ARB Portable Air Compressor Review

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Last Updated on December 31, 2020

ARB Portable Air Compressor Review

Having accessible air is a necessity whether you are driving down normal roads or are on an off-road adventure.

This will allow you to pump up your own tires if you are unfortunate enough to get an air leak or you find yourself in a tricky situation.

It can also enable you to help someone else if you ever need to. Having accessible air will also enable you to inflate your tires quickly and efficiently to make sure you get home safely and without incident.

The ARB portable air compressor is a great set to keep with you in your car as it is incredibly durable, even in tough conditions.

You never know when you are going to need an air compressor when you are out driving around, so it can be useful to keep one with you in case of an emergency.

We have found that the portable ARB air compressor is perfect for the job through lots of research.

What is an Air Compressor?

An air compressor is a device that pumps air, and you can use it in an emergency to pump air into your tires. They aren’t the same as tire inflators, as they are usually larger and heavier.

Typically, they work using pistons that compress the air, and they require a lot of power to create this pressure. There is also another type of compressor that works using a rotary screw instead.

More often than not, an air compressor will need to be plugged into a wall outlet, but there are some lighter ones that run off of the 12-Volt port outlets in a car. This is so they can be portable and used whenever you need them.

Larger air compressors are more useful to use at home or in a garage, but the portable ones are specifically designed to be used when you least expect it, which is why it is useful to keep one in your car. They are also lighter to make them more easily portable.

The advantages of using an air compressor are that you can fill your tires with air whenever you need to. You will never know when you are going to get an air leak, or need your tires pumping, so it really is a beneficial piece of equipment to have around.

They are also able to work faster than a standard tire pump, and they also don’t have batteries that need to be charged. You can use them in a variety of settings for different purposes.

ARB CKMP12 12V High-Performance Portable Air Compressor

ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor

This is an Amazon’s Choice product, and it is highly rated by thousands of customers. The CKMP12 portable air compressor is the most popular in their range by far and has been constructed entirely from high-quality and lightweight materials.

It is also available in portable and vehicle-mounted configurations for your convenience, and it has a class-leading flow rate. It has been specifically designed for Air Locker activation, with fast tire inflation and many other functions.

The kit comes complete with everything that you will need, including a full wiring loom and mounting hardware for straight-forward installation. It also comes with a 6-meter air hose, battery clamps, inflation kit, and a durable carry case.

You will be fully equipped with on-board air that is ready to use whenever you need it. This can be an especially useful piece of equipment for any off-road travel that you plan to do, and it is considered a staple accessory by many as it provides an immediate source of compressed air.

The compressor itself is housed in a durable carry case that is great for easy storage and versatility. It will also help to keep the equipment protected when it is not in use.

The compressor is sealed for moisture and dust resistance and has a washable sintered bronze air filter element that is housed in a splash-resistant cover for extra protection.

There is even a Teflon impregnated carbon fiber piston seal for reduced friction and maximum trouble-free life. The flow rate, when not under a load, is 0 PSI 2.65 CFM; 29 PSI 2.18 CFM. This compressor is suitable for many air tools when it is paired with a 1-gallon air tank.

The motor is internally thermal protected against extreme temperature damage, so you won’t need to worry about it overheating.

It also comes with a mounting bracket that dissipates motor heat and allows the compressor to be repositioned at 180 degrees on vehicle-mounted models for ease.

It also has a heavy-duty maxi-fuse that is equipped for professional in-line circuit protection. It is small enough that it will fit into tight spaces, and it is quiet when in use.

It contains enough output to air up to four 35 to 37-inch tires in one cycle. It can air one tire of this size in around two minutes, so it doesn’t take much time at all.


  • This product is an Amazon’s Choice, which shows it is highly rated and popular
  • Comes with everything you would need to set up
  • Allows you to be prepared in case of an emergency
  • Comes in a durable carry case for extra protection
  • Teflon carbon fiber piston seal to reduce friction
  • Thermal protected motor
  • Contains enough air to fill four tires
  • Is able to air one tire in just over two minutes


  • Not always easy to mount and install
ARB (CKMP12) 12V High Performance Portable Air Compressor
  • Compressor housed in a durable carry case for easy storage and versatility
  • Sealed for moisture and dust resistance; washable sintered bronze air filter element housed in a splash resistant cover
  • Hard anodized cylinder bore; Teflon impregnated carbon fiber piston seal for reduced friction and maximum trouble free life
  • Flow rate (under no load): 0 PSI 2.65 CFM; 29 PSI 2.18 CFM.Suitable for many air tools when used in conjunction with a 1 gallon air tank (optional with on-board models)
  • Kit includes 19 feet air hose, wiring loom, battery clips and all the necessary fittings to inflate tires and camping or leisure gear

Why Do I Need an Air Compressor?

Your tires will perform best when they are set at a pressure that is appropriate for the terrain that you will be driving on.

If you are simply driving on the highway, you will need a relatively high pressure rate, but lowering your air pressure for off-road driving will improve the traction of your vehicle.

Compressed air allows you the freedom to adjust the tire inflation level to suit the conditions you will be driving in.

Another beneficial feature of on-board air is the ability to re-inflate tires that have been repaired. It is not unlikely to get multiple punctures in one day when you are driving off-road, which makes an air compressor highly valuable in these circumstances.

If you combine an air compressor with a good quality tire repair kit, you will be good to go. If nothing else, having an air compressor will provide you with peace of mind.

All of ARB’s air compressors are individually leak tested, current draw tested, and flow tested under load at the factory before packaging.

How Do I Use the ARB Portable Air Compressor?

This air compressor claims to be easy and straightforward to use, and the instructions are just that.

All you need to do is follow these quick steps, and you are ready to go.

  1. Connect the battery clamps to the battery terminals of the vehicle. Remember: black to black and red to red.
  2. Next, you need to plug the hose into the compressor.
  3. Connect the metal ARB nozzle to the other end of the hose and put it on the valve stem.
  4. Make sure that the compressor is plugged into a power source.
  5. Push the switch on top of the compressor to start.
  6. Now you have completed your set up, and you can start to use the compressor.

You should also note that if you stretch the hose too much, the compressor unit can fall over onto its side. While it will still work, it is recommended to use it in the upright position to avoid any damage, so be careful to make sure that it stays the right way up.

You should also make sure that you are checking the tire pressure as you go, as it can be easy to accidentally over-inflate your tires. You can use a tire pressure gauge to do this, which will give you the most accurate results.

If you find that the pressure is not high enough, you can continue with the process until the pressure is where it needs to be.

When you have finished using the air compressor, you should give it some time to cool down as it will heat up when in use. When it has cooled down, you can pack it away in its storage container.

Are Air Compressors Dangerous?

Typically, when they are used properly, air compressors are not dangerous. However, there are certain things that you should be wary of when using an air compressor. A common danger of air compressors is the rare possibility that the compressor will rupture under excessive pressure.

Too much pressure inside the air compressor can make the machine explode. A pressure gauge is included in the air compressor machine, and there should also be a manual that will explain what level of pressure is dangerous. As long as you don’t exceed this level, nothing bad is going to happen.

You should remember to check the pressure regularly to make sure that it is at a safe level. This way, you can be assured that you are using the air compressor safely and efficiently.

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