Going off the road with your vehicle is the most exhilarating experience one may ever feel, and having the best off-road air compressor can maximize that potential for thrill-seeking individuals. Because having to drag your ride after each journey can easily be tiresome & not to mention, damage your car.
Our article offers you the solution of inflating your tires, to enhance your off-road events and give you a supreme level of comfort in the process. Scroll all the way till the end to learn all about off-road air compressors, and make your pick from our 7 hand-picked units that are designed specifically for this purpose.
- Best Off-Road Air Compressor: 7 Of Our Most Premium Picks
- VIAIR 450P-RV Silver Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
- ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor
- VIAIR – 40045 400P-Automatic Function Portable Compressor
- VIAIR Constant Duty Onboard Air System – 10007
- Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor
- Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor
- RoofPax Air Compressor for Car Tires
- What Are The Convenient Features For The Best Off-Road Air Compressor?
- Concluding Remarks
What Is An Off-Road Air Compressor?
An off-road air compressor is basically a tire inflator that is very essential when you rejoin back to the road from your off-road journey. Usually, off-road surfaces are uneven and tricky to maneuver, so having slightly deflated tires allows you higher traction.
But what about the time you rejoin the road? How are you going to inflate again, as there’s no guarantee of a garage nearby? An off-road air compressor is the solution. Instead of dragging your flat or low-pressure tired vehicle causing permanent damage, you can easily inflate your tires back in a matter of minutes and be on your way with all the happy off-road memories.
Air Compressor Types
Before making your purchase, you must know the mounting situation of your air compressors. In this regard, air compressors can be classified into two types: Portable and Onboard.
Portable inflators do what they sound like – you can carry them easily and they don’t require any permanent installation process. This makes it easy for you to store them in your garage and have them around when you need to.
Portable inflators can serve multiple purposes, like pumping up your football or filling in the inflatable mattress. If you feel your vehicle doesn’t have enough space for a permanent inflator installation, you can opt for a portable one any day without compromising any advantage.
Onboard inflators are permanent attachments to your vehicle unlike the portable ones. They require extensive body work, adjustments and realignments to fit perfectly. You’ll need to assess the available storage space before committing to such off-road air compressors.
Onboard compressors are convenient in the sense that you’ll be able to control them from your dashboard and check the pressure gauge. If you go on off-road adventures regularly, this should be your preferred kit. But one downside is that it requires time and money for the mounting, but it is counterbalanced by the level of convenience it’ll offer you afterwards.
Best Off-Road Air Compressor: 7 Of Our Most Premium Picks
Air compressors are dropping in the market with fancy features each year, but not all of them are able to deliver the performance they often advertise. Our experts have dug deep into the inflators and picked out 7 of the most premium off-road tire inflators in the market that’ll surely satisfy all your needs.
VIAIR 450P-RV Silver Automatic Portable Compressor Kit
VIAIR is one of the most premium brands when it comes to off-roading accessories and their 450P-RV portable kit might just be the ideal choice for an air compressor right now. Designed with the most convenient features, this kit seeks to offer you utmost comfort and control for your tire inflation during your off-roading adventures.
This is a portable air compressor that weighs only 18 pounds. Among many significant features of this unit, the Automatic Shut Off function is a significant one. Regular portable air compressors need you to turn them off while moving from one tire to the other while refilling and checking tire pressure. But if you use the VIAIR 450P-RV, that won’t be necessary. It automatically switches off and a built-in pressure switch turns it on, which saves significant time and effort.
You won’t have to look for a gas filling station when you join back to the concrete road from your offroad journey, as this kit comes with a gas station-style tire inflation gun with a 160 PSI gauge that can supply each tire at a maximum of 150 PSI effortlessly. The primary air hose with extension can reach up to 60 ft in total, making compressor relocation while inflating redundant. The Heat Shielded quick connect coupling ensures maximum safety and efficiency during this operation.
The magnetic motor sits in place nicely on a vibration-resistant sand tray with diamond-plate. It plugs into your Wrangler’s battery with an 8 ft power cord that plugs on with alligator clamps consisting of an inline fuse. Sticking on the air hose is made easy with a 90-degree twist-on chuck or a 45-degree extended reach chunk designed for dual rear wheels. These special tire attachments will guarantee a supreme level of comfort in your off-road experience.
Surprisingly enough, this compressor holds a 100% duty cycle unit and can run for 40 minutes straight at 150 PSI before needing any rest. It might seem like this unit requires more time to fill your tires than onboard compressors, but the astonishing duty cycle cuts down time significantly saving you waiting time and patience. This durable kit comes with a carrying case that can store everything inside, making its portability even more convincing.
Overall, this air compressor would be the best fit for your off-road purpose due to its portability, relentless air supply and gas-station grade gun which will ease your tire inflation operations by a significant margin. And the best part, it’ll give you a boost in confidence during your off-road adventures like no other compressor of such price point.
ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor
Good things come in small packages – this is the motto ARB endorses with their most convenient kit which potentially is the best off-road air compressor you can conjure up. A compact device with the highest level of performance that is unseen in such air compressors and can easily become the best partner for your preferred vehicle when you go off-road.
This highly portable air compressor weighs only 15.2 pounds and can run on 12/24 volts. Although it’s lightweight, ARB has composed this kit with high-grade materials. It contains hard anodized cylinder bore and Teflon induced carbon fiber piston seal that minimizes friction and guarantees durability. The compressor comes inside a heavy-duty carry case which is sealed for moisture and is dust-resistant. The splash resistant cover is washable and implements a bronze air filter element for sufficient air supply.
This air compressor has two variants: one is portable and the other installed onboard. The onboard models come with the Air Locker activation feature which is much necessary for mounted air compressors. A 1 gallon air tank can be attached as an optional accessory with the onboard model.
This extremely handy compressor can help you in your off-road ventures by inflating your tires with 2.65 CFM at 0 PSI that goes up to 29 PSI delivering 2.18 CFM under no load. It is quite significant considering the kit’s size and weight. This unit can air fill your four tires between 35” to 37” in a single duty cycle. It generally takes only a couple of minutes to air up a 35” tire after rejoining the roads from off-roading. The compressor comes with 50% duty cycle and can go as high up as 120 PSI or air pressure.
These off-road air compressors by ARB are individually tested in terms of leak, current draw and maintaining flow. The anodized mounting brackets for onboard units can dissipate motor heat efficiently without causing any disruption of operation and lets the compressor be repositioned at 180-degrees. The motor is internally thermal protected and it guarantees no harm to your motor during heavy uses.
It clips on to your off-road vehicle batteries with mini gorilla clamps and lets you pump up your tires with a 19 feet long air hose. The package comes with a wiring loom for better connectivity. In short, ARB has carefully thought of every need you may possibly have for your tire inflation after a long off-road adventure and makes things significantly convenient by doing all the work for you.
VIAIR – 40045 400P-Automatic Function Portable Compressor
VIAIR is dominating the air compressor market with their products at different price points. Based on the amount of money you spend and the convenient features you get against it makes it the ideal choice, if not, one of the most convincing kits you may come to like for your specific vehicle.
This is a super lightweight portable compressor that weighs only 10.7 pounds, which is significantly lighter than the 450P from VIAIR. This too is an automatic air compressor that aims to save much of your time and effort with the trigger on the inflation gun. This close-ended air gun resembling a gas station one can monitor the current air pressure when you release the trigger. It can supply 2.3 CFM free flow at 0 PSI, and with the pressure switch it can reach 120 PSI before switching the compressor off.
The compressor features a 33% duty cycle at 100 PSI and it can go as high up as 150 PSI for up to 40 minutes of relentless run time. The hose is connected with a 25” hose extension and attached to the compressor with a quick connect coupler. This ensures that you can easily reach all of your tires and feel no need to switch your compressor on and off every time you move. You must note that your engine needs to be running during the inflation because the kit draws power through the 8” power cable from the battery connected with strong alligator clamps.
A 40 amp in-line fuse is included in the kit and it can inflate tires from 33” to 42” inches of diameters, which is a significant aspect in terms of your larger off-road tires. Generally, it can fill up a 35” tire effortlessly in less than 5 minutes from zero to 35 PSI. This compressor sits on a vibration-resistant sand platform and contains a diamond plate in between. VIAIR has included a premium carry bag for you to carry the kit and all the necessary accessories.
Portability, affordability and efficiency – the 400P off-road air compressor marvels in all three departments and the automatic function cuts down on inflation time significantly more. This could be your best investment for your next off-road air compressor and keep your company while rejoining the roads for a long time to come.
VIAIR Constant Duty Onboard Air System – 10007
This air system from VIAIR is much different than the other two of the list in the sense that this is an onboard mechanism that needs to be mounted on your vehicle. Based on the performance and efficiency, this can be regarded as the best off-road air compressor for your onboard system that guarantees to support you through all your tire inflation needs, and much more!
This onboard air compression system weighs only 9.5 pounds and can hold air up to 2.5 gallons in the chamber. It can effortlessly inflate tires up to 37” of diameter. The package includes all the parts you may require for mounting on your vehicle. It features the same 450C air compressor, similar to the 450P and it can boost the air pressure from 110 PSI to 145 PSI with just a press on your pressure switch. It is capable of a maximum of 150 PSI working pressure. It comes with a 100% duty cycle but to achieve that you’ll have to reduce the pressure down to 100 PSI.
The permanent magnetic motor can run without any pause for about an hour and it is connected with a 35” coil hose that clips on with the tire chunk that VIAIR provides with the kit. The power cable is 20 feet long and attached with a 12-gauge wire containing an inline fuse holder. The quick connect coupler joins it with the car battery. Since it’s an onboard unit, you’ll get a dash panel gauge that can turn the compressor on and off. The package also includes a reduced, 175 PSI safety valve, drain cock and compression fitting accessories.
VIAIR provides an attractive manufacturer defect warranty of 1 year. This device is graded by Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, marking it as one of the safest choices for regular use even under extreme circumstances. The compressor not only provides air supply to your tires, but also offers services to your pneumatic tools, air bags, air horns and the air supply onboard. You’ll be able to fill your tires up in no time when you set back from your off-road journey and inflate your tires in a matter of minutes. This performs significantly by inflating two tires at the same time from zero without losing any air pressure.
This kit is a dream come true for off-road enthusiasts because it tends to solve a lot of your tire inflation based problems with the minimum effort and time. This durable and effective unit can easily fit within your vehicle and doesn’t cause a lot of noise to hamper your hearing. Overall, we strongly recommend you to get this air compressor if you’re into regular off-roading experiences and want a permanent, onboard solution for your tire inflation.
Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor
Smittybilt has been in the market for heavy-duty vehicle accessories for over 50 years, and their universal kit built with unique features can easily be claimed as the most prominent air compressor for off-roading that can withstand any adverse road conditions. As a consumer, you’ll be left amazed at how effective and user-friendly their compressor kit design is and it encompasses all the necessary aspects that you look for in your tire inflator.
The 20 pounder 2781 air compressor is made for power-use with an extreme duty cycle. It performs non-stop for 40 minutes providing 40 PSI of air pressure and it heats up to only 75 degrees of Fahrenheit after such use. This features an automatic thermal cutoff switch which protects the motor from any heat-based damage. As the name suggests, it can offer 5.65 CFM air pressure which provides 160 liters of air and it is significantly impressive among off-road air compressors of such class.
Although it is advertised as a portable device, you can have it mounted permanently on your vehicle with a few adjustments and attachments. This is a beast performer in this category of air compressors that contains a 1/3 horsepower battery-run motor with a 30 amp inline fuse. This 12 volt motor attaches to a 24 feet coil hose that inflates your off-road tires in less than no time! In general, it takes only around a couple of minutes to take your air pressure from 15 PSI to 35 PSI for each tire and the duty cycle cuts the total time down to a minimum. It’s like carrying your own garage inflator with you at all places!
The hose connects to the tires with an EZ twist brass inflator and Smittybilt has included a nylon carry bag for your carrying convenience. There is an integrated 150 PSI pressure gauge that you can monitor real-time to assess how much air your tires need. The sturdiness and durability of this air compressor cannot be overstated as it has proven capability of withstanding mud, water and whatnot in the most adverse situations. This makes for the ideal companion for an off-road adventure and a reliable companion that’ll never let you down. And as an added bonus, this device can deflate your tires as well, making it redundant to carry around a separate tool for it!
Avid Power Tire Inflator Air Compressor
Speaking of taking the most technological advantage out of tire inflators, Avid Power has introduced their deluxe device that seeks to give you more than you’ve ever wanted. It checks every box of feature, efficiency & style which makes it a prime contender to be the best off-road air compressor you may ever come across.
This air compressor feels too good to be true with all the unique features and compact design that makes portability to a whole new level. Weighing only 6.05 pounds, this kit comes in three separate colors: red, blue and orange. It includes a motor with unique architecture which Avid Power calls dual solid metal motors. It gives you the most convincing and efficient inflation process in the shortest possible time.
The uniqueness continues with the AC/DC power switch. This adds diversity to its functionality of using it anywhere, on your off-road adventures to be connected with the 12V cigarette lighter plug or at home with your 120V outlet. Unlike most other kits, it comes not only with an inflator, but also a deflator which makes air removal from your tires significantly easier. This is achieved with the two types of hoses that come with the kit. The high pressure hose inflates your vehicles’ tires with a 28” length and the high volume hose is 19.3” in length to be used for inflating regular objects.
This kit can inflate car tires at 80 PSI with ease, powered through two separate 9 feet AC and DC cords. Apart from the two modes for inflation and deflation, a special feature it consists of is the digital pressure gauge that shows exactly how much air pressure your tire has. This technology will let you set your desired air pressure and once that pressure is reached, the compressor will automatically shut down. The LCD display shows you everything you need to know in your preferred unit and it is paired with a high-power LED light to be used in emergency situations.
With this off-road air compressor kit, you’ll be getting your money’s worth with all the features of advanced technology and it’ll keep leaving you breathless with the efficiency & convenience it offers. An aesthetically pleasing, compact and high-performing device which you should most certainly consider purchasing before hopping on your next off-road journey.
RoofPax Air Compressor for Car Tires
RoofPax Air Compressor is THE PRIME air compressor for off-road use as it comes with the most essential features you may need for your off-road experience. A top-notch air compressor designed particularly to cater to all your off-road tire inflation & deflation needs with the maximum level of convenience, this is rendered as one of the most labor efficient air compressors in the contemporary market.
RoofPax has included double engines for this top of the line air compressors to inflate your tires in the fastest possible time. Be it a flat tire or a low-pressure tire coming back from a long off-road journey, this kit will serve you like no other portable device would do. This air pump comes with not one, not two but three way power alternatives! One option is the 12V DC power that draws directly from your vehicle’s battery. The second option is to plug directly into your home’s power outlet at 110V AC. And the third and most impressive is that it contains a Lithium-Ion 20V battery within the kit! Imagine having such features in an 11.6 pound air compressor!
These heavy-duty dual motors can reach up to 160 PSI at maximum capacity and the inflation process has never been easier! In your LED display you’ll be able to select your desired PSI for your tire, hook the air hose up and press start. It’ll fill your tire up to the desired PSI in less than a few minutes and will automatically switch itself off. How convenient can an off-road air compressor be than this! You can say goodbye to your flat or inflated tires right now with a device of such caliber.
Apart from your smart monitor, you get to use this single device for both of your inflation and deflation needs. This feature alone is sufficient to rank it at the top of aftermarket air-compressors and can rule the market of such devices. And this inflator pump can be used for versatile purposes as well, like inflating your motorcycle tires or pumping up your football. If anything needs inflation, all you need to do is just switch it on and forget it exists, because it’ll get your job done effortlessly.
RoofPax offers you their astounding 5 years extended warranty with this kit and it confirms the quality of product they are offering you. You can easily use it before going off-road for deflation, and after joining back the roads for inflation at 150 LPH of air. With a modern solution to all your tire inflation problems, RoofPax has got it all covered with the digital display, powerful motors and portability. The effectiveness of the features can go on, and having one for yourself will give you the utmost off-road convenience first hand.
What Are The Convenient Features For The Best Off-Road Air Compressor?
Among mountain-height features in every air compressor, you need to be able to identify the ones you truly need for your off-road trips. We have listed down the ones you should keep an eye out for in your next air compressor, as these will give you significant convenience in your future journeys.
Your off-road air compressor should be portable, as it’ll cut down on your cost and effort for the mounting process. However, if you are a highly regular off-road enthusiast, then having an onboard air compressor will get the best out of your spent money in the long run.
Not all the air compressors are capable of deflating your tires. But in your off-road scenario, it is also an important feature to have. Because then you’ll be able to deflate your tires using the same kit as your inflator, making it unnecessary to carry around a separate unit for such purpose. It’ll save you storage space and of course, your money.
Before investing into your next air compressor, you must first assess the diameter of your tires. Because not all air compressors can inflate larger tires, and even if they can, it may take a significant amount of time. So picking the perfect inflator should rely on your tire volume and it needs to be matched with the air volume your compressor can provide each minute. Aligning these two variables will land you your dream compressor you’ve always wanted.
As they say, time is precious, and it shouldn’t be forgotten while getting your new air compressor. You’ll probably be tired from a long off-road journey, and spending hours just inflating your tires can prove to be one of the most disgusting endeavors ever. Having air compressors with powerful motors, higher PSI delivering maximum CFM of airflow with 100% duty cycle should save you tons of time and your patience with it.
Your off-road air compressor should be the one you feel the most comfortable with. Having an air-compressor that has all the essential features can save you a lot of time, effort and energy while giving you utmost comfort during your tire inflation.
The 7 kits that our experts have selected are capable of matching all these essential criteria, so you won’t be disappointed regardless of your choice. Pick one that you feel suits your vehicle, requirements and taste the best from our list, and you’ll never have to look back from your beautiful off-road adventures.