Most baby gates are purely and distinctly made for indoor use.
So, what if you need to keep your baby safe outside on a deck, porch, or patio?
You will need a solution that goes beyond the typical gate…something waterproof that won’t rust at the first sight of rain!
An outdoor gate should be made with sturdy materials that won’t weather check or deteriorate easily and must be able to stand up to whatever Mother Nature decides to throw its way.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Baby Gate
When choosing an outdoor gate, you will need to consider both the material of the gate and the type of hardware that it is attached with, as you will want something that is designed to be weatherproof.
Also, you need the gate to have a safety latch that will not allow your child to escape but allows you to enter and exit easily.
Plus, many outdoor baby gates will need to be installed on decks and porches with stairs, so consider looking for the feature of a “gate stop” that only allows the gate to swing inward and not over any steps to ensure that the gate does not pose a hazard or create an accident.
How I Selected the Best Outdoor Baby Gates?
As I were researching outdoor baby gates, I quickly realized that there aren’t very many options on the market. In fact, it quickly became evident that there are only two choices that stood out for recommendation. These outdoor gates have received consistently good reviews from customers and also passed our checklist of strength and durability.
As I searched for the best outdoor gates, I only considered those that can be permanently-mounted and ones that are fairly weather-proof and tough enough to withstand the outdoor elements of wind, rain, snow, sun, and ice. I rejected pressure-mounted gates and those that tend to rust or break down quickly.
So, according to our research, at this time, I can only recommend two gates that I believe are adequate for outdoor use. They are the Cardinal Outdoor Gate and the Retract-a-Gate.
Best Outdoor Baby Gates
Our Top Pick: Cardinal Outdoor Gate
Why did I choose this gate as our top pick?
After doing careful research and comparing many reviews, I could see easily that it stands at the top of the list. I ignored gates with low ratings and was impressed at the top ratings that this gate received.
It is hands-down the best option for those that need all the functional capabilities, design qualities, safety features, and weather-resistance that an outdoor gate should have.
This gate comes in three basic colors – brown, white, and black.
It has a rust-proof, powder-coat finish that blends well with any outdoor decor and is made of lightweight aluminum and stainless steel parts.
It is sturdy and practical and is designed to be permanently mounted.
Interestingly, it can be installed at up to a 30-degree angle, in case the deck railings are not perfectly lined up.
Also, if for any reason, you need to temporarily remove the gate, it can be easily disconnected from the permanent mounts.
Technically, this gate is advertised as having a one-handed latch operation, although there are mixed reviews on this aspect.
Some have reported that they need two hands to operate it and that it is somewhat difficult to work the latch.
Though usually seen as a negative, others are somewhat glad that the latching mechanism is not easy for children to figure out.
The door on this gate is designed to swing either way, but it has an optional stop bracket so that you can restrict it to only open in one direction. This is particularly useful when you need to install the gate at the top of a set of stairs and, for safety reasons, don’t want the door swinging outwards.
Keep in mind that this door does not automatically close, so you will need to latch it every time you go in or out!
Though this is a waterproof gate, a few consumers have reported that the hardware provided tends to rust. In order to eliminate that possibility, you might consider purchasing some spray-on rust protector to apply to all the screws and bolts…just in case!
If you have an opening that is 42.5 inches or less, then this gate will work perfectly as is, but if you need to cover a wider space than that, you have options without turning elsewhere!
Two different sizes of extensions are sold separately – 10.5 inches and 21.75 inches. So, just measure your opening, pick your extension, attach it to the basic unit, and gain the extra coverage you need!
- Can be installed up to a 30-degree angle
- Optional stop bracket
- Three color options
- Extra extensions available for sale
- Can easily be removed from permanent mounts
- Hardware for attaching may rust
- Does not automatically close
- Instructions are difficult to understand
- Latch may be tricky to operate with one hand
Cardinal Outdoor Gate – Brown
Cardinal Outdoor Gate – Black
Cardinal Outdoor Gate – White
27″ to 42 ½”
27″ to 42 ½”
27″ to 42 ½”
|Need Wider Space?|| |
10 ½” extension
21 ½” extension
10 ½” extension
21 3/4″ extension
10 ½” extension
21 3/4″ extension
Another Option: Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate
Another option that may work for your outdoor baby-gating needs is the very versatile Retract-A-Gate.
Here is what their company says about using their product outdoors:
Retract-A-Gate has been extensively tested in wet rainy seasons and hot dry summers. We have also tested the retractable safety gate outside during a full northern winter with flawless results. With that said, we do recommend you bring the Retract-A-Gate inside during freezing temperatures (simply unsnap the safety gate from the brackets). Anything, including Retract-A-Gate, which is left outside will have a reduced life compared to only indoor use; but you can feel confident that the retractable safety gate will stand up well to outdoor use. One thing to be aware of is that some fading or degradation due to extended sun exposure is possible. Because of this, we recommend bringing the Retract-A-Gate indoors when not in use.
Though commonly used indoors, and rather expensive compared to other retractable gates on the market, this gate may be totally worth the extra investment, especially if you have a very-narrow or extra-wide opening (up to 52”) that won’t accommodate the traditional gate!
It has so many different and unique features, including:
- A variable width that works for a narrow or wide opening,
- A strong mesh,
- Automatic retraction,
- One-handed operation (although there is a learning curve for that feature!),
- Sturdy plastic hardware,
- Ability to unsnap the gate from the mounting brackets for storage or to move to a different opening,
- Can be locked open or closed,
- And a sleek look.
Plus, the customer service from this company is very impressive. In my experience, when I put too much pressure on one of the brackets and it broke, they were quick to send me out a replacement piece at no charge.
Overall, my experience with the Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate has been almost entirely positive.
My baby was unable to 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.
Please keep in mind that retractable gates are not recommended for “top of stairs” usage, so if you have steps on your deck or porch, this will not work for that application.
- Can use for any size opening
- Automatically retracts
- One-handed operation
- Easily removed from mounting brackets
- Not recommended for top of stairs
- Older/stronger child may be able to breach the mesh
- Can be difficult to open/close with one hand
So as your little one becomes adventurous enough to want to explore outside and enjoy your outdoor living space, you can have peace of mind that, with this unique baby gate, your child can have the freedom to play on your deck or porch without the usual danger. I hope this review helps you as you weigh your options and choose an outdoor safety gate that perfectly fits your situation.Happy Baby-Gate Shopping!
2 thoughts on “Our 2022 Top Picks for Outdoor Baby Gates”
I read reviews on another website about these gates and enough of them stated that the hardware began to rust after just a couple months. Has this been the case for other owners? Is there a way to prevent this?
Yes, unfortunately, some people have reported that the screws or latch hardware they have received does sometimes rust. This is a known issue which I have addressed in the review. It is especially a problem with the white gate hardware, but the potential for the other gates is there. Some people have used alternative hardware and others have sprayed the screws/bolts with a rust protector or weather-proof paint. My best suggestion is to avoid the white gate if this is your main concern, since the reviews seem more concentrated on the rust issue with that color. Please keep in mind, it is not the entire gates that are rusting, just the screws/hardware. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this.