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Firestone vs Air Lift Airbag Suspension Kits - Which Is Best?

CategoryAir LiftFirestone
Customer Service109
Application Availability99
Ease of Installation9.510

Firestone Background
Firestone was founded in 1936; in 1938 Firestone manufactured and patented the first rubber air spring. Firestone is known for manufacturing the Airide Air Spring and now produces air springs for all types of vehicle from light vehicles to industrial applications. In the 1970’s Firestone began producing Ride-Rite air bags, greatly expanding their product market. Then in the 80’s Firestone paired up with Bridgestone and later developed the ultrasonic internal height sensor bringing air spring safety to a brand new level. Today Firestone has come a long way, they are a well-known company that brings you everything to maintain your vehicle suspension and continue to evolve and satisfy their customers every step of the way.

Air Lift Background
Air Lift Company was developed way back in 1949 and has been going strong ever since. With all of that experience in air spring suspension products, they know exactly how to design and manufacture products that will work exactly right with the applications they are intended for. When Air Lift started out, their Air Springs were widely used in the Grand National NASACAR Circuit for stock car racing, which goes to show how much Air Lift has grown over the years and shown how versatile they can be. Air Lift was the first to begin the use of air spring inserts in coil suspensions. Air Lift staying true to their roots offers custom lines for performance vehicles and lowered and lifted applications with their SlamAIR and DragBAGS lines. Today, Air Lift makes a whole variety of products from high quality air compressors to air springs for commercial vehicles. They provide fantastic customer service and only sell the highest quality products for their customers.

Types (Series) of Kits

Firestone and Air Lift both offer different kits that cater to your air spring needs. In certain circumstances one company may be in your favor when it comes to applications. Both companies have many options when it comes to commercial vehicles, trucks and motorhomes. They also will have options for cars and other applications as well. Over the years both companies have progressed along with technology developing cutting edge parts and making sure their customers always have numerous choices of products along with NO-DRILL installations.

ProductWeight Capacity (lbs.)
Ride Rite5000
Sport Rite3000
Coil Rite1000
Air Lift
ProductWeight Capacity (lbs.)
Load Lifter 50005000
Load Lifter Ultimate5000
Ride Control2000
Air Lift 10001000
Load Lifter 5000 Air Bag Helper Springs by Air Lift

Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 Ultimate

Air Lift now offers an Ulitmate option for many of their Load Lifter 5000 kits. The Ultimate bags will replace the stock jounce bumper that is removed during installation with a rubber bump stop located inside of the air bag. This bump stop offers many benefits such as, eliminating harsh jarring on rough roads and providing several stages of ride comfort. Another great feature of the Ultimate Air Springs are that the addition of the internal bump stop makes these virtually maintenance free! Since the bags can no longer be fully compressed, the bags can safely run at 0 PSI.

Air Lift Kit Air Lift 5000 lb. kits for 1/2 Tons

Air Lift has recently released Load Lifter 5000 kits, and Load Lifter 5000 Ultimate’s for many of the popular ½ ton pickups. Before there were only options for 2000lb and 3000lb kits on most ½ tons, but now you can get the maximum amount of air support for your lighter duty vehicle.


Through research via our customers and others on the web, we tried to see if there were any common advantages pointed out for either brand. We did see frequency to certain areas and they are as follows.

We install Firestone's all the time at my shop. They never come back, customers usually ask for them by name...

Firestone has something working for them that Air Lift is trying to catch up with; their name. Though both companies have been around a very long time Firestone is a little bit older and has done a phenomenal job of branding. When you hear “Firestone” you know exactly who they are, what they do, and where to find them, and this is exactly what they want. This is why I have found that many shops will choose to use Firestone suspension parts for their customers; because though they know what an Air Lift part is, their customer may not. They want their customer to be satisfied in knowing exactly what they are getting. Shops have also stated that they feel safe in knowing once they install a Firestone part that it's not coming back.

Air Lift won me over with their lifetime warranty that allowed me to send back my defective part, no questions asked...

Air Lift does an exceptional job at pleasing their customers. Air Lift often has promotional offers such as rebates and has a 60 day satisfaction guarantee and a Lifetime Warranty on most of their products. This is where they win over most of their customers. While spending time scouring forums I have found many post that have raved about Air Lifts superior customer service. Also a lot of people opted to go with the Air Lifts because of the outstanding warranties and always revolving limited time offers.

Gooseneck and Fifthwheel Applications

If you have an in-bed hitch and are looking to install a set of air springs you can rest assure in knowing you will most likely have no problem finding a kit that works with your application. Both companies provide an extensive guide in their application chart when it comes to their Ford applications. You may have to double check with tech support to be sure on some other models, but for the most part the popular part numbers are compatible with gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches. B&W states on their sites Q&A that both companies build their products to be compatible for 2005 models and up. From B&W's Website: Q: What brand of Airbags work with the Turnoverball?
A: To the best of our knowledge, Airlift and Firestone build an airbag system that is compatible with the Turnoverball for 2005 and newer trucks.

See Airlift's Application Guide: Air Lift Applications
See Firestone's Ride-Rite Application Guide: Ride Rite Applications

Air Compressors

Air Lift and Firestone both make comparable products when it comes to air compressors. They both offer Single or Dual gauge options. They have systems that can allow you to air up both sides simultaneously or one side at a time, and they each come in standard or heavy duty to accommodate every customer’s individual needs. Both companies have done an exceptional job in the air compressor industry in keeping up with today’s ever growing technology and developed wireless systems. These systems allow you to install without drilling into your vehicles frame and have no ugly wires to deal with. Now, you can air up without even standing up against your vehicle, no fuss whatsoever. Air Lift has the Smart Air system that comes in single sensor that levels front-to-rear, or dual sensor, this controls two air springs independently and levels front-to-rear and side-to-side. The Smart Air system is truly remarkable and monitors and maintains your air levels at all times with any load, it’s completely automatic and has no lines or controls in the cab. Firestone also has a match for this product with their Automatic Air this comes in a dual or single option as well and uses a height control valve to inflate the bags; this system is mounted between the chassis and suspension of the vehicle. Firestone also offers a slew of accessories when it comes to compressor systems including remote fill stations. Both companies have much to consider when it comes to purchasing an on board compressor system.


When it comes to choosing between Air Lift vs Firestone air suspension it will really come down to personal preference. Both companies have much to offer. Much of your decision will rely on your specific application and which companies’ product offers specific benefits in favor of your vehicle. In many cases Firestone may offer a higher leveling capacity and easier installation, in other cases Air Lift will have a better warrantee or mail-in rebate. Whichever company you choose, you’re getting a product that is backed by the support of engineers that have been developing these products for many years and have an intensive knowledge in what they do. Either company will stand behind their products and work with their customers to ensure their safety and satisfaction and make sure each and every one of them gets exactly what they are searching for.

Still Can't Decide?

Choosing the right load support product for your truck or SUV is not always an easy process. Unlike other online shops, our customer support representatives are actual mechanics who are seasoned in fitting, installing, and maintaining truck suspension parts.

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