Sometimes you can get a good laugh when you see the marketing materials a manufacturer sends. For the Viair heavy duty portable compressor, the first thing we got to see was this: “this unit offers a 1.27 SCFM free flow at 0 PSI.” Obviously that isn’t true. What is true are these observations, which we jotted down while we used this particular compressor over the course of a couple long-distance trips and some camping.
Hopefully you’ll find these key points helpful as you shop for a portable compressor that can meet your needs to inflate stuff or keep your tires at a proper pressure level.
- Make sure you have your engine running. This Viair compressor only works on a 12v connection. You’ll be able to receive up to 100 PSI of working pressure, but you need to make sure your engine is running while you’re using this compressor. If you run it straight off the battery, you’ll need to jump your vehicle.
- The tire chuck is made of brass instead of rubber or plastic. We’ve seen more expensive compressor/inflator models use junk tire chucks that make it difficult to get an airtight seal. This brass tire chuck twists on quickly, is easy to keep clean, and will let you maximize the value of this tool when you’ve got a tire running low. Because you have to screw the tire chuck on, however, it is important to slightly over-inflate your tire because you’ll lose some air as you unscrew the chuck when you’re done.
- The turn on/turn off thing gets a little annoying. So the positive point here is that the pressure gauge included with the Viair heavy duty portable compressor is pretty accurate. The negative point here is that you actually need to turn off the compressor to know what pressure you’ve got in the tire you’re filling. If you need a precise PSI, this process can get to be a little annoying. The gauge itself reads up to 150 PSI.
- It works reasonably fast for its size. This compressor offers a 30 minute duty cycle at 30 PSI, so most people will find that it takes 10-15 minutes to replace the air in a vehicle’s tires. If you’re using it to fill an air mattress, you might find it to take 30-45 minutes depending on how large it happens to be.
- You actually get length with the power cord. This particular model offers a 15 foot power cord. Even if you have a center-mount front dashboard 12v receptacle, you’ll still have enough length to reach your back tires.
The Viair heavy duty portable compressor is more of an inflator since it doesn’t have a storage tank, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get the job done. If you’re looking for something that is lightweight, portable, but still strong, then this is the compressor you’ll want to consider today.