The CO2 cartridge may be small but it is certainly mighty. The thumb-sized apparatus can deliver a good whack of gas in just a few seconds and be a serious life-saver in sticky situations. After all, there are few things in the world that are able to single-handedly inflate a bike tire, carbonate water and fire an air rifle.
CO2 cartridges have been kicking around for hundreds of years and have been utilized in a variety of ways throughout history. In the 1920s, they were used in old-school soda siphons to produce fizzy seltzer. By the mid-1950s, they were powering air guns, and in 1989, Genuine Innovations invented the first CO2 inflator head to pump up flat bicycle tires.
Today, the cartridges come in a variety of forms and you can pick the one that best suits the task at hand. The most important thing to consider is whether you need a threaded or non-threaded variation as each offers its own pros and cons. Here, we’ve selected four of the best CO2 cartridges that will deliver you gas in a snap.
1. CyclingDeal CO2 Cartridges
CyclingDeal’s CO2 cartridges are perfect for pumping up flat tires when a puncture occurs mid-ride. The high-pressure design only takes a few seconds to release all the gas, which means your tire will be inflated quicker than you can say “carbon dioxide.” Each cartridge is precisely threaded at the mouth to match your inflator head perfectly. This means all you need to do is screw the cartridge in, let the pin punch a hole in the top, and, hey presto, your CO2 will be flowing out with haste. Best of all, the compact 16-gram cartridge is small enough to be stored in your pocket for easy access on the go.
2. Crosman CO2 Powerlet Cartridges
Air rifles have endured as a hobby because they are great for target practice and they’re a lot of fun, too. Of course, you never want to run out of ammo while you’re shooting targets. Thankfully, Crosman’s box comes with 40 separate CO2 cartridges to keep you firing all day. Made in the US, the cartridges are compatible with most air rifles and pistols and hold 12 grams of carbon dioxide each. Each has a non-threaded seal, which means you can just press or push them in rather than screwing. Furthermore, the cartridges promise a nice, snug fit and solid seal for consistent performance.
3. 16g CO2 Cartridges
Sometimes, the simplest option is the best. Case in point: this basic yet sizeable pack. It includes no fewer than 30 separate CO2 cartridges and will last you a full month even if you exhaust one each day. Each cartridge is non-threaded and very easy to use. Unlike their threaded counterparts, these cartridges just literally plug and play (you push them into a container and let the gas do the rest). The multipurpose design can also be used for a variety of different tasks, from pumping tires to creating soda.
4. RedRock Threaded CO2 Cartridges
There’s nothing like adding your own homemade seltzer to a cocktail to give it a bit of extra pizzaz. Better yet, if you make said seltzer in a vintage soda siphon. This old-school contraption requires a CO2 cartridge to impart that all-important fizz and RedRock offers just the right type. This pack includes 15 CO2 cartridges that each offers 16 grams of gas. They are manufactured to meet food-grade standards, meaning you get only the purest sort of CO2 for carbonating your beverages. They have a 3/8-inch thread with 24 threads per inch and can be screwed into any bottle that matches. Bottoms up, gents.