Bugaboo Donkey double stroller review: The ultimate mommy status symbol has arrived

Dear reader, I jumped for joy at the opportunity to test drive the hot-off-the-presses Bugaboo Donkey for you all. (Right. For you.) It is the most talked-about stroller I’ve ever seen, and I had been ogling it online ever since I first heard about it last fall.

Let me start off by saying that I had never used a double stroller before this month. I just had my second baby in late April and was determined to force my toddler son into walking everywhere rather than buying a double stroller. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

I quickly discovered that getting anywhere–even to the corner bodega–would take no less than 45 minutes, a half a dozen time-outs and many tears of frustration–mine and his. I realized a double buggy purchase was imminent.

Needless to say, I was delighted when the stroller gods listened, and offered up a Donkey loaner.

The Bugaboo Donkey (the name still makes me giggle) is designed to be a stroller that can grow with you, and can be adapted into three different configurations. The Duo accommodates a bassinet side-by-side with a seat, the Twin is for two kids in seats or bassinets, and what’s particularly interesting is that it also can be used with a single seat or bassinet, plus a big ol’ storage basket right next to it.

Bugaboo Donkey Twin configuration
Bugaboo Donkey double stroller Duo configuration
Bugaboo Donkey in Mono mode

From top: Twin, Duo, Mono configurations

I chose the Duo, and when it arrived, I practically tore the box open and attempted to put it together myself. Then I went to the Bugaboo website and saw that the directions had no words, just pictures, and I decided to wait for my husband to get home. Instructions written in mime
are not so easy to follow.

Once we did get it up and running, I had great fun toying with the convertible-ness of it. One of the coolest things about the Donkey how easy it is to transform between configurations, or rotate the seats from forward to back with just a few snaps of handles and pushes of the frame. Really easy. I promise.

And if you’ve only got one kid with you, with little effort you can also slide the frame together to convert a wide double into an actual single stroller. It really is genius.

(Check out the nifty Bugaboo Donkey videos to see it in action)

In the Duo position, the stroller is 29″ wide, and Bugaboo claims it’s the narrowest luxury side-by-side on the market. That’s a little like saying the smallest minivan on the market. This stroller is still huge. And as luck would have it, I live in an old brownstone with a door that’s a bit smaller than standard. It took about 5 minutes of clever maneuvering and angling before I had my beast of burden out the door. This task had to be done with the bassinet removed while both kids waited inside; but I’d imagine that’s not a problem most parents will have.

However once I got it out the door? Wow. It was hard not to feel like a celebrity when walking down the street with my new accessory. Bugaboos in my Brooklyn neighborhood are about as ubiquitous as indie coffee shops. But I had yet to spot a Donkey, and apparently, I was not alone. When I steered the comely stroller into an upscale children’s boutique in my hood, there was an audible gasp, followed by a point, from a mommy shopping inside. I got more than few “nice
stroller” catcalls from fellow pedestrians and I could feel the envious stares at the playground. It is definitely a conversation starter.

Getting in and out of doors takes some getting used to, as with any double stroller, though the Donkey did manage to fit nicely through every door I wanted to go into (besides my own!). The Donkey was surprisingly light to push, though I did have a few issues with the front wheels randomly locking while out and about. All in all, it proved to be a very smooth ride. Those air wheels are a godsend.

The stroller frame is also car seat compatible, and has a two-wheel position in case you need to drag it over sand or rougher terrain. Other cool things: it’s got a one-hand recline (either seat operates independently), and the stroller has a neat standing fold.

While pushing my two boys in the Bugaboo Donkey, I realized the side-by-side facing seats had
more perks than I had realized. When my newborn started wailing, my toddler reached his arm into the bassinet and took the baby’s hand to comfort him. In my book, that sight alone is worth the rather steep price of admission.

Is this stroller for everyone? Of course not. But if you can afford it, it’s a marvel of engineering designed to grow with your family. In fact, you can stick a board on the back so it can haul three kids together. But I’m not even close to thinking about that. -Melissa

You can order the Bugaboo Donkey in three configurations, Mono ($1,199), Duo ($1,499) or Twin ($1,659). That simply means you’re ordering your own combination of stroller seats and bassinets. Find a retailer like Giggle or Magic Beans in your ‘hood on Bugaboo.com. It cannot be purchased online at this time.

Melissa

Melissa Schweiger is a seasoned author, journalist, blogger and proud mom of two troublemaking boys.

13 Comments

  • Reply June 22, 2011

    Christina

    I’m a Bugaboo Cameleon Mom and I’m not all that impressed with the Donkey. I feel like they compromised on some of the unique features (specifically the seats) that makes Bugaboo stand out from the rest. With that said, I’m glad they have a double stroller but I hope they improve the current model down the road…

  • Reply June 23, 2011

    Karri

    So just out of curiousity if I am having a third and my oldest will be about 3 1/2, would you recommend this double with the board or since he’s probably pretty close to being done, would you recommend an Uppa with a Rumble and a board? I’ll have a newborn, 18 month old and 3 1/2 year old. Any other suggestions besides the Uppa w/Rumble?

  • Reply June 23, 2011

    ashley

    I’ll be in the same position as you with kids the same ages as yours when our third arrives in August, so I am so interested in hearing what others recommend. I have two double strollers, neither of which I love (Chariot Cougar2 and Tike Tech double) and we just bought a triple RunAbout stroller off of craigslist, but I am thinking that it is too ridiculous looking and that my 3-year old would be just as content to walk…anyways, looking forward to hearing advice on this topic too!!

  • Reply June 25, 2011

    sandy

    I totally agree with Christina!

  • Reply June 26, 2011

    MEnne

    I totally disagree with Christina, I bought this stroller ( I also have a cameleon and a frog) and I love it! It it so much easier to use then any of the other bugaboo’s! I can do everything on this stroller with one hand and bugaboo made some slight improvements on their design, The seats in particular I like better, the shape is better for little ones. If I only have one kid with me the stroller converts so easy, This is by far my favorite of the bugaboo strollers, I love it, it has made life so much easier! I really can’t say enough good things about it, In fact the only thing I prefer on my on my frog is the break, other that that this stroller rocks!
    If someone says otherwise I can only imagine its because they haven’t seen or tried it in real life

  • Reply June 27, 2011

    anita

    hi, where can i sell or trade in my single bugaboo camelon for the donkey one?

  • Cool Mom Picks
    Reply June 28, 2011

    Cool Mom Picks

    Bugaboo doesn’t have a trade-in program. You can get on a wait list for the Donkey right now, and in the meanwhile, look into reselling your original stroller through Craig’s List, ebay, or local shops.

    We’re big fans of donating to orgs like Baby Buggy if it’s in good shape – you’ll get a tax deduction, and needy families will get a great stroller.

  • Reply July 5, 2011

    miavoce1

    Am having twins and would like to know how do I know whether to order the Duo or Twin? What is the difference between the two?

  • Reply July 22, 2011

    Gregg

    Does anyone know if the wheelie board work with the Donkey.. we have three kids..

  • Reply July 31, 2011

    Ickle 2

    The Twin is two bassinets and the duo is one seat and a bassinet (eash bassinet comes with a seat fabric). If your having twins you’ll need the twin model!

  • Reply September 1, 2011

    flo

    I am expecting twins. I managed to get a Donkey (not easy to find in Canada). And only one word: WOW. My 2 year old son can push it around so easily. Definitively the best stroller I have ever had (these are our 4 & 5th kids). If you can afford it, do not hesitate. It is worth every penny.

  • Cool Mom Picks
    Reply September 1, 2011

    Cool Mom Picks

    Thanks for the feedback Flo. Best of luck with the twins!

  • Reply February 11, 2012

    ciskia

    Hi,

    I was wondering if I can still use my bugaboo cameleon accessories (canopy covers, sun shade, rain cover, sun cover etc) on the bugaboo donkey? Thanks so much

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