Portable Ramps vs. Modular Ramps -Which one do I need?

What Are Portable Ramps (known as Suitcase or Multifold Ramps)?

Portable Ramps are also known as Suitcase or Multifold ramps. Suitcase or Multifold ramps come a couple widths usually 30” or 36”. Lengths are from 2 feet to 12 feet long. Suitcase ramps fold once down the middle just like closing a suitcase. Multifold ramps folded down the middle and in half for a more compact size.

Weight Capacities

folding wheelchair rampWeight capacities are usually 800lbs for suitcase ramps which are smaller in size. Longer ramps or multifold ramps drop in weight capacity to 600lbs or less so make sure you pay attention when buying a ramp. Can it handle the person and the power mobility device like scooter or powerchair? Powerchairs can easy weigh 200 to 300 lbs or more.


  • Lower cost.
  • Quick to assemble.
  • Can travel with them in your vehicle.


  • Suitcase and mulitfold ramps do not have handrails. Manufacturers do not offer handrails. These are portable ramps.
  • The longer the ramp, the more flex the ramp will have, and it may feel unsafe. If a person in a manual wheelchair is being pushed up the ramp by someone, then you have the weight of the person pushing, weight of the person in the wheelchair and the weight of the chair. You need to total all the weights and make sure you do not exceed the maximum weight capacity of the ramp.
  • Ramps can get heavy so make sure you pay attention to the weight of the ramp. Example a 10-foot ramp can weigh 46lbs and 12-foot ramp around 52lbs. For the longer ramps, it is a good idea to have two people lift the ramp to prevent injury.

When to use a Suitcase or Mulitfold ramp?

folding wheelchair rampSuitcase and Mulitfold ramps are used for smaller rises. What does rise mean? Rise is the total height from the lower level to the top landing. Take a tape measure and measure each step from the sidewalk or floor to the top landing. Typically, a suitcase or multifold ramp would be used for a rise that is double the length of the ramp. Example a 5-foot ramp should be used for maximum rise of 10 inches. We recommend going lower because many scooters have a low ground clearance and can get stuck at the very top.

What are Modular Ramps?

modular wheelchair ramp outside of a homeModular ramps are fixed sized sections that bolt together to create a ramp to apply to difficult landscaped areas or higher rises. Platforms are level to give the person a resting area or to be able to open a door. Platforms come in 4x4, 4x5, 5x5 or 5x6 feet sections and can be bolted together to create larger platforms if needed. Ramp sections are 36” in width and come in lengths from 2 feet to 10 feet sometimes depending on manufacturer. If you need a larger width, 101 Mobility can help with that as some of our manufacturers do make 48” width ramp sections. This might be a special order.

I am moving to a new location. What can I do with my ramp?

At 101 Mobility, we receive phone calls frequently about people moving to a new location. The modular ramps can be disassembled and reassembled at the new location. We might have to add or change parts but that is no big deal.


Commercial property must follow ADA guidelines or local municipality guidelines. Some local municipalities will have different guidelines than ADA guideline, but ADA guideline is usually a good starting point. Please refer to the ADA Guideline for more requirements on ramps. 101 Mobility consultant can help you through the process.

commercial modular rampAdvantages:

  • Very sturdy and does not flex like portable ramps. Weight capacity is 850lbs and 1000lbs.
  • Can customize the design around landscaping to allow the ramp to land on driveway or other hard surface.
  • Modular ramps come with handrails to help aid the person who is still walking but needs a little help.
  • Widths come in 36” or 48” for commercial or to accommodate larger powerchairs and scooters.
  • No maintenance. Aluminum ramps require no maintenance. Wood ramps can become very slick when wet or ice. Wood ramps also require maintenance over time. Steel ramps will leave rust marks on your sidewalk or driveway. Steel will always rust and need repainting.
  • At 101 Mobility of St. Louis, we buyback our ramps on our discretion.


  • Modular ramps are usually billed by square footage, so the longer the ramp the more the cost. But given how long they last, they are much better value in a short time. This gives the customer peace of mind.