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Best Air Bag Suspension
Best Air Bag suspension (2023)
So you know that you need air bags (or suspension enhancement), now you need to determine what kind. If you're still unsure if suspension enhancement is the right upgrade for you, click here to read our article on the benefits and uses of suspension enhancement.Before we get into the best air bag kits, let’s first talk about the different available types.
There are two types of vehicle suspension enhancement: Air Springs and Jounce Springs. Air springs use air to support your load and can be adjusted to suit your vehicle's load by changing the air pressure. This is the most customizable setup. However, air springs are more expensive and requires more maintenance than jounce springs. Jounce springs are solid springs that have an easy, one-time installation and that's it. They are super low maintenance (and I mean, like zero maintenance) because they don’t rely on air pressure to support your vehicle’s suspension.Not surprisingly, we’ve determined the top name brands in suspension enhancement are providing the best springs of 2023:
Note: Air bags are a custom fit item; in order to find out which springs fit your vehicle, use our fit guide to view all the custom fit kits for your vehicle.
First, let's go over the best air spring suspension systems. Then we’ll discuss the best Jounce springs on the market.

Air Springs

What is an Air Spring?

Air springs are adjustable springs that support any load your vehicle can tow. Every air spring will have an adjustable air pressure -- typically 5 psi to 100 psi, depending on the kit you buy. Some kits even allow you to adjust the springs separately to help accommodate for uneven loads. In order to adjust and maintain the proper air pressure, you will need to use an air compressor. If you like the idea of adjusting your springs to your load immediately, I recommend investing in an on-board compressor system. Having an on-board air compressor will allow you to monitor and adjust your air springs at just the push of a button. These compressor systems either have a dual path for individual adjustment, or a single path for maintaining equal pressure in both springs. You can even get a wireless air compressor which you can control at just the push of a button or can even inflate your air springs automatically.Air springs are installed with mounting brackets that are made custom to your vehicle. This means that they have a bolt-on installation with no drilling required. While installing an air spring isn’t quite as simple as a jounce spring, it’s still something that most mechanically inclined towers can manage on their own.

What Are the Best Air Springs?

The top two brands offering air springs are Firestone and Air Lift. Although they are both very similar in terms of functionality, there’s a clear winner in our book.
Best Air Spring 2020 Ribbon
1. Firestone Ride-Rite
*Best springs for the frequent tower*
Firestone Ride-Rite
Firestone Ride-Rite
Firestone Ride-Rite
When choosing your air spring setup, you might have your eye on that fancy dual-path, wireless air compressor with all the bells and whistles. However, our biggest factor when it comes to air springs is quality; and Firestone has no shortage of that. Firestone is a company that has been around for a long time and they have undoubtably established a name for themselves. Yes, they make more than just tires. Firestone is the top competitor in the air spring industry and for good reason. Firestone air bags are used for a great deal of OEM manufacturing in the automotive business, which means they’re installed on many vehicles straight from the factory. Firestone air bags are at the top of our list because they have the highest quality of construction - made out of a 4-ply rubber construction - that you can get, and are durable enough to last the life of your vehicle.
These are for you if: If you want a heavy-duty air spring kit with no question of quality, Firestone air bags are for you. Their durable, 4-ply rubber construction is the thickest you can find on the market. Firestone also uses the most secure method of securing the air bag to the roll plate; they use a rolling technique, which is more secure than Air Lift’s clamping technique. If you find yourself towing very frequently, especially heavy loads, these springs are a great option for you. Their durability will ensure that they won’t wear down quickly, even when you start pushing the limits of your tow vehicle. Air springs like Firestone’s are great for your truck if you only tow your fifth wheel a few times a year, but haul lumber or supplies a few times a month for work. Because of their adjustable air pressure, you can adjust the springs to fit whatever you’re hauling. With a custom-fit application for almost every vehicle and capacities of up to 7,500 lbs., there’s almost no load that these springs won’t support. And their limited lifetime warranty ensures that Firestone always has your back.
These are NOT for you if: There’s not a whole lot we don’t like about Firestone air bags. However, they are missing one component that makes our next competitor stand out: internal jounce bumpers. Because Firestone's air springs don’t have jounce bumpers, there’s nothing to protect them from being damaged if you let the air pressure get too low. To prevent this, just make sure that there is always at least the minimum amount of air pressure in the springs. As I mentioned earlier, these are great for fifth wheel towers, however, some fifth-wheel brackets will be in the way of the air spring installation brackets. If you don’t prefer to drill through the bracket and possibly void the warranty on your hitch, we recommend going with jounce-style springs.
2. Air Lift LoadLifter
*Best springs for the weekend warrior*
Air Lift LoadLifter
Air Lift LoadLifter
Air Lift LoadLifter
Sliding into our number 2 spot is Air Lift. Air Lift is a well-recognized company in the air spring industry that creates quality air springs. Price isn't really a factor when comparing both air spring competitors; depending on your vehicle, Firestone and Air Lift's prices are too comparable to be a determining factor. For us, it comes down to quality and construction; and Air LIft's LoadLifter Springs come in a close second.
These are for you if: You can’t shop for air springs without considering Air Lift. Their name is easily recognizable in the towing world and they have greatly influenced the vehicle suspension industry. Their LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate springs are great for you if you want the same high weight capacity (of up to 7,500 lbs.) as Firestone’s springs, but with the added security of internal jounce bumpers. We recommend these for the weekend warriors and infrequent towers because they have plenty of durability to withstand your weekend trips to the lake, or yearly camping trips. For an every-day or weekly heavy-duty tower, however, we recommend sticking with Firestone because of their more durable construction. The jounce bumpers, as mentioned above, provide additional support and prevent damage to the air bags should the air pressure get too low. They are definitely a prime contender for best air spring, having an equally wide range of custom air springs for vehicles as Firestone. Air Lift also includes a lifetime warranty, plus an additional 60-day satisfaction, money-back guarantee in case you aren’t totally satisfied after testing these out.
These are NOT for you if: While there are plenty of great reasons to go with Air Lift springs, there are some drawbacks that we don’t find with Firestone. For one, even though the added security of internal jounce bumpers may ease your mind, they also limit the stroke (up and down movement) of the springs. This can give your vehicle a rougher ride than the Firestone air springs when you hit those speed bumps and potholes while hauling. Air Lift only uses a 2-ply rubber construction, unlike Firestone’s 4-ply. While this doesn’t necessarily limit their weight capacity, it does say something about their construction – mainly the fact that it’s not quite as heavy-duty as Firestone’s. Air Lift uses a clamping method to attach the rubber bags to the roll plates. According to our installers and feedback from our customers, this clamping method has not proven to hold up quite as well as Firestone’s rolling method.We recommend these for the weekend warriors and infrequent towers because they have plenty of durability to withstand your weekend trips to the lake, or yearly camping trips. For an every-day or weekly heavy-duty tower, however, we recommend sticking with Firestone.

Jounce Springs

What is a Jounce Spring?

Jounce springs replace the factory bump stops on your vehicle. The main difference between a jounce spring and an air spring is jounce springs aren’t filled with air. This makes jounce springs essentially maintenance-free, which is great for you if you don’t have a lot of time or patience to fiddle with pressure valves and gauges. Jounce springs are also more cost effective than air springs, and you won’t need to worry about any expensive air compressors. They’re also easier to install because there are less components to bolt to your vehicle, and you don’t have to run any air lines. Jounce springs are ideal for two situations. One - if you find yourself carrying loads typically 3,000 lbs or less. While jounce springs can handle more weight than that, usually anything heavier will require some adjustment. Two, if the loads you haul or tow are fairly consistent. With jounce springs, you don’t have the option to adjust the support provided. This feature is what makes jounce springs a bad option if your load weight changes often, but it’s what makes jounce springs great if your load is consistent! Jounce springs are perfect if you have one setup, with a consistent weight. Your truck spring will always be ready for the load, no inflation needed.

What are the best Jounce Springs?

The two biggest competitors in the jounce springs department are Timbren and SuperSprings.Both companies have great customer satisfaction and high-quality products, but there is a clear winner in this category as well.
Best Jounce Spring 2020 Ribbon
1. Timbren Suspension Enhancement
*Best springs for the off-road tower*
Timbren Jounce Springs
Timbren Jounce Springs
Timbren Jounce Springs
There’s not another system out there like Timbren suspension. These are hollow rubber springs that have a very high weight capacity. Timbren springs do an excellent job at remedying a variety of problems including body roll, uneven loads, and rear sag. For such a heavy-duty, durable spring, they are surprisingly lightweight and easy to install.
These are for you if: If you want high-quality, durable suspension enhancement, without any maintenance, Timbren springs are for you. These are great for off-roading because they’re built to withstand plenty of use and abuse without the worry of causing an air leak, like you may get with air springs. They’re made to handle every bump and pothole you come across, especially when venturing off the beaten path. Their rubber construction makes them more elastic than SuperSprings’ microcellular urethane construction, which allows them to absorb vibration better for a more comfortable ride when towing. And even though both Timbren and SumoSprings have custom-fit applications, Timbren springs prove to be a quicker and easier installation. Timbren’s jounce springs also have higher load capacities than SumoSprings, with weight ratings up to 8,000 lbs for typical applications and up to 14,000 lbs. for extreme-duty applications*. Timbren’s lifetime warranty ensures that you're always in great hands in case you need any replacement parts down the road. *Spring capacity does not increase the capacity of your vehicle
These are NOT for you if: Even with all the benefits that Timbren provides, there is one thing that we often hear from our neighbors who have purchased their springs. If you don’t have enough space between the spring and the contact point, the Timbren springs can give a rougher ride than normal when your vehicle is unloaded. So, if your main concern is your ride being extremely comfortable when you’re not towing, check out our next option below. Read more about Timbren suspension here.
2. SuperSprings' SumoSprings
*Best springs for the light-duty tower*
SumoSprings Rebel Springs
SumoSprings Rebel Springs
SumoSprings Rebel Springs
Being a bit newer to the game than Timbren, SuperSprings has become a strong contender for jounce spring suspension. SumoSprings have several different designs, such as the Solo and Maxim springs. However, their Rebel Springs stand out from the rest with a 2-Piece design instead of one solid rubber spring. This design can be a bit more advantageous as the upper and lower sections will not make contact without additional weight being added, which helps give you a more comfortable ride when you’re not towing.
These are for you if: SumoSprings are great for those who don’t plan to tow a whole lot, and want to have the support they need, but still have a comfortable ride when unloaded. The 2-piece design of the Rebel Springs gives a more comfortable ride than Timbren’s when not towing, mainly because the springs expand and compress vertically rather than horizontally, which gives better clearance. And although SumoSprings’ microcellular urethane construction may not be as elastic as Timbren’s, it is more durable in extreme temperatures ranging from –25 degrees F to 200 degrees F and resists damage caused by oils, road, salts, and UV rays. With capacities of up to 5,000 lbs, these springs can handle the load of any typical tower.
These are NOT for you if: You may not be a fan of the fact that SuperSprings only offers a 2-year limited warranty, especially compared to Timbren's lifetime warranty. Also, if you’re a heavy-duty or extreme-duty tower, these most likely will not have enough capacity for your vehicle.
Still have questions?Give our experts a call at 800-298-8924, or contact us online. We're happy to assist any way we can!
Olivia M.
About the AuthorMy journey with etrailer started in Customer Service, where I went through months of product training to make sure that I had all of the knowledge I needed to help our neighbors find a solution to any situation. Since it has always been my passion to write and express myself through words, I made the transition over to the content side of the website so I could combine my product knowledge and passion for writing.In order to make sure that I am giving you the most accurate, current information, I am constantly doing research and talking with people who are doing what I am writing about every day. I am constantly striving to find out what questions you are asking, and to give you an answer to every one of those questions, plus answers to questions you haven't even asked yet - yes, I'm that good. Plus, I am constantly getting hands-on training with our vendors and asking them all of the hard questions, that way you can have all of the information you need before making a decision.
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsWritten by: Olivia M.Updated: 11/30/22

Paul G.

3/10/2024

Hello, I have a 2010 Tacoma carrying a Four Wheel Camper that is probably over 1000 lbs. I've been using Timbrens which seem fine but they are wearing out (getting compressed) so it might be time for an upgrade. I have always wondered if jounce springs are an adequate solution? They are so cheap and simple and reliable, but many Tacoma owners use air bags and beefed up leaf springs. Am I missing something? I like the concept of air bags, but we camp in very remote places far from any service so I worry about all of the stories of them springing leaks, plus it's nice not to have to carry a compressor. Thank you.

Etrailer Expert

Andrew N.

3/11/2024

@PaulG Do you know if you have the lower duty or heavy duty Timbrens installed on your 2010 tacoma? If you have the lower duty ones then you likely need to upgrade to the heavy duty setup # TTORTUN4 since that's designed for extreme use like a truck bed camper, which you seem to have. It looks like Jon already answered some of your questions on another page about air suspension. But he is right, air bags are the cream of the crop, but they are more expensive and require maintenance, whereas these Timbrens do not. I have had Timbrens on my truck for about 4 years now and I tow weekly and they still are holding up well.

Sam

2/14/2024

I have a 2023 E450 Class C Ford motorhome 32 feet long, what is my best option to elevate the motorhome from both the front and the back and maintaining the smoothness of the suspension, as I heard some air lifts makes the suspension really rough? Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated.

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

2/14/2024

@Sam We don't offer anything that would change your ride height, but we do offer some options that would provide additional support to your suspension. Since the load you carry in a Class C won't vary too much from trip to trip, you won't need the adjustability provided by an air helper spring system like what Air Lift or Firestone offer. Timbren offers a solution, but they can lead to a pretty stiff ride which wouldn't be your best option. SuperSprings offers replacement bump stops that work like the Timbrens, but they're constructed of a more pliable material for a smoother ride, so that's what we'd recommend. You'll use # SSF-106-47 for the front axle and # SSR-130-54 for the rear axle. The # SSF-106-47 for the front axle won't work if your Class C is a Jayco that has the J-Ride suspension option. Hope that helps!

Jeremy S.

10/15/2023

I have a 2020 Chevy 1500 crew cab Z71 and I tow a 7000 lbs. camper and also a enclosed trailer weighting 5000 lbs and want a to know what would be better jounce or air bags? I would prefer something simple and don't want to sacrifice ride and quality. Thanks

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

10/17/2023

@JeremyS Due to the varying loads between your two trailers, an air helper spring system would be your best bet because of its adjustability. The Firestone # F2609 would be a good choice, as long as you don't have a a 5th wheel or a gooseneck hitch installed, and as long as your truck doesn't have the 3.0L Duramax engine. If the truck has the factory lift, you'll also need # F2366 lift spacers.

Michael D.

4/30/2022

I have a 2012 Ram 3500 4x single rear and I tow a 32’ gooseneck horse trailer w/living qrtrs. Approx 11000lbs once a month.. What would you recommend jounce or air bags? I would prefer something simple but don’t want to sacrifice ride quality and the idea of adjustability although my load is pretty consistent I do use the truck regularly for running around and would like to have the option of softening the ride when not towing. What would you do/recommend? Thank you kindly

David B.

5/2/2022

Hey Michael, thanks for stopping by! If you want to be able to customize your stability 100% go with the # AL57595. If you want a "set it and forget it" system go with # SSR-301-47-2 or # RAS3613-HD. You will have a good experience with any choice. If I was in this situation I would pick # RAS3613-HD just because I don't have to worry about it once it is installed. If I was going to be towing all the time I 100% would get the air bags no question though. If you have any questions about any of these or anything else let me know, I'll be here to help.

Ada I.

3/15/2022

I have a 96 f250 4x4 7.3 powerstroke with a 24 year old 2inch Les Schwab leveling kit. It is a rough ride. We are considering getting air bags or? What do you recommend? We also will be towing a little over 9000 lb 2020 grand design fifth wheel full time soon. Thanks for your help.

Les D.

3/16/2022

As you add components to handle more weight you will generally stiffen the suspension and make the in-cab ride rougher. A really good choice is the AirLift # AL88215 Air Helper Springs which will only get stiffer as more load is added. Of course, properly loading your trailer to place 20% of the weight on the pin is most important.


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