Bugaboo has been busy. Just in the last few years, they’ve introduced the Bee 6 (a city stroller), Fox 3 (an all-terrain comfort stroller), Stardust (a premium portable cot), and Butterfly (a one-second-fold compact stroller). But there’s one other stroller that many parents tend to overlook, and that’s the Donkey. The Donkey has also been the “bigger” stroller, the one for twins or two siblings that are close in age (like a newborn and toddler). And because of its larger size and many functions, it’s priced higher than the standard single stroller, and understandably so. So the big question here is, how will it fare in your household? Is it the pram for your family?
IT’S NOT THAT WIDE.
The base model for the new Bugaboo Donkey 5 is the mono configuration. This is a single seater meant for one child. And in the mono setting, the stroller is really only 60cm wide, which is the same width as the Bugaboo Fox 3. But the magic and purpose most parents get the Donkey for, is to use it in the Duo or Twin mode — two seaters or bassinets side-by-side; and this increases the width of the stroller by only 14cm, making it 74cm wide in total.
Above: The Bugaboo Donkey 5 in the mono configuration, which is 60cm wide (left) and duo setting, which is 74cm wide (right).
DUO / TWIN MODE
For parents with two young kids close in age — or with twins — having two seats in one stroller is necessary if you’re bringing them out solo. And of course, trust Bugaboo to let you do it in style, and with all the safety features that their products are known for (more on that below).
Above: The Bugaboo Donkey 5 in duo mode featuring a seat and a bassinet. This also promotes closeness between the kids.
With twins, your choices are really: get two strollers and each parent pushes one, get a tandem stroller where one seat is above the other like a bunkbed, or get a double stroller with seats that are side-by-side (like the Bugaboo Donkey 5). It definitely comes down to personal preference and requirements. For example, if you need a narrow stroller because of narrow spaces like corridors and store aisles, you’d probably do better with a tandem stroller. But side-by-side strollers are preferable for twins, because you can keep an eye on both kids at once, which is needed if they’re newborns.
Above: The bugaboo donkey 5 in twin mode measures 74cm wide, which fits through all standard doors. This will also easily go through the wide afc (automatic fare collection) gate at mrt stations.
The shoulder pads are really cushy yet firm; and the safety harness is easy to operate — just snap them in to secure the kid, and push the centre button to release. The straps are also fully adjustable so the kids are strapped in nice and tight.
I really like the large wheels on the Donkey 5; according to Bugaboo, they are puncture-proof (I’ll take their word for it), and they roll really smoothly over rougher terrains like gravel and grass. The front wheels mount pedestrian kerbs easily, while the larger back wheels make it really easy to go down a step (remember to go backwards).
Steering the Donkey 5 around is a dream; it pushes forward with just the lightest touch and it has a small turning radius so manoeuvring around department stores is a breeze. And while it doesn’t have the advanced suspension of the Bugaboo Fox 3 (this one is a true all-terrain stroller), you can still feel that the Donkey provides the kids with a smooth ride; bumps and humps aren’t obvious so babies can sleep through your shopping spree at Motherswork.
With all Bugaboo strollers, the seats are elevated (the seat height for the Donkey 5 is 57cm from the ground), so the kids are always within easy reach, and you can roll the pram right up to a restaurant or dining table, and it’s the perfect height for the child.
Above: the bugaboo donkey 5 in twin setting, featuring two bassinets or two seats side-by-side.
The bassinet and seat can also face either way — forward or backward (facing you). It’s a simple lift and click back in place. The seat can also recline in three positions, including one lying down, which is useful when changing diapers and of course when the child falls asleep.
Above: The seat canopy has a peekaboo mesh window so you can see the kid when in the front-facing position.
When it comes to a bassinet, you can’t get any better quality than the one that comes with a Bugaboo. The bassinet on the new Donkey 5 has a breezy mesh so it doesn’t get stuffy in the little cot, plus you can easily cover it when needed (eg. if you’re in an air-conditioned mall). There’s also an aerated mattress so if your little one turns around and lies flat on the tummy, they can still breathe easily.
Above: The breezy bassinet (left) and aerated mattress (right).
Folding the Donkey 5 is made really easy with safety buttons on the side, and it can fold into a self-standing structure. It’s intuitive if you’re a previous Bugaboo user, but takes a little bit of practice for new parents. But once you know where the buttons are and where to pull up from, it’s not hard at all. You can watch the official Donkey 5 video on Bugaboo’s YouTube channel to see it in action (the folding happens at the 3-minute mark):
If you’re using the Donkey 5 in the mono setting, you can attach the side luggage basket for more storage space.
Above: in the mono setting, you get heaps of storage in the side and underseat baskets.
Like all Bugaboo strollers, the Donkey 5 is available in an array of beautiful fabric colour options. If you’re expecting twins, you could get different canopy colours like this:
My favourite colour combination for the Donkey 5 has to be the forest green fabric set against an all-black chassis:
In Singapore, you can check in Motherswork stores for colour options and other accessories. I recommend getting the Bugaboo Cup Holder, the Comfort Wheeled Board (if you have a toddler), and the Changing Bag, which really fits everything you need for the kids.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?
The Bugaboo Donkey 5 is really quite an investment for the family; but if you have twins, it’s possibly your best option for a double stroller. It’s sleek, safe, and comfortable to use for both parents and kids. For families with just one kid, you could use this in the Mono setting, and hang on to it for the next many years while you plan for the next baby to come along; and then you can finally put that bassinet and seat in the side-by-side configuration. This is a pram that grows along with your family; it’s practical and useful, albeit on the pricey side. But then more often than not, quality and convenience comes at a price. If you can afford it and you’re looking to invest in a double stroller, the Donkey 5 is an excellent choice.
The Bugaboo Donkey 5 Mono Complete is priced at $2,329 and available at Motherswork ONLINE and physical STORES.