The neo-industrial design and style of this miniature workhorse is a delight to each keep and appear at. Unfortunately, it really is not fairly as satisfying to operate with.
Let’s be crystal clear: the Viair 88P is incredibly speedy at inflating tires. We were being blown absent (sorry!) by the effectiveness of this machine. In reality, upcoming to the monster from Milwaukee in our lead impression earlier mentioned, no other compressor in our examination came close to inflating our check tire as quickly as the Viair. However, its sole energy supply—alligator clips that hook up straight to the car battery—and previous-school dial gauge continue to keep the Viair 88P from staying the ideal automobile tire inflator for the everyday driver. For the time currently being, anyway.
Viair developed its reliable status on its significant-high-quality industrial and business air compressors and the 88P is, in type and perform, a scaled-down variation of one particular of these. But why the seemingly outmoded ability hookup? Why the quaint-but-wonky analog gauge? We didn’t want to fault a company we know and belief with out listening to its facet of the tale, so we reached out.
Dave Rittenhouse, Viair Corp.’s Vice-President of Product sales and Marketing and advertising, explained to us Viair’s principal worry is supplying a excellent solution that is effective, and a direct line to the battery was the only way to achieve that with the 88P. “This unit requires about 16–19 amps for its compressor motor to purpose successfully,” he claimed. Unfortunately, the usual 12V accessory electric power port in any vehicle “tops out at all-around 15 amps. AC ability runs a various style of compressor motor, and Li-Ion batteries wouldn’t supply the energy needed to push this motor,” Rittenhouse explained. Hence, the have to have to draw specifically from the automobile battery. Dave certain us that alternatives are in the functions from Viair. But, for now, alligator clips it is.
The built-in analog dial gauge on the Viair looks as quaint and cool as the rest of the device, but it didn’t get as fulfilling a justification from a Viair rep as its decision of electricity provide did. It proved wildly inaccurate throughout tests, jogging about 10psi larger than the real tire strain while the device was powered on. When the needle hit 30 psi and we shut the compressor off, and the needle dropped to about 20 psi. We experienced to shut the motor off, test the dial, evaluate the psi with our handheld gauge, then top the stress off. We did this several occasions all the way to 45psi right before we bought an acceptable examining on our handheld stress gauge. Fundamentally, the analog dial gauge on the 88P is worthless (until you know how significant the dial gauge runs—and if you owned an 88P, you would probably figure that out quite quickly).
From in which we’re sitting, the 88P outperformed its level of competition by leaps and bounds, so we’d appreciate to see Viair occur up with a much more person-friendly compromise between practicality and efficiency. (An built-in perform light-weight would be appreciated also.) In the meantime, if you’re comfortable functioning with alligator clips to your battery and frequently double-checking your tire stress, the Viair 88P is economical, compact enough to stash in the automobile, contains plenty of inflation equipment, and it can be all wrapped up in a easy carrying case—which is terrific, since this is an terrible lot of hose and twine to wind up every time you use it.