The 10 Best Inflators

We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. When you keep one of these handy electric inflators around, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck on the side of the road with a flat again. Many of our options are equipped with extra-long hoses and powerful motors designed to quickly fill each tire on your car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle. Some also come with adapters for inflating air mattresses, pool toys, rafts, and even sports equipment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. DBPower AP3004

The DBPower AP3004 is constructed from sturdy ABS plastic and is capable of operating continuously for up to 10 minutes when plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Its 3 airflow adapters make it easy to inflate most car, bike, and motorcycle tires.

  • Attractive black and yellow color
  • Maximum pressure of 150 psi
  • Tends to get quite hot

Model CO1-1
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. P.I. Auto Store PIAS015

Setting the P.I. Auto Store PIAS015 apart from its competition is the accuracy of its digital pressure gauge and the durable exterior braiding of its air hose, delivering a practical design that ensures both its longevity and reliability in any type of roadside emergency.

  • Rugged plastic housing
  • Easy to turn on and off
  • Limited space for cord storage

Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Campbell Hausfeld AF011400

The Campbell Hausfeld AF011400 uses an internal cooling fan to keep its motor running smoothly, even as it pumps up to 100 PSI into your tires or other equipment. Its threaded air hose valve ensures a superior, leakproof connection at all times.

  • Programmable auto shutoff function
  • Price is affordable
  • Pressure gauge isn’t very accurate

Brand Campbell Hausfeld
Model AF011400
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. TireTek RX-I

Consider the TireTek RX-I the hub for your air supply needs. It is equipped with a 12-volt DC power outlet, 4 nozzle accessories for quickly pumping up your camping or sports equipment, and 2 USB charging sockets for powering your mobile devices when you’re on the go.

  • Very quiet operation
  • 12-month warranty
  • Storage case is too small

Brand TireTek
Model TT-303
Weight 6.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Suaoki DC Digital

Although the Suaoki DC Digital doesn’t quite match the power of some of its competition, the inclusion of additional nozzle accessories for inflating bike tires and sports balls, combined with an easy-to-read backlit LCD, still make it a worthy option for consideration.

  • Displays 3 different unit readings
  • Withstands extreme temperatures
  • Instructions are confusing

Model 179143702-F1
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Tcisa Portable

The Tcisa Portable has a quick-access power switch and a 4-piece LED fixture on its front end, allowing you to easily operate it in the dark. The vibration-resistant rubber feet on its base will provide stability on uneven terrain.

  • Twist-connect nozzle is leakproof
  • Comfortable nonslip handle
  • Rather slow to inflate

Brand Tcisa
Model pending
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. P.I. Auto Store Premium

The large LED pressure gauge on the P.I. Auto Store Premium gives you precise readings to within one-tenth of a pound. It inflates a mid-sized car tire from flat to 30 PSI in under 4 minutes, which definitely comes in handy if you happen to get stuck in bad weather.

  • Rubber feet to prevent slipping
  • Emergency sos mode
  • Not ideal for trucks or suvs

Model PIAS003
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Slime 40026

Be prepared for almost any roadside tire emergency with the powerful Slime 40026. The combination of both its dual-piston, direct-drive motor and 30-foot air hose will help to ensure maximum reach and rapid inflation of your vehicle’s front and rear tires.

  • Built-in thermal overload protection
  • Alligator clip adapters
  • Pressure gauge dial is easy to read

Brand Slime
Model 40026
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Black & Decker ASI500

The cordless Black & Decker ASI500 can be powered by either its internal 12-volt rechargeable battery or by your vehicle’s DC outlet. Its digital pressure gauge can be programmed to shut off automatically when your desired PSI level has been reached.

  • Onboard accessory storage
  • Lightweight design
  • Also inflates rafts and mattresses

Model ASI500
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Air Armor M240

Prevent yourself from being stranded during your next off-road adventure with the tactical-grade Air Armor M240. Its high-performance air compressor delivers a flow rate of over 2 cubic feet per minute, allowing it to inflate a full-size truck tire in less than 2 minutes.

  • Durable powder-coated steel case
  • Extra-long 25-foot hose
  • Bleed valve prevents pump damage

Brand Air Armor
Model M240
Weight 18.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Benefits Of An Inflator

Maintaining proper air pressure in one’s tires is crucial for getting the most miles per gallon out of a gas tank. In fact, experts say that for every pound drop in a tire’s pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure, the mileage of the car goes down by 0.4 percent. Keeping an inflator on hand will help drivers boost their PSI to proper levels on the go without the help of a professional mechanic. Inflators are designed to fit in most vehicles without taking up too much space. Some weigh as little as six pounds, so anybody can lift and move them as needed.

When someone is driving on a leaky tire and doesn’t have time to patch up the hole, or isn’t near a mechanic, he or she needs to add air frequently. Fortunately, most inflators run on 12-volt batteries that draw power from a vehicle’s DC port. They are also designed to recharge in just a few hours when they’re plugged into an AC power supply. Depending on the maximum PSI produced, some inflators can even fill up oversized truck tires. They are also great for active people who spend their weekends hiking or camping.

Some inflators come with nozzle adapters, allowing one to put air in car tires, bicycle tires, and even basketballs. Good samaritans who want to help people on the side of the road with deflated tires should get an inflator with an extra-long reach so it can connect between the two cars.

There are several important safety tips for driving after dark that prevent accidents, but in the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, having an inflator with reflectors is handy. This makes it easier to alert other motorists to your presence when you’re on the side of the road.

How To Avoid A Flat Tire

An inflator is an important part of any fix-it kit for drivers who like to patch up their own tires. But the ideal situation is to reduce the possibility of a flat tire in the first place. It’s a good idea to visually check one’s tires about once a week to catch any slow leaks. Not all flat tires come from nails on the road; some result from a tire that was leaking for a long time, and couldn’t handle a sudden 200-mile road trip. That being said, sharp items like nails in the road are one of the top causes of flat tires, which is why drivers should avoid taking their vehicles down torn up alleys where people tend to dump construction items.

There’s one cause of flat tires that has nothing to do with driver error and that’s vandalism. Anyone from an angry ex-employee to a mischievous teenager might slash a person’s tire, so drivers should always park their cars in well-lit areas, preferably where they can keep an eye on them. When a tire becomes worn out in one area, this also causes it to tear open. So, in addition to regularly checking air pressure, drivers should also check to make sure their tires are wearing out evenly.

Making lots of fast stops and starts are some of the main reasons tires wear out. For this reason, drivers should always accelerate and come to a stop slowly. Unfortunately, even the best drivers can’t compensate for a bad tire tread, so when purchasing tires, buyers should look for ones that have an extra thick tread and that’s puncture resistant.

Safety Tips If You’re Stranded On The Highway

Most people associate car accidents with moving cars, but even those at a complete stop are at risk of a collision. Being stranded on the side of a highway is very dangerous; cars are speeding by at 60 or 70 miles per hour, sometimes only a few feet away. Everyone should keep reflectors in their trunk in case they’re ever stranded at night, so other cars can see them. They should turn on their emergency flashers, too. Depending on the emergency flasher laws in one’s state, they may be allowed to drive with flashers on, while still seeking a safe place to pull over.

Driving through long stretches of highway with very few off ramps can be especially dangerous. People should take note of the name of the last exit, so they can explain their location when they call for assistance. If a driver doesn’t feel safe when broken down in a particular area, they should stay in their car with their windows rolled up and their doors locked. Should anyone suspicious approach the car while they’re stranded, they should repeatedly honk their horn and flash their lights to catch the attention of passing vehicles.

People exiting their vehicle should always get out on the side away from passing traffic. People should never stand directly behind or in front of their car, especially at night, since other cars might run into it. If possible, people should drive their car very slowly to a large shoulder, or off the highway entirely. Even on a flat tire, a vehicle can still move a short distance at a slow speed.