THE BEST OFF-ROAD AIR COMPRESSOR OPTIONS

THE BEST OFF-ROAD AIR COMPRESSOR OPTIONS

Looking for the The Best Off-Road Air Compressor Options?

In A Rush? Check Out The Number 1 Pick Here:

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Driving off-road is fantastic. The world is your oyster. Every bump and jump delivers a rush of adrenaline. For us, there is no greater experience. Hopefully, it lasts as long as possible but, let’s be honest, bouncing over that rough terrain is going to do a number on all your tires. The bumps will deflate tires. Some may even get holes. Chances are that you want to get back on the road quickly, and this means bringing a portable air compressor with you.

A portable air compressor will help give your car tires a bit of air, hopefully allowing you to continue your off-road adventures or, at the very least, allow you to get to a real road where you can get them fixed.

It isn’t tough finding something that claims to be an off-road air compressor. Not all of them are great, though. So, if you are looking for an off-road air compressor, we have 5 suggestions for you here. One to suit every potential budget.

How To Choose The Best Off-Road Air Compressor

Before we dive into our list of air compressors, we want to give you a quick overview of what makes portable air compressors great air compressors. Hopefully, this should give you more information about what type of off-road air compressor you should be using to give your tires or spare tire a healthy dose of extra air.

Power

Your main concern when picking up a portable air compressor will be power. Obviously, when you are driving off-road, you don’t have the convenience of a wall plug to plug your air compressor into. You need to rely on vehicle power, and this is 12V.

This means that any off-road air compressors need to be rated to work on a 12V supply. They will clip to the battery (in most cases). Do bear in mind that these air compressors won’t actually plug into a normal wall outlet. So, you would need to pick up a different air compressor (or a transformer) if you are looking to keep those truck tires inflated at home.

Air Flow

Powering your air compressor will put a lot of strain on the vehicle’s battery, so you need those tires to be inflated incredibly quickly. This way, you can get those battery clip wires unclipped and back on the road quickly.

Airflow is measured as CFM or the amount of air that flows through per minute. The higher this number, the more airflow, and the quicker the tires will get inflated. This will also be great for large truck tires.

Do bear in mind that the higher the CFM, the more expensive the compressors will be. Therefore, you want to strike the right balance between the two when picking up an off-roading air compressor for inflating tires.

Max Air Pressure

Your tires will have the maximum amount of pressure they should have. Tire pressure will be measured in PSI.

Air compressors can only work up to a certain PSI. Smaller, cheaper, off-road air compressors may not be able to deliver the amount of air pressure your tires need. So, try and look for air compressors that offer a PSI in excess of what your tires demand.

If you want to know your vehicle tire’s maximum pressure, then check the manual. If you have aftermarket vehicle tires, then consult the spec for the tires that you have picked up. If the maximum airflow of the air compressor is less than or equal to the max pressure for your tires, then you won’t be able to inflate them properly.

Noise Level

You may think that a portable air compressor designed for off-road use doesn’t need to be quiet. It does, though. You are going to be up close and personal with that air compressor, so you don’t want it to deafen you.

Do bear in mind that the noise level of air compressors is always going to be quite high. If you can, wear ear protectors when using an off-road air compressor.

Durability

Sure, your air compressor isn’t going to be going quite through the stress that your vehicle will be going through, but the last thing you want is to attempt to inflate tires and find that your air compressor isn’t working.

Pick something that has been robustly-built, and contains features that help to protect it (e.g. auto-thermal cutoff switch, rubber feet, etc.)

We always suggest buying from one of the bigger brands. It is much easier to end up with something quality like that. Many of them will even come with a convenient storage bag for even more protection.

Versatility

If you are off-road, it may be wise to buy portable compressors that are versatile. For example, if the air compressor can help to top up an air mattress, then it would be great for camping. If it could be used to power air tools, then even better. After all, air tools, especially air impact wrenches, can be lifesavers when driving.

Duty Cycle Time

This is the amount that your air compressor can run without being shut off. This will be listed as a combination of PSI and a time. So, if you had a duty cycle time of 40 PSI and 40 minutes, it means that the air compressor can run for 40 minutes without being switched off.

The problem is that most air compressors don’t list their duty cycle time. We have included it for the air compressors that have it. Although, thankfully, this probably isn’t going to be an issue for most of the reasons why you would need to use an off-road air compressor. You shouldn’t be inflating tires often enough to even get close to the max duty cycle.

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Top 5 Best Off-Road Air Compressor Options

Now you know what you should be looking for in your off-road air compressor, let’s dive into five different options that may be worth checking out. We have tested all of these, and they bring a tremendous amount to the table.

We have decided to choose something for every budget, although, we haven’t selected any of the cheaper off-road air compressors (there are some sub-$50). This is because they genuinely are not worth it. They aren’t great for off-roading as they can neither deliver the desired pressure for your tires nor are they robust enough to trust. So, give them a skip.

1. VIAIR 400P

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The VIAIR 400P is one of the best off-road air compressors. It comes with everything that you need to get started. This includes a storage bag, an inline pressure gauge, and power leads for hooking up to your battery.

This delivers a maximum PSI of 150 PSI, which is good for all off-road tires, including agricultural tires up to 35″. With a 2.3CFM, it can even offer quick tire inflation on those large tires too.

Now, we know that there are some people that will say that the 150 PSI is overkill, and it is considerably more than anything on an off-road truck (including larger truck tires) will ever need. However, we like the high PSI. It makes the air compressor much more efficient when you are topping up your tire’s pressure.

Despite the raw power behind the VIAIR 400P, it weighs just a little over 10 lbs which, while not light, is still a light enough portable air compressor that you can just place it into your truck and ‘forget’ about it. Hopefully, you never have to use it.

The only major issue that we have with this air compressor is that it can get incredibly hot. So, if you are off-roading and you need to top-up your air pressure with an air compressor, then you will need to give it a couple of minutes to cool down before you throw it back in your vehicle.

Pros:

  • Fast inflation
  • High PSI
  • Contains everything you need

Cons:

  • Can get a bit hot

2. ALL-TOP Air Compressor Kit

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Weighing in at 16 lbs, the ALL-TOP Air Compressor Kit is probably the heaviest off-road air compressor on this list. Although, 16 lbs certainly isn’t too ‘over the top’. Most people still shouldn’t have issues carrying this portable air compressor around. It delivers a significant amount of power for the weight too.

Offering a max of 150 PSI and airflow of 7.6CFM, this ALL-TOP air compressor can get your tires inflated in a little under 3 minutes per piece. It doesn’t need a whole lot of power from your car’s battery either.

This air compressor is fantastic for those that are doing a lot of driving in dry, dusty locations. The problem with most cheaper air compressors is that it is incredibly tough to keep the switch clean. If you are somewhere filled with sand, then little grains can get stuck behind the switch of the air compressor, meaning that it will need to be replaced. Not a problem here. The switch is certified sand-proof.

Everything that you need to get started is included here. Including:

  • Multiple nozzle adaptors, suitable for most vehicles
  • The power cord of 6.5 feet for running from the battery to your air compressor.
  • Storage bag
  • 26-foot rubber air hose (with a pressure gauge)

Pros:

  • Fast inflation
  • Accurate pressure gauge
  • Sand-proof switch

Cons:

  • Very heavy

3. Gobege 12V Air Compressor

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The Gobege 12V air compressor has been designed pretty much from the ground up to be one of the best off-road air compressors for larger tires, and we know of plenty of people that have loaded up their off-road trucks and SUVs with the Gobege to ensure that they can maintain proper tire pressure on the road.

The Gobege can deliver 6.35 CFM and a max of 150 PSI. The duty cycle time, assuming that you are running at 40PSI, means that this can run uninterrupted for 40 minutes which is easily one of the best duty cycle times for off-road air compressors.

The Gobege can deliver enough air to get most tires fully inflated in under 5 minutes. Although, this will depend on the size of the tires that you are connecting up to your portable compressor.

Sadly, there is no auto shut-off when you reach the desired pressure here, although that doesn’t matter too much. most portable compressor options don’t really have that. The Gobege does have an auto-shutoff should the air compressor overheat, though.

Once again, you get everything that you need to get started with off-road air compressors here. Although, some people recommend that you upgrade the air hose. It is a good air hose, but sometimes it does feel a little bit stiff when you are using it.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Fast tire inflation
  • Good duty cycle time

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Stiff air hose

4. Tozalazz 12V Air Compressor

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For filling your tires fast, you would struggle to find a better off-road air compressor than this one. The high CFM (7CFM at 30 PSI) can fill most off-road tires in under 2-3 minutes.

It is also one of the quietest air compressors on this list. Significantly so, too. Most of the others come in at 70-75dB, while this is a rather small 65 dB. This is due to the design of the Tozalazz using far fewer moving parts, and no oil. It keeps both sound and maintenance to a minimum!

While it is rated up to 150 PSI, it does start to struggle around the 50-60 PSI mark. Although, for most off-roaders, this won’t matter too much.

The kit comes with air hoses, power cords, and an air pressure gauge. You may want to pick up longer power cords, as they are only 8 feet.

Pros:

  • Fast-filling of tires
  • Quiet
  • Comes with everything you need

Cons:

  • Struggles beyond 50-60 PSI.
  • Needs a better power cable.

5. GSPSCN Red Tire Inflator

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This is by far the cheapest off-road air compressor on this list. While it is a great choice, it isn’t one that we would really recommend unless you want to stick to a strict budget when buying tire-inflating air compressors. It isn’t exceedingly durable, just ‘good enough’. It weighs 6 lbs, which is just a fraction of the other portable air compressors, which should give you an idea of the build quality.

Still, it is surprisingly good for what you pay. It offers a maximum of 150 PSI and can get your tires inflated in just a few minutes.

The problem is that you will need to purchase a few additional accessories if you want to use this as an off-road air compressor. You will need a tire pressure gauge, a better air hose, etc. The cost isn’t that high, but it will add up.

This is really going to be best used as a backup off-road air compressor rather than the main tool you have in your arsenal.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Fills tires fast

Cons:

  • Need to purchase additional accessories

Final Thoughts – Our Verdict

If you want the best air compressor for off-roading, then pick up the VIAIR 400P. It delivers fast tire filling with high durability. Perfect for off-road use. If you are sticking to a budget, then pick up the GSPCSN Red Tire Inflator instead. While it isn’t the best on the market, it is certainly one of the best down the lower end of the price spectrum. Don’t get anything cheaper than this.

FAQs

How do you power an off-road portable air compressor?

You will need to connect the off-road portable air compressor to your vehicle’s battery using crocodile clips and a power cable. This will normally be included with your compressor.

How fast can off-road portable air compressors refill tires?

It depends on the compressor. Most can refill tires in just 2-3 minutes. Bigger tires may take up to 5 minutes.

What is the max tire pressure for off-roading?

This will depend on your tires, the terrain that you are traveling on, and your vehicle. Most off-roaders start at 20 PSI and adjust down from there.

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