Over the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about car seats but rarely baby gates. While child car safety is an important thing, so is childproofing and safety around the house. I’ve recently been sent a few baby gates from Best Buy to review so you can understand some of your options if you are considering getting a baby gate. This is the first blog in a small series and today we’re going to look at the Summer Extra Tall Walk-Thru gate, which combines a few different options, including non-permanent mounting (depending on where you mount it.)
What is the Summer Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate?
As the name implies, it’s a walk through gate, which means that it isn’t a full swinging hinge gate that opens wide with a full door. Rather, the gate offers its own narrow door-style opening that you can open and close to go through.
The gate is considered “extra tall” which means the whole thing is about 3 feet high. The door itself might be a bit taller but the whole thing is tall enough for your growing toddler not to be able to climb out.
Best of all, this gate is suitable for parents in all housing situations, whether you rent or own. This specific gate can be installed using pressure mounting, meaning that you can install it without leaving lots of marks in the wall. It’s easy and not so time consuming to install. Once you have everything lined up, it might take you about 15-20 minutes. If you go the route of additional and more permanent installation (more on that below,) it might take you about 30 minutes. Please find out more about pressure mounted-style gates below and check the video to find out more on this specific gate.
Why is this gate so effective?
There are a few things I really like about this gate. The first and most important thing is that it is really simple to put together. You literally need no tools outside of a possible synching wrench which comes inside the box. Since the gate can be expanded based on the width of your door opening, you basically piece the additional sides together like a jigsaw puzzle held in place with metal push pegs. The Summer Extra Tall Walk Through gate can fit spaces as narrow as 28 inches and as wide as 48 inches. Use it effectively to block off hallways or the top or bottom of the stairs. A spring loaded door means that you don’t have to worry about closing it behind you. If you’re holding something, it’ll just pop shut behind you. The door also comes with specific instructions on which way it should be facing depending on where you mount it. Please check the installation video for a more in-depth look at how it comes together.
What is pressure mounting?
Pressure mounting a baby gate follows a lot of the same logistics that pressure mounting a shower curtain rod does. The gate is held in place essentially by the physics of the tension that exists between how you screw the stoppers from the gate into the wall. It doesn’t sound very secure on the surface but when is the last time your shower curtain rod fell off? Granted, you probably don’t put a lot of weight on it but there are 4 stoppers here and believe me, if you get that gate synched in good and tight, you yourself will have trouble moving it, let alone a 25 pound kid.
Is there more than just pressure?
Depending on how secure you feel with the overall fit (and where you’re placing it,) you may want to use the additional cup hardware that comes with the gate. For these, you will have to drill into your walls. These cups usually house the rubber stoppers and provide an extra line of defense. For the best safety experience, you should be using the additional hardware wherever possible and especially if you are mounting anywhere where a large fall could be involved (like the top of the stairs.
How hard is it to install these types of gates?
It isn’t hard at all to install a pressure mounted baby gate. I’ve referenced shower curtain tension rods earlier and I’d say it’s about as easy to install those, if not easier. With a curtain rod, you have to mount the tension while ensuring it’s straight. Since the baby gates are all put together into one piece, you only have to make sure the gate is standing up straight and not tilted.
Challenges you may face along the way are making the sure the gate’s door properly aligns and closes open and shut. If you have baseboards going along where you’re installing, you might find a bit of trouble with the way the door levels and balances, especially if the other side does not have an accompanying baseboard. However, it’s really minor and is just little more than a nuisance while you install.
Should you choose to do a full install and drill in the holes into the wall and the whole nine yards, it still won’t take you very long. We used to have a pressure mounted baby/pet gate at the top of our stairs and it only took me around a half hour to install tops, including lining the gate up and drilling the mounting cup holes.
Where would I install a gate like this?
This is the type of gate you could definitely install at the top of the stairs. You could also do it to separate a play room from a living room or elsewhere. However, for same floor installs, you could also look at something less obstructive if you needed to, like a retractable gate. The thing about this gate is that because it’s got so much bulk to it, it will hold a lot of weight pushing up against it. Whether you have one child, two or three that need the gate, they’d be hard pressed (when installed properly) to do any damage to the pressure mount at all.
Where shouldn’t I install a gate like this?
To be honest with you, there aren’t a lot of places I wouldn’t install this gate. I’ve seen a gate like this installed at front doors during the summer time, at the top of stairs and even around a laundry room. I’ve seen this specific gate even installed in the hallway at a friend’s place to keep their child in the playroom area. While I’d never tell them this, the hallway might be the one place I don’t really recommend you install it. It’s just that I think that there are better options out there for hallway installs and I think you’ll probably miss the space you’ve lost from pressure mounting a miniature door there.
What are the downfalls of this gate?
No baby gate is perfect, really. There’s always going to be some type of inconvenience to you, that’s for sure. The biggest inconvenience to this gate is the narrow door. Since it’s fixed into place so well, you’re going to have trouble with lifting heavy objects over it. Since this gate is extra tall too, that will add to the problems. Your strength will be tested the first time you need to lift that laundry basket or piece of furniture around it and because pressure mounting can be a bit finicky, you might not be so tempted to uninstall and re-install each time it’s laundry day. Should you pressure mount with the additional cups, it’s likely that when you get around to removing the gate, the heat and long term pressure will eventually result in your peeling some of the paint off your drywall or baseboard (whatever you have mounted it against) so tread lightly when you’re removing.
I admit, however, that these are probably the only issues. Gates like this make parent life easier overall, in my opinion.
Should I buy this type of gate?
I’d say so. This gate specifically is really safe for your child. The bars are the perfect size for them not to be able to get any limbs stuck in for to climb through. The extra tall nature of this gate also makes it hard for them to try to climb up and over. The door is difficult enough for a child to open that you won’t have to worry about them popping it open and falling down the stairs. This specific gate isn’t a huge money sink either and is definitely a more than affordable option for keeping your child safe.
Check out the full line of baby gate options available to you now at BestBuy.ca