Looking for an air compressor for truck tires can be a royal pain in the butt when you look online, you think that they cost hundreds of dollars and some can. However, I was given the chance to try out a few of the most popular ones on the market right now with my own Toyota and today I am sharing with you what my thoughts on these air compressors for truck tires are.
Why Do I Need An Air Compressor For My Truck?
Some people just top up their tires every now and again when they go to get gas if they notice there is an air compressor there. I can get this approach, but a truck is designed to go off road, haul heavy loads and so on. Doing this can have a real negative effect on your tire pressure, even if you have a super expensive truck that claims to have the best suspension ever to help the wheels.
The fact of the matter is, if you are using your truck regularly, you need to keep an eye on your tires, having your own truck air compressor is how you can do this and that is why today I am sharing with you my ramblings on what the best air compressor for truck tires is.
Keep It In Your Truck
One thing I want to mention about buying an air compressor for truck tires is to think about where you are going to keep it. I have some buddies that keep theirs in the garage and to me, that is kind of crazy. If you are looking to buy an air compressor specifically for your trick tires and things like soccer balls, the family station wagon and whatever are just a bonus, keep it on your truck! Find a spot for it and keep it there.
It is better to have it on your truck and not need it than have it in the garage and need it when you are out running errands. So as well as how it is made, what it looks like and how quickly it can get up your tires. Look at the size of it and think about where you can store it on your truck.
Air Compressor For Truck Tires Reviews
Here I will share with you my views on the two truck tire air compressors I tried out, I also have added a couple more popular air compressors that I have not tried out, but I like the sound of.
- DC 12V 150 PSI Car Air Pump
- VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor
- DBPOWER 12V DC Auto Premium Digital Tire Inflator
- AUDEW Portable Air Compressor Pump
1. DC 12V 150 PSI Car Air Pump
- Price is very reasonable
- Easy to use
- LED light
- Dial is nice and clear
- Comes with a carrying bag
The first one I tested on my own truck was this DC 12V 150 PSI Car Air Pump. Now it may have car in the name, but I used it on my truck no problem and any other people have done the same. The first thing that I liked about this was that despite the under fifty bucks it has some real heft to it, it really does feel solid and strong and while some have said the plastic is a little cheap, I never found this to be the case at all.
As a matter of fact, I actually dropped it when going from one tire to the other and it did not even put a scratch on it, so the build quality overall is very good. One thing that I will say is that this does come with battery clamps and a 2 meter long extension tube which for my truck was only just long enough so if you have a larger one, you may want to consider getting a longer extension so that is something for you to keep in mind.
The dial lets you know exactly what the pressure in your tires is and it could not be any easier to set. One thing I really liked about this was there is a little LED light which gives you enough light so that you can see in the dark, handy for any nighttime tire fixes. It comes with a quick connector and multiple nozzles and the connection this made on my tires was nice and tight, but getting it off was no trouble at all, my wife would be able to use this air compressor for truck tires easily as well so that is a nice bonus. It does come with a handy reflective handbag (did they really have to call it a handbag?) which keeps the truck tire air compressor safe and all together.
- Can be a little on the loud side
- Extension cable is not very long
I honestly have very few issues with this, sure the extension they give you could be longer and it is not exactly “quiet” like they say it is, but I was very happy with this and recommend it if you are looking for a sub 50 bucks air compressor for your truck. 150 psi is the not the highest so it will take a little time to get those tires up if they are flat, but at this price range, you cannot complain.
2. VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor
- Incredibly high quality
- Awesome chrome look
- I like how the gage is on the hose
- Very simple to use
- Included bag keeps it clean and safe
Next one I got to try was this one from VIAIR. We actually had a VIAR air compressor a few years back and really liked it, so I was happy to get the chance to check out this air compressor for truck tires. Of course, the asking price for this is a little over 100 bucks so that may put someone off. It is a little larger than the other one and man does this have a really high quality feel to it.
I love the chrome kind of style to it and while the looks of a truck tire air compressor do not matter, I must admit it does have a high quality look and feel to it. Now I have finished saying how pretty it is, let me tell you how this thing worked. First of all, it is very easy to connect to your battery, the cable is not the longest, but it does manage to allow me to hit all four tires without overstretching, but an extension could be purchased cheap enough if you do have a larger truck.
The pressure gage deserves special attention as instead of having it on the actual pump like the majority of these air compressor for truck tires have. It is pretty much right on the hose that will be connecting to your truck. I get that some people will say that this makes it heavy, but I did not find that the case and being able to just look down instead of to the side or even over your shoulder at the actual compressor is a fantastic idea.
It is a pretty good size, but it does come with a bag so you can keep the compressor and all of the other accessories in there and together so you do not lose them. I had no issues using this at all, my wife even had a go and had no trouble either so I do not see anyone, no matter how much they hate to do stuff with their car or truck having any problems.
- It does cost over 100 bucks
- Not the longest power adapter in the world
The asking price may be high, but this has such a solid feel to it that I honestly feel that you could go through about 5 trucks before this air compressor shows any sign of giving up on you. If you can stomach the asking price, I would say go for this one, I really do feel that it could last you a lifetime.
3. DBPOWER 12V DC Auto Premium Digital Tire Inflator
- Backlit LCD pressure gage
- Modern design
- Powers up via car cigarette lighter
- Compact in its size
- Has am LED flashlight
Ok so for this one, I have never actually used, but with over 200 reviews online, it is clearly one of the more popular air compressors for truck tires that Amazon offer. So I thought that I would take a closer look at it and see what people were saying. The first thing that I like about this one is that it has an LCD screen for the pressure gage.
Now some people may say that these are not as accurate as a traditional gage, but I really like this and I have actually used a smaller one for our RV and that has an LCD screen and we have never had an issue. The LCD screen is backlit so even in the dark you will be able to see this. To power this up, you use your car cigarette lighter and not the battery so for some people this will be much easier.
Most of the reviews that you read on this are positive although some people have said that you need to keep an eye on it as the auto shut off feature does not always work. It may not look the fanciest, but really who cares what their truck tire air compressor looks like? To be honest with you I would really like to get my hands on this. The negative reviews seem to stem from the quality of the air compressor not how it functions.
- May take a while to pump up larger tires
- Some people have questioned the overall quality
When you consider this can be had for around 30 bucks, it is only natural that some less than great units may get out of the factory. Still, for the money, this would be great to have in your truck in case of an emergency.
4. AUDEW Portable Air Compressor Pump
- 3 meter long power cable
- Backlit LCD pressure gage
- Has a super bright LED light
- Auto on and off function
- Very easy to use
Here I have another one of the more popular air compressors for truck tires that is available. With nearly 600 reviews, the majority of which are positive it is easy to see why this is so popular. I have not actually tried this one out, but I really want to. To start with I really like the triangle design of it, I have a feeling it will make it nice and easy for people to store.
Speaking of nice and easy the backlit LCD pressure gage makes it nice and easy for you to see what the tire pressure is. It does have an auto on and off so you can set the pressure, just leave it and it will (well should) turn itself off. So on paper, this really could not be any easier to use and that when I was looking at the customer reviews, seems to be what people really like about it. The LED light means that you can even use this in the dark which is handy.
A couple of interesting reviews that I read where people said it was not suitable for trucks as it took so long to pump up the tires. To be fair at this price range you have to expect that your tires are not going to be blown up in just two minutes. It is going to take a little while and that is just something you need to get used to, still, I can see why if this is your first air compressor for truck tires, it would be a bit on the annoying side.
- Plastic may not be the best
- Some may hate how long it takes to inflate larger tires
Still, at under 40 bucks, you really cannot grumble too much. One last thing I want to say is the way that this uses the car cigarette lighter for power. This is not that unusual or special, but what is cool is the way the wire wraps around the back so it is not just laying around when it is not in use. At 3 meters long, I feel I could hit all four tires of my truck with ease using this.
What Is The Best Portable Air Compressor For Truck Tires?
Man, I really wish there was an easier way to answer this question, but out of the two that I got to check out, both did the job I wanted them to do very easily. Both came with a carrying bag and both could have done with an extension cable that was a little bit longer. I love the chrome design of the VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor and genuinely feel that you could get a lifetime of use out of this as it so well made.
The DC 12V 150 PSI Car Air Pump at under 40 bucks is a steal, but I do not know if I would be confident in saying that you will get over a decade of use out of it like you would the VIAR. However, if you want something cheaper, that would be the one to get. If money is not an issue, go for the VIAR!