When I had my first baby many years ago, I bought all the baby stuff I needed and didn't really worry about the aesthetics of what all this gear was doing to my home. I certainly did not give much thought to baby gates at the time.
After years of using baby gates, I am here to tell you about my favorite baby gate of all time, the best retractable baby gate I have found, and it doesn't require drilling into a banister.
When I started babyproofing with my first baby, I went with a heavy metal gate that I needed to drill into the wall and banisters to work.
I had four of these gates because I lived in a three-story townhouse.
The gate was not retractable, swung open and close, and was pretty ugly. But it worked and was easy to open, which was important to me. I lived with these gates for a couple of years, but eventually, they all broke down and stopped working.
Sometime around the time my second child was becoming mobile, I decided I needed something more attractive.
I started researching retractable gates, and I tried a couple. I ended up returning them.
Because even though they looked much better, they were more challenging for me to open and close.
It seemed with many of them, you had to press something down and hold it while opening or closing the gate simultaneously, and that was too much for me while carrying a baby and groceries or anything requiring more than one hand.
I think I returned to the metal gates for a while, but I didn't want to give up. I did more research and eventually found my favorite gate of all time.
Here is some information from the manufacturer about the gate:
- JPMA certified baby gate for the top and bottom of stairs
- Ships to all European countries
- Installs on your stair posts or spindles without drilling holes when used with our Stair Banister Adapter Kit
- Retractable gate proven durable for dogs and cats
- Automatically and quietly rewinds to a small roll
- Tough, washable, see-through mesh barrier
- Locks open or closed with childproof lock
- Installs in minutes with included hardware
- 34" tall mesh; fits openings to 72" wide
- Baby gate for children 6 through 24 months
- 100% Made in USA child and pet safety gate
- Great outdoors on decks, porches, boats & Motor Homes
- Easy, one-handed operation retractable safety gate
- Allows you to walk through without completely opening
- Retract-A-Gate can be removed and reinstalled instantly to alternate locations with an Additional Universal Mounting Bracket Kit
I finally found the perfect gate and installed it in one area of our old home. And we loved it.
This gate can be opened and closed one-handed. It has a locking mechanism at the top, which you can unlock, then grab the gate and open.
To close it, grab the gate and pull close onto the latches to hold it, then twist the lock.
Sometimes it might require two hands as it is a two-step process, but you get used to this process quickly.
What I love about the Retract-a-gate
This gate is easy to open, close, and lock. Other retractable gates I have tried bunched up or did not roll in nicely. They also required two hands to operate at all times.
Having a gate be easy to open is probably one of the most essential features. You will be going through the gate many times a day. I returned so many gates because I couldn't operate them efficiently.
The mesh is strong. My children or a dog are not going through it. I have had a couple for years now, and while they have gotten a lot of use, they still work great.
It looks good and much better than a traditional baby gate. It is very unobtrusive when it's open, and when it's closed, it's like you don't even have a baby gate.
You can see the edges, of course, but trust me, this looks much better than a metal gate.
Unlike many baby gates with a bar across the bottom of the floor, this one does not have a bar. I hate those metal bars, and they are easy to trip on.
You can use this at the top of the stairs. Even though the mesh is soft, it locks, so it is perfectly safe even at the top of stairs.
I believe ensuring your gate is as close to the floor as possible with only a ¼" clearance is essential.
Because it is soft, there is a small amount of give at the bottom, but it is not enough for my child to pull it up and scoot under.
This is a removable baby gate, so you could have multiple mountings in your home and move the gate around to different locations.
Or you can remove it anytime you don't want a gate attached.
I currently have most of my gates put away since we are getting out of the stage of needing them. I leave the mountings, though, so I can attach a gate when I need to contain my dog.
You do not need to drill into your banister.
Yep, this baby gate can be used at the top of the stairs with no drilling.
I use the banister kit in my new home, where two of these gates are installed.
In my old home, we just drilled into the banister. It wasn't ideal, but it worked.
I did not want to do that in my new house, so we tried the banister kit.
It works great, still looks good, and is easy to install. While it makes the installation a little bulkier, keeping the banister without drill holes is worth it.
I have tried many baby gates, and this one is my favorite. It comes in a few different colors and sizes. It can also be used for pets.
The company also sells many accessories to make this gate work for your particular space and needs.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this retractable baby gate!