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Real Mom Doona Car Seat Stroller Review – Is it Worth it?

Real Mom Doona Car Seat Stroller Review – Is it Worth it?

Whenever I’m out and about with our Doona Car Seat Stroller, I get tons of questions and requests for demonstrations on how the Doona stroller works. People are always skeptical.

Is it really that easy? Can a car seat really instantly be a stroller too? YES, yes, it can! – Just buy it now. You won’t regret it!

A common phrase I hear is: “Is that a transformer? Did that car seat just do that?”  Nope, it’s just the Doona car seat stroller, and it’s amazing.

I am a real mom who has been using the Doona exclusively with my son from 3 months to 17 months old and with my daughter since birth (I brought her home from the hospital in the Doona). I CAN NOT imagine life without it.

The Doona just makes life easier with a newborn. And let’s get real, anything to make your life easier with a newborn is worth the money. Make sure to see my newborn must-haves post for products that save you time and are worth every penny.

As soon as you open the box, it is ready to go. No assembly is required! This is a big plus, in my opinion. Not having to try and put something together while pregnant or not having to ask my husband for stroller assembly is a big perk.

Back to this honest Doona review article, I’m going to go over everything you need to know about Doona and why it truly is the best car seat stroller combo for newborns.

Doona Review Video


Doona Car Seat FAQ

How much does the Doona cost? – The Doona cost $550. It isn’t cheap, I’m not going to lie, BUT you won’t need to purchase a traditional car seat ($200+) or a stroller until they outgrow the Doona, which is typically one year to 18 months. We moved my son out of it at 17 months, and my daughter is until 15 months old.

Is the Doona stroller worth it? Yes, it is worth every single penny! Keep reading, and you’ll learn why the Doona car seat stroller is worth it.

Where to buy a Doona car seat stroller? You can buy the Doona on Amazon here, at several baby stores, or directly with Doona. Make sure to only purchase on Amazon here, where the seller is Doona. There have been reports of fake Doona strollers on Amazon, so make sure the seller is Doona. Click here to go to their storefront.

Do baby registry completion discounts work on the Doona? Yes, if you create a baby registry on Amazon, you can use your completion discount code 10% or 15% for Prime members. Make sure to read my baby registry must-have article for other great items to add to your baby registry.

Can you use the Doona car seat exclusively as your main car seat? Yes, and you should! There is no reason to purchase another traditional newborn car seat. Save the $200+ you’d pay for a traditional car seat. You can purchase an extra car seat base for $149 here. We have a base in my car and one in my husband’s car. The base is super easy to move between cars if you don’t want to purchase a second one.

Is there a Doona Dupe on the Market? The first competitor hit the market in the spring of 2023. The Evenflo Shyft DualRide is essentially the same thing but has a few differences. Read my side-by-side comparison of Doona vs. Evenflo Shyft DualRide here. The DualRide is sometimes on sale here directly with Evenflo. Look at the top for a discount code to use for their current sales.

baby girl in Doona car seat stroller on an airplane

What age is the Doona for? From birth to 35lbs. We highly suggest using the Doona from the get-go with your child. Plan on bringing your baby home from the hospital in the Doona infant car seat. The hospital will require you to bring your car seat to the hospital to go home with your baby. They will do a baby car seat safety check.

Is the Doona car seat stroller safe for newborns? Yes, the Doona is safe for newborns. If it weren’t, I sure wouldn’t be using it. It features 3-layer side impact protection, anti-rebound bar crash testing, a superior 5-point safety harness, and an ergonomic infant car seat.

How long can a baby stay in the Doona? This is going to vary from child to child. The weight limit for the Doona is 35 lbs/16kg. For most babies, this will be somewhere between 12-15 months old, but some parents with little peanuts have been able to use the Doona up until 24 months.

We used it with my son for 17 months and then moved him to the Nuna Rava. He could have stayed in it a little longer, but we were preparing to have our daughter. Our two little ones are 20 months apart. Yes, we are crazy!

woman holding the Doona car seat stroller travel sysem in front of a car in a driveway

How heavy is the Doona car seat? The Doona weighs 16.5 lbs, and I agree that sounds heavy, considering there are traditional infant car seats on the market under 7 lbs. But you will only lift the car seat from the ground into the car when locking it into the base. You will never carry the car seat, so the weight won’t bother you.

If you opt for a traditional car seat, you will carry it a ton, which gets heavy & old fast. Just think of the distance from your house to your car, from the parking lot to inside the doctor’s office. Now imagine being able to stroll in.

Sure, you could attach the infant car seat to a stroller via a travel system, but you’d always have a stroller in your car, AND you’d still (most likely) have to carry the car seat from your house to a car. Save yourself the hassle and your arm, and get a Doona car seat stroller.

Check Doona Prices Now

Doona Car Seat Stroller on an airplane

Is the Doona airplane approved? Yes, it is. It has the approved aircraft sticker on the back of the Doona and instructions on how to put on the airplane seatbelt securely.

We have 30+ flights where they allowed us to bring the Doona on the airplane and put it in the window seat. The car seat always has to go in the window seat. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve had plenty of empty seats and happily given us a free seat.

Doona Airplane approved sticker
This is the sticker underneath the Doona car seat that some airlines want to see to prove it is airline approved.

One of my biggest tips for flying with a toddler is to get them their own seat! And if you do purchase their own seat, bring the Doona or a travel car seat. We now use the WayB Pico for my son after he turned 2. It is the best travel car seat after he aged out of the Doona.

baby in Doona going down the airplane aisle

Does the Doona stroll down the airplane aisle? Yes and No. I would say half of the flights we’ve been on, it has fit down the aisle, and I could push it to my seat.

The softest baby clothes ever – our favorite bamboo baby clothes brands


Woman standing infront of the pink exterior of La Croisette - St Petersburg FL Restaurant

Our Doona Car Seat Stroller Review & Story

We used the Doona with our son Atlas exclusively from 3 months to 17 months and with our daughter since birth. I originally used a traditional car seat that I loved (Clek Liing), and I didn’t start using the Doona until our trip to Mexico when he was three months old. After using it for the month’s vacation in Mexico, I was pissed off at myself for not using it sooner.

For some reason, I had it in my head that the Doona was used only when traveling and, therefore, was saving to use it on our first family trip.

After my son outgrew it, we bought the Doona Liki trike for him. If you are looking for the best stroller trike, this is it. My biggest mistake again here was not buying it sooner. I should have started him with it when he turned one. Make sure to read my Doona Liki trike review here.

WRONG, the Doona car seat stroller is not just for travel. It should be your everyday car seat. Yes, it is the best travel stroller for newborns and doubles as the best travel car seat for newborns.

Every pregnant friend I see, I tell them they need to get a Doona, and usually, after they see my Doona in action, they add it to their baby registry.

I LOVE LOVE the Doona. Our next baby will come home in the Doona stroller!

Click here to see what breast pumps your insurance covers


Is the Doona Really Easy to Convert from a Car Seat to a Stroller?

The Doona goes from car seat to stroller in a matter of seconds. I, too, was skeptical, but now I don’t even think about what I am doing. It just comes naturally and takes seconds. Not only can I easily convert the Doona car seat to a stroller, but my husband, mother, and in-laws can also.

The first time I tried it at Buy Buy Baby, I did struggle, but that was because I didn’t know what I was doing. If you try it at the store and can’t get it to work, ask for an associate to show you. It does take a few times to get the hang of it.

Related Article – Guide on how to get a free breast pump through insurance


Doona Stroller on the beach

Tips for Converting the Doona Car Seat to Stroller

1. Put the brake on

This is the first thing I do. It isn’t necessary, but it’s good to do so that when you pop it back into stroller mode, the brake is automatically on.

2. Remove the snap-on storage

If you read my Doona accessories article here, you know my #1 Doona accessory is the Doona snap-on storage. If you have it attached to the back of the Doona, you need to remove it before converting the Doona from a car seat to a stroller.

I often forget to take it off first, and then when I try folding the car seat down, I realize I can’t because it’s still attached. It is no big deal. I remove it then.

*This is the cheapest knock-off snap on  bag with good reviews on Amazon.

3. Make sure the wheels are straight

If the wheels aren’t straight, the Doona won’t lock into the car seat mode. You won’t hear that clicking sound, which means it’s folded down.


Doona car seat accessories

Best Doona Accessories

Many complain that the Doona stroller doesn’t have any storage or even a cupholder. But it actually does. You have to purchase them separately, but they are relatively cheap. I love this universal cup holder.

I have an article dedicated to my favorite Doona accessories here. You can easily add a snap-on storage bag and a cup holder for $50.

Over the years, a few Doona bag dupes have become available. This wearable organizer bag clips onto the back of the Doona stroller like the snap-on bag but also has backpack straps so you can wear it like a diaper bag. This is the cheapest knock-off bag with good reviews on Amazon.

Included in the Box

One of the Doona cons is not much is included with the purchase. I suggest adding a few accessories that make everyday life a little easier. This is my #1 accessory, and then this is my #2.

  • LATCH Base
  • Vehicle Seat Protector
  • Infant Insert
  • Head Support

woman folding the Doona stroller in front of car in a driveway

Doona Cons

I am going to start with the cons because I literally can only think of one. Honestly, the only con I have with the Doona is I wish it were a little taller/the handlebar was longer. The only other car seat stroller on the market, the Evenflo Shyft DualRide, has a handlebar that is 3.5 inches taller.

It just seems a little short. It’s not uncomfortably short; I wish it were a little longer. Most people won’t even notice this, but remember. My husband and I are both tall. Adam is 6’5, and I am 5’10.

Here are a few other cons other moms often say:

  • Handlebar too short
  • Heavy – I think it is no heavier than dealing with any other traditional travel system.
  • There is no storage – but as I mentioned above, this can be added on
  • No recline – I never found this an issue
  • Expensive – I don’t think it is because it doubles as a stroller too
  • Short lifespan – Again, I don’t agree because my children were able to use it for 17 months

Doona Pros

The whole Doona Car Seat & Stroller travel system 2-in-1 combo is a pro. I don’t know how moms with other toddlers or just first-time moms handle carrying a regular car seat all the time.

  • No assembly required
  • FAA Travel approved – approved and fits in airplane seats for safe air travel for newborns.
  • Convenience – this is the biggest, not having to carry a car seat, then a car seat adapter to put on your stroller, and then clicking that in. Yeah, no thanks.
  • Folds super easier
  • Drive really well – We have used it on the beach, cobblestone streets in Europe, snow, etc.
  • Washable cushioning

newborn baby in Doona

Traveling with the Doona

Being travel bloggers, the Doona is one of the best inventions ever! It makes traveling so much easier. You no longer need to check a car seat AND a stroller. Just bring the Doona car seat stroller, and you’re set!

If you plan to fly with a newborn, you’ll want a stroller for your trip and at the airport. The Doona travels great. We suggest purchasing the padded Doona travel bag (pictured above). We gate-checked our Doona on several flights and have had no issues.

baby in the Doona car seat in car without base

If you rent a car on vacation or take a shuttle, you can install the Doona car seat without a base. You use the lap-shoulder belt European installation. See the instruction manual for directions. There is a sticker on the side (shown in the picture) on how to install the Doona with a lap belt.

There is no need to travel with the base if you don’t want to. When we went on a five-week trip to Mexico, we did bring the Doona car seat base. We rented a car in Mexico while we were there and knew we’d be in the car every day.

Joolz Aer folded on luggage

The base and Doona fit in the padded travel bag, which is free to gate check at the airport. It won’t cost you any extra to bring it with you, and the only downside is you’ll have to carry it through the airport if you choose to gate-check it. I warn you. The bag is huge but worth it to keep the stroll safe.

If you are going on a road trip with a newborn, you most likely won’t have a ton of free space in the car. If you had to pack a traditional stroller, that would eat up a lot of trunk space—another reason why we love the Doona stroller.

Related Article: Zoe Twin Double Stroller Review


toddler in the Doona on a grassy surface in Portugal.

How Does the Doona Drive

We really put the Doona to the test during our one month in Mexico trip. We visited the gorgeous Isla Holbox, an island with no paved roads. That’s right. It is all sand & gravel.

We drove the Doona up and down the beach in the sand and really didn’t have too many issues. Of course, I’d have to lift it over when I was in deep, loose sand, but it had no issues when we were in packed sand.

I was a little nervous about the effect all the sand would have on the stroller in the future, and I am happy to report three months later with no issues. However, if we were to have an issue, Doona replacement wheels and parts can be purchased here. We have NEVER had to replace the wheels.

We also traveled with the Doona to Europe. In the photo above, we are in the Azores, and it did great on all the grassy unpaved areas, and it drove well on the cobblestone streets in Lisbon, Portugal. Of course, it was bumpy on cobblestone, but any stroller would be.

The Doona turns easily and easily does a 360 turn. If our son is fussy in the house, we will put him in the Doona and push him around the house in circles. It just takes up so much less space, and I would never be able to push my big stroller around the house without hitting things.

Related Article: Top 5 Best Stroller Wagons

newborn and toddler Doona

Summary

So yeah, the Doona really is that awesome. I am nervous for the day our daughter Isla outgrows it…but excited for the day I bring home another baby from the hospital in it (NO, I’m not pregnant, mom).

Do yourself a favor and purchase a Doona. Just click here and hit buy! And make sure to start using it from day one.


OTHER BABY GEAR & TRAVELING WITH KIDS PRODUCTS

We have several other reviews on our favorite travel products after putting them to the true test…TRAVELING with them. Here are a few other articles to check out:

 

khairiah

Saturday 13th of January 2024

so i had my daughter in 2021 so i used 2 strollers so i used the maxi cosi zelia for traveling and i used the doona carseat and stroller for everyday use so about 80% of the time i was using the doona and 20% of the time i used the maxi cosi zelia but the doona works great

Kaera

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

So I used this travel system for my son I’m a teen mom with autism this travel system works so well with him he’s almost 9 months old so ima first time mom so it’s the only thing I’ve ever used so I bought the racing green color so I’ve brought him to dance class with me to school with me to dance competitions with me so he’s been almost everywhere with me in it so my mom loves it I love it it works so well and my only complaint is that’s it’s heavy but for the most part I don’t even carry it that much

Joyce

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

So hi yes Kaera is my daughter so I agree with her on the Doona car seat and travel system with her being a teen mom and she has autism this has worked for my grandson a lot so she’s used it for 9 months now she’s took him to school with her in this and so I’ve took him to work with me in this so I love it so it works great we’ve been on vacations with it it super compact and doesn’t take up much room in my truck

Kaera

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

So I’ve been using the Doona for almost 9 months now with my son I’m a first time mom and also a teen mom so my only complaint is that it’s heavy so I bought the racing green color so I love it works so well I’ve been on 2 vacations with this stroller I left the hospital with it so it works 100% so I love the latch base it’s so easy to instal it’s works so great so I’ve been on vacations and day trips with this thing so I’ve took it school with em and to my advents so he weighs 19 pounds now so the stroller is rather heavy

Eileen

Monday 21st of August 2023

How tall was your son at 17 months? My son is 30 inches (and only 21 lbs) at 9 months and the Doona height max is 32 inches. I am sad we will be outgrowing the Doona soon as its been our favorite baby item and the only one we couldn't live without. It's important to note both weight AND height max, and its outgrown as soon as littles reach one or the either. Or for babies with long torsos vs long legs, when the space between the top of the head and the top of the Doona is 1 inch. In case of an accident, the car seat will act like a turtle shell, so you want to make sure babes aren't too tall even if they haven't maxed out the weight.

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

I just looked at his Dr records and at 16 months he was 24 lbs and 31 inches, which makes sense that I took him out at the 17 months because he was maxing out at 32 inches then.