The 6 Best Tire Inflators With Gauges For Cars & SUVs

The problem with the current car wheel solution is that the tires will always lose some air pressure. You don’t even need to have a hole there. A simple drop in the outside air temperature can lower the pressure in the tires. Plus there is always some amount of a natural leak, which happens gradually and can often go unnoticed. However this can cause problems. Low pressured tires make it much more harder to handle the car and keep it on the road. Not to mention instances where you might drive over a random screw on the road and it blows out the tire. So that’s why it’s always a good idea to keep a tire inflator in your car.

The best tire inflators with gauges are small enough that you can keep them in your car. It doesn’t even matter if you have never had an emergency. It’s always a good idea to check the pressure at least once a month. And that’s where the gauge comes in handy. It’s the quickest and most accurate way to check the pressure. And having the inflator means that you don’t need to drive to an air compressor. You already have a small compact one in your car ready to inflate the tires.

You can even use them to inflate other tires as well. Such as tires on trailers, lawn mowers, wheelbarrows and of course bicycles. But you can also use it as just a portable air compressor. Most of the best ones come with different tips that you can use to inflate rubber boats, pools and mattresses.

The main problem is finding that good portable compressor that won’t make you go broke. There’s a lot of these advertised best tire inflators with gauges that have some insanely high numbers. But those don’t always mean the air pressure that the compressor can generate. Most of the time, it means the maximum pressure that the gauge can indicate. So it requires for you to actually read the technical data. That’s why we have put together a list of the highest rated tire inflators. All of these will be able to produce enough air pressure to pump cars tires. We have also included a couple of heavy duty models that can be used to inflate RV tires.

Model: CFM: Max Pressure: Max Tire: Power Source: Price:
Viair 78P 1.06 5.5 bar / 80 psi 225/60/18 12V Cigarette lighter Check Amazon
BLACK & DECKER ASI300 0.88 11 bar / 160 psi 225/40/18 12V Cigarette lighter, 120V Power outlet Check Amazon
DBPOWER 12V Digital 1.24 10.3 bar / 150 psi 225/60/18 12V Cigarette lighter Check Amazon
Slime Rechargeable #40033 0.8 8.2 bar / 120 psi 225/40/18 Internal battery, 12V Cigarette lighter Check Amazon
Viair 88P 1.47 8.2 bar / 120 psi 33″ × 12.5″ 12V Car battery Check Amazon
Viair 450P 1.80 11 bar / 160 psi 37″ × 12.5″ 12V Car battery Check Amazon

1. Viair 78P

The Viair 78P is in our opinion the overall best inflator with a gauge on this list. The air compressor stands out from its competitors once you actually put it next to them and start combining all the features. It simply doesn’t have any extreme weak points that would make it look the worse at any aspect. Combine the build quality, price, performance and extra features, and you get a solid product that you can’t go wrong with.

Viair 78P Tire Inflator

Let’s look at the build quality. Most of the tire inflators have a plastic case, especially the portable ones. The Viair 78P however has a high quality metal construction. This already makes it better than most of its competitors. The only downside is that its heavier. While that’s true, it’s still light enough that you can keep it in your car and not worry about an increase in fuel consumption. Plus it’s not like you’ll be walking long distances with it. So that’s not really a downside you can take seriously either. You can also say that the weight helps at keeping it steady. This tire inflator doesn’t move around the ground while using it. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about many other portable air compressors.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 187×137×91 mm / 7.35×5.4×3.6″
  • Weight: 2.3 kg / 5 lbs
  • Air hose length: 1.1 m / 45 inch
  • CFM: 1.06
  • Max tire size: 225/60/18
  • Gauge type: Digital
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 5.5 bar / 80 psi
  • Reading increments: 2 psi
  • Power source: 12V 15A (cigarette lighter)
  • Power cord length: 4.8 m / 16 ft

Next we have the performance. The Viair 78P comes with a 4.8 m / 16 ft power cord that you hook up to your cars 12V outlet, a cigarette lighter for example. It also requires at least 15 amps of power. This shouldn’t be a problem with most modern cars. Once you turn it on, you’ll notice that it’s incredibly fast. It took around 3 minutes to fully inflate a flat tire to 2.2 bar / 32 psi. And this was a completely flat tire. And most modern cars have a tire pressure warning system that let’s you know when the pressure is too low. It takes much less time to inflate the tires from that condition. According to Viair, the 78P model is designed for tires up to 225/60/18. Which means that for bigger SUV tires, this might not be enough. Personally I don’t agree with that as we also succeeded at using it with 20 inch tires, it just took longer. But I still recommend listening to the company behind it and what they recommend it for.

The Viair 78P does also come with an illuminated gauge. The gauge is rather easy to read thanks to the larger sized numbers. It also shows a 2 psi increment and the maximum pressure shown is 5.5 bar / 80 psi. It’s also one of the most accurate gauges we have used. We compared it with two different digital gauges as well and the results matched every time. I also rather like that it’s placed on top of the compressor and not onto the air hose. The inflator does come with a rather long 1.1 m / 45 inch air hose and if the gauge was attached to it, then it would be rather easy to damage it.

So when you add all of these features together, you’ll see why it’s our favorite tire inflator with a gauge. Oh and did I say that it’s super quiet (65 dB) and can run for up to 30 minutes straight? That’s why the Viair 78P is definitely worth the price if you are looking for a reliable air compressor for your car.

2. BLACK & DECKER ASI300

BLACK & DECKER is a global power tool brand. They are known for their high quality professional tools. Which is great as you already know what you can expect from it. And their ASI300 is one of our favorite tire inflators with a gauge.

BLACK DECKER ASI300 Inflator

The BLACK & DECKER ASI300 might not be the most compact air compressors, but what it does have is quality. And everything about the design and the build quality is excellent. You can just tell that it’s a high quality power tool. And that’s exactly what we would expect from such a brand. On the plus side, the design of the body isn’t all that bad. Sure it’s probably not the best to carry around but it’s manageable. It does definitely take less space in your car than many of it’s competitors. Plus it’s incredibly steady on the ground and it has a compartment for all the cables.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 254×241×165 mm / 10×9.5×6.5″
  • Weight: 2.0 kg / 4.5 lbs
  • Air hose length: 0.6 m / 24 inch
  • CFM: 0.88
  • Gauge type: Dial
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 11 bar / 160 psi
  • Reading increments: 10 psi
  • Power source: 12V (cigarette lighter), 120V wall outlet
  • Power cord length: 3.0 m / 10 ft

This is definitely one of the more powerful tire inflators on the list. It has a maximum pressure of 11 bar / 160 psi. You can also power it from your cars cigarette lighter and a 120V power outlet. So you have two sources of power that can be used. In addition, you can set the target pressure you want directly from the gauge. This gives you more freedom as you don’t need to manually turn it off.

3. DBPOWER 12V Digital Tire Inflator (Budget)

There are a lot of cheap small air compressors available. One of our favorite budget models is the DBPOWER 12V Digital Tire Inflator. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also portable and highly rated on Amazon. Plus we have reviewed a bunch of DBPOWER devices before and the brand has yet to disappoint us.

DBPOWER 12V Digital Tire Inflator

The DBPOWER 12V Digital Tire Inflator is fully made out of a really light and cheap plastic.  On the plus side, it has a nice and compact design that’s easy to bring along with you. You can just wrap the air hose and the power cord around the body, which makes it even smaller. Which means that you don’t need to worry about any cables tangling around or getting stuck behind something. In addition the tire inflator comes with a digital gauge that’s built right into the case.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 185×185×60 mm / 7.3×7.3×2.4″
  • Weight: 0.98 kg / 2.2 lbs
  • Air hose length: 0.5 m / 19.7 inch
  • CFM: 1.24
  • Gauge type: Digital
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 10.3 bar / 150 psi
  • Reading increments: 5 psi
  • Power source: 12V (cigarette lighter)
  • Power cord length: 3.0 m / 9 ft 10 inches

This digital gauge let’s you set the target pressure. This is a great feature as you don’t need to manually stop the compressor. Another thing is that it’s surprisingly powerful. The inflators maximum peak pressure is 10.3 bar / 150 psi. The maximum stable work pressure is 3.4 bar / 50 psi, which is more than enough for most cars. Besides the standard air hose, DBPOWER has also included a bunch of adapters that you can use to inflate basketballs and inflatable pools.

4. Slime Rechargeable Tire Inflator #40033 (Battery Powered)

If you are looking for something that is completely portable and doesn’t require hooking up to any power source, then the Slime Rechargeable Tire Inflator #40033 is the one for you. This tire inflator comes with an internal battery. This does of course mean that you need to make sure that it’s charged. Otherwise you’ll still need to keep it attached to a power cord. But it’s still a convenient solution if you are also planning to use it for other things besides inflating tires. Such as on a rubber pool or a boat and there isn’t a power source near you.

Slime Rechargeable Tire Inflator #40033

The Slime Rechargeable Tire Inflator #40033 is fully made out of plastic. It has a simple portable design that even includes a handle. This is great for moving it around and you don’t need to worry about it breaking since it’s built into the body. Plus it’s extremely helpful since the inflator does weigh quite a bit at 5.0 kg / 11 lbs. But that’s mostly because it has an internal battery.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 229×191×127 mm / 9.0×7.5×5.0″
  • Weight: 5.0 kg / 11 lbs
  • Air hose length: 0.6 m / 24 inch
  • CFM: 0.8
  • Gauge type: Dial
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 8.2 bar / 120 psi
  • Reading increments: 5 psi
  • Power source: 12V (cigarette lighter), Battery
  • Power cord length: 1.9 m / 6 ft 3 inches

There aren’t that many cordless inflators available. And the few that are, aren’t exactly very powerful. Out of all the cordless air compressors that we tested, the Slime Rechargeable Tire Inflator #40033 was the most powerful one. It was also the quickest at inflating tires. It takes around 6 minutes to fully inflate a 195/65/15 tire up to 2.4 bar / 35 psi. The compressor also comes with a simple analog gauge on the air hose.

5. Viair 88P (Heavy Duty)

As you have probably noticed, most of the portable air compressors mentioned are designed specifically for standard size tires and households. Unfortunately those aren’t powerful enough for larger tires. Such as the ones found on tractors and SUV’s. Well let me introduce you the Viair 88P! It’s a tire inflator that’s specifically designed for larger heavy duty tires!

Viair 88P Air Compressor

The best thing about the VIAIR air compressors is their build quality. All of their higher end air inflators are mostly made out of metal and have as few plastic details as possible. This means that you don’t have to worry about it breaking a part as much. Plus the added weight makes it more stable on the ground. VIAIR has also found the perfect balance in my opinion. The 88P is still light enough to be portable. It even comes with a bag that you can store it in and keep it in your car.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 249×142×81 mm / 9.8×5.6×3.2″
  • Weight: 2.2 kg / 4.8 lbs
  • Air hose length: 4.9 m / 16 ft
  • CFM: 1.47
  • Max tire size: 33″ × 12.5″
  • Gauge type: Dial
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 8.2 bar / 120 psi
  • Reading increments: 5 psi
  • Power source: 12V vehicle battery
  • Power cord length: 3.0 m / 10 ft

The Viair 88P is a more powerful tire inflator with a gauge. It has enough power to inflate up to 33″ tires in 6 minutes. It takes much less time to inflate any smaller tires. For example you can inflate a 225/60/18 tire from 0 to 30 psi in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The maximum working pressure is 8.2 bar / 120 psi and the duty cycle is 2 bar / 30 psi. The only downside is that the Viair 88P needs to be connected to a 12V car battery. That’s why the power cord has clamps on the end of it.

6. Viair 450P (Heavy Duty)

Another fantastic heavy duty compressor is the Viair 450P. It’s yet another Viair model for inflating even bigger SUV tires. It’s also the most powerful portable air compressor on this list! And of course this too requires using a car battery as a power source.

Viair 450P Heavy Duty Compressor

The Viair 450P is a bigger air compressor in terms of size. Which doesn’t mean that it isn’t portable. It comes with a nice bag that you can store absolutely everything inside. It even has a flat base underneath that keeps the compressor nice and steady on any surface. It’s also great for storing the compressor in your car. The entire Viair 450P is made out of metal. And the size and the materials used do make it much heavier than any other models here. On the plus side, the tire inflator comes with a nice inflation gun that has an 11 bar / 160 psi gauge added to it.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 277×191×147 mm / 10.9×7.5×5.8″
  • Weight: 5.9 kg / 13 lbs
  • Air hose length: 9.1 m / 30 ft
  • CFM: 1.80
  • Max tire size: 37″ × 12.5″
  • Gauge type: Dial
  • Gauge maximum pressure: 11 bar / 160 psi
  • Reading increments: 5 psi
  • Power source: 12V vehicle battery
  • Power cord length: 2.4 m / 8 ft

Besides being the biggest compressor, the Viair 450P is also the most powerful one. It’s designed for up to 42″ tires! Which is why this is the best model, out of all the best tire inflators on the list, for inflating heavy duty tires. It’s comes with a power cord that has clamps on the end. This is because the air compressor requires having a 12V car battery to use it. In addition, it’s one of the only portable air compressors that actually has a maximum pressure of 10.3 bar / 150 psi and a duty cycle of 6.8 bar / 100 psi. This is enough to fully inflate a 37″ × 12.5″ tire in 8 minutes.

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