iCandy Apple 2 Pear Review by Best Buggy
Best Buggy are absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to review the new iCandy Apple 2 Pear, ahead of its arrival in the UK.
Best Buggy have reviewed most of the main tandem pushchairs currently on the market in the UK including the Babystyle Oyster Max, iCandy Peach Blossom 2, Britax B-Dual, Jane TwOne. We have had nearly 50 different double pushchairs to date.
Therefore we feel well placed to be able to say that, the Apple 2 Pear is the lightest tandem we have ever pushed!
The new iCandy Apple 2 Pear is light to push; it is ultra manoeuverable; it nips in and out and around anything in its path. The iCandy Apple 2 Pear is whizzzzzzzzzzzy!! It was an absolute pleasure to take out and about, and we had SO much fun weaving in and around obstacles and shop displays!
If you have ever pushed the iCandy Pear, than I am sure at this point that you will probably be sat disbelieving every word we write, but believe it! The Apple 2 Pear is totally different to handle than the Pear.
Yes, the chassis does look similar to the Apple / Pear – so much so that we have done a close up study of the old and new chassis’ similarities and differences here on Best Buggy to convince ourselves of the differences! The Apple 2 Pear in single mode is nearly 40% lighter than the Apple – we believe most of this difference is in the seat unit and wheels. However the biggest difference to the new Apple 2 Pear chassis compared to the Pear, is that it has no chunky double front wheels in tandem mode. Instead the Apple 2 Pear has two small swivel wheels at the front in both single and tandem modes. This difference helps to transform the Pear from being fairly heavy to push, into this new thoroughbred Apple 2 Pear whizzy, ultra manoeuverable, tandem pushchair!
Before we continue, we must stress, that the Apple 2 Pear is a single to tandem pushchair. It can be used as a single pushchair with the seat facing in either direction. In tandem mode the Apple 2 Pear seats both face forwards. The seat sockets have been limited so that the seats can not be turned around to parent face. We know that one of the big selling points of the Pear was that the seats can parent face (although only one child could be seen easily). Whilst this is a loss on the Apple 2 Pear, believe me, the improvements far outweigh this disadvantage. It is important as well to note, that the Apple 2 Pear is a redesigned Apple / Pear rather than an entirely new pushchair.
In this review we will largely focus on the Apple 2 Pear in tandem mode. However, the chassis and seat unit are the same if the Apple 2 Pear is bought just as a single pushchair. We have been using the Apple 2 Pear as a single pushchair, and there are photos here on Best Buggy, of the Apple 2 Pear in use as a single pushchair. We recommend you also use our write up on the Apple 2 Pear at the Harrogate Nursery Fair in conjunction with this review, to get an overview of how the Apple 2 Pear functions, and the parts fit on.
The only additions needed to turn the Apple 2 Pear into a tandem, are the pip convertors (6 pieces which slot into place) and the extra seat. There is a different carrycot / newborn nest for single and tandem mode, and extra car seat adaptors for tandem use too.
Our two children in the photos are a 4 year 6 month old girl (107cms tall) and a 2 year 9 month old boy (87.5cms tall boy). As the photos show, we met up with a 7 month old baby girl (69cms tall), in her stunning new Loganberry Peach Jogger, and we put her briefly into the lower seat unit to see how the Apple 2 Pear works with a younger baby. Back at BBHQ the little girl in the photos is 15 months old (80cms tall).
There are two things that you notice first about the new iCandy Apple 2 Pear. These are the newly designed matching seat units, and the lack of a huge metal framed pip convertor!!
Once the Apple 2 Pear is built as a tandem, I think the most obvious first impressions are that the front seat is a good height off the ground; the handle bar goes very high; and the pushchair is highly manoeuverable and light to push. We will discuss all these points below.
Seat Units and Child Comfort
The most noticeable features of the new seat units are the sleek design with no footrest. They look simple, stylish and unfussy. The seat units are a good size and are identical. The Apple 2 Pear seat units are 3.5 and 4.5cms taller, than the current blue and yellow Pear seats respectively. There are no more blue and yellow seat units. You can choose which seat goes where. It does mean that you have to look carefully at which seat has which harness, before putting the seats on which could be a bit annoying if you get it wrong – especially if your children have the same shoulder height, but different length straps (as we do). However the harnesses are easy to adjust.
The Apple 2 Pear seat units come as a plain black seat with no hood. We like the new softer seat fabrics – they are much nicer to feel against a child’s skin. An optional Flavour Hood can add a splash of colour to personalise the Apple 2 Pear for each child. The hood can easily be swapped later for a new addition to the family, or for simply a fresh look.
There is no adjustable footrest on the Apple 2 Pear. However the area under a child’s thighs has been carefully shaped to give good support. We were not convinced about the lack of a footrest when we first saw the Apple 2 Pear, but I really do not see it as an issue now that we have used the pushchair. The only issue is that an older child looks ‘leggy’ in the seat, because older children usually bend their knees up, using the footrest as support, as they grow. However this is perceptual and for us, as long as the children say they are comfortable, then we are happy. Our 4 year old, (who makes her feelings known,) has had no complaints, and says she is comfortable. Our youngest, aged 2 and a half, has never been keen on a footrest, and is more likely to put his feet over the sides of a pushchair, and he does this in the Apple 2 Pear, and in reality he is the child most likely to use the top seat, whilst his elder sister goes underneath.
We were interested to see what our eldest child did with her huge size 12 feet in the lower seat, because there doesn’t appear to be much space in the front of the basket for small or even large feet! We showed her how to rest her feet on top the front rim of the basket, but as the photos show, she decided largely to just rest the tip of her toes on the basket rim, with her heels on the seat. To be honest, she said she was comfy, and given she is happy in the seat aged 4 and a half, then any child of pushchair riding age should be comfortable too.
It is clear that our two youngest Apple 2 Pear occupants had lots of room in the lower seat units with plenty of leg room to stretch out.
There are 3 recline positions on the seat when in single mode; whether parent or forward facing.
There are also 3 recline positions to the lower seat when in tandem mode. However the upper seat has been limited to two positions to give the lower child more space, and to meet safety regulations. However the mid seat recline is still fairly flat – we would be happy to have a 6 month old sleeping in the upper seat unit on the mid recline.
What we do like is that, unlike most other tandems of this type, there is plenty of room to recline the upper child whilst the lower child is upright behind them. This makes the Apple 2 Pear a really good pushchair for a younger child (over 6 month old) to have the front seat and be reclined, and still leave room for the older child to hop back in and out. This is a real advantage for the Apple 2 Pear for sibling use.
We found the space between the two seats good for access, especially given the handlebar can be moved high out of the way. There was plenty of room to be able to lift the younger children into the lower seat. It is easy to reach the harness of the lower seat, and there is good access to wipe noses, remove coats etc. too. All round access to the lower child is very good for this style of tandem because of the height of the upper seat, plus the lower child also has a great view out of both sides. Remember too, that the upper seat can also be easily removed for access / loading the lower child in and out.
However, one of the few negatives we have is that the lower seat recline is hard to access. The seat recline is done by pressing in a button on both sides of the pushchair, and then nudging the seat up or down to the desired position, with an arm, chest or chin! We have found that its easiest to put one hand on the button on the outside of the chassis, and then to access the other button by going in above the side of the child’s head, rather than trying to reach both buttons from the outside, or through the centre of the chassis. We recently had the Peach Blossom 2 and Apple 2 Pear side by side, and it was noticeable that the Peach lower recline was easier to access.
The upper seat is easy to recline from the front, however you do need to stop pushing the pushchair to do the recline.
We would love iCandy to look at using button or lever reclines on the rear of their seats.
Apple 2 Carrycot and Pear 2 Newborn Nests
The Apple 2 Pear seat units are suitable from 6 months old. For a newborn baby, you either need the Apple 2 carrycot for single use, or Newborn Nest fabric(s) for tandem use.
The Apple 2 carrycot is a hard carrycot which will maintain its shape when placed on a hard surface. This carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping. The Apple 2 carrycot has a stabliser frame which needs attaching to the basket when in use on the chassis.
The fabric from the seat units has been designed to slide off easily leaving the seat frame, onto which Newborn Nest fabrics can be secured with velcro straps. This is much easier to do than the old Pear ones! The Newborn Nest does not have the structure or depth when removed from the chassis as a carrycot. This makes it unsuitable for overnight sleeping, or for daytime sleeping off the Apple 2 Pear chassis.
Both the carrycot and Newborn Nest come with a padded mattress. Our photoset from the Harrogate Nursery Show, shows that the two mattresses are virtually the same length and width. A common criticism of the iCandy Pear was that the Newborn Nests were small – this is not an issue with the Apple 2 Pear. The identical seat frames mean that in two baby mode, the Newborn Nests are also identical in size, which is great news for twin mummies! The Newborn Nests face each other when on the chassis – so the lower Newbon Nest forward faces, and the upper one parent faces.
Bumper Bar, Hood and Harness
There is no bumper bar on either seat. This may be a disadvantage, however having no bumper bars does allow easy access to the children, especially to the lower child. Our eldest to be honest was not keen on sitting in the top seat, and I suspect this was because it was higher than she was used to, but she also had no bumper bar to make her feel secure. In contrast our youngest absolutely relished being in the top seat, and as some of these photos show, he LOVES being so high at the front. He giggles, squeals and gets very excited! No bumper bars make it easier to stack the seats and carry both together.
We love the bright colours of the new Apple 2 Pear hoods – they made the iCandy display look great at Harrogate. We have the Raspberry Blue and its a stunning colour! The Apple 2 Pear hood is a generous size, and also has a slightly padded sun visor which can be tucked inside the hood if not required. The hood is lined but is a thinner fabric to the rest of the iCandy range, which to be honest we are not that keen on. However the hood pulls taught easily, and looks great when fully open. The lower seat hood will only open fully when reclined. When upright I think the lower seat hood then looks better with just one fold open and the visor flicked out. We feel that the padded visor on the Apple 2 Pear hood makes the seat perceptually look small – the seat is not small though, and our seat measurements bear this out. This led us to trying an Apple hood on the Apple 2 Pear and it fits well. (See our other post about this.)
The iCandy Apple 2 Pear harness is similar to the other harnesses in the iCandy range – 5 points which clip together as 3 pieces into a central buckle. We like how the shoulder straps swivel to prevent them getting twisted. The harness is easy to adjust from the front – simply slide the sliders along. Our 4 year old can’t undo the harness which is an advantage, but its easy enough for an adult. There are three harness height settings for different age children. Altering the height of the shoulder strap appears to be a little tricky – we will confess that we did look at how to do it, but did not try! The harness comes with black shoulder and crotch pads.
Apple 2 Pear Pip Convertors
The six small plastic pip convertors are a real surprise after the huge frame of the Pear! One part of the pip convertor snaps onto the lower part of the chassis near each wheel. Then another part slides down into the already attached piece. The lower seat can then be slotted into these sockets. These two pieces can be left in situ at all times if desired. The other two, larger, curved pip convertor pieces are fitted to the centre (single) sockets to push the front seat out forwards and upwards when in tandem mode. These curved pip convertors need removing to use the Apple 2 Pear as a single pushchair. The upper pip convertors and seat units do require the grey side buttons pressing to put the seat unit in and out of the sockets. Care needs to be taken not to rotate the seat when pressing the buttons to remove the seats because in theory either seat pin could rotate, and therefore will then not be in line for when you try to fit the seat again, but its not really caused us any issue.
The iCandy Apple 2 Pear handlebar is wonderfully chunky to hold. We love the dense foam. We are not so keen on the button in the centre of the handlebar, especially as we like to push one handed. However, this is the same on the original Apple /Pear, and we got used to it!
One of the best features of the handlebar is the super adjustability and HUGE height! There are 7 handle height settings from 97cms to 112cms tall. This means the Apple 2 Pear should suit a wide range of parental heights – we think it is one of the highest handlebars we have seen on any pushchair. We also like that with the handle pushed right in, and both seats upright, the Apple 2 Pear is probably one of the most compact tandems there is. Yet, the lower child has plenty of space thanks to the great use of height for the front seat which creates a big gap between the seats. The combination of the compact footprint, along with the super whizzy, easy to manoeuvre wheels, will make the Apple 2 Pear an attractive choice for users of public transport.
Wheels, Handling and Brake
The iCandy Apple 2 Pear has two large 28cms rear wheels, and two small 17cms front wheels. The front wheels can be swivel or easily locked using a ‘butterfly’ type turn switch. As discussed at the start of this review, it is these two small easy turning wheels which really have transformed the Apple to Pear, from the old Pear, into a pushchair of note for being extremely light and easy to push. The handling is absolutely superb. The Apple 2 Pear is SO whizzy!! To be honest, the Apple 2 Pear for me shows that a tandem can be just as light as a side by side double pushchair, and yet have the advantage of being narrow for tight spaces.
We can not stress enough how the ultra light, highly manoeuverable steering and push of the new Apple 2 Pear is THE selling point of this pushchair!
The Apple 2 Pear comes with EVA wheels as standard. However there is an optional rear air tyre and pump accessory pack available. Our Apple 2 Pear has EVA wheels which have been good to use. We would be interested to know what difference the air tyres would make to the ride. We suspect adding air tyres will add to the weight of the pushchair.
The brake of the Apple 2 Pear is slightly different to the Apple / Pear brake. The brake works in the same way but the bar has been shaped to include a ‘bulge’ in the bar. This makes the brake longer / nearer the user which makes it easier to apply the brake bar when both seats are on the chassis, or when the seat is parent facing. The brake flicks on and off very easily, even with bare feet.
The iCandy Apple 2 Pear has a generous sized basket in single mode. It can easily hold a changing bag and more which is great. However in tandem mode, the use of the basket is largely lost once a toddlers’ feet are in the front section. As our photos show, there is room at the front for small items if a small baby is in the seat. However with our older toddlers, we struggled to fit even a drink into the basket. We did manage to fit an small organiser underneath the lower seat (with food, nappy and wipes in), but the bottom seat needed removing to access this.
We understand that iCandy do not advise hanging bags from the handlebar, and indeed we know it could affect the warranty to do so. However, there was absolutely no option other than to make use of the handlebar for our outings. Children need “stuff” – they need drinks, food, nappies, muslins etc. Parents need “stuff” too – keys, purse, phone etc. “Stuff” needs storage, and I for one do not want a heavy bag on my back as well as pushing a pushchair – let along post birth or C-Section. These are things which parents and children require even before doing anything extra e.g. shopping, a picnic, swimming or a day trip. We also have to have a vital medical bag with us at all times.
Where also are you supposed to keep your raincovers to hand in case of a sudden shower?
Storage is something which we strongly feel iCandy really needs to address for this pushchair.
Travel System Options
The Apple 2 Pear can also take 1 or 2 infant stage 0+ car seats parent facing with the addition of car seat adaptors. These are available to fit a Maxi Cosi Pebble or Cabriofix, or the BeSafe IziGo. There are different car seat adaptors for the upper and lower positions. In both positions the car seat parent faces which is lovely. We love that in sibling mode, that the baby can be parent facing in the car seat, whilst the older child forward faces. This works best with the baby underneath and the older child on top. However in theory there is no reason why the eldest child could not be in the lower position, with the baby parent facing on top, as long as the eldest child was happy with the car seat being so close to their face.
Fold / Unfold
The Apple 2 Pear fold is where it earns lots of extra brownie points!
First of all the Apple 2 Pear also can be folded in single mode with the seat left on facing in either direction! This is very neat!
Best of all the Apple 2 Pear can be folded with one or BOTH seats left in situ! Equally all the parts can be removed to fit in a smaller car.
The 2 seat fold is a big chunk when folded, BUT the fold is so easy, so neat, and done so beautifully, that if you have a big and easily accessible car boot, then to be honest it is as easy to lift the Apple 2 Pear in one piece, rather than to split it up. When we first saw the fold, we thought that we would never fold the Apple 2 Pear as once piece, but in reality, we are folding like this all the time. Its just much easier. Sometimes we do take the Apple 2 Pear seats off, but the lower pip convertors can stay on the chassis, and the upper pip convertors could be left on the seat unit if desired. Thus there are no small parts to lose! The Apple 2 Pear can also be folded with one seat on, the upper pip convertors left in situ, (or removed,) and then the second seat just nests inside the other seat. There are loads of options to suit different car boots or storage spaces.
One unexpected bonus of the Apple 2 Pear folding with both seats on, is that if you decide you just to use the pushchair with one seat on, it is really simple to convert before lifting the pushchair out of the car and unfolding: whilst still folded, lift the top seat and pip convertors off and put to one side, and then move the lower seat to the centre position – then lift the pushchair out of the boot. We have found this a big advantage, rather than having to lift the folded double out of the car, and then pull it to pieces and reconstruct!
The actual pushchair fold is done by squeezing the lever in the centre of the handlebar and pushing sharply and firmly along the line of the chassis towards the wheels i.e. along the diagonal (like the old Apple / Pear, and like the Peach), but as you push, you also have to press in a second button on the left hand side of the chassis which releases the fold mechanism. It may take practice if you are not used to the folds of the other iCandy pushchairs, but it is easy enough to do when you know how!
The Apple 2 Pear can be folded with the lower newborn nest on and the upper seat. It will not fold with two newborn nests on. When folding in tandem mode, the lower seat needs reclining, and then a small red clip on the right hand side will release the seat to a lower position for folding. With the lower Newborn Nest on, the red clip simply needs releasing and the Newborn Nest tilts backwards. The Apple 2 Pear can then be folded.
There is a manual storage lock for the Apple to Pear. This is a piece of webbing with a clip on which wraps around the chassis and holds it together. Simple, but it works.
The chassis freestands when folded, whether on its own, or with one, or even two seats on. Being able to leave both seats on the chassis has made storage so much easier here at BB HQ.
Opening the Apple 2 Pear in single mode is easy – Simply undo the storage clip and flick the pushchair open. Really simple! In fact, if you undo the storage clip before lifting the pushchair out of the car, the chassis will be open by the time the wheels hit the floor.
The only downside of the Apple 2 Pear folded in tandem mode with both seats on, is that it takes a fair bit of strength to flick the front wheels out from underneath the pushchair when unfolding. We find it is easier to pull the pushchair apart from the bottom, than by holding the handle at the top and flicking. I must confess that whilst I can open the pushchair on my own in tandem mode, I do ask Mr BB for help to pull the front wheels out if he’s around.
iCandy have certainly taken the Apple / Pear and redesigned it brilliantly. Our main issues with the Apple / Pear have all been resolved satisfactorily and nearly 2 years after we stopped using our Pear, the newly designed Apple 2 Pear is easily whizzing our much bigger and heavier children around. The strengths of the new Apple 2 Pear lie in its ultra manoeuverability combined with its light weight, along with the good spacing between the large seats. We would prefer the hood fabric to be more like the rest of the iCandy range, and for the seats to have footrests, but neither are an issue. We do have a big problem with a lack of storage on the Apple 2 Pear, but this is not a new issue as it is also a problem with the current Pear.
At just under £800 for a newborn and toddler set up (chassis, 2 seats, 2 hoods, 1 newborn nest) the iCandy Apple 2 Pear isn’t cheap. However, like the Peach Blossom 2, the Apple 2 Pear is a true single to double pushchair, which WILL see you through every stage from your first newborn baby, to the end of your children’s pushchair using days – whether as a single or a double. It really is a fantastic single to tandem pushchair – one of the very best there is!
Many thanks to iCandy for this opportunity to review the Apple 2 Pear.
Thank you also to Rachael and Ada, and to Sarah and Baby Olivia ,for trying the Apple 2 Pear out. Please note, we appreciate that the harness on Baby Olivia was not properly adjusted but this would have meant altering the shoulder height which was impractical to do at the time! We just wanted to try her in for size, and to see how easy access was with a small baby.
Just on a personal note, our eldest does not now normally ride in a pushchair. However she had been in hospital prior these outings in the Apple 2 Pear, and she was still very unwell. Having her riding on board was, however, a great test for the Apple 2 Pear, and it performed brilliantly!
Other iCandy Apple 2 Pear Reviews: