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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!
|Prime||1.94 lbs.||7.6 x 6.1 x 3in||12V|
|Prime||2 lbs.||7 x 3 x 6.5in||12V|
|Prime||4.44 lbs.||13.5 x 11.5 x 3.6in||12V|
|Prime||2.4 lbs.||7.8 x 7.1 x 2.4in||12V|
|Prime||3.75 lbs.||13.5 x 8.1 x 5.6in||12V|
|Prime||1.32 lbs.||9.6 x 2.2 x 2.2in||12V|
|Prime||3.7 lbs.||11.8 x 4.3 x 6.7in||12V|
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, and they are also available online on Amazon.
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
The FORTEM Digital Tire Inflator (found here) 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.
- LCD Display Screen
- LED light for dark areas
- Incredibly small and lightweight
- Automatically shuts itself off after tire pressure is achieved
- Simple controls that are easy to see and use
P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator
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 (found here) 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, though it is more expensive, and weighs a little more.
- Red emergency light
- Compact design, relatively lightweight
- LCD screen
- Automatic shut-off upon pressure goal completion
AstroAI Portable Air Compressor Pump
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!
The AstroAI (found here) 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!
- Backlit display screen
- Automatic shutoff mechanism
- Convenient carrying handle for trunk storage and removal
Breezz Air Compressor
When you want your tire inflation to be a breeze, you can always turn to the Breezz Air Compressor. Though the Breezz (found here) 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 yellow color, flashlight, and the backlit screen will assure that it’ll still be around when you need it!
- Bright color, and a backlit screen
- Inflates tires very quickly
- Hose and cable stored internally
- Decently priced
EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator
With much of the charm of the AstroAl, but with the added convenience of a traveling bag, the EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator (found here) 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
This pump is like the magic wand of portable air pumps. Designed in the form of a long black tube, the Oasser Air Compressor (found here) 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.
- Unique and efficient design
- Lit display screen
- Easy to use
Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump
The Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump (found here) is incredibly 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.
- Dual charging methods
- Dual metal motors
- Travel bag
- AC and DC capabilities
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.