iCandy Apple 2 Pear at Harrogate Nursery Fair
Best Buggy are absolutely delighted to be able to present this comprehensive first look at the stunning new iCandy Apple 2 Pear!
The Apple 2 Pear has taken the essence of the old Apple and Pear, but it has been redesigned for 2013.
The Apple 2 chassis retains the feel of the old Apple with the chunky chassis, shiny nose plate, similar basket shape, and a similar fold.
The most obvious difference between the old Apple and the Apple 2 Pear is that the seat has been completely resdesigned. The new seat is streamlined with a feel of flow from top to bottom. The good quality fabrics make the Apple 2 Pear look very smart.
As with the current Apple, the seat can face in either direction, with 3 recline positions in either direction. However the Apple 2 Pear can be folded with the seat left in situ facing in either direction! Brilliant!
The sun hoods now have a flick out visor for added sun protection. However, in line with most of the iCandy range, the hoods now come as part of a Flavour Canopy which cost an additional £60 per seat unit. However, there are a stunning range of colours to choose from including: Aniseed (dark red), Raspberry Blue, Chilli (red), Cassis (purple), Cookie (creamy beige), Caviar (black) and Papaya (pink). This last colour was very difficult to capture in photos – it has come out looking orange, but close up, it is almost like a slightly washed chalky pink (if that makes sense!). The close up of the Papaya hood with the iCandy logo is probably the best representation of the colour. The other colours were beautiful jewel bright colours. We love them!
However, there is no footrest on the seat unit, and when we queried this, we were told that the calf rest has been designed to support a child’s legs in a way which takes the pressure off them from behind the knee and calves, thus the seating position should be very comfortable – usually in a pushchair, a child’s legs are bent more at the knee. I have to say I was a little bit dubious about this because I know my eldest in particular likes a footrest. However, we did put both children into the seat units, and although our youngest (2 years 8 months old, 88cms tall) wasn’t entirely sure whether to have his feet up or down at first (see the photos), he did eventually settle with them down, and seemed happy. We put our eldest (4 years 5 months old) in the seat, and I have to say she did look very comfortable seated. She is 107cms tall and she could just fit underneath the hood. So the seat is a generous size. She told us that she was comfortable, and that is the important part for us – our children have to be comfortable in their pushchair seats.
The handle has one of the biggest ranges we have seen. There are a total of 7 handle height settings. We measured the handle very approximately to range from 97cms – 112cms.
The Apple 2 comes with EVA wheels as standard. However there is an optional rear air tyre and pump accessory pack available.
Apple 2 Pear
One of the biggest reasons for the Apple 2 Pear is that iCandy wanted to make the conversion from Apple (one child) into a Pear (two children) tandem much easier, and user friendly, but also to cost less. Therefore, it is the Pip Convertor kit which has really seen the big changes.
The first difference is that the front wheels and axle no longer need replacing when moving from the Apple 2 to the Pear 2. Therefore the Apple 2 Pear will now have whizzy ‘turn on the spot’ swivel wheels, instead of the older double chunky wheels with their large turning circle. This feature alone was enough to get us excited! I ran off around the iCandy stand, whizzing, turning, spinning on the spot and swerving all over the place to test out the ultra manoeuverability of the fabulous wheels!! They were great!
The second big change is that there is no Pip Convertor frame to fit onto the chassis, to put the seats in. Instead, there are 2 sets of adaptors. The upper curved adaptors, simply plug into the central Apple 2 Pear seat sockets. These lift the front seat high up and also brings the seat forwards. This leaves a huge amount of space between the seats for the lower seat. The lower adaptors are in two pieces. The first part wraps around the lower part of the frame – near the rear wheels. The second part of the adaptor then slides in on top. The seat then drops into the sockets. This may seem fiddly to do, but it literally takes seconds, and once on, the adaptors can be left in situ when folding.
The third change is to the price. The old Pear Pip Convertor kit costs £300 to buy at present. The new Apple 2 Pear Pip Convertor ie adaptors and second seat unit with raincover, will cost just £110!!!! I have to say, I had to ask iCandy 3 times to repeat the price because I couldn’t believe it was so low!! However do not forget that the Flavour Pack hood will cost an additional £60. iCandy did say that their hoods are the same fixings as the current Apple and so can interchange. However the new hood is bigger and does have the flick out visor.
The Pear 2 seat units are now equal sizes. We measured the seat as being 50cms tall which is much taller than the current Pear seats, 1cm taller than the Strawberry seat, and the same height as the Peach seat with the liner removed. The hood is fixed, but even so, given our big 107cm tall 4 and a half year old can fit underneath the hood, then its testament that the seat unit on the new Apple 2 is not small. The measurements speak for themselves. We did not measure the seat width, but the seats look similar to the rest of the iCandy range, and they appeared generous. Again, our eldest had no complaints (and believe me she would complain!)
Carrycot and Newborn Nests
The Apple 2 Pear seats are suitable from 6 months old.
There is an optional carrycot for the Apple 2 which is suitable for overnight sleeping. This comes with a padded mattress and a raincover. This fits in the central position on the Apple 2 chassis.
In a similar fashion to the current Pear, the main Apple carrycot can not be fitted on in 2 child mode. The Apple 2 Pear seats can be converted to Newborn Nests. However, the conversion has been made much easier because the Apple 2 Pear seat fabrics simply slide off and the Newborn Nest fabric is then secured with velcro loops to the Apple 2 frame. The newborn nests are approximately 7.5cms longer, and 29% biggger in volume than the previous Pear carrycots and as our photos show, they are only slightly smaller than the full sized Apple 2 carrycot. Unlike the current Pear, there will be no footrest to obstruct the space for the baby in the new Pear 2 Newborn Nests. However the Newborn Nests are not carrycots. They do not have the structure of a carrycot, so can not be placed on the floor, or used as somewhere for a baby to sleep off the pushchair chassis. The Apple 2 Pear will take 2 Newborn Nests and there is a Twin option when purchasing. When two Newborn Nests are used, the Nests go facing each other on the chassis ie toe to toe.
Travel System Options
The Apple 2 Pear can also take 1 or 2 car seats parent facing. The compatible car seats are the Maxi Cosi Pebble or Cabriofix, or the BeSafe IziGo. Additional car seat adaptors are required.
In Apple 2 Pear single mode, the basket is generous – it is almost 12% bigger than the old Apple basket. Our only disappointment is that the access to the basket space is still restricted in tandem mode. There is enough space at the rear of the basket to slide a raincover in and out. There is a little more space if the lower seat is reclined, to push things underneath, but overall, there really is not much space in tandem mode. We did ask iCandy nicely to have a think about this
Our only other query is with regards to foot room for the lower child. Although there does not appear to be much room for small feet, we will not know until we put a child into the lower seat, exactly where their legs and feet will sit. However based on where the feet of our 2 and a half year old are, we think he would be fine in the lower seat, and to be honest, most children by the age of 3 would be walking. This is also only potentially an issue for parents of twins, as the eldest is more likely to be in the upper seat (given the carrycot goes underneath in sibling mode). My suspicion is that an older child will rest their feet on the edge of the basket frame if they felt the need.
One of the BEST features of the new Apple 2 Pear is that the pushchair folds with BOTH seats left in situ, or even with one newborn nest in situ and one seat unit. The main seat needs to be in the upright position whereas anything in the lower position ie newborn nest or seat needs to be reclined a step further to be able to fold (see photo). When the seat is parent facing in single mode, the seat also needs reclining a step further to give a neat fold. It is not possible to fold with two newborn nests on because the safety stop prevents this happening. The lower newborn nest could be left on and the other removes for folding though. Not only does the pushchair fold with both seats in situ, but the Apple 2 Pear also then freestands! Although the Apple 2 Pear is a chunk when folded in this way, it does make for a neat package for storage at home. There is obviously the option to remove a seat unit and adaptors should you wish. Anyone who has had a current Pear, or even a Peach, will appreciate that it will be lovely in future to be able to leave all the ‘parts’ on the pushchair when folding should you want to. However it is good that the pushchair can still be broken down into the component parts for a smaller car or to store.
The iCandy team have thought hard about the safety of the children using the Apple 2 Pear. They have purposely added safety stops to prevent the upper seat from being reclined more than 2 positions in tandem mode. The lower seat retains a 3 position recline. The Pip Convertor sockets only allow the seats to fit one way – ie forwards only, and the two Newborn Nests to fit facing each other. There is lots of space between both seats to allow easier access to the lower child.
The seat units all have 5 point harnesses, and have fabric loops on the seat for an additional harness to be added if required.
There is a choice of accessories for the Apple 2 Pear. There are the Flavour Canopies which allow for a fresh look for your Apple 2, or to personalise a seat for each child on the Pear 2. There are gorgeous fleece lined footmuffs with a neat asymmetric fastening at the front, in all colours. The top section zips off for warmer days, leaving a liner. There are car seat adaptors for the upper and lower positions; the Palm sunshade and parasols for sunny days; air tyres if required; a cupholder and clamp; original Apple lifestyle changing bag; and travel bags for the pushchair and carrycot are planned.
The Apple 2 (main pushchair) will cost £475.
The Apple carrycot (single) will cost £175.
The Apple 2 Pear Pip Convertor (second seat) will cost £110.
The Newborn Nests will cost £95 each.
The Flavour Canopies will cost £60 each.
Car seat adaptors will be £30 per pair (ie upper or lower).
All round, our first impressions of the Apple 2 Pear are very good. The Apple 2 Pear looks very smart. The fabrics and small details eg the embroidery and lines, do give a great first impression. We were surprised how well even our tall child fitted into the seat unit, and our 2 and a half year old has room to grow. We love that the Apple 2 Pear can fold as one piece if required. We are very, very glad to be able to say goodbye to the old Pip Convertor frame, and the chunky wheels! The new tiny adaptors look blissful to use in comparison, and the new super swivelly wheels are fabulous! And yet the whole Apple 2 Pear still sits within the single sized chassis, making it one very compact tandem – great news for those who use public transport or who have smaller homes.
The new Apple 2 Pear is due to be released in the UK in 2013.
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