Ring Tyre Inflator Review 2021 | The Sun UK

IF your car has had an extended period of driveway dormancy over the last year, your tyres will most likely need inflating before you hit the road again.

We’ve tested out the Ring RTC1000, one of the most popular tyre inflators on the market.

Pros

  • Huge central screen
  • Extremely easy to use thanks to big buttons
  • Bright light for nighttime inflation
  • Inflates quickly and accurately
  • Handy case for storage
  • Wires are stored neatly

Cons

  • Some have reported issues with 12V connection
  • Louder than some of the quietest inflators on the market
  • Progress bar can get a bit confused

Ring RTC1000 Tyre Inflator Review: Quick Summary

  • Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator, £35.60 – buy here

Unless you’ve got some specialist requirements, the RTC1000 is likely everything you need from a tyre inflator. It’s earned its reputation as one of the best on the market thanks to its ease of use, quick inflation time and easy storage.

While it’s slightly more noisy than some of the quietest inflators out there and a smidge pricer than some of the cheapest, it’s comparatively quiet, and it inflates without causing a ruckus and vibrating around the driveway. It’s also not outrageously priced, and offers enough benefits over cheaper models that you’ll be happy to stretch for it.

And with the ability to inflate a flat 13-inch tyre to 35psi in just two minutes, it does its job quicker than its competitors.

How much is the Ring RTC1000?

At the time of writing, the Ring RTC1000 is £35.60 on Amazon, a saving of 22% on RRP. While that’s slightly more expensive than, say, a Halfords Essentials model, it’s just half the price of some from competitors like the Michelin Programmable Superfast 4×4 inflator.

Ring RTC1000 design

  • Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator, £35.60 – buy here

The RTC1000 is vaguely circular and measures 22.5cm x 20.5cm, making it approximately the size of a small plate. Taking centre stage is a backlit 7.6cm x 4.8cm screen, which displays the tyre pressure and rate of inflation with impressive clarity. 

Beneath the screen is a small wheel that allows you to set the pressure that you’d like your tyres inflated, and to switch between three units of pressure: PSI, BAR and kPA. 

Underneath that is a concave storage divot for storing the tyre valve caps while you’re inflating — a useful feature that means you don’t have to put them in your pockets to be lost among keys, loose change and lint. There’s also a big, bright, well-labelled button that controls the light on the side of the machine. 

The on/off switch is huge so that it can be found in the dark or used by greasy hands, but it is so big, in fact, that it’s perfectly easy to turn the machine on and off with your foot — a godsend if you’ve got a bad back, or if, like this reviewer, you’re just lazy.

The air hose that attaches the inflator to the tyre valve, which is 70cm long and reassuringly hefty, wraps around the outside of the inflator and is easily unravelled and put back in place. Likewise, the 3.5m 12V connector lead is stored inside the device, and can be put back fairly easily using a wind-up mechanism. 

The entire device sits on five rubber-ended feet, which allows it to sit on the ground and coolly inflate your tyres without moving around too much, an issue that afflicts a lot of tyre inflators.

Ring RTC1000 practicality

At one end, the Ring RTC1000 connects to your car’s 12V socket, still often referred to as the “cigarette lighter” socket. We had no issues plugging this in, although some customers have previously reported that the plug wouldn’t fit into their sockets. This is obviously something that Ring has picked up on, as it says on its website: “PLEASE NOTE: 12V plug has been designed for a secure fit to ensure a stable connection.” 

At the other end of the RTC1000 is a brass screw stem valve connector, which has a quality feel to it and allows the tyre to be deflated if necessary. Ring says that the connector has been designed in order to reach hard-to-access valves. 

The connector comes with three attachments, which neatly stack together and are stored on the underside of the inflator. Between them, they allow the RTC1000 to inflate bicycle tyres, footballs, paddling pools and all manner of other things.

Other accessories include a spare fuse for the 12V connector, spare valve caps in case you drop one down a drain (how thoughtful) and some rubber gloves so that you don’t get your fingers dirty or greasy. There’s also a nifty lightweight case so that you can securely store the inflator in the boot.

Ring RTC1000 performance

The Ring RTC1000’s inflation speed is undeniably impressive. As mentioned earlier, Ring officially claims that it can inflate a 13-inch tyre from flat to 35psi — which is at the upper end of what you’re likely to need — in two minutes, meaning that inflating a set of 13-inch tyres can be done in 10 minutes if you’re extremely swift unscrewing and reattaching your valve caps. Having said that, there’s very few cars that use 13-inch tyres nowadays — even a tiny Volkswagen Up! uses 14-inch tyres. 

In practice, we found that the RTC1000 could inflate a 17-inch tyre from 22psi to 32psi in one minute and eight seconds, which definitely isn’t slow. 

You can tell how close your tyre is to its prime psi using a progress bar on the screen, which is useful, although we found that the bar could get a bit confused as the tyre became closer to full inflation. Once the pressure of the tyre hits the pre-set level, inflation automatically shuts off, and handily, the machine will remember your preferred pressure level for next time you use it. 

Ring RTC1000 Tyre Inflator Review: The verdict

  • Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator, £35.60 – buy here

It’s hard to pick fault with the RTC1000. it’s well-designed, easy to store and set up, and most importantly, it does the job it was designed to do quickly, accurately and unfussily.

With an RRP of £49.99, it’s competitively priced, and the price difference between cheaper models is justified by its clear screen, inflation speed and a number of accessories that make it extremely practical. The RTC1000 is definitely a recommended buy.

Enjoyed our review of the Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator? You might be interested in our roundup of the best air fresheners for your car.

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