I got it working using events and wrapping <q-side-link> to emit an event when exactActiveClass is present. <!-- link.group is a unique string --> <q-collapsible :ref="link.group" v-if="link.isCollapsible" v-bind="link"> <sidebar-navigation-item item exact v-for="sublink in link.sublinks" v-bind="sublink" :parent-ref="link.group" @active="openActiveCollapsible" /> </q-collapsible> ... methods: { openActiveCollapsible(ref) { this.$refs[ref][0].open() } } // in <sidebar-navigation-item> mounted() { if (this.$el.classList.contains(this.exactActiveClass)) { this.$emit('active', this.parentRef); } }