Last Updated on April 21, 2020 by Tim
Amateur mechanics the world over have the same problem. Getting under their vehicles easily and comfortably to perform maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
If you’re like most people, you’ll flatten that giant box your most recent Amazon.com order was shipped in, lay it under your car, try to maneuver yourself under there without straining or pulling a muscle, getting dirt and grease all over your backside, and once you’re in the perfect position, realize that the tool you actually need is just out of your reach.
Enter the amazing product which professionals use daily and too many DIYers have no idea it even exists… the mechanics creeper.
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Once you have a mechanics creeper (aka: garage creeper, shop creeper or automotive creeper), you’ll wonder how you ever worked under your car or truck without one.
Pairing a creeper with a good set of car ramps allows you to change your oil in record time. But not all creepers are the same. A lot has changed since the first mechanics creeper was introduced in 1975.
Below are some of the things you should be considering when buying a car creeper. While some features may be critical for some, others may have no use for them.
You’d be wise to avoid many of the cheap creepers found in your local auto parts store. While they may look similar to a couple of the models below, the comfort and build quality is usually poor.
Also if you plan on using a vehicle jack to lift up your car, ALWAYS use some sturdy jack stands to set the car on before getting underneath.
What to Look For When Buying a Mechanics Creeper
Obviously, a mechanics creeper’s job is to allow you to lay on a horizontal platform that rolls on the floor to get you in the right position.
The types of wheels or casters used on the creeper play a big part in how smoothly it rolls. In the early days, small steel wheels were used which had the tendency of getting stuck whenever they encountered a small crack or tiny pebble.
These days, most manufacturers have moved to slightly larger urethane creeper wheels with ball bearings which in most cases are perfectly fine for the average user working in a garage or concrete driveway.
A few “big wheel creepers” also use oversized wheels that are able to roll over the occasional larger pebble, screw, rough asphalt or even gravel.
Another thing to look at is the comfort level. There are two main types of materials used on creepers: molded plastic or metal frame (with foam padded top).
Because today’s plastic creepers are ergonomically shaped, to me they are as (or more) comfortable than a metal/foam model.
It’s all a personal choice but most people seem to agree that molded plastic is preferred these days with an additional benefit being the easy cleanup of spills and the wear and tear factor.
Also, if you plan on doing any type of welding under there, a plastic garage creeper will obviously take hot sparks better than a foam padding.
Over time, the vinyl-covered padding of some creepers will get worn, lose cushioning, or tear. This alone is reason enough for those who use their car creeper on a daily basis to stick with a molded plastic design.
Normal DIY mechanics would be fine using either material.
So without further ado, here are what we believe to be the best mechanics creeper models available today.
Top Pick: Best Mechanics Creeper
Lisle Plastic Creeper
Lisle has perfected the formula for a low profile creeper. It may not look as fancy as some other models, but it has almost everything you’d want in a good creeper.
It’s lightweight (11 lbs), durable, waterproof, comfortable (ergonomic with padded headrest), low profile (4 inches tall at the top of the wheels), easy to assemble, and incredibly easy to clean.
The urethane wheels are your typical 2″ size but are good quality and roll well on smooth surfaces.
If you have a lot of cracks or small pebbles on your floor, you would probably be better off going with a model with larger wheels such as the Bone Creeper below.
Because it sits so low, it’s a favorite of many for simple oil changes especially when extra room is needed to use an oil filter wrench.
The heavy duty Lisle creeper’s body is a full 2-inches longer than most competitors so it’s a good option for those over 6 feet although it’s also perfectly fine for those under.
Rated at up to 300 lbs, the creeper just feels solid with virtually zero flex. If you want a professional-grade mechanics creeper that’s made in the USA by a company that KNOWS creepers, be sure to check out the Lisle lineup (available in red, yellow, blue, or black).
We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their prices compared to other higher-end competition.
The Bone Creeper
The Dale Adams Bone creeper has a very unique (weird?) design. The reason for this is that each corner has an enclosed 5(!) inch wheel which allows the Bone to go where other creepers can’t.
Of the creepers we recommend, this is the only one that doesn’t have many issue rolling over things such as gravel, grates, and even extension cords.
Rated up to 300 lbs, it’s also the largest of the three so if you are over 6′ 3″ or so, you might* feel most comfortable in the Bone. Made in the USA and backed by an outstanding warranty.
*Regarding comfort: I may be in the minority, but the hard-ribbed pattern on the headrest is a bit less comfortable than others. Getting in and out is also a bit difficult at first due to the large wheels at each corner but I quickly got used to it. It’s hard to be so nitpicky about this model because otherwise, it’s fantastic under-car creeper.
- 100% American!
- Huge 5" wheels go where other creepers can't!
- Lowest creeper on the market! Will not tip you over!
Omega Foldable Z Creeper
The first thing you’ll notice about the Omega is its 2 in 1 design. With a simple pull of a pin, the flat creeper folds into a “Z” shape so it can be used as a mechanic chair.
This is great if you’re working on your brakes or detailing your car. Sure, you could instead use any old shop stool in place of a creeper chair but we like the design and it works very well.
Six 3-inch polyurethane wheels are a slight improvement over the Lisle above and the creeper as a whole supports up to 450 pounds.
While we’re typically not big fans of padded beds on a creeper, the Omega’s is nice and thick and good quality.
While it’s not as low profile as the Lisle and not made in the US, the Omega Z creeper seat is still an excellent piece of engineering and the 2 in 1 design is perfect for some people.
- Transforms with no tools in seconds
- 40" Steel frame construction, Seat Size: 14" x 12-1/4"
- Padded seat and headrest
Best Topside Creeper
There is more in the creepers’ world than just the ones that slide under cars. Another type is one that allows a mechanic to work above the engine.
These topside creepers make it easier to approach the various parts of the engine from above with comfort and safety. An over engine creeper is almost a necessity for those with large pickup trucks or SUVs.
Traxion is well-known for making a great truck creeper and one model stands out in particular.
Traxion 3-700 ProGear Topside Creeper
Its wide wheelbase provides more stability and support for mechanics up to 400 lbs. The Traxion topside creeper has an I-base design that allows for more flexibility while servicing the vehicle, and the five-inch casters made of synthetic rubber, allows them to safely navigate over and around the typical miscellaneous parts and pieces found on any shop floor.
Because two of the casters can be locked into place, you’re able to have much more leverage as needed for those hard stubborn parts that are often serviced.
Height adjusts from 53″ to 75″ making it perfect for Rams, F150s, Excursions, Silverados, and other full-size trucks and SUVs.
The Traxion overhead creeper can be folded for convenient storage to save on space inside your shop.
If you do any amount of engine work on your truck, you’ll soon understand that a topside mechanics creeper is a must-have item for your garage.
- I-Base design for more flexible positioning around your vehicle
- Padded and upholstered cover makes replacing the deck much easier
- Topside Creeper working height of 75 inches with 140 inches of engine...
Mike Mckeever says
We have a car club and were wondering if you had any giveaways we could have to hand out. We have two shows a year. The car show produce about 100 to 175 cars and trucks and around 30 motorcycles. Anything would be great. Here is a web site address for the show events.
Sounds like a great event! Unfortunately, we don’t have any giveaway products at this time but may consider in the future.
Tom Chadwell says
A question, really, rather than a comment. I was recently told of a creeper that was all heavy yard goods material that could be rolled up to store. I’ll try to give you a picture of it. 3′ wide, 10 to 12′ long, now take this length and double it and attach the 2 ends together to give you a endless loop. When this is folded over you’ll have to imagine that the inside pieces would have to be quite slick and the outside would have padding on it. You simply lay this on the floor and lay on it. As you scrunch forward or backward the pieces slide on one another and basically act like a tank track.
Do you sell anything like this? Have you ever heard of or seen anything like this? Do you know where I might get one?
Interesting, can’t say I’ve heard of one of those. I’m trying to understand the reasoning for one. If like you said, it’s more of a track (like on a tank or snowmobile), it doesn’t seem like it would be easy to maneuver due to there only being one track. If the main purpose is for use on rough surfaces, something like the Traxion creeper should work well enough.
Anyone else seen or used what Tom desribes?
Would the Lisle creeper work ok if there are some tiny pebbles on the floor?
Not particularly well. The regular 2″ wheel version is excellent for smooth surfaces but go with either the Lisle with 4″ wheels or the Bone Creeper above.
What about the Pro-Lift? Looks like it gets really good reviews.
If you’re referring to the Pro-Lift C-9100, yes it appears to be a good option. We’ll look at adding it to our recommendations once I do some more research on it. It has a similar setup to the Omega above but a couple additional features.
Patti Adams says
You completely skipped over the fabulous TailBone from Dale Adams Enterprises! It is a wonderful chair creeper you steer with your thighs. Its large three-wheel design makes it easy to roll in any direction and also goes over those pesky cords. I love using mine all around the house! Great for detailing, working on the brakes, motorcycles or any low work! If you check the website, there is a picture of one done up in feathers and leopard print specially for the 80’s campy film star, Elvira. Hold on to your hats,boys, if you Google her!