Garage door openers haven’t evolved much since they were first invented. Like toilet paper, it’s one of the few human inventions that hasn’t really needed to be improved upon. Most have a remote control, and maybe a light that comes on and automatically shuts off after a bit. And in recent years, most have moved beyond the creaky bicycle chain that used to drive our parents’ units back in the '70s, and now come in either belt or screw drive. That’s cool. But we’re here to tell you that if that’s all there is to your garage door opener, then your garage door opener sucks.
The Ryobi GD200 Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener seeks to change the game. Recognizing that opening and closing of the door is all some of us will ever ask of our garage door opener, the engineers at Ryobi designed a complete system around the GD200. So while the powerful motor and quiet belt-drive mechanism will run you about a hundred bucks more than your standard garage door opener, the GD200 has a host of optional accessories that, for a couple hundred bucks more, can convert your garage into the coolest, most high-tech garage in the cul-de-sac.
Remember the good old days, when an ear-splitting caterwaul would announce your presence to the entire neighborhood every time the door opened? Remember how the whole house would reverberate with a massive “SLAM!” when the door dropped shut? Remember how the unit would shake and vibrate violently, as if it were going to yank itself right off the rafters? No more. The GD200’s 2hp motor — Ryobi claims it’s the strongest, fastest garage door motor out there — turns a notched belt that makes for quiet, smooth openings and closures with minimal jerks and starts.
The basic GD200 unit (get it for $238 at Home Depot) includes the motor and belt drive, two remotes, a wireless keypad, interior wall control, and all the necessary mounting hardware. The large motion-sensor LED bank is bottom-mounted and casts enough light to illuminate your entire garage. But what really sets this garage door opener apart from its competitors is the add-on modules. It's a system so complete and efficient, it was named part of our Gear of the Year in 2016.
First and foremost, those of us who live in the South should absolutely, positively spring for the auxiliary P108 18v Li-Ion Battery (not pictured, $67 at Amazon), so in the event of a power outage we won’t be shut out (or in, for that matter). Fully charged, the battery is rated for 100 ups and downs, too, which equates to about 30 days of daily use.
With summertime fast approaching, the Garage Fan (pick it up for $50 at Amazon) is also a must. It’s adjustable, so whether you want to blow the hot air out or the cool air down, you can control the direction of the breeze. The Laser Park Assist ($54 at Amazon) is basically a high-tech version of your mom’s old tennis-ball-on-a-string; laser pointers guide your parking path, helping you snug up to the wall or squeeze in next to another car without fear of damage.
What DIY’er hasn’t struggled with a tangled mess of extension cords? Hook up the 30-foot Retractable Cord Reel ($70 at Amazon), and you’ve got three more power outlets and enough extension cord to reach just about anywhere in your garage. It's perfect for nighttime oil changes. Also great for auto repair and DIY projects, the Bluetooth speaker module (buy it for $67 at Amazon) lets you crank your tunes or favorite podcast from a connected source, such as your phone. It’s good for up to about 30 feet away. And since the opener is usually mounted in the center of any garage, the speaker sits in the perfect location to fill your workspace with sound.
Finally, in another nod to modern tech, the free Ryobi Garage Door App features personalized settings and the ability to remotely operate your garage door from anywhere in the world. And of course, the GD200 is compatible with smart-home technology like HomeLink and is Wi-Fi compatible, connecting to devices like HomePod, Alexa, and Google Home.
The GD200 comes with a lifetime warranty on its motor, and the belt is guaranteed for three years.