PRODUCT EVALUATION: TRAIL TECH PORTABLE AIR COMPRESSOR

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Were were able to air up a 32-inch tire to 15 psi three times on a single charge. Fill-up time takes about 10 minutes, but thanks to its preset pressure buttons and automatic shut-off, you can do other things while the tire is filling up.

Airing up repaired or low tires on the trail is common on most rides. The question is, “What’s the best way to do that?” Do you mount an on-board system, carry a manual air pump, use CO2 cartridges, go with a 12-volt compressor or something completely different? Space, budget and function have to be considered.

WHAT IS IT?

One of the smallest, self-contained, battery-operated air compressors we have seen. It’s smaller than early cell phones and can easily fit in a hydration pack, ATV storage box or UTV glove box. It sells for $67.95 at www.trailtech.net. 

FEATURES

The unit weighs only 1 pound, 2 ounces. It measures 6.4×2.7×1.5 inches and comes in a little carrying bag. It’s supplied with a Presta adapter for bicycles and a valve needle for sports equipment, as well as a USB-C charging cable. The inflator also has a USB port for charging phones or other electronics, like GPS units, so we added a few extra cables to the carrying case.

On the function panel, you set your desired pressure and can see what your current pressure is. All you have to do is hit the start/power button and let it work. The compressor shuts itself off automatically when it reaches the preset pressure.

This is one of the most compact air compressors we have tested. It retails for $69.95 at Trail Tech. Contact them at (844) 378-8143.

HOW WELL DOES IT WORK

To test out its ability to inflate a flat tire, we tried it on a big 32-inch UTV tire. With the stopwatch running, we programed the compressor to stop at 15 psi. It took three minutes for the flat tire to rise to 5 psi. It took another four minutes to reach 10 psi, and a total of 12 minutes to get up to 15 psi when the compressor is turned off automatically. We were surprised when we touched the compressor, because it wasn’t hot anywhere. Most air compressors get hot after running that long. We let the compressor sit for about two minutes and then tapped the “+” sign a handful of times until it hit 20 psi. The compressor had no trouble reaching that pressure in just under five more minutes.

So, the little unit has plenty of juice to air up or entirely inflate any tire. Actually, this is the third time we’ve used the compressor on the initial charge. The battery indicator did turn from green to orange, but is still working at full pressure. According to Trail Tech, recharge time takes one hour. We assume that is when using the wall charger. The kit does come with a USB-C charging input, so you can charge the unit while you ride as well, using any on-board 12-volt outlet or other source. You cannot use the compressor while it’s charging.

VERDICT

The compact nature of this compressor fits our needs perfectly. It’s small enough to take on an ATV ride or even stick in the door panel of the truck. It will fill up those tires, too. At $69.95, it’s three times less than the Dewalt unit we usually carry in a UTV. It works so good, we bet it could double as a jump-starter, too, if it had battery leads. Hopefully, Trail Tech develops that product soon and then we will be sold on it. Until then, the TT portable air compressor is the go-to in our kit, and we won’t leave home without it. To add one to your toolkit, check out www.trailtech.net, or call them at (844) 378-8143, and be sure to tell them Dirt Wheels sent you

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