Best Baby Gates: The 2017 Baby Gate Review

For people with kids, the child’s safety is the most important thing. You know too well that a crawling kid will injure himself running into a dangerous area. Wouldn’t you want to block those tiny humans like it’s a crime scene? I know I would!

So today, we review the best baby gates in our 2017 Baby Gate Review.

The Best Baby Gate of 2017

The Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard is exactly what it says on the box, that’s why this is our winner. It’s less of a baby gate and more of a baby fence. This product is extremely wide making it the perfect choice if you need to divide a room in two. It also functions as a baby gate play yard, allowing you to build a small fence in a circle with a gate for easy access.

Our Best Pick: Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate

You can also use it to create a barrier around items that you want to keep your children away from, like fireplaces or large indoor plants. This product is mostly for those who have open-plan style rooms and you want to keep your child on one side. It’s also suitable for pet owners. It can be used to build a playpen for small animals that you want to keep separate from larger animals.

The Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard is a brilliant choice if you need a versatile baby gate. This baby gate can be used to span large gaps, or as a baby gate play yard, or as a barrier between your child and a fireplace.

It has its quirks but we like how conventional this product is and compared to the other baby gates, this definitely takes home the title of being the best baby gate for 2017.

Baby Gate Review: What type of baby gate is best?

There are two types of gates: hardware mounted and pressure mounted. Hardware-mounted gates need both sides of the gate to be screwed into a door frame, walls, or a banister. Although it’s kind of a bummer to put permanent holes into your home, hardware-mounted gates are the most secure. That makes them a must for the top of the stairs and other precarious spots.

Pressure-mounted gates are like tension rods, and they don’t require screwing in. As long as you have a gate with the correct measurements, it should stand up to the force of being squeezed by the walls or door frame on either side. Pressure-mounted gates are easy to setup (no tools necessary) and can be moved from place to place.

In addition to hardware- or pressure-mounted options, baby gates also come in three other categories: swing through (a gate door that swings open), step over (no gate door, have to climb over), and those built specifically to be used on stairs.

Evenflo Position & Lock Tall Pressure Mount Wood Gate

If you want something affordable you have the Evenflo Position & Lock Tall Pressure Mount Wood Gate.

Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate

The Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate is easy to install and have a good height.

Summer Infant Retractable Gate

The Summer Infant Retractable Gate is for you if you want something with a sturdy construction.

Top 8 Picks: Best Baby Gates

Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate

Osprey Talon 22

This is a pressure mounted gate and must be pressured between an opening to properly function. When installed, the "2-inch" space between the bars is reduced by the pressure between the doorway or opening. The gate must be fully assembled within the doorway or opening to eliminate gap between the handle.

Also, included in the packaging are wall cups that can be added to the gate for additional security. All of this information can be found within the Instruction Manual that is provided within the packaging.

This Easy Step walk through gate is as 31" tall gate is easy to install and remove. It comes with an extension (extends gate by 6") and fits opening from 29" to 39". This is perfect for pets too. The lever style handle offers an easy one-touch release. This is a convenient walk through design and is perfect for doorways and staircases. It is easy to install and take down.

It is not my first Regalo product, hence I was satisfied with the high-quality build material of the gate – exactly as expected. The product hasn’t lost color, nor peeled, chipped or bent out of shape. This gate is good for a high traffic area, as you will not need to keep putting the gate in and out each time you pass through. The gate latch is easy enough for an older child (7 or 8+) to be able to open on their own.

Another point which I liked was the fact that all 4 connect points where separately adjustable, this allowed for me to securely attach it to a place where the upper connectors needed to be wider than the lower ones (as the lower ones connected on a baseline molding). This is also useful for banisters with a spindle where the top is narrower than the bottom.

Pros

  • Sturdy Construction
  • Good height
  • Width extension
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Latch is not easy to open
  • Gate opening is narrow

Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate

Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate

The 23" tall Position and Lock Tall gate that fits openings from 26-42" helps parents keep their children safe from common household dangers. Not only is this classic pressure mount gate easy to install as there is no hardware required, it also helps prevent damage to your home due to the robust non-marring rubber bumpers. Also, the locking bar is marked and notched for easy installation and re-installation.

If a little extra height is what you're looking for, this gate is a great choice as kids will have a hard time surmounting this obstacle. It also is wonderful to use with pets and dogs that can jump over smaller gates.

The units have an adjustable arm that allows you to fit them to a range of doorways in 1/2 in increments. I marked the setting I was using for each door so I can take them off and back on again without re-measuring and For some of my doors I added a small felt pad so they were snug to make sure they didn't get pushed out by the dog or me hitting them when I step over.I have not had any problems with breakage but they're light-weight wood so you can't stand on them or push them too hard. The locking mechanism uses a slider system with a metal ring that fits into notches on the top and bottom piece of the slider.

The slider pieces are held together with a metal ring so that the sliders move simultaneously. Locking the slider into place once the gate was in place was definitely a stretch and took quite a bit of effort to get the gate secure.

Pros

  • Good Height
  • Adjustable
  • Width Extension
  • Easy to install
  • Neutral Style
  • Affordable

Cons

  • limsy Material
  • Complicated Latch Mechanism

Evenflo Position & Lock Tall Pressure Mount Wood Gate Travel Daypack

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard

The Evenflo Position and Lock Wide and Tall Gate is a wide width gate for use in doorways, hallways, the bottom of stairs, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms, and playrooms. This classic pressure mounted gate is easy to install.

This gate is only acceptable if you're using it for a doorway that you do not have to go in and out of very often. You cannot step over this gate (easily at least) and obviously there is no way to walk through it. So that means you have to completely take it off and then put it back on if you need to go through the doorway that you're using it for.

This may be obvious to everybody, but it was not immediately obvious to me so I thought it might be helpful for there to be a review that clearly states this for everybody. We are currently using this gate for a doorway that connects our main room to our kitchen. We actually have a second doorway that enables us to also get from the kitchen to the main room, and for that second doorway, we will need to get another gate that is easy to walk through.

But for the one specific doorway that we do not readily need access to, this particular gate works just fine to stop our twins from crawling from the main room into the kitchen.

Pros

  • Easy to install - no tools required
  • Great Height
  • Neutral Style
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Flimsy Material
  • Poor Flexibility

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard

Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate and Play Yard

Regalo 4 in 1 Metal Play Yard encloses a large 19 square feet area. This can be configured into a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Not only can it be used as a Play Yard, but also converts to a fire place guard, gate enclosure for extra wide openings, stairway barrier. Includes all hardware. Space between the bars is 2.5”.

Providing a versatile way to keep your child safe, the Regalo 4-In-1 Metal Play Yard offers numerous convenient configurations for around the house. Made with sturdy steel construction for the ultimate in durability, the play yard is easy to set up and take down. The foldable design and walk-through gate make it hassle-free to use and portable for family trips.

I like that 95% of this is metal and the small plastic parts can be replaced if need be. This is super easy to use. It does weigh more than I had hoped for at 15-20 lbs and is taller than the descriptions. It stands at 28 1/2in high. The gate is 16 1/2 wide, each panel is 25 1/2in wide counting the joints.

The spaces between the bars are small at only 2 1/4in gaps. remember to read directions before pulling the gate apart as the plastic joints need to be loosened first. You can remove panels, which i like in under 1 minute!. The wall connectors are attached to the gate when you get it, so don't think they forgot them.

You can make this into an octagon/circle, square, or a rectangle, L- shape, and possibly a triangle! The gates opening is a little small, if you are blessed with nice size hips, but it is workable for me and my family that range from 125 lbs to 230 lbs.

Pros

  • Good Height
  • Slat Spacing
  • Installation Flexibility
  • Easy to use
  • ​Sturdy Construction
  • Adjustable
  • Less than $100

Cons

  • Narrow gate opening
  • Connectors / Segments are flimsy

Regalo Easy Open 50 Inch Wide Baby Gate, Pressure Mount with 2 Included Extension Kits

Regalo Easy Open 50 Inch Wide Baby Gate, Pressure Mount with 2 Included Extension Kits

Easy to install - This was out of the box and ready for use in under 10 minutes.

Notes: We have exactly a 48-inch opening and used both extensions (6 inches and 12 inches). If you have a space that is just under that - say 47 or 47 1/2, I don't think this gate will work for you with these extensions. We had JUST enough space to get the gate in place and tension it enough to hold in place. I believe they do sell a 3-inch extension separately, however. For the price, however, you may still come out ahead of other gates even if you have to buy that.Sturdiness - certainly sturdy enough for a pet and heavy everyday use.

We used both extensions and because of that, there is some flexing where they connect. Not sure I would 100% trust it for use with a strong toddler, but works great for our needs.Latch /opening mechanism - It is a very simple mechanism - basically a locking pin attached to a plastic slide piece. You slide it and then you can lift and swing the gate open. Since we are using only for the dog, the slide step is overkill for us.

To "fix" this, I simply slid the lock to the "open" position and used a white zip tie to keep it in place. Now, all we have to do is lift and swing - easy as pie, but obviously still works to keep the dog in place.Width - The walk through width seems just fine. Not quite as wide as our other gate, but easy enough for both hubby and I to walk through without turning sideways or anything.Gate portion - STAYS OPEN - this was a key feature for me. I needed the gate to stay open at times when the dog was hanging out with the family or was outside. It also swings open in either direction which was also important to me.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Good height
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Gate can stay open
  • Simple latch mechanism
  • Affordable
  • Less than $50

Cons

  • Width is a little narrow
  • 1” bar step-over

Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate

Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate

We have 2 inside dogs and then got a new puppy for our daughter. While this gate looks fantastic and is super pretty, my new 13-week old puppy has figured out the if he pushes hard enough, he can get through. He's been here for 5 days! The gate was bought for training purposes and since he knows how to open it, it really isn't going so well.

I can see this gate being great for babies learning how to crawl and to use as a visual reminder.

I will use it and will keep it up because it does help with the house training for the puppy. The pressure mount could be better. My husband does not want me to use the permanent mounting parts, but I think I'm going to. Our doorway is within the suggested amount, BUT we cannot make it tight enough where it doesn't slide in the doorway.

I will make it work because I do not want to buy another. It is nice where my husband is disabled and he can still get through the doorway without having to hike a leg to do so. Also, we had another gate up and it wasn't a walkthrough, one of our other dogs was able to stand right in front of it and jump it like a white-tailed deer; not with this one. This is a taller gate and I do like that a lot.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great Design
  • Easy to install
  • Good height
  • Good material
  • Simple latch mechanism

Cons

  • Construction not sturdy
  • Narrow walkway
  • Metal bar at the bottom

Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate

Summer Infant Pop N' Play Portable Playard

We needed a gate for many reasons! We have a cat who refuses to use a litter box with a cover/lid and a dog who likes to dig for treasure in the litter box. We also recently acquired a new dog last minute so we really needed a gate asap to control where he roams.

Plus, it is nice to have when the pizza man arrives as one of our dogs hates the pizza man; he is clearly adopted. We've been looking for a gate on and off for a bit, but I just didn't want to settle and spend a lot of money on a "baby" looking gate since we have no little infants running around.

The height of the gate is much taller than most "baby" gates which is perfect as one of our dogs is tall and still growing. We have it set up in the front hallway by the door entrance which is about 47" in width. We are using all 3 extensions that came with the gate and it fits perfectly and is still very much sturdy.

Do be mindful of the knobs as you are adjusting them to fit, if it's not tight enough or too tight then the door won't properly open or shut. However, adjusting the knobs are an easy task; the gate even comes with a handy little tool to help you tighten or loosen the knobs if set up in an odd space where your hands cannot fit.

Even though we do not have any little babies, I love that this gate requires a 2 step process to open and swings shut and lock back into place. So you can rest assured knowing that your little ones cannot open the gate. To open the gate, you have to push back on a little knob button and then lift the gate door in order to push it open, however, it is not difficult as you can open it using only one hand.

Pros

  • Great Height
  • Width Extensions
  • Good material
  • Great latch mechanism
  • Good design
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • Though the latch mechanism is great, it is a bit flimsy
  • Extension installation is a little tricky and not entirely easy

Summer Infant Retractable Gate

Summer Infant Secure Surround 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard

This is the best baby / pet gate I have ever had. I got it to go at the top of my stairs to keep my large 90 lbs Yellow Lab from wandering downstairs when we have a guest. It works really great and I like that when we are not using it I do not have to find a place to store anything. I am able to open and close it with one hand.

It was very easy to install and took me about 30 minutes to get it all done. This is the only gate kit that I found that includes any type of spacer kits.

All the other ones I looked at wanted to charge and extra $10 for a spacer kit. I did end up having to use a spacer on one side because of the shape of the stair railing post. I actually had to use 2 spacers stacked on top of each other, for the top and middle sections and only one spacer at the bottom.

The spacer is not actually made to stack but I got it to work but had to use my own 2 1/2" screws, because the screws included are not long enough for stacking the spacers. I installed mine a little higher off the floor than most people might because I wanted my cat to be able to still get downstairs to her litter box and water and food.

NOTE: The kit includes wall anchors to use if you are not installing into a wall stud (I got lucky and a wall stub was perfectly placed) but those wall anchors are not the best and I would advise getting some better ones from Home Depot or Lowes. When opening you really pull and put some pressure on those anchors and in the past, I have never had those types of anchors hold very long.

Pros

  • Less than $100
  • Great latch mechanism
  • Retractable
  • Good Height
  • Sturdy Construction

Cons

  • Terrible latch mechanism
  • Not easy to operate

What are the features of the best baby gates?

Gate safety depends on solid construction, reliable hardware, and the absence of entrapment hazards. Here are some specifics to consider.

Hang in there, we’re not done yet. You have yet to master the world of baby gates.

Height

Sturdy Construction

To discourage an adventurous child from climbing over a gate, the one you buy should be at least three-quarters of your child's height. (Gates must be at least 22 inches high.)

If he's tall for his age, go with a higher gate.

Sturdy Construction

Height

Look for sturdy construction and an even finish. Wood surfaces should be smooth, splinter-free, and with rounded rather than squared edges. Metal might be more durable than wood.

Some gates have a support bar that crosses the floor beneath the gate, which could cause tripping when the gate is open.

Slat Spacing

Slat Spacing

Safety gate slats should be vertical slats or bars less than 3 inches apart to prevent head entrapment.

But that could still be enough space to let an adventurous toddler get a foothold on the gate's horizontal bottom rail in an attempt to climb over the gate or go for a ride on the swing-out door.

This could lead to injury and could also dislodge and/or damage the gate.

Latches and Hardware

Latches and Hardware

Many gates have a dual-action latch, meaning that you have to push down on it to release it. This can be done with one hand. Try different types of latches in a store to make sure they're easy for you—but not your child—to use.

A gate with a squeezing mechanism opens by compressing parts of the gate, but this type of latch can be difficult to use, so be sure to test it in a store.

Latch Indicators

Latch Indicators

Many gates click to signal that they're latched. But it's always a good idea to make sure any gate is latched after you close it.

An alarm or other indicator is a nice feature, but nothing replaces checking with your eyes and hands.

Installation Flexibility

Installation Flexibility

Many gates can be mounted to odd areas, such as stair balusters, angled banisters, and drywall where there is no wood framing behind it.

But you might have to purchase an installation kit for these areas.

What to do before you purchase the best baby gate?

Decide Where You'll Use It 

Decide Where You'll Use It

A hardware-mounted gate is harder to dislodge than a pressure-mounted one. That's why it's the only safe choice anywhere there's a falling hazard, such as the top of a stairway. For less-dangerous areas, such as between rooms, a portable pressure-mounted gate might do the trick.

Size Up the Slats 

Size Up the Slats

Safety gate slats should be less than 3 inches apart to prevent head entrapment, or even closer to avoid letting feet or hands slip through.

Check Construction

Check Construction

Look for sturdy construction and an even finish. Wood surfaces should be smooth, splinter-free, and fashioned with rounded rather than squared edges. Look for a gate with JPMA certification.

Do Your Homework

Do Your Homework

Bring width measurements of doors or openings to the store. And try to avoid gates that will need to be at their maximum width to fit, because they might not provide enough security for an ambitious toddler.