iCandy have a fruity range for you to explore, but this isn't just any fruit, it's Marks and Spencers fruit, so you need deep pockets...we take a look at their well polished Apple.
You can feel the quality from the minute you grab the handle of an iCandy, they all feel infinitely solid and durable, but this reassuring stability doesn't come cheap. However, with endorsements from the likes of Mrs Beckham, there will always be an element of aspiration built into the budget busting iCandy.
iCandy have a good range of expansion built into their models, banking on the probability that if you've taken the brave step of having one child you are likely to go further and have at least one more. The Apple can convert into the Pear that accommodates two children in the same way as the Peach transforms into the Peach Blossom, plus the Apple can convert into a jogger with the addition of a single wheel at the front.
What's in the box
The RRP for the iCandy Apple is £430
this excludes the Flavour pack (£60) which is bought as an accessory but is a necessity.
The iCandy Apple Flavour packs are available in: Mandarin, Redcurrant, Imperial, Grape and Blackcurrant. (Note: the latest iCandy products do not have peephole windows in the canopy as pictured above)
The iCandy Apple is in the middle of the iCandy pecking order. This said, it still comes in at £430 before you've added the necessary flavour pack (£60), however you are buying a long lasting, solid product that will not only expand to suit a growing family but will also retain a high re-sale value.
Having never scrutinised the finer details of the iCandy range I can now see why the differences between their models have not been more obvious. All of their pushchairs bear strong similarities to each other with the nuances of frame design and a few aesthetics between them. In fact, there are elements of the Apple that I prefer to its more expensive relatives.
Stripping the Apple down to its naked frame, with just a basket to maintain its modesty, reveals the familiar iCandy shape. The foam covered handle is chunky and extendable via the large central button from 98cms to an incredible 114cms.
The chassis continues forward into the recognisable iCandy scoop. At the very front of the frame is a large chrome hub that holds the front axle. It seems a little incongruous with the metalwork as it is very large and shiny compared with the matt of the aluminium. However it is large for a reason, that being, it can be adapted to take a single wheel, turning the Apple into the Apple Jogger.
When in the standard configuration, the two 18cm EVA foam front wheels can be locked to prohibit them from swivelling. The controls are easily accessible dials, located above each wheel.
The basket spans two thirds of the wheel base and is high (26cms) at the front and low (10cms) at the back, making it useful when the seat is mounted in the forward facing mode but not so easy to get to when the seat is facing you. Included, in a compartment of the basket, is the tyre pump for the 28.5cm rear wheels, which in conjunction with the suspension on the back axle, provide a comfortable ride for your passenger.
There is no missing the brake! The large arched lever spans the whole of the back axle and although a little cumbersome in size, it is easy to apply and release.
The central button on the handle serves a dual purpose as it is also involved in the folding procedure. Squeezing the button on the left shaft of the handle at the same time as lowering the handle height rapidly into the frame, immediately collapses the chassis, resulting in the handle at your feet. It is a fold mechanism I have seen in other pushchairs, but never made so easy.
Sadly there is no auto lock feature, but a manual strap to keep the frame closed, a disappointing omission to the end of such a simple and sophisticated fold. However it will stand vertically when folded, even if you don't remove the seat unit (only fold with the seat unit in the forwards facing position).
Opening is simply a matter of lifting the handle and maybe putting your foot on the brake bar for stability. The frame is erect in an instant with little effort and a lot of ‘click'. The seat unit or carrycot can then be dropped into the sockets and you are ready for boarding.
Bums on seats
The seat drops onto the frame with a comforting click. The large grey buttons either side control the release and recline and perform both without breaking your nails. Personally, I don't like to have to straddle the child to recline the seat, but I must say that is a doddle to do, working first time – every time. Pushing the buttons and lifting the seat will release it from the frame. The bumper bar can act as a handle to help.
The bumper bar is a more functional offering than on some of the more expensive models as it can be released on one side or the other and has a hinge to allow it to gate open.
The seat itself looks deceptively small but has a width of 30cms, a depth of 25cms and a head height of 50cms, allowing ample room for the average 2/3 year old. It's foot rest can be positioned in one of the eight possible positions over 180 degrees, not that anyone will use it in the vertical position...but it is possible!
I love the fact that all the seat fabrics can be removed from the frame to shake out and wipe off any crumbs or debris. The calf rest is covered by a ribbed plastic to protect against dirty shoes or muddy wellies. In contrast, the footplate is a little ornate compared to the simplicity of the rest of the frame but echoes the shiny bulkhead at the front of the frame.
The rear of the seat hides a handy zip pocket which in turn conceals another zip that allows access to the rear panel of the seat, where adjustments to the shoulder strap height can be made.
There is no escaping the fact that you have to buy a Flavour pack for your Apple or you won't have a canopy to shelter your child from the elements. They come in 5 colour choices; mandarin, redcurrant, imperial, grape and blackcurrant and allow you to customise your pushchair to your taste or to the sex of your child.
The ample canopy slides firmly into place, the two segments providing sufficient shelter from sun or wind. The super-soft, matching fleece insert that comes with the Flavour pack fits into the seat unit, held in place by the five point harness.
The iCandy Apple contains some great engineering but still feels as though the comfort of the parent as well as the child have been considered. For Mums and Dads; the ability to adjust the handle over such a wide span makes the Apple accessible to giants and midgets alike, the basket is large enough for all your gubbins and all the elements that you are likely to use on a daily basis (i.e. recline, seat removal, fold) work well.
For your passenger; the gate fold bumper bar helps with getting in and out, the reversible seat means smaller children can face Mum or Dad, whilst older children may prefer to be world facing, and the pneumatic tyres, suspension and soft seat liner ensure a comfortable ride.
It really bugs me that they haven't put an auto lock on the closure of the frame – this feature comes as standard on many umbrella strollers that cost a fraction of the price of the Apple and to me has become something I simply take for granted.
The brake lever seems unnecessarily large, regardless of the fact that it performs its duty diligently, it's aesthetically oversized and rudimentary for a pushchair with such elegance in other areas.
If you are after a stylish pushchair, with adaptability, longevity and that is simple to use, the Apple is an excellent choice, plus, with the ability to customize the colours to your taste, you can make it your own.
We give the iCandy Apple
4 out of 5 stars
Chassis open: 81 x 60 x 98 - 114cms
Chassis folded: 89.5 x 60 x 34.5cms (with wheels)
Chassis folded: 89.4 x 49.7 x 34cms (without wheels)
Weight of chassis: 10.5kgs (with wheels)
Weight of chassis: 8.5kgs (without wheels)
Weight of carrycot: 6.2kgs
Weight of seat unit: 4.5kgs