If you’re in the market for a high-end double convertible stroller, check out the newly released Bugaboo Donkey5 (you can still purchase the older model, Bugaboo Donkey3, here). It’s versatile, uber-lux, rugged and, like the animal it’s named after, can haul A LOT. Oh… and just prepare yourself for sticker shock!
New on the Bugaboo Donkey5
The Bugaboo Donkey5 has a few noticeable updates:
1) The folding mechanisms on the Donkey5 are easier to activate, and the frame no longer has an unlock button to unfold the stroller. So much easier when you have multiple kiddos — and all their gear! — in tow.
2) The Donkey5’s seat, bassinet and side luggage basket all sit 1 inch higher up. Not only is this convenient — easier to reach into the basket, seat and bassinet — but your baby rides closer to you when strolling.
3) New frame and fabric colors! For the first time since its inception, Bugaboo added an additional frame color: Graphite (dark grey). This, along with the existing aluminum frame, goes beautifully with the Donkey5’s new fabric/sun canopy colors.
4) Say goodbye to adapters! The Donkey5 has built-in attachment points for the Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board and the Bugaboo Cup Holder. Now they just easily and swiftly snap into place!
5) The bassinet on the Donkey5 features a mesh, breezy fabric for better airflow for baby, as well as a new aerated mattress, improved fit apron and a quick collapse frame for when not in use.
That’s it for the changes. Here are the stroller basics:
Bugaboo Donkey5 Stroller Review: Overview
Back in 2010, the Bugaboo Donkey was the first single-to-double stroller to add a seat by expanding sideways. Yes, you can literally pull the frame OUT (sideways) to expand it or push it back in to collapse it. It’s truly innovative.
A little snippet of how the Donkey5 expands from a single to double.
The Bugaboo Donkey Comes in three different versions: Mono, Duo and Twin.
Regardless of which version you buy originally, you can purchase conversion kits later to customize it to your family’s needs. So for example, you can buy the single version of the stroller, you can later add the Bugaboo Donkey5 Duo Extension Set Complete when your second child comes along.
If you already know that you need a stroller for two kids, you can purchase the whole package as a double (note, the price for the Mono (single) version + the Extension Set is ~ $1,859 and the price for the Duo (double) is ~ $1,859, so if you’re pretty certain you’ll be having two kids, it may be worth it to purchase the Donkey5 Duo right off the bat…).
It’s a pretty awesome stroller for twins (though not as long-lived due to the narrow seats); for twins, you can purchase the Bugaboo Donkey5 Twin, which comes with two of everything.
Here’s a quick rundown of each version:
Mono (single) version: $1,399 – $1,499+
The Mono is for one child (and a large shopping basket!), is 23.6″ wide and weighs 26.9 lbs. The seat can hold one child up to about 50 lbs.
This version includes one seat, one bassinet, a sun canopy, a side luggage basket with built-in pockets and a zippered pouch. Though Bugaboo was the first brand to design this side luggage basket (which has been greatly upgraded on the Donkey3 model), the Mountain Buggy Duet now has a very similar feature with their Joey Tote Bag.
Duo (double) version: $1,859+
The Duo is for two children of different ages, has a width of 29 inches and weighs 32.8 lbs. The seats can each hold children up to 50 lbs. It includes two seats, one bassinet, two sun canopies, a side luggage basket (you cannot use the side basket in Duo mode, but you have the option to convert back to single mode and use the basket when you’re going out around town with just one kid).
Twin (two carrycots) version: $1,989+
The Twin is for two children of the same age, is 29″ wide and weighs 32.8 lbs. The seats can also hold children up to 50 lbs. It includes two seats, two bassinets, two sun canopies and a side luggage basket.
My first reaction to Bugaboo products is, “[price of stroller], are you cuhh-razy?”
In this case, “$1,399+??” [Spits coffee out.] At some point, these prices get a little ridiculous, but clearly, I am not their target market.
I do understand that there are people out there who desire these strollers, mainly for their impressive ride and sharp look. Or perhaps people don’t have a car and therefore have “car money” to spend on a stroller. Having lived in a big city with a baby, I get that. Your stroller is your car.
What I loathe (just being honest) is that everyone must have the Bugaboo Donkey because it’s the “it” stroller that the celebrities use.
Just to be clear, I actually really like the Donkey; and if it were priced a few hundred dollars less, it would get my enthusiastic endorsement… but I digress.
On with the review.
Converting from Single to Double
We love the Bugaboo Donkey5 Stroller Duo Extension Set (purchased separately), used for converting it from a single to a double (and back down again). Reviewers agree; said one, “The extension pack offers all the conveniences of the mono stroller with click-connect adaptability so you can push single or double, and make that change within minutes. We love that we can completely change the stroller depending on our needs for that moment whether we have one or both kids with us.”
The kit includes a reversible seat frame with 3-position recline, an extendable sun canopy, and a rain cover.
In singles mode, the stroller is 29 lbs, which is average for a convertible in singles mode. In doubles (or twin) mode, it’s about 33 lbs.
With a width of 11” (the same slim width as the Mountain Buggy Duet), the seats themselves are tight. That said, in doubles mode (29”), the Donkey is still 4 inches wider than the Duet (25” wide), so the Duet seems to use the space more efficiently.
The seats on the Donkey have a 50 lb weight limit each — that’s a huge upgrade from versions prior to 2019, which could only hold about 37 lbs per seat. For comparison’s sake, the seats on the Mountain Buggy Duet only hold 40 lbs per seat. That said, the seats aren’t terribly tall (or wide…), so this is NOT a stroller that will take you into the older preschool years (4+), unless your children are petite.
The Donkey5, like the Donkey3, features a 360-degree pivoting carry handle on the seat, making it much easier to get your child in and out of the stroller.
Our favorite part of this stroller is the seating versatility for little ones: each seat can face forward or backward (and you know we LOVE a rear-facing stroller seat). In comparison, the Duet’s seats are stationary and can’t rear face. The ability to double rear-face is HUGE! And now that the Donkey5’s seat is an inch higher, your baby gets to ride closer to you — more eye contact, sweet smiley faces, and an easier time wiping away spit-up and drool!
When the seats are in forward-facing mode, they recline a little further than halfway back. In the parent-facing (rear) mode, the seat reclines all the way flat, thus it’s appropriate for a newborn without a car seat or a bassinet.
Truly, this stroller is also great for twins. Again, the fact that you can have two bassinets or two rear-facing, side-by-side seats is totally unheard of. The closest thing you will get to this is with convertible tandems, like the UPPAbaby Vista or City Select.
For the Mono and Duo versions of the Donkey5, you can get car seat adapters for Turtle and Maxi-Cosi and Chicco.
For the Twin versions of the Donkey5, you can actually fit two car seats together (see also: Bumbleride Indie Twin and the Mountain Buggy Duet), which is great! All you have to do is purchase adapters for Chicco and Turtle/Maxi Cosi.
What gives the Donkey its reputation is that it’s an all-terrain stroller with an urban look, as opposed to a sporty look like the BOB. These two strollers have the same great ride, but very different personalities. The Donkey is sophisticated and polished—the BOB is unabashedly sporty. One wants to go to the theater, the other wants to go hiking.
The Donkey has four foam–filled tires. This was a new feature on the Bugaboo Donkey2, and it’s super cool because they’ll never go flat. Yes, it’s a huge pain to have to pump up your tires when they go limp. It’s got two 12” tires in the back and two 10” tires in the front. It also has all-wheel suspension and an anti-shimmy solution for the wheels.
Furthermore, the Donkey has the unique ability to be pulled along on two wheels through sloshy terrain (see above^^), like sand or snow, by pushing the rear wheels forward and dragging it along. I’m not sure how practical this is, but the option is there if you want it. This is something that’s also available on the Cameleon and the Fox.
Folding & Carrying
My only big beef with this stroller (besides its price tag) is the fold. Though the Donkey3 and 5 have much easier, one-piece, self-standing fold than previous Donkey models, the problem is that its folded “package” is still quite large. Yes, you can take all the seats and wheels off to get it down to a very small package, but who has time for that?
You can technically fold it with the seats on, but it’s pretty unwieldy. In the folding department, strollers like the Britax B-Ready and the City Mini GT make the Donkey look a bit silly in comparison.
Here’s a video showing some of the new features of the Donkey5, and to see how to fold it, skip to minute 3:06.
* If you never have to fold the stroller, this is a moot point for you.
Canopy, Braking, Storage, Accessories
The canopies on the Bugaboo are nice and large and come in a variety of great colors, so you can really get a customized look (and for this price, you better!). Note that unlike previous versions of the Donkey, the Donkey3 and Donkey5 do have a peekaboo window on the canopy — YAY! And now on the Donkey5, the bassinet also has a mesh peekaboo window for better airflow (and to see that cute baby of yours!). The Donkey comes with a vented rain cover also.
Now on the Donkey5, you can choose from either a graphite or black or aluminum chassis and a variety of pretty canopy colors. Mmmm, looks like an ice cream parlor! Yes, ma’am, the Donkey5 is pretty customizable.
There is a simple, linked parking brake in the back that’s flip-flop friendly and easy to engage.
Like the Duet, the storage situation on the Donkey is where this stroller really shines. The larger basket underneath the seat can hold up to 22 lbs of kid gear, groceries or whatever. That, plus the child max weight of 100 lbs, means this stroller can carry some serious heft. And when in singles mode, you can attach the side basket next to the main seat, adding an additional 22-lb storage capacity — AWESOME for shopping. The under basket also includes mesh pockets for smaller items.
Let’s face it, grocery shopping with a stroller is always a challenge, so if your market allows you to put your groceries straight into the side basket (i.e., they’re not nervous about people shoplifting), then you’re sitting pretty!
The leatherette handlebar on the Donkey is a great feature. It’s elegant and adjusts easily by telescoping in and out. When positioned at taller heights, it gives plenty of stride-room for power walkers.
Bugaboo Donkey5 Review: Bottom line
The Donkey is an innovative side-by-side with a nice ride, a sharp look, and great storage space. As a double, it’s still narrow and nimble (about the width of a wheelchair), but the petite seats won’t last you more than 3-4 years. The double rear-facing option is unique and sought-after.
But for those seeking high style, a narrower side-by-side to easily get through doorways and the need to handle challenging terrain, the Bugaboo Donkey5 is, in fact, a great pick. If the cool style and double rear-facing are worth it to you (and if you don’t ever need to fold the stroller), I think you’ll be quite happy with it!
Bugaboo’s double stroller offering is this one, The Donkey (current model is the Donkey 5).
The Donkey Stroller is made by Bugaboo. Check out the review for the Donkey “3” here.
The total weight limit for the Donkey 3 is the two seats (50 lbs each) + the underbasket = ~124lbs! Hence, the name, Donkey.
The Mono version weighs 28 lbs; the Duo weighs 33 lbs
It’s the only side by side stroller on the market that expands and contracts to hold one or two children; it’s also one of the only side by sides where both seats can rear-face.
The price didn’t change from the Donkey 2 to Donkey 3, but with it came peekaboo windows on the canopy, an upgraded side luggage basket, and lighter EVA foam-filled wheels, which increase maneuverability and lighten the overall weight of the stroller by 1.1 (yay!). Read more here.
The single version is a great investment if you need a stroller that can expand or contract (quite literally) for one or two children.
Though it’s very pricey ($1,789), the Bugaboo Donkey Twin is one of the few double strollers that comes in a package with 2 of everything, made specifically for twins. Read more here.
Hello, can I use my adapter for my nuna pipa, from my Donkey(1), on the new Donkey3?
Yes — I believe you can, as the connection points have not changed. You may just want to contact Bugaboo to make sure, but I do believe you can.
Hi ! Did you try it in snow? I have a 18 months and a newborn and I live in Minnesota too 🙂
I love “meeting” fellow Minnesotans! I have not actually tried it in snow — I’m so sorry! But I do know it’s supposed to tread amazingly over all kinds of terrain, including snow. I wish I could be of more help here.