With a stable full of British winners, iCandy could represent us in the Olympics if pushchairs were allowed! We have their junior medal hopeful, the Cherry, in the office for review, is it a contender?....
iCandy are without doubt an aspirational brand. Unfortunately, good looks, great quality and intelligent functionality don't come cheap and you will need deep pockets to afford this desirable brand of British excellence. The fruity offerings of iCandy are not limited to the Peach, Strawberry and Apple, they also cater for a smaller budget with the Cherry. However, don't dismiss it as the budget option because it can still give you your iCandy hit without breaking the bank.
What's in the box
The RRP of the iCandy Cherry is £320
Just because you aren't paying as much as you would for the rest of the pushchairs in the iCandy stable doesn't mean that the iCandy Cherry can't do what you want it to do. It does lack some of the features and finesse of the bigger hitters but this is to be expected when you are paying considerably less.
NOTE: The lastest models of the iCandy Cherry no longer feature windows in either side of the canopy
The manoeuvrability and the functions of the frame are excellent, in fact it feels quite breezy and lightweight compared to some of the more expensive models. The handle is foam covered and non adjustable but it is accessible to all parents regardless of their height. However, taller parents may find themselves catching the rear axle with their feet if they have a wide gait. In the centre of the handle is a large grey button that activates the fold....more later.
Moving down the shafts of the handle, you come to the seat mounting brackets and two, black, plastic, punch grips that come into play when you are folding...again, more later. The basket sits below the seat unit and can be described as ample, it's not excessively long (42cms) but it is substantially deep (29cms), ensuring your shopping isn't going to fall out of the sides. Plus it means you can take your raincover wherever you go because it doesn't consume all your carrying capacity and can be neatly folded in the bottom out of the way.
The 20cm rear wheels have EVA foam tyres and are halted by the one step linked brake bar that spans the rear axle. It seems a little oversized and rudimentary in relation to the frame but it's easy to apply and release. The 17.5cm front wheels also have EVA foam tyres and can be locked off to restrain the 360 degree swivel when crossing rougher terrain.
The frame of the iCandy Cherry is lightweight and bears a resemblance to the rest of the range but you can tell that this is where you make your savings on cost. Not that it doesn't perform its job properly - it does, but it is simply not on a par with the good looking quality of the rest of the iCandy family.
The Cherry will not fold with the seat in place, but makes a compact footprint never the less. The button I mentioned earlier, that sits in the middle of the handle, is locked off and released by another small button on the underside. Once deployed, the handle will drop down in front of you and then seem to come to a stop. At this point you need to get hold of the black plastic grips and pull them towards you; this pushes the top section of the handle towards the front wheels. It has a manual frame lock and it can stand vertically independently or lay flat in the back of the car with the seat unit stowed neatly on top.
To open, undo the locking latch then slide the black, plastic grips along the shaft of the handle until it clicks into the correct position. Voila...ready to go! Well, as soon as you have attached the seat unit of course!
The seat unit
The Cherry's seat is where it is instantly recognisable; it sports the iCandy livery in the form of fabrics, canopy and logo.
The seat drops onto the mounting brackets in either the front facing or parent facing direction, whichever suits you and yours best. The bumper bar acts as a convenient handle when manoeuvring the seat around i.e. when you are attaching or detaching it from the frame. Although removable, the bumper bar doesn't have a gate opening mechanism but the arc of this foam covered bar is such that you would be able to slide a child in or out without any issue.
The seat is generous in size at 25cms deep and 30cms wide with a back height of 51cms. This allows it to accommodate the older child especially as they can rest their feet on the front axle, bypassing the foot rest at the bottom of the seat unit. The five point harness can also be adjusted into three different height positions. The ends of the chest straps are accessed through a zipped rear pocket, behind a further zip, where they can then be slotted into an alternative position, a bit fiddly, but how often do you really need to adjust them? – not often. Crotch and shoulder pads ensure that the straps are comfortable for your passenger.
The canopy is average in size and unfortunately doesn't have a viewing window to be able to take a peek in on your child when they are sat in the forward facing position.
Most pushchairs have a certain amount of adjustability to suit your child and the Cherry is no exception. The seat can be reclined in three angles in either front or parent facing modes by pressing the buttons on the inside of the mounting sockets. Initially I thought this was in an unnecessarily awkward position but it's easier when you work out how to tackle it properly. Stand at the front of your pushchair and approach the buttons as if you are going to take the bumper bar off. Use your thumbs to depress the buttons and the bar to aid your choice of angle. A doddle really!
These buttons also take on the role of release mechanism for the seat unit. Press each button independently while taking up the weight of the seat by holding the bumper bar, it will then come away from the frame with little effort.
The calf rest can be positioned at one of five angles between vertical and horizontal using the grey buttons on the rim of the frame.
The iCandy Cherry is definitely a compromise on an iCandy but not on a pushchair. It is always going to be compared to its siblings but it does have some endearing qualities of its own.
I really like the fold; it's easy to perform and results in a tidy compact footprint, especially when stood vertically. Unlike other vertical folding pushchairs, it isn't a balancing act to get it to stand upright, it's sturdy. Yet for some people, the fact that it won't fold with the seat unit in place could be a problem, if so, don't discount it before you have tried it because this isn't a big issue.
The size of the basket is also a plus; it is deep and could accommodate a packed changing bag. It's not suitable for small items but the zipped pocket at the back of the seat can step in to hold your phone, keys and purse and save you from balancing them on the canopy, inevitably dropping them eventually....been there!
Although the bumper bar has its practical uses, I don't like the fact that it can't be opened on one side. This pushchair is suitable for an older child but they won't like the fact that they need to be lifted in and out of the seat if the bumper bar is in place.
Another niggle is the brake bar, it's quite ugly and out of proportion to the rest of the frame. Plus I'm not asking for air conditioning or a heated seat but an auto frame lock would contribute to a little more user friendliness.
Overall the iCandy Cherry is a lovely pushchair. I know you shouldn't draw comparisons, but it doesn't share the same quality as the rest of the family, however it doesn't have the same price tag either!
We give the iCandy Cherry
3.5 out of 5 stars
Age: From 6 months
Open size: 74.5 x 59 x 100cms
Folded size: 87 x 59 x 31cms
Folded size: 87 x 55 31 cms (without wheels)