Best 12 Volt Portable Air Compressors Review
These days tire inflators for cars, trucks, 4×4 and bikes are not the huge and heavy items that they use to be. As a matter of fact, many of them are now made very lightweight and portable. Some of the newer portable air compressors for cars can even inflate a tire up to 150 PSI. That means these devices are more versatile and useful than ever.
In this article we will take a look at some of the best tire inflators in the auto marketplace. These summary reviews are done by compiling information from customer reviews and other sources like “Consumer Reports” Magazine too. When you are finished reading you should have all the important information you need to make a sound air inflator buying decision.
Here are the top 12 volt car plugin air compressors that we came across when doing our research on these handy tire inflation devices:
Top-rated 12-Volt Air Compressors in 2020
Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator
- Easy read digital display
- Bright light for night use
- Powerful and compact
- 12 inch Total reach
- CFM:565, LPM:16
This handy inflation tool is not only great at filling car tires but it can also be used for bike tires, motorcycle tires and just about any other inflatable item you can think of too. It can inflate any small tire that requires up to 35 PSI of air pressure. It boasts some great features such as an easy to read digital gauge, a bright LED light and an automatic shut off mechanism for when the desired PSI has been reached.
Keep in mind this is not a heavy duty air compressor and it is not sufficient to fill light or heavy duty truck tires. It will however easily fill most standard size car tires and it sets up in less than a minute and is ready to use. The biggest drawback with this portable tire inflator is the fact it can only fill tires that require 35 or less PSI.
EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Pump for Compressor
- Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter Socket of your Vehicle. 12VDC, 10 to 15 amps, 120 to 180W. Equipped with 12V-DC Cigarette Lighter Socket Plug", NOT 110V AC plug.
- Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan and midsize SUV. (Engine size under 3.5 liter) Universal valve connector for schrader valve is ready to use. Additional adapters include needles value (for basketball, balls), short cone/long cone adapters (for inflatable kayak, swimming pool accessories, etc)
- Capacity: Does NOT Support truck tires, for instance: light truck tires (LT), heavy duty truck tires or any truck tires.
- Easy to Read: 4 Display Units: PSI, KPA, BAR, KG/CM; LED FLASHLIGHT: Bright Torch
- Prevent Over Inflation: Auto shut off when reaching the desired tire pressure. Overheat protection shuts off automatically when overloading.
It features a cord/air hose combination that is over 9 feet long which should enable you to get to any tire location on a standard size vehicle. Built into is an extremely bright LED torch to help you see when using it at night and its digital display can readout PSI, KPA, BAR and KG/CM.
This unit is really stable when working and does not jump around like some other small compressors for car do. It even comes with a handy carry bag that will also help protect it when it is stored in your trunk. The most detrimental thing about this automotive air compressor is it’s hard to get in its protective storage bag.
P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator
- PREMIUM FEATURES - New 2019 Improved Air Compressor with powerful pump generating 38 l/min air-flow. Can inflate a mid-sized car tire from flat to 30 Psi in under 3 minutes with Auto Shut Off. Digital Tire Pressure Gauge with large LCD display. Super Bright 100 Lumens LED light and Red SOS Light to be used in roadside emergency situations.
- VERY SIMPLE TO USE - Plug into your 12 Volt cigarette lighter socket or other 12 V outlet. Easily set pressure on the large backlit LCD display gauge, connect to tire valve with the snap on quick connector. Microprocessor monitors tire pressure and will automatically stop at your set pressure. This removes the need to keep checking the pressure and avoids over inflation.
- COMPACT ROBUST DESIGN - Compact design and Storage Case make it ideal for storage in your trunk. You never know when you will need it in an emergency. Longer hose and cables are fully integrated into housing. Fused to protect vehicle
- VERSATILE - Best for Car, Bicycle, Motorbike, RV, SUV, ATV (Not for Trucks). Also, Sports Equipment and inflatables (adaptors included). Connect to household supply with our AC/DC Converter (must be purchased separately - see offer)
- INCLUDED - Carry Case, 4 Spare Dust Caps, Schrader to Presta valve adaptor for bicycles tires and an exclusive Digital Guide to Tire Care.
P.I. Auto Store has designed a very versatile car plugin air compressor with this model. It can be used to fill a variety of different tires. Even inflating bike tires with an air compressor like this is not a problem at all. Also, it’s a great unit that can help in resolving those off-road problems which can suddenly happen. One thing that users don’t like about this model is that it is loud when running. This product comes with a 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee also.
Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty
- 12 VOLT - 100 PSI Maximum Working Pressure, engine must be running during use.
- 1.06CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI
- Deluxe carry bag included
- Brass twist-on tire chuck
- Turn unit on to inflate, off to check pressure pressure using onboard gauge
Among the beneficial features it has are its durable and corrosion resistant brass twist-on tire chuck and its onboard pressure gauge that will accurately read the current tire pressure when the unit is not running. This tire inflator also comes with a handy carry and storage bag.
There are some other things to like about this product too. For one it has just about the best price point of any car plugin air compressor that is this powerful. Its consistent high rating from user reviews is something worth considering also. One of the concerns is the fact it tends to blow fuses if you attach it to the tire valve stem before turning it on.
Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump
- 🔵 HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS - We use durable ABS plastic and stainless steel in portable air compressor pump. This allow you to use the digital tire inflator for a long time
- 🔵 AUTO SHUT OFF - Simple and useful technology in the car air pump. When the inflator tire reaches the desired pressure, the car air compressor will automatically turn off
- 🔵 LCD DIGITAL DISPLAY - The air compressor portable is equipped with a large high-precision and bright display that will help you to calculate the required values PSI, BAR, KPA, KG/CM²
- 🔵 POWER & MULTI-PURPOSE - The auto air compressor inflates a standard mid-size car tire in 3-5 min. In addition the spare tire inflator has a Long Cable 3. 5M to inflate the wheels of car, bike, motorcycle, suv.
- 🔵 LED LIGHTING-COMPACT DESIGN - Tire inflator pump with pressure gauge can attract the attention of drivers in an emergency situation. Electric tire pump is lightweight and not large. GET 100% SATISFACTION AND 18 MONTHS EXTENDED
If you want a modern and sturdy air compressor, you might like to take a look at the Helteko portable air compressor pump. The digital tire inflator comes with a compact design and several other features that make it perfect for inflatable objects such as balls and all types of transport (motorbikes, bicycles, and even cars). Read on as we review some of the key features of the Helteko digital tire inflator.
- Size and Weight: Unlike other lightweight options, the Helteko air compressor comes fitted with a more powerful motor – making it heavier and larger than other competitors. Although it’s relatively portable, you might need help from another person.
- Material and Construct: This embodies the very essence of a modern style compressor. It’s self-contained and small with no external storage. The portable air compressor is quite durable thanks to its construct of stainless steel and high-grade plastic parts.
- Tank Pressure: Looking for an air compressor to perform inflation jobs such as lawnmower tires, bike tires, and sports balls? At 150 PSI using 12 volts, the Helteko digital tire inflator is ideal for household and commercial use. It can comfortably handle tasks such as inflating standard car tires in as little as 3 minutes.
- Safety Features: When the Helteko portable tire inflator is idle, a handy shut off feature automatically turns it off to avoid accidents and unnecessary power consumption.
- Other Features: In case you have to work at night, the compressor is fitted with an emergency light that makes the task easier and safer. It also has an LED display for readings and several nozzle attachments for most inflation tasks.
- Durable with a strong structure
- The design is stylish and compact
- Relatively powerful for a portable air compressor
- Doesn’t come with an external storage case or bag
- It does not feature an adapter for standard wall sockets
What Is Important When Selecting a 12v Air Compressor?
In order to find the best 12v air compressor for your needs, you will need to focus on several key characteristics of these handy devices. That is why we took the time to make up this informational 12v automatic digital air compressor buying guide.
If you focus your 12v portable air compressor for car tires purchasing on the following key features you stand a good chance of finding a high-volume electric air compressor tire pump that more than adequately meets your needs.
Here are the key features that the top-rated 12v inflator models usually have:
One of the characteristics of 12 volt air tools that is supposed to be universal is their ease of setup. That means you want a car electric air compressor that easily fits into the cigarette lighter or 12 volt power point in your car. An air compressor that allows you to do this can be made ready to be up and running in no time at all.
Having a digital readout on your air compressor makes using it super convenient. These tend to allow you to preset your desired tire pressure and they often allow an automatic shutoff to kick in when that desired PSI is reached too. Dial type readouts are harder to use but the tradeoff is they are extremely accurate.
You need a device that can generate enough air pressure to fill decent sized tires. At a very minimum, any automotive model that you buy should be able to handle standard car tires that require up to 35 PSI of pressure. A compressor that can generate up to 100 – 150 PSI is even better to have on hand.
Power cord length/Air hose length
There is nothing more frustrating than to not be able to easily reach the tires on your vehicle that you want to fill with your mini device. So make sure the power cord/air hose combination has enough reach to get to all the tires on your vehicle.
Common Problems with Car Tire Inflators
Even the best 12v air pump does not come without some drawbacks. Here are the most common problems you will encounter when using a portable electric air compressor:
- Slow inflation rate
Even though some 12 volt models can handle filling tires as big as 150 PSI it will take a long time to accomplish this. The higher the PSI required for a tire the more time it will take to fill.
- Blown fuses
Car electrical systems were not designed to handle the amp draw of portable 12v air compressors on a regular basis. Carry some spare 15 amp fuses with you because you will definitely blow them from time to time.
Read also: How to Fix Your 12v Air Compressor
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Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API