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A Burrow For The Boroughs…

I sent my Donkey back today. I packed it in a box, covered the box with tape and affixed a label.

Don’t call the ASPCA on me. Or PETA. I’ll just get mad and then Lea Michele will come to my apartment with a carriage horse and make me feel guilty.

I mean my Bugaboo Donkey.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bugaboo Frog is how I got into this crazy business. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Bugaboo for years for this reason:

Even though it’s an amazing product, if you have to repeat yourself 4 billion times every Saturday for 4 years, you start to hate things.

I’m happy to say that relationship is now love. You hear me? LOVE!!!!

I love the Donkey so much I hate it. I nearly threw a fit in the NYC Bugaboo office when I had my appointment to see the new improvements on the Bee. If I had seen the Donkey there, I would have run out the window like Helen Hunt did on the ill-fated After School Special entitled Desperate Lives. Don’t act like you never saw it.  Go ahead, click that link.  Trust me.

I’ll start off by saying this: the Donkey is a little bit heavier than many strollers on the market—at least as a single. The Donkey is a convertible stroller in that it goes from a single to a double. All of the mechanics and extra stroller frame needed to accomplish this are there from the onset, so get used to it. I’d also like to throw out the fact that, at least in dealing with my clients that have already purchased this (and there have been several), they’re not concerned with the weight or with folding. That’s enough of the negative. That’s also all of it.

Kick ass. I don’t even have kids and I used it as a shopping cart. No lie. I borrowed a 2 year old and took it to Target because I needed to carry things home. The basket on the side of the Donkey holds 11 lbs, which is plenty—at least if you’re talking Shake Shack (see picture). One of my test subjects, LG, also found it quite easy to reach in and grab toys and the Sigg I had thrown in the basket for her. This basket is genius. You don’t have to bend down and reach into a basket for everything! You can throw all you really need in this basket and get going! The width of the Donkey as a single is a bit deceptive because the handle and seat actually extend out over the wheels, as opposed to earlier Bugaboo strollers where the seats were inset and the wheels stuck out. This gives a weird optical trick making the stroller look really wide, but it’s not. In fact, it’s actually more than two inches more narrow than the UPPAbaby Vista (see earlier review).

As a double, the Donkey is 29 inches wide, which is one of the narrowest double strollers on the market. This width is changed when you place two car seats on the Donkey, making it impossible to fit through most doors. For parents of multiples, if you’re using two car seats, you MIGHT want to use a double car seat frame or a different stroller if this concerns you. Bugaboo has nailed it in terms of seating arrangements as well:  the seats on the Donkey face out, face in, and they can even face each other.

Let’s address a few improvements in terms of basic Bugaboo functions:

1.To pop the seats off, you don’t have to hold both buttons in. The Donkey allows you to click one side and it remains locked, then you click the other side and lift, which makes it much easier.
2.The harness in the seat is adjusted simply by sliding the strap around—a terrific improvement over the original harness.
3.The ride on the Donkey is much smoother than previous Bugaboo strollers, which is REALLY saying something. Because the wheels in the front are larger and air-filled, it adds more suspension to the ride. It also gets rid of the spring-adjustment system in the Cameleon. This spring get full of hair and assorted other nasty street presents, and requires a bit more maintenance. Kiss that goodbye.
4.The full-sized Bugaboos are notorious for being a two-piece fold. Yes, it’s one more step. However, this allows you to break the weight of the stroller up, which makes it lighter to lift in and out of your trunk. The Donkey can fold with the seats attached, but it’s a bit bulky so you might just end up taking the seats off. I would. Yep.
5.The seat recline is now one-handed. BE GONE the problem of holding two buttons down while trying to recline a seat with a sleeping child!

If you look at the pictures below, you’ll notice the Donkey on the A Train in NYC. You’ll also notice that I am not photogenic. The Donkey, shockingly, is quite easy to take on the subway. The handlebar collapses down quite low, so it’s out of the way and allows it to fit in a more compact space. This feature is INCREDIBLY helpful for elevators as well. The Donkey, although heavy, is also quite easy to bounce up and down stairs should you have to.  You’ll also notice my test subject, LG, pushing her friend in the Donkey.  Yes, the handles go down that low.

 

My dear friend, and oftentimes partner-in-crime, Jennifer Link (@BabyPlannerNYC on “the twitter”) also used this stroller quite a bit for me, because I wanted another voice and different opinions.  Below are her thoughts:

“I love that the Donkey is a conversation piece.  There have been so many parents that stop me to talk about it and share their thoughts or ask questions.  I love that LG could also crawl up into the stroller on her own, and that her and her friend took turns pushing each other.  LG was also very comfortable in the seat because it’s a bit narrow and she couldn’t twist about, although I do wish the foot rest was adjustable.  LG’s babywearing dad even fell in love with it, and would often take the Donkey out instead of his usual carrier–which is a HUGE compliment.”

 

What makes me sad about the Donkey? At this point, not a lot. Yes, it’s heavy. Yes, it’s a bit more money than many people are going to be able to spend on strollers. But it is sexy. The maneuverability is untouchable. The quality of the materials used is second to none. I am proud to announce that the Donkey has happily earned a spot as one of my go-to-strollers for clients. Obsessed. You will be as well.

The Donkey retails for $1,199-1,659 at Magic Beans and other discerning (LUCKY) baby retailers.

 

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Thanks for reading! I’d love to know your thoughts, and I’ll answer any questions you have about it! Sadly, I don’t have the ability to do a giveaway…..yet. CALL YOUR SENATORS!

 

PS:  All joking aside, visit PETA.ORG to learn how to help the carriage horses in NYC, and other animals worldwide that need assistance

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