Best Onboard Air Compressor

Best Onboard Air Compressor – The Finest Choices for Every Need

Onboard air compressors act as crucial fuel sources for your initiatives, you can also consider them as the lungs of a construction site. A professional compressor keeps your tools running for extended periods of time. Furthermore, optimal tyre pressure is critical for vehicle fuel efficiency and safety. As a result, investing in the best onboard air compressor for vehicles becomes vital. It is now easier to get trustworthy, user-friendly equipment that assures a consistent compressed air supply throughout long flights or complex jobs.


ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor


  • Brand: ARB
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Power Source:  Corded Electric
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Special Feature:  Pressure Detection


ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High-Performance Air Compressor


  • Brand: ARB
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Power Source: Gas Powered
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • Special Feature:  Pressure Detection


Smittybilt Air Compressor

Smittybilt 5.65 CFM

  • Brand: Smittybilt
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Weight: 15 Pounds
  • Special Feature: Pressure Detection

In comparison to standard air compressors, onboard air compressors entail special considerations. Choosing the best onboard air compressor with excellent quality and dependability is critical for a great experience. You require a solution that speeds up tyre pressure adjustments.

To make your search easier, read the reviews of the best onboard air compressors below. These assembled compressors are perfectly sized for smooth integration into any vehicle’s nook.

What is an Onboard Air Compressor?

An onboard air compressor is a small but powerful device that produces compressed air for a variety of applications. These compressors, which are typically built inside automobiles, allow users to inflate tyres, power pneumatic equipment, and even alter air suspension systems. Unlike typical portable air compressors, which must be kept separately and shifted as needed, onboard air compressors serve as a seamless part of your vehicle’s setup.

Best Onboard Air Compressor
Best Onboard Air Compressor

Benefits of Onboard Air Compressors

Onboard air compressors provide multiple benefits that improve ease and flexibility in a variety of aspects of everyday life and industry applications. These small and efficient devices provide a consistent flow of compressed air, allowing users to fill tyres, power pneumatic equipment, and do a variety of activities without the need for external power sources. One of the most significant advantages of onboard air compressors is their use in vehicles such as trucks, RVs, and automobiles. Having an onboard air compressor eliminates the need for drivers to look for a petrol station to fill tyres or manage emergency deflations.

Maintaining proper tyre pressure is especially important for off-road enthusiasts and long-distance travelers, as it leads to higher fuel efficiency, safer handling, and longer tyre lifespan. Furthermore, onboard air compressors make it possible to inflate recreational items like as inflatable beds, sports balls, and camping gear, making them a crucial instrument for individuals who live an active outdoor lifestyle.

Aside from personal automobiles, onboard air compressors have a significant commercial value. These compressors enable workers in industries ranging from construction to agriculture by giving rapid access to compressed air for powering instruments such as pneumatic drills, nail guns, and paint sprayers.

10 Best Onboard Air Compressors

Here is the review list of our 10 best onboard air compressors;

1. ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor

ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor
ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor

With the ARB CKMA12 On-Board Air Compressor, experience air compression at its best. This elegantly designed compressor redefines consistency and performance, making it the ideal choice for both daily and commercial use. It is made of high-strength technical materials and guarantees a long lifespan and silent operation, proving ARB’s dedication to quality.

The CKMA12 tyre inflation powerhouse is powered by a 12-volt source. Its hard-anodized cylinder bore reduces friction and ensures smooth operation. What actually distinguishes it is the pressure sensing function, which provides exceptional precision in inflation. Say goodbye to ambiguity and welcome to accuracy as this compressor smoothly adjusts to your demands.

The creative design of the CKMA12 reflects ARB’s tradition of excellence. It handles a variety of chores with ease because of its 60-gallon capacity and 100 PSI maximum pressure. In my experience, this compressor is suitable for anything from daily travel to off-road excursions and even powering air equipment in commercial applications. The CKMA12 is more than simply a tool; it represents ARB’s commitment to user satisfaction and ongoing innovation.


  • High quality build
  • Includes many safety features
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Best for air lockers


  • Alligator clips can be a bit too small

2. Vixen Horns VXO8325 – Air Ride Compressor

Vixen Horns VXO8325 Air Compressor
Vixen Horns VXO8325 Air Compressor

Having an onboard air system in your car goes beyond basic convenience; it enhances your driving experience and ensures safety when navigating different terrains. The Vixen Horns VXO8325 Compressor Onboard System integrates seamlessly into your car, not as an afterthought but as a revolutionary improvement to your driving dynamics.

This compressor is ideal for large-tired vehicles such as SUVs, RVs, pickup trucks, and other large-tired vehicles. It’s made for people who place a high priority on performance, with an astonishing 200 PSI.

Its stainless steel body isn’t just for show; it’s also anti-corrosion black powder-coated, promising longevity even under extreme weather conditions. Safety and reliability have been prioritized, making it a trustworthy companion on any road.

With its 2.5-gallon capacity, the machine offers versatility through its seven distinct ports, each being ¼ NPT. It’s designed for user convenience, guaranteeing quick tyre inflation and simple connectivity with your vehicle’s system.

Transform your driving experience, maximize the potential of your car, and put your faith in a product built by professionals. With the Vixen Horns VXO8325, you’re not just buying a product; you’re committing to unrivaled performance.


  • Stainless Steel construction
  • Anti-Corrosion Coating
  • Heavy duty compressor


  • No major drawbacks

3. VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor
VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor

The VIAIR 400P Portable Compressor is a leading onboard air compressor that strikes the appropriate mix between everyday convenience and commercial power. While there are other air compressors on the market, the 400P’s flexibility and features place it among the best contenders, particularly for those seeking an effective combination of mobility and power.

The VIAIR 400P, designed with the modern user in mind, is more than just another air compressor; it’s a trustworthy piece of equipment that’s ideal for a number of jobs. Automotive labor, whether professional or do-it-yourself, needs stability, which this compressor provides. Compatibility with hoses up to 25 feet in length gives the user plenty of reach, ensuring no corner goes unnoticed. Its PSI rating of 150 is remarkable, beating many in its category. This rating is enough for most air equipment and tyre inflations, making the 400P an excellent choice for technicians and car enthusiasts alike.

The 400P’s mobility is one of its distinctive qualities. It is strong, yet it does not compromise convenience. It’s hardly a mammoth, weighing slightly over 10 pounds. Instead, it’s a little but potent force. Its design is enhanced by the smart inclusion of a luxurious dual compartment carry bag. This feature makes transporting the 400P between job sites or just from the garage to the driveway a breeze.


  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • It comes with a zipper bag


  • No major Drawbacks

4. Smittybilt Air Compressor

Smittybilt Air Compressor
Smittybilt Air Compressor

When it comes to choosing the best onboard air compressor for personal as well as commercial usage, the Smittybilt Air Compressor is an unrivaled option. This compressor has distinguished itself from the competition due to its remarkable features and adaptable performance.

The strong motor at the core of this air compressor is not only competent but also well-protected. The installation of an auto-thermal cutoff switch protects the motor from potential damage, extending the compressor’s lifespan and reliability as well. This compressor’s power supply, which operates at 12 volts, provides efficient operation in a variety of situations.

This air compressor is designed to withstand lengthy usage sessions, with a maximum continuous cycle time of 40 minutes at 40 psi and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In my experience, It can provide an impressive airflow of up to 72 liters per minute, offering enough power for a variety of inflating demands. This compressor with a 0.33 horsepower motor, which comes with a 30-amp inline fuse, can keep up with the difficulty of maintaining your vehicle’s tyre pressure or tackling more difficult duties.

This oil-free motor not only provides reliable performance but also confirms the compressor’s versatility for a variety of conditions. Whether you’re inflating tyres, powering air tools, or doing other pneumatic operations, this compressor’s engine is up to the challenge.


  • Versatile tool
  • Convenience
  • High Performance


  • The cord that connects the compressor to the power source may be short for some users.

5. Viair 10000 Onboard Air System

Viair 10000 Onboard Air SystemViair 10000 Onboard Air System
Viair 10000 Onboard Air System

The Viair 10000 Onboard Air System is a malleable truck accessory that provides benefits for both everyday and commercial use. With its 1-gallon air system kit, It meets a variety of pneumatic demands, including air horns and locks.

The Viair 10000 is precision-crafted for performance, with a 10% duty cycle and a strong 2.54 CFM maximum flow. It’s great for tyre maintenance since it provides proper tyre pressure for safety and a smooth ride.

This onboard air system has a significant benefit in that it may be used continuously for 15 minutes before needing to be reloaded. This trait corresponds to increased productivity, helping you to complete work with fewer interruptions. The addition of a 40-amp relay speeds up tank filling times, reducing waiting times and enhancing efficiency.

The system comes with key components such as an airline, plug, drain cock, and compressor fitting, as well as 145 PSI-rated safety valves to ensure safe operation. The Viair 10000, which includes a pressure gauge for reliable monitoring, adds to tyre longevity and performance through proper pressure maintenance.


  • Easy installation
  • Tank fills up quite quickly
  • Compact and lightweight


  • Low capacity

6. Viair 20001 PSI Ultra Duty Onboard Air System

Viair 20001 PSI Ultra Duty Onboard
Viair 20001 PSI Ultra Duty Onboard Air System

The system comes with key components such as an airline, plug, drain cock, and compressor fitting, as well as 145 PSI-rated safety valves to ensure safe operation. The Viair 10000, which includes a pressure gauge for reliable monitoring, adds to tyre longevity and performance through proper pressure maintenance.

This heavy-duty onboard air system, designed for top performance, controls tyre inflation and air horn activation with ease. Its ability to inflate up to 37-inch tyres or power air horns requiring 200 PSI proves its versatility, making it suited for both personal automobiles and business fleets.

The system consists of a 480C air compressor, pressure switch, 2.5-gallon air tank, relay, air tank fittings, air lines, and wiring at its core. It outperforms with a stunning maximum operating pressure of 200 PSI and an amazing 1.76 CFM air flow at 0 PSI. This corresponds to inflating a 37-inch tyre from 0 to 30 PSI in approximately 7 minutes and 10 seconds, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Its perfect components, which include cabling, connections, a pressure gauge, and a dashboard ON/OFF switch, are an added benefit. This comprehensive kit provides a seamless installation by minimizing extra purchases or installations.


  • Simple to install and use
  • Quick to fill up the air tank
  • Very convenient


  • Tank fittings could be of better quality

7. Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor

Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor
Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor

The Vixen Horns Heavy Duty Onboard Air Compressor 150 PSI is an innovative and strong tyre inflation option. Because of its high-flow air outlet and maximum operating pressure of 150 PSI, it excels at swiftly inflating tyres. Its flexibility extends to a variety of vehicles and air-powered tools, making it an excellent choice for both casual and professional users.

This onboard air compressor includes all the required components, making setup simple. The kit contains everything needed for a flawless installation, from the 1/4″ stainless steel braided hose to the 1/4″ NPT in-line check valve. Mounting equipment and a fuse are also provided, ensuring a simple installation.

This compressor is a reliable friend for professionals who rely on air tools. Its toughness and compatibility with air tanks of up to 5 liters make it an excellent choice for a variety of applications, ranging from car maintenance to construction projects.


  • Easy to install
  • Offers great air pressure and quick response time
  • Features mounting hardware to minimize vibrations


  • It can be a bit loud

8. ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High-Performance Air Compressor

ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High-Performance Air Compressor
ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ On-Board Twin High-Performance Air Compressor

When it comes to onboard air compressor versatility, power, and reliability, the ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ is a true champion. This air compressor, designed to perfection by ARB, a name recognized for excellence, is more than just a gadget – it’s a trusted friend for both everyday explorers and commercial users. The ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ emerges as the uncontested choice for people wanting top-notch performance, thanks to its remarkable features and strong build.

Despite its little size, the ARB CKMTA12 ’12V’ performs admirably. It has the greatest airflow rate in its category due to its dual motors and dual cylinders. This compressor quickly inflates tyres of all sizes in only minutes, making it a vital asset for timely and hassle-free tyre repair on everything from normal automobiles to heavy-duty trucks.

Precision engineering specifies the inner workings of the compressor, assuring its lifespan and durability. The five pistons are equipped with high-quality European-made cylindrical roller bearings, and PTFE (Teflon)-impregnated carbon fiber piston seals and hard-anodized cylinder bores decrease friction and maintenance necessities. This On-Board Twin High-Performance air compressor embodies ARB’s dedication to quality, providing a portable, powerful, and reliable solution for air compression demands in both daily and professional environments.


  • Compact and transportable
  • Several safety features
  • Made to last more time


  • Alligator clips are sometimes challenging to use because of their too small size

9. VIAIR 20005 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit

VIAIR 20005 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit
VIAIR 20005 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit

The VIAIR 150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit stands out among onboard air compressors as a versatile and durable option. If you need immediate power with the option of future growth, this kit has you covered. It stands out as a prominent challenger in the field of pneumatic tools since it is designed to meet both current and future demands.

This kit is built around a well-balanced collection of components that represent convenience and performance. The 2.0-gallon tank serves as the system’s heart, providing enough air storage capacity for a range of applications. This is complemented by the in-built 280C VIAIR compressor, a workhorse that not only meets but beats expectations. The VIAIR 150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit’s capabilities extend beyond its principal usage in air horns to light pneumatic chores. Its permanent magnet motor can withstand pressures of up to 100 PSI while operating at an amazing 30% duty cycle.

The VIAIR 150 PSI High-Flow Air Source Kit is up to the task of conquering rough terrain in off-road vehicles or servicing commercial fleets. Its user-friendly design guarantees that even newbies can easily leverage its potential.


  • Built to last
  • Conveniently compact and transportable
  • It takes very little time to fill tires


  • Not meant for more extensive work

10. TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders compressor

TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders compressor
TIREWELL 12V Tire Inflator-Heavy Duty Double Cylinders compressor

TIREWELL distinguishes out as a leading manufacturer of professional-grade air compressors when it comes to choosing the finest onboard air compressor. Their 12V Tyre Inflator with heavy-duty duty double cylinders highlights their dedication to quality and dependability. This air compressor is ideal for car owners in need of speedy tyre repairs or service professionals looking for a trustworthy companion for their service trucks.

The TIREWELL 12V Tyre Inflator’s strong dual cylinder design, powered by a high-quality direct drive motor, is one of its special characteristics. Tyre leaks and low tyre pressure are no longer an issue, as this compressor can quickly inflate a regular 195/65R15 tyre from 0 to 35 psi in just 2 minutes.

The TIREWELL 12V Tyre Inflator is designed with safety and convenience in mind. It includes a high-quality cigarette lighter with a built-in 15A fuse, providing safe and dependable operation. The 1.8-foot inflation tube with a high-quality screw connection assures a snug and secure fit to the tyre valve. The sponge-wrapped grip provides comfort for your pumping experience and makes it simple to carry and use.


  • Reasonable cost and high efficiency
  • Longer-Lasting Construction
  • Capable of inflating tires rapidly


  • A little bit noisy

Buying Guide for the Best Onboard Air Compressor

From filling tyres to powering air equipment, having a reliable onboard air compressor may make a major difference. Consider the following crucial aspects when looking for the best onboard air compressor to help you make an informed decision:

Tank Size

The capacity of an onboard air compressor is determined by the size of its tank. Larger tanks provide higher air storage capacity, which is critical for jobs that need longer consumption, such as running air tools. Consider your planned uses and select a tank size that meets your requirements. Keep in mind that bigger tanks will require more room in your car.

Compressor Size

The size of the compressor itself is important, especially if you have limited room in your car. Compact compressors are less difficult to install and may fit into small places, making them perfect for smaller automobiles. Larger compressors, on the other hand, have higher air production rates and faster inflation times.

Recharge Time

The recharge time relates to how quickly the compressor replaces the exhausted air tank. Shorter recharging times are preferable since they decrease downtime between usage. Onboard air compressors of high grade have efficient systems that minimize recharge time, delivering a steady supply of compressed air.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)

An onboard air compressor’s PSI rating specifies the highest pressure it can provide. PSI values vary depending on the use, such as inflating tyres or using air equipment. Consider a compressor with a PSI rating that matches your desired duties. Remember that some tasks, such as operating air tools, may require a greater PSI than merely inflating tyres.

Installation Process

When choosing an onboard air compressor, keep the installation process in mind. Some compressors come with extensive installation kits and detailed instructions, allowing for do-it-yourself installation. Others, especially if they entail sophisticated wiring or mounting techniques, may need expert installation. Choose a compressor that corresponds to your level of comfort with installation processes.

Pressure and Airflow

While PSI represents pressure, airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM) shows how rapidly the compressor can deliver air. CFM needs vary depending on the tool and job. Make sure the compressor you purchase can deliver enough airflow for your requirements, especially if you intend to use air tools or quickly inflate large things.

Multiple Plugs

Multiple air hose connections or outlets on your onboard air compressor might be quite useful. This feature allows you to connect numerous air hoses at the same time, making it simple to inflate multiple tyres or carry out different chores at the same time. When you don’t have to exchange hoses as frequently, you save time and work.


The speed of tire inflation depends on the air compressor’s PSI rating. A higher PSI level expedites the tire pumping process, reducing inflation time significantly.

Yes, maintaining a proper seal in your air compressor is crucial. Airtight seals ensure optimal efficiency and prevent air leaks, ensuring effective and timely inflation tasks.

VIAIR compressors are designed to be water-resistant. While they are not fully waterproof, they are engineered to withstand moisture exposure and operate reliably in various weather conditions.

Yes, most onboard air compressors are designed to be versatile and adaptable to various tire sizes and vehicle types, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.


Investing in the best onboard air compressor requires careful consideration of your specific needs and intended applications. Whether you’re looking to inflate tires, power air tools, or enhance your vehicle’s capabilities. But in my opinion out of all the onboard air compressors I’ve used over the years, the ARB CKMTA12 ARB505 On Board Twin High Performance Air Compressor has truly stood out as the best. I had tech support issues after opting out of the inflation’kit’ owing to pre-owned components. I completed the two-day installation by working with 1/8″ BSPP fittings and improvising.

The compressor’s outstanding performance quickly filled tyres, proving its worth. The mystery of its origin,’made in Australia,’ provided another dimension of interest. Adapting it to my Chevy Colorado added extra excitement, and the plug-and-play style made wiring easier. The ARB compressor became a vital instrument in my artistic and adventurous interests via problem-solving, tenacity, and ingenuity.