5 Best Portable Air Compressors (Updated 2018)

best portable air compressors

When it comes to being able to inflate a tire or a rubber dingy for water fun, you want to have the best portable compressor that is easy to care, easy to store, and doesn’t take up too much space. Larger air compressors used in shops or home DIY are difficult to throw in your vehicle and take on a road trip or to the lake for the weekend, so these little air compressors are a great alternative to traditional stationary air compressors. We’ve created five portable air compressor reviews to help you assess what's available on the market.

best portable air compressors

1. Lifeline AAA

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The Lifeline AAA is rated as one of the best mobile air compressors, featuring a 12 volt DC charge delivering 300 psi. It comes with a 10-foot air hose, 3 nozzle adaptors for various products, and has an air pressure gauge included. All this and it only weighs 2 pounds, and measures less than a foot in length.

This is one of the best small air compressors because it is affordable at about $16USD and would easily fit in your vehicle’s trunk and can inflate a standard size tire (for a compact car) in less than 10 minutes. It’ll get you to where you need to go when you’ve lost air in your tires.

2. EPAuto

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The EPAuto is one of the best small compressors because it offers multiple uses for cars, bikes, and mid-size SUVs. It comes with a carrying case, can plug into the cigarette lighter in your car, has a LED display and an air gauge that prevents overinflation.

Weighing in at just under 4 pounds, this portable air compressor will cost you about $35USD, but at less than 10 inches in length, it’s a go anywhere kind of product that can be taken out at a moment’s notice. The round body of the compressor makes it easy to use, and it comes with an attachment hose for filling tires.

3. TireTek RXi

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At a slightly higher price than the other best portable air compressors, the TireTek will cost about $70USD, but it has a 12V and 160W air compression system that offers auto cut off so the tires don’t overinflate. This compact air compressor comes in its own sturdy carrying case and can inflate an average car tire in half the time of the Lifeline AAA: about 3 minutes.

It has an 11-foot air hose, and it weighs about 7 lbs. The body of the air compressor is the biggest of the bunch at almost 15 inches in length, but given the powerful inflation it provides, the larger size is justified.

4. Kobalt Dual Power Inflator

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Weighing about 6 lbs., and measuring less than 13 inches, this small air compressor reviews very favorably, offering dual options for tire inflation for 120W or 12V power. The pricing is a bit higher at closer to $75USD but the it can be used at home or on the road through your car’s cigarette lighter.

The rugged exterior of the compressor means it can take a beating in the trunk of your car and it’s small enough to be left there year round. It offers digital controls that shut off the compressor when the desired tire pressure has been reached.

5. Parker Eight

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This tiny electric powerhouse could be the best compact air compressor to almost fit in a pocket, offering 12V compression at 150PSI. It has a LED display and comes with a number of accessories to make it easy to use on the go.

It weighs less than 3 pounds and is the smallest of the 5 best small air compressors at only 7 inches in length. It retails for about $40USD and offers a digital reading and digital sensor to avoid over inflation of the tires. This small compressor is ideal for camping, road trips and for use around the garage for pumping bicycle tires and children’s pools.


Choosing the best small portable air compressor means considering the price, the efficiency of the product and the overall size: how small is small? In thinking about the options, the TireTek RXi is our choice for the best small portable air compressor because it offers the fastest turnaround time for tire inflation.

top rated portable air compressor

When you are worried about your tire pressure, you want the problem fixed fast. Its size, power and portability make it a good choice for anyone traveling long commutes or making their way on country roads.

When you are ready to buy your next small portable air compressor, consider the TireTek, or one of these other top 5 small air compressors. They won’t disappoint.

If you need larger capacity, have a look at our big review of the ten best air compressors, too.  It features units that can tackle almost any job you're facing.​

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com​

Bob Campbell

By day Robert "Bob" Campbell is a residential carpenter but by night (and on the weekends) he is a non-stop DIY tinkerer. As the lead editor of HandymansJournal.com Bob is able to share his passion for DIY projects and buying all the latest gear with the online world.