No matter what kind of vehicle you have: a car, a truck, or an SUV, the only part that makes contact with the road is the tire. The safety aspect of efficiency and safety is often overlooked because we are quick to overlook it, yet it is extremely important for both. When braking, accelerating, and handling, your tires must have adequate air pressure to keep your car in good grip, but other factors also play a role.
Even if a new vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system, you should always keep a tire pressure gauge in the glove box. There are usually pumps at gas stations where you can fill up your tires, but these pumps may not always work properly, be precise, or be free. Inflating the fourth tire with a quarter can be extremely frustrating when the machine stops after a few minutes when you are halfway through. If you want to prevent all of this from happening, you should keep a portable tire inflator in your trunk.
Portable tire inflators pump air into tires using 12 volt power outlets or battery power. These air compressors are available in a wide variety of models. Machines vary in power, while others vary in compactness. In addition, several other variables need to be considered. Since we believe they are just a “band-aid” that won’t solve everything, we are going to focus on the heavier-duty end of the spectrum rather than the ultra-compact end. Inflators designed for stranded trucks and SUVs are available today that can handle both cars that intentionally ‘aired down’ on the trail (more on that later) or those that are stuck in remote areas. Whenever it comes to heavy-duty tire inflators, quality is not compromised. These are some of the best portable tire inflators we have found:
- Best Inflator For Storing In The Car: Kensun Portable Air Compressor Pump
- Best For Fast Inflation: GSPSCN Tire Inflator Heavy Duty Double
- Best For Off-Roaders: ViAir Portable Air Compressor
- Best Combo Inflator/Jumper: Utrai Jstar Five
- Best For Big Tires: Tirewell 12V Tire Inflator