2020 State of the Cheap 12v Air Compressor


I'm thinking of selling my PUMA. I've used it once or twice outside the house in the two years I've owned it. I might air down my tires 6 times a year tops. It fills floaties pretty good!

Instead, I'm thinking of getting a quieter, bigger 120v unit for the garage and more of backup/emergency compressor for the trail.

The MV50 is the old standard, but still ridiculously cheap. Viair products are getting there, the 88P can be had for the same price as the MV50. I don't really like paying for a "kit" because I already have all the hoses and what not.

What's up with the more generic air compressors?

My budget is $75.


I've got a Viair 88p, had an MV50 many years back. They are both extremely cheap and ultimately become unreliable sources of air as the years go on. I use my compressors with the vehicles frequently, so they have seen many fill ups. the 88p failed this year, which was 2 years 2 months since purchased. Overheating, blowing fuses and very unreliable. It should be noted, this was used on a vehicle with 30" tires too. I went back to my trusty CO2 tank.

If I ever buy another portable type compressor, I will gladly spend the extra money to get something to last a long time because these inexpensive cheap compressors simply do not last in my experience. I've had three of these types of compressors now. They just arent worth the hassle of horrible performance, cheap hoses, fittings and ultimately they will fail. I'd recommend buying something quality like an Extremeaire if you want a more compact unit, or keep the Puma which are proven and good quality....don't waste your money on a cheap compressor.


Welp, the Puma is sold so that's out.

I mean really, I'm thinking I'll use this maybe 4-6 times tops a year on all four tires.

Again, I really don't want to carry something in the bed. I sleep back there and space is at premium. It's gotta fit in the engine bay or under a seat.


New member
Sorry for the slight thread jack but I am interested in this topic. I am in the market for a small but reliable (long term) compressor. I plan to hard mount it under the frame or under the hood.
Tires 32-35
trailer tires 80+ psi