iCandy Cherry Review
The Cherry is the entry level pushchair in the iCandy range. However for an entry level pushchair we were impressed by the quality of the fabrics and chassis and the attention to detail.
The styling is unmistakably iCandy. To the eye the Cherry is not too dissimilar to the other iCandy pushchairs. The fabric is a sturdy canvas type material which looks smart and hard wearing. The chassis is unfussy with clean lines.
The most noticeable thing about the Cherry, is how light it is to both carry and to push, but yet the Cherry has a sturdiness that means it doesn’t feel flimsy. To be honest it feels perfect. It manoeuvres easily around objects, using just one hand. The Cherry is very nippy! The light chassis makes the Cherry easy to carry and lift into the car boot. It is actually possible to tow the Cherry chassis along, but to be honest, the chassis is so light that it is easier to carry it!
The light weight chassis means that the Cherry is very easy to put up and down. Opening the chassis involves simply pulling the handlebar upwards with one hand whilst keeping the other on one of the handles on the side of the chassis. The seat unit simply drops into position on top. However we have found that because the recline and seat removal buttons are the same, that sometimes the seat rotates slightly, and then will not drop into place properly. We have been careful to check that the small lines on either side of the seat line up before attempting to put the seat unit on. If this check is done, then putting the seat unit on is simple.
Size wise the Cherry is surprisingly compact. At first we thought the chassis and seat unit looked long, but next to the Bugaboo Bee which people regard as compact, the size was very comparable when folded and when open.
Both of our children looked comfortable in the nicely padded seat unit with no slumping. The seat is slightly reclined off the vertical which was not really an issue for either child, although looking at the photos, our daughter really could have done with being more upright. But she is 3.4 years old and we suspect her weight affected the seat position. For the younger child we prefer a slight recline to a seat unit to a more upright seat, and the slight recline is nothing compared to the hammock type seats that we have used. Our younger child looks more upright than his sister. The seat has 3 recline settings – upright, mid recline and flat recline.
The seat reclines by pushing in two buttons – one on each side of the inside of the seat and then tilting the seat unit back or forward. These two buttons need holding in to remove the seat with a tug upwards. We did have issues with one side of the seat rotating round as we tried to remove the seat. At one point the seat unit got stuck because the rotators were misaligned but after that we visually checked that the two halves of the line matched up each time before putting the seat back on, and had no further issues. iCandy recommend that you put the seat into a flat recline before removing the unit to prevent this happening.
The seat unit can parent face or outward face simply by turning the seat unit around. There are 3 recline settings in either direction. All round we think the seat unit is one of the best we have tried.
We love the way that the seat fabric continues down to the footrest area. We suspect that little feet could quickly make the footrest dirty, but the seat fabric does zip off, and can be washed on a cool wash. The footrest has 3 positions to keep a childs legs in line with their bottom when in both recline positions. For an older child who is sat upright, their feet can be raised or be near vertically down.
The harness is basic but a good length – not too short or long. There are 3 shoulder height settings, although altering these is not terribly easy. We loved the huge crotch pad and the good quality shoulder harness covers.
We prefer the new hood without viewing windows. The solid fabric makes the hood look cleaner and more stylish. We love the way the hood pulls easily forwards to open but yet the fabric remains taut. There is no flopping fabric or bending hood supports. We think the hood really helps make the Cherry look smart. The hood is a fixed height hood which does limit the life span of the Cherry, but the headroom inside is good.
The Cherry comes with a foam covered bumper bar as standard. It is a nice chunky bumper bar, and is easy to pop off although it doesn’t swing away – but neither do the more expensive iCandy bumper bars. For an older child, a swing away bumper bar does make it easier to lift them in and out.
The wheels are hard plastic wheels. They are relatively small, but the Cherry is not marketed as an off road pushchair. However it has coped very well with the gravel, grass and cobbles that we tested it on.
The two noticeable concessions to this being an entry level pushchair, are the fixed handlebar and the brake. I am 5ft 6ins and I like a tall handlebar, and the Cherry handlebar was absolutely perfect for me, and the taller Mr BB. Compared to other pushchairs, the handlebar is on the high side, and this may be an issue if you are short of stature. However the Cherry is so light to push that it really only needs one hand to push. Therefore handle height is not as much of an issue, as a pushchair which requires two hands to push.
The brake is a long wire brake with pins at each end which lock into place on the wheels. The brake was easy enough to put on, but removing it wasn’t easy even with good shoes on. But I spoke to iCandy who recommended rocking the chassis a little before releasing the brake and although it sounded daft at the time, it actually worked! Rocking just released the brake pins enough so that I could then flick the brake off with my bare feet!!! I think you need to visually check that the brake has completely been pushed on before letting go of the handle.
The iCandy Cherry has a large storage basket. It comes right to the front of the pushchair and is fully enclosed on three sides. There is a large opening at the rear which makes it great for pushing a changing bag or large handbag underneath the pushchair. The Cherry has one of the best baskets we have seen both for size, but also to stop items from falling out! The only worry we had was that because the basket is made of fabric, it could quite easily become dirty underneath. But we believe (although have not tried it) that the basket can be detached and cleaned.
The Cherry also has a small storage pocket on the rear of the seat unit. This is just the right size for a phone or keys or a small purse or a muslin.
The iCandy Cherry seat unit is suitable from 6 months old. There are two options for a newborn baby – a carrycot, or car seat.
The Cherry carrycot simply drops onto the chassis instead of the seat unit. The carrycot flattens down for easy transportation. It is suitable for occasional overnight sleeping, but is not a moses basket substitute. The carrycots should be used in conjunction with a breathable mattress for overnight sleeping, which is available separately. We like the carrying handle in the centre of the carrycot hood.
The Cherry can take a parent facing Maxi Cosi Cabriofix or Pebble car seat with the addition of car seat adaptors, which are available to buy seperately. The adaptors fix simply into the seat sockets, and the car seat goes on top.
Folding the chassis involves first removing the seat unit. This is done by holding in the two small buttons on the inside of the seat unit and tugging the seat off. Next, locate the small round button on the underside of the handlebar, which then needs to be pushed upwards, whilst squeezing in the larger grey rectangular button in the centre of the handlebar. The chassis will start to slide downwards. At this point grab the handles on the side of the chassis and pull the chassis closed. This may sound complicated but its actually easy! There is a plastic lock on one side of the chassis to hold it together for transportation. The chassis will freestand once folded which we found most useful. However the seat unit does need to be stored elsewhere.
Although the Cherry is a two part fold, it is very easy to remove the seat unit first (or add it back on when opening). Pushchairs like the Babystyle Oyster and Bugaboo Bee where the seat folds in situ, often have an additional step to fold the seat unit down. So in fact it can be quicker to remove a seat.
The iCandy Cherry comes in a choice of colours: liquorice, fudge, berry blue, black cherry and mulberry. There is also currently a Special Edition Great Britain Cherry. The Cherry comes with a raincover. There are additional coordinating accessories such as liners and footmuffs available to buy.
It was only at the end of my review period that we looked the price of the Cherry up earlier and discovered that the Peach is almost twice as much to buy as the Cherry. This really surprised us because the quality of the Cherry seems excellent. Yes, there are features like the brake and combined recline / removal button which do seem functional, but the fabrics, seat unit and overall feel of the Cherry is so unmistakably iCandy that we thought it would cost more! What a lovely surprise to find such a good quality, but so affordable pushchair!
Many thanks to iCandy for helping us with this review.