10 Best portable air compressors

No one ever knows where his fate will take him or what he’ll have to do. This is especially true for travelers. They can always find themselves in a completely unexpected place where there will be no one nearby. On the road, the car can have a flat tire, or you will need to use a small hand drill. You need energy to use any tool.

The air compressor will help you out. In fact, nowadays there is such an abundance of equipment that it is almost impossible to choose something independently. When buying an air compressor, you should take into account many factors: cost, warranty, functionality and much more. We are ready to help you with this and have selected 10 best air compressors specifically to simplify your search.

Our Top Pick
viair00088Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
  • Alligator fuses
  • Complete manometer
  • Weak heat at work
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Other great portable air compressors


EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator

Small size for transport even on motorcycles.

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AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator 12V DC Electric Gauge

Overheating prevention system during operation.

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VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

Low power consumption allows use when traveling.

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California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor

Minimal noise and long service life.

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Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car 12V DC and Home 110V

Two methods of power supply - from the mains and from the cigarette lighter in the car.

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Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump 150PSI 12V

Long cable for convenient use.

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P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator, Portable 12V DC Electric Pump

Interactive display for setting and displaying all indicators.

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

Pump for use not only with tires, but also with balls, mattresses and many others.

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EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator

In case you have stopped trusting gas stations to check your tires, you will need this small device as a helper. EPAuto connects to the cigarette lighter of the car, i.e. it is powered exclusively by the power of your car battery. This is incredibly convenient – on the road you do not need to look for an additional power source, gas station or car service station.

EPAuto works in the range from 10 to 15 volts or from 120 to 180 watts. With such small technical requirements, the model is very functional. With the help of a small EPAuto you can inflate balls, inflatable mattresses and sofas, and of course the tires of cars, bicycles and motorcycles. By the way, it is necessary to notice that thanks to the small size, the air compressor can be carried with itself even on a motorcycle.

The manufacturer’s specifications indicate the possibility of working up to 60 PSI, but as practice shows – the most effective is the use of up to 45 PSI. With higher performance, EPAuto simply slows down and becomes very difficult to use for its intended purpose.

The compressor can release some air from the tire after completion of work. But the percentage of loss is small enough and not always present at all, so you don’t have to worry about it. If you are going to use EPAuto for a long time, please note: you will most likely need to buy a new storage bag, as the one that comes with the package is not of the best quality and quickly comes out of service.

AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump, Digital Tire Inflator 12V DC Electric Gauge

An air compressor that saves you time when pumping tires and wheels. You make the process much easier – you don’t need to check the tire pressure, monitor the process and monitor the airflow all the time while pumping in – AstroAI Portable does everything for you. You simply fill the space with air to the desired pressure without any effort.

In practice, the AstroAI Portable always fills the space just above or above the required level. Pressure range up to 100PSI, but may vary up to 1.5PSI. In this case, your air compressor will not overheat – AstroAI Portable has a safety system. The prevention of overheating is automatically activated.

The model is also equipped with a flashlight. Certainly, it is not very bright and will not light up to you all in details, but in an emergency it will help at urgent repair in dusk or darkness. It should be used from the cigarette lighter with the index of 12 volts – neither more nor less. Thus you will not disturb people surrounding with work of the air compressor – AstroAI Portable quiet enough and fast in work.

It is necessary to note a minus: the screw which is inserted into tires can pass air. To avoid this, you will have to complete the pumping process as quickly as possible. In the rest, it is a good model and a profitable purchase – in the complete set to the model there is also a convenient case.

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Quite a budget model of air compressor, which is suitable for many cars, as well as small size ATVs and motorcycles. The tires of your vehicle should be less than 33 inches. The amazing thing about Viair is the alligator skin fuses. Surprised? Usually you can hear about alligator skin in the characteristics of belts and bags, but not about air compressors.

The model is powered by the cigarette lighter of the car 12 volts, with a special power indicator light. The length of the power cord and air supply hose together is 26 feet. The kit includes a pressure gauge, which can be used to immediately monitor the tire pressure, and the compressor transport box.

Viair does not heat up too much, the parts will not burn you when you touch them. It is also worth noting fairly fast compressor operation. About fuses: after removal they pass a little bit, and also easily burn out. For a full understanding: fuses can burn out weekly – for this model it is normal, and your costs will become more than you expect.

It is worth noting the fragile fasteners. If you’re a neat user and you don’t need your tires pumped up very often, then Viair will be a good budget option for an air compressor.

VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

This is the model from Viair for larger tires. With 400P, you can pump tires up to 35 inches – enough to service most modern machines. The compressor is equipped with a built-in fuse, overheating protection and a pressure gauge. Up to 30 PSI can be pumped from scratch in an incredibly short time of less than 5 minutes, and up to 150 PSI in less than 15 minutes. Low power consumption will not affect the performance of your battery – it is connected to it via a car cigarette lighter. Full cooling takes about half an hour, and you can be sure that the compressor itself will not burn out during the pumping process.

The advantage of the Viair 400P is that it is easy to use on off-road and long-distance journeys. Of course, it’s not the most compact model, but with its larger dimensions it can handle larger tires. Keep in mind that the larger the wheel diameter, the longer it takes to fill.

Speaking of filling: the air hose at the end is not very tight, and no matter how hard you try to create a tightness, you just can’t do it. The Viair 400P is a little leaking, but that’s not the only drawback. The model also heats up quickly, so you can’t put it right in the case after work – it’ll melt it down. Keep in mind that even when you touch it, you need to be more careful – it’s possible to get burnt.

In general, the availability of a pressure gauge, the speed of work and the ability to use for large tires and in the off-road area justifies the cost of Viair 400P. It is necessary to consider that the device is inexpensive, so it was reasonable to expect drawbacks to some extent.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor

This model is designed for car enthusiasts and cyclists who do not use the compressor on a permanent and frequent basis. California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is a portable and lightweight air compressor that is not very powerful due to its compactness. In fact, this is not a drawback – 0.6 horsepower is enough to maintain standard tires and wheels.

With 1680 rpm, you can save on repair and maintenance of the compressor itself – the engine wears less, which prolongs the life of the unit. The absence of oil lubrication also contributes to this – the engine requires no maintenance at all. The single-piston design also contributes to durability.
With a minimum noise of only 56 dB, you and others will not be disturbed in the process.

It is worth highlighting the disadvantages of the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S air compressor. Firstly, the speed of operation. Since the main operation of the compressor is designed for a range up to 90PSI, any deviation above complicates the whole process. Slow pumping of tires, mattresses and balls is not very convenient, especially if you value your time or are just busy.

Of course, the manufacturer assures us of the durability of the device. But as practice shows, due to the fact that California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S heats up quickly, its service life can be significantly reduced. If you mainly use the compressor to service balls, mattresses, airbrushes and other small tools, then the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is the best choice for you. If your goals are more ambitious, you should consider a more powerful model.

Of course, the manufacturer assures us of the durability of the device. But as practice shows, due to the fact that California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S heats up quickly, its service life can be significantly reduced. If you mainly use the compressor to service balls, mattresses, airbrushes and other small tools, then the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S is the best choice for you. If your goals are more ambitious, you should consider a more powerful model.

Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump for Car 12V DC and Home 110V

The main difference between this model and many others is that you can use it both in the car, using the cigarette lighter, and at home – with the help of a socket. Depending on the type of power supply, the compressor will use different engines, i.e. it will not be burned by incorrect power supply. Though it is necessary to consider that if you will change a car plug and a standard plug carelessly you risk losing the possibility to use one of kinds of a current – fastening of plugs is fragile enough.

Kensun is not the most powerful model you can find on the market or online today. Basically, it works effectively up to 80PSI. The compressor can shut itself off during long periods of operation – overheating protection is on. The pressure gauge on the device measures pressure up to 120PSI.

Speaking of optional devices. Don’t worry about the fact that you won’t be able to fit everything compactly. In addition to the fact that the compressor itself has compartments for some parts, the kit also includes a convenient bag for transportation. You can easily keep the compressor in the trunk.

Like any air compressor, Kensun leaks a small amount of air. On the whole, the advantages of this model are far greater than the disadvantages. So Kensun’s price-performance ratio is reasonable and suggests buying it.

Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump 150PSI 12V

The Helteko is a portable air compressor that features a digital display for easy information display. Despite its small size, the pump has a long cable for convenient use – its length reaches 3.5 meters. In conventional compressors, you need to monitor the tire pressure yourself – monitoring and stopping work is done manually and by the owner himself. Helteko has a built-in automatic shutdown function – as soon as the pressure reaches the set value, the device switches itself off.

It is necessary to consider that Helteko pumps up tires on 1.5-2PSI more than it is supposed to be, that is strange and a bit awkward. It could be attributed to the error in removing and lowering a small amount of air, but still it is too much.

The average pumping time of the wheel is 3-5 minutes, but there is a slight nuance. This time will be required for one tire, but if you are going to do all the tires in a row, it will take longer. After each tire, it will take the compressor at least a few minutes to get back to work.

The Helteko is also equipped with a bright flashlight. So if you need maintenance on the road at night or in the dark, it will not cause you any problems. For transportation, the kit includes a bag, which fits even a long wire.

There is also the possibility of using an air compressor from the DC network – but in this case you will need to buy an adapter yourself. In general, Helteko gives a guarantee of 18 months, so even if the purchased pump fails – you can always get compensation or free maintenance of the unit.

P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator, Portable 12V DC Electric Pump

P.I. Air Compressor Tire Inflator is one of the most modern air compressors developed and released recently. It is powered by a 12-volt cigarette lighter and is fast enough and powerful enough – up to 35 RPM. Like many modern vehicles, P.I. Air Compressor Tire Inflator has an automatic shutdown function. You can set the desired values using the interactive display, which will also show all the pressure values during operation.

The unit adds 1 PSI in less than 10 seconds. This is quite fast compared to other pumps in this price range. Like many models, P.I. Air Compressor Tire Inflator adds up to 1.5PSI beyond what you set up. But since the fuse is removed from the tires with a small loss of air, this error is eliminated.

By standard, there is a flashlight in the design itself. It is bright enough to provide light if you are stuck on the road at night, but it is still too weak. The air compressor itself has more square shape, so it is easy to transport and put in the bag.

It is also worth noting that the buttons responsible for switching off the compressor quickly start to slip when used carelessly. It would be better if the price for P.I. Air Compressor Tire Inflator was a little bit lower, however it would be completely in line with the quality.

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

The name shows that this model works in the range from 0 to 100PSI. The tire inflation of cars goes up to 35PSI, the indicators above are designed for bicycles and mopeds. Since the main work of JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump is not designed for transport, the set includes 2 more adapters for balls and other similar equipment.

This air compressor is compact enough and convenient enough for transportation or permanent stay in the trunk. A special advantage is the quality of the bag for the pump – in contrast to many others, it is of good quality and will not break or melt from the heat of the compressor.

The accuracy of the pressure gauge is stated as +-1PSI, but with constant use you can see that the error can reach up to 2PSI. Of course, this is not critical, but if you need the most accurate indicators, you should be aware of it.

There is a small nuance. If you have already set up all the parameters and let the compressor into operation, it is impossible to change the parameters during operation. So if you have changed your mind or other circumstances, you still have to wait for the end of the work.

When you buy you get a year of warranty. It’s worth noting that JACO’s support team is working fast, so if you have any problems or questions, you’ll get a quick response or referral.

Air compressors are designed for a wide range of purposes, including continuous tire inflation, pressure measurement, pumping of sports equipment, or simply inflating a swimming pool or summer rest mattress. Depending on this, you can choose the right model for you.

We have made every effort to display the functions that compressors can handle perfectly, as well as to illuminate the disadvantages, in case they exist. Thus, you can easily get all the information about the capabilities of the pump and immediately view the price of the Amazon, taking into account the delivery. We recommend you to pay attention to the warranty period of the products – so you can protect yourself from unnecessary expenses.

FAQ for portable air compressor buyers

1. Is it possible for the pump to overheat?

Each pump has its own operating cycle and it has a specific duration. If you use the pump for too long without stopping, it is very likely that the device will overheat. After the end of the operating cycle, the pump may start operating with interruptions, intermittent air supply or even leaking air.

If you are afraid that the device will overheat, you should choose a model with a sufficiently long operating cycle – thus the probability of failure is much lower.

2. How can I know how much pressure I need to get?

The pressures of tires, balls, inflatable mattresses and other items can be quite different. Depending on what you are going to pump, the required level of pressure will vary as well.

If you do not know what kind of pressure you need, it is better to look on the Internet. For example, tires need about 35 PSI.

It is also worth checking what flow rates you need to work with your tools, tires and so on. Without all the parameters being met, you just cannot pump up the item you need.

3. What is better – mains power or cigarette lighter power?

The type of power supply has a big enough impact on how you use your compressor. The place where you will use it depends a lot as well. If you want to take your compressor with you when you travel, you will need power from a car battery.

There are, of course, models that run on batteries, but they are limited in power and duration. They are more portable and independent of the power source, but in this case, you will need to always have a spare set of batteries with you.

4. Do all pump accessories come with a set?

We think you understand that special adapters and attachments are required to inflate tires, balls and other items. While some manufacturers only rely on their products for use with cars and motorcycles, others make a more versatile product.

If a compressor is not supplied with special additional adapters, you can buy them in a special shop.

5. How does the performance of the compressor affect its capabilities?

The performance of the pump is measured in PSI and CFM. In order to use the pump, it is necessary that its performance is compatible with your objects.

Unless you know what your compressor’s maximum pressure and air discharge rate are, you will easily damage both your tool and the device. It requires a perfect match of parameters for your work.

Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor

Bostitch is a compact, lightweight model that is equipped with an efficient engine to support cold weather operation. The main advantage of this compressor can be seen directly in its name: the oil-free pump. It requires no maintenance, which immediately reduces the cost of this air compressor.

The manufacturer states that the maximum tank volume is 6 gallons. If you have already thought that this can be associated with 1-1.5 horsepower, you are mistaken. Bostitch is not so powerful – its performance is only 0.8 horsepower. Of course, it’s a little frustrating, but it’s not the most expensive model either.

The pump fills 150 pounds per square inch in less than 3 minutes – an incredibly fast performance for compact compressors. It is worth noting that the pressure does not drop after this – that is, there are no air leaks.

It is worth noting that the regulator sometimes works incorrectly and with small deviations. For example, if you set up 90PSI, the figure can drop to 80PSI during operation. The maximum value is 150PSI, but of course, it is not practical to use an air compressor in this mode all the time. The most optimal maximum is 105PSI, and the engine wears out several times faster when amplified.

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