Saturday, July 9th, 2005
Review: play yards for dogs and children
Take a close look at these two photos. Which one is a play yard for children? Which one is a dog enclosure?
Yep, you’re looking at the Superyard XT (top) and the Pet Yard XT (bottom).
When Little Miss exhibited the first signs of crawling, I went out and bought the first play pen I found, the Superyard XT (available at K-Mart and Babies R Us). I avoided port-a-cribs because they are tiny and have a cage-like feel to them.
The Superyard XT was easily set up in minutes. In those few minutes I began thinking about my purchase and wondering why I didn’t pay closer attention to the photo on the box. On a practical level, the gate is 26 inches tall, about 2 inches too
tall for me to comfortably step over it (opening the gate was even more
of a hassle). The play yard gave me a creepy feeling. On a superficial visual level it wasn’t baby-oriented. Stark. Utilitarian. Not for my child.
So I jumped on the web and looked at the manufacturer’s web site, North State Industries. They make quite a few child gates to block off hallways, doorways and such. Then I looked at their pet gates and did a double take as I noticed the Superyard XT [product page] looked remarkably similar to the Pet Yard XT [product page].
I quickly returned the play yard to the store. The clerk enjoyed a good chuckle when I explained my dissatisfaction with the product.
If I had no other option, I might have stuck with the Superyard. But, I resumed my web research and found a different play pen by another manufacturer that has turned out to be nearly perfect for our needs (sturdy, playful and sized right).
Pet Yard XT [amazon.com]
Superyard XT (for kids) [amazon.com]
After seeing the glowing customer reviews for this product at Amazon, I’ve promised myself to always read the most disgruntled, lowest rated reviews first.
Update: OK, to be fair, the Superyard does have a positive side. It folds up and is portable with a carrying handle. This would prove very useful when taking your child to a friend’s or relative’s house that hasn’t been childproofed or has an overly playful dog.