A Fast, Portable Air Source For You And "That Guy"
Airing down is one of the basic rituals before beginning any serious off-road trip. The benefits of better traction, a smoother ride, and improved floatation across sand and snow are reasons enough to soften your tires at the trailhead.
At the end of the trail, it's time to return to street pressure. That's when "that guy" always steps forward and identifies himself. How does "that guy" do it? Simple: he hits you up for some air because he doesn't have an air source in his rig.
Yours truly has a confession to make: I've been "that guy" many, many times. If there's a benefit to "that guy" status, it's that you get to see several types of air sources in action, depending on what the current Good Samaritan happens to carry.
During my "research" the Powertank always stood out above the rest. The Powertank was quieter and faster than any portable compressor, and the regulator never froze. Every part on the Powertank had a high-quality feel to it, and that high-quality feel translated into consistently superior performance. Research complete, I paid a visit to the Powertank booth at the 2010 Off-Road Expo and talked to Powertank's owner, Steve Sasaki. Before steering me toward a particular model and accessory package, Steve asked what rig I drove, what size tires I had, and the type of trails I typically run. Info collected, Steve recommended a Powertank combo that was ideally suited to my off-road situation.
I've got a bright-yellow PT-10 Powertank on board now. Why a PT-10? I use 35-inch tires and usually air down from 40 psi street pressure to 15 to 20 psi on the trail. The Powertank comes in 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-pound models. The PT-5 holds 5 pounds of liquid CO2, the PT-10 holds 10 pounds of liquid CO2, and so on. The capacity of the PT-10 means that I'll be able to add 10 psi to 30 tires, or add 20 psi to 16 tires. The PT-10 is an ideal combination of tank size and capacity, and it's no wonder that the PT-10 is Powertank's most popular model for off-road use. Do you use bigger tires or need more refill capability? Go for a PT-15 or PT-20.
Since its introduction in 1997, the Powertank product line has continuously evolved, especially with improvements to the regulators and tire inflators. Those who own older Powertank regulators will be stoked to know that Powertank offers a generous upgrade program that lets you economically keep pace with Powertank's regulator evolution.
There's more to tell, but that's what photo captions are for. If you see me out on the trail and need some air, don't hesitate to ask. It's my turn to be the Good Samaritan.