What I Like About This Baby Gate
I love the installation method of this gate. The parts that actually install against the walls are just narrow beveled strips that don't stick out very far from the wall. Once you've installed those strips, you just slide the rest of the gate down into the grooves on those strips, and it locks into place. If you don't need the gate for a while, you can just slide the whole thing back out again. Since the mounting pieces don't take up that much space, you get a wider walkway through the gate. It's also nice that you can still move large objects like play yards through the doorway without completely uninstalling the gate.
You can adjust the width of the gate by sliding the top and bottom rails and then locking it into the appropriate spot. Two side extenders are used for the widest openings. I like how this gate looks the same at any width - you don't have those long screws and adjuster knobs that are used to make other gates fit various size doorways.
While the gate itself is about 30 inches high, you can install it slightly higher if you want, which gives space for your toes to fit under as you're standing there opening the gate. The mounting strips sit up toward the top of the gate, so you don't have to adjust installation for baseboards.
The LOFT gate is lightweight, so it doesn't bang into the wall with a slam when you open it, but it's durable enough that my 25-pound son can stand on it and try to move it, but it doesn't budge. Opening and closing the gate is simple. Squeeze the two buttons above and below the top rail at the same time, and swing the gate open. When you push the gate closed, it gives you an audible click, so you know it's really shut and secure. That made it easy for me to teach my other kids how to be sure they closed the gate on our stairs. If you don't hear it click, you didn't close it!
What I Don't Like About This Gate
If you're installing on a half wall with a decorative top, or any other wall with an overhang, you may run into trouble. Installing the strips was no problem on our half wall, but when it was time to drop the whole gate in, we realized the overhang of the wooden decorative top was in the way. My husband had to remove the top of the half wall in order to get the gate in. That means we can't easily remove the gate. Luckily, the gate has a wide enough opening that this isn't a big inconvenience for us.
Consider where you'll install the gate before you buy. As long as there aren't any obstructions or overhangs, and you've got relatively even walls, the Munchkin LOFT gate will make a sturdy and attractive addition to your childproofing efforts.