The 6 Best Portable Air Compressors for Overlanding

Camping Gear, Overlanding -

The 6 Best Portable Air Compressors for Overlanding

If you’re just getting started on your overlanding journey, one of the worst obstacles you can encounter is a low or flat tire. A portable air compressor is an extremely handy tool to carry with you into the great outdoors for a number of reasons. Whether you run into tire trouble on your main vehicle or auxiliary vehicles or whether you need to pump up an air mattress, bringing along a portable air compressor can make survival a breeze! After scouring the internet and combing through camping and overlanding threads on Reddit, we’ve compiled the following list of the 6 best portable air compressors on the market. Take a careful look at each option to find the right one for your next adventure. 


 1. ARB Portable Air Compressor

ARB air compressors are highly regarded for their reliability, particularly in inflating larger 33” to 37” tires. They are known for their commitment to quality and exceptional customer service, offering both onboard and portable compressors that undergo thorough quality control processes. 

 2. Viair Portable Air Compressor

Viair offers reliable tire inflation solutions, especially for larger tires ranging from 33” to 37”. Known for their dependable performance and various options in both on-board and portable compressors, Viair stands as a suitable alternative, emphasizing customer satisfaction and reliable functionality. 

 3. Smittybilt Portable Air Compressor

Smittybilt’s 5.65cfm air compressor serves as an affordable choice, particularly suitable for off-roading and larger volume tires such as 35-inch tires on 18-inch rims. Although it presents a cost-effective option compared to higher-end brands like ARB and Viair, it caters well to specific needs, offering a favorable choice for those seeking budget-friendly alternatives for such tire sizes. 


 4. The 12V TACKLIFE Portable Air Compressor

Available on Amazon, the TACKLIFE 12v portable compressor stands as an economical choice compared to established brands like ARB and Viair. While it might not match the quality standards of its pricier counterparts, it does manage to get the job done. With some users reporting slower operation, particularly with 33-inch tires, it serves as a viable option for basic needs. Despite potential limitations, certain users have used this compressor without issues over an extended period, emphasizing its reliability for occasional or emergency use. 


 5. DEWALT 6-gallon Compressor

Sporting a 165 max PSI 6.0-gallon tank, 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI pump, quiet operation at 78.5 dBA, and maintenance-free oil-free pump, DEWALT's compressor provides user-friendly features like an efficient motor for cold starts, a protective console cover, rerouted outlet tube for safety, and a portable 30-pound weight. It includes high-flow regulators, a ball drain valve for swift tank drainage, and two universal couplers, making it a versatile choice among the other options listed above. 

 6. CRAFTSMAN 6-Gallon Air Compressor

Proudly manufactured in Jackson, Tennessee, this compressor boasts an oil-free pump, ensuring durability and minimal maintenance. Weighing 32.5 pounds and delivering 2.6 CFM air flow capacity, this portable model offers a maximum pressure of 150 Bars and comes with a 1-year limited warranty. The package includes the CMEC6150 Compressor, measuring 16.5” L x 16.5” W x 17.88” H, making it a sturdy and reliable option for various applications. 


A portable air compressor is a must-have accessory for any serious overlander or RV camper. Any of the brands above should take care of most jobs in the backcountry. Now it’s time for you to do your own research and determine which option is best for you. But first, make sure you take a look at Renlicon’s comprehensive lineup of camping and overlanding equipment, including the Out-In-About Box. This 8-compartment aluminum vehicle organizer is perfect for retrofitting your primary overlanding vehicle. Fitting snugly inside of a truck bed or into the back of a large sport utility vehicle, the Out-In-About Box™ will ensure you have space for everything you need on your next overlanding adventure! Get yours online from and enjoy the natural beauty of the great American outdoors with friends and family! 

out in about box