Jané Racing Momo car seat

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In a nutshell

Style and substance from a good, solid and aesthetically pleasing product. And the good news is it's easy to install!

  • Pros

    Stylish, easy to fit, extra side protection, adjustable, XTEND impact shield can be purchased to make the seat from 9 months

  • Cons

    No ISOFIX option available until Racing Momo Plus is released in February 2010

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Our review

If you think Italian and immediately think style you're not alone. And that’s true of the Racing Momo car seat from Jané, which combines good looks with a functional, solid product.

The Racing Momo car seat is the result of a collaboration between Jané and the Italian racing design house Momo. It certainly looks like it belongs in a racing car, with its curved side protection and stylish colours, and will probably particularly appeal to car-obsessed boys (or girls).

Jané is constantly developing new, better, safer safety products, and in 2003 opened its own Crash Test Research Centre. It has a long and distinguished pedigree as the first company in the world to invent a Group 1/2/3 ISOFIX car seat (the Indy Plus), the first evolutionary infant car seat (Matrix), and lately it has been pioneering third-generation ISOFIX (seen in Jané's Strata and Exo car seats), which helps absorb the G forces in an accident, as small children can’t use airbags.

A Group 2/3 seat, the Jané Racing Momo can be adjusted to suit children aged from around 4 to 12 years, and this lifespan helps to justify its £149.99 price tag. Spread over nine years, that’s less than £17 a year - a small price to pay in the scheme of child-related expenses!

An XTEND impact shield (£65) can also be added, which makes the seat suitable for children from around 9 months of age.

What we love

The Jané Racing Momo certainly did to appeal to car-loving Arron, 3½ - he’s a big fan of Lightning McQueen, Roary, or anything with wheels and an engine!

The Jane Racing Momo is a product that does what it should – but does it with style! I actually thought it looked a bit too good for our Vectra, and thought that perhaps I might convince my other half that we needed a more stylish car to match the seat.

As well as looking good, the extra side protection provides a wraparound shape, increasing the capacity of the seat to absorb any impact and offer better shock absorption.

Adjustability is another key feature – the backrest can be adjusted to a reclining position, which is great for longer journeys, and the side wings can also be adjusted, offering better support to the sides and lower back. This is a great comfort if your child is not an average size - and whose is?

The breathable material on the centre panels of the seat is easily removed for washing and the side sections can be wiped down with a cloth – far more practical than some seats. Is it just Arron who always gets hungry or thirsty the moment we get in the car?

Now to the really important question – how easy is it to fit in the car? The good news is it’s simple. I’ve come to dread putting in car seats after a particularly stressful half-hour at the car hire centre at Shannon Airport, when neither myself, my husband (who has single-handedly renovated our house, so is not too shabby when it comes to practical problems), nor the man in the car hire office could work out how to fit the hired child seat into the hire vehicle. But the Jané Racing Momo must have beaten an all-time record. Five seconds (give or take a few) we reckoned. The instructions are so simple they’re printed on the side of the seat.

Considering how solid it appears, the Jané Racing Momo is very lightweight to handle – they’ve even added a carry handle at the top. So even if you’re on the petite side, or not as strong as you used to be, you shouldn’t struggle getting this into your car.

Changing the seat’s height (which you do as your child grows) is a doddle, using the lever at the back. The back- and headrests move proportionally, so they should be in the right place without a lot of fiddling.

What to watch out for

There is nothing I didn’t like about the Jané Racing Momo, apart from it looking better than my car! However, anyone who prefers the ISOFIX system and has a car with the correct fittings will be able to purchase the Racing Momo Plus for an extra £40 from February 2010,

Who is Jané Racing Momo car seat best for?

Parents seeking a functional, adjustable, easy-to-fit option with a long lifespan.

MadeForMums verdict

It’s not always the case that something this good-looking actually does the job it is intended for, but with the Racing Momo, Jane has delivered both style and substance. It’s simple to fit, and a doddle to adjust as necessary. Not only is this great for a growing child, but it’s handy if you have different children using the seat – maybe if you’re a grandparent or childminder. If you’re an ISOFIX fan, you’ll need to wait a short while and pay a little extra for the version due out in 2010.