The long awaited double from Bugaboo, the Bugaboo Donkey is a new innovative stroller that can be easily converted - in three clicks, from a full-sized mono to a full-sized side-by-side duo and back again to a single, or mono as Bugaboo calls it. This makes it suitable for your first child, your second child, or both and for twins, all with flexible and multiple storage space.
The Bugaboo Donkey has been designed to meet two key parental needs: increased storage space and the option to convert to a duo stroller for parents with two young children of different ages, or twins. The increased storage space - an expandable side luggage basket and under-seat basket - allows parents to carry all the goods they may need whilst on the go. The Bugaboo Donkey can be expanded and downsized again in only three clicks and even in full duo position, the stroller is still compact. The Bugaboo Donkey also features a two wheel position making it suitable for all terrains.
|Model Reviewed:||Donkey 2011|
|Edited By:||Sally Marshall|
Seat design and function
The seat unit on the Bugaboo Donkey has a very upright seat back, a long fixed footrest and an easily adjustable harness.
The seat unit is reversible by pressing each of the white seat unit release buttons either side of the bumper bar, lift the seat and re-position it on the chassis.
The Bugaboo Donkey has a one handed recline by lifting a lever on the back of the seat unit and adjusting the seat incline. The seat has 3 recline levels; fully upright, partially reclined & fully reclined, which is the position used for the included bassinet attachment, suitable for use with a newborn. The fully reclined position is not available when the seat is forward facing.
The fully washable seat unit has a thick foam seat pad, seat board and padded backrest. A removable foam bumper bar is included.
Seat Back: 47cm/18.5
Clearance to hood: 53cm/21
Seat depth: 22cm/8.7
Foot well: 26 cm/ 10
Weight limit: 17 kg/ 37.5 lbs per seat
The Donkey can be used in several modes and is unique in converting to a side-by-side double rather than inline pram.
One child from birth
Two children of different ages
Two children the same age, each from birth.
To convert the Donkey to a double, release 3 clips on the chassis, press a release button on the centre axle and pull the chassis into the wider position. Finally re-engage the 3 clips and add the second seat unit. It is quite simple to do and can easily be done when unpacking the pram from the car boot depending on how you want to use the Donkey.
When in doubles mode each seat is completely independent, identical in size & has the same functions. Each has a full independent hood, recline & can face the same or opposite ways. The Donkey can have any combination of bassinets, seats or car seats.
Child safety harness
The Bugaboo Donkey has a no-thread harness; it easily adjusts simply by pulling it up or down to any point within a range to suit your child. The harness is very easy to move and does unintentionally move at times. I found it very convenient with both a toddler and infant, the harness just pulls into place so switching seats was not a problem at all.
Hood or Canopy
The Bugaboo Donkeys canopy has 3 support wires creating additional headroom above the seat as well as allowing the canopy to be neatly tucked behind the seat unit when not in use.
I found my 2.5 year old was happy to have the hood half extended as the canopy height provides the child good visibility from beneath the hood while still providing sufficient sun coverage in the upright position. Although the hood is quite deep the coverage is reduced as the seat reclines and at times my infant was not fully covered by the standard canopy.
The standard canopy has no viewing window, this feature is less important in a rear facing stroller but those who prefer forward facing seats may benefit from purchasing the Breezy Canopy which offers mesh panels, extended sun coverage and greater ventilation.
The canopy is easily removable for washing or fitting different hoods. A major feature of all Bugaboo strollers is the ability for parents to purchase various colours of canopy to change as desired.
Handle design and function
The telescopic handle is extended by releasing 2 large white clips either side of the handlebar and pulling it upwards. The stroller length is extended as the handlebar moves upward. The highest position would provide for very tall parents at 106 cm while the lowest position is 88 cm.
The Bugaboo Donkey name was chosen because donkeys can carry a great deal. Certainly in Mono mode the stroller lives up to its name with excellent and convenient storage, however I would consider the storage in Duo mode average
capacity for a double stroller.
The Bugaboo Donkey has 2 storage baskets. The side basket may not be to everyones taste aesthetically, but I found it incredibly convenient. It comfortably holds my mid-sized baby bag with some extra items, keeping them within reach without hanging off the handlebar. The side basket rests over the seat connectors so is removed when in Duo mode. The side basket has 2 carry handles with press-studs for when not in use should you wish to carry it.
The undercarriage basket of the Bugaboo Donkey extends in width with the stroller. It is a generous sized basket, which holds approximately the contents of a grocery store hand basket. There are 3 elasticised side-pockets although the basket overall is quite shallow and open.
Accessibility to the undercarriage basket is quite good from behind an upright seat, however the basket was not accessible from the side with a bassinet attached. The storage would be difficult to access with twin bassinets attached.
Neither basket on the Bugaboo Donkey has a cover or top closure.
The Bugaboo Donkey has 4 air tyres providing a smooth ride on a variety of surfaces. The rear wheels are 12 and the front wheels are 10 swivel wheels that lock for handling rough terrain.
The wheel lock mechanism protrudes 10mm forward; as such I found it is frequently applied accidentally when getting into and out of the car boot. The wheel release mechanism is behind the front wheel and underneath the chassis for the rear wheels, both placements are quite hidden and removing the wheels is slower than on other strollers.
The foot break on the Bugaboo Donkey is large and easy to use, simply press it downwards to apply or flick upwards to disengage. A confirmation click is heard when applied or released.
The Bugaboo Donkey offers a one-piece standing fold as well as a smaller fold by removing seat units and the side basket. The one-piece fold is quite large and heavy; as such it does not fit into a standard car boot.
To fit the Donkey into a standard car boot begin by pressing each of the white seat release buttons and removing the seat units, and lift the side basket off. Fold the chassis by pressing the black button on the fold release mechanism in, while pulling upwards on the white lever and gently lower the handlebar to the ground. Then lift the chassis up by the centre axle allowing the wheels to come together. The chassis is now folded. Stack the seat units and side basket on or under the chassis.
To fold the stroller in one piece, recline the seat unit to be close to level with the handlebar, this is upright when forward facing or into an extra rear facing position which is not meant to be used with a child in the seat. Once the seat unit(s) are aligned with the handlebar release the fold lock, drop the handlebar and lift by the centre axle as in the compact fold described above. The Donkey will now stand in the front wheels & handlebar.
Manoeuvrability is where the Bugaboo Donkey shines, in Duo mode it can still be pushed outdoors by one hand with a 15kg toddler and 5kg infant in the seats, the weight difference between the seats makes minimal difference to the handling.
The large air tyres help it glide over grass, concrete paths and through bumpy park terrain without disturbing a sleeping infant. In shopping centres the small wheelbase as a mono make it easy to navigate shopping aisles and even in duo mode it fits through standard doorways and most shopping spaces.
The weight of the stroller can certainly be felt when combined with groceries and 2 children, but I feel it is within reason compared to other double prams carrying a similar load.
Width by length:
- Mono: 60x 82cm / 23.6 x 32
- Duo: 74x 82cm / 29.1 x 32
Width by length by height:
- One Piece Mono: 60 x 60 x 102 cm / 23.6 x 23.6 x 40.1
- Compact fold Mono: 60 x 91 x 43 cm / 23.6 x 36 x 17
- One Piece Duo: 74 x 60 x 102 cm / 29.1 x 23.6 x 40.1
- Compact fold Duo: 60 x 91 x 55 cm / 23.6 x 36 x 22
Seats, wheels, basket and hood on:
- Single mode 15.3kg / 33.7 lbs
- Double mode 18.2kg / 40.1 lbs
- Chassis weight 11.1kg / 24.4 lbs
The Bugaboo Donkey comes standard with a bassinet, rain cover and air pump to cater for one child. The Duo Extension Kit and Bassinet Base Complete cater for two children of different ages or twins and are sold separately.
Many other accessories are available to purchase for the Bugaboo Donkey, including the Bugaboo Cupholder, Organiser, Universal Footmuff, Universal Seat Liner & Parasol. Additional accessories specific to the Bugaboo Donkey include a Breezy Sun Canopy, Wheeled Board Adapter and Maxi Cosi Adapters for one or two Maxi Cosis.
The Donkey has lived up to the anticipation of a double Bugaboo and brings an individual approach to the convertible double market that is an excellent choice for parents of twins or children close in age. It is impressively designed to maximise the comfort for the rider in as small a footprint as possible.
The ability to extend into a side-by-side stroller is unique to the Donkey, it offers both riders equal comfort each with a full seat featuring independent hood, recline and position. Heavy and disparate weights are handled with ease and the Donkey provides excellent storage, ideal for parents of two small children.
- Unique ability to convert from a single to side-by-side double
- Able to use 2 seats, 2 bassinets or 2 car seats or any combination of these.
- Ability for both children to face the world or parent independent of the other
- Excellent seat unit design and ergonomics
- Generous and flexible storage capacity
- Fantastic manoeuvrability
- Small wheelbase
- Shorter length than other convertible prams
- One piece standing fold option
- Large fold
- High weight as single or double
- Wider in Duo mode than other convertible prams
- Basket access is restricted by reclining seats and bassinet