The best Evenflo baby gate – Hartford Courant

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Which Evenflo baby gate model should I get?

Most parents know that the moment babies start crawling, you have to keep a constant eye on them. Homes are filled with rooms and objects that are not safe for little ones. However, supervising your baby or toddler at every minute of every day isn't always possible. Permanently sealing off or adding doors to every room or space that's unsafe for your baby isn't possible either. That's why a reliable Evenflo baby gate, like the Evenflo Secure Step Gate, that keeps your baby out of hazardous areas while making it easy for you to come and go is essential.

What to know before you buy an Evenflo baby gate

Measure your space before buying a baby gate

Before selecting your Evenflo baby gate, measure the space where you’d like to install it. Keep in mind that most Evenflo baby gates are adjustable and can fit into many spaces, but it is important to ensure that your gate will be able to adequately cover any wide corridors or large spaces you plan to set it up in. Likewise, if you’re blocking off a narrow hallway, it’s important that your gate contracts to a small enough size.

Pressure-mounted vs. hardware-mounted baby gates

When shopping for baby gates, you’ll encounter two primary types of installations: pressure-mounted and hardware-mounted. Pressure-mounted installation does not require any tools. A pressure-mounted gate has mechanisms on either end that push outwards and simply rely on the pressure created between two walls or surfaces to keep it in place. It’s a good choice for renters who are not allowed to drill holes in their walls, or for anyone who would prefer not to get the power drill out. A hardware-mounted Evenflo baby gate will require tools and more involved installation. However, this is the sturdiest type of installation and the safest kind for gates that will be installed at the top or bottom of a stairway.

Opening and closing mechanisms

You'll also need to consider the type of opening and closing mechanisms you want. Busy parents who often have their hands full from cleaning up toys to carrying groceries might want a gate that can be easily opened with just one hand. However, if you have a particularly clever toddler, this might not prove the most reliable of options. Other gates require two hands to open a more complex latch or lock. Think of your lifestyle and your baby's curiosity level when choosing this mechanism.

Also, ask yourself if you want a gate that closes automatically or manually. It can be a relief to have a gate that you know will shut behind you, without having to think about it. On the other hand, if you come and go through a space often, opening the gate each time might be frustrating, so you may prefer a gate that remains open until you choose to shut it.

Evenflo baby gate features

If you’ll be installing your Evenflo baby gate in an area that sees a lot of foot traffic, you will probably want a model that has a walk-through door. This is a smaller gate within the gate that is easy to open and close so that you can walk through without having to fully open or remove the gate. Taking the gate down or opening it fully each time you pass through creates an opportunity for your baby to escape into the hazard zone, so a walk-through door minimizes that risk.

Many Evenflo baby gates are adjustable, meaning that they can fit into spaces ranging from narrow to wide. The larger the adjustment range, the more spaces you can put your gate in. If you will need to move your gate from room to room throughout the day while you go about your tasks and supervise your baby, a highly adjustable gate will be very convenient. It’s also important that the adjustments are easy to make since most parents don’t have time to fidget with tricky mechanisms.

Evenflo baby gates come in a range of materials including wood, metal and plastic. Each has its benefits. If you prefer to keep all-natural items in the home, you might want a wood gate. Wood also has a sophisticated aesthetic and looks nice amongst most decor. Should you need to relocate your baby gate often, a plastic model might be best, as these are lightweight and easy to carry. If durability is your top priority, a metal gate is your best option. A metal gate will not warp or bend the way wood and plastic can.

Evenflo baby gates range in price from as low as $30 to up to $100. Those made of high-end materials like wood or metal will cost more than those made of plastic.

At what age should you stop using a baby gate?

A. As soon as your baby can crawl, you should use a gate to prevent your little one from wandering into hazardous areas. Babies typically begin to crawl at anywhere from 6 months to 12 months. Baby gates are recommended for toddlers up to 2 years old. However, whenever your child's chin reaches the top of the gate, it's likely time to stop using it. At that point, a toddler might unlatch a gate on their own and you must find another way to keep them safe.

A. Each year, a significant number of baby gate-related injuries do occur. However, these are almost always due to gates that have been installed incorrectly or left open. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines on installation and make sure to properly close a gate behind you. When used correctly, baby gates greatly improve the safety of your little one.

Which Evenflo baby gate should I get?

Best of the best Evenflo baby gate

Evenflo Secure Step Gate: available at Amazon

Our take: Thanks to a metal frame, this baby gate is built to last. Its hardware-mounted design makes it very sturdy and appropriate for use at the tops of stairs.

What we like: This gate fits openings ranging from 29 to 42 inches and has a latch that's easy to open with one hand. It doesn't have a floor bar, which minimizes the chances of tripping.

What we dislike: It makes a loud noise when shut, which can be grating to adults and potentially disruptive to nap time.

Best bang for your buck Evenflo baby gate

Our take: Parents who are concerned about a baby getting their head or hands stuck between the bars of a traditional gate might appreciate this alternative cloth option.

What we like: It is lightweight and rolls up when not in use, making it extremely portable and ideal for parents who need to move the gate from room to room. It has a pressure-mounted installation system using rubber stoppers that won't damage walls.

What we dislike: Installation can be tricky.

Honorable mention Evenflo baby gate

Evenflo Barn Door Walk-Through Gate: available at Amazon

Our take: Parents wanting a sophisticated-looking baby gate that will go with their decor can appreciate the farm-chic design of this model.

What we like: It has a convenient walk-through door that makes it easy for adults to come and go without taking the entire thing down. A stair stopper keeps it from swinging out over stairs, making it a very safe choice. Plus, it opens and closes quietly.

What we dislike: The finish is much lighter than it appears in the photos.

Julia Austin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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