Top 5 Best 12V Air Compressors For Tire Inflation – 2020 Update

Nothing ruins a road trip more than a flat tire with no service station in sight, and sitting on the roadside after dark is not a good idea. Before you plan your next adventure, pick one of these best 12V air compressors that will get you off the road in no time.

Kensun YS-205 (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator

Kensun YS-205 (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator
Kensun D1001 AC/DC Heavy Duty Multi-Function Air Compressor Tire Inflator

The Kensun YS-205 is a “mini powerhouse” that has been successfully tested to inflate 33 inches tires. It pumps up to 40 PSI, while the gauge measures to 250 PSI. The air flows at a rate of 11 liters/minute, which means tires can be inflated swiftly.

This upgraded model is rust-free, aesthetically appealing and performs at unmatched standard. Weighing at 3.9 pounds, the Kensun YS-205 is highly portable, compact and robust, and also comes with a carry case.

The multi-function compressor has 3 adaptors for its nozzles, enabling it to inflate vehicle tires as well as camping and sports equipment. The cord is 9 ft 10 inches and the air hose is 2 ft 7.5 inches.

Although the unit may have issues being stored in place where the temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a great starter package.

Viair 00073 70P Portable Compressor

Viair 00073 70P Portable Compressor
Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor

The Viair 00073 is a unique air compressor that uses the cigarette lighter port of the car to power the battery instead of alligator clamps. Regardless, the heavy duty compressor has proven to have smooth and cool operation. Users have commented that the Viair 00073 took 4.5 minutes to inflate a 215/70/R14 tires, and just a few seconds to inflate 19 inch sports wheels.

The air compressor delivers 1.27 CFM free flow at 0 PSI. At 5.8 pounds, it has superior portability further aided by the well-designed carrying bag. The 15 ft power cord makes it convenient to use the compressor for light to medium duty inflation jobs.

For its compact size, the Viair 00073 is well-built and can be easily stored under the car seat. Since the compressor requires 15 amps to operate, make sure you check the amp draw limitations of your car’s cigarette lighter port. Otherwise, this is a reliable emergency backup!

Viair 300P Portable Compressor

Viair 300P Portable Compressor
VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor - 30033

Another powerful air-making machine by Viair, the 300P is a mid-range portable compressor that inflates a 33″ x 12.5″ tire to 30 PSI in just 5 minutes.

Whether you intend to inflate car tires or blow up aquatic toys, the Viair 300P will get the job done fast and safely. It delivers up to 2.40 CFM free flow at 0 PSI, and has a maximum working pressure of 150 PSI. The built is strong and robust, with stainless steel valves, a thermal overload protector, and vibration isolators to endure the elements. Its padded handle and 8.6 pounds weight make it convenient to carry it around.

The Viair 300P comes with an 8 inch power cable, an inline fuse holder, a heavy duty sand tray, and an easy-carry bag. Some users have the found 8 inch power cable to be too short. If you can ignore that, you’re getting a great deal.

Digital Car Inflators

Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator
Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator

Packed with remarkable features, the Slime 40022 is a jack of all trades. Being a true emergency tire inflator, this air compressor comes with a bright and long-lasting LED flashlight in case your tire betrays you at night. Its Inflate- Right technology ensures that the unit automatically shuts off once the desired pressure is reached, which prevents over filling of tire.

The Slime 40022 is also a cigarette lighter air compressor, but it does not come with the essential 15 amp fuse. A mid-size tire takes no longer than 6 minutes to inflate with this compressor. The valve attachment is screw on to ensure compatibility with different types of tire rims.

Weighing a meager 1.9 pounds, the Slime 40022 is the lightest 12V air compressor on the list, with rubberized feet that aid with stability.  The current tire pressure is displayed on an LCD screen, which is relatively accurate within 2 PSI.

The only problem is that it’s loud, which should not matter if you’re in a remote area.

Digital Tire Inflator – P.I. Stores

digital tire inflator P.I. Stores
P.I. AUTO STORE Premium Air Compressor Tire Inflator for Automobiles and Bikes. Portable 12V DC Electric Car Tire Pump, Auto Shut Off, Digital Pressure Gauge, LED Light. New improved version

This digital tire inflator from P.I. Stores is another compact yet power-packed unit with an auto shutoff pressure gauge which automatically shuts off when the tire is filled up to the desired pressure.

To ensure safety and convenience after dark, the unit has a built-in bright torch as well as an emergency flashing red warning light to alert oncoming traffic of a breakdown.

The tire inflator uses the car’s cigarette socket to power up. This unit gets an upper hand on the Slime 40022 because the powerful pump is capable of delivering 22 liters/minute, which means it can inflate a regular tire to 30psi in less than 4 minutes. It is has a solid built and comes with a carry bag.

Capable of inflating up to 150 PSI, this digital tire inflator can be used for tires of cars, trucks, bikes, SUVs, and more. The extra long 10 ft cord makes it easy to maneuver the unit.

A bit noisy but worth the price.


If you want to get the most out of your vehicle, looking after your tires is one of the most important things to do. And having a portable 12V air compressor at all times will give you the peace of mind that you can inflate your tire anytime, anywhere. All you need is an active 12V outlet for these air compressors to work, and just about every vehicle these days comes equipped with one.

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