If you travel through rough terrain, having an off-road air compressor as a backup is a good idea.
It will inflate your flat or underinflate tire so it doesn’t blow out.
We know that it’s not easy to pick up an option from tons of compressors available out there.
That’s why here we are with a handy list of air compressors.
They are lightweight, compact, inflates a range of off-road vehicles, and come with a carrying case.
Let’s get ahead and check out what we have for you today.
Our Top Picks of 5 Best Off-Road Air Compressor
1. ARB (CKMP12) Portable Air Compressor
Best OFF Road Air Compressor Overall
Not only is the ARB CKMP12 air compressor suitable for your vehicle off-road, but for vehicles, you take on weekend adventures. It allows you to inflate multiple adventure gears, including mattresses and rafts. So, we can confidently say it’s versatile and worth every penny.
It is one of the top rated air compressors for off-roads. It is a 1-gallon air compressor with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI so that you can inflate off-road vehicles, including SUVs, trucks, and trails.
While it’s compatible with tires of 35 to 37 inches, it airs up a truck tire of 37 inches in 4 minutes. At 0 PSI, it gives off 2.65 CFM, which is fair enough. Thanks to this, your vehicle tire is quickly inflated, and you can march towards your destination again.
Made with Teflon impregnated carbon fiber piston and temperature-protected motor, it’s a durable unit built to work for years to come. It has an anodized motor that gives off the heat to keep the motor cool and safe lifelong.
Other than that, it also comes with a 19 feet air hose. Although VIAIR air compressors come with 6 inches long air hose than this compressor, we find its performance exclusive and inflation spot-on. However, we wish it had a pressure gauge to keep you updated on pressure readings.
Besides that, it comes with a storage box. Unlike the other air compressors, it includes a rugged polypropylene case and measures 17.32 x 9.84 x 8.66 inches. While this solid case might protect your compressor from dirt and dust, it might occupy a large room in your trunk.
- Usable for multiple purposes
- Comes with a durable case
- Large hose
- Easy to install
- Fills air quickly
- Lacks pressure gauge
2. Smittybilt 2781 Universal Air Compressor
Best Budget-Friendly Off-Road Air Compressor
Are you looking for an off-road compressor that is easy to load into your vehicle? There you have Smittybilt 2781 air compressor. At 15 pounds, it’s one of the lightweight air compressors.
Unlike the ARB air compressor, it has a built-in pressure gauge so you can easily note the inflating pressure. It comes with a 10-inch power cord and 24-inch coil cord, extending on need and compressing for easy storage.
The maximum pressure of this compressor is 150 PSI. That makes it suitable for the tires of trucks, jeeps, trails, and ATVs. It comes in a nylon storage case to shield your unit from the dirty atmosphere off-road. However, we felt its fabric is thin compared to what comes with other compressors.
The base of the compressor has rubber feet. These rubber feet stand the vibration when you inflate your off-road vehicle. It has a thermal cut-off switch that automatically shuts the unit on overheating to prevent severe damage.
Take note that its duty cycle is 40 minutes which is quite a long time to inflate all four vehicle tires. Backed by the 1/3 horsepower motor, there’s no doubt about the unit’s efficiency.
- Stands the vibration
- Comes with a storage case
- Easy reach to tires
- Quick air filling
- Thin carrying case fabric
3. VIAIR 300P Portable Compressor
Best Lightweight Off-Road Air Compressor
VIAIR 300P is the most lightweight unit at 8.7 pounds. That said, you can stash it out of your vehicle without extra effort. In fact, it has a handle on top with foam padding to give you a firm grip.
Out of the box, the air compressor comes with battery clamps, an inflation tip kit, a fuse holder, an air compressor, and a carrying bag to keep it all safe and in one place. This nylon bag keeps your unit in good shape for many years to come.
It has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI while you can preset the tension, pull the trigger, and wait for it to shut off automatically. Make sure the size of your vehicle’s tire is 33 to 42 inches since the unit is made to inflate tires falling in this range.
At 100 PSI, it gives off 2.3 CFM and consists of a duty cycle of 40 minutes. Besides, it’s a thermal protection design that dissipates air and keeps the unit cool. It promises to inflate both off-road and on-road vehicles. That said, you can use it for your cars on weekdays and jeeps on the weekend.
Where the air hose of the compressor is 25 feet, the power cord is 8 feet long. We’d say that the power cord is short while the air hose is a little stiff, creating resistance to reach the last tire of the vehicle.
Not only is it the most lightweight but the compact unit here. It measures 10 x 7.5 x 5 inches to easily fit in the vehicle’s trunk. Compared to its family counterpart VIAIR 440P, it produces less noise at 73 dB and stays easy on your ears.
- Usable for on and off-road vehicle
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a carrying case
- Automatic shut off
- Power cord is short
4. Smittybilt 2780 Universal Air Compressor
Most Compact Off-Road Air Compressor
Consider buying Smittybilt 2780 if the trunk of your vehicle is running short on space. It is a compact version of 2781 above and consumes less storage space with 13 x 9 x 10 inches. So, you don’t need tons of room to store it.
The maximum pressure of the unit is 150 PSI, which allows you to use it for most off-road vehicles out there. It has a duty cycle of 40 minutes, the same as the Smittybitt 2781.
Count in here the cord of 10 feet and 16 inches hose, which we found easy to reach to Jeep Wrangler, but it was difficult to inflate all four tires of big off-road vehicles. So, make sure you use an extension cord to avoid the hassle.
An integrated auto thermal cut-off switch keeps the unit from getting warm. So, it will stay in good shape for many years to come. The motor of the unit is 1/3 horsepower for efficient performance.
On top of that is the storage bag which keeps the unit safe from the dirt outside. About the gauge, we find it inaccurate, so we kept another for the backup and are suggesting you do the same. We recommend it for the decent price and exclusive performance.
Worth noting about this unit is that it can be permanently mounted through the base. You can mount it under the hood or rear end of your vehicle. The rubber feet under the base plate hold the unit in place and prevent accidents.
- Compact and lightweight
- Thermal protection
- Can be mounted
- Easy to install and operate
- Includes storage bag
- Inaccurate gauge
5. VIAIR 440P Portable Compressor
Best Value for Money
VIAIR 440P is one of the most reliable and portable air compressors. Like the VIAIR 300P unit above, it also claims to be used for both on and off-road vehicles.
In fact, it comes with adjustable pressure. So, you can use it for airing multiple objects like a mattress on an adventure. You get a maximum pressure of 150 PSI with it. At 0 PSI, it gives off 3.0 CFM, which is sufficient.
It weighs 12.65 pounds with a top handle having foam padding. Due to this padding, the unit is nice and tight against your palm. While it comes with a long cord like VIAIR 330P, it is loud at 78 dB compared to its family counterpart.
Plug the alligator clip to inflate your vehicle’s tire. It is a reliable choice for jeeps and trails under 37 inches tires. That said, you must be sure of your vehicle’s tire size to make it compatible.
Thanks to the canvas carrying bag, the unit stays well protected when inside. It also keeps you well organized due to the sections provided. The tire clamp is also included in the package.
Although it falls on the expensive side, it’s worth every buck and costs you still less than the ARB air compressor. Check out its price and availability on this date.
- Rubber padded handle
- Comes with a carrying case
- Inflates both off and on-road vehicle
- Fast and efficient
Guide to Buy the Best Off-Road Air Compressor
An off-road tire inflator is different from a daily use air compressor. That’s why it’s always better to notice its primary features to make the most out of them. So, let’s start with the guide about choosing the best one from the list.
You’ll keep an air compressor in your vehicle when buying an off-road air compressor. However, the trunk of the vehicle is not empty every time. That’s why you should check the dimension of the air compressor first and pick a compact unit that occupies little space.
Along with that, keep an eye on the weight of the unit. A lightweight air compressor is best for portability. While a padded handlebar would be a plus for a tight and convenient grip.
Type of Compressor
Two types of compressors are available in the off-road air compressor category. The first is onboard air compressors that get installed on your vehicle. These air compressors need good space, are not very easy to install, and limit your use to one vehicle. The cost of their installation is also high.
On the contrary, portable off-road air compressors are handy and easier to operate. They are cheaper and need no installation. If you have enough bucks and travel off-road frequently, pick onboard compressors. Otherwise, portable ones will get your job done.
The pressure of the air compressor is measured in PSI. Ideally, maximum pressure of 150 PSI is suitable for versatile use. Make sure to keep an eye on the pressure unit and the maximum pressure an air compressor promises to provide.
Jeeps have tires of different sizes than trails. Consider your off-road vehicle and its tire size before buying an air compressor. Check if the particular air compressor claims to inflate your vehicle’s tire – considering its size.
You can have another plus here. Cross-check if the unit is made to inflate both on and off-road vehicles. You can use a single unit for multiple cars this way.
The cord in your air compressor should easily reach all four tires of your vehicle so you can pump air. Pay attention to your air compressor’s power cord and air hose length to get value for bucks.
Dirt and dust cause severe damage to the air compressor. Its life cuts down by getting exposed to harmful elements. To keep your unit safe and shielded, buy a compressor with a storage case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need an off-roading air compressor?
During the off-road drive, the tires of your vehicle lose their pressure. Running continuously on the underinflated tires can result in a blowout. That’s why having an off-road air compressor in your trunk is necessary.
What is the best off-road air compressor?
ARB CKMP12 is the best off-road air compressor available in the market. It comes at a reasonable cost, is lightweight, and has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. It also comes with a hard carry case and a large air hose reaching all vehicle tires.
How to choose the best off-road air compressor?
To choose the best off-road air compressor, you should look for the weight, dimension, maximum pressure, cord length, and compatibility of one with your vehicle. Also, pay attention to if one’s coming with or without a carrying bag.
These were the list of 5 best off-road air compressors. Each of them has an average weight, a maximum pressure of 150 psi, and a sufficient combined length of air hose and cord to inflate all four tires of a vehicle. Additionally, all of them come with a carrying bag to keep your unit safe from dirt, dust, and grime.
If you ask for our opinion, ARB CKMP12 is a decent option to bet your bucks. It is a lightweight yet sturdy design that inflates jeeps and trucks to everything in between and has a long cord that reaches all four tires easily. Unlike others, it comes with a hard carrying case to stand use and abuses twice the fabric bag.
Check out its price and availability on this date.