The iCandy Pear tandem buggy is several buggies in one, so should fulfill your every need as a parent-of-two, whether you have twins or a baby and a toddler. And at this price, you’d want it to.
The Pear is marketed as a tandem pushchair with over 20 practical options. The iCandy service means that you can’t buy this pushchair online – the company only sells through independent retailers and John Lewis, as iCandy thinks it’s important that someone talks you through all the different options and features. With the Pear, this is a good thing, as it does seem complicated at first glimpse and requires a bit of explaining. Once you’ve got the hang of it though, it’s actually quite straightforward, but there are a lot of different options.
To try and summarise: you get the chassis, which is the same basic chassis as for the iCandy Apple, a single pushchair. It has large, air-filled rear tyres, a really strong foot brake, and an excellent, large shopping basket. Into this chassis you can fit one seat unit, if you want to use it as a single pushchair. If you want to use it as a double, you slot in the ‘pip converter’, which has slots for either two seat units, two car seats (it’s compatible with Maxi-Cosi), two carrycots, a seat unit and a car seat or a seat unit and a carrycot – and so on and so on, until you get to 20, apparently. Pop the pip converter on one way round and you can have two seat units facing you, use it the other way around and both seat units will face forwards.
The benefits of this are that you can kind of mix and match to get the combination that you want. It also means that if you bought the Apple first time round, you can buy a kit to upgrade it to a Pear. This includes the Pip converter frame, two seat units and raincovers, and large front wheel kit to replace the ones of the Apple (necessary to bear the weight of two children). You also have the option of buying a pair of car seat adapters for the upper or lower seat and a pair of carrycot converter fabrics (these convert the seat unit into a carrycot).
But whether you buy all the bits and pieces or not, you’re still going to have to part with some serious cash to own this buggy. It comes in at a massive £650 for just the chassis, seat units, hoods and bumper bars – so start adding in flavour packs (a coloured hood and seat liner for £60), car seats, carrycot converter fabrics (£90-£95), and all the other extras and you’re talking serious expenditure. So you need to very, very sure that this is the pushchair for you before you shell out. You even have to pay extra for the car seat adaptors (£30) and the footmuffs (£80), which seems a bit tight.
The front wheels are lockable swivel, and with the air-filled back tyres make the whole thing very manoeuvrable for a tandem. It’s narrow enough to get through shop doorways, and has lovely, bouncy suspension to stop if feeling too heavy and clunky.
It is fairly huge, but you’re never going to find a tandem that isn’t. The fact that all the bits slot on and off means that you feel like you’re forever assembling it and taking it apart – I got a few funny looks as I spent five minutes putting it together in a car park – but it means that it’s easier to get into your car or your house. Just make sure you don’t forget one essential piece, like one of the seats, when you’re off out for the day!
What we love
The Pear looks fantastic, and very luxurious. It’s brilliant that you can use it as a single buggy – if you only have one child with you, you don’t have to use another buggy or push both seats around, as you can just take one of them off.
It’s not a cheap option, but it’s not wasteful in the sense that you only buy the bits you need, and you can keep using it even when your older child doesn’t need a pushchair anymore, by converting it back into a single buggy. Future proof!
One clever feature is the colour coding. The slots for the bigger seat have blue bits in to match the blue bits on the seat, and the smaller ones have yellow, so you can never try to put the wrong thing in the wrong holes!
What to watch out for
The carrycot is very small, and has a bar across the foot end that makes it tricky to get your baby in and out of, and hard for your baby to kick his legs around.
The two seats aren’t the same size, so it would be strange for twins as you’d have to decide who got the teeny seat.
The price is also slightly prohibitive, and you’re charged for extras like footmuffs and car seat adaptors, which really should be included.
Who’s the iCandy Pear tandem best for?
Families with a newborn and toddler.
The Pear has lots going for it, and some really innovative features. It’s not perfect, but you get the feeling that a lot of thought has gone into it, and that iCandy’s done its best to produce a practical and stylish tandem – not an easy task! Be very sure that it’s for you, though, as if it’s not, it could be a very expensive mistake.
First reviewed 2009. Updated 28/02/2012.