Best Tire Inflators/Portable Air Pumps of 2017 | Buying Guide


Best 12V Tire Inflators / Air compressors

If you’re a car owner, keeping a portable tire inflator handy in your vehicle is going to benefit you greatly, no second thoughts on that. These air compressors are compact, easy-to-use tools that are used to re-inflate flat tires with just the right amount of air pressure. Like pimples, a flat tire is also an issue that comes up when we’re up to something important. Imagine yourself getting late for your first date or a meeting because of having to drive your car to the gas station to get the tires pumped up. In this article, we are going to talk about the best tire inflators with guages currently available in the market.

Best Tire Inflators / Portable Air Pumps with Guages on the Market:

5WINDEK RCP-B62A Digital Automatic Tire Inflator

Best Tire Inflators/Portable Air Pumps of 2017 | Buying Guide51YAeOUJibL RCP-B62A is a well-built digital tire inflator for the tech-savvy generation. The combination of practical features and an ergonomically-sound design earn this product the honor of being the best tire inflator in its league. As expected from any technologically advanced model, this one too comes equipped with a digital auto-inflate that actually functions as advertised.

It can inflate car tires up to 35 lbs. within a minute or two, for this feature alone, this inflator should never leave your car. A separate slot has been provided in the unit to insert the cigarette lighter adapter to prevent the cord from coming loose. The look and feel of the model is pleasing to the eye and the icing on the cake would be its simplicity of use.

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4JACO RoadPro Tire Inflator Pump – Premium 12V Portable Air Compressor – 100 PSI

Best Tire Inflators/Portable Air Pumps of 2017 | Buying Guide51C8KrAmIiL

Another creation of JACO has successfully secured its position among the best tire inflators of the season. The RoadPro series inflators are capable of inflating your bike and car tires at the rate of 35L per minute. Its built-in analog tire pressure gauge offers ± 2-3% accuracy. With RoadPro, you can raise your tires up to 5 lbs. within a minute, won’t that be great when you’ve to reach office early in the morning but your tires choose to revolt?

The 25” rubber air hose allows you to inflate all the four tires seamlessly and glow-in-the-dark psi gauge dial is very helpful in low-light situations. However, during the initial use, you might encounter high vibration causing the screws to come loose. The lack of compression washers is a drawback we couldn’t overlook. To solve this issue, you can use any thread-locking compound before inflating, and the rest will be a smooth journey.

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3JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump – Premium 12V Portable Air Compressor – 100 PSI

Best Tire Inflators/Portable Air Pumps of 2017 | Buying Guide51Sk6AvKsyL What makes JACO SmartPro smarter than its counterparts is its innovative Smart Pressure Technology. It allows the users the liberty to preset the desired PSU level, which means you can inflate the tires with an accurate amount of air pressure without having to monitor the pressure gauge constantly. The twist-connect nozzle of the air hose aids a hassle-free, secure seal to the tire valves. Nice, no? Short cord length bug people with short arms, thanks to JACO’s 10” long cord, reaching all the four tires isn’t a struggle anymore.

The digital tire pressure gauge embedded with LCD backlights is as accurate as it gets. You will come to find out that the manufacturer has recommended setting the psi 0.5 higher than required pressure. This is to keep the exact record of the slight bleed-off that’s supposed to occur while dismounting the inflator.

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2Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator with Stainless Steel Braided Hose

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The excellent battery life and accuracy of Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator have earned it a top position in my list. The latest models comprise of a AAA battery design which amounts to 4x longer running time than its previous versions. Astro uses a unique TMPS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) to ensure optimal accuracy. What I’ve come to gather from my performance test is that it manages to inflate the tires with the exact factory setting air pressure, resulting in a boosted mileage.

Among the other highlights, the unit automatically shuts off after a few minutes of inactivity, thus reducing unnecessary battery consumption. The inflate/deflate feature is another huge perk that will help you to set the tires according to the manufacturer’s instruction. I’ve found some people complaining about the battery installation process. Well, a thorough reading of the manufacture’s guide should help you place the batteries without any trouble.

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1EPAuto 12V 120W Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator by 100 PSI

Best Tire Inflators/Portable Air Pumps of 2017 | Buying Guide51GYwGghO1L

This tire inflator is a 12 V DC model, therefore, make it a point to use this inflator with a power socket that can support 15 amps to avoid any electrical mishap. The versatility of EPAuto is one of the qualities that makes it stand out in this competitive market. It works on regular cars, medium-sized SUVs as well as bikes. You don’t have to possess great mechanic skills to get the work done.

It is because the tool can be plugged directly into the cigarette lighter socket of the car, how easier can it get? However, the two features render this inflator a steal deal are its Prevent over Inflation and overheating protection. In a layman’s term, the air pumping stops automatically when the tires reach the adequate air pressure. Moreover, the unit also alerts you when the tires get borderline overloaded.

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Easy Hacks to Find the Best Tire Inflator

  • It’s imperative to keep in mind while shopping for a tire inflator that not all models are compatible with cigarette lighter outlets. If you want a tool solely for emergency purposes, look for a 12 V DC models. The best choice will be a unit that allows you to source power straight from the car batteries with the help of a couple of battery clamps that can be attached to the terminals.
  • The size of your car or bike tires also plays a pivotal role in determining the kind of inflator you need. Most branded models are capable of inflating tires measuring around 31-33 inches which is the standard size for most car tires. If you own a Sedan or SUV, keep an eye on a device that can handle tires over 37 inches.
  • Inflators with built-in auto-shut off features give the best bang for the buck. This option allows the machine to shut down automatically when the air pressure reaches the desired level. This ensures the tires don’t get overloaded and end up bursting.
  • Also keep in mind the duty cycle of the inflator you intend to buy. While 100% duty cycle inflators can run for hours without having to cool down, they do not come cheap and very few brands make such models. Choose a unit that offers anywhere between 45% to 50% duty cycle to help you get through roadside emergencies.

Bottom Line

The boom in technologically in the past few years has brought professional-grade automobile maintenance tools to reach of common people. Even 10 years back, only people with a certain degree of knowledge about cars could attempt tasks like tire inflation. Modern tire inflators are lightweight and built keeping in mind the limited skill of the users. The products we reviewed in this article were all rigorously tested by my team and me for 3 consecutive days. Hope our effort to serve you with authentic reviews will help you find the best tire inflator for your needs.

Additional Buying Guides

You may also be interested in our Tire Chains Guide, Tire Pressure Gauge Guide, Tire Shine Product Guide, Floor Jack Guide and Screwdriver Set Guide.