Have you ever been stuck with a flat tire on the roadside wondering how life-saving would it have been, had you had a portable air compressor for car tires? I bet it has happened at least once with you or with someone you know.
Portable air compressors are not only useful for inflating car tires, but also some of them can work on sports balls and such stuff, so they are never a waste of money. They are as powerful as non-portable ones, but they are better and more suitable for taking them with you wherever you go.
Since searching for the best portable air compressors for cars can be a hectic process, we have managed to make you a list of the best models on the market.
List of The Best Portable Air Compressors for Cars:
- EPAuto 12V DC – Best Overall
- Oasser Air Compressor – Runner Up
- Breezz Orange-1 – Speedy
- Helteko Portable Air Compressor – Long Power Cable
- TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator – No Vibration
- FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator – Tidy
- JACO SmartPro – Smart Pressure Technology
Our Top Picks:
|EPAuto 12V DC||1 lb.||13.5 x 8.1 x 5.6 in.||70||12||Check Price|
|Oasser||3.42 lbs.||10.4 x 3.5 x 3.1 in.||130||12||Check Price|
|Breezz Orange-1||2.4 lbs.||7.8 x 7.1 x 2.4 in.||150||12||Check Price|
|Helteko Portable Air Compressor||2.58 lbs.||9.7 x 6.5 x 4.2 in.||150||12||Check Price|
|TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator||7.45 lbs.||9.9 x 4.3 x 8.3 in.||150||12||Check Price|
|FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator||1.9 lbs.||8 x 6.5 x 3.3 in.||150||12||Check Price|
|JACO SmartPro||2.05 lbs.||7.5 x 2.5 x 6 in.||100||12||Check Price|
The 7 Best Portable Air Compressor for Cars in 2021
1. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor – Best Overall
This lightweight, portable air compressor for tires comes with a maximum PSI of 100. It functions at 120 watts and runs at 12 volts DC between 10 to 15 amperes.
EPAuto 12V DC is a great emergency air compressor for incidents on the roadside because you can plug it into your cigarette lighter socket, given that in such a situation, you will have no other power source. Moreover, it has a digital gauge that is easily readable in its four display units: PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM.
To believe that it will have your back at all times, our EPAuto 12V DC features an LED flashlight torch so that you can see even if you are in the middle of a deserted road at night.
For comfort and safety, if you are a beginner or unable to concentrate for any reason, this efficient product has an auto-shutoff feature that will prevent your tires from over inflation. Besides, it is equipped with automatic overheating protection, which shuts off the compressor in case of overloading.
Although you can use this versatile air compressor for cars, midsize SUVs, sedans, and even bikes, it does not support LT, HT, and truck tires. Yet, you can use it on other inflatables thanks to its adapters.
Pros & Cons
- LED flashlight
- Four display units
- Can be plugged into a car cigarette lighter
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Automatic overheating protection
- Not suitable for truck tires
If you need a portable air compressor that can save you in case of emergencies, EPAuto 12V DC is one of best 12v air compressors and is here also to the rescue. Its efficiency, power, and supporting features are very catchy.
2. Oasser Portable Electric Inflator – Runner Up
This is a battery-operated air compressor for cars that comes with a large rechargeable 2200 mAh lithium battery, a 12-volt power base, and 130 PSI. The battery is an excellent feature for two reasons. One of these reasons is that it can rapidly start working, and the other reason is that it does not limit you to a specific power source. In other words, if you are on the road or camping, for example, you can still use Oasser without any limitations.
Its sleek design renders it highly portable. You can easily use it and control it thanks to its distinctive pistol shape. Moreover, you can enjoy it in daylight or nighttime thanks to its pump that comes with a LED light and digital pressure gauge that features a backlight.
If you are one of those who like having an inflator that allows you to pre-set the desired tire pressure, our Oasser will truly please you, then.
It comes with a storage bag, 2 air hoses that measure at 13.78 inches and 4.7 inches, fast coupling, tool gloves, and three values: PSI, BAR, and Kg/cm2.
Pros & Cons
- Can be pre-set
- The digital pressure gauge features a backlight
- Has LED light
- Difficult to use
- Does not come with an external power cord
If portability is your number one priority, the design of this product will not disappoint you.
3. Breezz Orange-1 Air Compressor – Speedy
You can use Breezz Orange-1 for car emergencies for as long as you could imagine thanks to its pump that is made of durable ABS plastic and stainless steel. It’s also great for its speed as it can inflate the 195/65R15 car tire from 0 to 35psi in less than 4 minutes. It is efficient as it works at 150 PSI.
This 12-volt digital tire inflator that has a motor of 10 amperes also features an auto-shutoff, so you do not need to worry about over-inflating your car tire. You just need to set the desired pressure value, and when the tire inflator reaches this value, it will automatically shut off.
Our digital tire inflator will help you use it in the dark as it is equipped with bright LED lights that are long-lasting. They help you see the tire you are reinflating in the middle of a dark place. Moreover, it features a large high-precision and bright display that will let you calculate the value you require in PSI, BAR, KPA, KG/CM².
The 10-feet long power cord makes our product extra versatile. It allows it to reach all tires of the car, bike, motor, ATV, compact or midsize Sedan SUV. It is also great for inflating mattresses, sports equipment, and inflatable boats thanks to its included equipment and inflatables adaptors. However, you cannot use it for bug trucks or moto lorry.
Moreover, you can easily carry it around as it is highly portable at only 2.4 pounds. However, what we do not like about it is that it can only work for 10 minutes straight before it needs a break.
Pros & Cons
- Long power cord
- Durable pump
- Included adaptors
- Features an auto-shutoff
- Continuous working time is only 10 minutes
- Might not function well in cold weather
This is an excellent digital tire inflator if you are looking for one that is speedy and has a long power cord. Take care, though, that it might not work as you desire if you will use it in cold weather. It also needs to take a break every 10 minutes. Other than that, it has a lot of impressive features.
4. Helteko Portable Air Compressor – Long Power Cable
With a body made of ABS plastic and stainless steel, this is a very durable portable air compressor. It can be connected to a cigarette lighter of 12 volts using its 3.5-meter long cable. The length of its cable allows you to inflate the four tires of a vehicle! This is especially great for inflating your car tire if you are in the middle of nowhere on a mountain or wherever there is no power source.
It is also great for its speed. Our 35L/min Helteko can inflate your medium-sized car tire from 3 to 5 minutes, which is pretty fast. More greatly, it allows you to pre-set the desired air pressure so that it automatically shuts off once it reaches the pressure you have set. This feature prevents the tires from getting overinflated, prolonging their life span.
It also comes with a large LCD digital display that shows the tire pressure in PSI, BAR, KPA, and kg/cm, and allows for precision. The 150-PSI product comes with a package that includes three extra nozzles so that you can inflate basketballs and other sports equipment.
Pros & Cons
- Auto shutoff
- Long power cable
- Can be powered by a cigarette lighter socket
- 18-month warranty
- May fail to function early
This is the car air compressor you should go for if you need speed as it inflates your car tire in a maximum of 5 minutes.
5. TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator – No Vibration
This heavy-duty tire inflator has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. It is great with speed as it can inflate a standard vehicle tire in about 2 minutes (95/65/R15, 0-35psi).
If you hate having to deal with vibration and if you love working with a quiet tool, then TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator is the one for you. It features a stability technology that effectively reduces the vibration. It also is quiet with rubber feet to ensure that the machine stays in place when in use. All these features boost its power.
Our 12-volt machine has a double-cylinders direct-drive inflation pump, which improves its efficiency, stability, and ease of control. It features a battery clamp that directly connects to your vehicle’s battery. This feature allows you to charge and use it in the middle of nowhere.
Besides, it has a 5M extension hose that makes using the inflator easy and suitable for the long-wheelbase vehicles.
Besides cars, you can use it with SUVs, trucks, vans, RVs, crossovers, MPVs, campers, trailers, minivans, motorcycles, golf carts, and bicycles.
Pros & Cons
- 5M extension hose
- Can be used with various vehicles
- Features a double-cylinders direct-drive inflation pump
- 150 PSI
- Does not do well with truck tires
The versatility, efficiency, and durability of TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator make it eye-catchy to a lot of customers.
6. FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator – Tidy
If you are looking for a good-looking small portable air compressor, look no further. At 1.9 lbs, transporting this baby is a piece of cake. This 12-volt digital tire inflator features a built-in LED flashlight, which enables you to use it in the dark. It also comes with a bright LCD that allows you to read very easily.
In case you are one of those people who cherish neatness, our tidy baby here offers cord storage on the back so that everything is neat when not in use. Moreover, its controls on the face allow for ease of use.
It is true that its 9.84-feet long power cord and its 1.64-feet long hose that come with it are relatively short; however, they are okayish in ration with its lightweight., and they are still efficient.
It has 150 PSI, so you must cool it down every 8 minutes, which could waste a lot of your precious time.
Pros & Cons
- Automatic shutoff
- LCD display
- Built-in LED light
- Short power cable and hose
- Needs to cool down every 8 minutes
If speed is not one of your priorities, but lightweight and small size are, FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator might be the right choice.
7. JACO SmartPro – Smart Pressure Technology
This digital tire inflator pump is suitable for emergency use and everyday use, as well. It mainly stands out for its ability to accurately inflate your car tires. I believe that you already know that accurate inflation of car tires increases their lifespan. Thanks to its Smart Pressure Technology, you can set the pressure you desire, and it will automatically shut off when it reaches this PSI. It can inflate auto tires up to 45 PSI and bike tires up to 100 PSI.
Moreover, in order to be able to use it at night, it features a bright LCD backlight display that accurately measures from 0 to 100 PSI. It’s also great for its speed, for it inflates air at an impressive rate of 25L/min.
It features a woven 24″ air hose that has a twist-connect nozzle acting as a secure seal to the tire valve during inflation.
You can easily use it on the roadside because it has a premium power adapter that connects directly into any 12-volt DC accessory outlet in your car, truck, or SUV. There is also a 10′ power cord that allows you to reach four tires.
It also features a built-in bright LED light that supports four settings: off, flashlight, flashing red, and emergency SOS.
Pros & Cons
- 24” air hose
- Smart Pressure Technology
- Poor quality
- May have incorrect reading on the gauge
JACO SmartPro is a good air compressor unless you will be surrounded by people because it is so noisy.
What To Look For When Buying a Portable Air Compressor For Cars
The screen of portable air compressors varies between being analog and digital. Modern air compressors have an LCD digital display, which is easier to see, especially in the dark. Analog displays are undoubtedly more difficult to read, and they aren’t even accurate, so why bother?
2. Pre-Settings and Auto-Stop Feature
If your air compressor has these features, you will rest assured knowing that your tires will never be over or under-inflated. They will provide you with a more comfortable and more enjoyable experience because you won’t have to judge for yourself when your tires have reached the optimum pressure level.
Your car tire might need to be inflated in the middle of the road at night. Would you be able to inflate it in complete darkness? Of course not! This is why it is always recommended that you get an air compressor with lights.
4. Cigarette Lighter Charging Cord
This, too, is an essential feature for emergencies. It will enable you to power your compressor with the cigarette lighter port in your car, which will most likely be the only available power source if you are on the roadside.
Tips For Properly Inflating Your Car Tires:
Inflating a car tire with an air compressor is pretty much very straightforward. All you are required to do is attach your compressor to a tire valve, and set the desired pressure.
However, I will tell you some steps to ensure that you get the best out of your air compressor:
- Make sure you have your tire chuck. If you do not know what a tire chuck is, don’t worry. It is a small tool that attaches between the tire valve and the nozzle of the air hose. It allows the air to flow by depressing a little valve switch inside the tire valve. It usually comes with the air compressor, but make sure it is included before you buy the air compressor.
- Keep an eye on the pressure. Indeed, most models come with an automatic cut-off feature that disconnects the machine once it reaches the PSI that you have set; however, it’s still better to keep an eye on it, just in case.
- Moreover, to get the best out of your air compressor, you must keep it dry. Try to keep it dry during use and while it is stored. You must remember that its worst enemy is moisture. Like any electrical device, their lifespan will be shortened if they get wet. Moreover, they have a pair of rotating metal screws that suck in air, so if moisture gets into them, they will rust.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long Should a Car Portable Air Compressor Last?
This mainly depends on how much you use it and how well you look after it. Still, it is better to get a model that is backed with a warranty so that you can relax knowing that you won’t lose your money if anything went wrong with it.
How Far Can You Drive With a Flat Tire?
Anything under 20 PSI is considered a flat tire. If you drive with a flat tire at speed above 35mph, you may be significantly harmed in under one mile of driving. However, it mainly depends on how flat your tire is (its PSI), the type of your tire, and the surface you are driving on.
What Size of Air Compressor is Most Suitable for My Car’s Tires?
The recommended air pressure ranges from 32 to 35 PSI depending upon the car make. Most air compressors can provide you with this PSI. You can even use a bicycle pump to inflate your car tires since car tires have valves, so CFM is not an issue.
How Much is an Air Compressor for a Car?
Luckily they are not really expensive. They range from 24$ to 70$.
How Do I Know the Best PSI for My Tires?
Check the sticker that is usually located on the driver’s side door jamb, and you will find the recommended PSI written on it. If you do not find this sticker, check your car’s manual. Note that some cars have different recommended PSI for the front and rear tires.
Now that you have reached this section of the article, you have probably made a decision, or at least narrowed down the candidates.
If you are still unsure, let me recommend some of the best portable air compressors for car tires to you.
In case you need a portable air compressor for emergencies, EPAuto 12V DC will have your back because you can plug it into your cigarette lighter socket even when you are in the middle of nowhere. It also features a lot of other excellent options like its LED flashlight, auto-shutoff feature, and automatic overheating protection.
If quietness is your priority, go for TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator, it is also nice for being powerful, having a 5M extension hose, and speed. You can also use it for inflating a variety of stuff, and it does not vibrate.
But, if speed is your number-one desire, then Breezz Orange-1 will make you happy. It is also attractive because it has a long power cord, a durable pump, and included adaptors. You won’t worry about over inflation thanks to its auto-shutoff feature.