Review : Doona

Back in March I was introduced to the Doona from Simple parenting.  I was really impressed by the concept and innovation.  The Doona is a car seat, which has built in wheels.  This means it can be used in a similar fashion to a travel system, but without the need to clip and unclip the car seat onto a wheeled base.

The more I sat and thought about this though, the more I realised it was open to abuse.  There are currently several places advertising the Doona as a Pushchair, but it is not.  It is a car seat with wheels.  It automatically passes the test standards because it is a car seat with wheels.  Car seats have a maximum time of 2 hours for babies and the Doona could potentially mean people leave their babies in their longer than this maximum time.  This time is for health reasons.

I decided I wanted to have a closer look at the Doona and borrowed one from my friend.  It is heavier than an ordinary seat of the same group, because of the wheels.  I found it easy to flick out the wheels to convert into a travel mode and to collapse back to a car seat.  It does have a few fiddly parts, the handle has to be in a certain position and will only move with a seat combination but you soon get used to this.

I decided to first test with my youngest daughter who weighed under the 13kg maximum weight limited.  I put her in and she was fine, until I strapped her in.  She screamed, 'my legs, my legs'.  I hadn't fully tightened the straps but stopped and looked, she had red marks in her thighs.  The straps on her legs were far too tight and in an incorrect place.  In the event of a crash her hips would have moved forwards as the straps were just above her knees.  There is no way of adjusting this.  On her chest the strap was still incredibly loose.  I thought it might be because she was on the upper limit for weight, so tried with a 10 week old baby.

The baby was fine again, until I strapped her in.  The same thing happened she started screaming and there was marks on her legs.  The shoulder straps also cut into her shoulder, however there was enough room for me to get my hand between the straps and her chest.  It was proving difficult to get it tight enough.  

The Doona comes with a wedge which apparently helps it to be lie flat.  However with a 10 week old on 50th percentile I struggled to get her to be lie flat, with and without the wedge.

There are some advantages to the Doona though.  It does save on boot space so is good for small cars and it is great for the quick pop out the car trip, such as the school run.  The rain cover was also really easy to on and fits well.  I found it really easy to manoeuvre and had the ability to move in all directions.  The girls loved pushing it, as the handle was just at the right height for them and it did look a little like a doll pushchair.

The issues for me though is I personally do not think it is safe, ok it has passed the regulations but in using it with over 5 children all of them cried when the straps were fastened.  All of them came out with red marks on their legs and all of them had a huge gap between their chest and the straps.  It is incredibly heavy and difficult to lift with children over 6 months of age and there is no recline or multi position to it.  I also found that the action of releasing the wheels caused a jerk which woke up the majority of babies I tried in the Doona.  The harness also twists incredibly easy and the shoulder pads pop off every time you try and adjust the harness that they begin to get irritating.  

To be honest I am really disappointed.  I loved the idea of the Doona and can see a great advantage for it.  I love the concept and the gadgetness of it.  However after using it for a few weeks I would not recommend one.  I was ready for it to be returned to my friend and could not wait to see the back of it.  For me personally it is a great idea but it just has not been thought through and finished well. 

I have not been asked to write this review.  I do not own and have not been sent a Doona.  I simply wanted to put a review together as I felt it of interest. 

You May Also Like


This day I love comments and I read everyone