My staircase is in the middle of my home so I wanted a retractable gate that wasn't hard to open/close. After reading some reviews, I decided to spend a little extra money and get the Retract-A-Gate. I am very glad I did. You can open/close the gate with one hand. It is very well made, tough, thick plastic. The mesh is nice. I wouldn't spend the extra money on the spacers as wood shims will do just fine. And, we had an awkward configuration so needed a certain thickness shim to attach this to the wall. We also have the banister kit which worked out well. One thing to note is that you need to attach the banister kit to something square. So if you have a round post like we do, you have to use the bottom stair as the "square" and shim behind it to reach the post, or else it will twist. The gate is quiet when opening/closing too. I really like this product. It does have a locking mechanism for the top of the stairs, but I am not sure I would feel comfortable with it there. My son already tries to lift up the fabric which is nearly impossible at the bottom of the stairs, but he might be able to slip under it at the top. That is just my opinion. It does say it is certified for top of the stairs use.