Amazon take no introduction – if anyone has been living under a rock long enough to be unaware of their website then they’re unlikely to be here reading this!
What’s more unknown is how they’re quietly developing a huge range of affordable, own brand products under the name AmazonBasics.
AmazonBasics Tyre Inflator Models
At the time of writing, Amazon just have the one variety in their car pump range, and as you’d expect, it’s competitively priced to match their other offerings.
AmazonBasics Compact Portable Air Compressor with LED Light
If you’re looking for a no nonsense, simple solution for tyre inflation, this could well be it. Amazon excel at doing things well, affordably and keep things simple.
Need a way to pump up your tyres? Check! Want a build in torch function in case you need to use it at night? Check! Want to prevent over inflation by setting target pressure? Check!
You get the idea, the basics are there that you get from most good quality inflators, all wrapped up in a decent price. What’s more it’s sold under the Amazon brand. If a company of that size put their name to it, they must have checked out the quality, and are confident it’s up to the job.
You get a 60cm air hose (the ‘cable’ that the air is pumped along between the unit and your wheel), which screws onto the tyre valve. The power cable is longer, measuring in at approximately three metres, so this is plenty long enough for family sized cars. It plugs into the 12V power outlet that’s in most cars, which man of us oldies call the cigarette lighter, even though they’re rarely used for that purpose any more!
According to Amazon, this will handle pressures up to 150PSI, not that we’ve checked anything of the sort. My Focus needs 32PSI under a normal load, so I can’t imagine many people with common UK vehicles will need to have access to pressure over 150 PSI!
The pressure is set via a simple set of three buttons, one to set pressure and an up and down arrow to adjust. Really simple, but worth mentioning for completeness. The torch option works with a 3 way switch, middle is off, and you get a flashing or ‘permanent-on’ light depending which way you push it.
As a nice added extra, you’ll get an adaptor in the box for adding air to balls (the standard needle that is so easy to lose in the garage), and adaptors for inflatables like a lilo and airbeds too.
Having checked through a ton of customer reviews, there are a couple of common gripes, so let’s address those. By far the biggest is air being released when you detach the air hose from your wheel’s valve. For most of us, that’s nothing more than a mild irritation, if we even notice at all. It’s worth noting though, that if you hold the end of the air hose tightly in place as you unscrew it, the air loss reduces dramatically, and certainly to a point where there is no measurable pressure change on the display.
The other notable mention relates to putting the unit away. Due to the generous cord length, it does take a while to gather up the power cord neatly to store away (there’s a space provided through the back panel of the unit). While it does take a few seconds to arrange and get back in place, I’d rather have more cord than less simply to save a few seconds with each use. If you’re not sharing that view, you could try one of the other inflators (eg the Ring RTC1000) that has a winding mechanism to retract the cord. For me, not a big issue though!