To get the most out of your 4WD action make sure you have the best tyre pressure for the conditions you are driving in. Let’s face it though, who wants to sit in the middle of nowhere pumping their tyres like its 1927! Portable air compressors are a great way to not only lower your tyre pressure to the right level and then re-inflate them when you’re back on tarmac! Buying the right air compressor depends on use, weight and a whole bunch of factors, let’s take a look at a few!
Compressors differ in price a lot, with portable options ranging from under $100 to over $1000. Like anything the more you pay for your compressor the better all-round performance you get.
The quicker you can re-inflate your tyres the sooner you can be back on the road. If you are in no hurry you can save some money by getting a compressor that takes a little more time.
If you have a mate who is too cheap to buy their own compressor yours may need to handle the extra workload. Those who go off-roading regularly are also advised to invest in a compressor with some staying power.
Space is always at a premium when you are heading off on an adventure, making it a smart move to get the smallest compressor that will suit your needs.
The less weight you are carrying in your 4WD the better it will handle and the longer your tyres will last. You will also appreciate having a lighter compressor to haul in and out of your vehicle every time you need to inflate your tyres.
High temperatures can impact a compressor’s ability to work as well as reduce its overall lifespan, so look for models that can deal well with heat. Units that include insulation over the hose to compressor connection will protect against burning your hands when disconnecting the hose.
As with any major purchase a good warranty will provide you with backup if anything goes wrong. If you are having trouble choosing between two compressors go with the one with the best warranty.
Having a decent carry case for your compressor can definitely be handy, and if you tend to be hard on your gear look for a case that provides a little extra protection.
The 2011 Australian 4WD Action No Bull Test Air Compressor Comparo
Australian 4WD Action conducted extensive testing on 24 series-wound 12V electric units, comparing them based on all major characteristics.
Tests were done using a 285/75/16 Cooper STT tyre mounted on a LandCruiser steel rim and included inflating tyres from 0 to 40psi, from 16 to 40psi as well as an epic endurance test.
The results were broken down and analyzed to determine the most consistent and
Best overall performer 4WD ACTION WINNER! – Dr. Air Pro Flow 150LPM by Haigh Australia (also the best overall performer out of all compressors tested!)