The 10 Best Creeper Seats
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Both professional automotive mechanics and handy home tinkerers will appreciate the comfort and convenience offered by these creeper seats, which make any repair under an automobile or close to the ground much easier. We’ve included models for sitting down and lying flat, so you’ll be ready to take on jobs both low and high, as well as some with replaceable casters for the long haul. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 20, 2021:
We removed The Bone from Dale Adams because it's apparently been pulled from the market. There are tons of creepers to choose from, though, and in many different styles, so we've replaced it with the novel Racatac 01RAC3. It's not helpful for working underneath a vehicle, but for detailing and working on brakes it's excellent. Unfortunately, it's pretty expensive, but it is also built to last for years.
For a conventional and affordable option, the Jegs 81160 is a good choice, with the Lisle 92102 one of the top low-profile options. We also like the Pro-Lift Foldable Z-Creeper quite a bit because of its versatile convertible design. Then there's the Magic Creeper 51631, which isn't meant for full-time use, but is ideal for quick checkups and as thin as a creeper can possibly get.
March 31, 2020:
Removed the Boomerang ToolStool because of availability concerns.
Added the Jegs 81160.
The Lisle 92102 takes the top spot primarily because of it's rugged plastic body and its urethane casters. While the plastic body is not nearly as comfortable as the foam on other models like the Jegs 81160, it is long enough to carry most people. The trouble with foam creepers is that they are always covered in polyurethane leather or other artificial polymers. This is partly because real leather is more expensive than synthetic leathers and because real leather can be susceptible to damage from certain automotive fluids. As a trade-off, synthetic leathers like the common polyurethane leather will very often crack and tear from normal use and even just exposure. Then the inner foam will start degrading for various reasons and you'll be left laying on the base (often made of some thin particle board sheet).
October 15, 2018:
Investigated claims about the quality of the Traxion 1-100's bearings, ultimately replacing it with the 1-200, which doesn't seem to suffer from the same issue.
Why Every Home And Professional Mechanic Should Have A Creeper Seat
The hard ground isn't very forgiving on the body for a short period of time while changing the oil, let alone for four or five hours as you work on fixing a transmission.
Anybody who has ever spent any time under a vehicle knows that it isn't the most comfortable position. The hard ground isn't very forgiving on the body for a short period of time while changing the oil, let alone for four or five hours as you work on fixing a transmission. It isn't just lying there that is rough on the body, but sliding yourself in and out, as well. Doing the upside down snake wiggle as you shimmy your way into the proper position will not only destroy your clothes, but probably leave you with a few scrapes, too.
That's not the only back-braking position you'll find yourself in when performing car repairs and maintenance, either. Kneeling down or hunching over to work on the tires or brakes puts a lot of strain on the body, too. It can also be very fatiguing, constantly having to kneel down, then stand up, then kneel down again, then stand up again, over and over as you switch between vehicles, or their four tires.
Luckily, some genius, or more likely a very sore mechanic, invented the creeper seat. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional, full-time mechanic, a creeper seat will allow you to work more comfortably and efficiently. It can help to decrease work-related repetitive stress injuries while also improving productivity at the same time.
The term creeper seat is generally used to describe both those that are designed for you to lie on top of in a prone position, as well as those you sit on like a stool. They are extremely versatile items that make it easier to finish the job, without ever having to leave your working position. If lying prone, you simple roll yourself out from underneath the vehicle, grab a tool, and roll yourself right back under. If switching from tire to tire in a chair style model, you just roll yourself to the next tire without having to stand up. A creeper seat might be just what you need to avoid the many musculoskeletal symptoms most mechanics experience. You'll also be keeping yourself out of any puddles of spilled oil or other vehicle fluids.
Choosing The Right Creeper Seat
You'll definitely want to buy a creeper with sturdy, smooth-rolling wheels. Any creeper seat that cannot be rolled along the floor with minimal effort, won't be very useful. Ideally, the wheels should be swiveling casters that let you roll yourself in any direction with ease. Some have wheel guards, which is a nice touch as they can prevent a mechanic's clothes from getting caught up. It also beneficial to choose a model that is resistant to grease, solvents, and fuels. Working on a car is a messy job, and there is no doubt some of that mess will wind up on your creeper. Both the frame and the padding should be easy to wipe clean.
While on the topic of padding, we should mention that padded models will generally offer superior comfort to non-padded creepers.
While on the topic of padding, we should mention that padded models will generally offer superior comfort to non-padded creepers. You can even find ones with padded, adjustable headrests to lessen neck strain, thereby minimizing the chances of work-related neck pains. However, some mechanics may prefer the durability offered by non-padded models. In this case, you should look for one that is ergonomically-designed to cradle the body, rather than a flat, plank-like model.
You'll need to ask yourself what kinds of tasks you plan on using the creeper for, and find a model that best suits those needs. If you need one to work under a vehicle, obviously a model designed for you to lie prone on top of is the right choice. If you work in a tire or body shop, and rarely spend time under a vehicle, a chair-style model will be your best bet. There are also convertible models that allow you to lie prone or sit on them. It is important to note that, because convertible models add a number of moving parts, they may be less durable over time. This means they are well-suited to the home mechanic, but may not be the best option for commercial shops. Because of their design, chair-style models can incorporate more features. If you want to get the most out of your chair style creeper, consider buying one that has adjustable back support, the ability to be raised and lowered, and an integrated tool tray.
Other Useful Tools And Accessories For Mechanics
There is no doubt about it, having the right tool for the job makes your life easier. Anybody who has ever tried to use a key or penny in place of a flat head screwdriver knows what I am talking about. With that in mind, we thought it best to recommend a few invaluable tools that no mechanic should ever be without.
Its length gives you enough leverage and torque to break nearly any stuck bolt, even if you don't have an impact wrench handy.
When it comes time to diagnose a vehicle's problems, there are no better items to have than an OBD 2 scanner and an automotive stethoscope. An OBD 2 scanner will save you time by displaying a car's issues in a matter of seconds, rather than you hunting around trying to figure it out yourself. An automotive stethoscope helps you track down those hard to find noises that every engine inevitably seems to make at one point in their lifetime.
Once you know what the problem is, you'll definitely need a ratchet set that includes a wide variety of both metric and imperial sockets. This allows you to work on both domestic and foreign vehicles. If you really want to get the job done quickly and with minimal effort, consider adding an air ratchet to your arsenal. For those stubborn bolts, there is no better tool than a sturdy breaker bar. Its length gives you enough leverage and torque to break nearly any stuck bolt, even if you don't have an impact wrench handy.
Most home DIYers don't think about it until it's too late, but keeping some disposable gloves, or a pair of washable mechanics gloves, in their toolbox is a smart idea, as well as some powerful hand cleaner. These will help ensure you don't spend the next few days with gunk and grease stuck under your nails.