Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor Specifications
Size: 10.2 x 8.5 x 4.5 inches
Weight: 5.8 pounds
peak pressure: 120psi
Time to fill a tire: 1:29
cable length: 28 feet
USB, AC power connections: no
The Amazon Basics line of gear has rightly made a name for itself with simple, minimalist gadgets at affordable prices. The Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor is one such piece of kit. While it may seem like this tire inflator comes from an earlier era in automotive engineering, it has still managed to offer a lightweight design and one of the longest air tubes around.
This inflator can quickly fill up a tire or football, but the Amazon Basics portable air compressor is powered by a direct connection to the car’s battery terminals. That makes it particularly awkward for those who aspire to never opening the hood.
Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor: Price and Availability
Priced at $66, the Amazon Basics portable air compressor sits between more expensive tri-motor designs and lower-priced budget inflators. Amazon Basics also sells car floor mats, roof racks, and cleaning supplies.
Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor: Design and Features
Looking like something straight out of a 1960s store class, the Amazon Basics portable air compressor is made of black steel and chrome with its pair of outdoor pumping cylinders. Compared to the covered Carsun or Prow inflators, the Amazon Basics portable air compressor looks completely bare.
Slightly smaller than the Craftsman V20 cordless inflator, the 10.2 x 8.5 x 4.5 inch design is huge compared to devices like the Fanttik A8 Apex portable compressor. Its 6.0 pound weight is roughly the same weight as the triple powered Craftsman V20 Cordless Inflator.
Unlike the V20 Cordless Inflator and other designs, the Amazon Basics pump lacks batteries, an AC adapter, or even a plug for a car’s 12-volt accessory outlet. Instead, it’s powered by two clips that attach directly to the car’s battery terminals. They are red and black with clear polarity markings so there is no confusion as to what goes where. On the other hand, the insulating plastic clip covers fall off fairly easily.
While the pump has 12.7 feet of power cord and air hose, and should be enough for inflating car and light truck tires, this is just the start. The Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor adds a 16-foot coiled hose that increases its range to more than 28 feet. But unlike the Craftsman V20 cordless inflator, there’s no room to coil the hoses when stowed; it comes with a sturdy bag.
The 1.2-inch monochrome screen is backlit and uses large digits. Below that is a three-button interface with an “S” for setting the maximum pressure, and up and down arrows for adjusting the pressure setting. The screen only reads pounds per square inch (PSI) and tops out at 120 PSI, which shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re a bike racer.
The inflator also has a pair of on/off switches: one to turn on the pump and the other for the three-element LED light. In addition to a needle to inflate a sports ball, the kit includes an adapter for inflating a bike tire and a cleverly designed 30 amp fuse to replace the one that’s included.
Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor: Setup
Large and heavy, the Amazon Basics pump can be awkward to carry. There is a nice handle for lugging around and a pouch for the pump and accessories is included.
There’s only one way to power the Amazon Basics portable air compressor: directly from the car battery with the included clips. That might limit flexibility on the go, and probably isn’t the first choice for a soccer tournament – but the 12-foot power cord helps a little.
Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor: Performance
After I pressed the power button, the Amazon Basics portable air compressor started up immediately. The Amazon Basics pump can pump up to 15.8 gallons of air per minute, twice that of the Carsun pump, and is still limited to a peak pressure of 120 PSI.
Amazon has managed to offer the tire inflator speed demon, with the pump taking my flat tire to 30 PSI in just 1 minute and 29 seconds — about half the time of most others. It was just as fast, inflating the football to 10 PSI in 4.5 seconds.
The portable air compressor’s digital pressure gauge was accurate and didn’t fluctuate wildly when the pump was turned on. As with Carsun’s tire inflator, the instructions warn against using the device for more than 10 minutes at a time. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you must first let it cool down for 10 minutes.
The inflator carries a one-year warranty, which falls short of the RoofPax pump’s lifetime protection.
Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor: Conclusion
While its looks are reminiscent of a simpler age of car tools, the Amazon Basics portable air compressor’s fast inflation speed makes it a great tool for people in a hurry to get back on the road. It only offers a maximum pressure of 120 PSI, but that should be enough for most applications, and its cable and hose combo adds up to a whopping 28 feet.
The inflator comes with a storage bag, has a handy light for night work, and is $66 in the mid-range. On the other hand, the Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor can only be powered by connecting the pump directly to the car battery, so it’s a non-starter for those scared of what’s lurking under the hood.