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The Best Portable Air Pumps

AstroAI
🕚 Updated July 2022

A portable air pump can help to inflate your tires, toys, and inflatable mattresses. It's a great tool to have on hand when you're enjoying the outdoors. Here are some portable air pumps that we recommend.

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  Top Choice Best for Air Mattresses Best for Sports Balls Perfect for Pool Floats Best for Tires
 
  AstroAI
Air Compressor
FLEXTAILGEAR
Ultra-Mini Air Pump
SPORTBIT
Ball Pump with 5 needles
Sweet Alice
Electric Air Pump
VacLife
AC/DC 2-in-1 Tire Inflator
 
Our SummaryThis rugged portable air compressor inflates just about anything with its multiple settings, and it even lights up for night use.Don't let this mini machine fool you: it's a powerful, USB-friendly pump with multiple nozzles for diverse applications.This ergonomic ball pump is easy to use and durable.This powerful little pump is lightweight and portable for blowing up beach balls, floats, and air mattresses.This portable tire inflator works with your car's existing plugs and standard wall plugs to inflate your tires on the road or at home.
ProsWorks quickly, automatic shut-off, many applications, great for most, pressure indicator.No batteries required, fast and efficient, easy to transport and store.Lightweight, works as intended, fantastic value, straightforward.Small but powerful, easy to use, comes with storage bag, quiet.Smart digital display, achieves high pressures, automatic shut-off feature.
ConsNo built-in storage for connectors.Doesn't make a solid connection on the fill valve.No storage for extra needles, only for balls.Cords are short.May be difficult for some people to figure out.
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The Best Portable Air Pumps

A car air pump hooked up to a car tire.
AstroAI

Buying Guide for Portable Air Pumps

An air pump in the grass blowing up a paddleboard.
Akimicheva Olga/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a portable air pump?

Air pumps and air compressors use electrical power to move gases around, creating a lot more air pressure than you could achieve in double the time with your lungs. They’re great to have around, especially if you enjoy outdoor activities like playing sports, camping, or hanging out by the pool. They can inflate your air mattresses, pool floats, soccer balls, paddleboards, and more! Many portable air pumps work with multiple applications since they come with different nozzles to fit different types of air holes, while some air pumps are made for one specific application, like blowing up your tires in an emergency.

What should you consider in a portable air pump?

  • Compatible Nozzles: Before buying an air pump, you’ll want to be sure that the nozzle will fit the air hole you want to fill. For example, some air pumps come with multiple nozzles made to fit sports balls, air mattresses, and inflatable toys. As long as there is one that fits your needs, it should work for you.
  • Power Source: Another thing you should consider is the power source of your air pump. If you’re planning to be on the road, you may want to buy one that uses the car’s available port for its power source. Other good options are rechargeable or battery-operated air pumps.
  • Inflation Speed: Do you want it quick, or are you willing to wait? In the case of blowing up an air mattress, many of us want to inflate it quickly, so we can get to bed as soon as possible. More powerful air pumps can pump air more quickly, resulting in fully inflated mattresses, toys, and tires in just moments.

How do portable air pumps work?

When charged with electricity or a battery, the air pump or compressor forces air into a container and then adds pressure. This pressure comes out of the hose or nozzle with enough force to blow up tires, toys, or other things quickly.

Our Picks for the Best Portable Air Pumps

Top Choice

AstroAI Air Compressor

This rugged portable air compressor inflates just about anything with its multiple settings, and it even lights up for night use.

Pros: We love how quickly this air pump works to fill a tire. In fact, it can fill a completely flat tire in less than 10 minutes. It shuts off automatically, so you don’t need to worry about overfilling your tires. And it has accessories that make it work with inflatables and air mattresses, too!

Cons: The pump doesn’t come with a storage compartment or bag for the different connectors.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a convenient, powerful portable air pump that does it all, this could be it. It lights up with a flashlight if you’re using it in cloudy weather or at night. And it even has a pressure indicator, so it doesn’t overfill or underfill tires or other inflatables.

 

Best for Air Mattresses

FLEXTAILGEAR Ultra-Mini Air Pump

Don't let this mini machine fool you: it's a powerful, USB-friendly pump with multiple nozzles for diverse applications.

Pros: Unlike many other mini pumps, this one doesn’t require batteries. It works quickly, too. And it’s so tiny and lightweight that you can carry it anywhere in a purse, backpack, duffel bag, or even your glove box.

Cons: You have to hold it on the fill valve because it doesn’t have a solid connection.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a small portable air pump with a long-lasting charge, check this one out. It offers four ways of charging, so you’ll be prepared for it all. And it comes with built-in safety protection so it doesn’t overheat.

 

Great for Sports Balls

SPORTBIT Ball Pump with 5 needles

This ergonomic ball pump is easy to use and durable.

Pros: This little hand pump is lightweight and easy to store in a fitness bag or sports ball bag. It does an excellent job of blowing up most sports balls quickly and efficiently. The needle holder won’t bend your needle, so you can use it for a long time. And it’s a fantastic value.

Cons: It doesn’t come with a storage solution for the extra needles, and it only works for balls.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a portable air pump for all your different sports balls, this is a good option. It only performs one function, but it does it well and is easy to use.

 

Perfect for Pool Floats

Sweet Alice Electric Air Pump

This powerful little pump is lightweight and portable for blowing up beach balls, pool floats, and air mattresses.

Pros: First, this pump is small and lightweight, yet it’s very powerful. It’s really easy to use and inflates your favorite inflatables quickly. Plus, it comes with its own little travel bag. It’s no louder than a blowdryer and will take care of your beach balls, pool floats, and air mattresses easily.

Cons: The electrical cord is pretty short.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a powerful portable air pump for your favorite poolside toys, look no further. It’s uncomplicated and easy to use. And it’s quiet when compared to other similar models.

 

Best for Tires

VacLife AC/DC 2-in-1 Tire Inflator

This portable tire inflator works with your car's existing plugs and standard wall plugs to inflate your tires on the road or at home.

Pros: One of the best things about this portable air pump is its digital display which shows the current air pressure and the target air pressure. It can tolerate and achieve high pressures, which is great if you have a larger vehicle with larger tires. And it has an automatic shut-off feature.

Cons: There is a learning curve to using this air pump correctly.

Bottom Line: Are you sick of gas station air pumps? This may be a great solution for you. It works both with your car’s outlet and a wall outlet. And it even has an LED light so you can use it at night.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve even considered buying a portable air pump, you can make a smart choice based on your needs. Whether you want a pump that can do it all or just one that helps you out of an emergency on the side of the road, there’s one on our list for you.

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »
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