Hoto portable electric air compressor review – a sleek-looking but slightly faffy inflator

Hoto's electric inflator is cool looking, well designed and delivers great performance, but comes at a cost

Hoto electric inflator
(Image: © Paul Brett)

BikePerfect Verdict

Does the job with great battery capacity but let down with the short hose that makes the user experience annoying and a bit of a faff.

Pros

  • +

    Looks sleek and cool

  • +

    Battery capacity

  • +

    Cordless

  • +

    Very accurate PSI

  • +

    Inflates fast

  • +

    Can inflate car tires

Cons

  • -

    Supplied hose is way too short and hard to attach

  • -

    Eventually becomes annoying to use

  • -

    Not overly portable for cycling

  • -

    Expensive and ultimately the current climate not really a necessity

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I’ve been testing the Hoto portable electric air compressor for a few weeks now and it’s proved a capable piece of kit compared to some of the best bike pumps available. I've been using the Hoto on my gravel and mountain bike tires and to set up precise tire pressure for cyclocross racing and the accuracy has been impressive. It's also great in the workshop and inflates very fast and even worked seating and setting up tubeless mountain bike tires. However, it's let down by its way too short hose, that makes fitting to a valve (especially out on the trails) a real faff and being someone that likes to faff with bikes, it even annoyed me eventually. It's also expensive compared to a traditional track pump but comes in around the same price as something like the Topeak Mountain 2Stage Digital pump and in the current financial climate, there are cheaper options that will do the same job. 

The Hoto electric inflator unpacking

The Hoto electric inflator straight out the box  (Image credit: Paul Brett)

Design

Out of the box, the Hoto looks sleek and well-designed. It comes with a (small) hose and various attachments for inflating other items, so quite handy for bikepacking if you have an inflatable mattress etc. As mentioned, the hose is just way too short which makes the attachment to valves quite tiresome and soon has you reaching for the trusty floor pump, so out on the trails when you don't have that option it can get irritating. I'm sure another longer hose would be easily sourced but for a costly item, you'd expect this to be included. There is also a storage bag for transporting the unit safely.

It weighs in at 471 grams which is quite a big difference in comparison to a pump but depends on the balance of weight and convenience, so personal choice on whether you want to carry the extra weight.

The Hoto measures 12cm high and 9cm wide with a depth of 4.5cm, so more than small enough to fit in the pocket of your best mountain bike jacket or bar bags. There is also a handy light built in and a rather robust rubber handle.

Overall, the Hoto looks great but I'd be concerned about the fragility of the unit if it was to be dropped from a height and the glossy display is already showing signs of scuffing.

Hoto inflator

The sleek looking Hoto weighs in at 471g (Image credit: Paul Brett)

Performance

Once you manage to attach the offending hose (I'll try not to mention it again), the Hoto actually performs very well. It's easily switched on with a hold of a button on the side and the display gives you four options to choose from: manual, bike, motorbike and car. There is a choice of PSI and Bar, I just used the manual setting which allows you to set the precise desired PSI that goes from 3 to 150. I was setting up cyclocross tires for an extremely muddy course so an exact number was required and the Hoto delivers the number you ask accurately. 

The battery lasts very well with a lot of use, and it kept going for the whole race weekend on one charge. Charging is also fast with a USB-C to USB cable supplied.

The Hoto inflator delivers accurate PSI

The Hoto inflator delivers accurate PSI (Image credit: Paul Brett)

Verdict

The Hoto is overall a nice piece of kit and performs well. As a day-to-day pump it's hard to justify the cost for what you get and I would only use it in the workshop and on race days for that precise and accurate pressure. As a carry-along on a ride tool, it's slightly too cumbersome for most people, but it will fit in bar bags and jacket pockets. It also claims to inflate car tires (I haven't tried yet) which for a carry along piece of kit, for say bikepark or race days, is a handy option to have.

So if you're feeling lazy and don’t want to strain your arms with the track pump, it will accurately do the job with just the hassle of that mini hose. Not being a fan of CO2 cartridges and mini pumps, it'll be something I would consider carrying on big ride days and will be in the van for race days.

Tech specs: Hoto Portable Electric Air Compressor

  • Price: $145 / £120 / €137 / AUD210
  • Size: 12cm x 9cm x 4.5cm
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 471g 
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.


An award-winning photographer, when not riding a bike, he can be found at the side of a cyclocross track or a downhill mountain bike world championship shooting the action. Paul has been the founder, editor and senior writer for Proper Cycling magazine that has seen him travel the world interviewing some of the biggest names in mountain biking and writing about some of the biggest cycling brands.


Rides: Scott Spark RC Team Issue, Bergamont Grandurance Elite, Standert Kreissäge Team Edition


Height: 176cm


Weight: 85kg