It’s challenging enough being a new parent, and the car seat dilemma certainly doesn’t help.
You have to deal with a two-piece travel system where you need to navigate both a cumbersome car seat and a separate hard-to-fold drive.
It’s time and energy that anyone would rather spend with their family. A complete game-changer, the Doona car seat, can unfold to become a stroller.
In this article, we’re here with a full review of the Doona car seat stroller review.
Let’s check it out!
Doona Car Seat Stroller: Is It Worth It?
The whole purpose of Doona is practicability. If you have ever had to unpleasantly carry a car seat across a parking lot or through a crowded street in the city, the smooth release of wheels will make these treks less painful.
All the lifting is limited to putting it inside and removing it from the car.
As for those who have opted for other travel systems, you still have to put up with the agonizing routine of pulling the stroller out of the car. Then, you’ll have to unfold it, get the car seat out, and lock it in.
However, the all-in-on Doona is a different story. Comparatively, it's only a few seconds before you're out of the car and ready to roll.
It’s perfect for those with busy lives to run and lots of errands. Not only does it make the trip less boring, but it also saves time.
Since the Doona meets all the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, it's an excellent choice for airline travel. There’s also less equipment to wrangle, and you don't have to worry about gate-checking a stroller.
Interestingly enough, because of the wheel apparatus, it’s heavier than most car seats. However, you hardly notice it since you’ll rarely have to carry it.
The Doona: An Overview
Doona is a company committed to making life more simple, one product at a time. The owner, Yoav Mazar, is certainly no stranger to families on-the-go. He’s a parent who’s all-too-familiar with the hassle of car seats and strollers.
The Doona began in his Mazar’s workshop. The goal was to find an efficient and practical solution to a persistent problem.
The Doona car seat stroller was the solution.
It’s not a mere car seat stroller. It’s an entire travel system. You’ll be able to turn your car seat to a stroller in only a few seconds.
Take the bus, or climb the stairs: your child will remain sleeping. It’s designed in such a way that it allows you to move without disturbing your child.
This is particularly why it’s so good for on-the-go parents. It compromises on a little while offering all the safety and practicality you and your child need and deserve.
Pros & Cons
There’s the good, and then there’s the bad. Here’s what we like about this Donna car seat stroller, as well as what we’d like to change about it.
General Features & Performance
Let’s take a look at some of the features it offers.
Apart from its major all-in-one sale point, the first thing we noticed was the space-saving advantage. With the Doona, you no longer have to reserve half of the trunk space for a walk-in car.
Your house will surely feel less cramped with just this one piece of baby gear at the entrance.
You don’t have to use the Doona much to notice that it’s ridiculously easy to maneuver when in stroller mode.
It could be guided one-handed. This might not seem like an insignificant feature to you at first, but wait until you try drinking coffee while pushing your stroller.
It can turn tight corners and fit into smaller spaces, due to its low-profile design. If you’re a city dweller, this handy feature can make going around on foot worthwhile.
The Doona’s magic lies in its practicality. Converting the car seat into a stroller or vice versa is no major feat.
All you have to do is squeeze the level resting at the back of the car. Right away, the wheels will drop, transforming your car seat into a stroller.
There’s a secret advantage to that. Wheels are tucked into the seat; your child’s safety is further ensured.
What do wheels have to do with baby safety? Well, the wheels provide a double layer of impact-absorbing plastic. Then there’s also the extra energy absorbing layers of foam, which equip the Doona with side-impact safety.
Vehicle Seat Protector
This is a handy feature. In the past, you probably had to buy a separate seat protector. It's time to forget about that.
This car seat features a water-repelling, non-slip vehicle seat protector. Mount it on your car seat before installing the base, and you’re good to go.
However, one thing we think the Doona misses is the storage room. It’s so small, and the bottom part is where the frame and wheels are kept, which means there isn’t room for a storage basket. Also, in case of tipping, you can’t use the handlebar to attach anything.
Now let’s go through the features that make the Doona car seat stroller unique.
This is a car seat that converts to a stroller. By no means is it light, either: at around a whopping 16 pounds, the sheer weight of the Doona is no joke. You’d expect installation to be complicated looking at these details, but it’s quite the opposite.
It might seem daunting at first, especially when you’re trying to take on the Doona. But it grows easier and more familiar with practice. Besides, the instructions manual is always there to assist you.
Moreover, you can install this car seat stroller in your vehicle without a base. It arrives with one, but it isn’t mandatory to include it during installation.
This base employs the use of a basic LATCH system, which is required in the majority of car seats. However, there’s nothing stopping you from including a seatbelt as well when installing the Doona.
You should expect the height of comfort for your baby. On that front, the Doona delivers. It’s supplied with rich bamboo fabric, which is joined by a similarly lush insert for infants.
Nonetheless, you must remove this insert when your child reaches 11 pounds (but the head padding can stay!)
On top of the newborn insert, you’re provided with all the right recline positions. This way, you won’t have to worry about any sagging or misalignment.
An extendable, water-repelling canopy provides sun protection with UPF 50+. It’s also reusable and washable.
The provided head support consists of energy-absorbing materials and is designed specifically for extra side impact protection.
If you have a rear-facing car seat, then you’re probably familiar with the importance of sunshade. Luckily, the Doona made sure to emphasize this feature. The sunshade of this car seat isn’t only well-covered, but it also reaches far enough to cover most of your kid’s body.
When using the Doona in stroller mode, keep in mind that it wasn’t made for jogging or similarly physically strenuous activities. It’s strictly intended for urban-use.
To get the stroller going, all you have to do is step onto the green foot pedal. And if you want to operate the break, then you have to press down the red pedal on the right.
Separating the seat from the base isn’t hard at all, especially in rear-facing car seats. All you have to do is push the safety button, and the seat will disconnect from the base. This is often found to be a common feature of most rear-facing car seats.
However, the Doona forgoes this feature for a different one. To release the base, you have to use the release mechanism resting on the base.
Like everything else in life, the Doona has its downsides. One of them is that it can’t comfortably accommodate taller people. This is because the car seat part of the unit is too close to the ground to let the handle adequately reach the parent.
The Doona car seat stroller is elegant, lightweight, and modern. You’ll get nothing but compliments, especially from those who have never seen such a small stroller.
The sleek, matte frame of the Doona consists of reliable aluminum. The seat itself is equipped with an antibacterial fabric that makes sure your baby will stay safe.
You can remove and wash this fabric anyway, which can be helpful, especially if your child, like all the others, is a bit messy.
However, you’ll be pleased to know that the charcoal fabric is dark enough to excuse leaving a few stains here and there unattended. It holds up well against time, so you don't have to worry about tears and rips.
Buying the Doona in black is obviously a smart option. That way, you won't see stubborn stains that may still be visible after a wash in other colors. It’s available in gray, beige, turquoise, red, pink, or green.
Price and Warranty
The Doona car seat stroller is surely a little pricey for a car seat, but you have to bear in mind that you’re getting a stroller as well.
Nevertheless, if you're a city parent who walks a lot, or a parent moving a lot from car to stroller frequently, this car seat can be worth the investment.
You’re provided with a 2-year warranty for the Doona Car Seat against manufacturing or material defects.
The warranty period takes effect from the day of purchase. As proof of purchase, you’ll be asked to fill out the Warranty Card and retain it along with your sales receipt for the entire term of the warranty period.
The Doona vs. Competition
The Doona combo is no weak competition. But how does it compare against other products in the market?
Installation With the Latch Anchors
When it comes to ease of installation using the LATCH anchors, we consider the Doona above average. In this aspect, a lot of its counterparts are the same: they both offer a similarly easy installation experience.
Studies show that if the car seat is installed properly, car crash injuries may be avoided. This makes ease of installation incredibly critical. If the seat is simple and easy to mount, parents would be more likely to install it correctly, resulting in fewer injuries in case of an accident.
The Doona proves an effortless installation without the base, which helped it win an award. As impressive as that is, there are still other options on the market that are easier to install without a base.
Ease of Use
Besides its main advantage of doubling as a car seat/stroller, it’s incredibly easy to use on its own. It’s even much smoother in its usage rather than your run-of-the-mill infant carrier. This is primarily because the Doona can also be pushed on top of being carried.
Due to this multi-functionality, the Doona car seat stroller is a catch for car-free metropolitan parents. Hopping from Uber to taxi with a baby can be a ton of hassle, and the Doona offers an opportunity to make transportation easy for both you and your kid.
Crash Test Results
The Doona meets the Federal minimum safety standards and is deemed free.
In the assessment of the results of the crash test, the Doona had the worst combined test results. The foam inside the Doona shell appears to be thicker than many competing seats, but the Doona didn’t do as well in the crash test.
The Doona features push-button anchors that are easy to attach and work well. On the downside, it’s not that easy to tighten and loosen the straps for a stable attachment or when removing it from the base.
So: is the Doona car seat stroller worth it?
It depends on you and your needs. It’s an attractive choice for those who use public transportation frequently.
Do any of those features align with your needs? If so, then the Doona car seat stroller could be for you!