A flat tire is always frustrating. And sometimes, you want a flat tire for better traction.
If you are a frequent off-road trekker, having an off-road air compressor always pays off. Given that it is easy to operate, doesn't cost much, and works for a long time, an off-road air compressor is a good investment.
But, hold on! There are so many options in the market, making a sound purchase becomes quite difficult.
Therefore, we are here with a list of the best off-road air compressors in 2021 for you. This list is a result of extensive research so that you can make the perfect purchase based on your needings.
1. Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor
When it comes to road off-industry, the name Smittybilt is undoubtedly the first name on this list. Only a few brands can come close to this awesome brand and match its glorifying legacy.
Introducing this fine off-road air compressor from Smittybilt, offering you an incredible 72 liter per minute maximum airflow.
In other words, this is the CFM rating telling you how fast the compressor can pump air in or out of your vehicle. With this model, you are getting 2.54 CFM. Considering the price of it, we say it is a really good deal.
It comes with a pressure gauge that reads up to 150 PSI. The gauze has detailed units and is easy to read. You don't need to bring it to eye level when you are working.
Also, there is a clever thermal switch. This switch works automatically when in use and cutoff operation when it senses danger.
This clever little inclusion impressed us. This switch makes sure your engine does not get heat damaged.
- Pumps in or out air at a maximum rate of 72 liters per minute or 2.54 CFM
- Easy to read air pressure gauge reading up to 150 PSI
- Automatic thermal cutoff switch to prevent heat damage to any parts of your vehicle
2. VIAIR 400P - Best portable air compressor for jeep
The feature that fancied us in this model is the weight of the item. This model weighs only 10.4 pounds.
Being lightweight makes it easy and convenient to carry with you. Thus, truly living up to the "portable" title in its name.
It works with only 12 VOLT. Taking in only 12 volts allows the user to use this compressor with a very limited and low-juice power supply.
It gives the user flexibility and options. All the more reason to buy this model.
Get a 2.3 CFM rate with this model. Now, we know what you are thinking. "it is too low for my tire." But hey, given the weight of the model, there has to be a trade-off, right?
Last but not; least, this model comes with a cool, premium carry bag. The bag is superb because it features an anti-vibration tray making sure the compressor doesn't take in any damage from too much shaking. Frankly speaking, we felt the bag was the cherry on top.
Overall, a very sweet deal for a portable off-road air compressor. Unless you are looking for heavy-duty ones, this is a good deal.
- Weighs only 10.4 pound
- Works with 12 volts only
- A pretty decent CFM of 2.3
- A premium, anti-vibrant carrying bag
3. ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor
With this model, you get a 2.18 CFM rate. Considering the price of the model and all the other wonderful features that come with it, this one is a deal you should consider.
This compressor comes with a durable carry case. A carry case allows ease of storage for the user. The case protects it from any external damage. The case itself is pretty durable too.
The manufactures were brilliant enough to include clever modifications that enhance usability, efficiency, and operations.
For example, the compressor has been sealed for moisture. The air filter element is also sintered bronze, adding protection to it.
It is washable, and it comes in a splash-resistant cover. Teflon has impregnated the carbon fiber piston to minimize friction during pumping air. A lot of features aim for one single thing – long-lasting use.
Lastly, the kit includes essential things that you just need to have, such as wiring loom, battery clips, etc. You are also getting a 19 feet long air hose to get your job done efficiently.
- Pumps in/out air at 2.18 cubic feet per meter
- Includes tiny modifications that assure long-lasting use of the item
- Comes in a durable and strong box for added protection
4. Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor
Another brilliant air-compressor is performing superbly in the market right now.
With this model, you are getting a decent 2.12 CFM for pumping air in or out. Not suited for very high profile jobs but still good enough to get your average inflating such as basketball and air mattress done with ease.
It works with a 12-volt power source, so you don't need to worry about connecting with a high-caliber power source.
In fact, you can operate this by directly connecting with car batteries. It includes a set of alligator battery clamps to work it in your favor when connecting it to a power source.
Using it is easier than other similar products in the market. It features a digital gauze that makes taking readings plain and simple.
And, to top it off, it includes a rotating pre-set dial that allows you to select the pressure level you desire, and it automatically turns off the machine after reaching that level.
A lot of people find it difficult to reach the right pressure. Say farewell to those annoying hassles once and for all.
- 2.12 CFM rating
- Includes digital gauge and automatic shut-off feature
- Allows you to select your desired pressure level
5. ALL-TOP Heavy Duty Portable 12V Air Compressor
This unit from All-top can be called "The Hulk" of the air compressor market. Here is why.
Get a massive CFM of 6.36 with this unit. This means it can work with a gigantic amount of air. You can inflate almost anything with a compressor without sweat.
During operation, your compressor does a lot of work even though it does not meet the eye. As a result, it generates a lot of heat.
This model comes with metal shells that are hollow inside and an aluminum cylinder with perfect dimensions. The result is a much better heat dissipation than other products in the market.
This is a man's machine. It performs like a monster. And thus, it needs enhanced stability too.
That's why the producers equipped it with not one but four anti-vibrate rubbers. This will stabilize the machine no matter what workload it does.
We already established this machine is the monster in the compressor world. So, what can you use it for? EVERYTHING! Off-road vehicles, vehicles, home appliances, trucks, and ATV… list goes on!
- 6.36 CFM so can work with a huge amount of air
- Four anti-vibrate rubbers to keep it stable and still
- Comes with a heavyweight nylon tool bag, 26ft air hose, etc.
6. GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator Heavy Duty Double Cylinders
Even though the title says it is the best heavy-duty off-road air compressor, we opted for this one for its pace and prompt inflation ability.
First of all, it can inflate a typical vehicle tire in just about 1.5 minutes. It sounds outstanding to us, and we are sure it sounds the same to you.
Even though it has a heavy-duty title, it can generate an airflow of 70L/min. That is a 2.47 CFM, and even though it is relatively a lot compared to the market, we would not actually call it a top-tier, heavy-duty compressor.
We felt that the combination of fast-paced airflow with the CFM still is powerful, impactful, and worth your money.
This model comes with high, adhesive rubber feet that ensure it doesn't vibrate too much during work.
The rubber feet keep it stable, allowing more powerful air flows that get the job done faster.
This compressor best suits those of you who are willing to use it on trucks, vans, SUVs, etc. Thanks to its relatively higher CFM accompanied by fast pumping ability, we feel it goes best with inflating vehicles of all kinds.
- A relatively high CFM of 2.47 or 70L/min
- Pumps air very fast, being able to fill a typical tire in 1.5 minute
- Rubber feet keep it stable and steady to produce air in a more efficient and faster way
7. TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders
Another fast compressor that you can consider buying in 2021. it can generate 2.12 pretty standard CFM. It promises you a decent air delivery.
We liked this model because of its speedy air pumping mechanism. It includes a dual cylinder system that works simultaneously to compress efficiently. This dual mechanism helps you to get the job done in just a few minutes.
The stability technology also played a role for it to get on the list. This unit features a four-rod design to adequately place the machine in place even during vigorous pumping.
How often has it happened that you worked with a compressor and the sound was loud and ear-piercing, you had a terrible headache at night?
The noise in this one is minimized, so you can work without any headaches at night.
This feature is exclusive to this model, and this feature makes it stand out in the market.
With the combination of fast and pacey pumping with a good CFM rate, this compressor is good for those willing to work vehicles such as motorbikes, cars, golf carts, etc.
- 2.12 CFM ensuring a remarkable pumping volume per minute
- Features double cylinder mechanism to give you incredible pumping speed
- Super stability with noise minimization system
8. Kensun AC/DC Power Supply Portable Air Compressor
If you are looking for the best air compressor for off-road but not too high-profile ones because you don't have a lot to spend on them, then you may want to hear us out.
To start, this machine weighs very little compared to its competitors. Weighing only 3.38 pounds, you can carry it with you wherever you go in the house and work on whatever you want.
Another thing that is impressive is the double power cord options. It has been engineered with both AC and DC power cords meaning you can use it indoors and outdoors.
This model comes with an analog pressure gauge that reads a maximum range of 120 psi.
This was a letdown for us because the other similar ones in the market offer better pressure gauze. If you are willing to consider the lackings, then it is still a good option.
The airflow is on the lower side having only 18 LPM. In other words, the CFM is only 0.63. A CFM on the lower side is appropriate for mainly household applications.
Overall, if you are looking for air compressors for primarily household applications, you should consider going for this one.
- 18 LPM or 0.63 CFM
- Works with both AC and DC
- Weighing only 3.38 pounds so carrying it is very easy
Best Air Compressor for Off-road - Buying Guide
Now let's say that you decide to go out and buy a best off road air compressor. What things will you look for?
There are a lot of products in the market, and each has its features. You would want to make the right purchase but, at the same time, not make an over-purchase or buy something that you just don't need.
Here is a quick overview of the things you need to look for when buying an off-road air compressor:
It refers to the force of air that the compressor can deliver. PSI is an important factor when buying an air tool.
However, these are modern times, and most compressors deliver a commendable amount of air that gets the work done.
So, this feature is not taken much into consideration.
This rating refers to the volume of air the machine can operate with. In other words, the volume of air it can pump in or out.
Typically, the reading comes in CFM or cubic feet per minute. Sometimes it comes in Litre per minute. To convert L/m to CFM, just multiply it by 0.03514666213 or divide it by 28.316846999.
Now, the question with what CFM goes with you? Well, a bigger CFM refers to the machine's ability to pump more air.
So, if you are looking to buy a compressor for a heavy-duty task such as a compressor for your truck or vehicle, then go for one with a higher CFM.
If you are looking for one for household applications, then just buy one with a lower rating.
- Pressure Gauze and the reading
Compressors must have a way to tell you about the pressure you are using. A gauze shows this in the compressor.
You must look out for gauzes that have a good psi range. A higher range of psi means it can show a higher maximum pressure range that you are using.
Traditional gauzes come with a dial and need. However, modern ones come with LCD screens which gives a more accurate reading, meaning easier to read, especially at night time when it's dark.
- Auto Cut Off feature
Probably one of the most important features. With the help of this feature, the user can set his/her preferred inflation value in the compressor.
This is incredibly helpful. When you use this feature, the compressor automatically releases air by itself, and once it has reached your target value, it will automatically stop and shut down.
- Air Hose
This is a hose that connects the air compressor with the tire. It carries air from the machine to your appliance.
All the compressors in the market come with air hoses, so it is not important to mention them explicitly.
However, you want a particularly long hose that gives you the freedom to work with. Buy one with a long hose because you never know when you need to work from a distance.
- Built-in Lights
This is a feature that often gets overlooked yet proves to be valuable at darkest times... literally.
We mean to say that some compressors come in with a source of light, such as torches.
This can be helpful at times when you are working to inflate your tires, and it is difficult to see things properly.
Having a light source increases visibility. You can see things better, work faster. And, most importantly, you can use it to attract nearby drivers if you need help.
An underrated feature and still has proved valuable many times.
How do you use a portable off-road air compressor?
Imagine you got a flat tire. Now, you have to go to the nearest mechanist and spend a few to get something as simple as gas. It sounds pretty lame to us.
Since you are already here, you are probably looking for a compressor to buy. And since you are looking to buy one, it is also important that you learn how to use one.
How to use portable off-road air compressor?
- Start your car and leave it for a while to warm up
- Connect the connection with the cigarette lighter
- Remove the cap from the tire
- Click the gauze in the compressor and connect it to the cap
- Click down the lever to fix the gauze
- hit the power button
- You will notice the PSI of the air compressor popping up on the screen.
- Stop the compressor when it reaches the PSI you want for your tire, depending on the weather
- After it has reached your preferred PSI, turn it off, pull out the gauze and connect the tire cap again
- Turn off the car
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When should you replace the air intake filter?
If you own a compressor that has an air intake filter, it should be cleaned weekly.
If you notice debris starting to develop and it is becoming difficult to clean out the entire filter, it should be replaced.
Additionally, when any tears or holes are visible, it is also a sign that replacement time has arrived.
2. What air hose size should you buy?
An air hose carries air from the compressor to your target appliance. You should get a large hose because it gives you the liberty to work even from a distance.
Additionally, it also depends on the CFM. A larger CFM requires a hose with a bigger diameter.
3. What is the shelf life of a portable off-road air compressor?
These are incredibly durable tools that promise value for money. You can use one for 40,000 to 60,000 hours.
4. Does the vibration of the compressor cause any problem?
When a compressor is at work, it becomes shaky. This causes inefficiency in operation, lowering the airflow.
So, it is a good idea to invest in a compressor that has some form of stability with it, such as rubber stands at the bottom.
Here is a quick recap of everything we went through. We started with reviews of the leading off-road air compressor in the market in 2021, and talked about what each model has to offer you.
Additionally, we talked about what factors you should consider when buying one and how to use one after buying.
Hopefully, now you know more than what you started with, and make a much better investment than before.