Jané Slalom Formula
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The Jané Slalom Formula Travel System combines a versatile 3-wheeler with a carrycot and a rear-facing car seat. While the buggy offers a great performance, and the carrycot and the car seat have good safety features, you might find the carrycot cumbersome and not worth the extra cost.
The Jané Slalom Formula Travel System teams the easy-to-manoeuvre 3-wheeler Slalom R buggy with the Transporter carrycot and Strata car seat, for £734.
The Slalom R is new for 2010 and is based on Jané’s earlier buggy, the Slalom Pro. The most noticeable difference between the two is that the new Slalom R has a reversible seat unit so it can be used as a rear or forward facing buggy (the “R” is for “reverse”). It also has a reclining seat, height adjustable handlebar, footrest, raincover, pump, and a front brake that’s controlled from the handlebar. I didn’t really need the front brake as I’m a city-based mum, but friends have told me just how handy this is when coming down steep hills.
The Slalom R buggy isn’t just compatible with the Transporter carrycot and Strata car seat. It can also be paired with Jané’s Matrix Light car seat, to create the slightly cheaper Slalom Matrix Light Travel System, for £614.
The Strata car seat is a Group 0+ car seat, suitable from birth to 13kg, or about 15 months. It has two recline positions and can be installed in your car with Jané’s latest ISOFIX car seat base, the Strata Platform, to make switching in and out of the car/buggy simpler and quicker, if you wish. The Strata features Jané’s Pro-fix system – this is where buttons on the handle letting you lock and lift the car seat on/off the chassis one-handed.
The Jané Transporter is a carrycot and car seat in one. It’s an approved Group 0 option and has a 180-degree lie-flat restraint system. It can be used until your baby is 10kg. The idea is that unlike conventional car seats, your newborn can spend an unlimited amount of time in it, in the car or at home, lying flat. It can be used for overnight sleeping if you add a mattress. The backrest is adjustable and you can recline it from the outside, so you don’t disturb your baby. It’s also got a ventilation system.
The handle of the Transporter is doubles as an anti-rotational device when it’s in the upright position. It also features Jané’s Pro-fix system.
What we love
The instructions are brilliant – clear, concise and easy to follow. Do take your time to read them and get to grips with everything – this stuff can be confusing!
The best thing about the 3-wheeler Slalom R has to be the smooth handling. I don’t run but I think if you did, your baby would stay undisturbed. It would definitely suit families that don’t live in the city or town, or those who enjoy venturing off the beaten track at the weekends.
The Strata car seat is simple enough. It has two reclining positions – 125 degrees for newborns and 110 degrees from 4 months. It’s as easy to install in the car and attach to the Slalom R’s chassis. As with the whole Jané range, the Strata comes in lots of fabulous colours. When MFM reviewed the Strata car seat alone, it scored 4.5 out of 5 stars!
If you travel by car a lot or over long distances, being able to have your young baby lie flat in the Transporter could give peace of mind. Jané state “this position facilitates newborn respiration, nurtures the abdomen and aids optimal spinal development.”
What to watch out for
The Slalom Formula Travel System is the most expensive of the two travel system options and I found it the most confusing. Again, take your time with those instructions!
The Jané Transporter carrycot is, at 5.7kg,heavy and cumbersome. If you add your average 6-month-old baby to it, it’s a bit unrealistic for Jané to suggest that you’ll be able to transport your baby anywhere easily in it or undisturbed. Cameron weighs 9kg and was miserable in it, but in fairness, at 9 months he has probably outgrown it.
Having trialled both the Jané Slalom Formula Travel System and Slalom Matrix Light Travel System, I think the Matrix Light option makes the most sense both practically and financially. The Matrix Light car seat offers many of the best bits of the Transporter and Strata car seat in one.
Who is the Jané Slalom Formula Travel System best for?
New families who want to travel far, and love the idea of a seperate carrycot for sleeping away from home.
The Jané Slalom R buggy feels sturdy and safe. It can tackle all conditions, and can be easily crammed into your car boot, so is spot on for active families. Before you decide to buy the Transporter carrycot and Strata car seat, you should look at their sibling, the Matrix Light car seat – you may find it offers all the features you need, minus the bulk and extra cost.