There are several options for airing up tires, ranging from the slow but inexpensive tiny compressors powered by the cigarette lighter to the fast custom and complex vehicle-mounted onboard air system driven by the engine. Also in the mix are portable and refillable CO2 canisters that are fast but, with use, need to be refilled. That gives our addled minds a chance to forget to refill, and that’s bad when we only realize it when we’re out on the trail.
Enter ARB’s new CKMTP12 Twin Portable Air Compressor. With a compact and durable plastic case and a dual-cylinder, twin-motor design, this is the highest-flowing portable compressor of its size, producing 6.16 cfm. With aluminum motor mounts that act like heat sinks, this baby has a 100 percent duty cycle at room temp. Add an in-box compact air tank, and ARB claims this thing can run air tools. Portable? Fills tires fast? Runs air tools? We’ve got to test this out for ourselves.
The heavy-duty case base contains the compressor, wiring, and aluminum tank. The upper portion of the case has a fabric organizer that holds the air hose and fittings that come with the compressor. Oh, and an instruction manual—whatever that is.
The compressor has beefy clamps, and each lead holds a 40-amp fuse should you get your wires crossed.
ARB also includes this lock-on air chuck, an air duster, and these fittings for inflating your big comfy air mattress or that trail side basketball—or beach ball. The fabric organizer has extra space for a few air gauges and other items you might like to stuff in there. The price for the ARB Twin Portable is comparable to a well-built onboard air system. At just over $800 it is nothing to sneeze at, but it is portable, ready to go, and promises similar performance to that of many onboard air systems.