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The Best Portable Tire Inflators: 2017 Guide and Reviews

If you own a vehicle, chances are that you’ve had to inflate your tires at some point in time. To do the job, you want to have the best portable tire inflator available. Having your own portable tire inflator is a great idea to ensure your vehicle is driving on safe tires at all times. It can also save you money on an assistance call or on gas station air-pumps.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

  Portable Tire Inflator NameQualityPriceRating
Slime 40022A$$
LifeLine AAAA+$
P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire InflatorA$$$
EP Auto Portable Air CompressorA+$$
Family Tool Automotive Tire InflatorA$$

The importance of correctly inflated tires

All tires, even of the highest quality, will lose tire pressure after extended use or temperature changes. Tires that have low pressure or are flat cause safety issues. Low tire pressure can also damage your vehicle and lower the miles-per-gallon rating of your vehicle, which can cost you more money on gas.

Having tires that are correctly inflated ensures that your vehicle is safe to drive on the road, and it saves on gas. It’s important to find out your tire’s specific pressure recommendations before buying an inflator. Some inflators can handle less pressure than others. If you have larger tires, you’ll want to find an inflator that has a higher maximum PSI. Always check your tire and vehicle’s recommendations before purchasing a tire inflator.

Many tire inflators can also be used on sports equipment, such as bicycles and basketballs. Some inflators can be used for low-pressure needs, such as beach balls and inflatable rafts. While these aren’t always a necessity, they offer an added convenience when this kind of inflation is needed. Everyone in the family can benefit from a versatile tire inflator.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the recommended pressure for my tires?
  • How long of a cord will I need?
  • Do I need my tire inflator to also inflate sports and beach equipment?
  • How much room do I have in my vehicle?
  • How much am I willing to spend?

The Top 5 Portable Tire Inflators

  Portable Tire Inflator NameQualityPriceRating
Slime 40022A$$
LifeLine AAAA+$
P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire InflatorA$$$
EP Auto Portable Air CompressorA+$$
Family Tool Automotive Tire InflatorA$$

Slime 40022

Slime 40022-5be9fb1f7aad2

This 12-volt, 15-amp, 1 lb. tire inflator is small but powerful. It inflates a standard mid-sized car tire in only 6 minutes. What is great about this inflator is that it features Inflate-Right technology, which causes it to shut off when your desired pressure is reached. You set the desired tire pressure yourself so that it is customized to your tire pressure recommendations. This helps to air up your tires properly, which maximizes tire tread life.

It plugs directly into your car’s cigarette lighter and it has a bright LED light that is long-lasting for those nighttime fill-ups. This inflator is specifically designed for standard car tires and has a maximum pressure of 35 PSI. It has a 12’ total reach, and a digital display. The digital display is a great convenience to set the tire pressure, as well as see the tire pressure as you fill up. Its rubberized feet provide stability during use. It measures 6” x 9” x 3”, making it slightly larger than other compact tire inflators.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Inflates quickly
  • Inflate-Right technology
  • LED light
  • Digital display

Cons

  • Larger
  • Low maximum pressure

Bottom line

This tire inflator has a lower maximum pressure ability, but if you have standard-sized tires, this should not cause an issue. It has some great features, but keep in mind that it is slightly larger than other portable inflators.

BUY THIS ONE

LifeLine AAA

LifeLine AAA-5be9fb213c90c

LifeLine’s 2 lb., 12-volt tire inflator comes with 3 nozzle adapters for the perfect fit to your tires. It’s rated as one of the top 10 tire inflators of 2017. As an added bonus, it includes a built-in air pressure gauge on the exterior and a 10’ power cord that connects to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

It inflates standard size tires up to 35 PSI in 8 minutes. It measures 8” x 3.5” x 5.88” and its maximum pressure is 300 PSI. LifeLine has garnered decent ratings and consumers seem happy with its accuracy and ease of use.

Pros

  • Top rated
  • Includes tire gauge
  • High maximum pressure

Cons

  • Loud
  • Slower inflation

Bottom line

This is a loud inflator and inflates slower than some others on the list. It’s a simpler inflator than others and customers seem to be happy with how easy it is to use. This may be a great option for those who enjoy simplicity in their tools.

BUY THIS ONE

P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator

P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator-5be9fb22dc16d

P.I. Auto Store’s tire inflator is one of the highest-rated inflators and an Amazon best seller. This inflator comes packed with features and extras that make it well worth the money. It’s powerful, inflating a standard mid-sized car tire to 30 PSI in under 4 minutes and has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI.

13-foot power cord allows you access to all of your tires and easily plugs into your cigarette lighter. While sold separately, you can also get the optional AC/DC adapter to plug into any household power supply outlet. As an added bonus, it includes 8 spare dust caps, a Presta valve, and an exclusive Digital Guide to Tire Care.

You’ll be a tire expert by the time you’ve used this inflator a few times. It features a convenient microprocessor monitor that controls the tire pressure by automatically shutting off at the pressure you preset. It has an LCD display for the gauge, and 8 bright LED lights that have 4 settings—off, standard flashlight, flashing red, and emergency SOS.

It weighs 2 pounds and is extremely versatile, inflating tires on cars, SUVs, RVs, trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles, as well as low-pressure inflatables such as beach toys. It includes a carrying case for easy and convenient storage. Its dimensions are 7” x 3” x 6.5”.

Pros

  • Best seller
  • Quick inflation
  • Long power cord
  • Optional AC/DC adapter sold separately
  • Includes extra dust caps, Presta valve, and guide to tire care
  • Microprocessor monitor
  • LCD display
  • LED lights with 4 settings

Cons

  • More expensive than others

Bottom line

Although it is more expensive, this is one of the highest-recommended tire inflators. Its features and added versatility make this inflator a great investment for anyone. It has an extra-long power cord and includes amazing LED lights for convenience and safety.

BUY THIS ONE

EP Auto Portable Air Compressor

EP Auto Portable Air Compressor-5be9fb24ad115

As another bestseller, this compact and convenient inflator is versatile and is able to be used on tires for cars, bikes, sedans, and mid-size SUVs. The 12-volt, 10’ power cord easily plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. It has a 15-amp fuse and includes a backup fuse in the package. It features a bright LED flashlight for nighttime fill-ups.

Another great feature, this compressor has an auto shut-off so that you can set your desired tire pressure and it will automatically shut off when it has reached your chosen pressure.

It also features overheat protection that makes the inflator automatically shut off if it exceeds 167°Fahrenheit. Its maximum working pressure is 100 PSI, making it convenient for small to mid-size vehicles. It weighs just under 4 pounds and has dimensions of 9.7” x 8” x 5.6”, making it slightly heavier and larger than other compact tire inflators.

Pros

  • Best seller
  • Includes backup fuse
  • LED flashlight
  • Auto shut off
  • Overheat protection

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Large

Bottom line

This is one of the heavier tire inflators,but is one of the highest rated. It includes amazing features and customers are happy with its durability and quality. This tire inflator seems to be the one that will likely last the longest, so your money will be well spent.

BUY THIS ONE

Family Tool Automotive Tire Inflator

Family Tool Automotive Tire Inflator-5be9fb263ec4d

Family Tool Automotive’s tire inflator inflates a flat mid-sized car tire to 36 PSI in just over 4 minutes and can be used on vehicle, motorcycle, and bicycle tires. It includes a 12-foot power cord with its own built-in storage and three nozzle adaptors—a Presta bike valve, inflatable/low flow adaptor, and a sports ball needle.

It features an auto-shut off so that you can customize your tire pressure and ensure that they are never over-inflated. It’s built-in flashlight and emergency light give it added convenience and safety during use. Its maximum pressure is 150 PSI, making it great for small to mid-size vehicles. It weighs just over 2 pounds and is 7.9” x 3.1” x 5.5”.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Includes adaptors for bikes, inflatables, and sports balls
  • Long power cord with built-in storage
  • Auto shut-off

Cons

  • More expensive than others

Bottom line

This is a great, simple, and easy-to-use tire inflator for those who are looking for something light-weight.

BUY THIS ONE

Conclusion

It’s important to find a portable tire inflator that is right for your vehicle’s tires. Make sure to check your tires’ pressure recommendations before buying an inflator to ensure that it can handle the amount of pressure you need.

Lifeline AAA has the highest PSI and is likely the best option for those who have extra-large tires on lifted trucks. However, if you have standard-sized tires, P.I. Auto and EP Auto make the two best-rated inflators that have high-quality features. These two inflators are going to be the best bet for most buyers.

If you’re looking for a versatile inflator that will work on your vehicle’s tires, as well as your beach and sports equipment, Family Tool Automotive’s inflator is likely going to be the best option for you. By deciding what will work best for your specific needs, choosing a high-quality portable tire inflator will be simple.

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