Tire Deflator Comparison: Everything you wanted to know about airing down and more.
When you go off-roading, one of the first and most basic things you can do to improve traction is to air your tires down. Airing your tires down gives them a larger footprint. The contact patch between the tire and the surface of the road becomes larger giving better traction. This is a cheap and easy thing to do to improve your vehicles off-road capabilities and performance. Depending on what type of terrain you are driving on, you may want to air down to different pressures. If you are just going to be driving on a dirt road, airing down a little can add to the comfort of your ride. If you are driving on sand or snow however, you way want to air way down so as to give your vehicle the most flotation possible and keep on top of the snow and sand so you can keep moving.
Because of all the different possibilities of vehicles, vehicle weights, tire size's and types, we are not going to talk about what pressure is best for what type of terrain here. Instead, we are going to talk about how you can get your tires to that lower pressure in the fastest and easiest way so you can get on with enjoying your day
on the trail!
We went out on the internet and went looking for different tire deflation devices. I actually didn't know there were so many out there! We found 10 different companies / devices:
Powertank: Monster Deflators
Sun Performance: Quick Air Deflators
Klune-V: Rapid Air Down Valve (RAD Valve)
Staun: Staun Deflators
Oyster Bay Tackle: Tire Buddy II
4 Crawler Off-Road: 4Air
Oasis: Trail Head Deflator
Teraflex: Tera Deflator
Currie Enterprises: EZ-Deflator
Equal Air US: Equal Air Deflator
I went about getting my hand on all of the 10 different devices so we could do a side by side comparison. We will be comparing them on a number of different items:
Time to air down one tire
Time to air down all 4 tires, from start to finish
Installation (if necessary)
Two of the companies tire deflators required installation. Those two were Powertank's Monster Valve, and Klune-V's Rapid Air Down (RAD) Valve. You can click on the two links below to see how the installations went:
Once the installations were finished, it was time to get down to business. Below you can see thumbnails for all the different deflators that we tested. You can click on any of the pictures and see more on that particular deflator and how they work: