HealthyHandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Best Portable Air Compressors For Car Tires in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Tire CompressorA portable air compressor for car tires can be a lifesaver, especially if you travel alone or at night a lot. However, you may find that you have several questions about what makes one air compressor better than another and which one would be suitable for your vehicle.

We’ve chosen nine different portable air compressors to review for you, and we’ll tell you about our experience using each one. We’ll list the pros and cons, as well as the features and accessories of each model, and we’ve also included short buyers guide to help you learn more about these helpful tools and what you should look for while you shop.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Avid Power ACAP110D Avid Power ACAP110D
  • Cordless
  • Automatic shut off
  • Dual power supply
  • Best Value
    Second place
    VacLife Air Compressor VacLife Air Compressor
  • Digital display
  • 13’ power cable
  • Easy to use
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Viair 00088 88P Viair 00088 88P
  • Up to 120 PSI
  • LED power indicator
  • Includes three nozzles
  • AstroAI A220B AstroAI A220B
  • Digital display
  • Automatic shut off
  • Emergency light
  • HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor
  • Includes three nozzles
  • Bright LED flashlight
  • Bright digital pressure gauge
  • The 9 Best Portable Air Compressors for Car Tires – Reviews 2021

    Here are the nine portable air compressors for car tires we have chosen to review for you.

    1. Avid Power ACAP110D Tire Inflator Air Compressor – Best Overall

    Avid Power ACAP110D

    The Avid Power ACAP110D Tire Inflator Air Compressor is our pick for the best overall air compressor for car tires. It’s a battery-operated unit that can deliver up to 100 PSI Max pressure. It includes a 20-volt rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger, but you can also run it with a 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter if your battery is dead. It allows you to preset your desired pressure, and it shuts off once it reaches that pressure. A battery power indicator light tells you how much charge you have left, and a LED headlight makes it easy to see the work area at night. At 3.96 pounds, it’s heavier than many of the other models on this list but is still easily manageable.

    We like the power and portability afforded by the Avid Power ACAP110D, but the batteries don’t hold a charge well if you store them in the car, and it seems to have a harder time in the colder weather.

    Pros
    • Cordless
    • Automatic shut off
    • Dual power supply
    • Battery power indicator light
    • LED headlight
    • 100-PSI max pressure
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work well in cold weather
    • The battery doesn’t hold a charge

    2. VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator– Best Value

    VacLife Air Compressor

    The VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator is our pick as the best portable air compressor for car tires for the money. It connects to your car’s 12-Volt power supply via the cigarette lighter, and you can set the desired tire pressure by using the easy to read digital display. The air hose locks on to the tire, and the machine automatically shuts off when the tire is at the desired pressure. The 13-foot power cable makes it easy to reach any tire, and it has built-in red lighting for safely filling tires at night. It’s lightweight at only 2.35 pounds, and it comes with four nozzles so you can fill your tires as well as sports balls, bicycle tires, etc.

    The only downside to the VacLife is that it’s pretty loud. There’s no dB level listed on the package, but we can tell you we had to yell while it was running, and it doesn’t come with a carrying case.

    Pros
    • Connects to car 12-volt power supply
    • Automatic shut off when you reach desired pressure
    • Red lighting
    • 13’ power cable
    • Digital display
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Loud
    • No carrying case

    3. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor–  Premium Choice

    Viair 00088 88P

    The Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor Is our pick for premium choice portable air compressor for car tires. It has plenty of power and can deliver up to 120 PSI and moves 1.47 cubic feet per minute (CFM). It easily fills tires up to 30 inches and includes three nozzles for sports equipment, bike tires, etc. An LED power indicator lets you know you are connected to the battery, and a solid brass twist-on tire chuck holds the hose firmly to the tire while it’s filling. The air hose is 16 feet long, and it also has a 10-foot power cord, which should be more than enough to reach all your tires.

    The main problem with the Viair 00088 88P is that the pressure gauge is not very accurate, so you’ll need to keep a separate one handy to double-check your readings. Where also on the fence about the alligator clips that clip on to the car battery. While this method of obtaining power is perfect in some situations, we prefer the easy cigarette lighter adapter that other units provide.

    Pros
    • Up to 120 PSI
    • 47 CFM
    • LED power indicator
    • 10’ power cord
    • 16’ air hose
    • Includes three nozzles
    • 5 lbs
    • Solid brass twist-on tire chuck
    Cons
    • Connects to the car battery
    • Pressure gauge not very accurate

    4. AstroAI A220B Air Compressor Tire Inflator

    AstroAI A220B

    The AstroAI A220B Air Compressor Tire Inflator Is an electronic tire inflator that reads pressure on a digital display. It can move 35 liters of air per minute (LPM), and it can reach a maximum pressure of 100 PSI. When the machine reaches the set temperature, it automatically shuts off. The power cord is just under 10 feet, and the hose is also roughly 10 feet long, allowing you to reach any tire with ease. It connects to car cigarette lighter and includes three nozzles for sports equipment, bike tires, and more. It’s extremely lightweight at just a little over 2 pounds and features an emergency light.

    We didn’t like that the AstroAI A220B air compressor tended to get hot after filling just one tire. It also wasn’t as fast as the packaging made it out to be, and the cheap plastic housing is thin and easy to crack.

    Pros
    • 35 LPM
    • Digital display
    • Displays multiple pressure units
    • Automatic shut off
    • Includes three nozzles
    • Connects to the cigarette lighter
    • 84’ power cord
    • 100 PSI max pressure
    • Emergency light
    • 2 lbs
    Cons
    • Cheap plastic housing
    • Gets hot

    5. HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor

    HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor

    The HAUSBELL Portable Air Compressor Features a powerful motor that can create up to 150 PSI and push 35 LPM into your tires for a quick fill. It connects to your cigarette lighter and allows you to preset the tire pressure via a brightly lit digital display. When the unit reaches the preset pressure, it shuts off automatically. It weighs less than two pounds, has a 9.8-foot long power cord, and includes three nozzles.

    The biggest problem we had with the was that the hose is not even two feet long. While the power cord gets you to your tires, the short hose is not as easy to use as the longer ones. The connector that keeps the hose on the tire is also very weak, and the bright display is nice at night but hard to read during the day.

    Pros
    • 150 PSI max pressure
    • Connects to the cigarette lighter
    • 35 LPM
    • 8’ power cord
    • Includes three nozzles
    • Bright LED flashlight
    • Bright digital pressure gauge
    • 8 lbs
    Cons
    • 9’ long air hose
    • Hard to read during the day
    • Week connector

    6. Oasser LS4029 Air Compressor

    Oasser LS4029

    The Oasser LS4029 Air Compressor is a battery-powered air compressor that can reach up to 130 PSI. You can also plug it into your cigarette lighter if your battery is low on charge. You can preset the pressure, and the unit will stop when it reaches it. It comes with two hoses for different jobs, and it also includes three nozzles. The current and preset pressure is easy to read on the digital display, which tells you the pressure in different pressure units, including PSI, BAR, and Kg/cm², and it’s weighty but not heavy at 3.34 pounds.

    The downside to the Oasser LS4029 is that it gets extremely hot everywhere, but the handle, and touching it by mistake could lead to a burn. We also had some difficulty removing the compressor hose from the tire.

    Pros
    • Battery-powered
    • Includes two hoses
    • Dual power source
    • Reeds in multiple pressure units
    • 130 PSI maximum pressure
    • 34 lbs
    • Digital display
    • Include three nozzles
    • Automatic shut off
    • Includes battery and charger
    Cons
    • Gets extremely hot
    • Hard to get off the tire

    7. Kensun 10 Portable Air Compressor

    Kensun 10

    The Kensun 10 Portable Air Compressor Features both AC and DC chords for using this pump off your car battery or your home electrical outlet. Each cord is a little over 9 feet long, providing you with plenty of range. It can reach up to 120-PSI maximum air pressure and comes with two nozzles. It’s fairly lightweight at 3.38 pounds and features a large easy to read analog pressure gauge.

    The problems we experience while using the Kensun 10 was that the 19-inch hose is a little short for a unit that isn’t handheld, and you can’t preset the pressure, so the machine shuts off automatically. It’s also very slow to inflate even a small amount, and the storage space for the power cord is a little too small, so it is very challenging to stuff it all in there.

    Pros
    • AC/DC power cords
    • Includes two nozzles
    • 120 PSI max pressure
    • 38 lbs
    Cons
    • 19” hose
    • Can’t preset pressure
    • Slow
    • Tight storage space for cord

    8. Energizer EDC12035 Portable Air Compressor

    Energizer EDC12035

    The Energizer EDC12035 Portable Air Compressor Hooks into your cigarette lighter and can deliver up to 120 PSI. It has a digital display that’s easy to read. You can preset your desired pressure, and the machine will automatically shut off, so you don’t need to keep your eye on the gauge. A steady airflow keeps the engine cooler, and all-metal engine components keep it running longer. The power cord is close to 10 feet long, while the hose is close to four. It includes four nozzles, and a bright LED headlight helps illuminate the area when working at night.

    Unfortunately, the Energizer EDC12035 is a little heavy at 4.3 pounds, and the gauge is a few pounds off and gets worse as the machine heats up. The included carrying bag is too small and flimsy to be of much use, and the storage compartment for the cord is too small.

    Pros
    • 120 PSI maximum pressure
    • Cigarette lighter connection
    • Automatic stop
    • Designed for cooler running
    • Includes four nozzles
    • 3’9” hose
    • 9’10” power cord
    • Digital display
    • Bright LED headlight
    Cons
    • 3 lbs
    • Included a carrying bag
    • The gauge is not very accurate
    • Not enough room to store the power cord

    9. TACKLIFE Car Tire Inflator

    TACKLIFE Car Tire Inflator

    The TACKLIFE Car Tire Inflator Is a lightweight machine at 2.32 pounds yet can produce 150-PSI maximum pressure. The digital pressure gauge is easy to read, and you could preset it for your desired pressure, and the machine will automatically shut off when reached. It includes a rainproof carrying bag and has a built-in emergency light to protect you when working on the side of the road at night.

    Unfortunately, we found several problems when reviewing the TACKLIFE Car Tire Inflator. It’s very loud for one thing, we couldn’t find a dB rating on the package, but it’s probably the loudest on this list. It also takes a very long time to inflate tires, and the resulting pressure is usually off by a few pounds, indicating that the gauge is inaccurate. It gets quite hot after filling a single tire and could cause minor burns if you are not careful. Overall, it feels cheaply made.

    Pros
    • 150-PSI max pressure
    • Include three nozzles
    • 32 lbs
    • Includes carrying bag
    • Digital pressure gauge
    • Emergency lights
    Cons
    • Loud
    • Inaccurate
    • Slow
    • Gets hot
    • Cheaply made

    Buyer’s Guide

    Let’s list some of the most important things to consider before purchasing an air compressor for car tires.

    Pressure

    The first time you are likely going to look at is how much pressure the machine can produce. Most experts recommend getting a compressor that can deliver at least 90 PSI maximum pressure to ensure it inflates your car tires properly. Most of the models on our list of reviews are more than capable of 90 PSI, but none of the models on this list are well suited to fill truck or construction vehicle tires.

    Cord and Hose Length

    Once you know you have enough pressure to fill your tires, the next thing is to make sure you have enough power cord and hose to reach your tires comfortably. You also want the hose to come out far enough to be attached to the tire easily. Your needs will depend on your car’s size, but we tried to mention any models that had a short cord or hose.

    Automatic Shutoff

    Automatic shut off is a handy feature that allows you to preset the compressor for specific air pressure. When the machine reaches the desired pressure, it automatically shuts itself off. This feature eliminates guesswork and the need to stare at hard to read gauges. It also allows you to sit in your car on cold or rainy days and wait for the machine to finish.

    Heat

    Most compressors generate heat as they work, and some can get quite hot more than enough to burn you or a small child that grabs ahold of it accidentally. We recommend keeping children away from this tool and learning where its hot spots are the first time you use it, so you don’t accidentally touch it in the future. We tried to list any units that got exceptionally hot in our reviews.

    Speed

    Models with a maximum pressure closer to 90 PSI will take significantly longer to inflate a car tire. The longer the compressor runs, the hotter it will get. This added heat can also cause the unit to burn out faster.

    Air Compressor

    Display

    Most units have either a digital display or an analog meter to tell you how much pressure is going into the tire. The analog meter is on less expensive units and is easier to read, but they cannot have an automatic shutoff, and they are more inaccurate then digital displays.

    Digital displays van be preset, and they are often more accurate. However, they can also be difficult to read at certain times of the day.

    Battery Power

    Battery power is not a big deal, but it can make filling the tire in harsh weather much easier because you don’t have to worry about power cords or long hoses. Battery-powered units can be more expensive, and you will need to keep the batteries charged, but it might be something worth looking into if your area gets a lot of bad weather or you don’t like to deal with long hoses and power cords.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to choosing the best portable air compressor for car tires, we highly recommend our pick for best overall. The Avid Power ACAP110D Tire Inflator Air Compressor Provide you with battery power for maximum portability and 100 PSI maximum pressure to quickly fill most tires. It has an LED headlight and everything you need to get started filling tires immediately. The VacLife Air Compressor Tire Inflator is our best value and is another smart choice for a powerful air compressor. It’s lightweight and comes with four nozzles for filling everything from car tires to swimming pool floats.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews, and they have helped you choose an air compressor for your car. If our buyer’s guide has helped you feel more comfortable about shopping on your own, please share this guide to the best portable air compressors for car tires on Facebook and Twitter.

    Subheadings: don’t change. The reason for two subheadings in a row is because our developer adds a comparison table between them.

    Looking for Air Compressors? Check out:


    Featured Image Credit By: Avid Power Store, amazon

    Related posts

    Other categories

    Project ideas

    Hand & power tools

    woodworking

    Garden

    Automotive