You can treat a jeep the same way you’d treat every other sedan, but this would be a waste of an incredible machine.

And you can use your Jeep like you would any other vehicle, but then you’d miss out on what makes the Jeep so fantastic. To use your Jeep for all it’s worth, you need a portable air compressor.

Proper air pressure in the tires is required for a smooth and comfortable ride. It also keeps the tire healthy. Driving on an under-inflated tire can cause it to quickly wear out, shortening the lifespan.

A portable air compressor is there for those unexpected moments when you need your tires topped up.

You may not think you need an air compressor, but it’s always best to be prepared. An air compressor doesn’t have to cost much, and it can save you money down the line.

Choosing the right air compressor for your jeep is about finding the correct balance of power and speed, without sacrificing portability. In this guide, we help you pick the best compressor for your needs.

Table of Contents

Best Air Compressors for Jeep

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

VIAIR 400P Automatic Function Portable Air Compressor

If you want a quick decision, then buy the VIAIR. This is one of the best options around, and highly recommended by many Jeep owners.

It’s easy to use, powerful, and portable. Suitable for both on- and off-road vehicles, with the VIAIR you only need one compressor for multiple cars. A great choice all-round.

The VIAIR can inflate tires of up to 35 inches, using 150 PSI max working pressure for 15 minute intervals. This inflates tires quickly, and the auto-shut off feature saves time and battery.

The VIAIR is more than just an air compressor – it’s a system.

Included in the kit is a close-ended tire inflation gun for quick pressure readings, and a vibration resistant tray to stop the compressor from digging holes. With a low weight, it can be stored in the trunk until needed.

Pros

  • Auto-shut off – Powers down when not in use.
  • Vibration resistant tray – Compressors have a tendency to be noisy and volatile, but the tray keeps the VIAIR secure.
  • Popular – In the opinion of many Jeep owners, this is the best air compressor going.

Cons

  • Hot – Heats up in use.

Smittybilt 2781 5.65 CFM Universal Air Compressor

It’s hard to argue with the popularity of the Smittybilt. For a long time, the Smittybilt has been a solid companion for Jeep owners. It’s still one of the best options around.

If you don’t mind spending a little extra on your compressor, then this is a top choice.

The 40 minutes at 40 PSI duty cycle isn’t the longest, but this is supplemented with an impressive 72 liters per minute maximum airflow. It does heat up fast, but it also works quickly.

The durable design is portable, with anti-vibration feet to stop excessive movement.

Smittybilt have 50 years of experience creating air compressors for Jeeps, and this compressor will continue the legacy.

Pros

  • Anti-vibration rubber feet – Keeps the air compressor still throughout use.
  • On board circuit breaker – Your vehicle stays safe.
  • Integrated 150 PSI pressure gauge – Easy reading, no matter what the circumstances.

Cons

  • Metric threads – Upgrades and replacements are difficult in the US.

ARB CKMP12 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor

If you’re interested in a seriously high quality air compressor, then the ARB will keep any Jeep owner satisfied. As long as you don’t mind the higher price, this is an air compressor with power, style, and safety.

The ARB air compressor is deceptively lightweight, with a surprising durability that can be seen across its rage of features.

On top of that, the motor is protected against harsh temperatures, for longer, better use. With a 19-foot hose and a durable carry case, it’s an easy compressor to carry around, and use whenever needed.

Pros

  • Moisture and dust sealed – Protected against poor conditions, for safe outdoor use.
  • Polypropylene carry case – A durable outer shell offers extra protection.
  • Output – Fill up 4 35” tires in just a single duty cycle.

Cons

  • Price – This isn’t the most affordable of kits.

GSPSCN Heavy Duty Double Cylinder Tire Inflator

The GSPSCN air compressor just might surprise you. It doesn’t have the features or the power of the big beast machines, but it’s certainly impressive when it comes to tire inflation. The price certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

Heavy duty double cylinders are utilized to provide the GSPSCN with the fast output that makes it so impressive. With an air flow of 70 liters per minute, and a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, the GSPSCN can certainly hold its own.

The stability feet keep vibrations to a minimum, holding the air compressor steady and saving energy.

An in-built pressure dial gives accurate readings at a glance. And the heavy-duty clamps show the quality of the build. A great choice for a portable compressor.

Pros

  • 70-liter per minute output – Fast filling, can inflate a standard tire in under 2 minutes.
  • Stability feet – Vibrations are reduced, for a steady machine.
  • Versatility – Adaptors are included, making it suitable for multiple uses.

Cons

  • Includes a cigarette lighter that isn’t particularly reliable, nor very portable.

Tirewell 12V Heavy Duty Tire Inflator

This small and portable air compressor from Tirewell may not be the most impressive around, but it gets the job done. It’s easy to fit into even the busiest of Jeeps, making it a perfect choice for camping holidays.

The pressure and air flow rate are solid if not wonderful, and it’s durable to withstand being carried about.

A maximum pressure of 150 PSI is impressive, and the Tirewell uses double cylinders to improve the inflation rate.

A standard vehicle tire can be inflated in about 2 minutes, and the system is easy enough to use. A solid choice for an air compressor, and sure to prove handy when kept in the trunk of the Jeep.

Pros

  • 3 adaptors – Can be used with bicycles, tools, inflatables etc., thanks to the included adaptors.
  • Stability technology – Reduces vibration, for a quieter and more effective air compressor.
  • Carry case – Includes a bag for protection and easy transportation.

Cons

  • Struggles at higher pressure.

PI Auto Air Compressor

The PI air compressor stands out from the crowd. It seems like it should be attached to a computer, rather than a Jeep. But, we should all know better than to judge a book by its cover, and the PI air compressor has some surprising tricks beneath its odd sleeves.

First, the screen. Anyone who has some experience with a pressure gauge knows they can be tricky things, and the PI uses a screen to streamline the experience.

Second, the safety light. The powerful LED light glows white for nighttime use, and red to signal for help.

The auto shut off gives an extra level of safety. This feels like an air compressor designed for tricky situations, and it could certainly prove useful.

Pros

  • Pressure screen – Quickly read the pressure, without the unreliability of a gauge.
  • LED light – For use during the night, or to indicate assistance is needed.
  • Easy to use – Clear instruction and a streamlined design make it easy to get to grips with.

Cons

  • Lacks the power of the stronger air compressors.

NoOne Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor Pump

The NoOne portable air compressor feels high-tech, even if it lacks power. With just a 35 liter per minute inflation rate it isn’t the quickest around, but the screen and lights provide enough features to make it a nifty piece of equipment.

This is an updated version of the original NoOne air compressor pump, which proved popular with Jeep owners looking for a budget inflator.

The screen allows for easy reading of pressure, and is intuitive to use for even novices.

Sitting alongside this are the LED lights. These have three modes – normal, warning, and SOS – ideal for difficult nighttime usage. Lightweight and portable, it’s a solid investment for any Jeep owner.

Pros

  • Easy use – Simple buttons guide you through usage, from turning it on to setting the pressure.
  • Backlit screen – Read the pressure quickly, even in the dark.
  • Multiple adaptors – Includes different nozzles for multiple uses.

Cons

  • 35-liter per minute airflow – Lacks the speed and power of other compressors.

Smashier Portable Air Compressor

With the Smashier portable air compression, you get quick and easy inflation, at a bargain price. A great option for anyone who isn’t convinced they need an air compressor for their Jeep, but wants the peace of mind they provide.

It’s incredibly lightweight and very portable, so can fit into the trunk of a Jeep with no problem. The inflation rate isn’t astounding, but the simple LED screen and pre-set controls give an ease of use that’s missing from some of the bigger beasts.

With a 35 liter per minute airflow rate, the Smashier isn’t ideal for larger vehicles, but it will fill a standard tire in roughly 3 minutes. Reliable, with an auto shut off for safety, this is a useful addition to any Jeep.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty – A long warranty shows an impressive amount of trust in a budget machine.
  • Anti-vibration rubber – A quieter air compressor, and more efficient.
  • Snap-on tire pump nozzle – Easy to use, even in stressful circumstances.

Cons

  • Overheats – The lower pressure means a longer running time, and the Smashier can get hot.

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

The EPAuto portable air compressor is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t think they need an air compressor. It’s portable, streamlined and uncomplicated, and delivers good power.

It’s easy to use, with a torch and an LED screen, as well as a helpful auto shut off feature. It lacks the special features of advanced models, but makes up for it with a maximum working pressure of 70 PSI, and an intuitive design.

Air compressors don’t have to be big and complicated. The EPAuto gets the job done, while remaining adaptable and versatile.

Pros

  • Efficient – The EPAuto isn’t mind-blowing, but it will inflate your tires.
  • Auto shut-off – A useful safety feature.
  • Flashlight LED – Can be used at night.

Cons

  • Simplistic – Lacks the power and features of other brands.

Kensun AC/DC 12V Air Compressor

Kensun might not have made a perfect air compressor, but what they have created is something easy to use and portable. With the molded handle design, sleek casing, and analogue gauge, inflating a tire is simple.

This is an air compressor if you want simplicity. Something that can be used for your jeep, but will also have a use around the house. The various nozzle attachments allow for multiple uses, and the AC/DC adaptable currency is handy on the go.

The Kensun is an air compressor that you’ll appreciate having to hand, thanks to the streamlined simplicity.

Pros

  • Compact – Small and lightweight, this air compressor can be carried with ease.
  • Built in handle – Easy to grab hold of.
  • Simplified usage – Screw on the nozzle, plug it in, and press the button.

Cons

  • Hard to store cables – The Kensun uses multiple cables, and they tend to get in the way.

Buyer’s Guide

If you haven’t used an air compressor before, they can seem overly complicated. However, an air compressor is so useful to have in your Jeep that we highly recommend getting one. This buyer’s guide can help you see what features are necessary.

Air Pressure

One of the first things you’ll notice when you come to buy an air compressor is the abbreviation PSI. It stands for pounds per square inch, and refers to the air pressure.

The air compressor needs to have a higher maximum PSI than the tire. A higher PSI can fill a heavy-duty tire, which is why the most powerful units top 150 PSI. For a Jeep, above 70 PSI is recommended.

Flow

The airflow is often referred to in CFM, or cubic feet per second. This refers to how much air is delivered into your tires. The faster the flow, the quicker your tires will inflate.

Duty Cycle

Duty cycle essentially refers to how you use the air compressor, to put it very simply. The duty cycle indicates how long an air compressor can run before it needs to cool down or recharge, and how long the breaks between usage need to be.

A good duty cycle allows you to use the air compressor for long enough to fill your tires, without needing significant breaks.

Voltage/Power

Smaller compressors tend to use the power of the engine to work. Many will attach to the 12V cigarette lighter socket, but others use direct battery clamps.

Be sure to check how to power the air compressor before purchase, to ensure it works with your vehicle.

Noise/Vibration

Air compressors have a reputation for being noisy machines, and some of them vibrate so much they start to dig a hole in the ground. Not only is this annoying, it also wastes energy and heats the unit.

Many air compressors come with anti vibration rubber, to reduce the noise and keep still. However, noise should only be a small consideration.

Size

The air compressor needs to fit easily into your Jeep, without weighing the car down. It also needs to be portable for easy maneuvering, so you can inflate your tires on the side of the road.

Smaller air compressors generally have less power, so look for a balance of size and strength.

Features

A gauge is pretty much an essential part of an air compressor. Many come with either a needle display, or an LED screen. Other features to look out for are additional nozzles for versatile use, and a light for nighttime assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why buy an air compressor for a Jeep?

A deflated tire or a tire with low pressure is dangerous. They heat up quickly, wearing the tire out and potentially leading to accidents. Jeeps are designed to handle rough terrains, but the tires can still take some serious damage.

An air compressor allows you to inflate the tires easily, no matter where you are. Perfect for long trips, or country living.

What is the best air compressor for a Jeep?

VIAIR, Smittybilt, and ARB manufacture the best possible air compressors for a Jeep. These are fast and high-powered, but still portable.

What is a good PSI for an air compressor for a Jeep?

Ideally, an air compressor for a Jeep will have at least a maximum PSI of 150. However, 70 PSI and upwards is good. Below 70, and you will struggle to get your tires inflated.

How often should I check tire pressure?

At least once a month is recommended, as tires naturally lose pressure over usage. If you drive a lot, you may want to check more often.

It’s also worth checking anytime the tires make unexpected noises, if you have trouble steering, or if it’s taking a while to stop the car.