Have you ever been scooting along down the road and noticed a strange, gravelly sound? Maybe passing cars began to honk at you. Perhaps you even heard a loud pop and lost a little control over your vehicle for a second. Hopefully not.
When these things occur, the most likely culprit is a low or blown tire. Changing your tire isn't a complicated process with the right tools, though it can be tedious and frustrating, especially if caught in the rain or terrible traffic.
But too often, drivers open their trunks to retrieve their spare tire, only to find that the spare is entirely flat. And those with low tire pressure may be many miles away from a mechanic or a gas station with an air pump. Before you spend an inordinate and unnecessary amount of money on a tow-truck or new tire, consider investing in a portable air pump.
There are a wide variety of gadgets for your car, and you now have the power to jump-start your battery with something that fits in the palm of your hand. The same is true for the air in your tires. Using a small handheld device, you can maintain your tire pressure and keep your tires healthier for longer.
In a bind, you can also use such a device for quick inflation before heading to the nearest mechanic. These devices usually charge via your vehicle's 12V cigarette lighter socket and considering the amount of trouble, labor, and money they can save you, and they're incredibly inexpensive.
Today, we’re going to take a comprehensive look at portable air pumps and find out which model is the best. Let’s get started!
Portable Air Pump FAQs
Before we can compare products, we must first answer the basic questions regarding air pumps. It would be hard to tell which the best portable air pump for car tires if we didn’t know what a portable air pump was!
What a portable air pump?
A portable air pump, also known as an air compressor, is any device that uses electricity to output pressurized air. This airflow pressure is usually predetermined by the user and identified and measured via an attached gauge.
Standard air compressors are enormous. Though they are not often very wide or tall, they do weigh several hundred pounds.
Portable air pumps are the solution to this weight problem, being small enough to be easily transported in the trunk of any car.
What does a portable air pump do?
A portable air pump functions in the same way that all air pumps and air compressors function. They both consume electricity and produce pressurized air. This pressurized air can be used to inflate balls, toys, and car tires.
How does it work?
Air pumps are firstly connected to an electrical outlet and receive energy through this connection. This electrical energy travels into the heart of the air pump, powering the motor. The motor mostly sucks air in from an opening and pushes that same air outward a higher pressure through a separate opening.
Portable air pumps typically rely on the power generated by your car battery to function.
Nozzle attachments allow the user to inflate many various inflatable items, no matter the size of the air pump.
Where can you buy a portable air pump?
Portable air pumps are available at many major vehicle part retailers, both on and offline.
How We Reviewed
To provide our readers with the most accurate and valid information possible, we did quite a lot of research. We researched air pumps and compressors, to find out how they work and what they typically look like. We then began to scour the internet and local auto shops for portable air pumps. We read reviews and product descriptions. We compared features, prices, and shipping methods.
We then considered the average life of a car tire and how much weak tire inflation impacts the life of a tire. We researched the power usage of typical portable air pumps, to discover what kind of impact they may have on your car battery or home electricity bill.
We then compiled several lists of the most promising portable air pumps, and slowly eliminated many candidates until we had a manageable number. Once we had our candidates for "Best Portable Air Pump for Car Tires" we continued to compare until we had a single best choice. This project was a weighty and challenging task, as the results of our findings may influence those who end up with flat tires, stranded on the roadside. We kept this in mind as we compiled our data.
The Best Portable Air Pump for Car Tires
FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator
- EASY TO OPERATE – Simple as plugging into your car outlet, attach hose to the tire, set the PSI desired and flip the...
- MULTIPLE USES – Included attachments for Sports balls, Air mattress, balloons & other inflatables.
- BUILT WITH YOUR SAFETY IN MIND – Built in LED flashlight helps you be ready for nightime emergencies.
The FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator is small, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and built-to-last. The rugged black and red square connects to your car's internal 12V port and features an LCD. You set your target pressure, connect the hose to the tire you wish to inflate, and flip the switch.
The FORTEM will automatically turn off when the goal pressure rating has been reached. And if you're dealing with low tire pressure during the night, you can rest easy knowing that the FORTEM portable air pump also features a handy flashlight.
Audew Portable Tire Inflator
- 【Fast Inflating】Audew portable air compressor features 35L/min(1.23CFM) air flow rate-infate a flat tire within 4...
- 【Auto Shut-off】Just plug into your car's 12V outlet(cigaretter lighter),hook up the air hose，preset tire...
- 【LED Light & LCD Display】The audew air pump has built-in LED light for nighttime use.And it offers an LCD digital...
The teeniest, tiniest portable air pump that you can find is the Audew Portable Tire Inflator. Weighing in at only 0.8 lbs., this small device is a utilitarian dream come true. While it is the smallest device on this list, it has a hose reach of up to ten feet. That’s amazing! The Audew maintains its slim design by using the body of the pump to house the hose and cord. You’ll never lose those tiny pieces ever again.
However, it does not include a flashlight, and you must carefully monitor the pump’s gauge and disconnect the hose when the tire pressure is correct.
P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator
- PREMIUM FEATURES – New 2019 Improved Air Compressor with powerful pump generating 38 l/min air-flow. Can inflate a...
- VERY SIMPLE TO USE – Plug into your 12 Volt cigarette lighter socket or other 12 V outlet. Easily set pressure on the...
- COMPACT ROBUST DESIGN - Compact design and Storage Case make it ideal for storage in your trunk. You never know when you...
For a few dollars more than the FORTEM, you can get a slightly bulkier, but also marginally more featureful portable air pump. The P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator comes equipped with a bright LED flashlight, a red emergency light, and a large LCD, almost exactly like the FORTEM.
The P.I. AUTO STORE air pump also houses its cable and hose internally, much like the Audew pump. Indeed, it features some of the best qualities of both pumps.
AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump
- INCREASED SAFETY: Properly inflated tires provide better performance in all weather conditions; prevent crashes, tire...
- ADVANCED ACCURACY: Professionally calibrated to always return a reading within 1% of the pressure of your tire. No more...
- EASY AND QUICK: Simply turn your vehicle on, plug in the air compressor, and inflate! A high-flow pump inflates your...
If you're willing to compromise a little on size and weight, you can get a multi-functional portable air pump for a lesser price than the FORTEM or the P.I. pump. It looks like a miniaturized version of a full-size air compressor! It has a backlit display screen, which is incredibly handy when in the dark. It also has a flashlight, a metal internal motor, and an automatic shutoff feature. And it's only 3.5 lbs.!
The cord and hose are slightly awkward, as they are only secured when wrapped around the body of the pump. However, this is a small price to pay for the power you get from this portable air pump!
Amzdeal Air Compressor Portable Auto Pump Cordless Tire Inflator
- 【Fast Inflating】The Speed of the Air Compressor is 30-60 L / min, much stronger and faster than conventional pumps...
- 【Preset & Shut-Off Intelligent】Tire inflator with LCD display can simply preset the desired pressure in four unit...
- 【Portable & Multi-Purpose】The portable air Compressor is not only suitable for cars but also for bicycles, balls,...
For those who detest the tangle and mess of cables, hoses, and wires, the Amzdeal Air Compressor has been patiently waiting for you. This pump looks like an electric drill, and the only includes a single hose, with three adapters. No cables, no wires to string out your car window or door. Only the pump, the house, and you.
This portable air pump is charged at home and brought along with you in the car. It can also be used to charge multiple inflatable items, like basketballs or pool toys. If you are tired of dealing with cables and wires, you can simplify your tire inflation experience with this simple, portable air pump.
Of course, the downside to this is that you must continuously keep your pump charged. If you forget, and the battery happens to die, you're probably out of luck.
AUTLEAD C5 Digital Tire Inflator
- ▲【Fast Inflating & High Efficiency】- 40L/min large air flow, the C5 portable tire inflator can inflate a tire from...
- ▲【Auto Shut Off & Precise Readings】- Simply preset the tire pressure and the air pump will automatically turn off...
- ▲【3-In-1 LED Light】- C5 car air compressor comes with 3 modes of LED lights: Bright flashlight let you inflate...
With many of the critical features of the AstroAl, the AUTLEAD C5 Digital Tire Inflator straddles affordability and functionality. The AUTLEAD does not have many frills and is not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the AstroAl pump. It somewhat resembles a Speak N' Spell toy. Block-like, with a handle built into the shape of the pump, it's also slightly like a pump purse.
The AUTLEAD is lightweight, designed to be simple, and blunt. Do you need to inflate your tires? The AUTLEAD pump The AUTLEAD pump has a flashlight with three options: bright, SOS, and strobe. Need to raise a ball? You guessed it! The AUTLEAD pump has adapters that are perfect for inflating nearly anything! And if you're tired of messy cables and hoses, don't worry. You can tuck those away into the body of the AUTLEAD pump.
Breezz Air Compressor
- 【STRONG POWER & FAST INFLATION】: Up to 150 PSI, Inflate the 195/65R15 car tire from 0 to 35psi under 4min. It makes...
- 【AUTO SHUT OFF】: Simple and useful technology in the car air pump. Preset your desired pressure value, When the tire...
- 【DIGITAL DISPLAY & LED LIGHTING】: The portable air compressor equipped with a large high-precision and bright...
When you want your tire inflation to be a breeze, you can always turn to the Breezz Air Compressor. Though it is not the smallest, least expensive, or most featureful portable air pump on this list, it is sturdy, fast, relatively inexpensive, and super compact. It can inflate a typical car tire from 0 psi to the appropriate amount in approximately four minutes.
In addition to its general awesomeness, you can also be sure that you'll always find the Breezz when you need it. It's bright color, flashlight, and the backlit screen will assure that it'll still be around when you need it!
EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator
- Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter Socket of your Vehicle. 12VDC, 10 to 15 amps, 120 to 180W. Equipped...
- Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan and midsize SUV. (Engine size under 3.5 liter) Universal valve...
- Capacity: Does NOT Support truck tires, for instance: light truck tires (LT), heavy duty truck tires or any truck tires.
With much of the charm of the AstroAl, but with the added convenience of a traveling bag, the EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator is heftier than the AstroAl, and is nearly the most substantial portable air pump on this list, coming in at 3.75 lbs. But its strong flashlight, large display, and traveling bag add to its charm.
The EPAuto is a dependable choice and easily kept out of the way in the trunk of your car.
Oasser Air Compressor Portable
- Large 2200 mAh Lithium Battery: The rechargeable Oasser electric air compressor can be turned on rapidly. It can inflate...
- Free Gift of Abundant Accessories: 12V power base, storage bag, 2 Air Hoses 13.78inch and 4.72inch, quick coupling and...
- Fashionable and portable: The pump with LED light is uniquely pistol-shaped and portable to use in the daytime or...
This pump is like the magic wand of portable air pumps. Designed in the form of a long black tube, the Oasser Air Compressor looks like something from the future. On one end of the microphone-like device, is a lit digital display screen with buttons and a port for charging. On the opposite end is a strong flashlight. The center of the torch is a port for the hose!
The whole design is brilliant, compact, and highly futuristic. It's also capable of automatically shutting off air flow, to no over-inflate your tires.
Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump
- You get enormous customer service support from one of the most trusted names in automotive accessories.
- The tire inflator is perfect for use indoors and during the travel as it is designed with AC and DC power cords.
- This portable air compressor comes with a pair of accessory nozzles. If you have Presta valve, you may need an...
The Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump is versatile. This pump can use your car’s 12V port or your home’s electrical outlet to charge and work. It also comes with three adapters, making it perfect for inflating all types of things. With dual metal motors, this portable air pump can inflate a car tire more quickly than the average pump can.
The included travel case is convenient. Unfortunately, the price is not, especially when you consider the convenient features that the Kensun lacks, like a flashlight or lit display screen.
After careful consideration, we came to find the best portable air pump for car tires. Though every candidate on our list is worthy, there is one that truly stands apart and above from the rest.
For us, there could be no other choice than the AstroAl Portable Air Compressor Pump. Though it doesn't feature an internal cable and hose storage mechanism, it is sturdy and multi-purpose. The AstroAl’s price, effectiveness, weight, aesthetics, and functionality outpaces the competition, making it the best portable air pump for car tires.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API