7 Best Portable Air Compressors for Automobiles 2019

Posted: April 5, 2016

Introduction to Best Tire Air Compressors To Get


A portable air compressor can easily be overlooked, until something goes wrong. Whether an inflatable raft gets a leak, a tire goes flat, an air mattress needs a pump.. whatever life throws at you. You need, a good quality portable air compressor in your vehicle to help you for the worst case scenario.

In most cases, your portable car air compressor will be powered by a 12v supply (either through a cigarette lighter OR, the 12v battery terminals). In some cases, you will need to use a power inverter to connect your compressors power cord, directly to the vehicles power.

Small air compressors in most cases will give you anywhere from 10-90 PSI of compressed air. Due to the lower power usage, it’s all they will be capable of. We put together a list of the best portable air compressors, each of these products are here because users find them: useful, good value, and highly functional and for an accurate reading use a leading tire pressure gauge.


Here’s 7 Best Small Air Compressors To Buy


7. Black & Decker ASI300 Small Portable Air Compressor

Black & Decker ASI300 Small Portable Air Compressor

Black & Decker ASI300

When it comes to portable air compressors, it doesn’t get much more basic than this Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station. With that being said, that is probably what is so exciting and popular about this unit. The easy to use interface and overall size, makes it a  perfect compact unit to easily store in the trunk of your vehicle.

Some of things you can inflate with this portable 12v (works with both cigarette lighter outlet and 110v outlet) air compressor are lawnmower tires, bike tires, car and truck tires, sports balls, and other inflatables (not limited to air mattress and rafts). When desired air pressure has been reached, this unit automatically shuts off to not over-inflated.

Accessories such as standard tire nozzle, needle inflator, and extension nozzles are all included. Overall price is great for a basic unit, view on Amazon for the today’s lowest price.


6. LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12V Small Air Compressor

LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12V Small Air Compressor

LifeLine AAA

The most affordable, best small air compressor, and with a solid satisfied customer base, is the LifeLine AAA 300PSI 12v Air Compressor.
Very compact in size and overall design, this unit has a very simple layout showing you the PSI gauge in the front, and an on/off switch on the front. That’s it.

In terms of pressure, you can use this air portable compressor to inflate things up to 300 psi. A 10 foot power cord which goes directly into your cigarette lighter gives you plenty of length. You get 3 nozzles with this compressor, one for inflating things like sports balls, and there others to inflate other common items (tires, mattresses etc).

Less than 20 dollars gets you a good basic compressor, for those times when a flat happens, grab one of these.

5. Porter-Cable CMB15 150PSI 1.5Gal Portable Air Compressor

 Porter-Cable CMB15 150PSI 1.5Gal Portable Air Compressor

Porter-Cable CMB15

As we move towards the more robust and feature packed portable air compressors, the Porter-Cable CMB15 is a slightly bigger 1.5 gallon electric air compressor. Right around 20 lbs in weight dry, the 1.5 gallon tank has the capacity of holding 150 psi of air pressure. In addition to storing the pressure, instead of just allowing you to inflate things, you can also run power tools from this unit .

The built-in pump allows you to run it “oil-free”, no additional lubricating is required at all. Its low amp 120v motor starts in all temperatures (although requires a wall outlet or a power inverter to run).

Lastly, the included accessories that come with this portable air compressor are a 25-foot coil hose, a verity of hose nozzles, and teflon tape.

In conclusion the Porter-Cable CMB15 is bulkier and more powerful than the two mentioned above. When it comes down to this brands overall reliability, its probably one of the best portable air compressors you can get for a relatively reasonable price.

4. Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Car Air Compressor (Portable)

Porter-Cable PCFP02003 Pancake Car Air Compressor

Porter-Cable PCFP02003

Taking a much more traditional approach to portable air compressors, this is probably the biggest air compressor we have here while stilling being one you could bring with you with no trouble at all. The Porter-Cable PCFP02003 is a 3.5 gallon and 135psi capacity “pancake” styled air compressor.

The overall compressor is great for not only pumping up tires, air mattresses and such, but also great for use with lower power tools.  The low amp 120v motor does require a power inverter if you’re looking to carry it within a vehicle, however otherwise you can use a 110v outlet.

For the pump to run all the time, there’s no oiling required. Fairly priced, and more than twice as big as the previous Porter-Cable mentioned earlier.

3. Viair 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 88P Portable Air Compressor

Viair 88P

Viair 88P Portable air compressor is one of those units where you’re amazed as to how simple it is to use, and how well built the item is swell for so little. This unit in particular boasts a maximum PSI rating of 120. Pump up tires, air mattresses, and other inflatables. To power it up, use the alligator clips to connect them directly to your vehicles battery.

This is a great unit for small ATV’s, trucks, SUV’s, and sedans with up to 33” inch tires (which is more like for lifted trucks and SUV’s). There’s a 9 foot power cord which gives you a fair amount of length to reach the vehicles battery. In terms of air, you have a 12 foot long stretchable hose. For different types of inflations, there’s a 3 peace inflation top kit which works great for other items such as sports balls.

For around 65 dollars or so and over 820 individual user reviews giving it an AMAZING score, its worth checking out.


2. Kensun YS-205 Portable Air Compressor For Tires

Kensun YS-205 Portable Air Compressor

Kensun YS-205

A 12 volt portable air compressor needs to be ergonomic, one that will fit in your hands perfectly and just as easily be stored away with ease. The Kensun YS-205 Portable Air Compressor is the answer.

What’s unique about this one in particular is it’s easy to handle and carry around. The economic handle on-top makes it simple to move it from place to place. All the switches are located right at your finger tips, and also the PSI gauge is located right in front of you (max pumping pressure of 40 PSI).

This unit comes with a two sided cigarette lighter power cord, and also a 110 volt power cord that goes directly to a wall outlet. Additional accessories such as a needle styled nozzle for pumping up sports balls, and a few others.

Overall cost of thing little unit is fantastic, less than 50 dollars! More than 2,040 individual user reviews recommend this compressor.


1. Viair 70p Heavy Duty Portable Tire Air Compressor

Viair 70p Heavy Duty Portable Tire Air Compressor

Viair 70P

If you do even the slightest amount of research on portable car air compressors, you’ll see the Viair is a brand that is tailored towards higher quality built compressors. In this example, we have the Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Air Compressor. This product works from your vehicles 12 volt cigarette lighter power outlet.

Maximum pressure for pumping up tires should be around 100 PSI (engine must be running during use). A nice carrying bag is included, easily stores into the bagged can be placed in your vehicle’s trunk for emergencies.

Pressure gauge and on/off switch are located right in front of you for easy access. Additional accessories such as a 4 foot air hose and a 16 foot are all included.

Solid quality, fair price, and over 1,600 individual user reviews have given it a thumbs up! From our careful research, this is the best portable air compressor we could find for sheer quality.

Here’s a few extra guides you may find interesting:


Quick video on portable air compressors