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Used at the top of my stairs. Also bought 24" zip ties and put the ties in plastic tubing around my banisters for extra security. The zip ties I bought on Amazon are industrial strength. The standard banister kits are soooo expensive. Works perfectly with 2 two year olds and 2 large dogs.
The Munchkin Gate has been a great choice for my home. The control you have over adjusting between 29.5 - 54" wide is great, and we also love the height (36").
I purchased two (one at top and one at bottom of staircase). The actual installation took longer than expected: about an hour of measuring and finagling to ensure the best fit. The instructions were the worst part. They were picture based but you can find a good youtube video out there. Also, the product page for the manufacturer now has written instructions!
There was a lot that we learned about the gate that wasn't apparent from the cryptic instructions. The gate opening itself is 22" wide with another 7.5" on the sides. This is the minimum width you can set it to. It also comes with one small extension (2.75"), one medium (5.5"), and one large (11"). Additional extensions can be purchased from the company as long as you don't exceed two 11" extensions. Beyond that width, it is not guaranteed to be stable. The adjustment rods are 4 independent pieces and can add up to 2.5" additional space for you to work with. Measure your opening and then plan out the best extensions for your opening based on these figures. If you aren't sure, call Munchkin and they'd be glad to help you figure out your best option.
The installation was a bit trickier for me due to two things. We needed the adjustment rods to be at a different depth at the bottom than at the top due to the baseboards. The harder part was working around a hand railing on one side at both the top and bottom of the stairs. We ended up putting the gates on the first step from top instead of at exact top because it wouldn't fit with the handrail otherwise. After figuring out placement and measuring the openings we needed to set, it was pretty straight forward. We didn't need to add any extensions on (but if so the first step would be to remove the plastic plugs at the edge of each side of the gate with a flat head screwdriver, add small plastic adapters to put extensions together and reinsert the plugs on the outside of the extensions. I've seen the gate installed elsewhere. If you use extensions, it can bow out a bit at where they fit together rather than looking like a straight line. The adapters between the extensions don't seem that sturdy.)
After adding any necessary extensions, the next step is to attach the mounting cups to the wall. We didn't drill the mounting cups into the wall or use any wall anchors - the tension mount holds strongly enough for our application.
The final step is to turn the adjustment rods until it is tight against the wall. We closed the swing guard on both sides so that the gate didn't open and then placed it in the middle of the opening and screwed the adjustment rods until there was a tight fit between the wall and the mounting cups. Finally, we adjusted the swing guards so that they would only swing one direction (away from the stair risers).
The gate door stays open until you manually shut it. (Munchkin does sell auto-close models). This gate doesn't take a lot of force to close. It's easy for an adult to open by simultaneously pressing on the top and bottom of the locking mechanism. A lock mechanisms on one of my gates was defective: it stuck open about half the time, meaning you thought you closed it (but no, the gate could be swung back open without pressing anything.I've included pictures of the gate open with the lock incorrectly "stuck down" and one with what the lock should look like when the gate is open.) I called Munchkin to ask if they would send me a new mechanism because I had a problem. I assumed that if they didn't have the part, I would have to return the gate to Amazon and order a new one. I didn't complain to Munchkin about it, just asked if there were any parts available. The woman responded saying that she could see that this is a safety hazard and no, they didn't have a part available to send to me. But... they sent me an ENTIRE new gate to replace the defective one, free of charge! It arrived within several days. I can't say enough about their customer service.
I'm very happy with the quality of this product. My 2yo son pulls hard on the gates even though he knows he's not supposed to, and neither budges. (Note: On the top of the stairs we added vmaisi wall cups for a little extra stability, but due to space limitations we didn't use them at the gate at the bottom of the stairs: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072LYNT7N/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1 ).
He hasn't been able to figure out how to open it even though he watches me. If he does, I may switch to also locking the swing guards both directions so the gate won't move without doing both the lock and the guard. He isn't able to climb over it and our tiny dog can't get through the rungs (according to Munchkin, they are 2.2" apart). I have kind of tripped over the bottom track before, but since the gate is installed on the last step it hasn't caused an accident.
As far as looks go: the gate is more of a dark gray than a black but eh, I can deal with it. It looks pretty seamless with our black balusters. The adjustment rods are silver threaded - wish they were black too. The gate opening is off-center for us with no extensions.
All in all, very pleased with this. It looks like a planned part of the house rather than an ugly baby gate.
I have 3 boys, 3 dogs, and a pet pig. I’ve been through A LOT of baby/pet gates. This one is by far my favorite and the most durable. I own two of them! We have a fairly open floor plan so the fact that this gate can fit just over a 51” wide space right out of the box is even better! It’s fairly easy to assemble and goes up even easier. You can lock it shut at the bottom or latch it so the gate only swings open one direction.
This is NOT a pressure gate, the assembly instructions tell you to use wall anchors for installation. I have chosen not to follow the assembly instructions and set it up as purely a pressure gate (did not use wall anchors) for our dog and at the moment it seems ok.
The gate is heavy and appears well constructed. It was a nightmare to unpack with no few than 12-15 tie wraps that required cutting while being careful not to mar the finish during cutting. It does look pretty good once installed. Let's face it, it looks like an indoor fence - a very nice indoor fence. Way more attractive than those big plastic things available today.
There are many different configurations available which allows this to be used in openings of various sizes. That said, the tiny print in the assembly instructions was hard to read (let's consider the possibility that grandparents may be assembling this and eyesight may no longer be 20/20!). I felt the plastic pieces didn't fit into the metal rails properly.
Installation was awkward. The gate isn't secured until the unit is installed and properly adjusted. The gate can swing quickly and violently if you aren't paying attention when positioning. I would recommend using a bungee cord or string to loosely secure the gate section during installation.