I started researching double strollers about seven months ago when […]
I started researching double strollers about seven months ago when my wife and I found out we were having twins. We had no clue what we wanted or what we needed—especially since we have never purchased a stroller. Finding the right one is a daunting task. Like single strollers, double strollers vary in price and style … but with twin strollers, there are even more considerations. The Bugaboo Donkey has everything we wanted, all in one modular stroller.
We’ve owned the stroller for several months now, and started using it daily with our newborn twin boys about a month ago. We take it around the neighborhood, and occasionally parks and public spaces. We prefer to use the bassinet (or carrycot, as Bugaboo calls it) attachment when walking around the neighborhood and the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat adapter (sold separately) when we’re out and about. In my opinion, a car seat adapter is a must-have if you plan to pack the stroller in a vehicle. It’s best not to wake your babies, and most vehicles aren’t large enough to store the bassinets anyway.
The stroller arrived in three well-organized boxes. The assembly instructions and photos were clear and easy to follow. No tools were needed, just 45 minutes of my time. Immediately upon unboxing and building the stroller, I appreciated the exceptional quality of the materials. The frame is made of a heavy, yet durable plastic. It feels nearly as durable as steel. This thing is built like a tank!
The canopy can be ordered in many colors. Ours is bright red, which we like because it’s gender neutral and aesthetically attractive. The fabric is a thick heavy-duty canvas. We haven’t washed it yet, but Bugaboo claims it is dyed and will not fade or be washed out. The canopies do a good job at blocking the sun and are fully extendable. We usually extend the canopies all the way down, so people can’t reach in, sneeze or breathe on the babies. It’s amazing how much attention twins bring—everyone wants to see them up close and personal! It’s worth noting that the canopies do not have peek-a-boo windows.
The wheels are large for an all-purpose stroller. They’re air-filled tires, which could be a pain if one is punctured, but it makes for easy pushing and shock absorption compared to a plastic wheel counterpart. The Donkey practically pushes itself—even on grass. The 360-degree swivel front wheels (which can also be locked forward) make turning effortless. The brake near the back left wheel is easy to engage and disengage. The Donkey has no hand brake, but it has a canvas wrist loop attached to the handle, so it won’t get away. (If there is even the slightest slope, the stroller has the potential to take off with your babies in it!)
As I alluded in the first paragraph, the most distinguishing feature of the Donkey is its versatility. It has three main conversions: twin, duo and mono. Twin mode (which we have) includes two bassinets or two seats. Duo includes a bassinet and a seat (and is ideal for an older and younger sibling). The mono is one seat and a side storage basket (for ultimate cargo space). In the mono mode, the stroller can even be made narrower. We will use the mono configuration if we have a third child in the future (or on the rare occasion we’re out with just one baby), so we’ll never have to buy another stroller—a major plus of the Donkey.
The bassinet seems comfortable. It has a soft, thick pad for the baby to lie on. Our babies fall asleep as soon as we place them in the bassinet. Another plus is that the seats and bassinets stand on their own, so we can bring the bassinets into the house without waking the babies. It’s easy to remove the bassinets and place them on the stroller. The bassinets and seats recline in either direction with just one hand operation. Other features of the stroller include an adjustable handle height, rain cover, tire pump and storage net (though, the net is small given the large footprint of the stroller). Accessories such as cup holders, mosquito nets, snack trays and car seat adapters are sold separately.
While the Donkey is versatile, it’s not the most compact stroller. It’s easy to collapse after a little practice. Once collapsed, it’s a bit awkward to carry because there is no handle. With durability, comes weight. It’s pretty heavy. It doesn’t fold compactly unless the seats/car seat adapter is removed. It gets even smaller if when the wheels are removed. The wheels pop off and on easily, but it’s still an extra step that seems unnecessary.
We own a Honda Civic Sedan and a Honda Ridgeline Truck. The stroller will fit in the Civic’s trunk, but not easily—and there’s definitely no room left for bassinets, seats, or anything else. We can easily store everything in the bed of the truck. We store the stroller frame on a ladder hook in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, you’ll need a chunk of space inside to store the stroller. It won’t fit in a small closet.
Maneuverability is great outside, but it can be a challenge in small or crowded areas. The Donkey fits through standard doors, but it takes up a lot of room, which becomes clear as you try navigating through a small shop or restaurant.
The Donkey is a luxury stroller—the Porsche of strollers even—and the quality is excellent. There’s not another stroller in the market that I would rather own.
Price: from $1,329
To buy: bugaboo.com
Images: Courtesy of featured brands