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Launched in March 2009, the Jané Exo car seat is idiot-proof, has great new safety features, and is easy to keep clean.
The Jané Exo car seat is by far and away the best car seat I have ever come across. It’s got so many excellent and unique features that it’s hard to know where to start.
Most importantly, its safety benefits are second to none, and although it uses third generation ISOFIX technology, you can also fit it with the 3-point seat belt, making it suitable for all cars.
What we love
Martha was very excited to try out her new car seat, and well she might be. The Jané Exo is a brand new design, launched in March 2009, and it boasts no less than four global patents. One of these is the Pneumatic Absorption System. Basically, this works to absorb the energy of an impact and so reduces the force of the impact by up to 4Gs when compared to conventional ISOFIX car seats. This minimises potential injury.
The second patent is for the Electronic Warning System. This tells you that the seat is fitted correctly using the ISOFIX points. A light on the front panel of the seat changes from red to green, and an alarm sounds to let you know if you’re safe to set off. You can double check by pressing the ‘test’ button. It really is idiot-proof and gives a huge amount of reassurance, especially since we’re always hearing from the experts that most car seats are incorrectly fitted. Whether you’re using ISOFIX or the seat belt, there’s a DVD that shows you how to fit the seat.
Another ISOFIX bonus, but not one that’s patented, is the ‘anti-rotational system with top tether’. Basically, this is an extra tether that fastens to the top of the seat and stops it moving.
The third patent is for what the press release calls ‘the synchronisation system of the harness and crotch strap’. This is a complicated way of saying that, when you alter the height of the headrest as your baby grows, the harness size is automatically adjusted. For those of us who have struggled with car seats that you have to completely take apart every time you need to make the harness bigger, this is fantastic.
And last but not least on the patents, there’s a new harness tension system that tightens across the abdominal strap in the event of an accident.
Phew! As if all that wasn’t enough, there are lots of other benefits. The seat has deep sides for protection against side impacts, and the inside is completely covered with shock absorbing material. There are five reclining positions, and the fabric is breathable and therefore more comfortable.
Fortunately the Jané Exo’s protective features haven’t been put to the test whilst I’ve been using the seat, but I’m confident that it does what it says on the tin.
Something I am able to verify is that the covers are extremely easy to take on and off for washing. This is a top priority for me, along with safety, as Martha is often carsick. I’ve had car seats that are so difficult to clean that eventually I’ve just had to get rid of them, or ones that you can take the covers off, but it’s impossible to put them back on again – but this one is a dream.
I would say that this is probably one of the rare instances when paying more really is worth it. At £249, the Jané Exo certainly is not cheap. But a Group 1 car seat is something you could potentially be using for four years, so you will get your money’s worth over time.
What to watch out for
The main thing you should be aware of with the Jané Exo is that it’s very heavy, which might be a problem if you have a bad back or need to regularly move it between cars.
I find that Martha’s always sitting on the crotch pad or the straps when I put her in the seat, but that’s the same with every car seat I’ve ever tried. I’m also not crazy about the colours the seat comes in. But these things are unimportant compared to everything else the Jané Exo offers.
Who is the Jané Exo best for?
All families with a car, especially if it has ISOFIX.
The Jané Exo is a car seat with great new safety features, as well as the better known ones, such as deep sides for protection against side impacts. Knowing that its fitted correctly with the Electronic Warning System gives great peace of mind. It’s also easy to clean. While it’s not cheap, you could be using it for more than three years.