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10 Best 12V Air Compressors [2019 Complete Guide]

Best 12V Air Compressor

The 12V air compressor is one of the easiest ways that you can inflate a tire. All you must do is connect the compressor to the cigarette lighter, connect the hose to the tire valve, and you’re good to go.

Best of all, this car accessory is not only affordable but also extremely easy to use. You do not need any prior experience to operate it.

Moreover, most models are slim and compact, so it will not take a lot of space when stored in your vehicle.

If you are fresh on the market for the best 12V air compressor, then we have you covered below. Without any further ado, let’s go through the review!

10 Best 12V Air Compressors – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Viair 88P

1. Viair 88P (Reliable and Great Build Quality)

  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Reliable performance. Can be used as a heavy-duty air compressor
  • Practical power indicator light
  • You get a long air hose of 16 feet
EPAuto AT-010-2

2. EPAuto AT-010-2 (Extremely Beginner-Friendly)

  • Easy to use by absolute beginners
  • The LCD display is easy to read
  • Modern and aesthetically pleasing
  • You can purchase this model in 4 different colors
Viair 40047

3. Viair 40047 (High-performing and Heavy-duty)

  • Heavy-duty and excellent performance
  • High inflating speed of 2.3 CFM
  • Very long hose of 30 feet
Viair 300P 12V

4. Viair 300P (Powerful and Safe)

  • The battery clamps are equipped with a 40 A fuse for safety
  • Powerful compressor with 2.3 CFM inflation speed
  • Durable and long-lasting build construction
Kensun EHRComp-A58B

5. Kensun EHRComp-A58B (Superior Continuous Work Time)

  • Long continuous work time of 30 minutes
  • The powerful motor of 120 W
  • Ergonomic handle. Portable
P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002

6. P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002 (Powerful Compressor with a Slim Design)

  • Slim and compact design
  • Delivers excellent performance
  • Great hose connector design that prevents air loss
Helteko ATJ-1166S

7. Helteko ATJ-1166S (Durable and Long-Lasting)

  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • High maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Superior performance for the price
TireWell TW2003

8. TireWell TW2003 (Compact and Yet Performing)

  • Small and compact form factor
  • A high-performing model with an inflating speed of 2.12 CFM
  • Long extension hose of 16 feet
TireTek TT-303

9. TireTek TT-303 (Easy to Store)

  • Hard plastic case for storage
  • Works very quietly
  • Has auto shut-off functionality
AstroAI AIR100

10. AstroAI AIR100 (Slim and Portable with LED Light)

  • Slim and compact. Easy to store
  • Powerful LED light for use at night
  • Accurate pressure gauge with 1% accuracy margin

PRODUCT

1. Viair 88P

(Reliable and Great Build Quality)

Viair 88P
  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Reliable performance. Can be used as a heavy-duty air compressor
  • Practical power indicator light
  • You get a long air hose of 16 feet

2. EPAuto AT-010-2 

(Extremely Beginner-Friendly)

EPAuto AT-010-2
  • Easy to use by absolute beginners
  • The LCD display is easy to read
  • Modern and aesthetically pleasing
  • You can purchase this model in 4 different colors

3. Viair 40047

(High-performing and Heavy-duty)

Viair 40047
  • Heavy-duty and excellent performance
  • High inflating speed of 2.3 CFM
  • Very long hose of 30 feet

4. Viair 300P

(Powerful and Safe)

Viair 300P 12V
  • The battery clamps are equipped with a 40 A fuse for safety
  • Powerful compressor with 2.3 CFM inflation speed
  • Durable and long-lasting build construction

5. Kensun EHRComp-A58B 

(Superior Continuous Work Time)

Kensun EHRComp-A58B
  • Long continuous work time of 30 minutes
  • The powerful motor of 120 W
  • Ergonomic handle. Portable

6. P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002

(Powerful Compressor with a Slim Design)

P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002
  • Slim and compact design
  • Delivers excellent performance
  • Great hose connector design that prevents air loss

7. Helteko ATJ-1166S 

(Durable and Long-Lasting)

Helteko ATJ-1166S
  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • High maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Superior performance for the price

8. TireWell TW2003

 (Compact and Yet Performing)

TireWell TW2003
  • Small and compact form factor
  • A high-performing model with an inflating speed of 2.12 CFM
  • Long extension hose of 16 feet

9. TireTek TT-303

 (Easy to Store)

TireTek TT-303
  • Hard plastic case for storage
  • Works very quietly
  • Has auto shut-off functionality

10. AstroAI AIR100

(Slim and Portable with LED Light)

AstroAI AIR100
  • Slim and compact. Easy to store
  • Powerful LED light for use at night
  • Accurate pressure gauge with 1% accuracy margin

1. Viair 88P – Reliable and Great Build Quality

Viair 88P
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Max. pressure: 120 PSI
  • Inflating speed: 1.47 CFM
  • Continuous work time: 25 minutes

The Viair 88P is a popular 12V air compressor that is built like a tank. This is a model that has been designed to last because it has excellent built construction. It will also deliver a reliable inflation performance of 1.47 CFM because it has capable components in it.

In fact, you can use this compressor with tires of up to 33 inches, which is quite impressive considering its small size. It comes with a few accessories that will also allow you to inflate bicycle and motorcycle tires with ease.

This model is also equipped with a power indicator that will show you if the compressor is running or not. This is quite important because you may easily not here this compressor working because it is so silent.

Connecting this compressor to your battery could be easier as it comes with alligator clamps. What we also like about this model is that you get a long air hose of 16 feet. This will provide you with a lot of maneuverability when inflating a tire.

But what we don’t like about this compressor is that it does not come with many accessories. Indeed, you get only 3 inflation tips with it. Also, the price is quite high.

However, this model is still one of the best heavy-duty 12V air compressors out there. It has excellent built construction, superior performance, and good inflating speed.

Pros:

  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Can be used for heavy-duty tire inflating
  • Power indicator to show if the compressor is running
  • Long air hose of 16 feet

Cons:

  • You don’t get many accessories
  • The price is a little bit high

2. EPAuto AT-010-2 – Extremely Beginner-Friendly

EPAuto AT-010-2
  • Wattage: 120 - 180 W
  • Max. pressure: 100 PSI
  • Inflating speed: 1.06 CFM
  • Continuous work time: N/A

If you have never operated a 12V air compressor before, then you will feel right at home with the EPAuto AT-010-2. This model is by far, one of the most beginner-friendly air compressors in this review.

At the top of this air compressor, we find an easy to read digital display. It can display 4 units which make it versatile. Additionally, it also has buttons that will allow you to choose the exact amount of pressure you want to inflate a tire with.

One of the best things about this model is that it has an automatic shut off functionality that will prevent over inflation. You don’t have to worry about this air compressor blowing up your tire.

And in case you have a specific color preference, you can purchase this model in no less than 4 different colors.

The only thing we didn’t like about this model is its weak maximum pressure of 100 PSI. This model is clearly not intended for heavy-duty use. Also, the inflation speed of 1.06 CFM is not the best out there, especially when compared to competing products in the same price range.

But despite those caveats, this unit is still one of the best 12v portable air compressors that you can get for the money.

Pros:

  • Very beginner-friendly. Easy to use
  • Easy to read digital LCD display
  • Modern and aesthetically pleasing
  • Possibility to purchase in 4 different colors

Cons:

  • Weak maximum pressure of 100 PSI
  • The inflation speed of 1.06 CFM is a bit slow

3. Viair 40047 – High-performing and Heavy-duty

Viair 40047
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Max. pressure: 150 PSI
  • Inflating speed: 2.3 CFM
  • Continuous work time: 20 minutes

The Viair 40047 is a high-performing 12V air compressor that can be used to inflate any type of tire, from a bicycle tire up to a truck tire. It will do so with great ease.

This model is one of the few in this review that has an impressive inflating speed of 2.3 CFM. At this speed, it will inflate your tire much faster when compared to competing models. Therefore, you can use this model as a heavy-duty air compressor in a professional setting if you want.

Also, you get all accessories with this purchase, including a handy carry bag.

More impressively, the hose length is 30 feet which means that you have a lot of maneuverability with this compressor. However, the hose quality is average. But it still gets the job done, though.

And despite the high price and the average quality of the hose, this model remains possibly the best heavy-duty 12V air compressor in this review.

Pros:

  • Can be used as a heavy-duty compressor
  • Superior inflating speed of 2.3 CFM
  • Very high maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Long hose length of 30 feet

Cons:

  • The price. It is very expensive

4. Viair 300P – Powerful and Safe

Viair 300P 12V
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Max. pressure: 150 PSI
  • Inflating speed: 2.3 CFM
  • Continuous work time: N/A

Many air compressor manufacturers try to make the most reliable model for the money. However, many tend to forget one crucial aspect, which is safety. The Viair 300P is the best of both worlds because it is both safe as well as powerful.

Indeed, this model has a superior inflating speed of 2.3 CFM at 0 PSI. It will inflate any type of tire, from a bicycle tire up to a truck tire with great ease and in record time. It can also sustain a higher maximum pressure of 150 PSI. It has excellent built construction with a tank made from metal.

And one of the best things about this model is that the battery clamps are equipped with a 40 A in-line fuse. This means that there is no chance that this compressor will get damaged from an overvoltage.

Added to the fact that this model is also one of the smallest 12v air compressors that money can buy. The only negative we have with this model is its price, which could have been a little bit better.

Pros:

  • Performing compressor with a fast inflating speed of 2.3 CFM
  • Safe. The battery clamp is equipped with a 40 A fuse
  • Excellent built construction

Cons:

  • The price could have been a bit more reasonable

5. Kensun EHRComp-A58B – Superior Continuous Work Time

Kensun EHRComp-A58B
  • Wattage: 120 W
  • Max. pressure: 100 PSI
  • Inflating speed: N/A
  • Continuous work time: 30 minutes

The problem with most 12V air compressors is that you cannot use them for an extended period. They get hot quite fast and need a long cooldown before further use. This is not a problem with the Kensun EHRComp-A58B because this model has a superior continuous time of 30 minutes. Pretty impressive!

Under the hood, we find a powerful 120 W motor that can suck in a lot of air compression. This model has a maximum pressure of 100 PSI, which is not the best we have seen but still more than decent for casual use.

The built construction of this model is also very good. It is made from a thick ABS plastic shell that is durable and long-lasting. You also have a very practical handle at the top that makes this unit very easy to carry.

And a right at the front, you will find an analog pressure display that will always show you the pressure of your tire. Because of its handle and lightweight, we safely nominate this model as one of the best handheld 12V air compressors on the market.

The only problem we have with it is the pressure dial is small and someone difficult to read. Also, the maximum pressure of 100 PSI, while still decent, could have been better at this price.

Pros:

  • Long continuous work time of 30 minutes
  • Equipped with a powerful motor of 120 W
  • Highly portable with an ergonomic handle
  • Excellent built construction

Cons:

  • Small pressure dial. Difficult to read
  • Relatively weak maximum pressure of 100 PSI

6. P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002 – Powerful Compressor with a Slim Design

P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002
  • Wattage: 120 W
  • Max. pressure: N/A
  • Inflating speed: N/A
  • Continuous work time: N/A

The P.I. Auto-Store PIAS002 is a refreshed 2019 version that is equipped with a powerful pump of 120 W. Despite its slim and compact form factor; this air compressor is still quite capable.

It is also equipped with a bright LED light right at the front. This will allow you to inflate a tire in pitch-black darkness with ease. One of the things that we like the most with this air compressor is that it comes with many accessories. It is a good value for money.

Moreover, the hose connector is very easy to use. Unlike a regular hose connector that you must screw, this model will limit air loss from the tire when removing. It also has a handy LCD display that shows you the tire pressure quite accurately.

Not to mention that you get a handy carry bag with this purchase. The only caveat we can point out with this model is that it does not have the best build construction. You also cannot use it to inflate truck tires.

Pros:

  • The powerful motor of 120 W
  • Slim and compact form factor. Easy to store
  • Clear LCD display that shows the tire pressure
  • Hose connector design prevents air loss when removing

Cons:

  • It gets hot quite fast
  • This model cannot be used to inflate truck tires

7. Helteko ATJ-1166S – Durable and Long-Lasting

Helteko ATJ-1166S
  • Wattage: 120 W
  • Max. pressure: 150 PSI
  • Inflating speed: N/A
  • Continuous work time: 10 minutes

One of the highlights of the Helteko ATJ-1166S is its excellent build construction. This model is made from a thick ABS plastic that will guarantee that it lasts a long time. You can use this model as a heavy-duty air compressor if you need to.

This is because this model has a powerful 120 W motor and a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. So, it is not just about its build construction, but it is also quite performing.

Moreover, it has an auto-off functionality which is very practical. Every time this 12V air compressor has finished inflating a tire, it will automatically switch off.

The front of this compressor is also equipped with a digital LCD display that always shows you the tire pressure. Best, you can even use it to calculate the ideal pressure for your tire.

It even has a very practical hose valve that is easy to connect or remove from your tire. All in all, this top-rated 12V air compressor is an excellent choice for those who need a solidly built compressor. The only caveat with it is the hose is short.

Pros:

  • Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Great performance at this price range
  • Excellent maximum pressure of 150 PSI

Cons:

  • The hose is short

8. TireWell TW2003 – Compact and Yet Performing

TireWell TW2003
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Max. pressure: 150 PSI
  • Inflating speed: 2.12 CFM
  • Continuous work time: 10 minutes

There are 2 things that we absolutely love about the TireWell TW2003. For one, this model is one of the smallest 12v air compressors that you can purchase. You can easily store this compressor in a corner somewhere in your vehicle.

Also, despite its small size, it is still quite performing with an impressive inflating power of 2.12 CFM. It will have no problem inflating any type of tires relatively fast, from SUV to camper trailers. It can do it all.

Moreover, it’s a continuous work time of 10 minutes is quite good. This work time is not the best we have seen but considering its size this is forgivable.

But what we like the most about this model is its long 16 feet extension hose that makes it very maneuverable. You can easily inflate a tire several meters away from your vehicle with this long hose. The only disadvantage we see with this product is its price, which is a little bit expensive.

Pros:

  • Very small and compact
  • Good performance with an inflating speed of 2.12 CFM
  • Comes with a long 16 feet extension hose

Cons:

  • The price. It is more expensive

9. TireTek TT-303 – Easy to Store

TireTek TT-303
  • Wattage: 100 W
  • Max. pressure: 100 PSI
  • Inflating speed: N/A
  • Continuous work time: N/A

The TireTek TT-303 is a modern air compressor for your vehicle. This model comes with a handy hard-shell carry case. Once you have finished using this compressor, you can store it in the case for protection.

Moreover, this model is silent in operation, and it even has rubber feet to keep it firm on the ground.  It is also equipped with a front LED safety light that makes it very easy to use in the dark.

But one of the best features about this model is that it is equipped with 2 USB charging sockets that makes it extremely versatile.

The only caveats with this model are its build construction, which is not the best we have seen. Also, with its maximum pressure of 100 PSI and power of 100 W, it is weaker than other models in this price range.

Regardless of this, this model remains one of the best compact 12v air compressors that you can get. Especially considering that it comes with a handy carry case.

Pros:

  • Comes with a handy carry case for easy storage
  • Quiet in operation
  • Equipped with auto shut off functionality

Cons:

  • Not as performing as other models in this price range
  • This unit does not have the best build construction quality

10. AstroAI AIR100 – Slim and Portable with LED Light

AstroAI AIR100
  • Wattage: 120 W
  • Max. pressure: 100 PSI
  • Inflating speed: N/A
  • Continuous work time: 15 minutes

The AstroAI AIR100 is a miniature air compressor that is unbeatable when it comes to size. Indeed, this model is one of the best compact 12V air compressors that you can get. But best, it is also equipped with an LED light that will come in handy when inflating a tire in the dark.

This model comes in 2 different colors, a blue and a yellow one depending on your preference. Furthermore, the motor has enough power, rated at 120 W to inflate a large tire with ease.

And when it comes to safety, no problem as it has many protections like overheat protection that will automatically shut it off if it overheats. Additionally, this model is quite accurate with this 1% accuracy reading that is displayed on its digital panel.

Clearly, this is an excellent model for those who need a highly portable and fully functional 12V air compressor. The only problem we have with it is that the hose screws do not have a quick-release mechanism. You lose a little bit of air when removing it from the tire stem valve.

Pros:

  • Very small and compact
  • Equipped with a bright LED light
  • Accurate with 1% accuracy reading

Cons:

  • Hose screws do not have a quick-release mechanism

Notes

You must check that your cigarette lighter can deliver 10 A to 15 A before using this unit. Else, it can blow a fuse

How to Buy the Best 12V Air Compressor

How to Buy the Best 12V Air Compressor

Before finding the best 12v air compressors for the money, there are some important factors to consider.

1. Power

The 12V air compressor is equipped with a motor that sucks in air and compresses it. Of course, this process requires power.

A typical model will have a power of at least 100 W. With this type of electrical power; the motor is powerful enough to compress air as well as provide a decent air delivery to inflate large tires.

In addition to the wattage, also pay attention to the amperage. A motor that has a higher amperage is normally more powerful than a smaller one.

2. Max. pressure

This is simply the maximum pressure that the various components in the 12V air compressor can withstand.

When it comes to this value, the higher, the better. However, you should go with a model that has at least 100 PSI maximum pressure.

This will guarantee that you get a compressor that has decent compression capabilities and will not make the motor work all the time.

3. Inflating speed

As its name suggests, this is simply how fast the 12V air compressor will inflate your tires. This value is measured in CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute.

A usable 12V air compressor will normally have at least 1.0 CFM.

However, if you want to inflate tires fast all you need a model to inflate large tires like truck tires, then it is best to go with a model that has at least an inflation speed of 2.0 CFM.

However, keep in mind that generally, an air compressor that has a higher inflating speed will also be more expensive as well.

4. Continuous Work Time

Since the compressor is equipped with a motor that uses power to compress air, it is normal that it gets hot over time.

Therefore, they have a limited amount of time that it can be used continuously. Most top-rated 12V air compressors will normally have a continuous work time of at least 10 minutes.

After the continuous work time, you will have to wait for a cool-down period that is normally the same as the continuous work time, or more.

If you are planning to use this tool for an extended period, then it is always best to choose a model that has a high continuous work time. A model with at least 20 minutes work time is not hard to find at a reasonable price.

5. Cord Length

The 12V air compressor is connected to the battery for it to work. So, you are limited by the length of the battery cord.

For a pleasant experience using this device, we recommend that you go with a model that comes with a long battery cord.

In addition to the battery cord, you must also consider the air hose length. This is the hose that connects the compressor to the tire.

We recommend you choose a model that comes with a hose of at least 16 feet in length for flexibility when inflating.

6. Power Indicator

It is important to choose a 12V air compressor that is equipped with a power indicator.

Most models are dead silent, so a power indicator light will give you important information on the operation of the compressor.

Conclusion

In case of a tire emergency, nothing beats the 12V air compressor. You can simply connect it to your vehicle battery and will start inflating your flat tires with ease.

And in case you have never operated this tool before, then don’t worry. The 12V air compressor is extremely easy to use.

Our 12V air compressor review above contains some quality models for the money. If you have still not made your pick yet, then go through the review again.