The Air Bolt is a portable air compressor meant for airing up a wide variety of tires using portable power sources such as a car’s auxiliary power. The product features a pistol-grip design and comes with four different interchangeable heads to use depending on the type of tire you are needing to air up.
The minds behind the product say that it is ideal for a wide array of situations, from airing up your car to giving a quick boost to a bike tire. The device can even be used to air up an inflatable mattress, inflatable sports equipment, and more.
The product claims to be a high-power compressor, despite the fact that it works off of a (relatively) small 12-volt power supply. It features a built-in LED light on the front for aiming in the dark, as well as a gauge to get the right fill for the job at hand.
We aren’t told exactly how long the cord that comes with the product is (and there doesn’t seem to be a customer service line for the product), but judging from the explainer video, it at least appears to be several feet long; long enough to get to your tires while the device is plugged into the car’s power inside, for instance.
Finally, the Air Bolt is made with “construction grade” quality materials and is shown in the product video to survive drops and minor accidents during use.
This is all good information, but how exactly does the device claim to work in practice? Let’s take a closer look.
How the Air Bolt Works
The Air Bolt operates by taking air in and pressurizing it via a “power piston system”. It’s not clear exactly how this system works, and with no customer service line dedicated to the product, we were unable to inquire further about how it operates.
We know that traditional air pumps typically utilize a storage tank that holds the pressurized air so it can be used when ready. Without a tank of any sort on the Air Bolt, it seems as though the device is pressurizing the air and then pushing it directly into the tire on-demand.
To use the Air Bolt, it looks as though you simply need to plug the device into your car’s 12-volt power supply and attach the proper head for what you are trying to inflate. From there, it’s as simple as securing the tip to the tire, turning the device on, and airing away.
We aren’t told how the device is supposed to function in instances where a car isn’t present, but the only solution we can see would involve purchasing the optional AC adaptor for the product for an extra fee in order to be able to use it for these scenarios.
Speaking of fees, just how much will an Air Bolt of your own set you back?
Air Bolt Pricing & Returns
The Air Bolt is currently available in the UK from Best Direct. The compressor will run you £49.98, and there is an optional AC adaptor available for £19.98, which can be used to plug the device into a normal electrical outlet.
For the £49.98 standard rate, you will receive the following alongside the product itself:
- 1 Cable with adapter for 12 v cigarette lighter socket
- 1 Pressure hose
- 4 Adaptors
- 1 Travel bag
As far as returns go, Best Direct offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all products sold through its network. To process a return, you simply need to follow these steps taken from the company’s main website:
- Please fully complete the return form on the rear side of your invoice
- Enclose it with your parcel
- Peel off the returns label you have received along with your order and attach it to your parcel
- Find your nearest Parcelshop on the link you will find in the returns label slip
- Drop-off your parcel and keep the receipt as proof of return for your records
Next up, we’ll take a look at some customer feedback regarding the Air Bolt to see how people are getting on with the product.
What Customers Are Saying About the Air Bolt
We haven’t been able to find any professional reviews of the Air Bolt as of the time of this writing. What’s interesting, though, is that we found several bits of customer feedback from various consumer websites such as www.asseenontvonsale.com, some of which detail negative experiences with the product that are worth sharing.
One user going by the name of Gerald Carter apparently had this to say about the product:
“Air Bolt Compact Air Compressor is outrageously expensive. Even if it worked it would be too expensive. Just about any inflator on Amazon is cheaper, and better. But the fact is it's cheap, doesn’t work, and was a far bigger pain than driving somewhere and paying for air amounts too.
Got the Air Bolt Compact Air Compressor to operate and it started inflating the tire but as soon as it reached about 20 lbs it started laboring and as another reviewer here noted, got very hot to handle. It took forever for it to get to 24 lbs with it sounding like it was going to blow a gasket any second.
If someone hooked this up and had just a couple of tires to inflate, better set aside a full hour… And even then it won’t get you anywhere near the 30 lbs and will be sweating it the whole time.”
Other reviewers offered similar complaints about overheating, a lack of pressure, and disappointment with performance in general. It’s important to note that since these reviews are coming from small third-party websites instead of a verified source like Amazon, we can’t fully substantiate the legitimacy of the words, nor can we guarantee that these individuals own the product in question.
Alternatives to the Air Bolt
Taking the Air Bolt at face value, it looks like a potentially unique product. However, the complaints listed in the above section are enough to make us ask ourselves; are there other options out there that might work even better than the Air Bolt?
A quick Google search is all it took for us to discover that there are certainly other options available, including some that bear a resemblance to the product at hand. We were able to find a few 12v pistol grip designs, some with digital pressure displays and some with traditional ones like the Air Bolt uses. In addition, many of these products also utilize LED lights on the front like the Air Bolt does.
Many “portable” products that came up during our research utilized an actual compressed air tank, making them a fair bit larger than the Air Bolt by comparison. Some of these products tended to be a bit more expensive, with average pricing ranging from £45 to well over £100.
That being said, we were able to find a handful of portable, electric compressors from retailers like Amazon, many of which enjoyed numerous positive reviews discussing their supposed effectiveness.
Some of these products actually stated the length of their cords, which is a significant consideration for many, especially because the devices will need to be plugged in to be used. With no customer service line to reach out to and nothing stated on the product page, one could be forgiven for steering clear from the Air Bolt based on this fact alone.
In general, we feel that a good place to start when searching for one of these devices would be online markets like Amazon, where you can search for similar products that might be a more surefire bet in the end, thanks to the verifiable reviews that come alongside them.
Specifically, you can search for a product that features a long enough cord for your needs, a good amount of interchangeable tips, a 12v connection, and any other features that you deem important. In addition, shopping on these networks often puts you in the best position to find a product that has been proven (often via numerous customer reviews) to actually work.
The Bottom Line: Will the Air Bolt Work for You?
Looking at the Air Bolt as a whole, we feel that it is at least possible that you will get some value for your money, based solely on the product’s premise and explainer video. On the surface, it looks like a convenient and innovative way to keep your tires aired up, and it looks to have everything you need included in the base package (except, perhaps, for the optional AC adaptor).
All of this being said, the negative–although admittedly unconfirmed–customer reviews are enough to give us pause, and in general, we believe that leveraging the power of trusted third party markets like Amazon and the bevy of customer reviews that they bring will usually be a more accurate gauge of a product's worth in the end.
Seeing as we haven’t used the product ourselves, we can’t say with certainty that it will really be able to put “professional air inflation power” in the palm of your hands, nor do we really even know what that means to the company.
At the end of the day, we feel that there are stronger, more well-received products available elsewhere that might provide more value than the Air Bolt. Based off of our research, these products cost about the same but don’t feature the potential negative feedback that the Air Bolt does.
Ultimately, the choice will be yours to make, but if you should decide that you’d like to give the Air Bolt a try, keep the 30-day money back guarantee in mind going into the purchase.
Have you used the Air Bolt before? Leave a review here and share your valuable experience with other BrightReviews readers.