The 8 Best Tire Repair Kits

We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Worst case scenario? You’re on your way to an important job interview in your best suit when you get a flat tire, and you can’t change the wheel without getting hot and filthy. But it won’t be a problem if you carry one of these tire repair kits, any of which will get you back on the road in no time. We’ve even included options suitable for cyclists and motorbikes, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

8. Victor 30 Piece

It’s not the most comprehensive option out there, but the Victor 30 Piece includes most of the components you’ll need to fix standard car tires on the go, such as plugs, patches, metal buffers and rubber cement. It even has a gauge for checking air pressure afterwards.

  • Comes with instructional guide
  • Very affordably priced
  • Plastic case could be sturdier

Brand Victor
Model 22-5-00126-8A
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. RocRide 16-piece

If you’ve ever had a flat while on a long bicycle ride, you’ll consider the RocRide 16-piece kit a must-have. It comes in a compact carrying case that will easily fit in a backpack or saddlebag, and it contains a scuffer, glue, patches, and tire removal tools.

  • Patches are stronger than tubes
  • Also suitable for motorcycles
  • Does not include a pump

Brand RocRide
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Slime T-Handle

The Slime T-Handle is a basic plug kit that will keep a puncture sealed just long enough for you to get your car to the nearest shop. It’s not a long-term solution, but it will let you repair minor holes without having to remove the tire from the rim.

  • Ideal for small nail holes
  • Pays for itself in one use
  • Won’t fix big tears or major damage

Brand Slime
Model 1034-A
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Stop & Go Pocket Plugger

Motorcycle and scooter owners will appreciate the Stop & Go Pocket Plugger, which will repair and inflate tubeless tires without having to dismount them. Just prep the opening, insert a cord, and use one of the CO2 cartridges to pump some emergency air into the tire.

  • Comes in pocket-sized carrying pouch
  • Each cartridge fills one tire
  • Rubber plugs hard to apply

Brand Stop & Go
Model 1001
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Safety Seal Pro

The Safety Seal Pro is designed to repair any tubeless tire, whether it’s on a small compact car or heavy machinery. Also, unlike some flimsy plastic components, the high-quality metal insertion tool and T-handle spiral probe are sure to last a lifetime.

  • Impact-resistant carrying case
  • Instruction booklet with photos
  • 30 repair plugs included

Brand Safety Seal
Model KAP30
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Fix-a-Flat Ultimate

For those who don’t want to deal with messy rubber cement or sticky plugs, this Fix-a-Flat Ultimate is the ideal solution. The one-step kit sends sealant and air into a flat tire at the push of a button, no matter what size it is or what kind of vehicle it’s on.

  • Built-in pressure gauge
  • Pump can be used without sealant
  • 12-volt inflator

Brand Fix-A-Flat
Model S50073
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Boulder Tools Heavy Duty

Whether you have a Jeep or ATV, it’s a good idea to invest in this Boulder Tools Heavy Duty before your next off-road adventure. All of its tools are extra-rugged, from the solid steel T-handles to the ergonomic pliers, which is a handy addition not featured in other kits.

  • Parts backed by 1 year warranty
  • Comes in a strong plastic case
  • 56 pieces in total

Brand Boulder Tools
Model BT4001
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Slime Power Spair

The Slime Power Spair contains enough material needed to fix literally dozens of flat tires, making it one of the best deals out there. It includes a heavy-duty 12-volt compressor that can be run through your cigarette lighter, so you’ll always have a power supply.

  • Inflates standard car tires in 3 min
  • 16-foot coiled air hose
  • Alligator clip battery power adapter

Brand Slime
Model 70004
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Tires

If cartoons have taught us anything, it’s that the first tires were square blocks attached to primitive wheelbarrows that were carted around by cavemen. That’s probably not accurate, and it’s likely that we shouldn’t get our information about history from cartoons.

In actuality, the first tires were strips of leather that were wrapped around wooden wheels on carts and wagons to protect them on rocky and uneven terrain.

Rubber pneumatic tires and steel wheels would eventually take their place, with the first patent being issued in 1847 to the Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson. That prototype never went into production, however. Forty years later, it would be another Scotsman, John Boyd Dunlop, who would actually follow through with a design for a pneumatic rubber tire intended for cyclists.

Dunlop was able to utilize the newfangled vulcanization process that had been invented by the American Charles Goodyear a few decades earlier. This process involved combining the raw rubber with sulfur, leading to a product that was durable, shock-absorbent, and resistant to cuts and abrasions. By combining vulcanized rubber with a pneumatic design, Dunlop was finally able to create a product worthy of riding around on.

For the first half of the 20th century, tires contained an inner tube filled with compressed air, housed inside a heavy-duty rubber shell. They were then reinforced with layers known as “plies,” and the whole thing was called a “bias ply” tire.

In 1946, Michelin created steel-belt radial tires, which were longer-lasting, more durable, and offered reduced resistance, enabling advances in fuel efficiency.

The future of tires will likely involve “smart” technology, which would communicate with the car to customize the driving experience for the road conditions at the time. They’ll also likely ditch air as well, and will instead be made entirely of renewable, recyclable plastics, or they may even ditch their traditional shape in favor of 360° rubber balls.

And while these new tires may never go flat, one thing’s for certain: they’ll surely find some other way to ruin your day when it’s raining.

How To Repair A Tire

There’s no more sickening feeling than when you’re flying down the freeway, only to hear that ominous pop and suddenly feel your car lurch to the side — and that’s before you have to shell out to replace the flat.

The good news is that, in many cases, you can cheaply and easily repair the tire yourself, without getting as gouged as the rubber on your wheel.

The first thing you need to do is locate the source of the puncture. Oftentimes, it will be easy to spot — it’s the part of the tire with the nail sticking out of it. Other times, whatever caused the leak isn’t still in the tire, and you may have difficulty finding the hole’s location.

If it’s not immediately obvious where the leak is, fill the tire with air and rub soapy water over it. Whenever the soapy mixture reaches the hole, it will start to bubble up as the air escapes. Mark the spot with a grease pencil.

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that you should never patch a hole on the sidewall. The sides of your tires are under different pressure than the treads, and patching them up can lead to a potentially-deadly blowout. If it’s on the sidewall, you’ll likely have to suck it up and replace the whole thing. Also, if the hole is more than about 1/4-inch in size, repair kits won’t be much help.

Once you have the spot marked — and the offending piece of metal removed, if applicable — then it’s time to start patching. Most kits have a tool that looks like a round file, which you should use to clean out the hole. Shove it in there and move it up and down roughly a few times.

Next, grab the sticky stuff in your kit and thread it through the tool that looks like a giant needle. Keep it centered in the eye of the needle, so that there’s an equal amount sticking out of each side of the tool. Then, shove the entire plug into the hole until there’s only about a half-inch of the sticky stuff left outside, then pull the tool straight out.

The plug should stay in the hole, like…well…a plug. You can trim or file off the excess, then fill the tire as needed. Voila — you’ve just repaired your first tire! Congratulations!

Now top off the tank, and would it kill you to clean off the windshield?

Tips For Prolonging The Life Of Your Tires

Tires are something you never give much thought to — until you see how much it costs to replace them. With that in mind, here are a few tips for getting more value for your money from your tires.

The most important thing is to follow all manufacturer recommendations, especially when it comes to pressure and maintenance. Get your tires checked and rotated every 6-8,000 miles to ensure that they’re all evenly worn. While you’re at it, have them check your alignment, too.

Be careful while you’re driving, as well. While it is satisfying to peel out at every single stoplight, it will cost you over time, as that really wears on your treads. Likewise, take it easy on rough or poorly-maintained roads, and of course be on the lookout for hazards while you drive.

Drivers who live in warm climates should pay special attention to their wheels, as hot weather can increase the effects of aging and impact tire pressure. Check your tread depth regularly, and don’t be afraid to replace them as soon as it becomes necessary.

After all, tires are expensive — but they’re not worth your life.