It is two and a half years since the iCandy Orange started life. Today was the official press launch of this extremely practical and well thought out new iCandy pushchair.
We were invited to an ‘industry first’ virtual experience launch, however we had no idea what to expect. Even though it meant a 5am start, and 200 mile journey, we HAD to be there!
As always we had a very warm welcome from the iCandy team when we arrived in Soho. It was great to see them all again. We were offered drinks and cute orange cake pops.
All started to become clearer: there were just 30 orange chairs in the room. Each of the orange chairs had a virtual reality headset, iPhone and headphones placed waiting for us to be seated. Very intriguing!
Paul, who is Head of Product and Design at iCandy, started the morning by explaining to us the process of designing a new pushchair: in particular the Orange. iCandy are quite unusual in the pushchair world because they design and manufacture their own pushchairs. They don’t simply buy the rights to sell from the pushchair factories in China. This is an important point because it means that iCandy can build and perfect their pushchairs to meet their three underpinning principles – innovation, design and engineering.
Paul explained how the design process starts out in the real world, by studying families and how they interact with their environment. They observe how pushchairs are used, but also how they are misused, so that they can look to find solutions to the problems that real life parents have…. such as where to put your bags; your rain cover and even your children! They look at the space, ergonomics, functionality and style. They look at fashion trends to find the latest on-trend colours and fabrics. iCandy have a team of designers, fashion designers and engineers who all work together, both in the UK and in China, to produce perfection…perfection to the nth degree, with no compromises on the finish or look. For example there is just one visible rivet on each side of the new Orange in order to give a seamless look. Yet the Orange is sturdy – there is no wobble in the handlebar; and the Orange has passed safety testing with a 25kg child in the single seat; 15kg with 2 children in seats; or 15kg with a child in the seat and a 20kg child on the board. 25kg is 10kg higher than is required to pass British safety tests – so iCandy are going above and beyond to ensure safety, longevity and durability. Paul even jumped onto the ride-on board to show us how strong it is! We saw some of the individual components which sit underneath the space grey glossy paintwork to make the Orange as strong as it possibly can be.
Only when all the research has been done, do iCandy start designing. What was amazing is how faithful to the original design sketches, the Orange is. Even at this stage, the design team considered the details of the hood, seat, basket and even the wheel swivel locks! Paul said that they were resolute that they stuck to their plan, with no compromises on the way. Their original sketches are at the bottom of the photoset above.
So, like its sister product, the Peach, the Orange has been designed to be a single footprint pushchair with the option to add on a seat, carrycot, car seat for a second child. The Orange is absolutely future proof though because it also thinks beyond the need for two seats, with the addition of a built in board for an older toddler to hop on and off. The Orange is being sold as a complete package with the pushchair, carrycot, risers and elevators all included. It just costs around £48 for a set of adaptors to convert the single pushchair into a double one for a baby and toddler. The carrycot frame can also have additional seat fabric added as required.
There are three ground breaking key points:
- Integral ride on board – this is certified to hold a child weighing up to 20kg with their sibling in the seat or carrycot.
- Cinema seating – this means that the rear child is sat higher up, whether parent facing or forward facing. This means that both children can be seen and can interact with their carer. There is no compromise.
- There are 30 configurations – these are single and double configurations which use the pushchair seat(s); carrycot(s); car seat(s) and the stand on board. The pushchairs also comes with risers and elevators.
The main features are:
- A huge seat
- Lightweight chassis
- Gigantic unobstructed basket
- Multi-positional handle with extreme low and high handle heights
- Ergonomic handle with the typical iCandy round profiling.
- Folds with seat on in single mode
- Folds with the tandem adaptors left in situ
- Freestanding fold
- Quick release wheels
- PU tyres for longevity
- Leatherette soft touch swivel away bumper bar
- Extending canopy and mesh ventilation
- Two tone fabric – woven together before being dyed.
We were then asked to put on our headphones and our virtual reality masks. With these on our head, our journey began. At the start you were a child sat in an Orange pushchair. You could look up, down, behind and around you to view yourself in the seat walking through a city. It was really amazing. You could even see the harness holding you in place. The City had skyscrapers and landmarks which were fun to look up and down at.
At the end, there was an iCandy 3D configurator. You could swap the configurations; turn the pushchair around or upside down 360 degrees; you could change the colour of the fabrics and you could zoom in and out. I had a few technical hitches which meant I didn’t get to see it all, but the technicians kindly showed me on their laptop and iphones afterwards. iCandy will be releasing this 3D virtual reality video at some point for all to see. It was very clever and a great introduction to the pushchair.
We then we were invited into the back rooms to view the Orange for ourselves, and at this point we were allowed to take photos. I have to apologise because the light in the back room was not very good. I was struggling to get good pictures. However, iCandy have released excellent pictures which are on the main Orange statistics page if you wish to have a better look.
The first pushchair was inside a wooden hexagon, and showed a 3D mesh model of a child standing on the ride-on board. This was very beautifully done and really showed the board of the Orange off well. There were several tandem Orange pushchairs in three rooms which we were invited to set up, fold, have demo’s etc. Paul very kindly took us through many of the tandem, and single options. All our photos are above.
One point that was noted was how large and wide the Orange seems. However it is a similar size to the Apple2Pear and the width is just under 61cm – which is the same as the width of the iCandy Peach. The large chunky board at the rear and the moulding at the front, combined with the vast basket and large seats all contribute to a very clever optical illusion of space. The Orange is remarkably neat. What did strike us was how enormous the handlebar range is. There is a huge extension from very low to very high. We like a tall handlebar, but we were more than happy to push using the lowest setting. This is definitely a pushchair to consider if you are tall or have a long stride. There is no doubt that there is plenty of room to walk behind the back of the pushchair comfortably. If there is a child on the board, they can either hold onto the side arms of the handle or they can hold onto the bumper bar of a parent facing seat, or the rear of the seat if forward facing. There is plenty of room for the younger child to rear face as well as the older child to stand.
Our favourite feature is that the children can both see out with an uncompromising view, whether the seats are forward facing or rear facing. When the seats are rear facing, the seat at the front sits higher than the one at the rear. If the seats are forward facing, then the child at the rear is higher, so that they can see over their sibling. Unfortunately there is no option for the children to face each other, but with a total of 30 combinations, there is sure to be at least one combination you love.
The iCandy Orange doesn’t just come in the colour orange (aka Flame). It also comes in Autumn (brown); Carbon (Grey); Mercury (light grey / white); Noir (black); Pop (pink); Spring (a dark green) and Topaz (a mid to pale blue).
The new iCandy Orange arrives in the U.K. on February 24th. We can’t wait to try it out.
Read more about the iCandy Orange in our first review here and on the iCandy website here.
See the iCandy Orange launch event video here.