Key Features of the Jané Matrix Light 2
Age suitability: Birth to 15 months (13kg)
Installation: seatbelt and Isofix with additional base
Features: 180 degrees lie-flat position, 4 backrest positions, converts from carseat to carrycot, automatic height adjustment for shoulder pads, roomy seat
Cost: £300 (plus £250 for base)
Travel system compatible with: Most Jané pushchairs, such as the Muum, Minnum, Epic, Crosswalk R, Rider, Trider, Twone
The Jané Matrix Light 2 is a lie-flat carseat that boasts an impressive 180° recline option. This means that it can be used as a full-blown carrycot (with the purchase of an additional mattress), with no limit on the time that your little one can sleep in it – “the world’s first carrycot with Isofix”, is how the brand describes it.
It can be used with a swivel base, to make placing it in the car easier, and it is compatible with a variety of Jané pushchairs, as well as some from other brands (with adaptors), so could potentially save you the cost of buying an additional bassinette for your travel system.
How does the Jané Matrix Light 2 compare to other carseats in the market?
With an RRP of £300 (plus £250 for the Isofix base), the Matrix doesn’t come cheap. In comparison, the Kiddy Evo Luna i-Size carseat also offers a lie-flat option and retails at £389, which includes the iso-fix base.
It has gained top ratings from the ADAC (German automobile club). It can be used up until 15 months, which is the minimum mandatory age that a child should rear-face until, in accordance with i-size regulations.
The Kiddy Evo Luna is similar to the Jané Matrix Light 2 in that it can be used in a lie flat position in the car and as part of a travel system, but loses out to the Jané Matrix Light 2 in that it cannot be carried in the lie-flat position.
The Britax Baby SAFE, meanwhile, is an i-Size compliant, however only has a “near-flat” position. It retails at £190, or £300 for the seat and base bundle. The seat can be used to 15 months (or 13kg) and is travel system compatible.
The seat has an advanced positioning system – as the headrest is moved, the seat position adjusts to ensure baby is in the best position for their age, taking out the guess work. The Britax Baby-SAFE also includes a 5-point harness like the Jané Matrix Light 2, but has a padded headrest, giving it extra head and neck protection in case of a side impact.
The hood is also freestanding, meaning that it can be folded in and out, which differs from the Jané as the hood needs to be removed in the car in order to use the seat correctly.
Read our round-up of the best lie-flat carseats
What were your first impressions of the Jané Matrix Light 2?
My first impression of the Jané Matrix Light 2 was that it was incredibly light for its size, with a spacious, comfy seat and cushion. I liked that the straps were long when extended and the transition from upright to lie-flat was very smooth.
The Jané Matrix Light is a lie-flat carseat – did you like the idea of this?
Before testing the Jané Matrix Light 2, I hadn’t heard much about lie-flat carseats. I was unsure about whether it would feel safe when being used in the lie-flat position in the car, and worried that it could take up a lot of room.
How does the Jané Matrix Light 2 install in the car?
I was impressed that the seat was able to be installed using both the car’s own seatbelt or with the Isofix base. I particularly liked the way that when being fitted into the car in the upright position with a seatbelt that the seatbelt had a low feed positioning (under the shell of the seat), meaning that there was no belt across the top of the seat. This felt a lot safer and secure than expected.
In the lie-flat position, you have to position the Matrix across the outside and middle seats (with baby’s head in the middle and feet towards the window), and then secure it with two seatbelts, guided through clips on either side of the seat. This does take up quite a bit of space, which is worth bearing in mind.
We also tested the rotating Isofix Platform which has been fantastic. It is slightly fiddly to fit but well worth the fuss as it is very secure and makes using the seat so much easier.
The rotating base makes integration from upright to lie-flat in the car quick and smooth. We chose to buy the rotating base as we already have a rotating Cyber Sirona for our son. This has given us the use of two rotating carseats making car journeys so much easier. I feel that being able to buckle Lucy facing me feels more secure than trying to negotiate tightening the straps from the side.
How easy is it to remove the seat from the base?
I did find removing the seat from and inserting the seat into the base to be awkward, due to the hooks that hold the seat in. Unless the seat is completely aligned, the seat will click in quickly, with only one hook engaging, making it hard to remove the seat to adjust it.
This could be a personal problem, as my car is quite high, so I have to compensate by lifting the seat up more to insert and remove the seat, which can be awkward as I’m not very tall.
What positions does the Jané Matrix Light 2 offer and how easy is it to adjust the different positions?
The Jané Matrix Light 2 has 4 recline positions, although I have only tested two (upright and lie-flat) with Lucy in the seat.The seat position is changed with a lever on the back of the seat: simply push in and lift or recline the seat. I only used the Jané Matrix Light 2 in the upright position in the car, as we have a Cyber Sirona as well, so room is tight.
I have, however, used the lie-flat position when Lucy is sleeping, by removing the seat with Lucy in it from the car, reclining it and carrying it into the house. This has led to longer naps and very little disruption due to the smooth movement of the seat.
With conventional carseats, you’re not supposed to let your baby lie in them for more than two hours – read why
Jané promises a more roomy seat for your little one – how did its size compare to other infant car seats you have used?
The Jané Matrix Light 2 is a very spacious and roomy seat. With a light but long 16-month-old (the seat boasts usage up until 18 months!), this was a great feature. It doesn’t feel like a typical infant carrier that seem to leave babies very scrunched up in. On the down side, it does leave Lucy’s head looking a little less protected than I would like, although this could be accommodated by adding a headrest, whether integrated or removable.
What did you think of the harness and the automatic adjustment feature of the Jané Matrix Light 2?
The automatic adjustment was awkward to use, although this might have been my own fault. When the carseat arrived, the straps were in the right position for Lucy, so we did not need to adjust them much.
How long do you think the seat will last for your child – the brand suggests it can be used up to 18 months (although the 13kg it suggests tends to be more like 15 months)?
I definitely think that we will get 18 months out of the Jané Matrix Light 2, as Lucy is 16 months old and still well under the 13kg weight limit.
What do you think of the carseat’s safety credentials?
Although the Jané Matrix Light 2 is not an i-Size compliant seat, the seat has been put through rigorous testing to ensure a high standard of safety for the children using it.
According to Jané’s marketing literature, the seat has been tested 250 times at speeds up to 53mph, which is higher than the European/ADAC standard. The Jané Matrix Light 2 also meets and exceeds regulation ECE R44/04 for use in upright sitting position and lie-flat position.
My only worry about safety is that the straps twist very easily, which is near impossible to rectify with a wriggly baby in the seat. It’s time consuming to remove the seat from the car to untwist the straps as they usually need sorted from the back of the seat.
Also, the buckles turn very easily on the straps, which feel a bit thin. This can cause the straps to fold in two, causing twists to form when buckling Lucy in. I would prefer to have thicker, larger straps, not as prone to twisting to provide a larger surface area across my little one, which would then make them feel safer.
You can find out more about the new i-Size regulations here.
What did you think of the product’s design?
The design I was sent was grey with stars, which is neutral and looks sophisticated. I particularly liked the cushion that comes with the seat as it is lovely and soft and provides an extra level of comfort for your little one. I also like the apron that comes with the seat as it zips on and off really easily.
However, the hood is a big design flaw, in my opinion. It needs to be detached when the carseat is in the car, due to the handle needing to be in quite a low position (handy green car guide ensures correct positioning). Also, the hood does not stretch that low.
How easy is it to clean?
The Matrix is easy to clean, although I have not needed to take the main covers off yet. The cushion insert gets cleaned and freshened up regularly, which unfortunately has made it go a bit bobbly due to it being a soft jersey material.
How heavy is the Jané Matrix Light 2?
Weighing 5.8kg, which is heavier than your average infant carseat, and considering how bulky it is, the seat felt surprisingly lightweight. I am still able to carry Lucy in the seat for short periods of time without finding the weight overbearing. Even though the Matrix Light 2 is technically heavier than our Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (3.35kg), it is easier to carry with little one in, possibly because the weight is spread over a larger area.
What’s in the box?
- Matrix Light 2
- Shoulder pads
- Matrix Light 2 Platform (£250)
- Safety Mattress (£25)
- Raincover (£35)
- Insect Net (£6.98)
- Adaptros for Bugaboo Cameleon 3 (£34.99)
If I hadn’t been given the Jané Matrix Light 2 to test, I would not have considered buying it as the seat has an RRP of £300 with the base costing an additional £250. Having said that, after buying the base for ease of use, I would now consider buying both the seat and base again if we were to have any more children.
For more tips on choosing the right carseat, browse these article:
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