To say we are fans of the Doona is to put it mildly. This car-seat-with-wheels has been a total lifesaver during our three months of parenthood, and we could go on and on about why—but let’s keep it to the top seven things we love for time’s sake.
1. Built-in wheels. The signature feature of the Doona is its collapsible wheels, which allow it clip onto its base like a regular infant car seat and then transform into a stroller when you take it out. It eliminates the need to ever awkwardly sling it over your elbow, and it saves the hassle of getting a separate stroller frame or caddy to attach it to in and out of your trunk. Although the Doona is not the lightest (it’s 16.5 pounds) or slightest of infant car seats, the minimal amount of lifting you have to do more than makes up for it.
2. Built-in wheels. This isn’t a typo, we just want to rave a little more about how awesome this feature is. We live in an urban high-rise and park our car in a parking garage, which means we walk down a hallway, ride down an elevator, and walk down another hallway before we even get to the garage where our car is parked. The thought of lugging an infant car seat all that way makes my biceps tremble, so I can’t recommend this seat enough for families with similar living situations. It’s also incredibly convenient for daycare drop-off, and we’re regularly the subject of other parents’ envious stares.
3. Small(ish) footprint. Although the Doona requires a bit of space in the car (we drive an older Subaru Forester and need to scoot the front passenger seat forward to accommodate the car seat in the backseat), it feels quite small and nimble when taking it into shops or restaurants (much smaller than our stroller). We never feel like we’re imposing when we park it near our table while out to eat.
4. Awesome accessories. The Doona has a variety of a la carte accessories available including an insect net, rain cover, sunshade extension, wheel covers, vehicle seat protector, snap-on storage, all-day bag, essentials bag and travel bag. We have the sunshade extension, which we’re fans of. It attaches with ease and provides complete and convenient coverage when we’re out and about (especially, say, sitting in a sunny beer garden on a Saturday afternoon). We also have the vehicle seat protector, which does exactly what it says, as well as the travel bag, which has been awesome during our recent flights. We typically use the Doona in our Lyft on the way to the airport, tuck it into the travel bag when we get there, and then check it when we get inside. The travel bag can be worn like a backpack, which my husband initially thought was silly but quickly found to be relatively comfortable and super convenient.
5. Plush infant insert. We noticed the first time we buckled our newborn in how comfortable and supportive the infant insert seemed to make her experience. While babies can often look a little slumped over and awkward in car seats initially, we felt our little lady was secure from the start.
6. Flexibility. We’ve used the car seat both with the base (installation was easy—so much so that when we went to the fire station to have it inspected we passed with flying colors!) and without, thanks to the seat-belt only installation option. In fact, we’ve used the latter on multiple occasions—in an out of taxis, Lyfts, grandparents’ cars, etc.—and it’s super simple. I’m still glad to have the base for everyday use, but when we’re traveling it’s no issue to make do without it.
7. Easy buckling. Getting our daughter fastened into the seat and adjusting the harness is no trouble at all. The harness release button makes tightening and loosening the straps simple as can be, so we can get a just-right—and more importantly safe—fit every time.
We are so incredibly pleased with the Doona overall and regularly feel badly for parents lugging around awkward infant seats in the crooks of their arms. We wish we could buy all of them Doonas! We honestly don’t know how we’d get by without those handy wheels and are so glad we’ve never had to try.
To buy: buybuybaby.com