VacLife DC 12V Portable Air Compressor

Last updated date: August 3, 2020

DWYM Score
9.4

VacLife DC 12V Portable Air Compressor

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We looked at the top Air Compressors and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Air Compressor you should buy.

Overall Take

This air compressor fills your tires quickly and automatically shuts off once you've reached the desirable capacity. The small, lightweight build makes it both easy to carry and store between uses. It also comes with a long cable that lets you keep it plugged into the same socket while you fill all four tires. In our analysis of 52 expert reviews, the VacLife VacLife DC 12V Portable Air Compressor placed 2nd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 3, 2020:
Checkout The Best Air Compressor for a detailed review of all the top air compressors.

Expert Summarized Score
9.1
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
2,998 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Convenient digital display.Handy auto-shutoff feature. Fills tires quickly.
- BestReviews
One thing that we noticed is that it works quicker than most of the portable tire inflators on the market today.
- Byways
Overall, this is a pretty sturdy and durable design air compressor to buy
- Superior Top List
Easy to transport and use.
- Auto by Mars
Comes with a lengthy cable so you don’t have to constantly unplug the product to move around to different wheels.
- DIYer Hacks
This compressor is highly portable, very easy to use, and very handy to have one in your car or home.
- Tools Insights
What experts didn't like
A little on the noisy side.
- BestReviews
It is noisy.
- Auto by Mars
The cord hangs free as there's no reeling action.
- DIYer Hacks
Noisy
- Tools Insights

From The Manufacturer

This auto tire air compressor can inflate your standard car tire fastest in seconds. Simply plug it into the 12V power outlet in your car and attach the hose to the tire you wish to inflate. You can just flip the switch and the car air compressor will do all the work for you.

Overall Product Rankings

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
1. EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 11
VacLife DC 12V Portable Air Compressor
2. VacLife DC 12V Portable Air Compressor
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 6
BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Air Compressor Combo Kit
3. BOSTITCH BTFP3KIT 3-Tool Air Compressor Combo Kit
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 0
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak 1-Gallon Air Compressor
4. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak 1-Gallon Air Compressor
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 10
DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V Cordless Air Compressor Kit
6. DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V Cordless Air Compressor Kit
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Air Compressor
8. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Air Compressor
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Air Compressors

Air may be invisible, but with some force behind it, air can help you with a variety of tasks. One way to harness that force is through the use of an air compressor, which gathers air in a tank, pressurizes it, then forces it through an opening. Air compressors have a variety of uses, from pushing air into the tires of your vehicles to powering tools such as nail guns and staplers. But before you invest in an air compressor, you’ll first need to identify exactly what you need it for so that you can find the best model to fit your needs.

If you’re buying an air compressor for your vehicle tires, for instance, chances are you’ll be storing it in your car. You’ll need a power source, and you probably won’t be able to keep it on a charger between uses. A tire air compressor that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter will ensure you can use it even if you see that you’re low on air when you’re on the road.

Another factor that’s important in an air compressor for tires is reach. If you’re going to be inflating all four tires, you’ll need a cord long enough to wrap around the vehicle. You should also look for a compressor with a built-in light that allows you to see what you’re doing if you’re stuck in a parking lot or at the side of the interstate after dark.

Air compressors are also built for powering tools that use compressed air to push projectiles into wood or other items. A nail gun or staple gun that uses air, for instance, needs a compressor to refresh the air in your tools. Some air compressors even come with the tools you need for your projects.

If you choose an air compressor that includes tools, pay close attention to the quality of the tools that are included. It may include nail guns or staple guns, for instance, and you may be better off buying those separately. If you already have the tools, you’ll have more leeway in the compressor you choose, but there are some factors to consider, such as the power the compressor will provide. A strong motor will offer more power, ensuring you get the strength you need to complete the task at hand.

DWYM Fun Fact

There are three scientific laws that explain the way air compressors work. One is the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that increasing pressure also increases heat, explaining the boost in temperature seen with air compressors. There’s also Boyle’s Law, which shows that halving the volume of air doubles the pressure. Lastly, Charles’ Law states that air volume changes in direct proportion to the temperature. To compress air, a compressor traps air in a tank, at which point the space in the tank becomes smaller, thereby forcing air molecules in closer proximity — in other words, it compresses them. The compressed air waits until it’s ready for use, at which point the molecules expand.

The Air Compressor Buying Guide

  • No matter what use you’ll have for your air compressor, efficiency is essential. You’ll want as much power as you can get with each burst of air. With a tool-based air compressor, this will give you the strength you need to slide nails into wood or other items. With a tire-based air compressor, this efficiency means you’ll be able to inflate your tires quickly.
  • If you’ve ever been around an air compressor, you probably already know they can be noisy. Some are quieter than others, so if you’ll be using them in an area where it’s a concern, look for a noise level of 80 dBA or lower.
  • Portability may not matter if you’ll only be using your air compressor in one place. If not, though, look for one that’s lightweight enough to transport and small enough to fit into your planned storage space. A handle can also make an air compressor easy to carry around from one job site to another. Just make sure you aren’t trading in power for portability.
  • For tire-based air compressors, look for a handy screen that lets you monitor the pressure as you fill your tires. Make sure this screen is easy to read, even in poor lighting conditions.
  • Safety features such automatic shutoff once your tire reaches the desired inflation level can give you peace of mind.
  • If your compressor requires a power cord to operate, pay close attention to the length and retractability of that cable. You may find that it doesn’t have the reach you need, or that you have to continually unplug it and plug it in somewhere else throughout your time using it.
  • For tool-based air compressors, you need to make sure you’re getting enough power for the tools you’ll use. Some can only handle lighter tools like nail guns, which means they won’t work with paint sprayers and other heavy-duty air tools.
  • As handy as a portable air compressor can be, keep in mind that it will have a smaller tank. That means you’ll deplete the air inside quickly.
  • Pay attention to the hoses and other accessories included with your air compressor. Even if your compressor comes with a hose, it may not be of the material you need to get the best results. As great as nylon is, you’ll find its performance falling short in colder conditions. Neoprene will last longer and do better in chillier weather, but it can be on the heavy side. Polyurethane is both light and durable and can handle temperatures as low as -22 F.
  • When looking at the cord on any air compressor, pay attention to how the cord stores when not in use. Some are retractable, while some you can easily wind up for storage. However, there are some that aren’t flexible enough to be rolled up, creating challenges when it comes to storage.
  • The size of a compressor impacts more than storage. A bulky compressor can be tough to maneuver, especially if it’s heavy. Consider this if you’re looking for a compressor you’ll need to move around.