Once you have a portable air compressor, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Having one of these babies in the trunk of your car erases worries including, “What if I get a flat? Alone? With no cell service?!?” Most models are lightweight (some less than 3 pounds) and feature LED lighting, because low tire pressure doesn’t always happen in broad daylight. This affordable investment can be a real lifesaver.
This model takes the guesswork out of inflation: Program in the desired pressure, then let the machine work—it’ll shut off automatically when it gets there. VacLife
Many of us tend to ignore that air-pressure alert when it lights up on the dashboard, but making sure your tires aren’t over- or under-inflated—and that they’re balanced—is important for avoiding wear and tear, and tire blowouts. Your car’s manual will tell you the optimal pressure for each tire, and it may also be located on a sticker inside the driver’s side door. Once you have your own compressor, you can skip those pesky trips to the gas station.
Need to blow up your pool float? Or basketball? Or kayak? This model comes with additional nozzles and needles for all of those. EPAUTO
Different-capacity compressors serve different purposes, so if you have a particular need in mind, make sure the model you’re considering supports it. For example, not all compressors are made to inflate truck tires—make sure you read the specs carefully to match your vehicle.
This pricier model works fast and has a USB output, so you can also charge a phone or another device. An included stocked tool bag makes for easy portability and storage. Avid Power
You may not need it as often, but sometimes you need help deflating something. (Think: a vacation pool float when you’re already running late for the airport.) Some compressors feature a multipurpose nozzle to get that job done.