Types of Ramps: Portable and Temporary Ramps

Types of Ramps: Portable and Temporary Ramps

In a previous post we discussed the differences between permanent and temporary/portable ramps. In that discussion we provided the benefits of each and when one might be chosen over another.

Now we will discuss the various types of temporary and portable ramps in depth. We will delineate the benefits of each, when and who should use them etc. so follow along with us as we dive right in.


Portable Ramps

Let’s first define a portable ramp.

A Portable ramp is exactly what it sounds like, a ramp that can easily be placed down and removed when needed. These are great for homes where the residents don’t necessarily need a ramp for themselves but their frequent visitors do. These ramps also come in handy as a take-along ramp as they can often help with boarding a vehicle, transported in the vehicle with you and then also assist you when you reach your destination.

In order to determine which type of portable ramp will be best for you, you will need to first identify where the ramp is needed and what purpose the ramp will serve.

Let’s go through them one by one and hopefully we can help you clarify what will best suit your needs.


Folding Ramps

A folding ramp is simply a ramp with distinguished folding features; either bifold or trifold. The folding features encourage efficient and simple storage and transport.

  • General use: steps, raised landings and loading vehicles
  • Material: aluminum with non-skid characteristics

One of the most common folding ramps is the suitcase ramp.


Suitcase Ramps

Suitcase Ramp


The suitcase ramp got its name due to its identifying features which resemble that of a suitcase…it easily folds and has handles attached which make it easy and practical to transport.




  • General use: stairs and decks
  • Material: aluminum
  • Easily folds in half or splits into two pieces for lighter transport
  • Only folds lengthwise so it cannot be made shorter. (The trifold folding ramp (as mentioned above) is a great alternative as a ramp that also can fold smaller)



Telescoping/Channel Ramps

Telescoping Ramp


Telescoping ramps, also called channel ramps, consist of 2 parallel narrow ramps which line up side by side so the right and left sets of wheelchair wheels have their own “track” to ride on.




  • General use:
  • Material: aluminum with non-skid characteristics
  • Lightweight, easy for transport, and storage-friendly but not as simple to set up and align with wheelchair wheels
  • Not the best choice for scooters as the wheel alignment can present as an issue


Threshold Ramps

Threshold Ramp

Threshold ramps are a simple solution to eliminate a threshold, single step or non-leveled floor by providing a graded rise from the lower floor surface up to the raised threshold/floor surface. At times, in order to adequately eliminate a threshold, threshold ramps are required for both sides of the rise so that someone using a mobility device can safely and smoothly roll over the uneven surface.



  • General use: thresholds, single steps, or raised floors
  • Materials: often made from rubber or aluminum
  • Generally easily adjustable
  • Weather-resistant and non-skid
  • Simple to install

These are the most common temporary and portable ramps with their primary distinguishing characteristics. In following posts we will go through pricing and more technical buying guides for these ramps. Stay tuned!


That’s that for Types of Ramps: Portable and Temporary Ramps

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To safe and happy homes,


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