New gear being used today:
What goes down must go up. If you air down those tires, you need to fill them back up before getting on the asphalt again. With oversized tires, that means you need a big compressor. Let’s take a look at a compressor I recently purchased which could be one of the best off road air compressors on the market today.
Smittybilt makes two compressors. There is a 2.8 CFM model (the 2780) and the one I got, a 5.6 CFM model (the 2781). I chose the larger one for the sake of speed. Airing up 35 inch tires is no easy task for a portable compressor. Don’t even think about trying to use one of the cigarette lighter compressors. The motor would burn up or trip the fuse before you even got close to the right tire pressure.
The Smittybilt fit the bill because of the value. It is one of the less expensive compressors on the market and it has some pretty good reviews, currently 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Sure, you could get a Viar or ARB compressor but you are going to pay 2 to 3 times as much for them.
What follows is a brief review of the product. I mean it is an air compressor, how much can I write about it.
In The Box
The compressor comes complete with a carrying case, coiled air hose and a pressure gauge. It connects to the vehicle battery directly with alligator clips to get more power than a cigarette lighter outlet would allow. This is needed to power the 1/3 horsepower motor which helps the compressor pump out up to 150 PSI.
Couldn’t be easier. Just hook it directly to your battery and get to airing up. Do not forget to start your engine to avoid draining your battery. The compressor also operates noticeably faster with the added voltage.
For the test I would be airing up from 15 PSI to 30 PSI. It took well under 2 minutes to air them up so I am pleased. People have complained that the compressor gets pretty hot but I did not notice that. Of course, I only aired up one tire but there was virtually no change in the temperature of the body of the compressor.
For the money, I couldn’t be happier. Sure, you could spend hundreds more and get something a bit better, but for my money, this is one of the best off road air compressors. My only complaint is the coil hose which could be better quality. I hate coil hoses anyway so I plan to replace it. I might also hard mount it somewhere to get it out of the cargo area.
If you are tired of using the cheap cigarette lighter compressors or bumming some air off of your buddies, consider picking one of these up. It gets the job done and is a whole lot cheaper than one of the alternatives.