We never know what goes wrong with our vehicle when we are out on a long drive, do we? It is simple, the world is full of myriad possibilities, and the biggest of them is a flat tire.
This could be because of excessive heat, or the tire having been worn out due to prolonged use, making the tube inside the tire unable to hold pressure for too long.
A flat tire or an underinflated one fails the efficiency of the vehicle. Because the engine has to consume more energy, in terms of fuel, to push the vehicle at the same speed.
Thus, it is very important to carry a handy tire compressor in your car at all times, these are great for pumping up bike tires, footballs, and basketballs.
Science is both a boon and a bane, and what you need in such situations, where you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, a little bit of science can rescue you.
To make it easier for you, we have compiled this list of the best tire inflators currently available in the market. These are easy to use, portable, and not too heavy on the pocket either.
So, without much ado, here is our list of the 10 best tire inflators.
Best Tire Inflator
Table of Contents
- Best Tire Inflator
- 1. P.I. Auto Store 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Affordability and Quality
- 2. Viair 00088 88P 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Value-Added Features
- 3 . EPAuto 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Convenience and Auto Pressure
- 4. Oasser Portable Rechargeable 12V Tire Inflator
- 5. TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator
- 6. JACO SmartPro 2.0 AC/DC 12V Tire Inflator
- 7. VIAIR 90P Portable 12V Tire Inflator
- Best Tire Inflators Comparison Table
- Buying Guide For The Best Tire Inflators
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re a frequent driver or just someone who wants to be prepared in case of an emergency, here’s the list of the 7 best tire inflators to consider.
1. P.I. Auto Store 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Affordability and Quality
P.I. Auto Store – Premium 12V DC Tire Air Compressor Pump, Portable Digital Auto Tire Inflator is an inexpensive, but good quality 12-volt tire inflation compressor. This is one of the top-quality ones, on our list today. It has a very compact, efficient design, with space to store the air hose, as well as the 12-volt power cord.
- 【Fast inflate】Skip the gas station - this...
- 【Simple use】Our car tire pump is easy to use;...
The power cord is long enough for you to be able to carry it around at all times, but one would suggest buying an extension wire as well.
The unit has a digital display for adjusting and gauging the tire pressure in multiple units of measure, most importantly the PSI measure. It is powerful enough to inflate all types of tires, including the SUV ones.
A little issue could be that pressure escapes each time you would remove the inflator pipe from the tire. However, this could be avoided if you simply have to unscrew it without any delay.
In summary, if you are looking for a great tire inflator, at a reasonable price, then do not hesitate to buy this product.
2. Viair 00088 88P 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Value-Added Features
The Viair 00088 88P 12V Portable Tire Inflator 88P is a brand-new model which can inflate up to 33-inch tires. This time, we’re looking at onboard and portable 12V air compressors. Viair 88P is considered the best value-added product on the market. Standing at $58 this is a great bargain.
- Quick Tire Inflation: Fill a 225/60/18 tire from...
- Consistently rated as one of the best 12-Volt...
We went out to the shop to unbox and test the compressor, after having received the product two days later. The design and materials used in this compressor are impressive.
Plus, the hose of the inflator is heavier than one could expect and the brass screw on the valve provides a positive seal, preventing leakage and eliminating the need to be too cautious while using it. The alligator clips provide a solid electrical connection and are well-constructed.
And the best part, the test usage took 1 minute and 29 seconds. There was very little vibration from the compression, and the noise level was much lower than we expected.
Moreover, the only negative we could notice is that the power indicator light is at the back of the unit and the built-in gauge is at the top, which is highly inconvenient. Using the gauge in the dark, or at night, for instance, could be very difficult.
Don’t let the compactness or the low cost of this unit keep you from considering it!
3 . EPAuto 12V Portable Tire Inflator – Best for Convenience and Auto Pressure
Its full name is EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator by 100 PSI. The EPAuto is one of the most popular tire inflators and plugs directly into your vehicle cigarette lighter socket. I’m a car guy and have dozens of these things.
- Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter...
- Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan...
We tend to review stuff we really like or really dislike. This, we like!
It is heavier and quieter than most pumps – almost too quiet. We also loved the auto pressure button! You can work on other parts of the car while the tires are inflating and it will stop on the pre-selected PSI. The cord wraps up neater than most others and has quick connecting clips to keep them snug!
Moreover, it comes with a handy storage bag, we heard someone complain about the quality of the bag but we think it is perfect and easily stores the device. The cord length is good, which is a handy feature, and it has an easy-to-read display. But one new feature for us is the screw that is used for attaching the unit to the valve.
As we suspected, though, we did lose 1/2 to 1 psi when disconnecting it. Even if we just add 1 psi to the selector – it is still quick and easy to connect and disconnect.
Oasser Portable Rechargeable 12V Tire Inflator is cordless, flexible, and easy to use. The pump works great and is very lightweight and convenient. It looks mainly like it is designed as an emergency pump for a personal vehicle. For a bicycle with 20″ tires, the unit does the job quickly and easily – once you manage to get the hose screwed on.
The battery runs just fine, and the hose does not overheat even with prolonged use. It is not as strong and efficient or powerful as a plug-in air compressor, but it is easier to use. And you don’t have to find an outlet for a power cord. The general engineering or the design of the unit could have been slightly better, but you will nonetheless be happy with the purchase.
Furthermore, the battery is 2200mAh, which is great enough for it to complete 4 rounds of all the tires of a vehicle, with utmost ease. It is also somewhat fashionable and portable as the pump with LED light is uniquely pistol-shaped and portable to use in the daytime or nighttime.
This unit is one of the most technically advanced units, with a heavy focus on energy efficiency, high output, and stability.
- FAST INFLATION: maximum pressure 150PSI (Maximum...
- STABILITY TECHNOLOGY: fuselage with four-rod...
With a double-cylinder air compressor, you can very efficiently inflate your car tires when the tire pressure is insufficient. This unit utilizes a direct drive motor for the tough double cylinder, so it has a low rotating speed and a high-efficiency pump. Its sophisticated machinery is something that isn’t found in most such pressure inflators.
This can meet the needs of most types of car tires, but we don’t know whether it’s suitable for truck tires or not.
It has a cigarette lighter that features a 15A fuse, an 11.5ft cigarette lighter power cord, which is slightly shorter than usual and a 1.8ft inflation tube. Plus, the high-quality screw connector can be tightly connected to the tire gas mouth that inflates a normal automobile tire in 2 minutes, which is deemed to be impressive.
A sponge-wrapped handle is also an added feature, as accessories such as a battery clamp and 3 additional attachments for bicycles, balls, pool toys, sporting equipment, etc. It also comes with a fancy Oxford bag for easy storage.
This inflator is designed to accurately maintain the air pressure in the tires, including the donuts spares, while not being too heavy on the pocket at the same time.
- SmartPressure Technology: simply pre-set the...
- High accuracy built-in digital air gauge measures...
It has a SmartPressure Technology which means you can use the digital gauge to set the desired pressure and it disengages automatically when that pressure is reached. This one is perfect to inflate cars, trucks, & SUVs up to 65 PSI & bikes up to 100 PSI. ±1 PSI is the accuracy of the digital gauge, something that is uncommon amongst similar products.
The panel is lit by LCD, which is better than LED in the dark. It features a long, durable 24” air hose, and an integrated air bleeder valve for reducing pressure in overinflated tires (something much needed in tire inflators to avoid wastage). And it also includes a heavy-duty brass nozzle for a safe & easy seal to the valve stem.
It’s a quick and effective air compressor. Most users claim that this unit is convenient and accessible – equipped with a 10-foot long 12V DC cord that allows you to reach each tire without much hassle, and if DC doesn’t suit you, you can use the 6-foot 120V AC power cord; use with residential/commercial/industrial power outlets.
The manufacturer also provides a 100% lifetime guarantee, which is simply amazing, and a benefit that is absent with any other product like this one.
VIAIR 90P Portable 12V Tire Inflator has a maximum working pressure of 120 PSI. It offers tire inflation of up to 31-inch tires at a spontaneous rate. And operates at about 150 PSI for a maximum of 10 minutes at a stretch. After which it requires at least 40 minutes for the unit to cool down and to be able to operate again efficiently.
- 12 VOLT - 120 PSI Maximum Working Pressure.
- 1.21CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI
It includes a 120 PSI pressure gauge and comes with an open-ended pressure hose. So, you don’t need to stop at the gas station to check the pressure in your tires, the next time.
You can simply use the pressure gauge of the unit, after turning off the compressor. A bleeder valve is in-built with the tire chuck for small amounts of air pressure to escape deliberately, to attain the desired tire pressure.
The unit runs on the main current supply and requires about 12V power, for which there is a cord attached to the unit along with alligator clamps.
Additional parts provided include an inline fuse holder, a 12′ power cable, a heavy-duty sand tray with vibration isolators, a fancy carry bag, a three-piece inflation tip kit, a 120 PSI air pressure gauge, and a 5′ air hose with an open-ended air outlet.
Best Tire Inflators Comparison Table
|Product||Power Source||Maximum PSI||Display||Cord Length||Additional Features||Weight||Warranty|
|P.I. Auto Store 12V Portable Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet||150 PSI||Digital||10 ft||LED light, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||2.5 lbs||2-year warranty|
|Viair 00088 88P 12V Portable Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet||120 PSI||Analog||9 ft||LED work light, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||4.5 lbs||1-year warranty|
|EPAuto 12V Portable Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet||100 PSI||Digital||9 ft||LED flashlight, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||2.1 lbs||1-year warranty|
|Oasser Portable Rechargeable 12V Tire Inflator||Rechargeable Battery/12V DC Power Outlet||150 PSI||Digital||13.9 ft||LED light, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||2.2 lbs||1-year warranty|
|TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet||150 PSI||Digital||10 ft||LED light, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||3.8 lbs||2-year warranty|
|JACO SmartPro 2.0 AC/DC 12V Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet/120V AC Outlet||100 PSI||Digital||10 ft||LED flashlight, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||2.5 lbs||1-year warranty|
|VIAIR 90P Portable 12V Tire Inflator||12V DC Power Outlet||120 PSI||Analog||8 ft||LED work light, automatic shut-off, multiple nozzle attachments||5.78 lbs||1-year warranty|
Buying Guide For The Best Tire Inflators
Tire inflators can be essential tools for maintaining optimal tire pressure, improving gas mileage, and ensuring a safe and smooth ride. This comprehensive buying guide will help you find the best tire inflator for your needs, covering key factors to consider during your search.
1. Types of Tire Inflators
There are three common types of tire inflators:
a. Manual (Hand Pump or Foot Pump): These are compact and inexpensive but require more physical effort and take longer to inflate tires. They’re suitable for occasional use, emergencies, or keeping in a small vehicle.
b. Electric (12V Car Outlet, 110V Home Outlet, or Rechargeable Battery Powered): Electric inflators are the most popular due to their convenience and speed. Choose between car outlet-powered (for inflating on the go), home outlet-powered (for inflating in your garage), or battery-powered (for maximum portability). Some models can run on both 12V and 110V power sources.
c. CO2 Cartridge: These provide quick and easy inflation with a single-use CO2 cartridge. Ideal for emergency situations or inflating bike tires, CO2 inflators are compact but require replacement cartridges, which can be expensive.
2. Pressure Gauge & Accuracy
An accurate pressure gauge is crucial in selecting a tire inflator. Opt for one with a built-in pressure gauge, ideally displaying pressure in PSI, kPa, and Bar units. The accuracy of the gauge should be within ±1 PSI.
3. Inflation Speed
Consider the time it takes to inflate a tire (measured in liters per minute), especially when mobility is a priority. Faster inflation speeds may consume more power and produce more noise.
4. CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)
Higher CFM values indicate that the inflator can pump more air, which is essential if you plan to inflate large tires or other inflatables like air mattresses or sports equipment.
5. Auto Shut-off Feature
This feature automatically stops the inflator once the desired pressure is reached. It offers convenience and prevents overinflation.
6. Power Source & Cord Length
Choose a power source that suits your needs and environment (12V, 110V, or battery-powered). Opt for models with a longer power cord and air hose for easy reach, especially when inflating multiple tires consecutively.
7. Durability & Build Quality
Select a tire inflator made from high-quality materials (typically metal or heavy-duty plastic) to ensure durability and reliability in various conditions. Look for products with good customer reviews, warranty periods, and reputable manufacturers.
8. Noise Level
Electric tire inflators can be noisy. Check the noise level (measured in dB) and consider choosing a quieter option if necessary, especially for residential use.
9. Attachments & Accessories
A range of attachments and accessories can increase the versatility of your tire inflator. Look for a kit that includes different valve adapters, such as Presta or Schrader, and nozzles for inflating items beyond just tires.
10. Storage & Portability
Select a compact and lightweight tire inflator with an ergonomic design for easy storage and portability. Consider models with built-in storage compartments for power cords and air hoses.
🌟 Important tip
Regularly check and maintain the pressure of all tires, including the spare, by following the recommended PSI values listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Consistent tire maintenance can drastically improve fuel efficiency, extend tire lifespan, and enhance your overall safety on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to inflate a tire with a tire inflator?
The time it takes to inflate a tire with a tire inflator can vary depending on the size of the tire and the inflator’s power. Typically, it takes 2-3 minutes to inflate a tire with a portable 12V tire inflator.
Can I leave my tire inflator in my car?
Yes, it’s possible to leave a tire inflator in your car for emergency use. However, it’s important to check the inflator periodically to ensure it’s functioning properly and to avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.
Can a tire inflator overinflate a tire?
Yes, a tire inflator can overinflate a tire if used improperly. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and inflate the tire to the recommended pressure level.
How often should I check my tire pressure?
It’s recommended to check your tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. Properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency, tire lifespan, and overall safety.
Can I inflate my tire with a bike pump?
It’s possible to inflate a tire with a bike pump, but it may not be as efficient as using a tire inflator designed specifically for tires. Bike pumps may not have the necessary pressure capacity and may take longer to inflate a tire.
Can I use a tire inflator on other inflatables?
Yes, some tire inflators may be able to inflate other items such as sports balls, air mattresses, and pool toys. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure compatibility.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the best tire inflators; we hope you found it informative and helpful. Choosing the right tire inflator can be a game-changer, ensuring that your tires have the perfect amount of pressure for a smooth and safe ride. It’s essential to invest in a high-quality and reliable inflator that caters to your needs and requirements.
Out of these 7 best tire inflators, here are the top three expert recommendations:
Best for affordability and quality: The P.I. Auto Store 12V Portable Tire Inflator is an ideal option. This inflator offers good quality, a compact design, and a digital display at a reasonable price. It has space to store the air hose and power cord, and it comes with a 2-year warranty. Although it might have some minor drawbacks, such as pressure escaping when removing the hose from the tire, this inflator’s benefits outweigh its drawbacks.
Best for value-added features: The Viair 00088 88P 12V Portable Tire Inflator is a good option. Its high-quality design and construction make it an impressive addition to your vehicle’s essential tools. It can inflate up to 33-inch tires and offers quick inflation time. Although it has some minor design inconveniences, such as the placement of the power light indicator, its performance and competitive price make it a great choice.
Best for convenience and auto pressure feature: The EPAuto 12V Portable Tire Inflator is the right choice. This popular inflator is not only heavier and quieter than most pumps, but it also has an automatic shutoff feature when it reaches the desired pressure. You can work on other tasks while inflating your tires without worrying about over-inflation. The cord wraps neatly, and it comes with a handy storage bag. While disconnecting the valve may result in a slight loss of pressure, promptly adding 1 psi to the selector will resolve this issue.
Remember, investing in a high-quality tire inflator can save time, and energy and, in the long run, offer improved fuel efficiency along with ensuring a safe driving experience.
Choose a model that suits your requirements and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your tires are appropriately inflated. Safe travels!