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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Powerstation PSX-3 Jumpstarter/Air Compressor

My old cheapo tire inflator bit the dust, and I wanted a better unit. I figured that I might as well get one that could jump start a car as well, since that would eliminate the need for a power cable to the unit.

My preference is to buy on Amazon, but the PSX-3 is one of those items that's much cheaper at Costco, where it retails for $75 instead of the $120. My guess is that the heavy weight of the unit ensures that Amazon will never be price-competitive with Costco.

The unit charges fast and comes pretty much pre-charged. If you follow the instructions and top off the charge every month or so, it'll never take more than an hour to fully charge, even after using it to jump start a car, which I've done a few times.

The inflator has a gauge that's inaccurate (i.e., it under-reads by about 5psi), but if you're using it to top off your tires you should have an accurate gauge anyway.

The jump start is very easy to use, far easier than jump starter cables. You plug in both ends to a car battery, flip the switch on, and then start the car. No worries about sparks jumping, because you only flip the switch after using the alligator clips. It also comes with a flash light.

The unit's a little heavy, and I'm not sure you'd keep one in the car at all times (though it'd definitely be a must-have for car camping), since you'd have to charge it every month, but for what the unit does and the fact that I use it every month to top off the tires (and the occasional jump start), it's the cheapest unit I've found that does the job, and it's far more robust than the cheaper inflators I've seen.


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