Portable Air Compressor
I need a means of airing-up and down when off-road, plus fixing flats, etc. I.e., I need an air compressor to carry with us in the truck at all times. So which one did I end up with? To answer that, we have to start with the requirements:
- Quality. Foremost, I wanted something high-quality that will last me my lifetime. Of course, price was a factor, but I’m also a big believer in the time-tested adage that when buying tools you can “cry once or multiple times”.
- Portability. I wanted something portable. I will primarily take my Gladiator off-road and on trips, but occasionally will take the wife’s Jeep (when it shows up). In other words, I don't currently need something permanently mounted under the hood of the truck; rather, I want something I can move from vehicle to vehicle as required.
- Capacity. I may end up running larger tires in the future, so wanted something that could grow with me as my tires changes. It’s overkill a bit, but I decided I wanted something capable of up to 80psi and around 2cfm. Also wanted a compressor with a 100% duty cycle spec, primarily so that once I start airing up on the trail I won't have to wait for the unit to cool down if it overheats.
- Automatic. I wanted an "auto" compressor, meaning it has a pressure transducer that turns the unit off and on by itself when air is flowing. It's a small thing, but everyone that moves from a manual to an automatic version says that they'd never go back.
- Permanent Mounting Capability. Yes, this conflicts with the portability requirement above, but in the future, if I want to permanently mount the compressor, I wanted something compact and durable enough to accommodate this need.
With all these requirements in mind, I looked at lots of brands, models, and options. I read reviews, watched YouTube videos, and scoured the forums. The candidates were far and wide, and included no-name cheapo unites all the way up through top-of-the-ine ARBs, et al. In the end, I chose….drum roll… the VIAIR 450P - 45043 Automatic. It's a 100% duty cycle, 12VDC, 150psi, 1.8CFM high-quality unit that I bought via Amazon.
Is this overkill for my application? Yes, probably. But I *know* it’s going to meet my needs. Pictures below: