“ Brand: Jane / Type: Pram & Pushchair Travel System - Single Seat „
From the outset this looks like the 'daddy' of pushchairs - three different components - the car seat, the one that is in effect a pram, and a pushchair. All of which are interchangeable and reversable (can face forwards or backwards) and easily switched between each. A pushchair that is also a transformer? I was immediately 'sold'.
Unfortunately, it also comes with a hefty price tag - we paid nearly £650 for the complete set (it is available with as many of the three components as you like, so long as you have the main chasis, so you could go for a cheaper option).
Being a new parent, we studied a lot of pushchairs before making our decision and purchasing this one. Looking back - I wish we had gone for a cheaper effort as out baby (9lbs 6oz at birth) barely fitted in it for more than six months, especially the 'pram' part - not even room to move her legs. She also grew out of the car seat and we had to buy another within the first 9 months. I kind of feel we didn't get the most out of our money.
The chasis is also very heavy - we test drove it in the shop and it didn't seem too bad, but having folded it up and lugged it in and out of the car a few times (it is bulky even when folded up) - we wish we had gone for a lighter model too. My wife really struggled with it.
The three wheels are a good idea though, it makes steering very easy, and the fact that you can have your baby either facing you or facing away whilst in motion is a bonus. It is also very sturdy - so I would expect it to last for a second or third arrival.
I owned the Jane Nurse Dakar when I had my first little girl and I loved every minute of it so I was gutted when my other half had a car accident and wrote off our car and the buggy that had been in the boot! Lucky for us our insurance paid out and he treated me to the Jane Slalom Reverse with matrix car seat.
~~ What is it? ~~
The Jane Slalom R is basically the previous Jane Slalom Pro but with a reversible seat and a newer improved lie flat car seat. It's basically a big 3 wheeler that can be used off road or on any terrain of your choice (terrific through snow!) It can be parent facing or forward facing so you have the choice to watch what your baby is upto or let them explore and see new faces. The Matrix part in the title refers to the unique matrix lie flat or sit up car seat that is compatible.
~~ Why I love it ~~
The Jane Slalom R is almost everything I have looked for in a buggy for my two little girls as it's perfect for long walks but still easy enough to push through a busy shopping centre. It has 3 air filled tyres which make it a dream to push and with a large handlebar instead of 2 it can even be done with your belly if you so wish! The handlebar has four different adjustable heights which is handy if there's 2 or more people of different heights pushing it. We've previously had problems pushing our buggies as my partner is quite tall and the buggy handles were too low for us.
It's suitable from 6months+ but I used it from 3 months laying flat with the cosytoes and we didn't have any problems and she certainly didn't look too small to be in it. The recline is with a push of a bar just behind the seat unit and is very easy to do although not as easy as the Jane Nurse Dakar version which was a pull of a cord and much nicer as you could position the seat unit wherever you wanted. I think this one has 4 different positions including your lay flat option which is great for nap times.
The seat unit can be turned just by pushing two little grey buttons under the seat and lifting it and then the choice is yours. I tend to use the seat parent facing as she's only 8 months and has had reflux and milk allergies so tends to be very sick and I like to keep an eye on it but we've used it the other way around too and she was just as happy. It will also be handy if we ever decide to give her a snack in the buggy as we can just lift the seat off and turn it upside down to turf out those crumbs!
One of the best things about the Jane R (bar the fab offroad tyres and ease of pushing) is the ability to brake from the handlebar. I remember the days of pushing my little girl up the hill near our house and dreading the wall downhill on the way home as I'd have to pull the buggy back with me as I walked or I'd be running along with it! Now, I just press the little brake (same as you'd find on a bike) and I can casually walk along and watch everyone else running along with theirs and think what a great investment I've made! There is also a foot brake on the buggy for those longer stops and it's easily worked with a little press of your right foot and comes off just as easily.
The frame of the buggy is made in a C shape at the back so there is no more kicking the back of the buggy as you walk along!
Folding the buggy is a dream too - push two little buttons at either side and hey presto you're done.
The other great thing about the buggy is the ease of use of the sun canopy that comes included with it. Previous buggies have had the option to open it or close it and to be honest they've never really cut it when it's come to actually keeping the sun out of their eyes. This one is different though as you can pull it further forwards or back and it can pull down straight down to the legs to no sun is peeking in at all. There's a handy little viewing window at the back of it too so you can see if baby is sleeping or just being quiet til you peek and they giggle!
The raincover is a favourite of mine too as it just slots over the top of baby and although it has options to clip it on, you don't need to as it stays in place by itself. It has a large viewing window in the middle that you can open or close so no more taking the raincover on and off 50 times a day!
The maxrix part of the title refers to the Matrix Light car seat that is compatible with the buggy and just clicks on automatically without the need for car seat adapters that are so popular these days. It also comes off with a press of a button at the car seat end and can be done one handed which is always an advantage.
The car seat has the option to lay flat or sit upright at 3 different angles. This was perfect if we wanted our daughter to lie down on a long walk as we didn't need to worry about all the stories in the papers about posture and how a baby shouldn't be in a car seat for longer than an hour. It comes with an apron across it too and a head hugger to ensure baby is nice and safe.
~~ Niggles ~~
The only thing I might say about the buggy being parent or forward facing is the seat moves slightly as it doesn't seem to clip down at the front. This isn't a problem and doesn't tend to move unless you touch the seat but still worth a little mention.
A buggy that can move across any surface like this needs to have some weight behind it and at a massive 13kg this one certainly has that! It is a bit of a nightmare to fold on a bus or even to lift into your car boot all of the time but it doesn't bother me all that much as I'd rather walk than go through the hassle. Far better for your health too! You do need to have a large car boot for it too if you're thinking of travelling with it although the one touch wheels do come off to give it a more compact fold. We have a ford focus and it fits in easily but I have struggled trying to squeeze it into my mums little Corsa.
The car seat hasn't been my favourite part of this travel system I have to confess. I knew it would be larger when I bought it and I knew it was a bit heavier than most car seats but I thought the lay flat function would overrule those and make me love the seat. It didn't though - the reality of a large and bulky car seat that my little girl doesn't seem to have fitted into properly since she was born has taken my love of this one away and I have to admit I wish I'd bought the strata with it instead. She's only just turned 8 months and is too long for the seat so we're having to put her into the 9+ seat a bit early which isn't ideal.
My last little niggle would be the price - it certainly isn't a cheapie for everyone. At around £600 for the buggy and matrix car seat you do need to test it out before you buy it and make sure this is the buggy for you. It comes with the matching changing bag and raincover but you can buy the cosytoes (around £70) and other accessories to go with it.
~~ My Verdict ~~
I used to own the Jane Nurse Dakar and I loved it and to be perfectly honest I loved it a little bit more than this one (just don't tell my other half, he'd shoot me!) There's nothing wrong with it and it's definitely a dream to push so you won't be parting it from me any time soon but I feel the car seat lets it down. It's great having the parent facing option too so Jane have certainly listened to user feedback when it's come to designing and releasing a new buggy.