The 10 Best Inflators

Updated September 18, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Inflators
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Never get stuck on the side of the road with a flat again, with one of these electric tire inflators. They'll get you back on the road in no time, and can also save your breath when inflating air mattresses, pool toys and sports equipment, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best inflator on Amazon.

10. Campbell Hausfeld RP410099AV

The Campbell Hausfeld RP410099AV features an internal cooling fan to keep the inflation motor running smoothly, even as it pumps up to 150 PSI into your tires or sports equipment. It doesn't look like the most durable option out there, but it's built for use.
  • top-mounted pressure gauge
  • supports presta valves
  • awkward sealing lever
Brand Campbell Hausfeld RP410
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station

The Black & Decker ASI300 Air Station may be small, but it is surprisingly powerful. It weighs just 6 lbs., so anybody can lift it out of the trunk of a car when needed, and it has an EZ air dial for instant automatic shut-off.
  • includes tire nozzle and needle
  • comes with 2 year warranty
  • difficult fuse changes
Brand Black & Decker
Model ASI300
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Black & Decker ASI500

The Black & Decker ASI500 is a cordless option that runs off an internal 12V battery, which can be fully charged in just 4 to 5 hours. It has a digital pressure gauge and can automatically shut off when the desired pressure is reached.
  • on-board accessory storage
  • can inflate 4 tires on one charge
  • somewhat complicated to use
Brand Black & Decker
Model ASI500
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Bell Automotive BellAire 4000

The Bell Automotive BellAire 4000 inflator is the perfect choice when servicing a car on the road. It has a bright triangular warning flasher that can be turned on or off to alert other motorists of a potential danger to the side of the road.
  • long 10 foot power cord
  • programmable pressure gauge
  • 2 foot air hose is too short
Brand Bell Automotive
Model 22-1-34000-8
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. LEMFO Mini

The LEMFO Mini operates at a range up to 260 PSI, making it strong enough to handle even oversized tires. It comes with three nozzle adapters, so you can also fill bike tires and sports equipment, and it has a fun tire design.
  • good value option
  • front integrated pressure gauge
  • extremely loud and vibrates a lot
Model pending
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Goodyear i8000 Direct Drive

The Goodyear i8000 Direct Drive lives up to the company's good name, providing enough power to fill tires in just two and a half minutes. It is extremely quiet while in operation, and its air hose has a long reach of 24 feet.
  • quick connect pvc air hose
  • uses a standard wall outlet
  • carrying handle increases size
Brand Bon-Aire
Model i8000
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Suaoki DC Portable

The Suaoki DC Portable may not achieve the same maximum PSI as the majority of its competition, but it reaches more than most car and truck tires could require. Its backlit LED screen makes it easy to inflate after dark or in a dimly lit garage.
  • three unit readings
  • seven minute inflation
  • hose is on the short side
Brand Suaoki DC Portable
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. P.I. Auto Store Premium 003

The large, easy-to-read LED pressure gauge on the P.I. Auto Store Premium 003 gives you a precise reading down to a tenth of a pound. It can inflate a mid-sized car tire from flat to 30 PSI in under four minutes, a speed that comes in handy inflating in inclement weather.
  • spare dust caps included
  • easy adapter storage
  • display does not light up
Brand P.I. Auto Store Premium
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Slime 40022

The Slime 40022 has a digital display that shows a precise air pressure measurement. It costs no more than a half dozen gallons of gas, yet is priceless when a tire goes flat, and it can plug into your car's cigarette lighter.
  • inflate-right technology
  • rubberized feet for stability
  • compact and easy-to-store
Brand Slime
Model 40022
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Slime COMP06 Pro Power

The Slime COMP06 Pro Power is a 12-volt option that is capable of filling a standard tire in about three minutes, so you can get back on the road quicker. It features a built-in dial gauge and a bright LED light for nighttime use.
  • 16 foot long air hose
  • adapters for inflatables and balls
  • carrying bag included
Brand Slime
Model COMP06
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 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 can help drivers boost their PSI to the 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, and 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 can draw power from a car's DC port. They are also designed to recharge within just a few hours when using an AC power supply. Depending on the PSI of pressure that an inflator can produce, some 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 can prevent an accident, but in the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, having an inflator with reflectors is handy. It can be used to alert other motorists to their presence when they'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 car in well-lit areas, preferably where they can keep an eye on them. When a tire becomes worn out in one area, this can also cause 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 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.

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Last updated on September 18, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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