Michelin are very much a tyre brand. For me, I associate seeing the name with the ‘Michelin Man’ ad boards on the side of the track at the Formula One races I watched on TV as a child with my dad.
While they’re synonymous with premium tyres, Michelin also make other car related accessories too, such as these inflators to keep in the car boot for those times when you need to check pressure or pump a little air in.
Just like their tyres, this is a premium brand, so you’ll pay a bit more than for alternatives like Ring and the AA’s offerings, but you do get some neat extra features for your money, as you’re about to find out!
Let’s go into a bit more detail about each of the Michelin pumps.
Michelin Tyre Inflator Models
12266 High Power Rapid
We’re going to start with the most impressive of Michelin’s pumps that we’ve looked at, thanks to a couple of features that you wouldn’t normally get on an electronic car pump.
In the box, you’ll get the tyre inflator itself, plus a couple of adaptors for balls and inflatables (like air-beds and paddling pools). There’s a bag with this unit rather than the soft case some other manufacturers opt to supply, which may make it slightly easier to store away in the boot of your car if space is at a premium. So far so normal!
The features of the inflator set this apart a little from the pack, mainly thanks to a USB charging socket on the front of the body of the pump as well as a 12V socket too which means that you can plug a second device in if required.
I’m not sure how many people will find the 12V output useful, but the USB might be more of a lifesaver than is evident on first glance
Consider breaking down and needing to inflate your tyres. We all know that mobile phone batteries have a habit of dying at the worst moments, so this will allow you to give it a boost while you sort the tyres out – better than leaving it in the car to charge while you’re pumping up tyres.
It’ll allow you to be next to the phone for a call back from breakdown recovery or a loved one phoning you back. More of a ‘nice to have’ than an essential on an inflator, but you’ll be glad you’ve got it if you find yourself in that situation.
A final added extra that’s well thought out on this Michelin pump is the instructions for use that are printed on the rear of the unit. The chances of having the instructions with you when you break down vary from person to person (in my case they’d likely be in the garage at home!) so knowing they’re always with the pump offers a little extra peace of mind.
The digital display will tell you the current pressure of the tyre when it’s connected to a valve, to the left you can adjust the tyre pressure with the blue buttons, and to the right the other blue button switches the LED light on and off, which is incredibly bright.
Between the two blue charging port covers at the top of the inflator is a yellow power button, which simply toggles the unit on and off when plugged in. You’ll find the power cord and 12V adaptor to plug it into the car on the right side of the unit, and the air hose to connect to the tyre in the left hand side. Both have storage areas inside the pump to be neatly packed away when they’re not in use.
The Michelin 12266 has an auto shut off function, so as long as you set the correct target pressure before you turn the pump on, it will stop inflation when the pressure is reached, preventing over inflation damaging your tyres. It’s reasonably quick too, taking a flat tyre to a typical family car pressure (30 to 35 PSI in around three and a half minutes.
All in all, this is one of the best inflators we’ve seen, but it does have a chunky price tag to match:
009518 Digital Mini Compressor
Next up, we’ve got the little brother of the 12266 above. It’s the little brother in two ways, firstly in that it’s physically much smaller. Secondly it’s got a bit less to offer (and a lower price accordingly), namely no 12V socket on the front.
In all honesty, as we said about the 12266 edition, we can’t see a lot of people needing that 12V power outlet on the inflator itself, but maybe there’s something we’re not considering.
It’s a lot slower than the higher model too, and there’s no auto shut off facility. The problem with this pump is that it’s priced too high compared to other brands that cost less and offer more, so take a look at the AA and Ring pumps, along with the AmazonBasics model if you’re after something simple and low cost.
If you really like the small size of this mini compressor, that’s the only thing that makes it stand out from other inflators. I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to sway many people into buying this, but here’s the price link if you’re interested:
Something a little different now, in this cylindrical offering. The Michelin Rapid 12262 tyre inflator has a totally different design to the others above, and works well.
It’s very much a no frills option compared to the 12266 above, but if that’s what you’re after and you like the Michelin brand, this is a compelling choice.
It’s got the safety features you really need – lights for night use and an auto shut off facility when the programmed pressure is reached. It’s much better value for money than the 009518 mini compressor, but still more expensive than something like Ring’s premium RTC1000 and ever popular RAC635 which is fairly comparable to this one.
If you’re a Michelin fan and like to buy a trusted brand though, this one is a good choice if your budget won’t stretch to the 12266 at the top.