TESTED: BRIDGE­STONE DUELER A/T 697

4 x 4 Australia - - Contest -

TYRES are the foun­da­tion of ev­ery­thing we do as four-wheel driv­ers – whether they’re pumped up to road pres­sures for long stretches of black top, dropped down to smooth-out cor­ru­ga­tions on out­back tracks, or run­ning sin­gle-digit pres­sures for huge foot­prints and am­ple grip in rocks and sandy ter­rain. The prob­lem is, while air­ing down to the ap­pro­pri­ate pres­sures is as easy as un­screw­ing the valve, air­ing back up is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball game.

For years it’s been a sim­ple, al­beit slow, af­fair: a 12V com­pres­sor rat­tling around in a can­vas bag in the back of your 4x4, a cou­ple of gator clamps onto your bat­tery, and, af­ter a 20min wait and a seem­ingly end­less bone-rat­tling drone, you might be good to go.

These days we’re spoilt for choice. There’s ev­ery­thing from your tra­di­tional sin­gle pis­ton of­fer­ings, right up to com­plete on­board air sys­tems and ev­ery­thing in-be­tween. Each of­fer­ing has its own unique set of pros and (oc­ca­sional) cons thrown in for good mix. From light­weight por­ta­ble of­fer­ings to pow­er­houses that’ll run a work­shop full of air tools, the op­tions are al­most end­less; in fact, end­less is lit­er­ally one of the op­tions.

To help get you on the straight and nar­row of com­pressed air, we’re shin­ing the spot­lights at some of the most ver­sa­tile air sys­tems money can buy.

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