Buying an Air Compressor
If you own a 4×4 vehicle and often find yourself taking it off-road for some fun and adventure, there are a number of accessories and pieces of equipment you should keep handy. One important item that’s worth keeping in your vehicle is an air compressor. Spending time off-road can often cause the air in your tires to drop. This can create many different issues, compromising your fuel efficiency, performance, and even your safety. If you find the right air compressor, you’ll be able to stop what you’re doing, check the pressure of your tires, and fill them up with air if need be.
However, not all air compressors are ideal for this kind of situation. It’s important to shop around and find an off-road air compressor that will work for you and your vehicle. Here at Ultimate Rides, we know all about off-road tires, vehicles, and air compressors. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on choosing the best compressor for your needs. Take a look at the information below, including a number of reviews of the top choices available, and decide if any of these air compressors are the best fit for your vehicle.
What to Look For in an Off-Road Air Compressor
Once you decide a compressor is in your future, it’s time to start thinking about what kind you’d like. Unless you’re open to installing a highly-expensive onboard air compressor, you’re likely going to want to look at 12V options, as they can be powered by your vehicle battery. But all air compressors were not created equal. It’s important to find one that is fully able to handle the size of your tires. This is even more important in an off-road vehicle, which could likely have larger tires to deal with. You’ll also want to ensure it offers enough PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch. This is a measurement of pressure, indicating how with much force the compressor can push air out. For a set of tires, you’re likely going to want at least 150 PSI. Last but not least, durability is important for an off-road air compressor. You’ll be carrying the compressor around in rough circumstances, and you’re going to want the best option that can hold up over time. Shop around until you find a compressor that works for you, using our list below as a guide. Feel free to stick around after our list of air compressors for more information, and you can always reach out to Ultimate Rides if you have any questions we can answer.
Top Choice: VIAIR 300P Air Compressor Kit, 12V
In our estimation, the top choice for a 12V air compressor comes from VIAIR, who you will see appear three separate times on our list. This first option is likely the best compressor for most drivers. It’s their 300P model, and it’s capable of offering 150 PSI as well as tires up to 33 inches tall. Like other VIAIR models, you’ll find the compressor features an automatic fill-up and shut-off process, taking away a lot of the work and chance from the equation. You’ll be able to quickly and easily fill your tires up with air, utilizing a reliable air compressor that is designed to last over many years and through lots of wear and tear. For all of these reasons, it’s our pick for the best compressor for almost any situation, including when you leave the paved road and make your own exciting adventure. Try it out and be sure to let our readers know how it works out for you!
GELUOXI High Output 12V Twin Air Compressor
If you’re willing to spend a considerable amount of money on an air compressor, this next option could be right for you. It’s a twin-motor air compressor that is both durable and lightweight at the same time. However, it is important to note that you’ll need an air tank to go along with the compressor. If that’s okay with you, you’ll find a compressor that is quiet, fast, and lasts a very long time. It’s ideally made to mount in your vehicle as an onboard air compressor, so this is a top option to consider if that is something you’re looking for. There are more expensive air compressors out there, but in our estimation, this offers the best quality for the price it’s currently at.
GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator Heavy Duty
Next up, we have a highly-affordable air compressor from GSPSCN. It comes in at less than $60, and offers solid, reliable construction with 150 PSI. It’s not necessarily quiet compared to other air compressors, but for those on a budget, it’s likely something worth sacrificing. You won’t have to worry about the efficacy of the compressor, as it has strong customer reviews across the board. It’s also small and comes with a carrying bag, making it easy to bring around with you and store inside your vehicle, no matter what you drive. We love this compressor and we’re confident you will too.
VIAIR 450P 12V Air Compressor
The next compressor on our list is a more powerful option from VIAIR. It works for even larger tires, able to fill up tires as wide as 42 inches in diameter with air. On top of that, the compressor a 35-foot air hose, as well as a 40-amp inline fuse and dual 12V battery clamps. It’s not cheap, but it’s the kind of compressor you want to buy when reliability is your number one priority. Check it out and decide if it’s the best compressor now available for your off-road vehicle.
All-Top Air Compressor Kit
This next option falls in the middle of the price range for most air compressors, while still offering top-tier performance and reliability. It weighs 16 lbs., and reaches up to 79 dB of sound, so there are some trade-offs to consider. However, for roughly $140, you can have access to a strong heavy-duty compressor to keep in a truck or SUV for emergencies and standard maintenance. With 150 PSI, it’ll help you keep your tires filled up with air, and the compressor comes with a two-year hassle-free warranty from the manufacturer. There’s a lot to consider, but this might be your best option.
UUP Tire Inflator Air Compressor
If you’re on a tight budget and need a basic air compressor to handle tires as large as 200/70/R18, this product might be for you. It offers air pressure of 150 PSI despite the low price tag, and features a flashlight function to make it easier to fill up your tires at night. While it’s not the most durable option on our list, it will serve you well in a pinch, and you won’t even have to spend $50 to get your hands on this compressor. That means it might be the best option if you’re looking for a compressor that will see a lot of extensive wear and tear, as it won’t cost you very much should you have to replace it.
VIAIR 400P 12V Air Compressor
The final VIAIR compressor on our list is the 400P, which lands somewhere between the 300P and 450P in power, performance, and price. Here you’ll find all the benefits of the other air compressors from the company, including a handy carrying case for easy transportation and storage. Whether you’re at home in the garage or on the side of the road or trail, you should have no problem hooking this compressor up to your battery and filling your tires with air, so give it a look and see if this is the right portable air compressor for your current needs.
ARB High-Performance Portable Air Compressor
Finally, we have one last air compressor to recommend, from ARB. They’re one of the most reliable providers of air compressors out there, and this product is well-worth the investment for those who want to spend a little extra for higher performance. It’s one of the best 12V air compressors, though it will cost you more than your standard compressor. It comes in a heavy-duty case, with a 19-foot air hose and a Teflon impregnated carbon fiber piston seal for quality purposes. Overall, it’s one of the best options out there for off-road drivers to think about keeping in their vehicles.
Importance of Reliable Air Compressors
We’ve likely all been in a position where we bought a product that we were excited for, only for it to fail after a few weeks or months. That’s not something you want with an air compressor, which could keep you safe both on the road and off of it. Because of that, it’s worth researching to find the best compressor for your situation, whatever that might be. If durability is a strong priority for you, you’ll be able to find an option out there. Just make sure to keep track of your budget so you don’t wind up spending more than you can afford. Also be sure to confirm that your chosen compressor is capable of handling your specific tires! If so, you’ll be in great shape once you head off-road.