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Just like no one should travel without a sound spare tire, people should consider making a portable air compressor an essential part of their Jeep car kit. Not only can they inflate your tire, but they may also help you fix punctures in an emergency (think off-road.) They can also help engage air-locking differentials and help you re-bead a tire that has come off the rim. As an added 4×4 away venture, they can even pump up your air mattress!
If you are seeking a reliable and portable air compressor, look no further. We have done the hard work for you and have given an in-depth look at these 7 best portable air compressors for Jeep in 2021. First, let’s get up to speed with some of the air compressor terminologies.
What to look for in an air Compressor for your Jeep
The Duty Cycle of your Compressor
All air compressors are subject to the heat created by pressurized air. The air that surrounds us is full of different molecules that release energy as heat when under compression.
An air compressor’s duty cycle tells you how long the unit can run in an hour without having to cool down. The manufacturer can either express this as time, such as 25 minutes or as a percentage, like 33 percent. A duty cycle of 25 minutes means that your air compressor can be run of 25 minutes out of 60 minutes and rest the remaining 35. A duty cycle of 33% means the compressor may run for a third of an hour (20 minutes) before it needs to be rested for the remainder of the hour.
The CFM Capacity
CFM is short for cubic feet per minute and measures how much air a portable compressor can send to a tire during inflation. Compressors with a higher CFM rating will inflate tires more quickly and draw more amperage from your vehicle.
This CFM level drops from a 0 PSI of a defeated tire increases as the filling tire offers more resistance. That is why the Viair 400P has a 2.30 CFM at 0 PSI but only 1.54 at 60 PSI. When it comes to average 4×4 tires, a twenty-minute duty cycle should be ample, unless you plan to share the compressor with more than one vehicle.
|Brand||Dimensions||Weight||Voltage||Maximum Continuous Cycle Time (Duty Cycle)||Includes|
|1. Smittybilt||16.1 x 11.4 x 10.8 inches||20.3 lbs||12 Volts||40 minutes @ 40 psi||Pressure hose, carry bag||Shop Now|
|2. Viair 400P Portable compressor||11.25 x 4.00 x 7.00 inches||8.5 lbs||12 Volts||33% at 100 PSI||25-foot air hose, Carry bag, 3 piece inflation tips, heavy-duty clamps||Shop Now|
|3. ARB (CKMP12) 12 Volt portable Air Compressor||17.32 x 9.84 x 8.66 inches||16 lbs||12 Volt||50% @ 72 degrees Fahrenheit||19 feet hose, Quality hard case, two heavy-duty clamps||Shop Now|
|4. Tuff Stuff TS-150-CMP-XT Portable Air Compressor||13 x 6 x 9 inches||12 lbs||19 Volts||N/A||Hose, battery clamps, three air hose nozzles||Shop Now|
|5. Superflow 12 Volt MaxVolume Air Compressor||15.75 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches||12 lbs||12 Volt||20 minutes on 20 minutes off||16-foot coiled hose, 3 nozzle adaptor set, nylon carry case||Shop Now|
|6. GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator Heavy Duty Double Cylinders||11.9 x 9 x 6 inches||6.54 Lbs||12 Volt||20 minutes on, then rest for ten||11.5-foot air hose with 11.5-foot cigarette lighter power cord, carry case, 3 nozzle attachments||Shop Now|
You can air-up or air-down with this powerful and compact Smittybilt air compressor. It has an impressive 5 cubic feet per minute feed and the safety of an onboard circuit breaker to protect your car motor from damage.
The coiled 24-foot hose can easily reach all four wheels from your front bumper, and its anti-vibration rubberized feet prevent movement during operation. The duty cycle is not the longest on the market, but it makes up for it with a speed of 72 liters per minute.
The Smittybilt air compressor is sturdy and robust and has a solid construction and is a dependable and sturdy alternative.
The Smittybilt 2781 5.65 Universal Air Compressor at a Glance
- Built-in circuit breaker to prevent motor damage
- A maximum duty cycle of 40 minutes at 40 psi
- 1/3-horsepower direct-drive motor
- Quick-release 24-foot coil hose
- Easy to read pressure gauge 150 psi
- Maximum airflow of 72 liters a minute
- Built-in, cleanable air filter
- Ant vibration rubberized feet
- Storage bag included
Customers praised the Smittybilt 2781 5.65 as being fast and well constructed. Many reviewers remarked how fast this compressor is compared to other even more expensive options on the market.
While the quality of the pump itself was praised, many reviews pointed out the proprietary hose connection is threaded for a metric fitting and cannot be replaced easily with the standard type hoses.
The Smittbilt 2781 5.65 air compressor is sturdy and fast. The power does come with a cost, as the compressor heats up reasonably quickly and gets very hot. The duty cycle is not the best out there, but its size and price range are impressively fast and durable.
The Viair 400P is compact and durable and a great add-in on your Jeep adventures. This compressor will take your 35″ tire from 15 to 30 PSI in just over 5 minutes. The 33% duty cycle means that you need to rest the compressor between actions. This percentage reflects the compressor on time and off-time ratio.
The online PSI air gauge has a connection that allows for air-up, air-up intermittently, air-down, and air-down intermittently. The Viair 400P comes with a heavy-duty sand tray with vibration isolators for a quite and smoother operation.
Viair 400P Portable Compressor Features at a Glance
- 150 maximum working pressure
- 33% duty cycle
- PSI online gauge with variable functions
- 25-foot hose
- 2 heavy-duty clamps included
- 12 Volt motor
- Dual compartment carry bag
- 5-in-1 Inflator/Deflator with Inline 100 PSI Gauge
- Thermal overload protector
- Maximum amp draw 30 amps
- Heavy-duty sand tray with vibration isolators
- A permanent magnetic motor
- 1-year warranty
Customers gave positive feedback about the Viaiar 400P and commended the quality of the design. A few people had problems with the intense heat that the 400P generated, but they may not have followed the 33% cycle-duty restrictions.
For its compact dimensions and comparatively lightweight of 8.5 pounds, the Avair is sturdy and dependable. The vibration-isolating rubber connection to the built-in sand tray makes for a less noisy and smoother action.
For its size, the ARB is one of the highest flowing portable compressors for its class. The device is fully sealed to prevent moisture or dust from damaging the interior components.
The compressor comes mounted in a high quality and durable hard carry case for protection. The ARB has excellent safety features such as a pressure limit cut off and a thermal cut off to protect your motor from heat damage. The ARB has enough output to air up four 35″ tires in a single duty cycle.
The ARB CKMP12 Compressor at a Glance
- Housed in a durable and hard carry case
- Moisture and dust sealed components
- Bronzed air filter in a splash-proof cover
- 100 % ball bearings equipped motor
- 19 feet of air hose
- Corrosion-resistant hose couplings with one-handed push lock
- Extra nozzle attachments of various sizes
- High-grade alligator clips
- Anodised mounting bracket to dissipate motor heat
- 2-year warranty
Customers found the ARB compressor with a high-quality item and were impressed by the tire-up speed. Although out of the many highly praised reviews, there seemed to be some dissatisfaction with the accessories.
Users complained that the crocodile clamp had ineffective ridges and often slipped and that the air hoses had a minimal lifespan due to pressure and heat and needed to be replaced.
The ARB CKMP12 compressor is a quality instrument that is lightweight yet solidly built. The added safety features make the compressor a safer option, and the stylish case is a bonus.
The Tuff Stuff Xtreme air compressor packs a lot of punch for the price and is ideal for Jeep tires that require 50 PSI of air (for 35 inch and taller). The manufacturer designed a large volume cylinder to deliver maximum airflow (5.65 CFM) so you can air-up and be on the road in no time.
This Tuff Stuff air compressor comes in at a much lower price than its competitors at the same price. They have added aluminum cooling fins to cool the piston under the increased heat generated by the extra-large volume airflow.
Tuff Stuff Overland Xtreme Portable Air Compressor at a glance
- Up to 5.65 CFM airflow (160 liters/minute)
- Extra-large cylinder for maximum airflow
- 150 psi starting pressure (Max 120 psi working pressure)
- Thermal overload protection
- Anti-vibration rubber-mounted sand tray for stability
- Removable air filter for easy cleaning
- Compact and sturdy
- Can be Hard mounted
- Easy to read gauge
The reviews were mostly complimentary about the compressor’s fast and powerful action at such an affordable price. There were a few complaints about the unit’s heat, but that seems par for the course concerning air pressure affects.
A few users complained that the carry bag was far too flimsy for the device’s weight and tore when moving the unit from place to place.
The Tuff Stuff Xtreme air compressor is excellent value for money and is sturdy and fast performing. The increased air capacity speeds the air-up process considerably.
The Superflow MaxVolume compressor is designed to inflate a variety of tires, including 4x4s and RVs. Imagine what it could do for your Jeep with the power to inflate full truck tires from 25-35 psi in under 2 minutes. With a 20 on 20 off duty cycle, you can quickly fill all four tires and be back on the trail.
It comes in a sturdy nylon carry case with a 16-foot air hose and clamps. The compact frame lets you store your compressor easily in your Jeep.
The Superflow 12 Volt MaxVolume Air Compressor at a Glance
- Inflates a 37″ tire in under 2 minutes
- 12 Volt 2/3 Horsepower motor
- 10-foot heavy-duty power cord
- Easy twist brass inflator
- Durable carry bag
- 3500 cubic inches of airflow
- Compact for storage
- 1-year warranty
There were some issues with the length of the hose attachment that was difficult to use in extended cabs and larger vehicles. This problem can easily be solved with an extension, so it’s not a structural complaint.
The all-plastic frame certainly doesn’t match up to some of the compressors in its class. However, it does do the job it is set to do and is a popular mid-price-range choice.
The GSPSCN air compressor is small but sturdy and has an impressive 70 liter of air per minute output. The machine is lightweight compared to the other compressors in its class, which gives it top marks for portability.
The dual cylinders pump air for robust and fast inflation, and the low rotation of the direct-drive motor makes a more stable and quiet performance.
The GSPSCN Silver Tire Inflator Heavy Duty with Dual Cylinders at a glance
- Powerful 12-Volt engine
- A capacity of 70 liters of air per minute
- Dual cylinders for extra power
- Inflates standard tires in under 2 minutes
- Rubberized feet stabilize and reduce noise
- Durable nylon carry case
- A direct drive inflation pump
- Quality clamps included
- 11.5-foot air coiled hose
- Cigarette lighter attachment with built-in 25A fuse and spare
- 12-month warranty
Several Jeep customers highly recommended the GSPSCN air compressor and claimed that their 35″ tires aired up from 15 to 30lbs in three minutes. Many users claimed that it is great for off-roading.
A few users down rated the unit due to missing attachments in the delivery but generally a positive user response.
The compressor looks very sleek and seems to deliver in most aspects of its specs. The unit is a good value for its class and a solid choice as a handy addition to your Jeep. It seems a shame that a reliable product has been let down by missing parts.
What is an Automatic Air Compressor?
An automatic air compressor is handy because you can move between tires without switching your compressor on and off. You will also not have to switch off your pump to read your tire pressure accurately.
What pressure Should your Tires Be?
There are many different types of tires, and you would have to refer to your manufacturer to find your ideal tire pressure. This information is essential to know before attempting to use a portable air compressor. Also, the rule of thumb is:
Check your tire pressure when it is cold because the manufacturers base their recommended pressure on a cold tire PSI (or kPa) reading. The friction between the road and your tires builds up heat and heats the air inside your tires, thus building up a higher pressure.
Other Features to look out For in an Air Compressor for your Jeep
Air hose and power cord quality and length
The length of your power cord should reach from your battery safely outside your vehicle. Likewise, your hose length should be adequate to reach your tires with ease.
The air hose has to put up with a large amount of pressurized air and shouldn’t be flimsy. Your power cable should be robust enough to stand up to your compressor’s power load and have high-quality connections.
A legible and accurate gauge
Make sure you have a high-quality gauge with clearly marked gradations.
The duty cycle refers to how long your compressor can operate in a one hour cycle without having to cool down. Make sure that your duty cycle length is long enough for the amount of inflation you might need to perform.
Output in CFM
CFM or cubic feet per second refers to how much air flow your compressor will deliver into your tire. Make sure that your CFM is at least 1.5 to 2 CFM to inflate your tires at a reasonable rate.
Thermal protection is essential to protect the motor of your compressor from becoming too hot and burning out.
Inflation speed dictates the speed of your tire inflation from flat or partially inflated.
Good quality storage bags/containers will protect your compressor and improve its longevity and portability.
The kind of chuck your compressor has can make your life easier. A chuck is the part of your compressor that attaches to your tire valve. The chuck comes in a twist or screw-on version or a press-on version.
The screw-on versions provide a tighter and more reliable seal, whereas the press on chucks is easy to connect and disconnect. The press-on chucks tend to suffer more from debris and sand and may not be ideal from extreme conditions.
12-volt outlet or direct battery clamps are options you might encounter when looking for the best air compressors for a Jeep. The 12-volt cigarette lighter socket may have the necessary voltage, but specific air compressors need at least 15 amps or 180 watts of power that a standard 12-volt plug can not supply.
If you are unsure of your outlet’s amp capacity, it may be stamped above or below the opening, or you might have to find it in your owner’s manual. Generally, the amps for a standard 12-volt socket is around 13 and will probably blow a fuse if you link it to your air compressor.
Decibels don’t seem like a critical feature when choosing your air compressor, but some of them can be uncomfortably loud. When you might have to kneel close by for several minutes at a time, you should look out for noise reduction features. Built-in heavy-duty sand bars help stabilize a unit and reduce noise, and rubberized feet also work to dampen sound.
Portability and size are a factor to take into account when buying an air compressor for your Jeep. Ensure the measurements fit your designated spot so that it does not become a headache when loading up for a long drive.
A decent warranty is a must when considering an air compressor considering most of them come with quite a hefty price tag. Warranty is an expression of faith by a manufacturer that the goods you buy are of high quality. You should expect a year’s warranty at least when you purchase your compressor.
Why Buy an Air Compressor for your Jeep?
Besides giving you the freedom to air-up and air-down to suit the climate and terrain, portable air compressors make your tires last longer (and we all know how expensive Jeep tires are to replace.)The biggest culprit behind the wear and tear of your tries are either inner air pressure that is too high or too low.
There is no monetary value that can be given to peace of mind. Especially if you travel out far in your Jeep into isolated areas, your portable air compressor is not only handy but will help you in emergencies. If you have the correct tire repair equipment, portable air compressors can help you repair your tires.
There are many portable air compressors on the market, and you need to know what you need before you commit to buy. Do your homework and know what specs will perfectly suit your needs.
Pay attention to manufacturer specs regarding cycle duty and use your compressor responsibly to increase its lifespan. Clean the filters often and make sure to clean off any terrain that made its way onto your unit. Hopefully, you may have already found the perfect fit in the above 7 of the best, and we wish you many happy trails.