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Most parents with babies and young children are desperate for any gear or gadget that can truly make their lives easier and their babies safer. There’s a ton of baby gear out there that isn’t really life changing, but then there is the Doona Infant Car Seat. When it was introduced in the US in 2015, the Doona became a game changer for both traveling families and those who keep their travels closer to home. It’s an infant car seat, but it can shoot out wheels and become an infant stroller in a matter of seconds. It’s the kind of thing a parent may dream of when lugging a heavy infant seat by its handle — but this isn’t a dream, it’s very available and quite real…Read Full Review HERE
Hi I’m Summer Hull and we are kicking off a new series looking at some of the top family travel gear. I know a little bit about family travel. Actually I live, breathe and eat it. I write about it everyday, I have two little girls, we travel all the time. And so I know that family travel can be a little tough but if you have the right gear, it can be that much easier. So in this series, we’re gonna look at some of the top gear, put it together, try it out and let you know what we think.
First up is the Doona stroller. I actually had this one and used it for over a year so I have a lot of opinions, tips and tricks. So lets get it opened up. One of the biggest struggles when you have a little baby is do you put them in a stroller or car seat? Because they may fall asleep in the car and then you gotta wake them up and move them to the stroller. The Doona actually solves that problem because it converts from a car seat to a stroller without you having to move the baby at all. So inside the box, we have the Doona all as one unit. So the Doona is for babies from 4 to 35 pounds. Of course, every baby’s different. My baby was able to use it until she was a little over one. Maybe about 15 months. It also has a height limit as well, is 32 inches.
Alright so when you get it opened up, you’ve got the infant newborn insert in here. You’ve got all of your instructions. Let’s see, we have a vehicle seat protector so you can put this under it so that it’s not scratching up your actual seats in your car. Also when there are some accidents it helped keep the seat clean underneath. So once you pull the Doona car seat out of the box, there’s still one more thing in here. This here is the base. So it’s gonna go in your car at home if you have a primary vehicle you drive around. You can click the car seat into the base without having to mess with all the seatbelt straps every single time. However, if you’re in a different car for some reason, you don’t actually have to use this. You can use this in a cab or a different car. The base just makes it easier for your primary car. So we’re gonna stick this over to the side for now.
Alright, let’s move some of this stuff out of the way. We are going to get all of the rest of the plastic off here. We don’t need this. And you’re about to see the coolest part of the Doona, when it turns from a car seat to a stroller with the literal push of a button. There are two white levers on the side that you’re gonna push in at the same time and rotate the bar straight up. Next you’re gonna pick it up with your baby in it. While you go to the back, there’s a white lever, you’re gonna press in and pull up at the same time. And the wheels shoot out. This blew my mind. Now to get the handle in the right position for being a stroller, there’s two white levers on the side that again you push in. Pull the bar down, press the white button in the middle to extend the handle and you’re ready to go. The wheels turn 360 degrees. They’re not the best on offroading, this is not the stroller you wanna use for a jog through the dirt.
But for city, for stores, for airports, it’s amazing. When it’s time to put it back in your car, you’ll push the white button again to retract the handle, use the white levers on the side to bring the handle back to center and here’s the tricky part. To bring it back to car seat mode you’re gonna push in this lever but you have to also hold the wheel still with your foot. So put your foot in place, pull the handle in the back, rotate it down gently and now you’re ready to put it back right in the car.
So the Doona’s super handy even if all you ever do is run errands around town. But the reason we’re talking about it is because of family travel. So I’ll warn you, if you want to fly with it, it is FAA approved, it works great on the plane. But it’s a little wide. It’s 17.7 inches wide and some airplane seats, especially on low cost carriers, can be just 15.5 inches wide. It is also machine washable to some degree. So if your kid has some kind of accident in there, you will be able to clean it up and keep using it. It is pricey. It’s around 500 bucks most of the time to buy a Doona. We used it for about 15 months and then resold it for two thirds of what we paid online. So for us, it was absolutely worth it. If you want to see more of our family gear videos, be sure and subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you can follow along with the family travel discussion on the TPG Family Facebook group.
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