We bought Lascal Kiddyguard when we moved to the new house, two years ago. Our son was over 2 years old and it was not really very necessary item on our shopping list but we wanted to have the gate just in case. It proved right as now we have another son and he is much more adventurous and having a stair gate for one year old is a must. Our landing and skirting is a bit odd so classic gate would not fit so we decided to splash out on this one.
We paid over £70 couple of years ago but I see that you can find it on kiddicare for £60 now. Installation was not too difficult and everything was in the pack. I had to reinforce plugs twice on the side where the plastic holders are. (Probably more to do with my DIY skills.) You can cover up to 51"/130 cm.
It is basically like strengthened horizontal roller blind. The good thing is that 'footprint' is very small so not much obstruction when not in use. The most important thing - there is no bar on the floor on which you can trip on.
Barrier looks a bit flexible but it is really very strong and reliable. The whole mechanism was done very cleverly but I would say that it is a bit overdone. There are two problems:
1. It is not very easy to open, even for adults which did it many times. You have to press, move and release button on the main roller. That will release tension on the blind. You start rolling blind but if you stop at any point before you reach holders on the other side it will block the mechanism and you have to press, move and release again... You have to keep the tension on the blind all the time. Not to mention that there is a special way to 'press, move and release' so you cannot do it in the first attempt. Not easy especially if you are on your own with the child...
2. When you open the gate the blind will roll back automatically as it is under the tension. That's fine. But the whole process of rolling back is followed with the very loud sound of roller. That's done on purpose so you can hear if someone else (kid) opens the gate. Not the best option if you don't want to wake up everyone during the night.
I know it is not easy to make it very safe and easy to use but I would prefer slightly easier mechanism and no screaming sound. Overall a good product which I would recommend if you are for 100% safety but don't complain that I didn't warn you about downsides.
...and now for something completely different...
Great product and I have just purchased another one for the bottom of the stairs.
The main reason I bought this gate is because it's not 'big and bulky'. It would drive me crazy if I have to open and close a standard gate every time I want to go up/down stairs (e.g. even if my child is asleep). I think the gate does fulfill this aspect very well as it's very discreet when the gate is open and will not get in the way when you don't need to use it.
The slight down side is that it's not very easy to close it. This is because of the constant tension from the spring to pull the gate back. It is easier to do it with both hands but I can still do it with one hand while holding my child in the other. The release latch is also not very easy to use and I sometime have to do it two or even three times to release the locking mechanism.
The fabric is fairly rigid so there is no worry of it tearing etc. I was more concern that the fixings to the wall will hold the pressure.
The gap beneath the gate is quite small if you install the gate correctly. I can not put my hand through it (only my fingers).
My railings were too wide for the supplied fixings to wrap round so make sure you check yours and the height of the gate fixings (download the instruction manual from their website).
I have read that some one said their child managed to open the gate. I supposed this is possible if they see what you are doing (same for other gates?). I don't let my son see how I release the locking latch just in case he learns from it.
Overall this is still a good product if abit expensive.
We bought a KiddyGuard safety barrier to use as a stair gate because space on our landing is very tight, so there is no room to swing a traditional gate out of the way. The KiddyGuard is like a vertical rollerblind, with strong plastic coated fabric. It can be pulled across the opening and hooked on to large plastic hooks fixed on the other side, and when it is not needed it retracts into a roll, leaving the opening clear with nothing to trip over. One thing to note is that it does take a certain amount of space from the opening because the rolled up gate is about 4 inches or so wide, and the hooks on the other side stick out a couple of inches. It needs to be fixed securely to the wall, but it was no more difficult to set up than an ordinary stairgate.
The basic principle is that you press a button to release the mechanism, and then take hold of the bar at the end of the gate to pull the fabric across the opening, and then drop the holes in the bar onto the hooks on the other side. When the gate starts retracting as it settles down onto the hooks, you can hear the ratchet catching. Once the ratchet has caught, you cant pull the gate forward without releasing the mechanism again, so once it is on the hooks and stretched taut a child cant pull it forward and off the hooks.
The mechanism seems quite sturdy, and after two years it doesnt show any signs of wear. The release button is stiff, so it is very unlikely that a toddler could press the button and even if they could, they wouldnt be able to reach the gate on the other side to take it off the hooks. Unfortunately this also applies to older children (or gran and granddad when they come to stay) so the temptation is to leave the gate permanently open. It is also a little bit awkward to open the gate from the wrong side.
One weak point is the fabric. Small things can be pushed underneath it, and I can imagine that if a child had a habit of leaning on the gate there would be a danger of stretching the fabric over time, although to be fair this hasnt happened with ours yet. If I had a dog, I dont think this would be the gate Id choose.
It is supposed to be possible to use the gate one-handed, but Ive never managed to do it. The slightest hesitation and the ratchet clicks, and then you have to press the button again before you can carry on. Also, you have to be careful that the bar doesnt twist as you fix it onto the hooks, because if you dont get it resting properly on both hooks it would be quite easy for a child to grab the bar and wriggle it around and either make a space to crawl through or wriggle it off the hook. If it does come off the hooks it will retract rapidly with a loud clicking ratchet noise.
The noise of the ratchet is supposed to be a safety feature to warn parents. You can open the gate silently by pressing the release button while the gate retracts, but I find it is almost impossible to open or close the gate without a couple of loud clicks, no matter how careful you are.
Overall, we are happy with our gate. We use it at night to make sure that the stairs are safe in the dark and during the day it sits rolled up neatly out of the way. It is not as easy to use as a standard gate though, so it would be a real pain if it was on a doorway that was in regular use during the day. Its main attraction is that it would be a good alternative in situations where it would be difficult to fit a conventional gate. We paid £55 for ours from John Lewis, but if you shop around you should be able to find one for about £50.
The Kiddyguard is a safety barrier which protects children (up to 24 months of age) from dangerous places. To be used in doorways and stairs. Width up to 130 cm (51).