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Carsun Portable Air Pump review

This tire inflator is proof that low price doesn’t mean poor performance

Carsun portable air pump inflating car tire
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Small and light, the Carsun Air Pump is among the least expensive tire inflators you can get. Too bad it lacks an AC or battery power option.

Pros

  • +

    Inexpensive

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    No light switch

Cons

  • -

    Lacks battery

  • -

    Loud

Carsun Portable Air Pump: Specs

Size: 7.9 x 6.1 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Peak pressure: 150 psi
Time to fill a tire: 3:06
Length of cord: 11 feet
Battery: No
USB, AC power ports: No
Light: Yes

Cheapskates take notice. The Carsun Portable Air Pump is among the least expensive tire inflators on the market, and does a credible job of filling tires and inflatable toys with air. This inflator does without a built-in battery or the ability to plug it into an AC outlet.

But this model is very light, and the Portable Air Pump’s power cable and air hose combo means that it should work on all but the largest cars and pickups. There are more accessories than many of the Carsun’s peers but the dedicated place for them only fits two. Still, at $28, it’s hard to go wrong. 

Carsun Portable Air Pump review: Price and availability

The $28 Carsun Portable Air Pump is an amazing device, and it’s hard to bear in a world where tire inflators models are selling for five times more. The company sells a variety of automotive gear, from car vacuums and covers to cleaning products and lights. 

Carsun Portable Air Pump review: Design and features

The midsized Carsun Portable Air Pump is among the lightest inflators available. At 1.8-pounds, it’s on a par with the Fanttik A8 Apex, but does without a battery to power its pump or the ability to plug into an AC outlet. 

Made of yellow and black plastic, it measures 7.9 x 6.1 x 2.6 inches, making it roughly three-times larger than the A8 Apex. However the Carsun is much smaller than the Craftsman V20 Cordless Inflator or the Black + Decker Inflator.

Carsun portable air pump next to car tire

(Image credit: Carsun)

There are cooling vents at the bottom which work to keep the pump from overheating, but it does without a handle to help you carry it around. The pump has soft rubber feet on the bottom, but its single On/Off switch controls the pump and light with no way to choose either.

It comes with a 12-volt car accessory adapter. Capable of 150 PSI, the Portable Air Pump has 0.9-inch cylinder and is able to move upwards of nine gallons of air a minute, half the pumping rate of the Amazon Basics Portable Air Compressor.

The 0.9-inch backlit monochrome screen shows the current pressure that can be set to show Pounds per Square inch (PSI) Kilopascals (KPA) or Bars. Carsun also included an excellent assortment of accessories, starting with a 15-amp fuse should the supplied one burn out.

Carsun portable air pump included attachments

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Also included are tips for sports balls, bicycles and two different sized inflatable toys. While there’s a thoughtful place to snap the accessories into for storage (and hopefully not lose them), only two fit at any given time.

Carsun Portable Air Pump review: Setup

Even without a handle, it’s easy to carry the Carsun Portable Air Pump from tire to tire. While it lacks a battery pack, the cord and hose are more than long enough to pump up all four of a car’s tires.

The three button interface can take some getting used to, however. The “R” key is for changing the pressure units, while the “+” and “-” keys are used to set a value for the pump to shut off at. 

Carsun portable air pump display and settings

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The best part of the Portable Air Pump is that its power cord and air hose team up for an 11-foot reach. That should be more than enough for any car and most light trucks.

Carsun Portable Air Pump review: Performance

Rather than a screw-on fitting, the air hose on the Carson Portable Air Pump has a clamp to lock the valve in place. It filled my car’s tire to 30 PSI in 3 minutes and 6 seconds, putting it on a par with the B+D Inflator. Quiet with a low drone, there was no wobble during the pumping, just a slight sideways movement while it was pumping.t.

The Carsun was able to get the soccer ball ready for the game in 11.7 seconds, and the auto shutoff worked well. The digital pressure gauge was on target and rock steady throughout the entire process. Like most of its competitors, the Carsun pump warns that if you use it for 10 minutes, it will need 10 minutes of cool-down time. It comes with a three year warranty, matching the Craftsman V20 Cordless Inflator. 

Carsun Portable Air Pump review: Verdict

Self-contained in a rectangular plastic case, the Carsun Portable Air Pump is not only inexpensive, but is lightweight and offers a light for nighttime emergencies. It may do without a USB power port and a separate switch for the light, but there’s only so much you can ask for when you’re paying so little. 

While the price definitely doesn’t hamper the performance, there are some trade-offs. Like the fact that when it’s in use, the Carsun Portable Air Pump is among the loudest pumps around. Still, when you’re paying $28, you can easily live with that particular problem.

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets. The former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing and Communications, Nadel is the recipient of the TransPacific Writing Award.