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Bugaboo Donkey Stroller Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Bugaboo Donkey Mono Stroller
Bugaboo Inc.
The Bugaboo Donkey stroller was so hotly anticipated that it sold out almost instantly as soon as it became available. There are waiting lists in stores across the country because parents are willing to snap up the $1,500 (or more) strollers based on photos or a quick in-store test drive. You're not likely to find this stroller in online stores soon, either, thanks to high demand. With all of the excitement surrounding the stroller release, you can bet I was thrilled to be able to review the Bugaboo Donkey stroller. Does it live up to the hype and the price?

Bugaboo Donkey Stroller Features Review

The Bugaboo Donkey is a stroller that can be purchased in several configurations. The standard "Mono" setup has a single seat (which can be switched to a bassinet) and a cute detachable bag. The "Twin" setup has two seats, which can be used as two bassinets, plus the detachable bag. The "Duo" setup has two seats, the detachable bag, and one bassinet insert. All of these options allow you to use the Bugaboo Donkey stroller in the way that best fits your family, whether you have one child and want more, have more than one child of the same age, or you already have kids of different ages. The coolest part is that you can switch between these modes almost instantly. Going to the store with one child? Click in a seat and narrow the frame to hold the shopping bag. Later in the day, when it's time to take two kids to the zoo, expand the frame again and pop in the second seat.

The Bugaboo Donkey stroller also comes with rain shields for each seat, full canopies, a nap bars that double as carry handles for the bassinet. The tires are air-filled, and the front wheels swivel but can be locked for rough terrain. The handle telescopes to accommodate parents of various heights. The stroller seats are reversible, and they have 5-point harnesses. The seats also recline flat for newborns. There's a roomy storage basket underneath, in addition to the bag that clicks in next to the seat in Mono mode.

Optional accessories include cupholders, car seat adapters (the Donkey can hold two infant car seats in Twin Mode), gear organizer, foot board for older toddlers to ride, and foot muffs or seat liners for extra warmth or comfort.

What I Like About the Bugaboo Donkey Stroller

Actually, I should say "what I love about the Donkey." There's a lot to love on this stroller, and where it's good, it's very, very good. The steering is fantastic, even in Duo mode. This is exactly why you'd pay $1,500 for a stroller. You can easily steer with one hand, even when the terrain is a bit rough. You'll need two hands for gravel or grass, but even then, maneuvering the Bugaboo Donkey is not a chore. Locking the front wheels is simple, just push down on the levers on each one.

Changing the configuration of the stroller is not hard at all. Flip open a latch to expand the frame or make it smaller again. Pull up on two levers to release the seat and reverse its position. I could telescope the handle without interrupting my stride on a walk, and I even managed to take the detachable bag off the frame and replace it with one hand. No stopping to fiddle with tricky latches or connectors.

If you stroll on snow or sand very often, you know how difficult that can be with a stroller. A standout feature of the Bugaboo Donkey stroller is that you can quickly move the back wheels forward, and then pull the whole stroller along behind you, which is much, much easier on mushy terrain. It was a little awkward to get the stroller back into regular position after hauling it behind me. However, this is the only stroller I've seen with this feature, so I'm willing to overlook a wee bit of awkward in this area.

I really like that the seat reverses instead of the handle on this stroller. I prefer the swivel wheels to stay in front for easier steering, and they do on this stroller. The seat recline is also very easy to use - just lift the tab on the back of the seat and move it to a new position.

The basket underneath the seat is big enough to hold an average purse and some extras. I love the detachable bag for extra storage space! While it won't be enough for a trip to the warehouse store, it's certainly fine for a bread/milk run or a great sale at your favorite baby clothes store.

The sun canopy extends down to the nap bar, providing great coverage at any angle. The canopy isn't noisy when you extend or retract it, either, which is good for keeping napping babies asleep.

What I Don't Like About The Bugaboo Donkey Stroller

While the Donkey stroller met my expectations in many areas, there are a few things I feel were overlooked for a stroller at the very top of the stroller price range. First, it doesn't fold very small. This stroller took up most of my trunk space, and I needed to take the back wheels off to get a decent fit. While it's not difficult to remove the wheels - they click on and off with a button - it's a little annoying to have to put the wheels back on once you reach your destination. If you use the bassinet, once you remove it and get the frame and bassinet in the trunk, there's not room for much else.

The Donkey stroller is also heavy. It weighs in at almost 30 lbs in Mono mode and almost 35 lbs in the other expanded modes. You won't notice the weight when you're zooming along on the excellent suspension and with the outstanding steering. On the stairs, though, and when you're lifting the stroller into your trunk, that extra weight makes a difference.

I found that the Donkey was sometimes awkward to unfold. At times it seemed to unfold itself, and other times I struggled to get it to lock into place.

The foot brake is very easy to engage by stepping on the pedal. However, when it's time to move again, you have to put your toe underneath it and push up. I'm not a fan of this brake style because it's hard on good shoes and pedicures.

Should You Buy a Bugaboo Donkey Stroller?

There's no other stroller that does exactly what the Bugaboo Donkey does. So, if you need a stroller that can be used as a single, then a double, then a single again at a moment's notice, yes, you should look at the Bugaboo Donkey. The option to pull the stroller behind you is also very nice if you live in a place where that's necessary often.

If you don't have a lot of trunk space available, be sure to check out the fit before you buy a Bugaboo Donkey stroller, and be sure you're OK with the weight if you'll be lifting it regularly. Similarly, if you'll be dragging your stroller up and down stairs to the subway, you may want to see if you can test drive the Donkey first. If you're looking for a lightweight, zippy stroller that folds small like an umbrella-type, this is probably not the stroller for you.

Given the demand for the Bugaboo Donkey, it's clear that this stroller has what many families want. You won't be disappointed in the maneuverability or the convenience features. While the price is high initially, for families that would otherwise buy two high-end strollers to accommodate a growing family, the $1,500-$1,700 for the Bugaboo Donkey stroller represents a long-term investment in a high-quality stroller.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Bugaboo Donkey, Member shevy201

I was one of the lucky ones that pre-ordered my donkey early and got it the 1st week it came out. I have a now 6 month old and a 2yr old, and let me tell you this stroller is the best stroller around. My daughter who was about 20 wks or so when I got it would not under any circumstances get in a stroller. Once I got this stroller, she had no problem riding in it. I could say that a huge part of it was the fact that my newborn was in the bassinet ( I have the duo) and she enjoyed riding next to her. Though that was partly the true, my 20 mnth old would even ride in it w/o a prob when I had as a single. It was almost as if she knew true comfort. It is extremely expensive and me being a blue collar worker is bi far rich, but sometimes there are just those things that you have to splurge for and for us, this was one of them. I wouldn't trade this stroller in for nothing. It has made mine and my husbands lives so much easier. And the steering is absolutely flawless. However it is true about the unfolding part. Sometimes I feel like and idiot in the parking lot of stores when the stroller decides that it doesn't want to unfold and I have to fight with it. Hey, nothing is perfect. Perfection doesn't exsist anywhere. Yes it's heavy but jeez, it's a double stroller and it's sturdy. I mean do you want a feather weight stroller that will blow away with a heavy wind? Oh and people will hate and snicker about how stupid you are for purchasing such an expensive stroller, but it's the same people that are wearing $900 gucci bags and $200 tory burch shoes that are saying it. I mean couldn't they have bought a cheaper bag or cheaper shoes? Bottom line is, sometimes we want what we want.

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