10 Best Portable Air Compressors for Truck Tires in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
When searching for the best portable air compressor for truck tires, there are a huge number of factors to consider. Reliability is a must, as is power and ease of use. It’s also critical for it to be efficient in the case of an emergency. Portability is a necessity as well, so you’ll want to look for something lightweight and small so it’s easy to transport and store, but doesn’t sacrifice effectiveness.
With hundreds of possibilities on the market, choosing the right air compressor can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve assembled these reviews to make the search easier.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||TIREWELL TW2003 Double Cylinder Air Compressor||
|Best Value||Energizer EDC12035 Portable Air Compressor||
|Premium Choice||Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor||
|JACO SmartPro Portable Air Compressor||
|Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump||
The 10 Best Portable Air Compressor for Truck Tires – Reviews 2020
1. TIREWELL Double Cylinder Air Compressor – Best Overall
Tirewell’s double cylinder air compressor tops our list with a list of excellent features that make tire inflation a breeze. Its qualities make it easy to use, efficient, and powerful. It’s an excellent product to complete your automotive tool kit.
The double cylinder direct drive motor offers power, reliability, and efficiency. It has two options for power. The first is that it connects to the car’s cigarette lighter for 12-volt power. It can also run directly from the battery using built-in battery clamps.
The compressor inflates a tire completely in two minutes. It delivers up to 150 pounds per square inch (psi), which is more than enough for vehicle tires.
In addition to the power behind this little unit, it’s uniquely portable. It weighs just 8.36 pounds. Its dimensions are 12.67” x 6.91” x 8.19”. This means it’s not only easy to lift and carry, but easy to find a place for when you’re trying to store it.
It’s also engineered for stability and low noise levels. The four-rod design keeps it both stable and quiet, while the rubber feet keep it in place while it’s running.
The biggest drawback with this model is the run time. The manufacturer recommends running it no more than 10 minutes at a time. This proves to be true, as the unit overheats if it runs longer than that. So, it may take a couple of rounds to inflate some tires entirely.
2. Energizer Portable Air Compressor – Best Value
Energizer puts out the best portable air compressor for truck tires for the money. Between the features and a price much below that of other models, it makes for an excellent deal. If you’re looking for value, this model is for you.
This model is not as powerful as the Tirewell, but still packs some power. With 120 maximum psi, it should be plenty for your tire inflation needs. It runs from the cigarette lighter in your car.
A key advantage of this piece of equipment is its user-friendly presets. You can set the desired pressure on the compressor. It will automatically shut off when it reaches the desired pressure.
There are some other great bells and whistles with this product. It has a digital readout, which makes using it easy. In addition, it comes with a bright LED flashlight, which can be used for additional light while you’re working. It’s also even lighter than the Tirewell. Its total weight is 4.3 pounds. Its dimensions are 8” x 4” x 6”.
Not everything about this product is top-notch. While the automatic shutoff feature is useful, the pressure is off by roughly 2 psi. The cord is too short for some applications.
3. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor – Premium Choice
This air compressor comes in a tiny package with plenty of power for your tire inflation needs. It’s only 4.5 pounds and its dimensions are 6.75” x 6.25” x 10.75”. Meanwhile, it delivers 120 maximum psi of pressure.
The compressor is 12 volts DC power. It runs via alligator clamps with a direct connection to the car battery. The 12-foot air hose and 9-foot power cord allows the compressor sufficient reach in most applications.
While this is a solid air compressor, it does come with its share of difficulties. The first is that it gets very hot during extended use. It’s recommended not to use it for longer than 10 minutes at a time. This model can come with a weak hose connection, which will leak air. It’s easily fixed with a hose clamp, but is an annoyance. The built-in LED light is not very bright. Finally, the pressure dial reads low.
4. JACO SmartPro Portable Air Compressor
Jaco Superior Products has created an air compressor that has a lot to offer. With a serviceable pressure level and lots of auxiliary features, this pump will serve you well.
The air compressor runs up to 100 psi. This makes it useful for bike tires as well as car tires. It also has an auto-stop function so that you can preset the desired pressure. Just select the desired pressure on the compressor and it will stop filling when it reaches that number.
The pressure gauge is a digital back-lit LCD screen. It’s accurate within 1 psi. It also displays an inflation progress bar.
It also comes with multiple power options. The first is a 12-foot DC cord that runs from your cigarette lighter. This allows you to inflate tires on the go. You also have the option of a 6-foot AC cord so this compressor can run from a standard outlet. It also allows you to add an extension cord for extra reach when you’re filling tires at home.
This model is also extremely easy to transport and store. It weighs only 4.34 pounds. Its dimensions are 12.5” x 8.2” x 5.4”.
It also comes with a number of other features. These include a bright LED flashlight built in. It also comes with three different adaptors for the air hose: automotive, needle, and inflatable.
Other than the fact that it’s not as high-powered as other models, the Jaco comes with several flaws. The storage compartment at the bottom of the unit is difficult to organize. Unless it’s perfectly packed, there’s no way to get the door closed. This runs the risk of losing accessories. Secondly, the whole unit sits on plastic feet, rather than rubber, which causes it to dance around when in operation and increases the noise.
5. Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump
Helteko makes a sleek-looking, relatively inexpensive compressor. It has a number of useful features and is a serviceable compressor.
The pump inflates a full-sized tire in 3 to 5 minutes. It runs on power from the cigarette lighter in your car. It has an automatic shut-off. So, you’re able to set the pressure you want, and the pump will automatically turn off when it reaches the preset pressure.
The pump comes with some great accessories. The LCD display has a number of useful functions. It calculates values in psi, bar, kpa, and kg/cm2. There’s also a bright LED flashlight built in. The tire nozzle is also a fast snap connector, making it easier to attach.
This pump is also one of the smallest on this listing. It weighs only 2.58 pounds. Its dimensions are 9.69” x 6.58” x 4.37”.
The main problem with this compressor is the pressure gauge. It reads 1.5 psi higher than other gauges.
6. Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor
Kensun produces a relatively high-powered portable air compressor. It’s also adaptable, with multiple options for power sources and attachments to inflate tires, sports balls, and inflatables.
Dual motors provide 100 psi maximum of pressure. That’s not as high as some other models, but it should be sufficient for most automobiles, bicycles, trucks, and SUVs.
The Kenson has two separate power sources available. One is a connection to your car’s cigarette lighter, for tire inflation while you’re on the road. The other is an AC cable that plugs into your wall outlet. That makes it convenient for refilling your tires at home.
It’s also useful for multiple types of equipment. In addition to the screw-on tire adapter, the kit includes a needle for balls and a nozzle for inflatables. The screw-on attachment makes leaks less likely.
Despite its many positive features, the Kensun isn’t without its downfalls. First of all, be careful that you read the fine print. One version of this product ships with a 3-foot AC power cord. The other ships with a 9-foot cord. As the 3-foot cord is all but useless unless you have an extension cord handy, shoot for the 9-foot model. The display is hard to read. The storage compartment for cables and accessories is hard to use. Without packing exactly perfectly, the cords fall out all over the place. Finally, unlike some other models, this one doesn’t come with an auto-shutoff feature.
7. FORUP Dual Cylinder Air Compressor
Forup makes a powerful dual cylinder air compressor. In addition to its power, it has several useful accessories. Overall, it’s a handy little device.
It’s powered by one of two choices. The first is the cigarette lighter in your car. It also comes with an adapter for battery clamps for direct battery hook-up.
The dual cylinder motor drives up to 150 psi of air pressure. It can be preset for a given pressure. That means you don’t have to keep an eye on the dial as you’re inflating, because it will shut off automatically when it’s reached the desired air pressure.
The backlit LCD display covers all the necessary units you’ll need to read. It includes psi, bar, kpa, and kg/cm2. The gauge measures to within 0.5 psi of exact pressure.
It also comes with a number of useful accessories. Among them is a built-in flashlight. In addition, the kit comes with three different types of nozzles for various inflation needs.
It’s also portable, though slightly heavier and larger than some other models at 6.09 pounds and 12.1” x 9.06” x 6” dimensions. The relatively small size makes it easy to store and easier to carry around.
The Forup is not without its flaws. It has a 15-minute run time until it shuts off due to heat. It doesn’t pump very quickly. It has poor pressure accuracy. The power cable is weak and can break easily. The battery adapters are fragile.
8. WindGallop Portable AIR Compressor
The WindGallop portable air compressor comes in eighth on our list. It’s weaker than the models reviewed so far, and isn’t suitable for high pressure tires.
This model is rated for 150 psi maximum pressure. That said, the manufacturer does not recommend using it at pressure levels above the “stable working pressure” of 50 psi. That means it’s primarily useful for smaller, lower pressure tires.
The unit comes with a pressure preset. So, you can set the desired pressure and the pump will shut off automatically when it’s reached. The digital pressure gauge reads in four units including psi, bar, kpa, and kg/cm2. It’s only accurate within 1.5 psi, however.
It’s one of the lightest compressors on this list at 2.1 pounds. Its dimensions are 6.69 x 2.95 x 7.91 inches, making it one of the smallest on the list, as well.
It’s also equipped with a number of accessories. It has a built-in flashlight. The flashlight works in multiple modes: standard flashlight, SOS pattern, and flashing red. This means you have a source of illumination for your work, a hazard light, and an SOS beacon for when you’re in trouble. It also comes with additional adaptors for bicycle and inflatable toys.
On the down side, this unit has a number of flaws. It occasionally blows a fuse when in use, so it’s a good idea to have spare 15-amp fuses available for your car. It’s not suitable for larger vehicles with higher-pressure tires. It also has a 5-minute inflation time, which is less than desirable.
9. NoOne Digital Portable Air Compressor
The NoOne digital portable air compressor is a serviceable unit. It offers rapid inflation. It also comes with a few useful accessories.
The compressor offers 120 psi maximum pressure. It fills standard tires in 3 minutes. The compressor has an auto shut off setting. So, you can pre-set your desired air pressure, and the motor will turn off when the setting is reached.
It comes with some useful accessories. Among them is a built-in flashlight. This is helpful in situations when you have to work on your car in the dark. The illuminated LCD screen is also easy to read in the dark, and reads pressure in psi and bar.
The unit comes with a single type of power adapter. It plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet in your car.
The compressor comes with its share of woes. First of all, it only comes with one option for power. There’s no adaptor for either battery clamps or AC power outlets. It has a recommended running time of 10 minutes. It’s not recommended for use in temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It also doesn’t work properly at pressures above 100 psi, so may not be useful for all applications.
10. Oasser P6 Air Compressor
Bringing in the bottom of our list is the Oasser air compressor. It offers a lightweight, stripped down option.
The compressor can handle up to 150 psi. That makes it the highest capactiy compressor on this list. Unfortunately, it takes 5 minutes to fill a tire, despite the power.
It also comes with some accessories. It includes LED lights for working on your tires in the dark. The LCD readout includes 3 different units: psi, bar, and kg/cm2. It also comes with adaptors for the inflation of multiple types of devices including bicycles, inflatable toys, and sports balls.
There are several downsides to this product. The first is that the inflation time is 5 minutes. There is only one option for power included (the cigarette lighter), so you always have to inflate with the engine running. The power cord is shorter than could be desired, which is inconvenient when trying to move around the car. The auto-stop function is not reliable, frequently stopping at the wrong pressure. The pressure gauge is also inaccurate, which means you’ll need to test the pressure with another gauge to get it dead on for your vehicle.
As you can see, there are a large number of possible variables involved in selecting the appropriate air compressor for your truck. Everything should be considered, from weight and size to maximum power, accuracy, and auxiliary features. It’s also important to consider durability.
Maximum pressure is important to the versatility of a given tool. The more pressure the compressor can handle, the wider the range of application. In some cases, the maximum safe operating pressure is less than you’ll need to inflate larger tires. So, pay close attention to this statistic when purchasing your new air compressor.
Power and Inflation Time
It’s dangerous squatting alongside a busy highway trying to change or inflate a tire. So, you don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road for long. More powerful compressors deliver higher air volume per minute. The result is that they inflate tires more quickly, getting you out of danger and back on the road.
Size and Weight
Nobody wants to store an extra-large, clunky item in their trunk in case of emergencies. In addition, portability is key for lifting the compressor from place to place as you move around your vehicle inflating the tires. So, it’s important to keep an eye out for the lightest, smallest compressor you can find that doesn’t sacrifice effectiveness. All of the air compressors on this list are under 10 pounds and relatively small. This is a good place to start.
It would be a shame to be stuck with a dead compressor in an emergency. So, it’s important to look out for a tool with lasting power. For additional safety, check for an extended warranty on the product.
All of the air compressors on this list run from the 12-volt cigarette lighter in your car. However, several of them come with other power options. These can include a direct car battery connection or stand AC outlet. The more ways there are to power the compressor, the more versatility it has, and the less likely you are to be stuck in case one of the power options fails.
The longer the compressor can run without needing to cool off, the more efficiently you can air up your tires. Some of these compressors need to cool off after as little as 10 minutes. If inflation takes five minutes, you’re talking about two tires at a time before the compressor needs a break. Keep an eye out for compressors that can run for a long time while handling the heat.
Quality of Pressure Gauge
Whether a pressure gauge is digital or analog, there are a few things to look out for when selecting an air compressor. It should offer readouts in multiple units. It should also be accurate. A discrepancy of more or less .5 psi shouldn’t be a problem, but much more than that can run the risk of over- or underinflation of your tires, which can affect gas mileage, wear and tear.
Accessories and Auxiliary Features
Accessories increase the utility of an air compressor. It’s handy to have a built-in flashlight for when you have to use the compressor in dark situations such as at night. While you’re presently looking for a compressor for your truck tires, a variety of different nozzles allow you to inflate other things with your compressor as well. An auto-stop function is also handy so that you can preset your desired inflation level and not have to turn it off manually.
Our top-rated option is the Tirewell TW2003 Double Cylinder Air Compressor. With a powerful compressor, compact size, and stable base, this compressor should treat you well. For value, our selection is the Energizer EDC12035 Portable Air Compressor. With low cost and plenty of power, it’s a great choice for people on a budget.
We hope we’ve helped take the pressure off of your air compressor decision. From power and portability to accuracy and features, there are a lot of options out there, but with these reviews and buyer guide in hand, you should be able to make the right choice for you.
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- Need an air compressor for your car tires? – See our recommendations
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Portable Air Compressor for Truck Tires – Reviews 2020
- 1. TIREWELL Double Cylinder Air Compressor – Best Overall
- 2. Energizer Portable Air Compressor – Best Value
- 3. Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor – Premium Choice
- 4. JACO SmartPro Portable Air Compressor
- 5. Helteko Portable Air Compressor Pump
- 6. Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor
- 7. FORUP Dual Cylinder Air Compressor
- 8. WindGallop Portable AIR Compressor
- 9. NoOne Digital Portable Air Compressor
- 10. Oasser P6 Air Compressor
- Buyer’s Guide