Best Portable Air Tanks – 2021 Round-up

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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If you've ever gotten a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, you know how useful a portable air tank can be. You'll no longer need to worry about this common issue during a road trip or rely on a heavy air compressor in your trunk. 

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best portable air tanks:

  1. California Air Tools AUX10
  2. Stealth Blue-Saa-110T
  3. Pro-Force FT5

Comparison Chart of the Best Portable Air Tanks

Product

Main Features

Price

California Air Tools AUX10

  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Features quick connects
  • 10 gallons

Stealth Blue-Saa-110T

  • Max working pressure of 225 PSI
  • One year warranty
  • 10 gallons

Pro-Force FT5

  • Best for the Money
  • High quality welds
  • Comes with hose

Viair 91014

  • Best 1 Gallon Air Tank
  • Corrosion resistant coat
  • 150 maximum PSI

Vixen VXT5200

  • Best 5 Gallon Air Tank
  • 200 max PSI
  • 9 ports

Ninja 48/3k

  • Best Paintball Air Tank
  • ASTM Compliant
  • Only 2.82 lbs

What Size of Portable Air Tank Do I Need?

It always depends on how you plan to use your air tank. If it's for inflating tires, you should always consider the largest tank so that it can offer decent CFM. Most portable air tanks range in sizes between 1 and 6 Gallons.

If you're using it for things like inflating pool inflatables, you wouldn't need a large tank. Research the CFM requirements of carrying out each task, as that'll allow you to choose the correct portable air tank. The larger the tank, the more CFM it can offer. 

How to Choose a Portable Air Tank 

There are multiple features that you should keep an eye out for when researching portable air compressors. Below are a few we believe to be the most important. 

Size 

Depending on how you plan to use your air tank, you'll need to consider the size options. Typical sizes of portable air tanks range between 1 and 6 gallons. If you require continuous airflow, you'll probably be best with something on the larger side. 

Design

There are two ways you can make an air tank, horizontal or vertical. If you're tight on trunk space, a vertical tank might help you save some space compared to horizontal, although they're a lot easier to move around. 

Weight

Weight should also be considered; if you've got a heavy air tank in your trunk, this will affect your car's performance. Also, heavy air tanks are harder to move around. Consider finding a tank that is as light as possible. 

Pressure Capabilities 

CFM and PSI are what help operate air tools effectively. If you plan on using your air tank for occasional work using air tools, you'll want the air tank's CFM and PSI capabilities to be suitable for use with the air tools. 

Review of the Best Portable Air Tanks

We've described what to look for when searching for a new portable air tank. Now, it's our turn to show you some of our favorite portable air tanks. 

Best Overall:
California Air Tools AUX10

PROS

  • Provides up to 125 PSI
  • Is relatively lightweight
  • Includes a hose and tire chuck
  • Have the choice of different material and size

CONS

  • Fittings can sometimes become loose

Our Review

This California Air Tools portable air tank is our overall favorite for a few reasons. Before purchasing, you'll be able to decide between a five or 10-gallon tank. Not only that, you can choose between an aluminum or steel material casing. 

The 13lb aluminum option is significantly lighter than the 28lb steel model; I'd imagine these sizes also vary depending on the gallon size. With the 10-gallon option, you'll benefit from 125 PSI capabilities and plenty of airflows to carry out simple air tool tasks. The purchase also includes a 48-inch hose and tire chuck to help with any deflated tires. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

With this particular 10-gallon tank, the extra accessories like the hose and tire chuck are what make it stand out. With most air tanks, you'd get the single tank and nothing more. This purchase allows you to get working straight away. 

Runner-up:
Stealth Blue-Saa-110T

PROS

  • Provides up to 225 PSI
  • Five quick connector fittings
  • Dual-gauges for both tank and tool
  • Reinforced rubber handle to help carry it around

CONS

  • No additional accessories included

Our Review

A high-pressure 10-gallon air tank can provide up to 225 PSI, more than enough to operate standard pneumatic air tools. You can run multiple tools at a time as the tank has five quick connection fittings and dual-gauges to allow users to read the pressure of both the tank and tools. 

This particular model weighs around 30lbs, heavier than our previously featured air tank. However, the air tank has a reinforced rubber handle to help you comfortably carry the air tank around. The only downside with this product is that it doesn't come with any additional accessories. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

For a 10-gallon tank, you certainly have plenty of extra features. Five quick connector fittings might seem like a bit OTT. But, if you've got the ability to operate 225 PSI and multiple workers, you could turn a 30-minute nailing job into a 5-minute job easily. As well as the dual-gauges, giving you a lot more accuracy in terms of understanding how much you're using from the tank. 

Best for the Money:
Pro-Force FT5 

PROS

  • Comes with a hose and tire chuck
  • Welded on handle to help you carry it around
  • Quality brass fittings last longer than other materials
  • Compact design means you'll have no problem storing this

CONS

  • The handle is uncomfortable to use

Our Review

This small yet mighty air tank has a compact design that will allow you to find a storage place for it relatively quickly. The fittings' quality is another strong point for this air tank as they're made from solid brass, a highly durable material that doesn't easily corrode. 

It's got a solid welded handle that allows you to carry it around and comes with a rubber hose and tire chuck. The only downside with this 5-gallon air tank is that the welded handle is quite uncomfortable to use as it doesn't provide any padding or grip. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

We voted this air tank the "Best for the Money" because it can offer just as good quality as any other air tank. For example, this tank can provide up to 135 PSI, 10 PSI more than our voted overall best. Just because it's cheaper doesn't mean it performs poorly. 

Best 1 Gallon Air Tank:
Viair 91014 

PROS

  • Can provide up to 150 PSI
  • Has mounting bracket for easy installation
  • Silver painted coating helps limit corrosion
  • It's that small; it can easily fit inside your bag

CONS

  • Small tank size means less airflow

Our Review

This neat little 1-gallon tank is so small and lightweight you can fit it in your bag; it weighs just 6lbs. If you don't want to carry it around and keep it in a workspace, it also comes with a mounting bracket for a straightforward installation. 

The tank itself is painted with a silver coating, which has corrosion-resistant properties. You'll be able to operate most standard pneumatic tools as the tank provides up to 150 PSI. However, as it's only a 1-gallon tank, it won't last long if you're planning on needing a continuous airflow. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The small size of this air tank is what amazes most people. At only 13.6 x 10.1 x 8.5 inches, you'll have no problem finding space for this air tank. Considering the size, the capabilities of this air tank are also quite impressive. 

Best 5 Gallon Air Tank:
Vixen VXT5200

PROS

  • Provides up to 200 PSI
  • All mounting hardware is included
  • Nine ports to allow flexibility during operation
  • Protective matte coating limits the risk of corrosion

CONS

  • Takes up quite a bit of space

Our Review 

This horizontal 5-gallon air tank comes with all parts necessary to mount it to your wall or worktop. The elongated tank has nine ports spread along the body to provide more positioning flexibility. The full tank is painted in a protective matte coating, which significantly reduces the likelihood of corrosion. 

The tank will provide users with up to 200 PSI, meaning you'll have plenty of pressure to operate all standard pneumatic tools while verging on to industrial levels. The only downside to this product is that it can take up significant space due to the design. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out? 

The horizontal design of this product stands out mostly because of the multiple ports positions along the shaft. Although it might take up space on the floor, you could easily mount this to your wall or ceiling to use that space. 

Best Paintball Air Tank:
Ninja 48/3k

PROS

  • Weighs just 2lbs
  • You'll be able to shoot up to 500 balls
  • Has a pressure gauge built on the tank
  • Can be taken apart and rebuilt by the user

CONS

  • The aluminum tank has a greater chance of corroding

Our Review

Air tanks aren't just for filling tires or to be used in workshops. This air tank is one of our favorites when paintballing for a few reasons. The built-in pressure gauge allows you to keep tabs on how much pressure you're going through when blasting your opponent. The air tank can quickly be taken apart and easily rebuilt by the user.

This air tank can fire up to 500 balls; it's not even heavy as it weighs just 2lbs. The only downside with this product is that the tank is made from aluminum, which has a significant chance of rusting compared to other materials. 

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The pressure gauge that's built into this air tank is unique; the reason is that with most paintballing tanks, this isn't included. The gauge will allow the user to track how much pressure they have left during games accurately. 

When Would a Portable Air Tank Come in Handy? 

There are so many uses for a portable air tank. However, below are three of the most common ways you can use your portable air tank. 

General Chores

Life can be unexpected sometimes, and you never know the time when you might need an air tank. The most common chores an air tank is used are inflating a paddling pool on a hot day, inflating bicycle tires if you plan on going on a ride, or even topping up the car tires. 

An Emergency Backup

If you've ever gotten stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, you don't stop thinking about the time you talked yourself out of buying that portable air tank. Air tanks are great for emergencies like this; they're also suitable for use as additional air storage when operating an air compressor. An extra 10-gallon air tank will be able to boost your airflow when running your air compressor on tasks that might be slightly too much for the individual compressor to handle. 

Entertainment 

Like with our last featured air tank, they can be used in things like paintballing. A small and lightweight tank can provide extra features such as its own pressure gauge to give you that added accuracy and edge against your opponents. 

Air tanks are also used by scuba divers to survive underwater for significant amounts of time. Weight is a crucial factor in their hobby, so it's essential they have the right weight conditions, so they aren't too buoyant or too heavy.

Hold up, are you interested in other topics related to air compressors? If so, these might be something to check out: 

How to Fill a Portable Air Tank 

It can be confusing at first, but once we describe how it's done, you'll soon realize how easy it is. Please take a look below for a step-by-step guide on how to fill a portable air tank. 

  1. To ensure maximum effectiveness, release the excess air from past uses out of the compressor until the compressor starts running.
  1. Once that's complete, change fittings to a locking fitting, this is optional as you can do it manually, but a locking fitting allows you to let go and let it fill without standing there the full time.
  1. You can adjust the pressure that the compressor emits to fill your tank to a set amount.
  1. You can now fill your tank manually or using automatic lock fittings, and once the compressor shuts off and the air tank is full, you're good to go.

If you would like a visual demonstration of this step-by-step guide, please take a look at the YouTube video below. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsp16eIA5fI 

Conclusion

As you can now see, it's quite simple to find a quality air tank to suit your needs and operate it without a hassle. They're all built quite similarly but can be used in so many areas of life. The main points to remember are tank size, PSI, and weight is all key in finding your next air tank. 

People Also Ask

We've compiled and answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding portable air tanks. Please take a look below. 

How Do You Fill A Tire With An Air Tank

It's pretty simple. All you need is your air tank, hose, and a tire chuck. Unscrew the tire's pressure cap, connect the tire chuck, and manually fill the tire with pressurized air. 

However, it depends on the tank size to fill it from totally flat or just top it up. Take a look at your tire, and it'll tell you the specific PSI needs. 

What Happens Inside An Empty Tank When It Is Filled With Air

The temperature of the air tank increases as when air is pressurized, it creates heat. Adding air to an empty tank will also increase the weight of the tank. 

Where Can I Fill My Compressed Air Tank

If you don't have your air compressor, you can easily go to a local gas station; they'll have facilities to fill your tires; you can just ask if you could use this to fill up your air tank. 

You could also visit your local mechanics, and they'd probably help you with filling it up using their air compressor.

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.