In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Doona Review

Fills a niche for safe vehicle transportation of baby for parents who frequent taxis and Uber
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $500 List | $499 at Amazon
Pros:  Innovative, stroller capability
Cons:  Price, hard to carry
Manufacturer:   Simple Parenting
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jun 3, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Crash Test - 20% 3
  • Ease of Install - LATCH - 20% 7
  • Ease of Install - Belt - 10% 6
  • Ease of Install - w/o Base - 5% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Comfort / Quality - 15% 7
  • Weight / Size - 15% 5

The Skinny

The Doona infant car seat is a unique product that can transform into a stroller. While this product experienced difficulty in some of our tests, we feel it fills a niche for some parents that have been struggling with city life and surviving babyhood. The Doona is a simple way for parents to transport their baby from an apartment to a car to strolling around town. Where previously some parents might have forgone the car seat to avoid carrying a heavy inconvenient carrier, they can now safely install this product in a cab and then push baby when they reach their destination with no unnecessary lugging. This car seat's unique abilities make it an award winner in our minds, and while it arguably isn't the best choice for every family, it is tough to beat it for the urban family on the go.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Doona
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award 
Price $500.00 List
$499.00 at Amazon
$300.00 List
$229.92 at Amazon - 23% off
$320.00 List
$209.94 at Amazon - 34% off
$350.00 List
$349.99 at Amazon
$280.00 List
$279.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Innovative, stroller capabilityBetter crash test results, anti-rebound bar, easy installBest crash results, easy LATCH, additional safety features, comfyLoad leg, easy belt install with and without baseSuper easy LATCH install, easy to use, nice comfort and quality
Cons Price, hard to carryHeavier, harder to install LATCH system, few strollers are compatibleHigher price, hard to usePrice, heavy carrierHeavy, only compatible with limited strollers
Bottom Line Fills a niche for safe vehicle transportation of baby for parents who frequent taxis and UberA great all-around seat with good crash test results, but limited stroller optionsCompelling, quality seat with additional safety features and the best crash test scoreImpressive performance but somewhat heavy and more money than mostEasy to install and use seat made with quality materials, but has limited stroller options
Rating Categories Doona Peg Perego Primo... Cybex Aton 2 Peg Perego Nido Chicco Fit2
Crash Test (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Install LATCH (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
Ease Of Install Belt (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Ease Of Install W O Base (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Comfort Quality (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight Size (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
2
Specs Doona Peg Perego Primo... Cybex Aton 2 Peg Perego Nido Chicco Fit2
Minimum Passenger Weight 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs 4 lbs
Max Passenger Weight 35 lbs 35 lbs 35 lbs 35 lbs 35 lbs
Max Passenger Height 32" 32" 30" 32" 35"
Belt Routing Style European European European European American
Seat Weight 16.8 lbs 9.6 lbs 9.3 lbs 10.2 lbs 12.1 lbs
Recline Positions Infinite Infinite 4 Infinite 5
Shoulder Harness Positions 3 6 3 6 7
Crotch Strap Positions 1 1 1 2 2
Built in Lock Off Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anti-rebound Device Yes - when handle is positioned as so Yes High Base Back Yes Yes
Load Leg No No Yes Yes No
Locking Handle Positions 3 5 3 5 4
Allowed Handle Positions For Auto Travel Positions B (carry position)
or
Position C (towards the foot: required for installation without the base and anti rebound protection)
1 for Base Install (even with the top of the seat),
1 for Seat Only Install (all the way forward)
Carry Position 1 for Base Install (even with the top of the seat),
1 for Seat Only Install (all the way forward)
Stage 1: Any
Stage 2: Base Storage Position (behind the seat)
Head Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Newborn Insert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
No Rethread Harness No Yes No Yes Yes
Onboard Manual Storage Stores in a hard flip down pocket on the back of the seat. Stashes in a pocket under the bottom of the seat. Stores in a hard flip down pocket on the back of the seat. Slot in head of base
Level Indicator On Base White marker needle Bubble Vial Ball In Tube Bubble Vial Bubble Indicator
Level Indicator On Seat Red Line on Decal Line On Decal Line On Decal Line On Decal Level Line On Seat Label

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Doona infant car seat was the first product made by the Simple Parenting™ company and was named after the founder's nickname for his daughter Danielle. The founder, Yoav Mazar, had a goal of taking his little one everywhere without fussing with a stroller and traditional car seat. This experience inspired his creation of the Doona. Simple Parenting's primary goal is to improve and simplify life for parents and babies with innovative products. Simple Parenting works to identify areas where a new product could enhance daily life. Then they work to create a solution for the problem that makes life easier.

Performance Comparison



The Doona infant car seat is a different kind of seat with stroller capabilities  giving parents more opportunities to move baby from home to destination without toting a heavy carrier.
The Doona infant car seat is a different kind of seat with stroller capabilities, giving parents more opportunities to move baby from home to destination without toting a heavy carrier.

Crash Test


In our evaluation of the crash test results, the Doona had the worst combined test results.

The dense foam inside the Doona shell seems thicker than some found on competing seats  but overall the Doona didn't perform as well as the competition in crash tests.
The dense foam inside the Doona shell seems thicker than some found on competing seats, but overall the Doona didn't perform as well as the competition in crash tests.

The Doona meets the Federal minimum requirements for safety and is considered safe.


In our tests (identical to those performed by NHTSA), the Doona result for the chest sensor in the dummy was 60g. This result is the maximum allowed by law, with the competition surpassing this maximum with lower (better) results anywhere between 4% and 25% below this maximum.

The charts below show the Doona test results (in black) compared to the competition that has the best crash test results for each sensor (in green), both for chest and head. The Cybex Aton 2 has the best outcome for the chest sensor during testing with 44 g recorded (compared to the Doona's 60 g, where lower is better).


The head sensor (HIC) score for the Doona was 603, where 1000 is the maximum (lower is better).

The Doona has a push button LATCH anchor that is easy to attach and remove; tightening the strap is more difficult and cost the product points.
The Doona has a push button LATCH anchor that is easy to attach and remove; tightening the strap is more difficult and cost the product points.

Ease of Install - LATCH



The Doona is above average for ease of installation using the LATCH anchors. Studies indicate that some injuries children sustain in car crashes could potentially be avoided if the car seat is installed correctly. This reality makes ease of installation so important. If a seat is easy to install, we believe there is a greater chance that parents will attach it correctly, potentially leading to fewer injuries.


The Doona has push-button anchors that work well and are easy to attach. Where the Doona lost some points is the ease of tightening and loosing of the straps to get a secure installation or remove the base from the car. The easiest products to install using LATCH all feature a unique LATCH feature that makes tightening and loosening easier. The Doona does not offer any such special component. However, once installed, it feels secure.

The Doona earned its lowest installation score for installation using the vehicle belt.
The Doona earned its lowest installation score for installation using the vehicle belt.

Ease of Install - Belt


The Doona is more challenging to install using the vehicle belt than much of the competition.


The Doona has a color-coded belt path and a belt lock-off that should make installation easier. However, threading this belt and using the lock-off isn't as simple as it should be.

The belt lock-off on the Doona isn't as easy to use as some of the competition.
The belt lock-off on the Doona isn't as easy to use as some of the competition.

Some testers feel the lock-off is challenging to use, while others find it only marginally harder than the competition. Either way, it isn't as simple as some of the competition.

The Doona has a European belt path and comes with a seat protector to protect your car from the dirty wheels of the stroller component of the seat.
The Doona has a European belt path and comes with a seat protector to protect your car from the dirty wheels of the stroller component of the seat.

Ease of Install - Without the Base


The Doona has its highest installation score without the base, which helped it win an award.


The Doona uses the European belt path that utilizes the shoulder strap of the vehicle belt around the back and the lap belt across the foot of the carrier. The belt path is color-coded and easy to thread.



The carrier feels secure when installed. Because this method is so quick to accomplish, we think parents that primarily use public transportation will be more inclined to install the seat properly, even when it isn't required. The fact that the seat has wheels and can turn into an instant stroller makes it a great option we think city dwellers will desire.

The real win for the Doona is its ability to turn from an infant car seat into a stroller in a snap.
The real win for the Doona is its ability to turn from an infant car seat into a stroller in a snap.

Ease of Use



The Doona is about average for ease of use compared to the competition.


The stroller functionality of this product makes it easier to use than the standard infant carrier because it can be pushed instead of carried. This functionality is a huge advantage over regular seats that must be attached to a stroller if you plan to push them. For big-city parents that don't ordinarily use a car of their own, the Doona is a game-changer to navigate the city with ease. We think it might increase the chances of a baby being strapped into a taxi or Uber when they might otherwise choose not to.

The Doona has a rethread harness height adjustment  which takes more time to alter and requires an open seat to accomplish.
The Doona has a rethread harness height adjustment, which takes more time to alter and requires an open seat to accomplish.

Harness


The Doona harness buckle and the chest-clip are easy to use without requiring extra thumbs or force. The harness height adjustment is a rethread style with a T splitter in the back. This design means you will need to remove the shoulder straps from the splitter and unthread them from the seat back and rethread them in the new position before connecting them to the splitter again. This process isn't complicated, but it is time-consuming, and it requires you to remove the baby from the seat. We worry parents will forgo adjusting when it is necessary because they are in a hurry. The harness has only three height options and one crotch strap position, which means it will be more challenging to fit on all babies. Tightening and loosening the harness is one of the easiest in the group.

While the Doona handle has a variety of possible lengths thanks to the stroller capabilities  it will rub the canopy when used at its lowest height.
While the Doona handle has a variety of possible lengths thanks to the stroller capabilities, it will rub the canopy when used at its lowest height.

Handle


The handle on the Doona is not like any other seat because it is adjustable for use as a stroller. This handle rotates in three positions so you can use it as an anti-rebound bar during car seat installation, a carry handle for the carrier, and a push handle for the stroller. When strolling, the handle can be moved from an angle to upright, depending on your needs. In certain positions, the handle can rub on the canopy, and you'll need to tuck the canopy under the handle. Moving and adjusting the handle is a two-handed operation, and it moves smoothly.

While the carrier portion of this seat is harder to connect to the base  it does have a visual indicator that helps parents determine when it is fully connected.
While the carrier portion of this seat is harder to connect to the base, it does have a visual indicator that helps parents determine when it is fully connected.

Carrier and Base Connection


The Doona carrier attachment to the base is somewhat different than most of the infant products we tested. You need to have the foot of the seat close to the foot of the base because the connection point is deceiving. The attachment is smooth, but it can take some practice to do it smoothly every time without false starts. The product has a visual indicator that turns green when it is connected properly. The Doona comes with a seat cover for the vehicle presumably to protect the seat from potentially dirty wheels.

The user's manual can be stored on the back of the carrier  but it feels a little like it might fall out while strolling as the tabs that hold it in place are smaller.
The user's manual can be stored on the back of the carrier, but it feels a little like it might fall out while strolling as the tabs that hold it in place are smaller.

LATCH Anchors and Manual Storage


The LATCH anchors on the Doona store on the underside of the seat base. The user manual stores on the back of the carrier/stroller or the bottom of the base. The back of the carrier is preferred because it means you keep the manual with you even when traveling without the base, but it does feel like it could potentially slip out of the tabs and get lost.

The design and construction of this seat are thoughtful with quality materials that work well together and fit the shell nicely.
The design and construction of this seat are thoughtful with quality materials that work well together and fit the shell nicely.

Comfort/Quality


The Doona earned one of the higher scores for comfort and quality.


The Doona has a durable feeling fabric that is soft but not as soft as others. It has thick padding and a nice shell. The material fits the shell and padding nicely, and the canopy is a good size and fits the carrier well

The Doona is a hefty seat with additional weight added for the stroller components of the carrier. However  the convenience of being able to push this carrier as opposed to carrying it make the weight more acceptable since the amount of time you'll need to spend toting with one hand is significantly less than a traditional product.
The Doona is a hefty seat with additional weight added for the stroller components of the carrier. However, the convenience of being able to push this carrier as opposed to carrying it make the weight more acceptable since the amount of time you'll need to spend toting with one hand is significantly less than a traditional product.

Weight


The Doona struggles in weight and size in large part because it includes stroller components. This product weighs 16.8 lbs, making it the heaviest in the group by far. However, because it isn't a standard infant car seat, the added weight is likely the stroller components that allow for pushing.


We gave the Doona a slight bump in the score for the weight that we wouldn't ordinarily give a car seat this heavy. Why? The rest of the carriers must be carried, so the weight is of significant importance as parents may be lugging the carrier and baby. The Doona has the distinct advantage of being pushable, and we assume parents won't carry the seat when they can push it. This design means you will only be lugging the 16+ lbs when you put it into and out of the car as opposed to all of the time.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


Simple Parenting offers a variety of accessories that focus primarily on adding storage to the stroller, comfort additions, and different bases. Of these we think the following are interesting options worth considering:

Doona rain cover
  • Doona Rain Cover — This rain cover completely encases the infant car seat and keeps baby dry and out of the wind. While ideal for strolling, it can be a great addition to just the car seat carrier for transporting baby into and out of cars in bad weather.


Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz