Key features of the Jane Minnum pushchair:
- Age suitability: Birth until 15kg (approx. 3 years)
- Type of buggy: Lightweight single
- Weight: 6.5kg
- Fold: Two-handed fold
- Travel system compatible: Yes
- Total cost: £399
First things first. The answer to the question most asked. Jané is pronounced Han-nay. It’s a Spanish market-leading brand with over 85 years’ experience in the stroller and nursery industry.
Known for it’s more robust buggy models like the Crosswalk, Twone and Epic, Jané prides itself on offering special features and characteristics that you can’t get from from other brands.
I tested the Special Edition Minnum Cactus model with my 6-month old daughter Isabella. We took it out onto the streets, went out city shopping, visited parks and went on river walks. In and out of cars and on the buses.
The Minnum is available to buy at Jane, Tesco or Pramworld.
Looks classy. The styling is impressive. Comparatively it is in the same class as the Bugaboo Bee, and the iCandy Raspberry.
Taking it out of the box, it feels light but not the lightest buggy I’ve ever carried. Hoping it’s as useful and practical as it is smart-looking and styled.
Is it quick to assemble?
Yes. The frame comes out of the box ready to go, complete with shopping basket attached. It literally takes minutes to clip-in the four wheels.
Which is just as well. With pictures and text at each end of the booklet I found the instruction booklet confusing.
Is the Jané Minnum travel system compatible?
Yes. The Minnum has a great range of combinations to choose from. I have the iKoos, their i-Size group 0+ car seat that can be used from newborn until 15 months. There’s the iMatrix too.
This innovative lie-flat car seat doubles up as a carrycot. Both seats have to be used with the iPlatform ISOFIX base which comes with the package. If you don’t have ISOFIX in your car or want the flexibility of a seat belt, then look at the MATRIX LIGHT 2.
Is the iKoos car seat compatible with all cars?
Most but if you have bucket seats the iPlatform base, which you need, may not fit as well. The new i-Size bases tend to be big and heavy. I drive a 4×4 vehicle with deep, bucket-like seats front and back.
The iKoos doesn’t fit perfectly into those type of seats, positioning the chair and the baby at a slant. So as always, you’re best off checking any car seat is compatible first, before you buy.
What is the Pro-fix system?
These are ultra-quick connectors with Pro-fix locking fitted on Jané car seats, buggies and carrycots. It means in just one movement carrycots and car seats can be fitted onto any Jané chassis to make a travel system.
Is it suitable from birth?
Yes. The Minnum has two options with its lie-flat seat, parent or forward-facing. And there’s the foldable Micro-BB carrycot which is great for storage and suitable for overnight sleeping for those occasions when baby’s staying with family or grandparents.
And with its deep-padded mattress and uber cosy. duvet cover your baby will be comfortable all through the night.
How easy is it to push?
Very. The Minnum glides effortlessly. Even my 5-year olds enjoy pushing their sister around in it, which they couldn’t confidently do with other buggies we’ve used. It manoeuvres beautifully in stores, down aisles and around corners, even with one hand on the bar. It needs a firmer two-handed grip on the road.
What are the brakes like?
The dual-action parking brake is brilliant. Situated in the middle of the frame, locking the wheels with this mechanism is a breeze. It’s a simple clip-up, clip-down action that seamlessly works. It never sticks and never fails.
What do you think of the fold system?
As with most buggies, the fold is easy when you know how. The great thing is you have the option of folding the Minnum with the seat attached. It’s not the most instinctive fold. I sometimes have to think before I turn-pull-pull on the handlebar. For sieve-brained, sleep-deprived parents like me, the fold directions are printed on the handlebar.
Is it compact when folded?
Yes. Very. The Minnum can fit in the smallest of boots. The handlebar always has to be lowered and fixed, while the wheels swivel to go flush completing the compact fold. Sadly, it doesn’t stand when folded though.
How does it ride on different surfaces?
The Minnum’s small, hard PU wheels are sturdy and reliable. Described as ‘designed for the city’, it’s not surprising the Minnum is a more comfortable ride on level ground and more challenged on rough terrain.
While the springy front and rear suspension does helps some, there are two other solutions to this.
The lockable wheels are a quick-fix that make the ride a little smoother. The better option is buying a sports kit allowing you to switch to all-terrain tyres. This will be available in Spring 2018.
Is it easy to clip baby in?
Yes. The Minnum swivel out bumper bar can be opened and closed with a single hand, either side. The 3-point harness is pretty standard – jigsaw pieces locking into crotch strap buckle – so there’s no drama clipping her in.
Just remember the Jané logo always faces you and it’s foolproof. My husband’s attempted it the other way numerous times and failed.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
The seat’s roomy and adequately-padded. The soft shoulder pads and adjustable footrest add the to comfort. I could see it lasting Isabella, who is bigger than your average 6-month old, until she’s 3 years old at least.
The Minnum’s marketed up for use until around the age of 4 years old (15-20kgs). At that age and height, a child’s head may well come out above the backrest and possibly impede the canopy. Though, you could take the canopy off and use it without.
What do you think of the hood?
The grey textile Special Edition hood not only looks good but also has a genius design. In the event of getting caught in a shower, water trickles off the waterproof textile fabric. And a zip feature that, once unzipped, expands the hood from your average size to an XL.
The Minnum hood can feel a bit rickety though. Fully opened, the Minnum hood is great when Isabella is sleeping, shielding her from sunlight, the wind, and broody strangers staring into the buggy.
How many recline positions are there? Is the seat easy to move into recline?
The Minnum reclines into 3 positions by using the catch on the back of the backrest. The recline could be better. The seat doesn’t always click definatively into the upright and mid-recline positions.
Lie-flat has to be done really slowly, so the clicking sound from the seat reclining doesn’t wake up the baby. And you always have to remember to unzip the hood first.
How easily can you access the basket?
Effortlessly. The Minnum mesh and fabric shopping basket is generous and easily accessible from the front and back and even the sides if it’s something small.
There’s enough room to fit a basic grocery shop of bread, milk, eggs, diet coke pack of 8, Aptamil and still have space for some #bribery Haribo!
How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy?
Isabella’s at a perfect height to interact with when parent-facing. Forward-facing, there’s no peekabook window on the hood but unlike other buggy you can pull the hood right back and fully watch your baby from on-high.
Is the handle adjustable?
Yes. The tan leatherette handle adds a touch of class to the styling of the of the Minnum Cactus. It extends from 85cm out to 100cm, which works fine for me at 5’5”. My 6’4” husband, on the other hand, says the handle could benefit from extending a little further, for a 100% comfortable push.
Is the frame strong, durable?
Yes surprisingly, the Minnum is sturdier than you think. With small wheels and frame, you could wrongly assume it may tip with a bit of weight on it.
I’m a fan of buggy clips and the Minnum happily holds my twins’ baggage on the school run – coats, jumpers, book bags, kit bags and the Minnum still doesn’t feel tippy.
Is the Minnum light to carry?
Fairly. The Minnum has a lightweight chassis frame of 6.5kg and a 3.8kg seat unit. It’s not a contender for the super lightweight buggies but it’s easy enough to carry up and down stairs.
And as it folds with the seat unit attached, you only have to make one journey rather than lugging piece after piece. One tip. Binding the frame together with the Velcro strap ensures it doesn’t open out when carrying it too.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes. My 4×4 trunk holds no challenge for fitting a compact fold buggy. So I tried the Minnum in the back of a friend’s Smart car.
I was able to put the Minnum carrycot and folded buggy with seat attached, in the back. And it still had space to spare for a little shopping or more baby paraphernalia.
Is the cover removeable? And washable?
Yes. The unit cover is removeable and reversible so you get a new look to your Minnum after all the spillages. Just as well as the cover isn’t machine washable but is wipeable.
That’s also true of the light grey hood which tends to get dirty at the frame ridges and edges.
Who’s the Minnum most useful for?
City-dwelling parents who want a lighter buggy to use on public transport and/or when driving. It’s also great for parents who have their baby stay overnight at grandparents or family.
What’s in the box?
- Minnum chassis
- Changing bag with change mattress
- Reversible seat liner
- Bumper Bar
- Extra-large muslin
- Shopping basket
- Foldable Carrycot 199
- Carrycot safety mattress 22.99
- iKoos car seat + iPlatform base 320
- iMatrix car seat + iPlatform base 435
- Car seat raincover 29.99
- Footmuff 49.99
- Insect Net 7.50
- Parasol 35
- Bottle Holder 15
- Surfer Buggy Board 79.99
- Hook Hangers 8.99
- Pushchair Shopping Bag 29.99
- Sport kit (available Spring 2018)
The Special Edition Minnum – Cactus is the perfect ride for getting out and about in the city and a great companion for shopping trips.
You’ll look good with the stylish leatherette, grey textile fabric, chrome detailing and feel good pushing it knowing you’ve got your money’s worth at £495.
The Special Edition Minnum – Cactus glides and manouvres beautifully around town. And with the soon-to-be-available sports kit, you’ll want to take your Minnum on and off road.
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