iCandy Strawberry 2 Review
The super desirable iCandy brand have created the pushchair that many people's dreams are made of. A fashionable, high quality all rounder that won't break the bank in the form of the iCandy Strawberry 2.
By now most of us are familiar with the iCandy brand. With a reputation for producing exquisitely designed products and a quality stamp to match, it's no surprise that celebrities and style savvy mums alike can be seen pushing iCandy's on the high streets around the country. Recognising that not all parents want or need to spend a few months wages on a set of wheels for their little ones; iCandy have produced the Strawberry 2. An affordable and functional pushchair which boasts scores on the style stakes just as high as any of the other pushchairs in iCandy's en Vogue fleet.
What's in the box?
• Seat unit
• Flavour pack
• Bumper bar
• Car seat adaptors
The RRP of the iCandy Strawberry 2 is £595
• Weight: Chassis and seat unit: 9kg
• Folded Size: Chassis (cm): L96 x W49.5 x 29
• Open Size (cm): L70.5 x W60 x 106
• Suitability: Birth - 25kg
In true iCandy style, the colour ways have been lovingly named ‘flavour packs' to be in keeping with the Strawberry 2's fruity name badge.
The Strawberry 2 is available in six delicious flavours: Anthracite, Dune, Smoothie, Lush, Pacific and Prism. You also have the choice of a Black or Chrome chassis.
There are three new colours on the way at the end of October 2016, which form part of the exclusive Strawberry Style Collection. Celebrating their fantastic achievement of winning a Queens Award for Enterprise in International trade earlier this year, along with the Queen's 90th birthday, the new Strawberry Style Collection is a homage to classic British design, with the Soho, Cambridge and Tudor colour packs being reversible for a duo look!
iCandy Strawberry 2 Review: Chassis
When you feast your eyes upon the glossy coated, classily branded box; you just know that opening up the iCandy Strawberry 2 is going to be treat. The box is expertly packed full of goodies that will excite even the least pram-minded of expectant parents. Popping the Strawberry 2 together was a 15 minute task but that said a very enjoyable one. Arm yourself with some scissors to help you through the packaging and away you go.
The chassis comes complete with the sleek front wheels already attached and the first step is to pop the larger back wheels on. The pins to enable you to do this are delicately packaged in the top of the box - just pop them through the centre of each wheel and push the pins into the slots of the chassis.
The next step is to put the seat fabrics or the carrycot fabrics onto the seat unit frame. Both options attach neatly and securely and are not as fiddly as had been anticipated.
At this point the gorgeous flavour pack springs into action. We tested the Pacific flavour of the Strawberry 2 which is a rich and eye catching marine blue colour - it definitely adds a buzz of colour to the sleek black chassis, while still looking ultra classy. The flavour pack consists of a hood, liner, carrycot apron and harness pads so each can be clipped and threaded onto the pushchair accordingly.
When all set up, it's clear to see that the Strawberry 2 is staking its claim as a supermodel of the pushchair world. There's not a straight line in sight as the chassis curves and waves around the shape of the seat unit, even the brake pedal has flair!
The handlebar adjusts to three different positions from 95cm at its lowest setting to 106cm at its highest setting - very handy if parents of different heights will be pushing their little one in their super cool Strawberry wheels.
The wheels feature solid EVA tyres to avoid punctures becoming a headache on any trips out. The larger rear wheels have a great width to them which give a reassuring and robust feel to the push of the pushchair, whilst the flowing black spokes of the wheels retain the curves and class seen within the rest of the pushchair frame. The rear wheels have the added bonus of being removable, so if you get them muddy on an adventurous walk they are easy to clean, it would have been handy if the front wheels also popped off but this is such a minor detail, it really wouldn't count as a niggle!
The all round suspension means that this ride will not only look good, but gives a super smooth ride for your little passenger too. The springs and levers absorb all the bumps on pavements, cobbles, park paths and grass. Although not suitable to climb mountains with, the Strawberry 2's wheels and sturdy chassis definitely give it the good all-rounder badge.
The brake pedal is large and very pretty! It is located centrally between the two back wheels and is simple to push on and flick off.The shopping basket is sure to make life easier. Its pretty curves disguise the workman-like basket which can hold a very handy 5kg. With easy access from the front, back and sides the clever springs in the rear of the basket mean it can be flattened and raised depending on what size/type of items you are storing and carrying. A brilliant feature which other pushchair models are soon to be pinching, we are sure!
As iCandy's affordable all-rounder, it is great to see that car seat adapters are included in the box rather than shelling out more pennies to get you travel system ready. The Strawberry 2 is compatible with the following car seats: Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus, BeSafe iZiGo, Kiddy Evo Lunafix, Kiddy Evolution Pro 2, Cybex Aton Q, Cybex Cloud Q, Joie iGemm, Nuna Pipa, Recaro Privia, Evoluna i-Size, and finally the BeSafe iZiGo Modular.
iCandy Strawberry 2 Review: Seat
If you are using the pushchair from birth, with the infant carrycot option, you will find it a breeze to pop on and off the chassis. On either side of the frame, close to the fold hinges, there are two little levers with clearly marked arrows. To remove the carrycot from the chassis just use your thumbs to pull the little levers all the way towards the front of the pushchair and then the fixed position bumper bar acts as a carry handle to lift the carrycot off the frame and transport it from place to place. The carrycot is suitable for the first six months of your baby's life and is a snug and cosy place for a little one to rest and play until they are ready to use the seat unit. The carrycot comes complete with a lovely padded and breathable liner and a comfy mattress which is also suitable for permanent overnight sleeping - again giving great testament to the Strawberry 2 as a trusty all rounder.
The same hood from the flavour pack is used on both the carrycot and the seat unit so when you are ready to move to the seat unit, just un-pop the carrycot from the frame and pop on the seat. It really is that simple!
Once the seat is in place, you can use the liner and harness pads from the flavour pack which make the seat look extra snazzy. The quality of the fabrics is typically iCandy - high quality, thick canvas like weaves which are really durable as well as really good looking. The liner is slightly softer and almost silky making the seat comfortable for its little passenger. Everything is washable too, which will no doubt come as a relief to parents who know how messy the little cherubs can be at times!
At 49cm high and 31 cm wide the seat has ample room for smaller babies and small toddlers but as your little one grows, head room may become a bit of an issue for larger children; as their head may begin to touch the top of the low set hood should you wish to pull the hood fully forward.
The adjustable five point harness has an easy to use and very solid buckle system and is also beautifully padded by the provided harness covers so that the straps don't dig into your little one.
In a fixed position, the bumper bar is solid and covered in dense foam. It isn't gate opening so can be a bit of a pain to remove when getting your child in and out of the seat frequently, but it does make for an excellent and solid carry handle when carrying the seat or changing it from parent to world facing.
For a comfy position, the seat has three recline positions upright, resting and horizontal and these reclines can be used no matter which way the seat is facing. Although not a one handed motion, the recline system is smooth so there is no chance of waking a sleeping baby and it is operated by pushing the easy to locate levers with your thumb and rotating the seat to position 1, 2 or 3 as labelled on the chassis.
The flavour pack sees the Strawberry 2 come with a lovely sized hood which clips into the sides of the frame. The hood is silent to pull up and down which makes a big difference to sleep deprived parents who need to shade their babe.
Easy to use and fit over the carrycot and seat unit is the raincover. The viewing panel gives both parent and child ample vision and the black waterproof material really shields your pushchair from the elements brilliantly. It's really flexible too, iCandy have really thought about the parents with these tiny details.
iCandy Strawberry 2 Review: Drivability
The iCandy Strawberry 2 drives as smooth as it looks. The small front wheels are agile and kitted out with suspension so that your baby will travel in comfort as well as style.
The large rear wheels have a slightly wider wheel-base and even though they look good, they also have great suspension and can drive the pushchair forward over almost any terrain. The Strawberry 2 copes well on cobbles, pavements, park paths and park grass. With the wheels locked, it could easily handle a woodland path too.
iCandy Strawberry Review: Fold
So far, the Strawberry 2 has been pretty impressive. It kept up its good score when it came to the fold too - in fact, it got brownie points!
The clever engineering from iCandy means that the Strawberry 2 can be folded with the seat in either parent or world facing modes - wonderful news for busy parents who are juggling hungry and tired children. The fold is operated with just one hand and you could easily cradle a baby in your other hand whilst folding the pushchair if needed. We tested the fold whilst carrying a 16 month old on one hip and it was a breeze! iCandy have also created their unique Step and
Fold TM system, along with a unique memory fold, which remembers the recline position,
even after the pushchair has been folded. Yet more innovation packaged within
this head turning pushchair.
The fold is operated by pressing the small round button on the underside of the handlebar in, whilst at the same time squeezing in the handlebar adjuster button. Place your foot on the elegant curves at the base of the chassis and with one sharp and swift movement downwards, the pushchair will ford forwards into a package of just 98 x 60 x 32.5cms. It leaves plenty of space in the boot of your average saloon car, so you don't need to juggle your shopping or squash your picnic.
The chassis is held together with a strong manual plastic hook clip which is then easily released with your thumb when you need to pop the pushchair up again. This a clever pushchair too, as when you pop the chassis back up, it remembers exactly what position your seat unit was in so you don't need to fiddle getting it back to the right angle again.
iCandy Strawberry 2 Review: Conclusion
For parents wanting an all round pushchair that can handle the grinds of daily family life, you will be hard pushed to find a better pushchair that rates on the style charts as high as the Strawberry 2 does. The 2 year warranty is testament to the iCandy signature quality stamp. The fact that the carrycot, seat unit and car seat adapters are all included in the box make the Strawberry 2 a really appealing option for parents looking for a smart and affordable system that will take you from birth all the way up to the days when your child no longer needs a pushchair.
With several impressive features such as a large spring loaded basket to store all the parenting goodies one could wish for, along with a one handed compact fold which can be operated with the seat on in either direction. The Strawberry 2 is an elegant and stylish system that offers parents functionality and practicality too.
There are only a couple of things that could make this pushchair better. A larger seat size to last your child, and a gate opening bumper bar to make it easier to place your child in the pushchair, or to allow them to climb in as they grow.
We love the way that flavour packs could be purchased and are interchangeable so that your pushchair has a fresh new look without spending too much money.
We give the iCandy Strawberry 2 4.5 stars out of 5