If you’re the proud parent of twins or you have two kids of similar ages, you’ll need a double stroller. Double strollers come in two basic forms, side-by-side and tandem. To find out more about the difference, check out this article.
In this guide, we compare two high-end double strollers made by reputable stroller manufacturing heavyweights, Mountain Buggy and Bugaboo. Stepping up to the plate for Mountain Buggy is the Duet double stroller, and for Bugaboo it’s the Donkey 2 stroller.
Both companies produce very well-made strollers that can last you and your family for many years. But there are notable differences between these two models that could sway your decision. That’s why we’ve done our homework and put together this head-to-head comparison to help you make the best choice for your family’s needs.
First, let’s introduce you to the two manufacturers featured in this guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 Mountain Buggy: Engineered for the mountains, designed for the city
- 2 Bugaboo: Move freely
- 3 Mountain Buggy Duet vs. Bugaboo Donkey: Features that matter
- 4 Wrapping it up
Mountain Buggy: Engineered for the mountains, designed for the city
New Zealand company, Mountain Buggy falls under the same ownership umbrella as children’s gear manufacturer, Phil & Teds. Mountain Buggy was founded in 1992 by a father who loved to spend time hiking the mountain trails close to his home. He wanted to take his child with him, so he created the first all-terrain stroller that was designed to perform off-road.
Today, Mountain Buggy specializes in producing all-terrain strollers that are renowned for their reliability, safety, durability, and easy handling.
Mountain Buggy Duet
- SAME WIDTH AS A SINGLE STROLLER - at just 25" the Mountain Buggy Duet is the same width as a single stroller and fits through all standard doorways
- NEWBORN READY - with dual, independent lie-flat seats, use of one or two car seats or the Mountain Buggy carry cot plus
- CONTROL HAND BRAKE - for walking, jogging and going up and down hills in any weather
The Mountain Buggy Duet is a side-by-side double stroller that’s designed for everyday use. You can take the Duet on shopping trips in town, and it’s also ideal for a trip to the park or a hike along off-road trails.
You can use the Duet for a newborn baby right through till your children’s toddler years. The design boasts two infant car seats, two bassinets, two regular toddler seats or one of each. That means you can customize the Duet for twins and for two children who are close in age.
The Duet is slim and agile, handling just like a regular single stroller over any terrain.
You can see a video of the Mountain Buggy Duet in action below:
What we like:
- Easy to maneuver, one-handed steering
- As narrow as a single stroller
- Can be used for one or two children, twins, or kids of similar age
- Seats recline independently
- Air-filled tires for a smooth ride over rough terrain
- Adjustable handlebar for parents of differing heights
- Self-standing when folded and has an auto-lock feature
Room for improvement:
- Quite heavy at 32 pounds
- Canopies could be more generous
- Cup holders and covers must be bought separately
- To use the stroller with newborns, you need to purchase additional attachments such as carrycots, infant car seats, or cocoons
Bugaboo: Move freely
Bugaboo is a Netherlands-based company that was formed in 1994.
They produce a wide range of strollers and accessories and prides itself on designing and creating game-changing products that help parents and their families to explore the world in style and unmatched comfort. Their strollers are intended to lighten your load and help turn your everyday life into an enjoyable journey.
Bugaboo Donkey 2
- Effortless Expansion: This stroller accommodates infants (w/ included bassinet) and toddlers up to 50 lbs and transforms with your growing family in single or Mono mode, or as a twin...
- Spacious Storage: The Donkey2 is a full size stroller with a narrow footprint that glides through doorways & entryways with ease. The side luggage basket & under-seat basket each hold up to...
- Versatile and Hassle-Free: From the 1-piece self-standing fold design which offers a compact fold
The Bugaboo Donkey 2 is the upgraded version of the original Donkey stroller that came out in 2012.
The Donkey 2 is renowned for being the most versatile stroller you can buy. You can change the configurations of the Donkey 2 from a double to a single stroller and back again, just by flicking a few clips.
To see a video of the Bugaboo Donkey 2, click below:
What we like:
- Versatile with lots of seating options
- Substantial, puncture-proof tires
- Practical, one-handed fold
- Maneuverable and easy to push
Room for improvement:
- Expensive stroller
Mountain Buggy Duet vs. Bugaboo Donkey: Features that matter
In this part of our article, we look more closely at these two premium double strollers so that you can clearly see the differences that could mean make or break for you.
At just 25.6 inches wide, the Duet is very slim and narrow as double strollers go and it has a wheelbase that’s not much wider than many single strollers.
The Donkey 2 is a little wider than the Duet at 29 inches.
The Duet can be folded one-handed and is also self-standing for easy storage. And because the whole thing stands or lies on its wheels, the fabrics don’t come into contact with the floor and get dirty. When the stroller folds down correctly, you’ll hear a reassuring click that tells you the auto-lock feature is engaged.
When the Duet is folded, it measures a surprisingly small 35 inches H x 25.6 inches W x 12.5 inches D so that it will fit into most car trunks with ease.
The Donkey 2 folds quickly and simply with or without the seats in situ. Although the collapsed package is reasonably compact at 39.5 inches H x 29 inches W x 20.5 inches D, it’s bigger than the Duet. However, you can save trunk space by removing the Donkey’s wheels.
The Duet has four ten-inch wheels with air-filled tires that give a cushioned, bump-free ride over all kinds of terrain, including woodland trails, uneven sidewalks, cobblestones, and gravel. For extra stability and easy steering, you can lock the front wheels, which, when in pivot mode, give you a tight turning circle and excellent maneuverability.
However, you will need to check the Duet’s tires regularly. And, unfortunately, Mountain Buggy did not include an air pump with the stroller. Nonetheless, a regular bike pump will do the job.
Unlike the Duet, the wheels on the Donkey have foam-filled tires, so there’s no risk of you being caught out with a puncture, and you don’t need to worry about checking your tire pressures either. You can lock the Donkey’s wheels straight for better control over rough terrain.
The Duet is easy to push and turn with one hand and is relatively light and compact for a double stroller. Even with two children of different weights on board, the Duet doesn’t pull you off course or roll to one side.
The Donkey is exceptionally lightweight to push. There’s a new high-tech suspension system and that, coupled with the ground clearance provided by the wheels, gives you excellent maneuverability and a comfy ride too.
The latest iteration of the Duet gives a variety of seating options, allowing you to use the stroller from newborn to toddlerhood. Note that you will need to buy carrycots, bassinets, or cocoons if you want to use the Duet for twin babies.
You can use the Duet with two different seats, which is brilliant if you have children of a similar age. For example, you could install one car seat, plus a regular seat, or a carrycot with a regular seat.
The Duet has two toddler seats placed side-by-side. Like the seats on the Donkey 2, both the Duet’s seats recline independently from a fully reclined position to upright. You can adjust the seats separately, which is ideal if you have one child who wants to nap while the other sits up and watches the world go by as you stroll. The seat back height on the Duet is around 25 inches, and the seat will carry a passenger up to 40 pounds.
Although the Duet’s seats are quite narrow, they are generous enough to take a toddler in a winter coat with room to spare! In case of spills, you can remove the seat liners, and machine-wash them. The liners are colored and also reversible, which allows you to ring the changes.
When it comes to convertibility, the Donkey is right up there with the Duet! You can buy the Donkey in mono mode if you have just one child. With the mono mode package you receive the seat and carrycot fabrics in the box, so you can use the Donkey as a single stroller for a newborn right through to when your infant can sit in the toddler seat.
You can buy the Donkey 2 in Mono mode, and then convert it into a double stroller by purchasing the Duo kit if you subsequently decide to extend your family.
If you have twins or kids of different ages, the Donkey has you covered. Like the Duet, you can add a carrycot or extra seat to the Donkey’s chassis. When the Donkey is in side-by-side mode, its width is just shy of 29 inches, which is comparable to most other double strollers on the market, although it is wider than the Duet’s skinny 25.6 inches.
Each seat on the Duet has a five-point harness. You can adjust the harness to each child’s size and height via a strap system. The harness buckle is easy to open for an adult but would be too difficult for a child.
The Duet has a bumper bar per seat that opens like a gate, allowing you to put your children in and out of the stroller easily. There’s also an adjustable footrest to provide younger infants with maximum comfort.
The Donkey also has a five-point safety harness that’s easy to adjust via sliding clasps. The center release button is designed to prevent a child from getting it open, but it’s a piece of cake for most adults! Although the Donkey has a bumper bar, it’s fixed, making installing a wriggling child a challenge.
Car seat compatibility
The Duet is compatible with many brands of infant car seats, including the Maxi Cosi Mico, Chicco Keyfit, Graco Classic Connect, and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio. That means you can convert the Duet into a travel system for one or two infants, although you will need to buy suitable car seat adapters.
The Duet is quite heavy when fully laden with two passengers and your shopping. So the single-action foot-operated parking brake is an important safety feature. There’s also a hand-operated brake to give you superior control over the speed and maneuverability of the stroller, especially when you’re moving downhill.
The Donkey 2 has easy to use brakes that are clearly visible thanks to white pedals. Additionally, the brake pedal is easy to use and is definitely flip-flop-friendly.
The Duet has an adjustable handlebar to provide a comfortable push for parents of different heights. Note that the handlebar rotates. Consequently, if you’re tall with long legs, you might find you lack space for your stride.
In comparison, the Donkey has a wonderfully simple, handlebar height adjustment system. Flick the white clips on each side of the handlebar to extend the handlebar to one of eight different heights. The Donkey 2’s handlebar boasts an added touch of luxury with its wipe-clean, leatherette cover.
Each seat on the Duet has a separately adjustable canopy and a peek-a-boo window with a silent magnetic closure. The canopies also have flip-out visors that give your child full SPF 50+ sun protection.
The Donkey 2 has a canopy that comes in 13 different fabric colors, but it lacks a peek-a-boo window. The canopy extends via a zip-open panel. So, it comes right down to the bumper bar, giving the passenger total cover from the elements. The canopy is made from a thick fabric that keeps out the sun, but it isn’t SPF 50+ material.
The Duet’s underseat storage basket is impressive with a capacity of up to 11 pounds. That provides you with plenty of space to fit a large diaper bag, essentials for a day trip, and even a little grocery shopping. If you are only using one side of the stroller for the kiddo, you can purchase the joey tote bag with a 40lb capacity separately.
The Donkey 2 excels when it comes to providing you with plenty of storage. The underseat basket is huge! The basket is deep without rubbing against the ground or the stroller’s wheels. Plus, it will comfortably take diaper bags, extra coats, shopping, and even your picnic. When you use the Donkey 2 in mono mode, you get an extra side basket that you can remove and use as a regular shopping basket. The side basket comes with a handy, zip cover to prevent the contents from spilling out if you’re moving over any uneven, bumpy ground.
The 2017 version of the Duet is available in five colors, including grid, marine, silver, black, and Year of the Rooster (special edition). If you buy an older 2016 Duet, you can choose from black, red, gray, ocean, orange, royal blue, and yellow.
The Bugaboo Donkey allows you to create an individual look by choosing a black or aluminum chassis, one of three base materials; black, gray, or blue, and one of 13 colors for the canopy and basket cover.
Wrapping it up
If you want a high-quality, versatile, convertible stroller that takes twins or two children of similar ages, the Mountain Buggy Duet or the Bugaboo Donkey could be perfect for you.
With its air-filled tires, narrow width, and easy push, the Duet is great for urban use and for fun, off-road activities too. The stroller will serve you well if you have one or two babies from newborn through to their toddler years. The Duet is designed for longevity thanks to its infant car seats, cocoons, bassinets, and full-sized toddler seats.
The Bugaboo Donkey 2 is one of the most versatile double strollers on the market. It can convert from a single to a dual vehicle in just seconds! The high-tech suspension means a smooth ride for your child. And the foam-filled, puncture-proof tires mean that you don’t have the hassle of checking air pressure or repairing flats.
The initial cost of the Donkey 2 is on the pricey side. However, you do get what you pay for with many seating options, excellent performance, and generous storage. This stroller should last your family a lifetime. And if you get bored with the color scheme you chose, ring the changes by purchasing a new canopy to create a brand new look.