires in a faster, more efficient manner.
- What are the different types of tire inflators?
Answer: There are 3 common types of tire inflators in the market today; the cordless, electric and 12V types. The cordless type is made for convenience and include rechargeable batteries with majority bearing adapters either 12V or 120V. The electric kind was designed to be plugged into the socket at home. They can inflate tires faster. The 12V tire inflator easily plugs into the 12V outlet of the car and has a portable size. Most of them are easy to use as well.
- What factors should I consider when choosing tire inflators?
Answer: First, you need to settle on the right kind of adapter. Lots of models work with a car’s 12V adapter while some plugs into standard AC adapters as well. For portable tire inflators that will work on trucks, you must consider buying bigger models due to the difference in ideal PSIs. Always go for the portable tire inflator that is recommended for your specific car. The best portable tire inflators also feature automatic shutoff—this means the tire inflator will shut itself off automatically once the required PSI is attained. Do not forget to check how long the tire inflator takes for the device to completely inflate small, medium and bigger tires since this will tell how long you need to wait before the tire gets fully filled up. Lastly, the best portable tire inflator is easy to carry around and it should fit easily into the boot of your vehicle.
Our Top Picks
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Digital Tire Inflator
- Has 12V-DC cigarette lighter socket plug
- Multiuse model
- Has 4 display units
- Comes with automatic shutoff
The EPAuto 12V DC Portable Digital Tire Inflator is what we think is the best small tire inflator in the market. While it cannot service truck tires, it is still quite versatile and can be used on many tire types from bikes, sedans, cars and mid-size SUVs. It comes with a 12V DC cigarette lighter socket and has 4 display units that show the vehicle’s PSI, BAR, KPA and KG/CM. It has automatic shutoff too once it reaches the desired PSI.
AstroAI Air Portable Tire Inflator
- Fast Inflation
- Smart Preset & Auto Shut-off
- Cable Out From Side & More Stable
- Emergency LED Light
The AstroAI 100 PSI air compressor is one of the convenient choices for car tire emergencies. It will inflate tires to the desired pressure and then automatically shut off when the proper tire pressure is reached. The one-click to change pressure units among PSI, kPa, BAR, and KG/CM. The 12V 120W 10ft (3.05 meters) long heavy-duty car cigarette lighter cord makes the air compressor convenient to use, and the cable out from the side makes the compressor work more stable and quieter.
TACKLIFE 12V DC Portable Tire Inflator
- Fast inflation
- Preset and auto shut off function
- Accurate digital pressure gauge with 4 unit readouts
- 3 mode LED emergency light
The TACKLIFE 12V DC A6 portable air compressor comes with a carrying bag, easy to put in each corner of your car. Has 3 additional adapters, you can use it not only to inflate car and bicycle tires, but also to inflate balloons, basketballs, swimming rings, and other inflatables. Very easy to use, you just need to plug it into your car cigarette lighter, preset your desired pressure, it will automatically shut off when reaches the desired pressure. And there are storerooms for both power cable and air hose, you don’t have to worry about entangled threads.
VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator
- Fast inflating speed
- Easy to use
- Has automatic shutoff
- Comes with 11.9 ft power cable
One of the easiest portable inflators to use in the market is the VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator. You only need to connect the hose, input the PSI you need with the R button and the pressure with the +/- buttons then press on Start. It will work immediately and shut itself down once it reaches the set PSI. It has a lengthy cable as well for flexibility and it’s easy to move around too. If you want something that is user-friendly, this is our top selection.
FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator For Car
- User-friendly set-up
- Multifunctional model
- Has built-in LED flashlight
- Excellent construction
The FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator For Car is one sturdy piece that will last you lots of car tire emergencies. This is another tire inflator model that is a breeze to use, beginners will get the hang of it at once. It can serve lots of inflatables too from car tires down to sports balls and balloons. It has its own LED-based flashlight as well for convenient use in the dark. All parts have a durable feel from its plastic body down to its hose.
JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator
- Uses Smart Pressure Technology
- Accurate built-in air gauge
- Comes with strong 24-inch air hose
- Has integrated LED light
The JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator makes use of Smart Pressure Technology to set the PSI and it shuts itself off mechanically once it reaches the inputted pressure. For better use at night, it has a bright LCD backlight display plus a built-in LED flashlight. The device inflates air at a topnotch rate of 25 liters per minute as well. Extra-long air hose and power cable makes the procedure easier to accomplish.
Kensun AC/DC Digital Tire Inflator for Car and Home
- Provides fast inflation
- 120W solid metal motor
- Comes with automatic shutoff
- Multi-purpose model
The Kensun AC/DC Digital Tire Inflator for Car and Home is a versatile device since it can be used on a wide range of inflatables. Use it on various rides from cars, sedans, bikes and mid-size SUVs plus inflatables at home like balls and balloons. This one has a durable construction made to last loads of car emergencies. It also features the brand’s distinctive AC/DC switching and has automatic shutoff for safety.
Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
- Offers 120PSI maximum working pressure
- Recommended for tires up to 33 inches
- Has LED/Power indicator
- With 10 ft. power cord
The Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor is made to service a lot of vehicles as long as it measures up to 33 inches. It is built with a longer 10-ft power cable and 16 ft. air hose for easier reach and connects seamlessly to car or trick batteries by means its alligator clamps. For the PSI, you can set it by using the analog tire gauge. Very accurate and lightweight.
After you’ve picked up your portable tire inflator, check out our automobile product reviews section for more great products for your car. If you’re the kind of person that spends a lot of time driving, it’s definitely a good idea to not only be prepared for an emergency, but comfortable and well spirited while on the road.
Stop waiting around for car emergency assistance. Always be prepared by getting the right tire inflator for your ride. Portable tire inflators are often lightweight and easy to carry inside your vehicle. Our list has the models that you can rely on for such situations.