The hype around the Bugaboo Donkey has been growing for months. In an unexpected move, popular buggy brand Bugaboo has created an innovative convertible pushchair, designed to grow with your family under the tag line – “kid(s) and goods”, for one baby, then two and even three if you so wish.
In February, MFM got the chance to give the new arrival a spin around a busy shopping centre in Amsterdam. We wanted to know how it handled as a single buggy, as a double and as a twin with two carrycots, how easy it was to convert and whether we’d be won over by this new idea.
First we watched the dad-of-two designer, Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, demonstrate his creation. He’s been working on the Bugaboo Donkey for five years and test drove the early versions with his own children. He’s also spent a serious amount of time watching how mums use their pushchairs and trying to pre-empt parents’ needs before they even know what they are, which is quite a feat!
Once briefed, we took to the streets, armed with some flour babies and a variety of seats and carrycots to arrange on our multicoloured army of Bugaboo Donkies.
It’s pretty. Though less compact than its sister buggies, the Donkey still has Bugaboo’s clean lines and classy shapes.
- Slim. In its single configuration – mono – the width is exactly the same as the Cameleon. It looks bigger because the handle is as wide as the base, but it passed our impromptu escalator test (i.e. it fit on one!) by a few inches.
- Easy-to-use. Colour-coded buttons make converting it into a duo and back again simple and, as with Bugaboo’s other faves, you can easily change the way your baby faces.
- Storage. All mums will agree that as well as carrying the baby, your buggy carries absolutely everything else, from changing paraphernalia to your shopping bags. In mono the Donkey has a stretchy storage bag the sits alongside your baby’s seat and a basket underneath for even more goods. In duo, this underneath basket is less accessible but you do gain enough space for a second baby seat.
- Light and easy to manoeuvre the combination of large back wheels and smaller front wheels help keep control and you can pull it along on two wheels when on uneven terrain.
Anything we didn’t like?
- Bit pricey. As with the rest of Bugaboo’s range, the Donkey is hot property with top end materials and five years of hard work put into the design. So it’s not surprising that it’s a pricy option. Expect to pay around £900 for the single configuration plus extras including a second seat for baby number two and a buggy board if you’re stretching to three.
- Family planning. It’s great if you know where your family’s heading. But if you already have a baby or aren’t sure whether you’ll have more than one, it makes buying the Donkey a bit of a gamble. On the other hand, it does give you the option of having a double buggy if you have a second, or just keeping it as a single if you don’t. Decisions, decisions…
- The name? With such a history of cute monikers, it’s hard to ignore Bugaboo’s unglamorous decision to go with the “Donkey”. But designer Aernout’s not worried. “Sure it’s not as cute as the Bee but the Donkey pushchair, like the animal, is a hard-working beast of burden and a faithful friend.”
Well, when you put it like that…