Jané Cross Reverse Matrix Light review

Our rating 
3.1 out of 5 star rating 3.1
User rating
£569.00 RRP
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In a nutshell

A compact pushchair when folded, but otherwise this travel system has few user-friendly features
Fold/unfolding
2.0 out of 5 rating 2.0
Manoeuvrability
3.0 out of 5 rating 3.0
Comfort for child
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Style
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Durability
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Worth the money
2.0 out of 5 rating 2.0
Pros: Folds very flat, folds with buggy seat attached, stylish looks, car seat has 4-position recline and handle built into hood, car seat can be used with mattress as a Moses basket for naps
Cons: Bumpy ride, fiddly to fold/unfold, difficult to reverse seat unit, no bumper bar in rear facing mode, large when unfolded, no head protection in flat position, fiddly raincover, heavy car seat, going up kerbs a bit hard.
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With an all-terrain pushchair that’s compact when folded, and a car seat that can be used as a lie-flat or rearward facing option, the Jané Cross Reverse Matrix Light Travel System sounds like it’ll tick a lot of boxes. Unfortunately, it offers a rough ride and reversing the seat unit is very fiddly.

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The Cross Reverse is a new buggy for 2010 from award-winning Jané. Designed to offer a practical and comfortable ride for your baby, the Jané Cross Reverse is branded as the most compact all-terrain pushchair on the market, as the back wheels don’t protrude from the chassis. Based on the Carrera Anniversario model, the Cross Reverse is fitted with the PRO-FIX system, which means any of the new range of Jané carrycots and car seats can be easily twinned with it. Weight wise, it’s 12.5kg.

I trialled the new Jané Matrix Light car seat with the Cross Reverse. As the name hints at, this car seat is based on the Matrix car seat. The Matrix Light can be used as a lie-flat car seat, a rear facing car seat and a Moses basket. It’s bigger than many car seats of this Group and is 5.2kg. The handle, which is integrated with the hood, has two positions. It’s also compatible with all Jané buggies. The Cross Reverse can also be paired with the Jané Strata car seat; the Jané Transporter carrycot; or the Jané Micro carrycot to make other travel system options.

When the box arrived with Jané’s new Cross Reverse buggy inside, I thought the deliveryman had forgotten part of the package – it was tiny. But sure enough, folded up neatly inside was the smallest pushchair I’ve ever seen. I thought, “Great, this is going to be excellent.” However, on my first outing with it and my baby Nathaniel, I soon discovered that although Jané has been making pushchairs since 1932, the Cross Reverse isn’t one that stands out for its fabulous timesaving features.

What we love

The Jané Cross Reverse’s folded size is second to none and will easily store under the stairs or in the boot of a car. A plus point is you don’t have to take the pushchair seat off the chassis – it simply folds as one.

The Matrix Light car seat is roomy and can be buckled into your back seat in a fully reclined or traditional car seat angle. Nathaniel found it very comfortable and slept most of the way on a 5-hour journey to visit relatives one weekend. It also looked as if he had plenty of space to grow and I wouldn’t have to worry about buying a bigger car seat for a long time.

What to watch out for

Unlike other buggies that can be used from birth, the Jané Cross Reverse had no support around the sides of the chair, so I felt there was very little cocoon-style protection for Nathaniel against the elements. Most of his head was exposed and I felt very uncomfortable with this.

In the rear-facing position there’s nowhere to fit a bumper bar, while a footmuff, which I’d have thought was a must for this style of pushchair, is an optional extra.

The Jané Cross Reverse buggy arrived with the seat facing forward and, as Nathaniel is only just coming up to 5 months, I wanted him to face me as we walked, so I had to turn the seat around. This was incredibly fiddly. This task was so tough partly because the instructions were very poor, but mostly because it was so tricky to hook the collapsing chair to the wheels. I also found that when in the rear facing position the pushchair is very difficult to unfold. There’s definitely a knack to it, but I unfortunately never mastered it.

Nathaniel usually falls asleep very quickly when I take him for a walk, but I found we were often walking for a good 25 minutes before he nodded off and I have to put this down to the bumpy ride. I felt practically every ridge and divot in the road vibrate through the handlebar.

I found it difficult to mount kerbs, as there’s no rear suspension bar to rest your foot on for leverage.

While at first I thought it was a brilliant idea to have LED sidelights on a buggy, the battery tag broke in half when I tried to remove it and was fiddly to get out to get the lights operational in the first place. I also needed to take a screwdriver to one side to change the batteries, which isn’t very easy or quick.

The only problem I can see with the Matrix Light car seat is that it’s very heavy and its size is cumbersome. Walking from the car to the house with Nathaniel in it had me huffing and puffing.

Including the Matrix Light car seat, this travel system will set you back over £500, which is a fair chunk of money for a buggy with more than a few niggles.

Who is the Jané Cross Reverse Matrix Light Travel System best for?

Parents tight on storage space after an option they’ll mainly use on smooth path.

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MadeForMums verdict

The Jané Cross Reverse Matrix Light Travel System folds to a small size and has a versatile – though large – car seat. However, the fiddly features and rough ride really let this design down.

Product Specifications

Product

Brand Jané
Model Cross Reverse Matrix Light
Price £569.00

Suitable for

Child age (approx) Birth to 3 years

Dimensions & Weight

Weight 17.7kg
Dimensions H:108cm W:101cm L:61cm
Dimensions (folded) H:91cm W:35cm L:40cm

Features

Travel system compatible Yes
Compatible car seats Jané Matrix Light (required to create this model), Jané Strata car seat, Jané Transporter carrycot, Jané Micro carrycot
Seat facing direction Forward facing and parent facing
Front wheels Lockable swivel
Recline positions 3
Features
  • Handle adjustable from 85cm108cm
  • 3 Point harness
  • Reversible seat unit
  • Three seat recline positions including lie-flat
  • Led sidelights
  • Reflective strip shopping basket
  • Adjustable footrest
  • 4 position recline of car seat including lie-flat
  • Reversible and 3 Point adjustable hammock for car seat
  • Matrix light car seat compatible with all jané pushchairs

Accessories

Accessories included Hood, raincover, shopping basket
Optional extras
  • Anti-UV sun parasol
  • Footmuff
  • Bottle holder
  • Platform (buggy board)
  • Pram bag