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Review: Orvis Stand-Alone Gate (Blog 10 #oneaday)

January 24, 2010

A few months ago I moved into a shiny new house. And rather than unpacking, my first concern was deciding where Rory was going to be allowed. In my old house he was allowed pretty much everywhere. In this new house I made the decision that he would only be allowed downstairs, and when he was wet he would only be allowed in the hallway (vinyl flooring, rather than carpet). How was I going to achieve this miracle? Well with the brilliance of Orvis Stand-Alone gates of course.

My mum was very generous and bought me two of these gates for my house. I use one at the base of the stairs and one across the door to the lounge when Rory is wet, or uninvited into the lounge area when some of my more fussy, non-doggy guests visit. I have both the small and the large sizes. The small fits nicely at the bottom of the stairs and the large across the lounge door.

Pros

This gate is smart. I refused to have a baby gate, as I think they look ugly and temporary. This was a good looking alternative.

It is hard wearing and long lasting. Made of hardwood, the gate is heavy and robust. It is up to everyday, long term use.

Both sizes of the gate are adjustable to exactly fit the space you need.

Although not designed for use at the base of the stairs, it is easy to remove the protrusion on one end of the gate so it will sit around the bottom step (for stairs that are up against a wall on one side). The gate is also build well enough that it will sit securely without one stabilising end piece.

It comes in parts but is very easy to put together. It took me about five minutes to assemble the first gate.

The gate is not very tall (see below) which makes it easy to step over. Brilliant for not tripping over while carrying items, and no fiddly catch to deal with every time you want to move around the house.

Cons

The gate is not very tall, even on the large version it is only 20 inches. This could mean that if you have a keen jumper it would not be an effective barrier. Rory is 25 inches to the shoulder and he has never jumped the gate. It seems that the gate provides a psychological barrier that he will not cross. This applies even when there are people on the other side of the gate. I guess this would very much depend on the personality of your dog.

Delivery time varies according to when you order and the stock available. I received the first gate within two weeks, and the second gate came a week or so later.

Although, as discussed above, you can use this gate for the bottom of stairs, it is not designed for this use. If you really feel strongly about having a gate designed for use with stairs maybe you should choose another design on the Orvis website. However, I have had no issues with using it as a stair barrier, and there is definitely no loss of either stability, or look of the piece.

The cost is expensive compared to the baby gate alternative. I believe however that it is worth spending that extra bit of money.

Overall, the Orvis Stand-Alone gate is smart, hard wearing and robust. I would definitely recommend it to others, particularly those aware of making sure the look of their gate fits in with the house decor. With a dog, a stair gate is often a permanent accessory, and so it is important that it fits with the rest of the house (particularly for us house proud people).

You can buy one from the Orvis website. Prices start at £105.

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