ARB CKMA12 Review – Is It Really Worth The Money!

ARB CKMA12 Installed in a carThe ARB CKMA12 is one of the most popular onboard air compressor. The reason behind the popularity is the high airflow despite having a really compact size.

ARB CKMA12 isn’t cheap. Therefore, it is really necessary to know if this 12V High-Performance Portable Air Compressor worth the price you are paying.

I hope this ARB CKMA12 review will help you evaluate the performance and quality of this air compressor before you make the purchase. We have also talked about the ARB CKMP12 which comes with a carrying case and activation kit that you may be interested in. The specifications are almost the same for these two air compressors.

So, let’s get started.

Features & Specification

  • Weight: 6.8 Pounds
  • Total Weight (with all kits): 9.9 Pounds
  • High flow: 3.08 CFM @ 0 PSI and 2.34 CFM @ 29 PSI
  • Power Source: 12V
  • Compact small size for onboard and air locker applications
  • Requires only 2 minutes to inflate a 35-inch tire
  • Operable in extreme temperature
  • Fully waterproof and dust resistant
  • OEM quality Switch for Isolating
  • Anti-vibration, sound deadening Mount
  • Splash resistant bronze air filter
  • Safety valve prevents overpressurization
  • Thermal protection for the motor
  • Quiet operation by EMC noise suspension
  • Hard-anodized cylinder bore
  • High shock cylindrical roller
  • 100% ballbearing motor
  • Max-Fuse in-line circuit protection
  • All the wiring kits included
  • Compatible with 1987-2019 Jeep Wrangler Models

What is Included

  • Air Filter
  • Pressure Switch
  • Relay For Wiring
  • Switch
  • Mount Plate and Hardware for Mounting
  • Full wiring loom
  • Kit Includes: 19 Feet air Hose, Carrying Case, Battery Clips, Tire Inflator, Soccer ball or Basketball Inflator

Our ARB CKMA12 Review

Features & Performance

Fast Inflating

Although the ARB CKMA12 is compact in size the flow is more compared to other compressors that are larger in size.

The duty cycle is amazing. With 100% duty cycle it can fill up 4 tires of 35 inch in a single duty cycle.

It has a CFM rating of 2.34 @ 29 PSI. Such flow rate is more than average for a 12V air compressor. You will roughly need 2 minutes to fill up a 35 inches tire with this one. This is a major advantage when you want to save your time in the journey.

This compressor starts at 130 and stops at 150. You can also use a 70/100 pressure switch that is easily available.


ARB CKMA12 is a compact air compressor. It measures 145mm x 190mm x 98mm and the unit weighs 8.6 lbs (only the compressor). Because of the lightweight and compact design, this air compressor is very suitable for onboard mounting.

Another great thing about this compact air compressor is you can use this one to activate your air locker.

Because of the small size, the ARB CKMA12 can also be mounted –

  • Underneath the front passenger seat
  • Under the rear passenger seat
  • Inside the cargo holder

Virtually you can mount this any place, just make sure wiring is possible.

Durable Construction

The ARB CKMA12 is not a cheap 12V air compressor. The build quality is robust. If you have read the features and specification section, then you already have a good idea about this. But I want to explain this a little bit.

The Hard-anodized cylinder bore and High shock cylindrical roller give this compressor a long life. This also enhances the flow rate of the air compressor.

As electrical protection, this one has Max-fuse in-line circuit protection. So, if anything goes wrong with the electrical system, your compressor won’t be dead.

The bronze air filter is splash resistant. This keeps the air clean.  You can wash this for cleaning. This compressor is also fully waterproof and dustproof which is a great advantage for offroading.

The motor is thermally protected and hence, this compressor is operable in hight temperature like in the desert.

Apart from these, this air compressor creates less vibration and there is sound deadening mount. Therefore, this one creates less noise and this makes it suitable to mount inside the car.

ARB use 100% ball bearing in the motor of this air compressor. This makes the motor more efficiency while consuming the same power from the battery like other compressors.

ARB has use lightweight but durable materials in this

Easy Installation and Wiring

The CKMA12 is super easy to install. All the mounting hardware are included with this air compressor. You will also get a mounting plate with this.

The wiring process is straightforward. The wiring loom is included with the compressor.

But just to make sure you don’t make any mistake follow the diagram provided by ARB. You can get the wiring diagram from ARB here.

Also installing the pressure switch, air filter, and the safety valve are straightforward.

If you are interested in ARB CKMA12 you can check the price at Amazon by visiting this link.

What About The ARB (CKMP12) Portable Air Compressor Activation Kit

ARB CKMP12 Click Image To Check Price at Amazon

The portable Air Compressor Activation kit contains the CKMP12 air compressor, 19 Feet Air Hose, Battery Clips, Tire Inflator, Soccer ball or Basketball Inflator and a huge Carrying Case.

19 Feet air hose is long enough if you mount the compressor strategically. The best thing about the air hose is it is super easy to connect with the compressor.

This kit also has a pair of alligator clips. The wire length is fair enough but the only problem is the size can be small for some batteries.

The ball inflators will be useful when you want to have some fun in camping.

Note: The CKMA12 and CKMP12 the same flow rate. But the CKMP12 weighs more. You can find the comparison of ARB portable compressors here.

What We Like

  • Powerful performance.
  • Fast inflating with high airflow.
  • robust construction quality.
  • Durability.
  • Ability to withstand the harsh environment.
  • Compact design.
  • Low noise and thermal protection.
  • Easy wiring and installation.

What We Don’t Like

  • Compressor heats up if run for a long time.
  • Thick O’ring nozzle.
  • The battery clips are small for CKMP12.
  • The box is oversized in CKMP12.

Final Thought

The ARB CKMA12 is more reliable than other air compressors you will find out there for offroading. You will hardly find an alternative that can inflate so fast and performs better than this in the extreme environment.

This portable air compressor isn’t cheap. Although there are cheap options available, most of them are junk. You should never buy them because you don’t want your air compressor stop working ar the middle of the road.

1 thought on “ARB CKMA12 Review – Is It Really Worth The Money!”

  1. I’m interested in the ckmp12, I’m running 37” tires, can I inflate all 4 tires from 10 to 20 psi without stopping, I’m wondering how long I can run this compressor nonstop


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