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The i-candy brand may not have won the royal seal of approval but it must surely have made it to the short list. In terms of cost, i-candy prams sit, I would say, at the more expensive end of the baby transport options. In terms of style, they are, despite the royal snub, currently in vogue. Now, I am neither a princess with a royal budget nor a dedicated follower of fashion, but my partner and I chose, after much angst, an i-candy peach for little Loz. I'll take you through some of the main features and reasons why we selected it.
**What is the i-Candy Peach?**
The i-candy peach is a travel system. A travel system has the potential to allow the baby to be transported in the car as well as in the pram and is suitable for a variety of ages. Note, the word 'potential'. I use this purposely as many systems, this one included, do not come with all the parts to enable multiple uses as standard. You are required to make additional purchases that can really bump the price up. I bought my pram in store at Winstanley's of Wigan. Winstanley's 'bundle' prams which gives a discount on the overall price and makes it easier to get a fix on the 'real' 'on the pavement' price of your wheels.
Part of the appeal of i-candy is it's style. The prams feature shiny chrome frames and trims with striking colour ways. The colour options appear to change on an annual basis. I have the 2012 model in 'black jack' - a misnomer as it's brown/grey. The only difference I can see between this and the 2013 peach 2 is the colour.
**What comes as standard and what the extras are**
Standard - this is what you get for the basic price
2. Pushchair seat unit suitable for use from 6 months - can be forward or rear facing
3. Raincover for pushchair
And that is it! As it stands, you simply wouldn't buy just this as there are so many significantly cheaper options for the +6month old child who can sit in an upright position.
'Optional' extras - what you really need to have the Peach work as a travel system for the baby under 6 months
2. Car seat and attachment mechanism (adaptor set)
3. Rain cover for car seat
4. Carry cot (comes with rain cover)
The pram unit is essentially open so unless you plan to only use the unit in summer or tuck in blankets, you will need some sort of foot muff. A coordinating iCandy foot muff is available for purchase separately.
Part of the convenience of a travel system is being able to slot a car seat in and out. The Peach is compatible with maxi-Cosi or Pebble car seats but you will also need a converter set to connect the seat to the chassis. A rain cover is good to have too - iCandy don't sell a specific one but there are generic ones available.
The carry cot enables a small baby to be transported flat. This is the recommended position for babies to sleep in. It's unfortunate that little Loz hasn't read this advice as he would much rather snooze in his car seat than in the carry cot. The carry cot can be used until the baby is about six months (9kg or able to sit unaided). Little Loz is currently just over 9lb. He fills the cot out so I'm not hopeful about getting 6 months use out of it. The carry cot is suitable for overnight sleeping so you will not need a Moses basket. The cot comes with a hood than can be pushed up or down. The bottom is vented. I know babies are light, but the mattress does feel a bit thin. The carry cot retails at around £200 so it's an expensive add on. I'm using mine mainly for sleeping and for walks direct from the house - if I'm in the car, I tend to use the car seat on the chassis. I'd be happier with the carry cot purchase if little Loz seemed to like it more!
Truly optional extras
2. Changing bag
3. Travel bag - for transporting pushchair
4. Cup holder
5. Convertor to double buggy
I took a look at the changing bag - it's a whopping size with a price tag to match of £100! This one, I left! There are no plans for a little Loz two but if there were, a converter set is available to upgrade the chassis to a double buggy. This is a stacked vertical system so one child is 'on top' of the other.
**Why we chose it**
Little Loz is my only child and I hadn't had a lot of contact with the world of baby before he was born. I can dimly recall thinking that my sister had been transported to another planet when, ten years ago, she paid more for my nephew's pram than I paid for my first car. I didn't really 'get' what the issue was and why she didn't just buy a McLaren buggy for fifty quid. When it came to selecting my pram, I could see that post 6 months, there are huge bargains to be had. Pre-6months, when the baby needs to be flat, you pay a lot for a relatively short period. I should say here that there ARE some 'strollers' that claim to be suitable from 0, but they just look too upright to my eye. So, for the sake of a precious 6 months, you end up paying a lot for a system in the hope that it will 'last' through to toddler and beyond. Will it? Well, it's early days yet for us but I shall update this review in time......
In terms of specific features, there were a few things we were looking for. Basket size was important to us - many baskets are simply too small to get more than a change bag in. The iCandy has a spacious 'hammock' style basket beneath that can take a change bag, rain cover and shopping. We were also looking for non-puncture wheels - the iCandy's are solid. The 'fold' was also critical. I have had a c section but can still fold this pram. You can do this with one hand by pushing down the handle, which collapses the frame, then pulling on the carry strap which rests across the basket. One disadvantage of this is that the foam handle makes contact with the floor making it susceptible to damage. The shiny chrome is also susceptible to scratching in the course of normal wear and tear.
**Size, weight and manoeuvrability**
The iCandy weighs in at 14.2kg for the pram seat and chassis. The dimensions are (folded) 70 x 60 x 28.5cm, (unfolded) 72 x 60 x 105cm. To give you more of an idea, I picked the iCandy up from the store in a Vauxhall Corsa. The chassis fitted in the boot but only with the parcel shelf up. I then upgraded to a Meriva which swallows it with ease.
The pram is very manoeuvrable both on pavement and on rougher terrain such as grass. For surfaces such as sand, the two front wheels can be locked to give greater stability. In town, it is easy and smooth to push and navigate kerbs. For comfort, the handle can be adjusted to two positions. The brake is easily accessed on the front axle.
I had cause to contact iCandy to confirm that the Peach is suitable for overnight sleeping. They responded in one day to my e-mail. I accessed the contact details via their website where you can find PDF's of instructions for their products.
**Price, availability, re-sale and depreciation**
As I bought my Peach in a bundle in a sale event at Winstanley's, putting a price on the pram is difficult. I think we paid £640 for the following items - chassis, pram, car seat, cover, carry cot. However, the model I bought was 'last year's' so expect to pay more for the latest model. The foot muff was purchased on line as the store was out of stock. Finding a price for an iCandy is not a transparent process as most websites that sell the pram are not allowed to post the price direct. You are expected to mail and ask - see I said this was exclusive!
The other place to find an iCandy is on e-bay. There are lots of systems and individual parts. Expect to pay/receive one third to one half of the retail price. At this end of the pram spectrum the value/marketability is better than for cheaper models.
So, the wagon has rolled but my pram wheels still have lots of turning left to do. I'll be back with an update when little Loz is big enough to test out the buggy seat.
At the time of buying my little girl's travel system, I owned a small car. Because of this, I was quite limited as to which system I could choose because I had to make sure that it would fit into the car boot. I had heard a lot about iCandy travel systems and I fell in love with the iCandy Peach 2 as soon as I set eyes on it. The peach 2 travel system is the updated version of the peach, although there are only minor cosmetic differences between them, the most noticeable being the colours it is available in (Dooyoo advised me to pop my review here as the differences are so minor!). The travel system is available as a 'jogger' which essentially means as a 3 wheeler or a 4 wheel system which is the one we own.
Availability, Cost and Colours
Our travel system was ordered in a John Lewis store. I have read previously that iCandy are quite particular about who sells their items and as a consequence they're not found in many regular stores. I have also come across it in a local independent retailer but there aren't many stockists out there!
The chassis and pushchair come together as a package and costs £595 but as babies are not allowed in the pushchair part until they are six months old, I also felt that the carrycot was a necessary purchase and that cost an additional £220. I know that the price sounds ridiculous when there are many other items a baby needs too, but the way I looked at it was that my baby would spend a heck of a lot of time in it.
The current colours are silver mint, black magic, berry bon bon and parma violet. The picture here shows the original peach in tomato but these are no longer available as the peach 2 has been phased in. Ours is in black magic as I felt that the silver mint would get dirty quite quickly from all the moving about and the berry and parma violet colours look girly to me, although the lady in John Lewis disagreed with this about the berry so it's a personal opinion with that. We were after something more neutral just incase we ever have another baby! The other thing that attracted us to the peach 2 is that it is adaptable to convert the travel system for use with two children, one small baby can be attached to the chassis in a car seat or the carrycot and an older child in the pushchair part - this requires special adaptors to do but is an option nevertheless.
The Main Chassis
The main part of the pushchair is it's best selling point in my view. We visited other shops before purchasing the pram and in every one the salesperson struggled to demonstrate how other travel systems went up and folded. That's not to say they were bad at their job, it was rather the travel systems we asked about seemed very awkward and fiddly. I'm not the sort of person who likes to be stood in the rain while I'm messing around trying to collapse the pram! I find going out with my baby is a big enough task with all the extra stuff that I need to take with me and the peach helps me out by being so easy to put up and down quickly. To fold it, all you do is press a button on the handlebar and slide the bar downwards - the whole thing then collapses into a tidy and compact parcel. If you have a small boot in the car, then one wheel needs to come off for the chassis to fit. This is so easy to do - press the centre part of the wheel inwards and it just slides off. Then to fit back on, it just clicks really quickly back in place. I changed my car to a fiesta since purchasing this pram and although I still have to take a wheel off the pram, it's such a minor thing it causes me no issues.
The main chassis has a handle that runs all the way along with a black foam gripper part across. The main chassis has a basket underneath that is quite roomy, it holds the majority of bags that I have on a normal shopping trip (not a food trip though!). It is a very stylish looking chassis, the metal bars making up the chassis are in shiny silver and have the word 'iCandy' embossed on in black. The chassis is also quite compact when fully set up, more so than other models we looked at. It measures 70cm x 60cm x 28.5cm folded and 72cm x 60cm x 105cm when unfolded. The chassis weighs 10kg.
Attaching the Different Parts
Each part - the carrycot, the pushchair seat and the car seat adaptors - all slot into the main chassis very easily. Once they click in place, it's ready to use. No fiddly fastenings, it's very easy to add and remove parts to the main chassis and takes very little time. There are two large plastic holes on the chassis that each of these attachments slots into.
Unfortunately, we never got much use from this. I'm glad we bought it but my daughter didn't like going to sleep in it and it was expensive at £220, we definitely didn't get our money's worth. We found we got more use from it by buying a moses basket stand and using it in the living room as a second moses basket, saving me lugging the main one all over the house. It is on the small side - our daughter was a small newborn and even she managed to outgrow the carrycot by around 4 and half months. It's supposed to last until 6 months but I'd be surprised if it ever lasts a baby until this age. Instead we used the car seat and attachments when out and about before she turned six months old (more about them in a bit).
The Pushchair Seat
When she reached 6 and half months, we moved onto using the pushchair seat. This seat again just slots onto the frame. It can be faced towards you or faced away - I always have her facing towards me. The seat has a movable foot rest at the bottom so that babies feet can either dangle down or lie upwards. The seat also tilts easily into three different positions which is great because my daughter regularly falls asleep when around the shops and I can just tilt the seat backwards so she's lying down. There's a large hood too to pull across when it is particularly sunny or to shield her a bit when she's tired. My daughter enjoys her time in the pushchair part and the straps on this seem very secure holding her in place. The only minor issue we have with this is the bar that runs across the front of the seat, it just gets in the way when trying to get her in and out, although it is quite useful to clip some of her smaller toys to keeping her occupied. It is also removable if need be.
There are many accessories available for this pushchair including a parasol, changing bag and cup holder. We don't own most of the accessories because I found them to be expensive and the bag in particular didn't seem value for money. One we do have though is the Footmuff. This zips into the lining of the main pushchair and provides a very snuggly place for baby to sit in. It cost £80 which was very expensive in my view, especially after we had to send the first back as it was faulty and wouldn't open and close! Again, the accessories are only available from a selected number of places, ours was from John Lewis. The other accessory we have are the maxi cosi car seat adaptors - we own the Maxi-cosi pebble car seat and these adaptors were a godsend when she was smaller as whenever she fell asleep in the car (which she did a lot) we could just take the seat from the car and slot it onto these adaptors to then use the travel system keeping her in the car seat. These cost £25 which was reasonable for the use we had, although at the end of the day they are just two big pieces of plastic! The pram already comes with a plastic raincover.
I would definitely recommend the Peach travel system, it's fantastic and one that I would have no hesitation to buy if I were choosing again. It is very expensive but I feel that we've had so much use over it over the last few months that we've had our money's worth. The only thing I would watch out for are the cost of accessories as these are the only things I'm not completely convinced by and the carrycot should really be made bigger to accommodate all babies until they are 6 months. I rate it 4 stars as it's great, just those issues taking a star off.