There are several excellent reasons why it makes good sense to have a tire inflator in your car at all times, besides the obvious fact that it is a much more comfortable alternative that having to drive to the gas station every time you need to check the pressure in your tires. The first thing to take into consideration is the fact that having the precise factory setting pressure of air in your tires will allow you to have the best mileage. The thing is that all tires will lose pressure because of the heating and cooling process they go through as you drive.

More than that, with modern tires, you will sell the have to deal with a flat tire while you are driving. Most of the times you will park your car with what we will seem perfectly decent tires, only to come back the next morning and find that you have a flat. In a situation like that your only alternative is to take out the spare will, change it, go to the gas station to feel your flat tire, and if you are lucky and it does not have any punctures, put it back in place. You can bypass that the entire process by using your own tire inflator, and if by the time you drive to your local tire dealer you see that your wheel has gone flat again, you know that you have to ask for their professional help.

Finally, you should take into consideration a simple fact of life that most people who own their personal tire inflators come to realize, and that is besides your own family your neighborhood friends too will get to benefit from your help by inflating their children’s bike wheels, football and volleyball balls, and even the occasional air mattress, especially if you like taking rides in nature.


Product Rating Price
Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor 4.7/5 $$
Kensun D1002 AC (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator 4.3/5 $$
Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator 4.1/5 $
Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator 3.9/5 $$
Astro Pneumatic 3018 3-1/2-Inch Digital Tire Inflator with Hose 4.7/5 $$

Best Tire Inflator If Money Is Not a Problem

There are certainly plenty of choices on the market today for good quality tire inflators, but the best we have found is the Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor . This is the closest you will come to owning a professional tire inflator as the Viair is an even more powerful, and more reliant tire inflator than some of the ones you will find in your local gas station. You can tell that this is a professional tire inflator by the fact that it was designed to be hooked up directly to the car’s battery. It comes with its own set of clamps, that are cable friendly, in the sense that they will greet on very well on top of the cables that run from your battery to the rest of your car, but they will not then use them in any way.

The air compressor’s cables are 9 feet long, and they are complimented by a 12 feet air hose, so you can be sure that you will easily reach every will on your car. The Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor was designed for anything as being as the truck or as an SUV but it will work great with things as delicate as an air mattress or a beach volleyball ball. While it is probably implicit in all we have said about it so far, it is still nonetheless worth mentioning that this air compressor comes with 3 different adapters that will allow you to fill with air anything from various balls to those old school bicycle tires. The design of the compressor is quite basic, making it easy to carry, and it only has one LED power indicator to tell you if you have connected the power plugs correctly.

Best Tire Inflator Overall / For the Money

When you are dealing with any type of car components or accessories it can be very easy to jump the gun and buy stuff that is to professional, too difficult to use for the average user. The Viair we talked about as our best choice if money was not a problem, can actually be too difficult to use for people who might not even know where the hood release in their own car is. You want something like the Viair because of its incredible level of power, but if the fact that you have to tie it in right into the car’s battery is too intimidating for you, which is a perfectly natural reaction when dealing with car related accessories, then a better choice might be the Kensun AC Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator

This is a tire inflator that substrate into your cars power port, better known as the cigarette lighter port. It is a 12 V power source, so it does have its limits, but it will get the tires of your car filled no matter how heavy the car might be. The only problem is that it is going to take a lot longer than even a gas station compressor and is going to make a lot of noise.

The good news though is that it is also a very compact tire inflator, so it is very easy to always have it in the car. It has 3 different nozzle of adapters so you can still feel with air any type of ball you might have with you whether you are going to the beach or to a football match. The other good news is that it also can be drawn on AC current, which means you can plug it in your average household power plug. It has a different cable for that but the cable is sent to you in the box and that can make inflating an air mattress that much easier.

Best Tire Inflator on a Budget

Although our hope is that every one of our readers will choose either the Viair or the Kensun, simply because these are the better air compressors on the market today, we are very aware that not everybody can afford them. So if you need a good tire inflator and you need to get it as cheap as possible, then your best choice is the Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator . It is also one of the safest tire inflators on the market because you need to set the pressure before it will start. So there is no risk of over inflating the tires the point where they might even explode in your face.

You need to check what is the correct tire pressure for your car and set that in before the machine can start. Of course a budget choice will always have its problems and the biggest one for us is the fact that you do not get a traditional air valve but instead you have some type of system that needs to be screwed in on the wheel. The other thing that we do not like about this choice is the fact that it does not have an adapter for the home power plug. So even though you get the necessary nozzle adapters to inflate an air mattress you need to stand by the car in order to do that.

Honorable Mention 1

When it comes to tire inflators we really feel that they need to last at least the lifetime of the car, if not more. It is for that reason that we are not very excited about an cordless tire inflator. However a cordless devices might is much easier to use, so we decided to feature one in our honorable mention section. The best one in this category has to be the Black & Decker ASI500 12-Volt Cordless Air Station Inflator .

Black & Decker have always been the standard for quality so if there is anyone who can build a cordless device that will last for years and years it is them. They are several great things to notice about their cordless tire inflator, but the first one and most important is the fact that it can feel with air 4 car tires from completely empty to full pressure. The other great thing, that really would have liked to have seen on the other tire inflators we have talked about, is the fact that you do not only get the nozzle adapters for various balls and mattresses, but you have a separate hose for them. That is important because the pressure in an air mattress needs to be a lot lower than that you have in a car tire, and the thicker the hose is the easier is to control that pressure.

Honorable Mention 2

The one thing we have not taken into account so far is that really hard-core car enthusiasts will have their own compressors at home. If that is the case you do not really need a 2nd compressor, but actually a tire inflator that will fit on your existing compressor. That is exactly what the Astro Pneumatic 3018 3-1/2-Inch Digital Tire Inflator can do and it has several interesting features like a digital pressure gauge. It can be connected directly to your compressor, and it uses the air that flows through it to power its own electronic devices.

It is also an excellent choice because it will work with nitrogen systems too, the thing that none of the other tire inflators we have talked about can do.

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