Before I say anything else, let me first tell you that of all the strollers I have test-driven or owned, the iCandy Peach Blossom is by far my favorite.
But that doesn’t mean that it's perfect or that the right stroller for everyone. Allow me to paint you an honest picture of what it's like to use this good-looking baby-transporter.
Assembly: When the stroller arrived, it came in two large boxes. The first thing I thought? Oh man, this is a beast. I was still super excited though, so I immediately tore into them. The stroller comes pretty much ready to go—you have to do just a few things to put it together. If the instruction manual had entailed a good diagram naming the parts, I probably would have had this thing ready to go in minutes, but it ended up taking me at least 20, half of which were spent trying to figure out which pieces the manual was referring to. Once you figure that out though, the process is very easy.
This isn’t your isn’t your grab-and-go, one-hand-fold umbrella stroller (which, as a Maclaren owner, I normally love), but with a little practice, its not too bad to fold and open and load into and out of the car. Although it looks large, the stroller only weighs 17 pounds. At first, I thought this thing would be a time-sucker, what with putting it together and taking it apart each time we went somewhere. I was pleasantly surprised though; once I’d practiced the routine a couple times, I was able to get my set up/break down time to be almost as quick as opening or collapsing our lightweight stroller. You simply open the chassis, attach the seat adapters, stick the two seats into their spots, and you are ready to go.
Appearance and Quality: The Peach Blossom is a seriously beautiful stroller. I am stopped everywhere I go by people—with or without children of their own—telling me how nice it looks. It seems to be made of high-quality, durable parts and fabrics that are easy to clean (the fabric seats are not removable, but the material seems water-resistant and easy to wipe down). Mine is a hot red color (“tomato”), but it is also available in other color combos as well.
Size: The stroller is large, but nothing compared to that of a regular double stroller. In fact, it’s the size of many of the other fancy-pants single strollers. (By the way, it can actually be a single stroller when it wants to, but more on that later.) Since it's the size of a single stroller, it is easy to move around small spaces in stores and at the mall. To store this stroller in your car, you do need to take each of the seats off of the chassis to collapse it, which actually makes it easier to fit into smaller spaces. I think you could even get the stroller into the trunk of a smallish car, if needed—it would just take up the entire trunk. I drive a small SUV and it only occupies about half the trunk area, leaving plenty of room for groceries, etc.
Comfort: We thought our Maclaren was great, but my toddler-aged daughter seems more comfortable in this one because the seats are wider and have nicer cushioning, the hood keeps out more sun (it’s a nice size), and she loves the (removable) handle bar as well as the place to rest her feet. There are no trays or cup holders for the children, which doesn’t bother me, but I know for some parents those are essentials. I do wish that the basket underneath were more accessible when both seats are attached. It’s great when there is only one seat on the stroller, but it’s hard to get things in and out of when both children are riding.
Manueverability: I have taken this stroller to the mall, on runs around the neighborhood (it’s not a jogging stroller, but with large wheels and front wheels that can swivel or be locked in place, it rides so smoothly that I was able to accomplish light jogs with it), to the zoo, and to the park. It has good traction and impressive shock absorption, especially for not having inflatable tire wheels. The terrain (aside from multi-inch lips of sidewalk, which would cause the front wheels to catch) didn’t seem to affect the ride too much. It turns on a dime, I can maneuver it with one hand, and I never have to worry about getting through small doorways. The stroller can be locked in place with a foot break that's easy to engage and disengage.
Options: The Peach Blossom is versatile stroller, which is one of my favorite aspects. Sometimes I have both my baby and toddler and sometimes I don’t. When I have just one child, I leave off the seat adapters and put just one of the seats directly on the chassis—easy peasy. (The fully reclining seats are great, by the way, because they allow the children to be upright or lying completely flat, which is particularly nice with my newborn.) The only con I have found in this area is that the back seat doesn’t have much legroom unless both seats are in the same position (which doesn’t matter right now since I have an infant, but would matter if you had two toddlers and only one wanted to nap).
iCandy includes a mosquito net and rain cover with each seat (a nice perk, since many companies make you purchase those separately). Additionally, there are a few accessories you can add to upgrade your already practically perfect stroller: cupholders, removable seat cushion liners, cars seat adapters, parasols, bassinets, matching diaper bags and foot muffs. It is recommended for children from birth to 44 pounds, and I can see that it will work for our family for a long time (especially since I can use it as a single stroller once my older daughter outgrows it!).
To buy: icandyworld.com