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Why is Doona 2-in-1 infant car seat & stroller so popular and why we didn't end up choosing it

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

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Folded Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller


When we announced our pregnancy, friends around us primarily recommended two stroller brands. A whopping 80% suggested UPPABaby, while the rest vouched for Doona. Every time I ventured out to a restaurant or playground, I noticed a significant number of Doonas around. Its popularity was undeniable, and I was even more intrigued when I discovered its price tag—almost $600 (including the high tax in California). Despite the cost, an overwhelming majority of parents claimed it was their best purchase. This piqued my curiosity, leading me to delve deeper into the world of Doona. Here's what I uncovered, and (spoiler alert) why we ultimately decided against it.


Why Parents Love Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller


1. Superior Design and Quality


The Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base has garnered much praise for its impeccable quality and design. With an impressive average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, it's evident that this product lives up to its reputation. Its robust construction promises durability, while its sleek design adds a touch of elegance to baby gear.


2. Convenience and Usability


Convenience at Its Best: Doona's standout feature is undoubtedly its convenience. The product effortlessly transitions from a car seat to a stroller in mere seconds, making it a godsend for busy parents. Be it errands, travel, or a leisurely park stroll, this product simplifies mobility with your little one.


User-Friendly: Doona excels in user-friendliness. Many have noted its ease of installation and the simplicity of securing the car seat with a seatbelt, even without the base. Once accustomed to its mechanisms, switching between its car seat and stroller functions becomes second nature.


Compact and Space-Saving: For those with limited space or a compact vehicle, baby gear dimensions become crucial. Doona shines in this department. Its space-saving design eliminates the need for a separate stroller, freeing up precious space in homes or car trunks.


3. Travel and Mobility


For the jet-setting family or those always on the move, the Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base is a game-changer. Users have lauded its versatility in various travel scenarios, from flights to ferry rides. Its air travel certification is another commendable feature.


What Concerns Parents Have


While Doona has garnered predominantly positive reviews, some parents have voiced specific concerns.


1. Design and Functionality Limitations


Short Lifespan: One of the most frequently mentioned drawbacks is the short lifespan of the Doona. Many parents have noted that their children outgrew the Doona much faster than other car seats, often between 12-15 months.


Lack of Storage: Unlike traditional strollers that often come with undercarriage storage, the Doona has limited storage space. Parents have mentioned the inconvenience of not having a place to store diaper bags, shopping bags, or other essentials.


Height Concerns: Some parents have noted that the Doona sits lower to the ground compared to other strollers. This can be uncomfortable for taller parents or those who prefer a higher handlebar.


Maneuverability: While the Doona is praised for its convenience in transitioning from car seat to stroller, some parents feel it doesn't maneuver as smoothly as dedicated strollers, especially on uneven surfaces.


Limited Customization: Unlike traditional strollers where you can change out canopies or add accessories, the Doona has limited customization options.


2. Cost and Value Concerns


High Price Point: The Doona comes with a hefty price tag. Given its short lifespan, some parents feel that the cost isn't justified, especially when they'll need to invest in another stroller or car seat soon after.


Bulkiness as a Car Seat: While it's compact as a stroller, some parents feel that the Doona is bulkier than other infant car seats when installed in the car, especially in smaller vehicles.


3. Comfort and Safety Issues


Weight: Despite its compact design, some parents find the Doona to be on the heavier side, especially when compared to other infant car seats. This can make it challenging to carry, especially for longer durations.


Heat Retention: A few users have mentioned that the Doona tends to retain heat, making it warmer for the baby, especially in hot climates or during summer months.


Safety Concerns: While the Doona meets safety standards, some parents have expressed concerns over specific design elements, such as the handlebar's position during car travel.


It's essential to note that while these concerns are valid, many parents still find the Doona to be a worthwhile investment, especially for its convenience during the early months of a child's life. As always, individual needs and preferences play a significant role in product satisfaction.

Why We Didn't Choose Doona


Although Doona's popularity is undeniable, here's why we did not end up choosing it.


Here's the deal: Before diving headfirst into a popular product and making a significant investment, it's always essential to evaluate what you aim to achieve with the product.


Our search for Doona stemmed from our need for both an infant car seat and a stroller for our upcoming bundle of joy.


Our criteria for the infant car seat were:

  • Optimal safety for our baby.

  • Lightweight design.

  • FAA approval for onboard travel.

For the newborn stroller, we prioritized:

  • Ease of maneuverability and folding.

  • Superior suspension.

  • Longevity.

  • Weight, bulkiness, and price were secondary concerns.

Most importantly, we were open to having separate strollers and infant car seats, as our primary mode of baby transport would be our car.


Given these parameters, our decision against Doona becomes clear.


We gravitated towards the Nuna infant car seat, renowned for adhering to European safety standards (which surpass U.S. standards), its lightweight nature, and FAA approval.


For the stroller, our choice was the UPPABaby VISTA 2, celebrated for its ease of maneuverability, top-tier suspension, and suitability for ages 0-4+ years. It can also accommodate 2-3 children, giving it a potential lifespan of up to 10 years.


In contrast, Doona's utility typically lasts until a child reaches 1.5 years. Most outgrow it between 12-15 months. While it boasts safety features, it doesn't match Nuna's standards (and rumor has it that Doona does not meet Canadian safety standards). Additionally, if you're in the market for a stroller with enough height for tall parents to comfortably maneuver and superior suspension for the baby to sit comfortably, you'd eventually need to invest in another stroller after Doona. Given these factors, the $600 investment in Doona seemed less appealing to us.


Conclusion


In summary, while the Doona 2-in-1 is a top recommendation for many parents due to its innovative design, quality, and ease of use, it's vital to assess your specific needs before making a decision. While Doona might be the perfect fit for some, it wasn't for us.

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