Air Compressor Shoot Out – Tire Inflation Comparison

In this video we are going to put 4 different tire inflators to the test to see how fast they can fill up a 35” tire from 15 psi to 32 psi. Now it’s probably pretty easy to figure out which one will be fastest and which one will be slowest, But I thought it would be interesting to look at the prices of each compressor compared to how much time you are actually saving airing up.

Smittybilt Portable #2781:
ARB Single CKMA12:
Air Tank:

Everything I’m using on my Jeep can be found here:

DIY CO2 Links:
Flow Regulator:
9-150 fixed:

For the first test we are using a well-used Smittybilt portable tire inflator model number 2781, this inflator sell for around $159

The benefits of this compressor are its portability and ease of use. It comes in its’ only bag for storage and you don’t have to worry about installing and wiring hard wiring it. It just attaches to your battery with some alligator clips, screw it on to your valve stem and flip the switch and it’s ready to go.

Next up is my ARB single piston compressor that I have been using for over a year now. I have it hard mounted and wired under the hood. I love the compact design and reliability I’ve received with the compressor so far. One of the added benefits is you can run your air lockers off this unit as well

Up next is my buddies ARB dual piston compressor, which just like the last one works great to inflate your tires and can run your air lockers, but you can also run some air tool off this compressor and they sell a storage tank you can attach to give you even more air output.

Last up is a home built CO2 tire inflation system. Now you can buy purpose build tire air bottle, but they will run you $400-600. This system cost just over $230 My friend built this system using a 10lb CO2 bottle from a beverage store and some regulators and attachment that you can find online… I’ll leave links in the description if you are interested. He can inflate all 4 of his 37” tires 4 times, and it only cost him about $20 to recharge the CO2 bottle.

We knew this was going to inflate the tire quickly, but we had now idea how fast….



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  1. If you forget to weigh your CO2 tank to see how much is left you don’t need to be “Overlanding” also the CO2 tank can be stored in any orientation you want. Just needs to be vertical when using it. It’s a great cheaper option if you can’t afford an ARB compressor and don’t wheel hard enough to warrant air lockers. I’d love to have an ARB dual but between the LC and the Tacoma I needed a portable option.

    One of the kids calls or a family member with tire trouble, I grab the tank and go. It works for us.

    I have scored more free beer by being the CO2 tank guy and filling other peoples tires too. YMMV

  2. I use CO2 by Smittybilt. I love it and dont plan on changing any way soon. I use it for other things too like powering nail guns in places I dont have power

  3. +1 for the Smittybuilt 2781 (5.65cf/m). 2 years and maybe 20 air ups, still working great. Fun fact: don't grab it with bare hands after filling up in the sun on a hot day…

  4. I've been using a power tank for years now…fast as hell, you can use power tools for the rare time you ever need to off road, but really really need it. and I can fill it up for about $15 in my area. yes I paid too much from making my own, but id say that after 10 years of ownership im ok with that.

  5. How do you like your STT Pro's? I'm having a Hell of a time getting mine balanced. This will be the third time in my first 500 miles.

  6. I came up with a much cheaper way of airing up tires. Get a power inverter and a normal air compressor that is 110 volts. A pancake version is small portable and can be purchased used for not much money plus the power invertoir can be used for so much more and does not cost that much

  7. I just bought the Portable Twin Version and the inflator and the Air Accessory bag to add to my Single High Output,  Love ARB products. and I have a heap more ARB Gear.

  8. I have 3 cars on flats a/ dead batteries that I need cleared outs the driveway. so your information is invaluable to me. especially with those big tires. the cars are old-school Cadillacs and mercuries so I would like something of quality that'll allow me to drive these bad boys instead of have them towed

  9. A guy at work is was asking me the other day if there is a vegan practice made system out there that I know of. It needs to have the vegan and organic practices made logo on the package for him to buy one. I told him he is probably out of luck. He also said fair labor practices logo would be a plus.

  10. Excellent job on the video. I like how you present the data in terms of "hours consumed annually". I am not a big fan of compressed gases in a tank that you have to carry in your vehicle. Compressed C02 left in a hot vehicle can become a potential explosion hazard. Another consideration with CO2 is that when tanks are filled under pressure the C02 sits as a liquid. This liquid has a temperature of approximately – 56 Celsius. Should there be a failure of the regulator, which can happen, imagine liquid C02 being released on or around the individual using the tank. Taking into consideration the elevated safety risk of compressed C02 and the travel time to fill tanks >>>> give me a compressor any time. Thank you for all your videos. I always learn from your material. Keep filming.

  11. I inflate my tires due to rims being bent. Have this fear sometimes the tire will blow up if I forget to turn it off. Wi that happen easily? Like my car is 33psi. WhAt are chances of blowing up after certain psi? Sorry I do graphics for living so not too car savvy

  12. Try a Puma if you do another shootout test. ~$260, 3,5 CFM, 1hp (peak), 150 PSI with a 1.5 Gallon tank. Pretty popular with my crowd. Tad larger than the other models tho.

  13. I'm wondering what affect the CO2 has on the tire rubber compounds and cords…is it beneficial or not?  I would think that oxygen has a negative oxidizing affect so maybe CO2's would be better?  I dunno.

  14. Viair 88P compressor, 265/70/R17 tires (31"). It takes 17 minutes out of the day to go from 14psi to 35psi. My test begins from when I stop the vehicle and ends when I drive away. It includes unpacking and packing back with nicely wound up cables and hose.

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