The Bugaboo Donkey Duo is a top-of-the-line convertible luxury stroller that accommodates twins or children of different ages in either the duo configuration (*Est. $1,500) or the twin version (*Est. $1,660). Its multi-terrain, air-filled tires handle any surface, and the seats and bassinets swaddle babies in comfort, but the seats don't accommodate newborns and only take children up to 37.5 pounds. The stroller is also difficult to fold and heavy and bulky when folded. There are many more expert than user reviews available for this stroller -- something that may be attributable to its high price.
Bugaboo strollers recalled. In January 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall for 46,300 Bugaboo Cameleon, Donkey and Donkey Duo strollers in the U.S. and 4,440 in Canada. The white button on the carry handle can become disengaged and cause the handle to detach, the CPSC says, posing safety and choking hazards to young children (no injuries have been reported as of this report update). The replacement Bugaboo Cameleon carry handle is available from the manufacturer; the replacement handle for the Bugaboo Donkey and Donkey Duo will be available at the beginning of February.
More information about the recall is available on the CPSC website. Owners can also call Bugaboo for more information at 800-460-2922 or to receive the replacement handle.
The Bugaboo Donkey Duo has five-point harnessed that parents say are hard for children to unbuckle. The linked, rear brake is a cinch to operate, and the front swivel wheels lock easily. The full-coverage canopies provide UPF 50 sun protection but don't have a peek-a-boo window. The optional Breezy Sun Canopy (*Est. $80) has see-through mesh and extra ventilation.
A standout for maneuverability. The Bugaboo Donkey Duo pushes like a dream and glides over any surface with its air-filled tires. It even converts easily to a two-wheeler to pull through sand or snow. A tire pump is included.
It's not as wide as most side-by-side strollers and is designed to fit through standard doorways with ease, although a couple of parent reviewers say they find it hard to fit through narrow store aisles.
The Bugaboo Donkey Duo has two fold options: compact and one-piece. The compact option requires removing the seats or bassinets. This offers a smaller frame fold, but then you have to deal with several pieces -- the frame and up to two seats or bassinets to carry or put in the trunk. However, the one-piece fold, with the seats or bassinets still attached, is heavy and very large. It stands when folded.
Cup holder not included in the price. The Bugaboo Donkey is prized for its versatility and ability to grow with your family. In its most basic package, the Mono, the Bugaboo Donkey (*Est. $1,100) is a single stroller with a sidecar-style basket, but parents can opt to purchase the Donkey Duo (*Est. $1,500) for children of different ages or the Twin (*Est. $1,660), designed for twins, which has two bassinets and two seats. However, it's an extra $90 for fabric for two bassinets, bringing the grand total to about $1,749. That price does not include cup holders (*Est. $25) or a snack tray (*Est. $40).
The Donkey Duo is car seat compatible with a variety of car seats, but adapters are sold separately; prices vary depending upon the adapter needed. It can accept two car seats at a time. One important caveat: The Bugaboo Donkey Duo seats are for children ages 6 months and up. Before that, the bassinet or car seat must be used. Its upper weight limit is 37.5 pounds, which, compared to the upper weight limit of 45 to 50 pounds on many other popular (and much less expensive strollers), isn't very high.
The adjustable handle accommodates parents of all sizes and telescopes out so taller parents won't hit the stroller while walking.
Storage is ample, with a large, under-seat basket and a big, expandable side luggage bag with shoulder straps that detaches if you want to use it as a tote. The luggage basket can only be used in mono mode, as it attaches to the frame, but it comes standard with the Duo or Twin packages.
The Donkey Duo is heavy, 33.4 pounds in duo mode with two seats only, not including the canopies or basket. With everything attached, it approaches 40 pounds -- something to consider if you live in a city walk-up or are a suburban parent who's often in and out of the car. It is quite large when folded, takes up plenty of trunk space and may not be a good fit for those with smaller vehicles.
A limited warranty for a luxury product. The Bugaboo Donkey Duo has a two-year limited warranty. Bugaboo gets mixed reviews for customer service with many owners and experts saying it's terrible, and others saying they had a good experience.
1. Which? magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Which? magazine is the U.K. equivalent of ConsumerReports.org, but offers much more extensive reviews, detailed explanations from testers about testing methods and full specifications and recommendations. They provide in depth coverage of the Bugaboo Donkey Duo that includes product testing by parents and experts.
Review: Bugaboo Donkey Duo Review, Editors of Which? magazine, Oct. 26, 2011
Review Credibility: Excellent Babble.com editors call the Bugaboo Donkey the most coveted twin stroller ever invented, noting that it's only for parents who feel money is no object. They say this luxurious stroller has supreme maneuverability over any surface and can be customized in all kinds of seating options. But they also mention that kids could easily outgrow the 37.5-pound weight limit on seats.
Review: Babble Blogger Favorites: Top Double Strollers of 2012, Michelle Horton, Dec. 3, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors of iVillage.com score the Bugaboo Donkey Duo 4 out of 5 stars, while parent reviewers give it 3 stars. Experts like that, with a few simple clicks, the stroller expands from a single to double, and think the twin model is great when you're bringing home two babies (it has two bassinets). They feel it's a versatile pick for a growing family but do acknowledge its hefty price. Parent testers praise the comfort, adjustable handle and reversible seats/bassinets. But they say folding the stroller is difficult, and that it is too wide for maneuvering through doors and store aisles.
Review: We Love, You Need: The Best Double Strollers of 2012. Which One Should You Buy?, Kate Bayless, June 14, 2012
4. Canadian Family
Review Credibility: Excellent Canadian Family readers help editors rate the best strollers that convert from single to double, listing both pros and cons. The Bugaboo Donkey is praised for being easy to push in duo or twin mode and maneuvering smoothly over all kinds of surfaces. The parent tester wishes it had a cup holder and says it takes up lots of room in her Toyota Venza.
Review: Family Tested: The Best Single-to-Double Strollers, Editors of Canadian Family magazine, Summer 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Editors of SheKnows.com used parent testers to evaluate various double strollers in the tandem and side-by-side category, eventually narrowing it down to nine top double strollers in its "double stroller showdown." Editors say the Bugaboo Donkey Twin is a luxurious high-end choice with great maneuverability and features. It's fashionable and functional, though it can cost up to $1,600 in twin mode.
Review: Double Strollers: Which One Is Right for You?, Christina Holt, April 23, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good In her video review, Hollie Schultz demonstrates the Bugaboo Donkey in various modes, including duo, twin and two-wheeled mode. She notes that it's very easy to use and to push but is puzzled at the fact that the canopy has no peek-a-boo window. She also folds the stroller and says it's not small or light. She calls it the highest priced stroller on the market with the best maneuverability.
Review: Baby Gizmo Bugaboo Donkey Stroller Video Review, Hollie Schultz, April 14, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good This very thorough review gives a detailed overview of the Bugaboo Donkey in every possible configuration from mono to duo to twin. It includes numerous photographs and extensive, real-life measurements (which vary from Bugaboo's "official" weights and measures). Ultimately, the author gives the Donkey 4.5 stars out of 5, saying it's very maneuverable and she likes its conversion abilities, but it's very large folded, wide in duo mode and very heavy.
Review: Bugaboo Donkey Review, Joss, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good In this brief review, Robin Elise Weiss, the About.com guide for pregnancy and childbirth, calls the Bugaboo Donkey Twin an amazing stroller with all the amazing Bugaboo features. She loves the reversible seats and the flexibility to turn back into a single stroller, but notes that it all comes at a hefty price. It's certainly not an inexpensive option. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 9 Double Strollers for Two Children, Babies or Twins, Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good A handful of customers weigh in on the Bugaboo Donkey, giving it an average rating of 4 stars out of 5. Most rank it highly for comfort, maneuverability, convertibility and stylish good looks. They generally think it is worth every penny, however, note that it is extremely hard to fold and heavy to lift into cars.
Review: Bugaboo Donkey Stroller with Black Base, Contributors to MBeans.com, As of July 11, 2011