Marketed as “the smart choice for urban adventures”, the iCandy Raspberry is aimed at the image conscious, city-dwelling parent who needs a lightweight, compact stroller for zipping around town in style.
The latest offering from the iconic British pushchair brand has already won Red Dot Design and Good Housekeeping awards and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the Raspberry.
Key design features include four-wheel independent suspension and innovative tyres for a smooth ride, a compact, freestanding fold, and a choice of parent or world-facing positions, with a lie-flat recline option making it suitable from birth.
The design draws instant comparisons with the Babyzen Yoyo, Bugaboo Bee and, like the Bee, the Raspberry is firmly at the top end of the market, with prices starting at £460 for the basic buggy.
There’s no doubt you’re paying in part for the iCandy name, which is smartly lasered onto the chassis. But it’s not just about the look – clever design and thoughtful features make the Raspberry a pleasure to use.
The Raspberry is sold around its weight and flexibility, but how lightweight is it?
Very! I tried the stroller out with both my two-month-old and two-year-old and it was a dream to push. Nothing like the cumbersome Mothercare My4 travel system or unwieldy Graco stroller I’m used to.
Weighing in at just 6.6kg, it feels barely there, but sturdy at the same time – it seemed very secure and I bounced it up and down stairs and on and off high kerbs without any qualms about its strength.
How does it ride on different surfaces?
We live in a busy town with narrow, uneven pavements so I really put the buggy through its paces and it rode smoothly over bumpy pavements, cobbled street and low kerbs.
At the playground it took grass and sand in its stride, but its relatively small wheels made very uneven surfaces more of a struggle, so a stroll round the park is probably as much off-roading as it can manage.
But this isn’t a buggy for muddy country walks – it’s sold on its urban credentials and what I loved most was how easy it is to manoeuvre around the obstacles of city or town life.
I’m usually the one apologising left, right and centre as I bump into cafe tables and knock clothes off rails with my buggy – but the Raspberry handles so easily that I was practically slaloming down crowded streets and around shops, and its slender shape meant I could get through doors easily.
How does it on public transport?
The Raspberry’s weightlessness and compact fold should make getting on and off public transport a breeze. However, because of the problems I had with the fold (more on this later), my first train journey with the Raspberry didn’t go smoothly.
I managed to fold the buggy, but couldn’t engage the lock that keeps it folded, so it started opening out every time I tried to lift it. Luckily, another passenger came to my rescue and carried the buggy on to the train for me.
A subsequent bus journey was more successful. This time I managed to fold and lock the buggy, While the freestanding feature meant there was no struggle to balance the folded buggy while waiting at the bus stop or once on board, which meant I could carry it with one hand while holding onto my toddler with the other.
Is it travel system compatible?
Is it comfortable?
Yes, the newborn pod is very snuggly, with its fleece lining and sleek outer fabric. My two-month-old looked blissfully happy in there, and the large hood unfolds almost silently to make a lovely cocoon for snoozing babies.
For older children, the basic seat is wide and comfy, and the padded seat liner turns it into a luxurious ride.
The foot muff is just as cosy as the newborn pod but was a little on the small side for my toddler, who is two and a quarter but not big for his age.
The shoulder straps on the five-point harness also seemed rather short for him – they only just did up, so I ended up just fastening the straps across his lap.
What do you think of the hood?
The hood was a bit of a bugbear when using the buggy with my toddler. He soon discovered that the lightweight fabric was perfect for tugging down over him for games of peekaboo. It quickly developed the odd snag and I don’t think it’d take long for him to pull it out of shape – a shame when you have to pay extra for it in the first place.
Although none of these issues impacted much on how I used the buggy, over all it seemed that the Raspberry has been designed more with younger, smaller children in mind than bigger, active toddlers.
Miraculously, I managed to avoid using the buggy in more than a light drizzle, which the hood was able to cope with.
For heavier downpours the rain cover seemed perfectly adequate, and as it can be neatly tucked away in its own pocket it wasn’t a hassle to take with us just in case.
The newborn pod kept my little one well protected from cold winds, while the large hood would keep the sun off in the summer.
How is interacting with your child?
The world-facing option was perfect for my toddler to look around while we were out and about, and I could still chat to him comfortably.
When using it with my baby I switched it round to parent-facing. I felt she was a bit far away when lying completely flat, but in the half-reclined position I could keep eye contact or watch her snooze.
It’s huge! I thought the basket on my Graco pushchair was generous but the Raspberry basket is something else. And it’s so easy to access whatever position you have the seat in.
I could comfortably fit a couple of bags full of groceries in there, plus coats. It also has a clever compartment at the front for storing the raincover and small valuables.
I chucked my keys and phone in there when I didn’t want to take a bag with me, and it’s accessible even when the buggy is folded.
How is it to fold?
This is the Raspberry’s major flaw in my opinion, as there’s a real knack to the folding mechanism. It’s definitely a two-hand job and it took a lot of practise to get the hang of folding and unfolding it.
The instructions for this aren’t very clear either, and it was only after using the buggy several times that I felt I’d mastered it.
Having said that, the Raspberry does fold up very compactly both with the seat on and off, and fitted easily into our car boot. The fact that it’s freestanding when folded is a neat feature, making it easy to store at home or when out and about.
What about the other adjustable parts of the iCandy Raspberry?
The folding system may be tricky, but in all other respects reconfiguring the stroller into its various guises was a doddle.
The handle can be moved between four height positions with the squeeze of a button, a lever smoothly moves the chair through three recline options without waking a sleeping child.
And it takes just a couple of clicks to swap the seat from parent to world-facing. The car seat adaptors were also easy to fit and my Maxi-Cosi CabriFix car seat then slotted on.
How easy is it to build?
I found it very easy to put everything together. With a quick glance at the instructions I assembled the basic stroller in a few minutes and then added my accessories – I chose the vibrant red Lush colourway.
It didn’t take much more than half an hour to figure out how everything fitted together.
What was in the iCandy Raspberry box?
When you by a the basic Raspberry you get the chassis, which comes in matt black or brushed aluminium, a seat unit, and a raincover in the box. iCandy are currently also offering a free seat liner.
What are the extras like?
Extras include the “Flavour pack” – a hood and harness pads in a choice of seven colours f or £40. Other extras include the newborn pod £70, footmuff £90, cupholder £15, parasol and cupholder clamp £15 and car seat adaptors £30, which are compatible with Maxi Cosi Cabriofix, Pebble and BeSafe IziGo car seats.
Is the iCandy Raspberry value for money?
That really depends on how much you want to spend. It’s not cheap, but this is a high quality pushchair that uses high quality materials, so it all seems built to last, with the possible exception of the hood.
It looks and feels hard-wearing, so I imagine it’d still look good after a couple of years and should hold its value well for resale. So it works out as good value for what it is.
But the accessories soon add up – the Flavour Pack alone is an extra £40 and a hood is pretty essential with any stroller – so this certainly isn’t a choice for those on a budget.
Despite a few flaws, overall I think the iCandy Raspberry is easy to use, handles superbly and looks great.
It’s not a cheap option, but I would recommend it to urban parents looking to splash out on a buggy that will get them around town with ease and style for years to come.