You don’t realize how much you need a CO2 inflator until you’re miles away from home and have a flat. In your arsenal of bike gears to carry along every riding trip, it is a must for emergency inflation.
If you’re new to this gear, let me help you. Below are the 17 best CO2 inflators in 2020 that I’ve spent months searching, test, and analyze.
Okay, that’s enough buildup. Let’s dive right in now!
Top 18 Best CO2 Inflators Reviews In 2020
PRO BIKE TOOL CO2 Inflators
When searching for cycling CO2 inflators, I found this to be the most popular one on Amazon. At the time I checked, it had over 3200 ratings, the overall scoring of 4.5/5, and was Amazon’s Choice tagged.
And an interesting fact is its manufacturer – PRO BIKE TOOL – is still a very new brand name in this box industry (founded in 2015). So, why?
After testing, I’ve realized that its biggest selling part, which is also the thing making this CO2 inflator stand out from the rest, is its unique lever design.
While other models just dispel gas from the CO2 cartridge in one go, which might cause the tires to be overly inflated, this allows you to slowly and carefully regulate the gas flow.
In fact, this new design from PRO BIKE TOOL is currently pioneered and also key to win Outdoor Gear Lab’s Best Buy Award in 2018.
Besides, it is well-loved for ease of use. No matter of your threaded Presta & Schrader tire valve type, it can fit nicely with no additional tool required.
That’s a big thank you to the clever ‘universal’ head design. The way it works is expelling gas force to open the tire valve.
- You can slowly regulate the gas flow – unique lever design
- Versatile, fitting all threaded Presta & Schrader tire valve types – clever ‘universal’ head design
- Reliable and dependable – Amazon’s Choice tagged & Outdoor Gear Lab’s Best Buy Award Winner in 2018
- Pocket-friendly design
- Terrible packaging design
- Not ideal for those who only use a partial CO2 container
|Material||CNC machined aluminum alloy|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12g, 16g, 20g & 25g|
|Sleeve||Rubber EVA Foam|
|Highlight Features||unique lever design; clever ‘universal’ head design; Pocket-friendly design|
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BriskMore Black Bike Tire CO2 Inflators
Moving on to the BriskMore Black CO2 Inflator.
This one is priced around $36 – quite pricier than the previous, however, I find it to be usually on and off discount at somewhere nearly $16.
Because of its indeed excellent quality plus a satisfaction guarantee provided by the manufacturer, I highly recommend you to try at least once in life.
My most favorite feature is its washers seal threaded connection, meaning that there’s nothing leaked at all. And there are three extra spare washers included as well.
Regardless, it is lightweight, super-compact, and durable to last longer than the average.
- No leakage – washers seal the threaded connection
- High values – three extra spare washers included & a full-refund satisfaction guarantee
- The rubber gasket breaks down fairly quickly
- Unclear manuals
|Material||aluminum alloy and alloy steel|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12/16/20/25g|
|Highlight Features||washers seal threaded connection; three extra spare washers included & a full-refund satisfaction guarantee|
Vibrelli Performance CO2 Inflators
I really like the Vibrelli Performance CO2 Inflator. If you want something to inflate your bike during emergencies but don’t like the mini bike pump because it takes forever, this is a great alternative.
It is strong, easy to use, and small enough to fit nicely in a saddlebag.
The valve works great. You can control the gas flow like a breeze while filling your tube to find out a puncture.
The foam that goes over the cartridge is a nice touch and importantly, you won’t get freezer burn on your hand. Besides, the added patches are great to not just prevent leakage but also last long.
- Versatile – Fits Presta and Schrader & Any threaded CO2 inflator cartridge
- Good hand protection – Frost Guard
- Convenient to use – including a glue-less puncture repair kit
- Able to control the inflation speed and PSI easily – Easy Airflow Valve
- The rubber cover comes off easily
- The adjustments could be better
- Wish the self-adhesive patches were higher quality
|Material||6061 Aluminum Alloy|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16g, 20g, and 25g|
|Sleeve||insulated CO2 Cartridge Sleeve|
|Highlight Features||Fits Presta and Schrader & Any threaded CO2 inflator cartridge; Frost Guard; include a glue-less puncture repair kit; Easy Airflow Valve|
Portland Design Works CO2 Inflators
The Portland Design Works CO2 Inflator has just the right balance of function and form.
It has a screw-type valve on it to easily inflate a tire super-fast at first and then slowly to reach your desired pressure.
One thing that appears to be quite highly valuable is the leather sheath fitting around a standard 16g CO2 cartridge, which not just looks cool but also keeps my hands from getting cold. I like that it is vegetable tanned and dyed with natural waxes and oils.
The color is hard to get dirty easily.
The worthiest-mentioning thing is while lots of other $30+ CO2 inflators are made of cheap-feeling plastic which commonly doesn’t hold up well, this one is longer-lasting yet less expensive.
- Controllable – Control knob
- Durable – made of aluminum alloy and Sleeve leather
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- A little harder to use than the larger CO2 “pumps”
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16-gram|
|Sleeve||stitched leather sleeve|
|Highlight Features||Control knob; Sleeve leather; Backed by a lifetime warranty|
Crankbrothers Klic CO2 Inflators
For mountain bike tires, this high-volume CO2 inflator is a great choice.
The price is around $45, but as it includes a gauge to attach to the pump while the product itself is tested and proven by world-class athletes, I feel that’s worthy.
Not the most compact design, however, it works great for a small backpack carry. The entire pump is of high-quality materials, and I’m glad that its hose is concealed during transit for excellent cut/poked prevention.
It does have a plastic mounting bracket to mount on a water bottle but the Velcro straps make me rest assured while riding tough terrain.
Lastly, the hidden hose makes hooking the pump to the tube very easy.
- Ideal for mountain biking – offer higher volume for MTB tires
- Provide plastic mounting bracket & Velcro straps
- Easy to pump the tube – the hidden hose
- Excellent cut/poked prevention – concealed hose
- The pressure gauge is not very accurate
- A bit bulky
|Dimensions||12 x 4.5 x 1.2 inches|
|Highlight Features||Provide plastic mounting bracket & Velcro straps; the hidden hose;|
Innovations Air Chuck CO2 Inflators
This is my favorite CO2 kit from doing research online, and both reading and watching reviews. Incredible price for including 2 C02 cartridges.
And the performance? It is very straightforward since you can use and tanks with this as long as they’re threaded, then the tire gets filled in just seconds. The only moving part is the spring valve.
The best part is it shuts the airflow off so that it doesn’t waste what you didn’t have to use – a crucial thing when getting a bike off the trail.
A wonderful thing is you don’t have to deal with those situations in which the top gets out of alignment with the plastic bottom and it is truly a serious pain to open. With this one, as it fits all the cartridge sizes, the use is pretty simple.
I also appreciate that it doesn’t leak like most other contenders would do after a short while.
- No waste airflow
- Inflate fast, easily, and controllably – Push-to-inflate technology
- High values – Includes one 20 gram and one 16 gram threaded steel CO2 cartridge
- Wish there was a bit more modulation in the airflow
- Hard to remove after inflation
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16 gram and one 20 gram|
|Highlight Features||Push-to-inflate technology; Includes one 20 gram and one 16 gram threaded steel CO2 cartridge|
Allnice CO2 Inflators
For bike riders, Allnice CO2 Inflator is a must.
It is lightweight (weigh only 0.8 ounces), durable (as made from premium aluminum CNC processing alloy), and last but not least, versatile.
Not only can the unit pair with both Presta and Schrader valves but also designed for most threaded CO2 cartridges, comprised of 12, 16, 20, and 25 grams. But note that cartridges don’t include in this package.
To keep your hand from freeze burn while the gas is discharging, it is added with an insulated sleeve with smooth hand-feel texture.
Another worth-mentioning feature is a reliable adjustable knob switch where you can safely control the amount of gas flow to your tires. It is also easy to use with no leakage.
- Lightweight & easy to store anywhere – measured by 1.57″ x 1.7″ in & weigh 0.8 ounces
- Versatile – both Presta and Schrader valve compatibility & fit most threaded CO2 cartridges
- Safe – insulated sleeve & a reliable adjustable knob switch
- The brand is less popular and there’s no warranty provided.
|Material||high-end quality aluminum alloy CNC processing|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12/16/20/25g|
|Sleeve||Insulated Foam sleeve|
|Highlight Features||measured by 1.57″ x 1.7″ in & weigh 0.8 ounces; both Presta and Schrader valve compatibility & fit most threaded CO2 cartridges; insulated sleeve & a reliable adjustable knob switch;|
MARQUE AirJet Max CO2 Inflators
The MARQUE AirJet Max CO2 Inflator is another good backup option for your bike rides without putting a dent in your wallet.
Even when compared with other big brands, this has same-same performance, especially in terms of quality materials and craftsmanship. It inflates tires in only a few seconds while you’re allowed to control the released CO2 rate.
With no valve head switching required (which is a big plus), it is still able to fit valve head threads onto either Schrader or Presta valves.
Its head design is also compatible with all sizes of threaded CO2 cartridges, and for the 16g, it has neoprene foam sleeve for freeze burn prevention.
Another good thing about this option is although it is a less-brand name, or if this is your very first buy, it’s reliable when providing a replacement or a refund if you don’t feel satisfied with the product.
- Able to control the released CO2 rate
- No valve head switching needed
- Fit all threaded CO2 cartridge sizes
- Reliable – provide a full refund or a replacement if you’re not satisfied with the purchase
- Not a big brand
|Material||Quality aluminum alloy|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12g, 16g, 20g & 25g|
|Sleeve||Neoprene Foam sleeve|
|Highlight Features||Fit all threaded CO2 cartridge sizes; provide a full refund or a replacement; fit valve head threads onto either Schrader or Presta valves|
LEZYNE Trigger Drive CO2 Inflators
This is currently the most bestseller out of the three main CO2 inflator lines of LEZYNE.
It is specifically designed to work well with threaded 16g CO2 cartridges with highlight points on neoprene sleeve to save your hands from freeze burn and CNC machined aluminum alloy to last longer but still being lightweight.
For souped-up durability, its internals is made from high-quality brass but don’t worry, it doesn’t add tons of weight to your saddlebag. The weight of this CO2 inflator, in fact, is only around 26 grams.
Importantly, the connection is guaranteed to be 100% secure for no leakage.
It also has trigger valve operation and is able to fit either Presta & Schrader valves while the LEZYNE Trigger Speed line cannot.
- Fit Presta and Schrader valves – Twin Chuck head
- Durable – CNC machined aluminum alloy & brass internals
- Feature no CNC Knob Twist Operation
- A bit confusing instructions
|Material||CNC machined aluminum|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16 grams.|
|Highlight Features||Twin Chuck head; CNC machined aluminum alloy & brass internals|
Birzman Infinite CO2 Inflators
Introducing to you another effective CO2 inflator, and this one is from Birzman, also a newcomer in this industry.
It appears to be durable and strong yet lightweight, all thanks to the aluminum construction. It’s also easy to use. Featuring Pump-CO2 bracket combo, you can attach CO2 cartridge and pump to your bicycle at a time to save more time.
Besides, the flex hose is smartly designed to be capably stored inside the product’s handle where it is quickly taken out and screwed into place.
Last but not least, it has a built-in valve for precise inflation controllability. Ah, take note that its capacity is 160psi.
- Lightweight – the weight of 11.2 ounces
- Able to attach simultaneously CO2 cartridge and pump to a bike – Pump-CO2 bracket combo
- Quick access to the flex hose – it’s designed to be capably stored inside the handle
- Wish the size was a bit smaller
|Dimensions||10 x 1 x 1 inches|
|Highlight Features||Pump-CO2 bracket combo; The Flex Hose stored inside the handle; Turn Pierce Function;|
Fabric CO2 Inflators
The Fabric CO2 Inflator gives you everything that could be needed for emergency inflation if your bike tires unfortunately flat out. It is compact, lightweight, simple, and discrete.
It is comprised of a Presta/Schrader compatible head with a control valve, 2 solid silicone bands, 2 glass fiber levers, and two 16g CO2 cartridges, all are designed with signature innovation and style.
Therein, I do appreciate the added silicone bands for better grips as well as protection against freezing burn during the use.
When not in need, just detach them and store anywhere available for the next use, such as in your jersey pocket, a saddlebag, or mount on a seat post.
Overall, if you don’t want a pump mounted to your frame but just a lightweight and minimalist kit designed to quickly get you back on the road, this is it.
- Lightweight yet discrete – made of high-quality aluminum alloy
- Bang-for-bucks – include everything needed for emergency inflation
- Provide extra grips & hand protection – silicone bands
- A bit pricey
- Still a new brand
|Dimensions||6.69 x 3.94 x 1.57 inches|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16g Co2 cartridges|
|Highlight Features||Include a Presta/Schrader compatible head with control valve, 2 solid silicone bands, 2 glass fiber levers, and two 16g CO2 cartridges|
WOTOW CO2 Inflators
With over 10 years’ expertise in the CO2 inflator industry, WOTOW is also one of the top options popped up in my head when I want to look for a reliable one.
This unit is a shining example for my saying,
It includes a CO2 inflator, glue-less patches, metal rasp, bike tire pry bars, and other bike tire repair kit, all are stored neatly in a little hard case that you can easily place anywhere, such as saddlebag.
This one, like most other counterparts here, is created to fit both Presta and Schrader valves.
It is also heavy-duty and long-lasting as made completely of premium aluminum alloy CNC processing, however, the weight is super-light – only 0.8 ounces.
Designed with safety in mind, it has foam sleeve for insulation when gas is released.
- Convenient to use – the kit is packed in a little hard case
- Longevity – premium aluminum alloy CNC processing
- Good insulation when the gas is released – foam sleeve
- No CO2 cartridges included
- A bit difficult to turn the air on
|Material||high-end quality aluminum alloy CNC processing|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12/16/20/25g|
|Sleeve||rubber foam sleeve|
|Highlight Features||the kit is packed in a little hard case; premium aluminum alloy CNC processing; foam sleeve|
Lezyne Control Drive CO2 Inflators
Lezyne Control Drive CO2 Inflator is one of the finest options during my personal tests.
It’s lightweight and looks and feels well-made. Goes on and off the valve like a knife through butter and kept a seal, and the best thing is you don’t have to mess around with crappy plastic tools.
The adjustable valve works fantastic, allowing you to at first slowly add air preventing a possible pinched tube, which is much better than a large gun.
You will need two hands to inflate an MTB tire, but thanks for an insulated sleeve for the cartridge, your hands won’t freeze.
The petite design allows it to not take much room in your jersey pocket or saddle bag
- Super-lightweight – only 0.32 ounces
- Easy to inflate a tire – One simple over-sized control knob
- Solid and durable – crafted with brass internals & CNC-machined aluminum
- Able to control the gas flow – CNC Knob Twist Operation
- A bit pricey for the size
- Don’t have Trigger Valve Operation
|Material||CNC-machined aluminum with brass internals|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||16g CARTRIDGE|
|Highlight Features||0.32 ounces; One simple over-sized control knob; crafted with brass internals & CNC-machined aluminum; CNC Knob Twist Operation|
Genuine Innovations G20310 CO2 Inflators
I’m impressed that it appeared to work with threaded and unthreaded cartridges – something that other counterparts here hardly do, even the higher-end.
The operation is quite smooth – Just one quick squeeze and the tire is inflated in a few seconds. It is straightforward to utilize thanks to the trigger-controlled technology and makes airing a tire so easy.
What I like the most is the integrated trigger lock to avoid accidental discharge, saving CO2 safer and better.
A good thing is no leakage at all.
Besides, you can flip it over and store it in the base until you need it if not wanting to attach the cartridge to the head. All-in-all, it works exactly as described.
- Super-flexible – work with threaded and unthreaded cartridges
- Easy to use – trigger-controlled technology
- Prevent accidental discharge effectively – integrated trigger lock
- No cartridges included
- Not fit all tire stems.
- The inner ring is pretty hard to find when it blows.
|CO2 cartridge sizes||non-threaded 20g|
threaded 16g, 20g, and 25g
|Highlight Features||work with threaded and unthreaded cartridges; trigger-controlled technology; integrated trigger lock|
SKS Air Buster CO2 Inflators
The SKS Air Buster CO2 Inflator weighs only around 3 ounces and is measured by 9.8 x 2.6 x 1 inch, which is neat enough to fit even the narrowest storage space.
As you can see, it is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry along.
Like most other options here, it is compatible with either Presta or Schrader valves like a breeze. Meanwhile, the flow-controlled knob plays a huge role in adjusting the gas flow, making it safer and more controllable during the use.
The flexible hose, on the other hand, is one of its notable features. It lets you pay 100% attention to dispense gas without fighting the spokes for access to the Schrader valve.
Besides, the threaded Schrader attachment guarantees a tight connection for no leaking issues, and you don’t have to exert pressure at all.
- Allow for adjusting the gas flow – flow-controlled knob
- Easy to use – flexible hose
- Ensure no leakage – threaded Schrader attachment
- Don’t like the fact that it’s made in China
- A bit costly
|CO2 cartridge sizes||16g or 24g threaded CO2 cartridges.|
|Highlight Features||flow-controlled knob; flexible hose; threaded Schrader attachment|
Zefal Fez Control CO2 Inflators
The Zefal Fez Control CO2 Inflator is created with a built-in pressure control regulator and an aluminum housing to let you adjust the amount of gas flow released to prevent over-inflating your tires.
Take note that this one works great on both 16g and 24g threaded CO2 cartridges. A big bonus is it also includes a two-point pump holder, a replacement 16g cartridge, and a water bottle clip for quick access.
It has insulated wrapping on the outside to keep your hand from the unwanted freezing burn.
I really love the added dust protection cap, which is so thoughtful to save the internals from dust and debris during the ride.
So, at the price point of around $25, I find it to be well worth it.
- Prevent over-inflating your tires – a built-in pressure control regulator
- Bang for bucks – include a two-point pump holder, a replacement 16g cartridge, and a water bottle clip
- Keep the internals from dust and debris – dust protection cap
- A new brand
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||12g, 16g, and 25g threaded Zefal cartridge.|
|Highlight Features||a built-in pressure control regulator; include a two-point pump holder, a replacement 16g cartridge, and a water bottle clip; dust protection cap|
Topeak Air Booster CO2 Inflators
This would be the best choice for those bike riders who use standard threaded CO2 cartridges. It is relatively lightweight and compact.
Designed with an only 0.79-ounce net weight with the dimensions of 7.5 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches, but don’t let that petite silhouette fool you. It is very durable and dependable, highlighting double-end design with CO2 cartridge engagement on one side and CNC aluminum construction.
A noteworthy feature about this model is it doesn’t burn the whole cartridge unnecessarily. Instead, it allows you to save leftover CO2 by using the CO2 head.
Take note that it fits both Presta and Schrader valve types.
- Lightweight and compact – dimensions of 7.5 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches & only 0.79-ounce net weight
- Durable and dependable – double-end design with CO2 cartridge engagement on one side and CNC aluminum construction
- Able to save leftover CO2 – using the CO2 head
- The O-ring could be better
- Not really true to the images
|Material||CNC aluminum construction|
|‘threaded’ CO2 cartridge sizes||standard threaded CO2 cartridges|
|Highlight Features||double-end design with CO2 cartridge engagement on one side and CNC aluminum construction; CO2 head|
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best CO2 Inflators In 2020
Ease of use
After replacing an inner tube on a cold-day ride, your fingers usually get wet and cold. If your CO2 inflator has a downright fiddly design or is too small to hold firmly, it’s hard to use right then.
So, a simple-to-operate design is important, especially for emergency inflation, like racing or in the winter.
CO2 cartridge size
While most CO2 inflators are designed with versatility in mind to fit most cartridge sizes (including 12g, 16g, 20g & 25g), some are more specialized to work only on a few of them.
To know which is the right for your needs, consider the type of bike.
If it is an MTB tire, the cartridge should be larger (like 20 or 25g) depending on the pressure and volume. In case that you have a road board, a 16g cartridge fits the bill.
Threaded v non-threaded cartridges
There are two main types of cartridges – threaded and non-threaded, and they have some certain differences.
The non-threaded cartridges appear to be bigger and heavier because they need some body-form to keep the cartridge secure in place.
While some people don’t like it because of bulkier measurement, meaning for more storage space taken if you want to carry along, the others love it because the bigger body keeps the hand from freezing burn when the gas is released.
Not to say that it is grippier to hold.
The threaded cartridges are almost contrasting. It is lightweight, compact, and easy to store. This is a better option for those riders who have limited storage space.
That said, these days, there are a few special models designed to work as a threaded and a non-threaded. For example, the Genuine Innovations G20310 CO2 Inflator.
The non-threaded cartridges are commonly a bit more inexpensive than the other.
Are co2 bike pumps any good?
CO2 bike pumps are better than the traditional manual design in some aspects:
- Inflate tires in just a few seconds
- Take less effort
- Lighter and more compact to carry along
But in terms of environment-friendliness, it is inferior because this type of bike pump is commonly used once or twice.
What are the best bicycle pumps?
My recommendations are:
- PRO BIKE TOOL CO2 Inflators
- BriskMore Black CO2 Inflators
- Vibrelli Performance CO2 Inflators
- Portland Design Works CO2 Inflators
- Crankbrothers Klic CO2 Inflators
How long do co2 cartridges last?
Nearly forever provided the CO2 cartridges haven’t been damaged yet.
Does co2 leak faster than air?
Compared to nitrogen, CO2 leaks up to 12 times faster.
Which bike pump do I need?
It depends on the valve type that your inner tube has. There are two common valve types – Schrader valves (commonly used in MTBs) and the Presta (found in road bikes).
Choosing the best CO2 inflator can be trying, and there are just several main elements to consider when looking for the one most suitable for your needs.
This review is specifically written to help you figure out what to look for before making your purchase. hopefully, I’ve been able to help you sort out the things to keep in mind before picking the pump for your bike ride purposes.