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Jane Slalom R Review by Jessica

The Jane Slalom R is a very good looking option compared to other off-roading pushchairs.  It doesn’t looks quite as utilitarian and has a cosy but rugged feel to it.
We often get really positive comments when we’re out and about.  People are impressed with how sturdy the Slalom R looks whilst giving my little boy a very comfy and cosy ride.
The Slalom R does look like big (and it is) but this does mean that the seat unit is very spacious in length and width.

The Jane Slalom R is a large pushchair.  Unfolded, the pushchair is 62cm wide and 113cm long. I did find it took a little while to get used to the length of the pushchair, I also occasionally get the wheels stuck due to the width.  I have never been stuck with getting through shop doors etc and even in our medieval town with tiny pavements and buildings, I have never got wedged.  The handle height ranges from 82-107cm, both me (5ft3) and my husband (6ft1) can both use the pushchair with ease.  I would say that someone smaller than me could use this easily but someone over 6ft3in would maybe struggle.
The Slalom R is heavy.  At 10kg I do sometimes struggle to get it into the car if I’m tired.  On the other hand, I find that the weight adds to the stability of the pushchair.  The amazing hand brake helps with going down hill and I’m really going to miss it when we have to move to a tandem.  Uphill can sometimes be hard work but overall the pushchair is a dream to push.Fabrics and harnesses
The fabrics on our version (bought 2011) are very good quality.  The main seat unit is covered in a water resistant fabric which is wipe clean and can be taken of the seat for a good wash.  The label says to handwash only but I popped ours in the machine on a wool wash (delicates) and the fabric is still in perfect condition.  My only gripe with the fabrics are the contrasting fabrics on the sun visor on the hood and the liner on the seat.  They are a soft suede-feel fabric which is lovely to touch but we have found that ours has picked up dirt really badly and even with a wash in the machine, it is still marked.
The harnesses are lovely and long.  My 18 month old who is 91st centile still has plenty of room.  I would say that you could easily fit a 3-4 year old in the harnesses.  They harnesses are easy to adjust but I do get frustrated because if you have the harnesses tight over the shoulders and around the waist then you’ll need to loosen them when you recline the seat and when you sit the child up, the harnesses are loose enough for a toddler to easily work they’re arms out.  I love how the clips do up.  You can attach each side to the buckle separately so if you have a tantruming toddler, you don’t have to try and put the two clips together before clipping them into the buckle.

Child comfort and recline
We started using this pushchair at 7 months old.  My little boy has always looked very comfy and even though he’s large, there is still plenty of room for him even with all his winter clothes on.
There are 3 seat positions, upright, semi reclined and almost flat (not flat enough for a newborn).
The recline mechanism is an easy to grab bar on the back of the seat which you pull upwards to release the catch.  To lift the seat up, you just have to pull the seat, there is no need to use the lever due to the ratchet system.  This works really well especially when the seat is parent facing as you don’t have to walk around to the front of the pushchair to lift the seat up.  After over a year of daily use, the recline system is still as good as new.

Carrycots and Car seats
There is a range of carrycots and a car seats available to use with the Slalom R.  We haven’t used any of them as we only got this pushchair at 7 months old.  We do own a Micro Carrycot though which seems to be a great option if storage space is limited.  The carrycot folds almost flat but this doesn’t seem to compromise the strength or stability of the carrycot.  The fold is simple to do, release the catches and help the struts to fold, that’s it.  To put up, push the struts straight and pop the catches back onto the knobs.  I would happily use the Micro carrycot with our next baby.

The basket seemed small when I first started using the pushchair but I can fit a very large changing bag plus spare clothes and a few toys in it.  The basket is very easy to access when the seat is parent facing, you can also use the foot plate for bags.  This way, I’ve managed to fit 2 bags of shopping, a changing bag, spare clothes and toys.  Probably over loaded but it managed fine on and off the bus.  The basket seems to be really strong has held way more than the recommend weight.
The basket is easy to remove when it needs a wash.  It does tend to get muddy if you use the pushchair off road but even though our basket has been over thistles, through sea water etc it is still in really good condition, just muddy.

Rain Cover
I really dislike the rain cover.  The idea is good but practically, I hate it.  It has a wire either side to help the rain cover hold its shape.  This makes it extremely hard to fold up small.  After a few months of difficulties, we finally worked out that rolling it up is the best option.  Even so, it is still about 30-40cm in diameter, taking up at least three quarters of the basket.
The rain cover is secured to the frame of the pushchair with poppers on elastic.  Within a month, both these poppers had broken through the elastic.   I left our pushchair outside a friend’s house with the rain cover on, when I came to leave, the rain cover had blown off leaving me to carry a very wet child whilst pushing a soaking wet pushchair.
I am sure that there are many other rain covers that will fit this pushchair.  I am looking for one that has a zip around the hood area so that I don’t have to remove the whole rain cover to get baby in and out.

The hood is an excellent size and when the seat is in the upright position, the hood can open to cover the whole child’s upper body.  When laid flat, the hood opens to a more traditional carrycot style.  I do wish that it came slightly further forward as the sun can quite often shine onto baby’s head whilst they’re sleeping.
There is a good viewing window but I have never had the need to use it as we have rarely had our boy forward facing.

The Slalom R handles brilliantly over all surfaces.  I have tried ours on grass (knee length and short), untarmaced lane, beach, tarmac and cobbles.  I have had no problems with any surface.  I would recommend that you lock the front wheel when going over uneven ground or a surface with an incline that could pull you sideways.  It really does make such a difference and stops the chassis pulling to the side.  We live in a field at the end of an untarmaced lane and this pushchair has done us well.  I can push it one handed over the field and down the lane.

The Jane Slalom R is one of the only pushchairs on the market that has a hand operated disk brake.  This works brilliantly and is so helpful on those hills where you’d normally be struggling to hold your pushchair back.  I really have no idea what I’m going to do without it when we have to move to a double.
The parking brake is operated by using your foot to press down a lever on the right hand wheel.  To release the brake, you can either push the top of the lever forward or flick up the bottom of the lever with your toes.  I tend to flick and the push to make sure that I have fully released it.  After a years use, our brake is starting to stick slightly but we haven’t serviced it and I think that once we’ve given it a bit of TLC, it should be fine.  Bear in mind all of the surfaces that we use our pushchair on, all sorts of dust and sand etc will have got into the brakes.

The tyres are air filled pneumatic tyres and despite all of the rough and spiky ground we’ve been on, we haven’t had a single puncture.  I would recommend that you check with air pressure with a proper gauge as the pressure is supposed to be a lot higher than you would expect.  My husband is a mechanic and therefore checks our tyres regularly.  I have seen a lot of Slalom R’s with tyres without enough pressure in.  This will greatly effect the handling especially if you have a higher pressure in one side.

Folded the Slalom R is 87cm long, 62cm wide and between 39-48cm deep depending on whether the front wheel is folded in or not.  The fold is not as compact as Jane make out.  The slalom R takes up most of the boot of our Ford Mondeo and the whole luggage space on the bus.  Not only is it long and wide but the depth is the main problem.  If you want the pushchair to be slimmer then you have to unscrew a sprung hinge type bolt and then fold the footplate and wheel into the pushchair.  It doesn’t make that much difference though and it takes time.  We only bother if we have too much shopping.

In Conclusion
This pushchair is a great pushchair is you want a rugged pushchair with the options of the main high street brands.  This pushchair can go from birth right through till 3-4 years old and comes with many different accessories to help that journey.
The quality of the chassis and seat have really impressed me and I would buy it again (apart from the raincover).
I wouldn’t recommend for a town pushchair as I think this pushchair is far more suited to outdoor living with a little town thrown in.  It is so versatile and copes as well on the buses (unless you have to fold it) as it does in a field or the beach.

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