Bugaboo Donkey mono review

Our rating 
3.9 out of 5 star rating 3.9
User rating
£1,099.00 RRP
bugaboo-donkey-mono_181380

In a nutshell

A classy buggy that's a dream to push with some clever features. However, it's bulky when folded, expensive and using it as a single you won't benefit from the innovative design.
Fold/unfolding
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Manoeuvrability
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Comfort for child
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Style
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Durability
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Worth the money
2.0 out of 5 rating 2.0
Pros: Handles exceptionally well on and off road, sunhood has excellent coverage, side luggage, 18-litre side basket volume, parent and forward facing seat, can fold with seat attached, range of accessories, car seat compatible
Cons: Seat small, folding mechanism awkward, bulky when folded, very expensive, single mode doesn't make good use of technology
Skip to view product specifications
The Bugaboo Donkey, is the brand’s single-to-double pushchair, an innovative buggy that gives you the option to upsize when your family expands. It’s a dream to push and has some outstanding features. But the price tag is certainly over the odds.

The Donkey’s tagline is ‘kid, kids, goods’ – it has been designed for strolling and shopping with one or more children.

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As a single buggy – or mono – it has a large shopping basket next to the seat, in the space that the second seat would sit. But it’s not just a case of swapping the basket for a second seat unit – the chassis (buggy frame) extends widthways. We’ve test-driven the Bugboo Donkey as a double buggy, so check out the full review and image gallery if you’re planning to use the Donkey as pushchair for two.

The Donkey mono can accommodate a carrycot or seat unit, and the seat can be forward facing or parent facing. If you buy adaptors, it can take a car seat (Maxi-Cosi, Bebe Confort, Cybex, Graco).

Even with a shopping basket next to the seat, the Donkey mono is only 60cm wide. To put this is perspective, the Bugaboo Cameleon is 60cm wide and the Phil & Teds Explorer Inline Double is 62cm wide.

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We’ve also reviewed the Donkey as a double pushchair here

The seat unit fits onto a lightweight seat frame, which is also used for the carrycot – just slip the seat fabric off and Velcro the carrycot to the frame.  The carrycot is suitable from birth and daytime naps, but can’t be used for overnight sleeping.

The seat unit has the usual 5-point harness, sunhood and footrest.  The lever on the top of the seat back makes adjusting the seat angle simple, even with one hand.
In forward facing mode there are two recline positions and in rear facing mode there are three, including fully reclined (although this doesn’t make the seat totally flat).

There are two base colours for the seat unit and the carrycot – black and sand – and a choice of six ‘tailored’ colours for the sunhood and carrycot apron.

The Donkey mono’s £1,099 price tag includes chassis, fabrics for one newborn carrycot, fabrics for one toddler seat, raincover, side basket and under seat basket.

What we love

Pushing the Bugaboo Donkey causes quite a stir in suburbia. Mums – and dads – love the classy, clean lines and the shopping basket, so if you want to turn heads this is the buggy for you.

Minnie, 2, enjoys being really upright in the seat – it’s like riding in a chair. And it’s nice to have Poppy, 9 months, facing me. Interaction with your baby is really important at this stage, and when our regular tandem buggy is used in single mode it only faces forwards, so this is a welcome change.

The Donkey handles really well and despite being 13kg as a single, it’s really light to push and it glides effortlessly along the pavement. The handle has 11 different heights, which makes it easy to find your perfect set-up.

I love the space around the chassis, the slick design means that all the buttons you need to press are colour-coded – simple!

What to watch out for

This is a clever system but as a single buggy, you’re not benefitting from the technology and innovation that makes this buggy different. In mono form what you get is a buggy with a shopping basket up top. It looks great, but will probably only serve to increase your shopping bills as you fill the 18-litre basket.

What’s more, Minnie, 2, enjoys playing lucky dip with the shopping in the basket and dropping her finds on the pavement as we walk along. Toddlers!

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The Donkey fold with the seat attached, when the seat is in forward facing mode. Release triggers on the handle, pull back and the front wheels tuck under the chassis. However, there is no catch to keep the front wheels in place, which means that they start to slip back.  The release triggers on the model I tested are really stiff and hard to engage making the initial fold a struggle. And it’s big once folded – it takes up three quarters of our estate car boot.

The seats are pretty small, which is to be expected from a slim side-by-side buggy. But if you only have one child you might feel short changed. Given that at 2 ½ Minnie’s head was brushing the top of the sun canopy, I’m unsure as to whether a 4-year-old (max weight 17kg) would feel comfy. This goes for the carrycot too. At 4 ½ months, baby Elsa (borrowed for testing!) filled the cot.

Who is the Bugaboo Donkey mono best for?

Fashion-conscious parents who are very likely to expand their family.

MadeForMums verdict:

The Bugaboo Donkey is a classy, clever buggy but as a single (or mono) buggy you won’t benefit from the technology and design that sets this buggy apart. It’s a good investment if you plan on having more children but if you’re not sure, there are alternatives.

Here are some brilliant double buggies, just for you…

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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

Product Specifications

Product

Brand Bugaboo
Model Donkey mono
Price £1099.00

Suitable for

Child age (approx) Birth to 4 years

Dimensions & Weight

Weight 13kg
Dimensions H:89cm W:60cm L:85cm
Dimensions (folded) H:89cm W:60cm L:40cm

Features

Travel system compatible Yes
Compatible car seats Maxi-Cosi, Bebe Confort, Cybex, Graco
Seat facing direction Forward facing and parent facing
Front wheels Lockable swivel
Recline positions 3 – 2 in forward facing mode, 3 in rear facing mode
Features
  • Lockable swivel wheels
  • 11-Position handle height
  • 5 Point harness
  • 2 Position forward facing seat recline
  • 3 Position rear facing seat recline
  • One-handed seat removal
  • Shopping basket
  • Two wheel mode
  • Mono-to-duo capability
  • Forward facing and parent facing seat option
  • Seat frame used for carrycot and seat unit
  • Folds with seat unit attached in forward facing mode
  • Can accommodate twins/toddler and baby/two toddlers if you buy extra carrycot/seat unit
  • Slim when expanded to a double (from 60cm to 74cm)

Accessories

Accessories included Raincover, sunhood, apron, shopping baskets
Optional extras
  • Tailored fabric set (apron/sunhood)
  • UV sun canopy
  • Car seat adaptors
  • Buggy board
  • Parasol
  • Seat liner
  • Footmuff
  • Change bag
  • Cup holder
  • Extra carrycot/seat unit