279 of 291 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2009
First, I want to say I have not yet completely installed this product but I like it already. The gates themselves are solid. They have nice bumper pads on the bottom so as to not scratch the wood floors in my home. The gate itself is extremely safe but a little difficult to open. If you have looked at other gates you will often find ones of parents complaining that their toddler figured out how to open it on their own. That would be extremely difficult here as it has a locking button that must be pressed before the gate is then lifted to be opened. The gate only swings one direction which is too bad and could've been fixed with a different style hinge. That sections themselves can be pressure locked into place, making this a very stable play-yard/large gate for your home. Sections can be easily lifted out and removed or added back in. This thing is very versitile in terms of configuration. BUT it has one really stupid design flaw that can be fixed by the consumer but should've just been done by the manufacturer in the first place.
The gate sections interlock at the hinge and then are held into place by screwing in a support bar. At each hinge, there is one side that goes up and ones side that goes down (male and female for simplicity's sake). Thus you need one male and one female hinge to fit together for the sections to interlock. The other aspect to this is that if you are hooking the play-yard up to a wall or you are using this as a large gate, the top bracket to hook this to the wall is also male or female (you get one of each in the box). The final piece to this is that rather than making each gate section have one female and one male hinge piece on each side, the company decided to make each gate section have two male or two female hinge pieces. Because they did this, it limits the configuration that you can easily do out of the box. For me, I want to use this as a gate with only 5 sections instead of six which made it so the exposed ends to fit in the wall bracket were both female... but I get one female and one male wall bracket... Likewise, if you were to buy the two section expansion for this product but only want to use one section, you would run into the same problem. Note that this will only effect those that intend to use an odd number of gate sections!!!
On a related note, the reason for this could be that the hinge piece are not "ambidextrous." Meaning that they can fully fold in on each other one way but not the other (you are limited to a little larger than 90 degree angel I believe). So, the above issue might be there so that the gate can fold up all neat and nice to be stored. If that is the case, I supposed it makes sense...
The hinge pieces are held in place by a single screw on the bottom of the gate section. You can simply unscrew these and swap them out with the gate piece you don't intend to use. This took me only a few minutes but it took me a while to figure it out at first. If the above reason I am theorizing is correct, the manufacturer could've simply thrown two of each top bracket in to save the consumer a lot of trouble. This would not help those making this into an enclosed playyard using an odd number of gate sections but I have a feeling that issue is a lot less prevelent and a lot easier to simply cope with.
In the end, this is a solid product and much cheaper than some of its competitors (like the Kidco Configure Gate which is about twice as much for the same number of gate sections). Highly recommended.
90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
I looked at so many playards for my little one. I almost bought one of the plastic playards with toys and music until my husband noticed in the photos that there were places that could act as little footholds for a curious climbing baby. And I also read reviews to that effect--that their little one were able to climb over their playpens. With that in mind, this is the only playard I found that was truly baby proof. They also make this same playard in metal for a little cheaper. We went for the wood because we thought it would be more forgiving should our daughter fall into it while playing. Here are the pros and cons:
2. very well-made and nice smooth wood. very much like her crib.
3. it is extra tall so when she is standing she has to reach over her head to touch the top railing which is wonderful! most playards and her crib included--she is a head taller than the top which always worries me that she is going to climb over the top
4. VERTICAL BARS -- theres no place for her to get a foothold to climb out
5. You do not have to put it in a circle formation--you can attach it to walls. You can also get 2 panel extenders for $50.
6. Arrives assembled
7. You can take panels off if you need to shorten it
1. Gate is cumbersome but not terribly--def not a deterrent from buying.
2. If you plan to do the circle formation, you many need to buy the extenders because otherwise it could be a little small--maybe not much bigger than a pack n play
All in all, this was worth every penny. Definitely spend a little more and get something that will last and keep baby safe. The fact that it's extra tall, sturdy, and that my daughter is unable to get out or hurt herself on this playard is well worth it. Just like with cribs, children have been seriously injured with faulty playards so finding a good one is important.
My child is turning out to be quite the climber--but cannot get over this gate so the extra height and vertical bars are a great feature and I'm so glad to have chosen this product. Also, the cumbersome gate is also great because my little one cannot figure out how to get it open--so what I thought was a con is actually a pro!
118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2008
We installed this product along an L shaped wall to create a play area for our 19 month old. The area is about 32 sq feet in size, and accommodates a small table with 2 chairs, and several of his toys. The installation took less than 3 hours, and that was with my 19 month old "helping". Without his "help", it would have been a couple hours at the most.
The product was fairly easy to install, just be sure to install the screws into the studs behind the drywall, or use some heavy duty drywall anchors if that is not an option. We have used this gate only for about a week now, so there's not much I can say for durability just yet. However, the first impressions are good. The product looks solidly built, and can be easily to set up to any shape or design you'd like without the need for even a screw driver (apart from the ends that are secured to the wall).
I would have given it 5 stars rather that the 4 I gave it, if it weren't for the door. The door does not swing open a full 180 degrees, it only opens 90 degrees. My son have already started pushing on the open door, and I suspect that it is only a matter of time before it will either break off or come apart. Then again, I could be wrong, and it might be sturdy enough to survive the abuse; only time will tell.
[Update on 05/14/08] After several months of use, my (positive) opinion of this product has not changed. In addition, my worries about the door have so far been unfounded. The door has survived the abuse from my son without any problems. At this point I would gladly rate this product with 5 stars, unfortunately it does not look like there is a way for me to update my initial rating.
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2011
I love this gate/fence system. I purchased another one that was plastic and it did not live up to my expectations despite the good reviews - so back it went. This is VERY sturdy. I have two that I connected to make a larger play area for my daughter, but I currently have them separated with her toy boxes and an ottoman as the "connection" between the gates. One set has 5 panels and the other has 7 panels (the 5 panels in a line is a little easy for her to move/knock over, I recommend having at least 6 if it is going to be in a line formation). Eventually she will be able to move it so I will then connect one end together and only have the opening where the toy boxes are (until she learns to climb over the toy boxes I guess!). Provided she isn't too tired or fussy, she will play in there by herself for up to an hour or more allowing me to get some chores done and I never worry about her getting out - although I don't think I am brave enough to go take a shower or something and leave her alone in there for 15-20 minutes without checking on her. She is 14 months old and can't quite walk yet, but she pulls up on the rails/slats and walks along the fence.
Here's kind of a break down of the different things I was looking for in a gate/fence system:
Simple Connection - Because we have such a large living room, I knew I'd need more than one gate to enclose the entire space. Connecting two or more together is so easy! The plastic one we got first you had to bend (top to bottom, like in half almost) in order to separate the panels to change the number of panels or add a panel/extension. It was already warped out of the box, like someone else had already had it and tried to bend it to adjust the panels, or maybe it is manufactured like that. This one is so simple with the connectors that loosen and tighten and just pull down on it to separate and the panels come apart so easily - but not so easily that a baby/toddler would be able to pull down the slat to remove it and separate the panels, it requires a little bit of muscle to pull the connector slat down and out. Being able to connect multiple gates was very important to me.
Sturdiness - The system is very sturdy, which is also important. My sister often will sit on it (like sitting on the edge of the couch or something, but on the fence rail) and it hasn't ever buckled under her weight (although it always makes me nervous when she sits on it) and she will balance on it with both feet off the floor. Granted, she doesn't weight a LOT, but she's still a full grown adult!
Climbing prevention - Climbing is another issue I was concerned about-I don't think my daughter will be able to climb this one because of the vertical slats. She puts her feet through the slats like she wants to climb, but since there aren't any horizontal slats, I don't think she'd be able to get a foothold to initiate lifting herself over.
Play area - The only downside is the size of the play area of just one by itself. Maybe I am spoiling my child, but I want her to be able to have as much play area as possible, I mean, we have a huge living room, so we might as well use it all! We currently have two connected and I plan on getting another one so that I can make a little bit larger area and have a rocking chair in there so when my new baby arrives in a couple of weeks I can be in there with her when she isn't feeling like playing alone.
Weight - It is a little heavy, especially with two of them together, but if you want something sturdy, it is going to have a little weight to it. It is light enough that (when I'm not pregnant) I could lift it into the car and take it with me, but I'd have to separate the two and carry them separately if I wanted to bring both.
Height - this one is 29 inches tall, which is taller than some of the other ones out there. I think that will also help to prevent the climbing.
Gate - the gate is simple enough that I can open it with one hand (press down the button with the thumb and lift the gate at the same time to open), but complicated enough that I don't think my daughter will be able to figure it out anytime soon. The gate opening itself isn't very wide, 14 inches from the inside of the hinge to the inside of the latch (15 inches from the two inside slats), but it isn't like it is in a doorway where I'd be in and out of it all the time carrying laundry or other stuff and need a wider opening. Once I am in there, I usually stay in for a while with my daughter. Also, the gate has an automatic close feature as long as it isn't opened all the way it will swing closed and latch.
Price - the other downside is the cost. It isn't one of the cheapest gate/fences out there. Ranges from $100-$120 on amazon, but qualifies for free shipping and of course no tax, so that is nice. The other one I got (the plastic one) was around $60, so for me, all of the pros of this one definitely outweighed the con of the price.
That is all I can think of at the moment! Hope it helps!
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2013
The product is well built and easy to add/remove sections. The gate is relatively narrow; about 15 inches wide. For casual use, getting in and out is no problem. For heavy use or if you are above average in girth, this gate may cause issues.
I replaced the gate with one from their Supergate product, which is 25" wide. I was able to interchange the gate in panels from both products, even though they are not listed as being compatible.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2012
I had more than 12' to span, so I needed to purchase this along with an additional section (2 pieces) to span my living room.
For the most part this product is OK. I made it work in our space to close off our living room from the dining room.
The cost of this unit is much less than other similar ones. I was OK with modifying parts of this baby fence to make it work, but others who are not handy may want to consider some of my points here.
The overall metal construction is good. It feels pretty sturdy. The gate mechanism is decent, most adults can work the mechanism with 1 hand. The gate requires pressing a button on the gate post and then lifting up on the door to unhook it. My baby (1yr old) would certainly not be able to open this, and the door is sturdy enough for her to press and push on it without causing any trouble. Also I have this on a hardwood floor, and the feet joining the sections have adequate cushion to protect the surface. However, some adults will get frustrated here as it does take some practice to open.
However there are some minor issues to consider.
First of all, spanning a long distance does not make for a stable fence. This is probably not a shortfall of this product in particular; after some distance the structure just is not rigid enough to stand up to a baby or toddler who will press / push against it. Even if you purchase additional sections and plan on creating a few angled sections, keep in mind that on a smooth floor, most babies can push and flex a fence like this if the span is very long. I have this on hardwood floor making it more of a challenge. I you have a carpeted area, the span could probably be a bit longer, but there is point where the length and mass of the structure works against you.
The sections are designed so that they can only be used in groups of 2 (even amount of sections). Each singular section is made with either 2 top or 2 bottom hinges.
The brackets which attach to the walls seem OK, but I am not convinced they will withstand aggressive toddler abuse. Each side gets a top wall mount, and then a lower one which is attached to the post. I think I would feel better about this if there were 3 connection points on the wall instead of 2. But also remember I am spanning more than 13' so as the length of the fence increases so does the leverage a baby has to move the whole structure.
There is a small flaw in how the fence sections are made (needing even number of sections) and the wall attachments. It it not easy to describe ... but by design one side will fit very securely due to that section having an integrated bottom-cap to reinforce the post. The other side does not have this and requires adding a separate (included) cap which doesn't quite tie the post bottom to structure of that section. The included cap also doesn't screw into the post it is meant for, adding to its flimsy design. I think I also remember this cap not having good cushion to protect hardwood floor.
HACKS to make this work:
First: I was not satisfied with the flex on this long span. The leverage my baby has could have easily caused trouble as she climbs up and presses against it. To resolve this, I got some super strong thread from the fabric store, and sowed 3-4 sections of the fence directly to the edge of an area rug on the baby's play area. Believe it or not, this adds an incredible amount of strength to long spans, and prevents baby from flexing the fence. If you do not have a rug you could try using an inexpensive runner for this. If you have carpet on your floor and do not mind putting screws into the subfloor, I would also suggest getting some brackets from home depot and fastening the fence in a few locations to add strength.
Second: If you need to use an odd number of sections, you will need to do some slight modification to the odd section. The ends come off easily with a screw driver. Detach the needed joints from an unused section and attach them to the end of your odd section.
Third: One side seems a bit flimsy by the wall due to how the post needs a separate included cap that doesn't attach well. If you have a left over section as I did, I would suggest removing one of feet from that and screwing it to the bottom of the post. It might look funny, but screwing it in adds a lot of strength and also protects hardwood floors better.
I hope this helps. Seems like a quality product and I would buy this again -- but I am rather handy and don't mind saving some money at the expense of modifying things to make them work for me.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2012
I'm one of those very particular, overly-analytic consumers who researches until the end of days before making a purchase, a condition exacerbated by concern for the safety of my child. Safety gates in critical areas of our home amounted to hours of pouring over customer reviews on Amazon and other retailer sites, editorial reviews on non-commercial blog sites and conversations with family and friends who've been through this before me.
The exhaustive research led me here, to the North States SY 3 in 1. And after purchasing this last November and installing at the top of our staircase to close off a large second floor loft as a playroom, I couldn't be more pleased with my decision.
We attached one end of the gate to a banister, using the KidCo banister adapter kit. The gate makes a large semi-circle that encloses the play space from the rest of the upstairs, then terminates with 2 of the sections firmly wedged behind a large heavy couch.
This gate has proven to be extremely secure, not budging when our 27-pound 13-month old shakes and pulls on it. The door latch, which closes with a nice audible click at both the top and bottom of the frame, is very easy to open one-handed. It seems fairly future proof, however, as it requires a very specific angle of pressure (and a pretty deliberate thumb-push) to disengage. The door also sticks open at 90 degrees, but with a very gentle nudge, swings closed and snaps securely shut.
We have the wood-tone version of the gate, and the photos don't do it justice. It's not at all cheap looking, and the wood is not your garden-variety per-fab particle board. While the wood on our staircase and banisters are slightly lighter in color, it still looks very much an intended part of our decor. Family and friends have doled out numerous compliments...and my wife and I love the way it enhances instead of detracts from our decor. Yes, it's a baby gate, and we're not looking for a feature spread in Better Homes and Gardens, but it really does look like it belongs.
Installation took a couple of hours, mainly because I was hardware-mounting to a banister. The gate sections were very easy to configure and attach to each other. I would have liked to see North States include better wall-mounting hardware, as the package contained only some very short screws and a cheap bracket. It wasn't an issue for us, with our couch serving as a solid anchor on one end, but for those wanting to attach securely to wall studs, you may want to pick up some larger wall screws.
But again, I can't rave enough about this purchase and this gate.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2010
I ordered two of these gates to enclose an area for a litter of puppies that I have currently, and later to use to divide the house to contain dogs to certain areas if I have guests or want to work in a room undisturbed by the dogs for a little while. I like the flexibility to use them as a single "play pen" set up, and also to use them in a straight line as a walk-through gate.
I was expecting white, and was willing to accept white because the price was better than I could find elsewhere. I was actually thrilled when they arrived and they are really an off-white/light beige. It works much better for me, so I'm very happy with them, but be aware that the color might not be what you expect from the pictures!
The gates are sturdy, heavy duty, and they articulate in both directions at every joint independently, so you can actually zig=zag them. As a result, they are very stable even when set up in a sort of straight line without being bolted to the wall. They would not, in that case, contain a determined child or dog, but for my Bassets, they work perfectly even without being connected to the wall.
For people buying to contain dogs - a couple of nice features. The uprights are round and tubular - they are easy to keep clean, and much sturdier than an ex-pen. Also, since there are no cross-pieces, dogs are protected from getting their paws stuck as they sometimes do in xpens, and there's nothing for the dog to get purchase on to climb over the barrier.
The "gate" portion that opens is pretty narrow (about 17 inches wide). I'm a medium sized person, and I sort of turn a bit to fit through comfortably. A large person might have an issue with getting through the gate. The other thing to note is that the mechanism for unlatching the gate is a push button on top, and then a slight lift and swing. The push button is VERY stiff. It is starting to be easier to handle now, after several weeks of use - but in the beginning, I really had to use two hands to open the gate - one to push on the button, one to swing open. This could be an issue for mothers of small children who might be carrying things going through the gate. It required some juggling from me when I was carrying puppy supplies.
All in all, I really like the gate, and I would probably buy one again if I were in the market. I'm hoping, of course, not to be in the market for a while, since I hope these will hold up nicely for the long run.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2011
This fence is very attractive with a nice latched door. The only problem is it is NOT meant for outdoors. It rusted in a couple of months. When I called the company they informed me that it was NOT meant to be outdoor. It says " indoor outdoor" in description, but they said they didn't intend for outdoor. So if you are planning on indoor only, you will be quite satisfied.
47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
We bought this gate a few days ago to replace another extra wide gate our son broke through after one year. Our previous gate was a Summer Infant Sure and Secure Super Wide Gate. It was a nice gate but the fabric/mesh design was not strong enough and the fabric/mesh over the gate's door was secured with velcro. Once our son found out about this he would just undo the velcro and walk through the door.
So we decided to go for an all metal gate and went with this one based on some positive reviews. Overall it is a good gate but I would warn you of the following:
1) The instructions were not very good at all. They were minimal at best and could have been better thought out.
2) If you want to mount it to a wall as we did, then the B Side upper mount should be threaded in order to create a better connection like all the other threaded upper mounts. Why would they leave this most critical piece without a threaded top? It made no sense and one of our mounted sides is only secure because of a pressure mount. If you mount yours to a wall you'll know what I'm referring to when you try to mount it.
3) The door to this gate has a very flimsy locking mechanism and I'm not sure how long it will last with daily use. We're keeping our fingers crossed and will update this when it goes.