Child Safety Gates Reviews
You want to open the gate with one hand! Carrying the baby? A laundry basket? Groceries? Talking on the phone? The last thing you'll want to do is put something down because both hands are required to open the gate's locking and swing mechanism. All of the gates recommended below have well-reviewed locking mechanisms that can be opened with one hand. It's a complicated trade-off between making it difficult for a baby to open, while keeping it easy enough for an adult to open with one hand. This usually means the locking mechanism will require larger hands to grip and pinch/rotate/slide. As a result, some adults with smaller or weaker hands (like older relatives) tend to have some difficulty with modern gate locks.
Usually under $50. This is the first year the new Evenflo Easy Walk Thru gate appears on our list of best baby gates, and it's here for some really great reasons! The gate stands about 30" tall, which means that if you mount it 2-3" off the floor, it will stand about 32-33" high. It has no bottom rail, so is intended for use at the top of stairs, though we were also able to get it working very nicely in regular doorways as well. It expands to fit openings from about 29" to 42" wide, but is not as versatile as some other options (like the ones above) in the angles it can accomplish or types of surfaces it can mount to. It uses two screw-mounts on each side to permanently mount to most surfaces, including wood and drywall (assuming a corner with a stud behind it, or the use of heavy duty anchors). It can be mounted in either direction (left or right-handed opening), as the gate can swing either way. It includes a removable swing-stop bar that can be attached to prevent the gate from swinging out over the steps. We thought the lock release handle was pretty easy to use, and after a few tries can be opened with one adult hand, while still being too difficult for even our sneaky 3-year-old to figure out. Speaking of the lock, there is a handy red/green indicator to tell you whether the gate is securely locked, which is reassuring. Note that if you have an opening wider than 42", there are no extensions available that we are aware of. After 5 months of use, the gate shows consistently great performance, without any signs of malfunction coming any time soon. We do suggest that once you have the gate mounted in your preferred position, that you use something like a zip-tie or a bolt/nut to tighten the gate into your preferred width. This is because the width of the gate can actually be pushed and pulled when the gate is open, and this gets more possible over time. With a little zip tie to secure the two gate pieces together, the problem is solved forever. You can also go wild and drill a hole through both pieces and attach them to each other using a bolt and nut, but it seems like overkill. Overall, an excellent and easy to use baby gate with some great features! Interested? You can check out this Evenflo Baby Gate here.