AirMan Owl 2000 Cordless Air Compressor Evaluation

The AirmMan take-along air compressor that delivers 150 psi from your car or motorcycle battery. From the August 2004 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. By Mark Zimmerman.

I've always wanted a small cordless air compressor—something I could use at the racetrack and when riding off-road, something I could stuff into my saddlebag for those long tours. I've run across a few that seemed to fit the bill, but for one reason or another they didn't quite cut it. Then I stumbled on the AirMan Owl 2000 Multipurpose Inflator, which despite its somewhat unwieldy name is just what the doctor ordered.

Roughly the size and shape of your typical cordless drill, the AirMan is powered by a rechargeable 9.6-volt nickel-cadmium battery. Using battery power, the AirMan pumps out 150 psi. If you need a little more oomph, a 12-volt adaptor allows you to run the AirMan from any 12-volt accessory outlet. In a pinch you can even hot wire it directly to any 12-volt battery. Utilizing 12-volt power increases output to an impressive 225 psi. Active Products sells it for $50.

Because the AirMan is a low volume/high pressure compressor, it's not suitable for inflation tasks that require high air volumes, such as filling an air mattress, and it is a bit slow. Depending on the battery's charge and the tire's size, it may take half an hour to add 30 psi, especially since the manufacturer recommends a 10 minute on/10 minute off cycle to avoid overheating the compressor. But those are acceptable tradeoffs compared to what the AirMan can do, which is get you back on the road when you're stuck with a flat in East Podunk at 3 a.m.

Included with the pump and charger are the 12-volt adaptor, pressure regulator/hose and a couple of fittings so you can blow up your kid's soccer ball or whatever, all neatly packaged in a saddlebag-friendly 7-by-12-inch carrying case.

AirMan Owl 2000 (model 222)
ActiveTools USA Inc.
(877) 9-AIRMAN

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