Bugaboo Donkey is a high-end brand with a price tag that is not for the faint of heart. That being said, they have a massive fan base from all walks of life who would rather pick a Bugaboo Donkey than any other stroller. This kind of blind-following isn’t in our nature, so we have decided to take a look at the Bugaboo Donkey ourselves before we make a final judgment.
If you haven’t heard of Bugaboo Donkey, let's fill you in. They have created a customizable and convertible stroller that can click from a single carrier to a double carrier without any fuss, or that's what the tagline says. The convertible element means that a car seat can be connected to the stroller, so you don’t have to move your baby too much on your journey.
What Do You Get?
When you buy a Bugaboo Donkey stroller, you will receive a pushchair in parts. It does come with an easy-to-follow instruction manual, so it shouldn’t take long for you to put it all together. It took us around 10 minutes.
The box had:
- Carrycot Apron (in color of choice)
- Canopy spokes and Clamps
- Sun Canopy (in color of choice)
- Bumper Bar
- Stroller Frame
- Side Luggage Basket
- Underseat Basket
- Swivel Wheels
- Rear Wheels
You can also buy additional accessories, including:
- Extra Carrycot
- Changed Color Pack - For the Carrycot Apron and Sun Canopy
- Car Seat Adaptor for a Double or Single
- Double Seat Kit
- Canopy Spokes and Clamps
- Bumper bar
When it comes to convenience and price, we think that a lot of these “additional accessories” should have been included in the original purchase. Footmuffs, for example, are a standard item in most strollers.
Bugaboo Donkey - Mono Mode
You can buy the Bugaboo Donkey in Mono Mode, which means it will be suitable for one child only; however, the frame is still sized for two children. This extra space isn’t wasted, though, as a narrow basket can be placed by your side, giving you a fantastic amount of storage space.
No matter how many children you have, there is never enough space for all the items you need to take with you. You might as well carry your whole home around. This additional storage space is an amazing addition to a traditional stroller. You can even unclick this extra storage and use it as an over-the-shoulder bag to easily move your child’s items with you.
Of course, the Bugaboo Donkey also has a basket underneath the child’s seat which is also extended to match the double stroller size.
If you don’t need to use this extra space, you can reduce the frame to a standard one-seater stroller, changing the width from 29 inches to 23.6 inches.
23.6 inches wide isn’t a problem for most doorways, and if you find yourself in a tight spot, the front wheels can help you make precise movements even if you are steering with just one hand.
Wheels and Axles for Soft Ground
The first thing we noticed when looking at the wheels of the Bugaboo Donkey was how pretty they were. The white-walled air tires are sleek yet eye-catching, and they give the stroller an air of sophistication while not making the whole pushchair seem overly decorated. When it comes to beauty, the Bugaboo Donkey has our hearts.
But let's talk about functionality. The front wheels are 25 cm in radius (9.8 inches) and can be locked to create careful driving or be loose and swivel to absorb bumpy roads. The process of locking and unlocking the wheels is simple. There is a large white button on the hub above the wheel.
The rear wheels are 30 cm in radius (11.8 inches), which is excellent for taking the stroller on gravel terrain or short grass. The wheels are thick enough to absorb most of the bumpy ground, leaving your child undisturbed. To put the brake on, you need to lift and press down on the pedal located on the left wheel.
If you want to take the stroller to the beach or were walking through a park and found yourself stuck in a muddy patch, there is a simple way for the Bugaboo Donkey to adapt to its surroundings and make the arduous journey super easy. The answer is in the axles!
The first thing you need to do is lock the front wheels so that they don’t swivel. Then you should slide the white trigger-like button along the handle shaft on each side of the front wheels. This will allow you to swing the back axle forward. This means that the back wheels are the only wheels touching the floor, creating easier maneuverability on soft ground!
One Seat To Support Them All
Most convertible strollers give you different seats for different stages of your child’s life, however, the Bugaboo Donkey can support your child as they grow without needing to keep an extra unused chair in your garage.
There is a fabric seat panel that slides onto the top of the seat frame and then becomes secured by the velcro straps. You can remove this seat panel and the seat frame to show the carrycot base already prepared for use.
Everything seems to be prepared for ease and simplicity for the parent, and we can see it in these effortless, interchanging designs.
The first problem we came across was with the canopies. One package will contain the hood and the apron designed for your carrycot. The other is a sun canopy intended for the child seat.
To connect these to your Bugaboo Donkey, you need to thread the canopies onto the spokes to create a hood. The process is a little fiddly, however, this isn’t a job that you would do often. It would only need to be changed when you want to change the seating arrangements. The fact that our only negative for the Bugaboo Donkey so far is their fiddly canopies speaks volumes in itself.
The canopies are large and can be tilted to a 90-degree angle when extended to their full length. You can slide the canopies up and down the strapline to adjust to height as your child grows.
All of the fabrics can be removed and washed in a washing machine, and they can be put on a 86 degree Fahrenheit wash.
Folding and Unfolding
With a stroller that can become very wide, you may think that folding the pushchair could be fiddly or create a bulky lump, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
When folded, the stroller is rather clunky, but it should fit in your trunk without any issues. Luckily you can fold the seats with the frame if you want to, but we would recommend removing the seats on your first try so you can see how the folding process should be done.
First, you need to apply the brake, then you can contract the handles. You do this by unclipping the white brackets and sliding them into the frame. We recommend closing the brackets once they have been retracted, so they don’t slide out.
Next, you pull the white trigger slides on each side of the frame. This will make the handles drop into the back wheels. From there, you can pick up the stroller from the central pivot bar. This action will make the front wheels fall towards the seats and the rear wheels.
In comparison to other double strollers, this process created a super-compact folded pushchair. The process is longer than most strollers which can be opened and closed with one hand, but having so many levers and pulleys tells you that the stroller is sturdy and will not collapse on you by mistake.
Bugaboo Donkey - Duo Mode
The fact that the BugaBoo Donkey can convert from a single-seater to a double-seater is phenomenal. From an engineering standpoint, the process is complicated and astounding. The designers should get a standing ovation. From a parental point of view, the process is super simple. In fact, you might be wondering why other manufacturers haven’t tried to create the same idea!
This part of the review will explain how simple turning your Mono into Duo is and any hiccups we found along the way.
From Mono to Duo
The first thing you need to do is identify the three lock points. They are white clips that can be found on the handle, the front axle, and the rear axle. When you release each of these clips, you can press the white button on the central pivot bar. This will allow you to open up the frame.
We tried to do this a couple of different ways and found the easiest method was lying the chassis on its side and then pressing the white buttons. This way, you can lift the frames to expand them. Then you can stand the frame upright again and lock the clips in place.
The process is more fiddly than we would have liked, but it doesn’t take long, and it is simple. You just need to make sure you can lay the fame down before attempting to expand your Mono.
When it came to assembly, the Bugaboo Donkey was straightforward. The only problem we faced with a slightly fiddly canopy.
When it came to changing the Mono to a Duo, we found the process easy if it was on its side instead of up straight. Once we found that sweet spot, there were no issues.
When it came to usage, the wheels moved with precision, and the axle change meant we could take the stroller anywhere!
We think some of the additional products could have been included in the overall price, but if you are happy to put more money into your growing family, this might not be an issue for you.
The hype around the Bugaboo Donkey is deserved, and we are so happy to have tried it out!