We were looking for the best portable air compressor for Jeep to carry when we want to air down on the sand, instead of relying on someone else to get air from or looking for the closest gas station to get air.
We off-road quite frequently, and our Jeep is always loaded with camping gear and Jeep accessories we would need during our off-road adventures, we didn’t need a permanent onboard air, so we went hunting for the best portable air compressor for Jeep by asking Jeep owners who own them.
This article is based on the research we conducted and the feedback we got from Jeepers in our group of Jeep trailing friends, based on the Jeep portable air compressors they own or have used. If you need more information regarding purchasing portable air compressors for your jeep, please check out the buying guide after the reviews.
Also, if you are looking for other Jeep-related parts, please check out our other articles such as Best Jeep JK Coolant and Best tires for Jeep Wrangler Daily Driver
Things we were considering before buying.
Air Pressure/ PSI unit: After being used to gas air compressors, we were surprised on finding out portable air compressors will take much longer to fill up your tires, for example, we expected to fill up our four Jeep tires in 3-4 minutes, each taking an average 1.33 minutes to fill a single tire. We tested portable air compressors of 150 PSI Across the board. Hopefully, this helps you out.
Overall Size of Air Compressor’s Tank: The size of the compressor tank was also a factor we saw has a significant effect on the performance of the portable air compressor for jeep, for example, it was 20-1 minute faster to fill up a 33 inches jeep tire with a large compressor tank than the smallest air compressor. The smaller portable air compressors also got hot when pumping out at 5.65.
Best Portable Air Compressor for Jeep.
Here is a list of the best portable air compressors for Jeep that we tested, the list was long, but we narrowed it down to this list, please read through the list of each air compressor for jeep, and you will see why we have chosen and recommended them to you.
ARB Off-Road Air Compressor
We rated the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor as the best overall portable compressor for jeep, and this is why:
We tested the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor on our Jeep tires which were 33s, and the portable air compressor filled up our 33s in 1 minute each from flat to 35psi, filling all tires took 4 minutes. Its dual cylinder was able to handle 70 liters per minute, from flat to 35psi on a 33” tire it took 1 minute, we also tested it on a 35-inch tire and it took 1.5 minutes to inflate it.
This is a 12 volts compressor and we had to power it up with our 12 volts lighter port in the back storage area of our Jeep, 4 minutes of inflating the tires meant we had to put our Jeep on idle, not to drain the battery, it has a custom wiring to avoid opening your Jeep hood when you need to inflate your Jeep.
Being portable, the ability to use the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor 12 volts support, seems more logical than having an air compressor that requires a 110V inverter, which would increase the costs and be limited on wattage, which is something we have experienced with onboard compressors on our Jeep.
Being the best “portable” air compressor for Jeep, we also had to consider the additional resources the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor came packed with, and that’s a carrying bag and accessory kit, among the air compressors we had seen the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor had the highest quality carrying bag and accessories kit, the wiring provided didn’t get hot when using and the bag is made of heavy-duty materials.
The portable air compressor is also rugged as our Jeep, meaning that we are able to use it and subject it to rough conditions that we normally go and have fun with our Jeeps, it looks dependable without so many loose parts.
There is a 20-foot-long hose that makes it easier to inflate the Jeep tires without having to move the portable air compressor, the power lead is 7 feet long and was able to fit on both the front lighter port and the back lighter port while the portable air compressor is sitting on the ground.
Numerous uses are possible for this portable air compressor such as inflating your sleep bags etc. Comparing it with the other portable air compressors we have used on our Jeep, the Arb off-road compressor is operating quietly when inflating the tires. The portable air compressor does contain a variety of heavy-duty accessories that you can use, such as a carrying bag, hose, and power leads.
It does cost a little because it is a portable air compressor for a jeep. According to many reviews on Amazon, users are complaining of the hose leaking.
The ARB Off-Road Air Compressor is your best option if you’re looking for an off-road air compressor for your Jeep – according to our ratings, it’s the best portable air compressor for Jeep.
We received the ARB Air Compressor in a robust carrying case made of polypropylene coupled with a strong handle, the portable air compressor was ideal for our Jeep since we were considering the durability and convenience of using it when off-roading. Additionally, we discovered that the casing had plenty of room for accessories like an air hose and tire gauge.
EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor
The EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor comes with additional accessories like an extra fuse and adaptor which are quite ideal when off-roading and alone on the Jeep trails.
Would have been our best portable air compressor for Jeep, unfortunately, the EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor has a maximum of 100 Psi while the ARB Off-Road Air Compressor had a maximum PSI of 150psi. this means we had to take much longer inflating the 33s and the 35s tires at 1.5 and 2 minutes respectively from flat to 35psi.
Testing it on our 12v Jeeps lighter port we achieved a maximum of 100psi and a 1.06CFM inflation rate.
It’s common to have 100psi portable air inflators, majority of the portable air compressors we reviewed were advertised with 100psi but were struggling, and heating the wires and the air compressor itself was common, however, the EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor handled the task with ease and no such issues were observed, making it our #2 best portable air compressor for Jeep that we would recommend.
The EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor is made to withstand rugged conditions, which was our main reviewing factor, since we want a reliable portable air compressor, the EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor is made of heavy-duty materials compared with the portable air compressors we reviewed, it has rubber feet’s that will protect the air compressor from scratched using it when off-roading.
EPAuto’s high volume 12v air compressor can easily be powered by the Jeep 12v lighter port. For illumination, during the night there is a heavy-duty LED flashlight that comes packed with a portable air compressor. A backup fuse is included in the box for the EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor as they tend to blow out really quickly.
There aren’t many high-end features in the EPAuto high-volume 12v air compressor. Heavy-duty tires cannot be inflated with the EPAuto high volume 12v air compressor as the 100PSI is too slow to inflate bigger tires taking an average of 2 minutes to inflate 35s.
Coming out as the #2 best portable air compressor for Jeep because unlike other portable air compressors in this price range, the inflation tube for the EPAuto large volume 12v air compressor is made of high-end reinforced metal rather than plain plastic for optimum protection when using it on extreme off-road environments.
Budget and expectations are everything. Although it will take longer to air up, the entry-level EPAuto large volume 12v air compressor will function. Not bad for your first time inflating your Jeep tires when you are stuck or after fixing a puncture.
Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator
Very robust portable air compressor for jeep; excellent operation. Doesn’t feel at all cheap. The fill nozzle is excellent; however, the hose is only fair and a struggle to go around the Jeep 4 doors. Fills each of my 37 inches in 2 minutes after a few psi checks.
The Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator is our #3 best portable air compressor, the reason why this portable compressor came at number three in our review is because of its safety features, the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator has an Auto-thermal cutoff switch which cuts off the current when the compressor heats off and preventing burn out or failure.
We tested the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator on a number of tires sizes such as 33s and a maximum of 37s, we were quite shocked by the ability of the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator to fill out 37s with ease leave alone 33s, it filled out 37s at only one minute of inflating. The inflating speed is quite high compared to EPAuto’s high volume 12v air compressor and ARB Off-Road Air Compressor.
The pressure gauge measured at 150psi which is quite good for a portable air compressor, the carrying bag is quite thin for off-roading purposes, and compared with the top three inflators, the cost was quite high.
The only thing we discovered with this portable air compressor is that it gets hot after using it for 45 minutes, we blistered a finger after filling up four 37s during the test, and we thought we will burn the compressor off – we recommend using gloves when inflating all four tires of your Jeep.
The energy this compressor is using will tend to strain your Jeep engine, you have to keep your engine idle after plugging the compressor in your 12v lighters port, to avoid draining your Jeeps battery, and the performance of the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator is felt when the engine is running and when it’s not, there seems to be an improvement in inflating speed when the engine is running.
Coming out as the #3 best portable air compressor for Jeep because as anticipated, the setup is rather easy to understand. The pressure gauge, in our experience, is only reliable when you maintain it attached to the tire while removing it from the fill pipe.
About 10 psi are incorrect. It takes roughly 90 seconds to increase 20 psi, which is a rather good fill rate. The hose gets so hot that we were scared to put it back in the bag before it had time to cool. Overall, a good investment to have on hand in case you have no air compressor backups or there is a long line at the air pump.
Amazingly well-functioning is the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator. Compared to the images, it is far larger. It worked when we inflated a 33″ tire from 22 pounds to 36 pounds; depending on the pressure rechecks, it took 1 to 2 minutes.
VIAIR 450P Onboard Air Compressor
Quite small compared to what appears in the pictures, but not in power, it’s a portable air compressor ideal for off-roading. You receive all that you require in the packaging. You receive high-quality equipment in addition to the carrying bag. The compressor itself is quite strong, fantastically capable, and not at all noisy.
The Viar 450p Automatic is our pick for the fourth-best portable air inflator for Jeeps. The high-duty battery clamps on the portable air compressor allow for a proper connection to the battery. It also has a bleeder valve for air down and has proven to be quite dependable during testing.
We purchased Viar 450p Automatic to test on 33- and 35-inches Jeep tires, and it performed as expected, during our tests in inflated from flat to 35psi at only 1.5 minutes. The Viar 450p Automatic is made of heavy quality materials, The portable air inflator is somewhat quiet compared to the Smittybilt 2781 Off-Road Air Inflator. but they both get hot to the touch.
The extra expense is more than justified with the auto cutoff feature which is the same as our #3 best portable air inflator. The compressor is male, however, the airline it comes with includes female couplers on both ends, this is an advantage in case you need to replace them.
A male/female arrangement is appropriate if you purchase an aftermarket airline with couplers attached. A female coupler must be on the compressor and is not present in this compressor packaging, and this is why we ranked this portable compressor as number four on the list. It’s just something to think about when purchasing a portable air inflator because you will need to replace the coupler when they wear out. Apart from that, it’s a great good compressor in case you need it to inflate your Jeep tires.
Viar 450p Automatic shuts off when the trigger is released and it is quite quiet. It quickly increased the pressure in 33″ tires from 18 psi to 35 psi in less than 2 minutes. It is just around 10 pounds in weight. Greater PSI levels can be simply incorporated.
The lifetime of this air compressor for off-road applications is not well known, since it gets too hot. The locking is ineffective, and the air hose frequently chunks.
Viair is known to make heavy-duty, well-made air compressors. The automated feature is valuable since it turns off as you go from one tire to another, saving you from using the pump longer than necessary. This device gets quite hot, so beware!
We literally burned ourselves after testing it for 30 minutes of use. When removing the hose, it becomes too hot to touch the quick disconnect sleeve.
Quick and silent. We deflated a tire to 20 psi using the gun’s release valve (very quickly, great valve). Then, in less than a minute, we inflated it to 36 psi. The compressor performed flawlessly. If the trigger on the gun is not pulled for a few seconds, it will automatically turn off and restart when the trigger is pulled.
We tested the four portable air compressors for off-road use on our Jeep, we used 33- and 35-inches tires, and our list recommend only the best four, we had more than ten portable air compressors and we removed them from our list since they either got too hot or they are made of low-quality materials and couldn’t stand off-road use.
All of the listed compressors come equipped with additional resources that can come in handy when off-roading such as lights, power cables, and varying bags, they all use 12 volts since you might not have an inverter ready in case you are stuck with a deflated tire, we also considered the fact that most off-roaders have bigger wheels of 33s, 35s and 37s installed on their Jeep.
Why wait? Check out all the portable air compressors we have recommended and choose your next companion when off-roading in Moab or your favorite off-roading trails.
A Fuel-Based Assessment of Off-Road Diesel Engine Emissions
On-board air system for an off-road vehicle
Last update on 2023-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API