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Bugaboo Donkey2 review
Best Double Buggy for Twins
Stylish, versatile and beautifully designed, the Bugaboo Donkey2 might leave a considerable hole in your wallet, but earns its price tag with exceptional performance. We think the Bugaboo Donkey2 Twin model is the ideal double buggy for twins.
By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Dec 14, 2022
Verdict in 10 seconds
- A super flexible, multi-purpose double buggy that can be bought as a Mono, a Duo (for two children of different ages, ie toddler and newborn) or a Twin – but we think it's a particularly great option for twins
- Tricky to assembly, with a hefty price tag, but this buggy is of very high quality, especially when it comes to day-to-day life with children
- Can easily be switched from a single to a double pushchair with just a few clicks – the chassis can be expanded or shortened to suit your needs
- Everything except car seats and car seat adaptors is included in the box, so no additional expenses unless you want to purchase any extras
- Flexible – gives the option to have both seats facing in either direction
- All fabrics can be customised when buying via Bugaboo’s website
- Luxury detailing and stylish design
- Bulky to store
- More complicated to assemble than other double buggies
- Most expensive buggy we tested
What are the key features?
- Side-by-side design with chassis that converts from single to double width – this means that it can be used either as a single pushchair (with a storage basket sitting next to your child) or as a double, which can be configured with any combination of carry cots, seats and car seats as required
- Carrycots converts into full seat and both seats are reversible
- Car seat compatible
- Suitable from birth up to 36 months
- Available in eight colours
- 20-minute assembly
What are the specs?
- Suitable from: birth up to 36 months (17kg) with a maximum height of 102cm
- Duo and Twin width: 74cm (84cm with a car seat)
- Duo and Twin folded: W: 60cm, H: 24cm, L: 91cm
- Duo and Twin weight with two seats: 15.3kg
- Mono width: 60cm (even with a car seat)
- Mono folded: W: 60cm, H: 24cm, L: 91cm
- Mono weight with one seat: 13.3kg
- RRP: £1,490+ (Twin), £1,360 (Duo), £1,069+ (Mono)
- Estimated resale value: £550+ at time of review
- Extras to buy: car seat adaptors (double £59.95; single £42.95), wool seat liner (£89.95), footmuff (£154.95), comfort wheeled board (£102.95), comfort buggy board adaptor (£12.95), extra sun canopy with UPF 50+ (£69.95)
What comes with each type of Bugaboo Donkey2?
- Twin – chassis with wheels, two seat frames, two base seat inserts and two carrycot inserts
- Duo – chassis with wheels, two seat frames, two base seat inserts and one carrycot insert
- Mono – chassis with wheels, one seat frame, one sear insert and one carrycot insert
- You can extend the Bugaboo Donkey2 Duo into a Twin using an extension pack, but this must be bought separately
All options are the same buggy – the only difference is what comes with it.
How easy is the Bugaboo Donkey2 to assemble?
The versatility of the Bugaboo Donkey2 comes at an initial cost – it’s probably the most complicated assembly of all the buggies we tested. All parts of the pushchair arrive in pieces, so you're responsible for all of the assembly, and the instruction manual only uses diagrams with symbols to guide you through the process. That makes it more accessible worldwide, of course, which is a good thing – but, still, there were parts of the process where text instructions would have clarified things a little.
Thankfully, Bugaboo have created a number of helpful videos on YouTube and their website to explain every aspect of using the Donkey2, including assembly. Start here, and you shouldn’t go far wrong. We reckon it’s about a twenty-minute process to put the Twin version together, all in.
Bugaboo offer a warranty of two years, with an extra year added for free when you register your buggy after purchase – less than the iCandy Orange, but more than the Out n About Nipper Double. Bugaboo have also gone the extra mile to provide after-sales support. There’s a helpline, a page of FAQs and a shop for spare parts if anything breaks out of warranty.
How does it look?
Frankly, there’s a reason you’ll see more Donkeys on Instagram than any other model. Bugaboo have a reputation for functional, detail-oriented elegance, and everything about the Donkey2 broadcasts quality. It’s a modern, aesthetically appealing design that stands above its competitors.
The Bugaboo Donkey2 also comes in eight colourways, and the fabrics of each individual seat, sun hood and shopping basket are completely customisable when buying via Bugaboo’s website – a nice extra that few manufacturers provide.
What’s it like to use the Bugaboo Donkey Twin?
Let’s start with the financial elephant in the room: the Donkey Twin is expensive. At about £1,500 for the Twin set (depending on your fabric selection), you’d have a decent choice of second-hand cars for the same money. If it’s out of your price range, the Out n About Nipper (winner of our Best Double Buggy 2019 award) or the Mountain Buggy Nano (our Best Lightweight Double Buggy 2019) have plenty of plus points for new twin parents at a more affordable price tag. If you have the money and are willing to invest it, however, there’s honestly no better twin pushchair on the market at the moment.
The Twin has been designed so that every functional lever or switch is in white, which makes it easy to spot the essential mechanisms. Folding and unfolding are two-handed tasks, but very straightforward – you'll just need to collapse the handlebar, lock the front wheels, recline the seats or carrycots and pull the handlebar clips upwards before folding the buggy into one piece.
Even with two carrycots or two full-sized seats, it can all be collapsed as is, and is freestanding even with those seats still attached. This could well be a useful feature if you need to collapse the double buggy unexpectedly on public transport. For a much more compact footprint, though, our tester found it easier to remove the seats – especially when transporting in a car boot or storing in her porch.
The carrycot and seat configurations are both well designed – they are comfortable, well-padded and secure. Changing the direction or position of the seats is simplicity itself, with the mechanism giving an audible click once the seat is safely in position. The five-point harness is one where each strap clicks individually into the central point, which is an essential when there are two wriggly toddlers to contain.
Love love love my Bugaboo Donkey2. I've had it from when my boys were both newborn and two years old and it’s been invaluable. I now have it set up as a single and toddler seat and it’s fab.
Are there any extra features?
There’s an option to use with two car seats, too, and the Bugaboo Donkey2 is compatible with a range of common brands – though the double car seat adaptor is a separate purchase (£59.95).
Rain covers are included in the box, though we should say that we didn’t receive one to test, so can’t personally vouch for their effectiveness. Anecdotally and on internet forums, however, they’re reliable and easy to use.
It’s perhaps less of a requirement with twins, but the Donkey2 is the only twin model on the market that can convert to a single pushchair – the chassis can be narrowed in width with a couple of levers and buttons, and the extra shopping pannier is provided for that configuration. If you ever get one-on-one time with your little terrors – oh, blessed day! – the Donkey’s ready for it.
Finally, there are a number of additional extras available via Bugaboo’s website: a buggy board (£90) which attaches with an adaptor (£12.95), a breezy sun canopy (£69.95), a footmuff (£94.95) and plenty of others.
And what about day-to-day life?
Here’s where the Donkey Twin really earns its keep, combining the effortless push of a side-by-side model with the flexible seating of a tandem. Twins especially love to keep an eye on each other, and our tester really appreciated that both children could interact and hold hands whether both seats were forward-facing, parent-facing, or one seat facing each direction. And it’s so easy to swap the seat positioning that it won’t be an inconvenience when they change their minds.
The foam-filled wheels make for a smooth journey around town and on the school run, and the large back wheels in particular help the Donkey2 to manage slopes and steps with ease. On flat surfaces it’s possible to push with one hand, as the steering is so responsive. It handled itself well on bumpy ground and off-road, too, though perhaps not as effortlessly as one designed for off-road journeys (like the Out n About Nipper).
At 74cm it’s only 2cm wider than the narrowest side-by-side we tried (again, the Nipper), and our tester managed to fit it through most doorways. It’s not as heavy as many of the tandem options either (15.3kg), and that chassis-narrowing mechanism comes in very handy when lifting in and out of the car boot.
Is there much storage?
There’s a good under seat storage basket underneath that can hold up to 10kgs. Our tester found it less capacious than others we tested – the iCandy Orange, say – and we imagine that the Donkey’s basket was designed with the extra shopping pannier in mind (which can only be used in single mode).
Still, it held school bags and a medium-sized supermarket shop without difficulty, and as the Donkey2 is a side-by-side design, there’s no restricted access when pushing both children.
Is the Bugaboo Donkey2 safe?
Despite not being the heaviest model we tested, the Donkey2 feels safe and substantial, whether in motion or being used as a climbing frame at home. During the topple test, it didn’t tip over when heavy shopping or changing bags were hung over the handles. The weight distribution remains solidly over the wheels, which proves essential once twin babies become heavier toddlers.
The seats are not the tallest on the market – our testing toddler’s head hovered near the top of the seat – but they feel robust, comfortably padded and lined with durable, high-quality fabric. The five-point harness is likewise of good quality, sitting snugly over the shoulders when fitted, and easy to adjust in length if required. Each seat also comes with a bumper bar for extra peace of mind.
The sun hood for each seat is thick and well made, with decent coverage in the sun; there’s no peek-a-boo window, but if this is a particular concern you could always face the seats towards you. It is possible for the children to have the sun in their eyes at the end of the day, but Bugaboo do sell a full sun canopy separately via their website.
The brake is a foot lever design, with a satisfying click letting you know whether you’ve secured or released it. It kept the buggy in place even when carrying heavier children or on sloping ground.
How easy is it to clean?
The Donkey2 model we received to test had been used before but looked almost new, which was a great recommendation before we began. During the test we dirtied the seats and chassis with mud and sticky juice, and everything came off well with a little soapy water.
In case of drastic spillage, however, all the fabrics can be removed and machine washed. If you treat it carefully, it’s likely to turn heads for some time to come.
Sitting firmly at the ‘luxury’ end of the market, the Bugaboo Donkey2 nevertheless works hard to earn its price tag with exceptional flexibility and intuitive design. It’s a dream to push on all terrains, with a tight turning circle and fairly compact fold.
As stylish as it is functional, the Donkey Twin should make life considerably easier with two new arrivals – and there’s not much higher praise than that.
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