Airing Tires up and Down – The Best Gear You Need to Have

Trail Forged Airing Tires up and Down – The Best Gear You Need to Have

Airing down tires is crucial when venturing off-road. The benefits are critical for both effective wheeling, and overall comfort… a longer contact patch for maximum grip, less chance of sidewall puncture, less strain on your suspension and vehicle as a whole, and a big increase in overall rider comfort.

Overall, airing down tires is a simple yet crucial step to optimize off-road performance and enhance safety during adventurous expeditions… so let’s get in to critical gear you should have with you to air your tires down, and back up again.

Before we get to it, a quick note: this article includes amazon affiliate links, we may earn a small commission on qualified purchases made through these links.

Trailhead: Airing Down

Quick and easy air down tools we ALWAYS bring with us:

  1. Tire deflator
  2. Camp stool!

Our absolute favorite air down tool/tire deflator is the ARB E-Z Deflator. It’s one of the fastest deflators on the market, and is rock solid reliable. It removes and captures the valve stem inside the tool, allowing for the maximum amount of air to release through your valve stem.

Second choice is the screw on automatic deflators that you pre-set to a desired pressure. These are easy and convenient, but don’t allow you to change your air pressure without resetting all four of them. This is why the E-Z deflator is king in our trail kits.

Lastly, a simple camp stool makes airing down (and back up again later) much more comfortable, we always bring one along for this and many other purposes.

The king of tire deflators

The best auto deflators on the market, we suggest the 6-30 PSI ones

Quick, easy, lightweight, and much better than tripod stools

There are cheaper, knockoff versions of all of these, and in our experience they do not work as well, or last as long. We suggest investing in solid trail gear once, don’t let cheap gear leave you hanging when you need it!

End of Day: Airing Back Up

This topic could almost start wars, which compressor is best, what setup, yadda yadda… We will keep it short and sweet, and stick to simple cost effective tools rather than big expensive setups. The gear you’ll need

  1. Air compressor (with gauge)
  2. Pressure gauge (always good to have, even if you have an air up tool with one included)
  3. Camp stool

On board air systems are king, but very expensive. For a much more portable, inexpensive option, battery powered compressors are masters of convenience and cost effectiveness. Or go-to power tools are Milwaukee… so when they started making air compressors that used the same platform and batteries…. why wouldn’t we use them!? 

Milwaukee makes two different versions, we have and use both. The smaller, lighter M12 variant is super small and lightweight. It works well for smaller tires, and though it does come along on wheeling trips and does see use, it’s primarily used for street car tires. While it can fully air up a 35″ tire, it’s slow and will get hot after running for quite some time.

The M18 version is SIGNIFICANTLY faster and more powerful, and is the clear choice for large off road tires. The benefit of both? We already have a plethora of batteries and chargers laying around the shop, so it makes it super easy to load up and go.

Both of these have a built in gauge, and inflate to the pressure you set them to, making them very convenient.

Lastly, again in the name of comfort….a simple camp stool makes this job quite easy and comfortable!

Very small and portable, great for smaller tires

King of battery powered compressors… Have big tires? No problem

Small, simple, affordable

If you need batteries, we got you covered:

M12 Kit with battery and charger


Best bang for buck M18 battery, the XC8.0

M18 battery and charger combo

More advanced tire tech, suggested air pressures, and more to come in a future tech article, subscribe below to stay in the loop with tech info, new product updates, gear reviews, and special deals!

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