Stroller Obsession: Bugaboo Donkey

by Jessica Shyba on May 26, 2011

in Baby Products,City Life,New York,Parenting,Stroller Obsession,Travel

The hottest item to land in the hands of New York City’s poshest parents is the new double stroller by Bugaboo. We were given a few precious weeks with the new Bugaboo Donkey, and while we aren’t the the ritziest crew around, I certainly felt like it for a brief stint.

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Before we moved to Manhattan, we took a quick trip out to find a family friendly neighborhood and decent apartment to live in. While my husband was busy taking measurements of rooms and doorways, I was peering outside at the stroller population. Without a doubt, the Bugaboo Chameleon was the stroller that most parents and caretakers were pushing around. I’ve never owned a Bugaboo personally, but as you know I’ve definitley tried my hand at many different types of carriages, especially doubles.

The Bugaboo Donkey stood out to me for a few reasons. First: I’ve never seen a stroller that expands width-wise to accommodate a second child. Not only can it hold two children side-by-side, but when it does it is the narrowest stroller on the market that can do such a thing. A normal doorway measures 32″ wide, the stroller in Twin form is just 29″ wide. This means that my kids are not fighting over who gets to sit “in front”, and I’m able to easily access my elevator, my grocery store, and my local Starbucks without any hassle. In Manhattan, this is a big deal- I’ve had double wide strollers that I cannot bring out unless I’m simply going to a park or an outdoor event. This means I can’t pick up a last minute gallon of milk or drop off my dry-cleaning without leaving the stroller outside to be looted or stolen-which also means it’s taking up a large amount of precious real estate in my closet for really no reason.

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In the mono form, the Bugaboo Donkey is exactly as wide as a standard Bugaboo Chameleon, yet it also holds a shopping basket. We took several trips to the park for picnics and to the Union Square Green Market for fresh produce: Jack rode his scooter while Zoe rode in the stroller and helped load our fruits and vegetables. I loved this option. Normally, my strollers are loaded high with bags of purchases and groceries, sometimes leaving no room for the child at all. I’ve said before, my stroller is my car, so I need it to be as fully functional as possible.

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For our longer walks across the city, I used both seats. I can’t expect Jack to walk an hour both ways without exhausting himself, so I particularly appreciate the ease in which the Donkey converts to holding two full sized seats. In Twin form, the Donkey can hold either two bassinets, a standard seat and a bassinet, a second car seat, or two standard seats. For expanding families, this is an excellent option and key detail.

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Ride and Features

Even with two good sized children (35lbs and 28lbs, respectively) asleep in the stroller, a loaded diaper bag and two scooters, the Donkey was very easy to push and steer, even with one hand. This was one of my favorite aspects- I loved that I could literally walk for hours pushing this stroller without feeling the impact in my shoulders and upper back area.

While I’m not really a fan of air-filled tires, I never had to pump them once and they were really strong. Given the work I put them through, I considered this a definite plus, and something I would be willing to compromise for.

Both seats recline fully, and can can be adjusted to face forward or facing me. The brake was an easy one click movement that I didn’t have to take my Havaianis off to do (also, huge plus). The stroller can convert to a two wheeler, making it easier to bring down steps, through snow or over cobble stoned streets. It is relatively easy to collapse, but not all that quickly. Both seats-or one seat and the basket-must be fully removed to break down the frame. I wouldn’t be taking this stroller alone on the subway or in a taxi with both children, it’s simply is too much to do and worry about. Those times are relatively infrequent, but it’s still something to be considered when investing in something as expensive as the Bugaboo Donkey.

Investment

The Mono configuration includes the base and one seat for $1,200

The Duo includes the base, one seat and one extension set for $1,500,

The Twin includes the base, two seats and one extension set for $1,660

Extension kits are sold individually for $300.

Is it worth it?

The Bugaboo Donkey is a fantastic stroller in so many ways. If you are just starting your family, I would consider this an excellent option for a couple of reasons: You know the quality will last, and the company is great about standing behind it’s product in case something happens. You’ll most likely purchase a few strollers between however many children you have, and this particular stroller is fantastic about expanding along with the family. I would absolutely purchase this if I was just starting a family and knew that I wanted more than one child.

I’ve made the mistake of purchasing more than a few strollers that are either too wide or have fallen apart in the middle of a storm in the city. It’s a financial loss as well as taking years off of my life in stress. There’s something to be said for spending a little extra on a dependable item than spending more just trying to find the perfect ride.

I would love to own a Bugaboo Donkey myself, especially given our expanding family. It is comfortable, sleek, easy to clean and maintain, and my children loved it. You wouldn’t believe the attention I received around town, too. Pretty incredible to see a stroller reach icon status yet again.

I was not compensated for this post. Bugaboo lent me the Donkey for a few weeks for the purpose of review.

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