Like everyone looking for a double stroller, or just... everyone in general, we at Magic Beans have our opinions. And some people’s opinions are stronger than others when it comes to tandem vs side-by-side. I’m team side-by-side and that’s one of the reasons why the Donkey3 is not only my favorite double stroller, it might be my favorite stroller period.
Let me tell you first why I, someone who lives in a small Boston apartment, think a side-by-side is the better option. Whether you are having twins or have two (or more) children of various ages, the side-by-side is the easiest to push. Generally, in a tandem, you have your older child in the seat that sits at or above the front wheels, making turning and going over bumps and curbs HARD. Boston has several street level trains and pushing a full tandem stroller over those tracks is tough. Keeping the weight of your children side-by-side makes the push MUCH easier. You can also see both children at once, you don’t have to choose which one gets the “bad” seat (we all know children will designate one seat the “bad” seat and which seat that is will likely change on a day-to-day basis - kids!), and while you may feel that the side-by-side is so much wider and, therefore, takes up so much more space, the wideness creates a shorter profile, making your turning radius much smaller than a tandem. Meaning, it’s easier for you to get around tight spaces. There will obviously be pluses and minuses for each choice and we suggest checking out our Donkey3 vs Vista V2 blog to get a better idea of what the tradeoffs might be.
Now let’s get back to the topic at hand - the Donkey3. This is Bugaboo’s only double stroller (their choice to NOT do a tandem is very Dutch of them) and with the added wheeled board, it can accommodate up to three children at a time. This is one of the most versatile strollers on the market. You can seamlessly go from a single to a double, have one (sleep safe!) bassinet and one seat, have one seat and one car seat, have two bassinets, or have two seats - all of which can face you or the world. Each seat holds 50lbs, so they’re not growing out of it any time soon (that’s the average weight of a 5-6 year old). As a single, you have a side luggage basket to use, giving you ample storage space. The two seats at their capacity + the underbasket at its capacity = ~124lbs! You can carry some serious heft with this stroller. And as a single, it’s more narrow than the Vista V2 (a deceptively wide stroller!) and as a double, it’s the width of a wheelchair, meaning it can fit through standard sized doors. This is one of the most popular double strollers in Europe, which is not known for their wide sidewalks and oversize doorways. If it fits there, it fits here in the US.
The Bugaboo Donkey will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2020 - and it’s only on its 3rd generation. The version that first rolled out in 2010 looks remarkably similar to the one that is rolling out today - with some minor, but much appreciated, changes. In fact, almost everything that’s available for the Donkey3 can be used on the original Donkey - so you can upgrade parts of your 10 year old stroller and have it look and feel brand new (be sure to reach out to our experts to see if the part(s) you may need/want replaced are compatible). The tires are now foam filled, so you never have to worry about a flat (the original Donkey came with a little tire pump to keep in the side luggage basket). The handlebar is now covered in a leatherette, so you no longer have to worry about the foam handlebar crumbling over time. The weight capacity for the seats was upgraded (originally only held ~37lbs vs the now 50lbs). Minor aesthetic changes on the frame and fabric to make a cleaner, sleeker profile. The canopies now have a peek-a-boo window, one of the only features that was missing from Bugaboo’s repertoire. The Donkey3 comes in at just under 28lbs for a single and under 33lbs as a double. It stands when it’s folded, or it can have a very compact fold. Check out Eli’s video from 6 years ago (!) on how to fold the Donkey to fit in a small trunk. The functionality - how it opens and closes - has not changed, so his video is as relevant today as it was in June of 2014.
All in all, I love this stroller and I have loved each iteration of it. I love the storage that’s available as a single stroller. I love how easy it is to turn it into a double stroller. I love that Bugaboo makes every functional button white so if you forget how to do anything, just start hitting white buttons. I love the upgrades that in no way detract from the original, but enhance its functionality. The Donkey3 is definitely a stroller you want to have on your radar - for your first kid or your twelfth, this stroller will last you forever.
Still not sure if this is the right stroller for you? Have some specific questions? Reach out to us any time via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to talk shop! You can also contact our Baby Gear Gurus via phone (866-600-BEAN) during business hours (M-F, 9 am-5 pm EST), by utilizing the Product Expert Chat on our website, or by scheduling a video consultation. Finally, get all the advice you need by visiting our YouTube channel!