Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate Review

Updated March 31, 2013
Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate

The Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate is a favorite among consumers who want a tall and sturdy stair top gate. The gate is easy to open with one hand for most and stands up to toddler abuse. A few say that the bottom of the gate doesn't always close securely and can be pulled open by a determined toddler.

SafetyProsEasy, one-handed opening, Sturdy wooden construction, Good height for tall toddlersConsBottom of gate can be breached, Tricky to install; poor instructions, Doesn't mount at an angle or in irregular opening

Basically, the base of the gate has to line up and slide into an attachment piece on the anchoring wall. If the gate doesn't end up in this anchor, a child can pull the gate loose at the bottom and possibly squeeze through or get trapped in it. Because some parents find this alignment frustrating, they either don't close the gate securely at the bottom or remove the bottom anchor, seriously compromising the safety of the gate.

At 32 inches tall, the Top of Stairs Plus Gate is higher than most baby gates. This makes it safer for potential climbers, although the gate's vertical slats make climbing almost impossible. There is no bar at the gate's threshold for parents to trip over.

Ease Of Use

Trickier to mount than some. As with any gate used at the top of a stairway, the Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate takes a little more know-how and closer attention to detail than pressure-mounted gates. The gate is designed to be mounted to parallel walls or banisters. This means that if you have angles, you will have to look for additional hardware that is not supplied by Evenflo and use it at your own risk.

Additionally, it is important to install the gate into wall studs or sturdy stairway banisters, not simply into drywall. Some consumers complain that the hardware supplied by Evenflo is cheap and may even break. Some recommend purchasing your own high quality hardware or turning to a professional for installation.

Once installed, consumers like the fact that the Evenflo gate swings both ways. If you want to stop the gate from swinging out over the stairs, there is a blocking mechanism, but some say it is not entirely effective. The gate can easily be lifted off the permanent hinges and stored when it is not needed. The gate also will stand open, which is convenient when kids are sleeping or when you're going up and down the stairs frequently.

Specialty Features

A basic wooden gate. The Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate is available in a light wood finish. It can be painted to match existing décor. The gate adjusts to fit openings from 30 to 48 inches, but extensions are not available. The gate can be used in any location with parallel wall studs or doorway framing.
There is a 90-day warranty.

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Our Sources

1. BabyCenter.com

The Best Safety Gates, Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated

Review Credibility: Very Good BabyCenter.com editors include six top safety gates in this roundup of best gates for various situations. The picks are based on parent reviews and editors' own experiences as parents. The Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate is described as sturdy and taller than typical top of stair gates. They like that the gate can open in both directions with a swing control option for safety. They warn that some parents find installation tricky.

2. Amazon.com

Evenflo Top of Stair Plus Gate, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013

Review Credibility: Very Good In more than 90 reviews at Amazon.com, the Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus gate gets mainly positive feedback, with an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Most reviewers say the gate is very strong and locks securely. There are a couple of complaints about the bottom of the gate, with some saying that their child can push the bottom edge of the gate out enough to get his or her head through. Quite a few owners say they have bought multiples of this gate, because it works so well and is so durable.

3. Target.com

Evenflo Top of Stair Plus Gate, Contributors to Target.com, As of May 2013

Review Credibility: Very Good The Evenflo Top of Stairs Plus Gate gets an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars in more than 100 reviews posted at Target.com. Many long-term owners of the gate say that it stands up to the test of time and the rigors of toddlers who shake it and abuse it. However, some say that it is difficult to close, and more recently, some say that there are issues getting the bottom bracket to line up, which can make it possible to pull the gate apart at the bottom.