Best Retractable Baby Gate 2017 (Guide & Reviews)


Not all baby gates are very versatile when it comes to fitting in small spaces.

For this reason, I went on a hunt for the perfect gate for a really tricky area in my home.

If you also have a narrow doorway that you need a solution for, than keep reading!

I’m going to show you some great options that are on the market that will help keep your baby safe without breaking the bank.

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First, here’s a quick look at my top five recommendations:

Image

Brand

Height

Width

Rating

retract a gate amazon

Retract-A-Gate
(Best Of The Best)

34”

Up to 52” or** 72”

Dreambaby Retractable Gate

Dreambaby

35”

Up to 55"

Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate

KiddyGuard

36"

Up to 48"

Summer Infant Retractable Gate

Summer Infant
(Best Bang
For Your Buck)

30"

Up to 50"

Gaterol Active Lite White - Retractable Safety Gate

Gaterol

36.6"

Up to 55"

Things To Consider Before Buying Best Retractable Baby Gate

There are several factors that I would keep in mind when choosing a baby gate that is needed to fit into a narrow space.

First of all, exactly what measurement do you actually need?

Keep this information handy as you search, as you will want to double-check the dimensions of any gates that catch your eye.

If the area is just too small to fit any of the standard size gates, your best solution is probably going to be a retractable gate.

This particular style of baby gate is designed to be quite variable in how large or small of an opening that it will block off.

retratable baby gates ilustration

Narrow Spaces

Something else you will need to consider is that retractable gates are, because of the way they are installed, permanently attached to the doorframe, so don’t plan to easily move one of these gates to a different location, as it won’t be portable.

UPDATED: The Retract-A-Gate can be easily moved to another location with an Additional Universal Mounting Kit. The gate can just snap in and out of the brackets with little effort!

Retract-a-gate universal mounting bracket kit

One last consideration is that when you install a baby gate in an already narrow space, you probably do not want to further restrict the amount of walking/carrying space through that area by having a gate that takes up a fair amount of room.

This is another reason why a retractable gate tends to work really well in an area like this, as it needs only a few inches of space when it is fully retracted, so as to optimize the usable space of the doorway when not in use.

How I Selected The Best Retractable Baby Gate?

In order to share the best available options for baby gates designed for narrow openings, first I searched online and read the descriptions of many models and paid special attention to their dimensions.

I analyzed the key features of the various products and noted their specifications.

Any gates that had very low ratings and reviews on the retail sites were quickly dismissed, as I did not want to seriously consider any products that other consumers did not have success with.

The Best Retractable Baby Gate In 2016

I also realized quickly that I had to eliminate standard rigid-framed gates, as I couldn’t find any with a slender enough profile.

Thankfully the market offers several retractable gates that work for even the smallest of openings. These attach easily to a doorframe with just a few screws. I looked for gates with a durable mesh and automatic retraction for ease of use.

As I have personally used the Retract-A-Gate, I also felt I could offer some unique insight to you, the consumer, because there is nothing quite like a review from parent to parent.

Overall, this research has provided me with the information necessary to come up with a list of the five top contenders for the best baby gates designed for narrow spaces that will provide you with an excellent barrier.

Conclusion: My Baby Gate Reviews Are In

Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate (Best Of The Best)

Feature

Price

Safety

Design

Height: 34” , Fits: Two sizes – Up to 52” or 72”. Instructions

This is one of the more expensive retractable gates on the market, but I found it to be totally worth the extra investment!

It has everything I looked for in a baby gate...

Including a variable width that works for a narrow opening, a strong mesh, automatic retraction, one-handed operation (although there is a learning curve for that feature!), sturdy plastic hardware, a locking mechanism, and a sleek look.

retract a gate amazon

The customer service from the company also really impressed me, because when I did put too much pressure on one of brackets and it broke, they were quick to send me out a replacement piece at no charge.

PROS:

  • Fits a very narrow opening
  • Durable, with a strong mesh
  • Automatic retraction, with one-handed use
  • Locking feature for safety

CONS:

  • Most expensive

Final Verdict

Overall, my experience with the Retract-A-Gate was almost entirely positive.

retractable baby gate

My baby could not find a way around it, although my older and stronger toddler eventually figured out how to wriggle underneath the bottom of the mesh since it is, after all, fabric and not entirely rigid. It was not easily breached however, so I was mostly impressed despite this.

Summer Infant Retractable Baby Gate (Best Bang For The Buck)

Feature

Price

Safety

Design

Height: 34”
Fits: Two sizes – Up to 52” or 72”. Instructions

This particular gate also features one-handed operation (although some reviews disagree with this), automatic retraction, the ability to fit into a narrow doorway, and a locking mechanism.

It has a very distinguished and classy look, but the mesh is not necessarily as strong and sturdy as I was looking for. It appears to have a fair amount of slack, at least on some of the units, so this affects both its safety and design ratings.

- Summer Infant Retractable Baby Gate

The locking feature appears to be one of the neatest parts about this gate. You lift up a small lever to unlock and push it back down to lock it. I am impressed at how easy it appears to be to operate this gate.

PROS:

  • Fits narrow openings easily
  • Automatic retraction
  • Easy locking mechanism
  • One-handed operation

CONS:

  • Not the most durable
  • Relatively weak “mesh” that does not pull tight

Final Verdict

The Summer Infant Retractable baby gate seems like a decent option if you are looking to save a little money, however the reviews lead me to believe that if you can afford the more expensive gate that you may end up quite a bit happier in the long run.

If you don’t suspect that the durability is a strong issue for you, than you may be happy, however I have a feeling that your baby may very well find themselves going under this gate a lot easier and quicker than in comparison with the Retract-A-Gate.

Final Words

It may feel like finding the perfect baby gate for your narrow doorway is tricky business, but remember to consider all your various needs and wants.

Each individual situation is unique and you must consider what features are most important to you personally.

I hope my thoughts help you evaluate your options and make the decision just a little bit easier!

Happy Baby-Gate Shopping! 🙂


About the Author Melanie Pierce

I am a homeschooling mom of 16 years. With the experience of raising five babies, one of whom is still less than a year old, I have had my fair share of baby gate wrangling. I enjoy sharing with other parents and passing on what I have learned.

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