The task of converting to tubeless can leave you feeling deflated — the best floor pumps and tubeless tyre inflators make the process totally stress-free.
These are the very best floor pumps and tubeless tyre inflators to help you get your tubeless tyres seated and sealed. We’ve puffed and panted our way through the latest options on the market to ensure these products deliver on their promise to going tubeless a stress-free experience. While you’re here, it’s worth checking out our guide to the best tubeless sealants, too.
How we tested the test tubeless tyre inflators
When testing the pumps and air tanks we wanted to know how many strokes it took to fully charge the air chamber, did the blast of air seat our test tyre (which for the purpose of this test is a two-year old Continental fitted to a narrow Shimano rim) and how much pressure did the pump/tank get into the tyre. We also looked at the ergonomics, like handle comfort, valve fittings and hose length. We then factored in the price to pick winners in both categories.
‘View Deal’ links
You will notice that beneath each summary of the best tubeless tyre inflators is a ‘View Deal’ link. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay.
Rapid inflation and a robust build
Weight: 3,486g | Rating: 10/10
Pros: Easy to read gauge. Long hose. Stable base. Quick to charge and seats most tubeless tyres Cons: Slight handle flex when really adding pressure
We gave the Topeak Joe Blow Booster top marks when we first tested it two years ago but it has gone up in price since then. It’s essentially a standard JoeBlow floor pump with a secondary air chamber bolted on. There is a bezel on the gauge, which you turn to select either Charge or Inflate. It took 40strokes to boost the chamber to 160psi. The Joe Blow Booster has a really long 150cm hose, which means you can easily charge tyres with the bike in the workstand. On the end of the hose is Topeak’s latest SmartHead with the removable DX3 connector and an air bleed button for precise pressure setting. The head easily slots onto Presta or Schrader valves and is secured by a solid metal locking lever. We’ve had a Topeak Joe Blow Booster on the go for about two years now and we’ve never had a tyre we couldn’t seat; it worked first time seating our awkward Continental test tyre. It’s also relatively easy to charge, has a comfortable handle and feels extremely stable even when you’re going hell for leather.
Practice bar spins while you pump!
Weight: 2,980g | Rating: 9/10
Pros: Loads of grip. Stable. Opportunity to customise. Charges quickly. Dumps loads of air. Long hose Cons: Tall handle might not suit shorter people
The unique feature of the Blackburn’s new Chamber pump is the handle, it’s effectively a mini handlebar fitted with a couple of rubber grips. Blackburn says that you can actually fit your grips of choice because the 22.2mm diameter is identical to regular bar and in theory you can also fit a wider bar too, due to the centre clamp being 31.8mm. The Chamber has one of the longest hoses on test, which means you an easily inflate a tyre with the bike in a workstand. With the handle at full extension, the pump is also one of the tallest, but it only took 37 strokes to get the pressure up to 160psi. It does have an easy to read gauge and an ‘Anyvalve’ pump head works for both Presta and Scharder valves. There’s a thumb lock to hold it securely in place and you can drain any built-up pressure via an air bleed button. The Charge Switch is easy to operate and the big blast of air seated our test tyre first time.
Still stacks up against the competition
Weight: 2,881g | Rating: 9/10
Pros: Great value. Easy to use charger handle. Stable Cons: Gauge is not the easiest to read. Not the smoothest pump action
The Bontrager TLR Flash Charger was one of the first booster pumps on the market and it still remains unchanged. It combines a high-pressure alloy pump with a secondary chamber and charging the tyre is done by flicking down the large red switch on the top of the pump – it’s intuitive and easy to operate. It has a decent length 105cm hose and comes with a top-mounted gauge, which is close to the user but the numbers are quite small, so are not that easy to read. The handle is not the most comfortable either, when it flexes for the final few charging strokes, and there’s also a slightly cheap metallic feel to the pumping action. The best thing about the Flash Charger is the Auto-select head – it fits both Presta and Schrader valves and clamps solidly to the valve stem. The Flash Charger produces a good blast of air and seated our test tyre first time. Due to the slightly smaller charging chamber the pressure in the tyre averaged around 30psi, which does mean you have to bleed off air rather than add strokes. There’s a release valve on the side but this only bleeds off air in the hose and main chamber. If you’re only fitting tubeless tyres occasionally, the Flash Charger is easy to use and great value; the original and still one of the best.
Portable but potent
Weight: 486g | Rating: 9/10
Pros: Cheaper than a blaster pump. Portable Cons: Falls over. Hose isn’t very long. No pressure gauge
The Airshot is secondary air chamber that’s charged using a high-pressure track pump. It was one of the first tanks on the market and we’ve tested it several times. In only features a 50cm hose with a simple Presta fitting on the end but a Schrader adapter is available for £2.99. Airshot also sells a Valve Core Adapter, which slots into the valve stem allowing for increased air flow, handy for the hard-to-seat tubeless tyres. Our test sample actually came with this adapter fitted, as well as the £5.99 Bottle Sock, which stops scuffs and minor dents. Charging the Airshot to 140psi (the recommended pressure) took 53 strokes, but it does offer a really powerful blast of air that seated our test tyre first time. You can top the tyre up by leaving the track pump attached, but we only needed a couple strokes as the pressure usually settled at 22-23psi. Compared to the inflation tanks from Specialized and Giant, which have stands, handles and smart heads, the Airshot is pretty basic but it has some really nice details – like the Presta charge valve, which means you don’t have to swap your pump internals, simple valve core adapter and it’s a quarter of the weight. If you want a portable inflator that packs a punch, this is the best out there.
What to look for in best tubeless tyre inflators
What type of pump/inflator you choose ultimately depends on what type of floor pump you currently own? If you don’t own a floor pump buying one of the booster pumps makes a lot of sense because it’s all in and one and you get a bit of deal buying the two things together
You will always pay more for a floor pump and secondary chamber combined into a single unit but bucking this trend is the Lifeline Airblast. It’s excellent value for money and if you only change two or three times a year (which we think is about average) it’s more than up to the task. It wasn’t 100% successful when seating tubeless test tyres but we only needed a couple of extra squirts of air to get the bead to pop into place.
ty to hold the pump together for carrying or storage. We’d expect these to be standard, especially for a pump that’s this expensive.
The Blackburn Chamber, Bontrager TLR Flash Charger and Topeak JoeBlow Booster were all pretty close when it came to performance – they all seated our test tyre and were easy to charge – but like most things we test at mbr the devil is in the detail. The marking on the Flash Charger gauge are hard to read and the pump action is a little rough. The Chamber is a really bombproof pump and the fact that you can fit your grips/bar of choice is just a bit of fun but it’s for taller user because the handle comes up way past you chin.
Like most Topeak products, the Joe Blow Booster is well thought out and crammed with features. It gets the job done but is also reliable – we have a two-year-old Joe Blow Booster and it’s still going strong. You won’t make a mistake buying any of the top three but the Topeak Joe Blow Booster just offers a bit more in terms of features, quality and reliability, which is why we’ve awarded it top marks.
There’s an obvious split between the tanks – the Airshot is lightweight and more portable, the Giant Control Tank and Specialized ATB are bigger home/workshop tanks. All of them get the job done but we felt the Airshot was the most versatile due to the way the valves are all set up for Presta and it’s the only unit to come with in-valve inflator, so if you have a real pig of tyre you can still get it seated.
This automatically works with the two main valve tyres – Presta and Schrader. It doesn’t unwind the removable valve core found in tubeless vales and offers a secure, leak free connection.
Handy for inflating your tyres when the bike is on the workstand. Also loops round the handle for storing or carrying the pump.
A lightweight cannister can be pre-charged and used to seat a tyre at the trail head.
To charge all the inflator you will need a high-pressure/low volume floor pump, one designed for road tyres.