Unless you absolutely never have to go underneath a vehicle, there’s a chance that you already own a mechanics creeper. They can be bought for a few bucks to a few hundred bucks, but how do you know if you’re buying the best creeper? It really comes down to the old fashioned thing … your need and requirement.
Sure, you can buy one from a big box store, it may be sufficient to get the job done, but could it be better? Probably.
You see, a great many of the cheaper creepers are just built as something that’s marginally better than trying to slide your body across a hard floor, they haven’t had much thought put in to them, and consequently, they either fail prematurely, or don’t work as they’re intended.
The biggest problems usually come from two areas – the wheels (or casters) and the strength of the baseboard. Finding a creeper with a baseboard that isn’t strong enough just means that it will break if you apply too much pressure on a single point – they’re designed to have the load spread across the whole creeper, so this means that even just sitting on the creeper could break it.
The wheels are a whole issue on their own … too small and they get stopped with the tiniest obstruction, too big and the creeper is too high, and then we have the issues of control, direction, bearings, breaking … like I say, a whole world of pain if you get it wrong.
Table of Contents
You should also consider that a creeper doesn’t just have one use … I’ve seen them used to slide transmissions under vehicles, heavy engine parts, subframes … actually transporting a human around is a small part of their job.
Before purchasing a creeper, you should also think about where it’s going to be used. A super smooth floor will work with any of them, but if the floor isn’t smooth, or worse still – outside, then you need a creeper with suitable wheels.
And comfort plays a role too – spending hours under a car on your back isn’t fun at the best of times, but if that’s on a creeper that’s just plain uncomfortable, you’ll soon be wishing for something else.
In days gone by, a creeper would have been made from a wooden base, with small casters attached and that was that. Today though, we have cushioning, ergonomic designs, adjustable headrests, and they can be constructed from metal, wood, plastic, composite … you almost want to take them for a test drive!
The Best Car Creepers Reviews
1. Pro-LifT C-9100 Garage Creeper
The Pro-Lift can transform from a flat creeper into a mechanics stool – about the right height for working on wheels or suspension without tools and with no fiddly operations. As an owner (and user) of both creepers and mechanics stools, I like this idea, but it does come at a cost … there’s no adjustable headrest for one.
It’s a 40” steel frame construction, with a decent backboard and some padding, although the padding could do with being a little stiffer or thicker. It can cope with loads of up to 450lbs, but as I’ve already said, that’s spread across the whole creeper … be careful about trying to place too much weight on a smaller area.
Underneath, we have 6 x 3” polyurethane casters which are oil resistant and are fitted with full bearings to help cope with the load, and make for smoother maneuverability.
If you’re looking for a 2in1 folding garage creeper, then the Pro-Lift C-9100 is high on the list.
2. Omega 91452 Low Profile Z-Creeper
Another 2in1 creeper, and to be honest, it’s almost identical to the Pro-Lift – 450lb capacity, 6 x 3” casters, padded cushions … the main difference being that it’s slightly lower.
The wheels sit outside the frame, which helps to keep it low, but that can cause some problems … if you’re wearing loose clothing for example, you may find yourself running over it, or getting tangled up, or worse still, actually pinching skin, and that’s gonna hurt.
You can configure the creeper to either lay flat, as a mechanics stool or as a low profile chair type of thing … with it laying flat and then the ‘backrest’ lifted up. I’ve never used a creeper in that way, but I can think of a number of situations where that may be useful, it’s for that reason that it’s on the list for the best low profile creeper.
3. Lisle 97102 Plastic Creeper
Before we get to the technical bits … it’s available in a number of colors and comes at a premium – if I was purchasing this, I’d have no problem with picking any other color than black.
It’s a one piece, plastic creeper that offers no adjustments or fancy bits, but I think it’s a better product for that … it’s been designed to be comfy, to offer support where it’s needed, and they’ve tested it on numerous body types to ensure that it fits and is comfortable.
It has small urethane rollers (2”) inserted in to steel bushings, which are then molded in to the underside of the creeper – it’s quite a good arrangement, although I have seen similar styles where the molded part has failed, leaving no choice but to scrap the creeper – to be clear, that wasn’t with this particular brand, just this style.
The Lisle 97102 creeper has a very low profile – just 7/8” from the ground at its lowest point, and it does need some margin as it can flex a little. It’s 100% USA made and easily assembled … two minutes and you’re good to go.
4. Torin Big Red Rolling Shop Creeper
A steel construction means that it’s pretty heavy, but also pretty durable – sliding that tranny underneath the car has never been easier!
It’s a 40” frame size, which is long enough for most people, and has a 4 position headrest, however, a number of users have mentioned that the fastening for the headrest isn’t the greatest … a slight knock and it will fall down. I’ve experienced something very similar on my Snap-On creeper so I wouldn’t take that as sign of poor quality.
6 casters are fitted underneath, and while they glide smoothly, you do need to keep an eye on them … this type of design just seems to always find their weaknesses.
For a budget shop creeper, this is well made, durable and built well – definitely worth considering if you’re just after an occasional use creeper.
5. Traxion 1-100 ProGear Wide Body Creeper
I like the Traxion creeper – it’s not trying to offer anything other than a solid, well riding creeper that’s been ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. There’s a dip where your shoulders rest, a wide body and there’s nothing that can catch bits of your body or clothing.
This creeper will hold 401lbs of weight safely, provided that it’s spaced out of course, but uses 4 x 5” wheels (that’s really big for a creeper) that are all fitted with full bearings – both on the top for swivel movement, and through the axle – it’s smooth!
With a base made from plywood, and an extra bit of lumbar support, the ProGear is definitely one of the best mechanics creepers with big wheels on the market right now, and it’s sensibly priced … sure, it’s a little more expensive than some of the others, but it’s worth it.
6. The Bone Rough Rider 7031 Mechanics Creeper
100% USA made, it’s called ‘The Bone’ because that’s exactly what it resembles … a giant bone. It’s also unofficially known as the off road creeper, mainly in thanks to the large 5” wheels, that are also 1 3/8” wide … giving it excellent ability to roll over the roughest of surfaces.
They say that it’s the preferred choice of the military and police, and RVers, farmers, truckies … anyone that’s going to be working on their vehicles outdoors. With a 400lb weight rating, large footprint, it won’t tip over, tip up or fail your need.
The deck of the creeper is made from a special engineering grade polypropylene copolymer that’s oil, solvent and gasoline proof, and the steel frames for the wheels are fitted directly in to the deck with completely adjustable wheel bearings … which is a neat touch that none of the others have.
Sure, it’s more expensive than the rest of the creepers here, but I’d rate it as the best creeper for rough surfaces and heavy duty jobs.