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Review: Air Venturi Nomad II Portable air compressor

PUBLISHED: 16:47 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 30 July 2019

What’s in the box – minus the gun of course!

What's in the box - minus the gun of course!

Archant

Dave Barham takes a close look at the amazing new Nomad II Portable air compressor from Air Venturi

WOW factor!

You know that this little compressor is going to be just what you need as soon as you open the box. It comes packaged extremely well, with added protective packaging actually inside the sturdy carry bag that it comes supplied in.

As soon as you lift the lid and protective foam layer of the box you're greeted with a tray full of accessories, which include the connector hose, power lead, spare air filters, a bag full of spare feet/ fuses and other bits, a 12v power connector for your car battery and an empty plastic bottle.

I'll jump straight in to the empty bottle mallarkey - this is for silicone oil, which is required to keep the unit in good working order. I had to order a small bottle off Amazon quickly before I started the compressor. It's a small point, but it would be nice if it shipped with the oil included.

The tray inside has all the loose bits in it, and these all fit neatly into the side pocket of the carry bag supplied.The tray inside has all the loose bits in it, and these all fit neatly into the side pocket of the carry bag supplied.

Portable power

With that little negative out of the way, it's on to the unit itself. It weighs just under 20lbs and is no bigger than a car battery, so it is most definitely 'portable'.

Oops, more negative incoming … As I've already mentioned, this unit comes complete with a set of 12v car battery leads, just like a set of jump leads, but with a power plug on one end that feeds directly into the unit. These leads are relatively short, and only just long enough to reach the compressor if it's on the deck directly in front of your car. They're nowhere near long enough to run from your car battery to the boot, which is where I'd really like to be charging my rifles. You can modify the leads to make them much longer, but make sure you use the correct wires and connectors if you do.

Okay, that really is the negatives out of the way, I promise - now on to the good stuff - and believe me, there's plenty of that.

Make sure you have some silicone oil to hand.Make sure you have some silicone oil to hand.

Easy to operate

Once you have the unit all connected up to a power source, and you've added a couple of drops of silicone oil - you need to do this after every five fills - you can connect the fill hose to your rifle and then turn the power on.

As soon as you give the unit power, you will hear one of the fans inside begin to whirr. Give it a few seconds then press the Power/Reset button on top of the compressor and you'll hear a whole lot more fan noise as the unit prepares for action.

Before you actually press the On/Off button you must ensure that the air bleed screw on the front of the unit, underneath the fill hose, is done up tight - just like you would on a regular air cylinder.

This end of the fill hose houses a foam air filter.This end of the fill hose houses a foam air filter.

It's also a good idea to ensure that the moisture release valve underneath the unit is also done up.

The next step is to set the dial on the left to your required fill pressure. It's marked in both PSI and BAR and wherever you set the silver needle, that is where the unit will automatically shut off.

With everything connected, checked and set, press the On/Off button and the compressor bursts into action.

You don't need to take too much notice of the Digital Load gauge on top of the unit, as long as that is showing between 10 and 25 you're fine. If it drops below or above those parameters, turn the unit off and seek advice. My test runs saw the unit operating between 16 and 20.

It took under three minutes to fill my rifle from this to 220 BARIt took under three minutes to fill my rifle from this to 220 BAR

Stay safe

Never leave the compressor on its own whilst charging. Although it has an auto-shut-off, it is only a machine. You'll see another large nut between the air bleed screw and hose fitting on the front of the unit. This is a safety device designed to blow out if the compressor reaches over 400 BAR. It's there your safety and needs no adjustment - so please leave it be.

When I charged my BSA R10 up for the first time with this unit it already had about 125 BAR in the reservoir and it only took the compressor 60 seconds to build up to that pressure. The next couple of minutes (yes, that's all it took) saw the black fill needle climb steadily to the 220 BAR shut off point I had preset, then the pumping noise stopped.

I love the funky carbon-effect shell.I love the funky carbon-effect shell.

At this point I simply released the bleed valve by giving it a few turns, pressed the Power/Reset button to turn the unit off and unplugged my rifle - it's as simple as that!

Funky disco

I almost forgot to mention that on the underside of the compressor is another switch, which turns a blue LED light array on and off - so you can have funky disco lights while you're charging, if that's your bag!

Also underneath, you'll find the moisture release valve, which should only be opened every 20 or so fills to purge moisture from the unit.

Set the silver dial to the required pressure and watch the black needle climb.Set the silver dial to the required pressure and watch the black needle climb.

The verdict

This is one handy piece of kit, giving you the freedom to venture off without carrying an air cylinder in your car. Please note that you must only fill your rifles with this compressor - it's not designed for filling larger air cylinders.

It's packed full of great features and although I have picked up on a couple of negatives they really are miniscule and easily rectified, perhaps they're more annoyances really.

Air Venturi claim that this little compressor can fill a rifle from empty to 3000PSI in just nine minutes, and having used it a few times now, I would hazard a guess that it would be less than that.

If you want to have instant air at your fingertips then the Nomad II is most definitely for you.

Features:

- Adjustable auto-shut-off

- Pressures up to 4500 psi

- Integrated LED lights on underside of the unit for low light use

- Can run off of 110V or 220V outlet or 12V car battery

- Power supply for electrical outlet use is built into the unit

- Includes carrying handle

- Fan-cooled

- External lubrication port (use silicone lubricant only)

- Jump cables included

- Hose w/integrated moisture catch and female QD fittings

- Running noise level: 92 dB.

- Dimensions: 10.6 x 8 x 7.9 inches

- Weight: 19.6 lbs

- Ships with travel bag for easy transportation

RRP is just £649.99. For more information, visit highlandoutdoors.co.uk.

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