The best car seat is the one that fits your child, vehicle, budget, and lifestyle and has the features important to you. The safest car seat is the one you can install correctly and use properly on every ride! Let us know in the comment section what questions you have about this review of the Doona car seat stroller. And if you want to compare car seats, our Car Seat Buying Kits are your best bet!
Doona Infant Car Seat Review (USA)
The Doona infant car seat is a car seat and stroller in one. As of today, the Doona and the Evenflo DualRide are the only infant seats on the market with this feature — all other infant car seats have to be clicked into a separate compatible stroller. The Doona was designed to make traveling with a baby easier and more convenient, eliminating the need to carry around a separate stroller. It’s an excellent option for busy parents who are always on the go.
An infant car seat that turns into a stroller
From birth until it’s outgrown; between 9-12 months
What you need to know before you go.*
- height limit: 32″
- weight limit: 4-35 pounds
- head height rules: at least 1″ below the top of the headrest
- Preemie Fit: Poor, unlikely to work
Other Seat Stats
- width of seat: 17.5”
- weight of seat: 16.5 pounds
- crash replacement policy: replace after any crash
- expiration limits: 6 years
- harness: rethread
- lock-off: no
- Handle Positions for the vehicle: anti-rebound position
*Head to the Car Seat Buying Kits for a complete database of all car seat stats for our recommended car seats.
✅ Seat is good for you if:
✅ You frequently use Lyft/Uber/Taxis.
You’ll be ready to ride in a single step when you’re using the Doona in a taxi or rideshare. Just install the Doona baseless like this, and you’re ready to go! When you reach your destination, it’s just as easy to keep moving: you’ll unbuckle the car seat, unfold the stroller wheels, and be on your way. You won’t need to unload a separate stroller and attach your infant car seat, so the Doona will make loading and unloading a seamless experience!
✅ You travel often within the US and Canada.
If you are a frequent flier within the US and Canada, the Doona is an FAA-approved car seat and one of the best car seats for air travel. You’ll travel light without a base or a separate stroller, setting you up for a smooth trip with less gear.
✅ You don’t want to buy a separate stroller.
Maybe you’re unimpressed by the trendy baby strollers compatible with your car seat of choice, or you don’t have the space for a full-sized stroller that can accommodate a newborn in a car seat or bassinet. Either way, the Doona car seat and stroller in one solves your problem! Use the Doona for the first year or so, and then you can switch to something new — whether that’s a compact stroller that fits perfectly in your sedan’s trunk or even a wagon to cart multiple kids around in style.
🚩 Use Caution If:
🚩 You would prefer a lightweight infant seat.
This is one of the heaviest infant seats on the market today, so some parents may find it difficult to lift it in and out of the car with a growing baby buckled up inside. With the stroller wheels, you can avoid lifting and carrying this seat most of the time — but it’ll still have to be hoisted into the car, which might be challenging for some caregivers.
🚩 You are expecting a very small baby.
The lowest harness height is about 7″, meaning the Doona does not work well for small babies whose torso is often less than this! If you’re expecting a small newborn or need a car seat for a preemie, this car seat and stroller in one is not your best option. Check out the Evenflo DualRide instead which has a much better fit for small babies.
🚩 You need a seat that is compact front to back.
This car seat takes up a lot of space front-to-back when it’s installed in the car. It won’t be the best choice infant seat for small cars or tall front-seat passengers.
🚩 You intend to travel internationally.
A car seat must be locked in place for safe installation, and outside of the US and Canada, vehicle seatbelts typically don’t have the same locking mechanism as US and Canadian vehicles do. You’ll need another way to lock the vehicle seatbelt: a locking clip or a car seat with a built-in lock-off. Since there’s no lock-off on the Doona, you’d need a locking clip to use it outside of the US and Canada — but locking clips are cumbersome and challenging to use.
Depending on your destination, you may find vehicles that have lower anchors (also called ISOFIX). If that’s the case, and you plan to travel with the base, it can be installed with lower anchors instead of the seat belt. If you are heading overseas with your little jet setter, you may find it easier to take a car seat with a lock-off instead, just in case you don’t have a vehicle with lower anchors. If you do plan to use a locking clip, watch this step-by-step video so you know how to use one.
️ Stand Out Features:
The handle of the Doona has an anti-rebound bar (ARB) position, an added car seat safety feature that can reduce the secondary movement of the car seat, called rebound, during a crash. When a collision occurs, the car seat will move forward, towards the front of the vehicle, and rotate downward. And as we all know from high school physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction — so after that initial movement, the car seat will rebound, or “bounce back” towards the backrest of the vehicle seat. The ARB minimizes this bounce-back effect, helping limit the car seat movement and your child inside it! ARBs may also limit the side-to-side rotation of the car seat in a side-impact collision. Overall, they’re a great feature on a rear-facing car seat!
Integrated stroller mode
The Doona has a truly innovative, one-of-a-kind stroller mode feature! You can use the car seat as a stroller with the integrated stroller wheels for quick trips. The integrated stroller is obviously noteworthy and eye-catching…and, of course, super convenient! The other seat like this is the Evenflo DualRide.
European seat belt routing for baseless mode
This seat can be installed baseless with European or American/Standard belt routing. You can find a video showing both of those methods here. The European routing method is preferred!
▶️ YouTube Videos:
▶️Doona vs Evenflo DualRide Car Seat Review
⚠️ Quirks to be Aware Of:
⚠️ No ease of installation features
Unlike many of the higher-end seats on the market today, this one does not have any features that make installation easier. That said, it’s still a relatively easy-to-install car seat, especially if you know the Inside Out Trick, which you can check out here!
⚠️ Head insert highly recommended
The head insert on the Doona is highly recommended for the duration your child rides in the seat. The manufacturer has said it adds additional side impact protection.
✈️ Airplane Use
The Doona is an FAA-approved car seat. This is an excellent option for domestic travel. You can roll it through the aisles of most planes, so that’s quite a helpful feature. If traveling internationally with or without the base, a locking clip will be needed. You can contact your manufacturer to get one for free, or you can buy this one. We have a video here of how to use one. For help with all things airplane travel and car seats, check out our Wheels Up Course and private Facebook group.
SITS Bottom Line
The Doona is a good option for caregivers expecting average or large-sized newborns, but it’s not a great option for smaller babies or preemies! If that’s you, check out the Evenflo DualRide instead. Overall, it is a great car seat and its longevity, ease of use, and unique stroller mode make it stand out. It’ll last most babies about 9 to 12 months before it’s outgrown, so you may need another stroller down the line — but by then, an inexpensive umbrella stroller will work!
Other Versions of this Seat:
Doona Midnight* includes stroller bag
Doona Gold* includes stroller bag
*A SITS recommended seat. Recommended seats are in our Buying Kits because they have ranked high on our vehicle, child, ease of use, and features scale.
Doona Vehicle Seat Protector Mat
Doona Sunshade Extension (for use outside of the car)
Doona Snap on Storage Bag (for use outside of the car)
Doona Insect Net (for use outside the car)
Doona Rain Cover (for use outside the car)
Compare Car Seats
Looking to compare car seats and narrow down the best car seat for your family? The Infant Car Seat Buying Kit walks you through our 7Cs of selection, then on to an interactive quiz, and finally, a recommended car seat list is generated just for you! If you are overwhelmed and sick of spending hours researching and reading car seat reviews like this one, the Buying Kit will guide you to Safe in the Seat’s recommended car seats for you in under 30 minutes!
See on Amazon Live:
Best Infant Seats for more infant seats we recommend and the standout features we love.
A note about crash-tests
What about Doona car seat crash tests?
The Doona car seat and stroller in one passes the strict federally required testing that applies to all car seats sold in the United States. But we don’t know exactly how it performs. That data isn’t released by any official sources in the US — not by car seat manufacturers, not by government agencies like NHTSA, not anywhere!
There are a few third-party websites that claim to offer objective crash test data for a variety of car seats. But we at Safe in the Seat don’t pay attention to that data for a few big reasons. First of all, third-party crash tests don’t actually give us meaningful data! Car seat manufacturers crash-test their products hundreds, even upwards of a thousand times. They crash test the finished product in every single installation configuration using every applicable-sized crash test dummy, not to mention a whole lot of testing at each stage of the development process too. So one or two crash tests completed by another organization just can’t give the same level of information! One or two crash tests aren’t going to represent the overall average performance of any car seat across its lifespan.
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We loved our Doona!! It has been an adjustment not being able to use it anymore. It held up going to horse shows and fit our son until he was 11 months old. I recommend it whenever I can!
Our daughter’s first car seat was the Doona and we LOVED IT!! I was so sad when she outgrew it, so I now recommend it (or the Dual Ride, so exciting!!) to anyone who will listen!
I also swear that I read the head insert is optional later on?
And I haven’t found a Southwest plane yet where we fit down the aisle, but I still love my Doona!
They changed the manual since we started writing this review. We have updated the review to reflect the changes.They do highly recommend using it for the entire time, though. 🙂
Bought this when my daughter was 5 months and we regret not getting it sooner. I also have a mockingbird stroller (which I love) but it’s too big for my car (Tesla model 3) and too heavy and bulky for me. The Doona was the best purchase we made for our first born. She is currently 21 months, 23 lbs, and 32 inches long and we are now moving her to a larger car seat. A bit pricy but worth every dime for the convenience.
Love our Doona! This review makes me so happy 🙂 It’s also super helpful if you live on the second level and don’t have an elevator. It’s heavy to lug upstairs but worth not needing to make extra trips to get a stroller also!
I know a ton of people love the convenience of the Doona for the built in stroller but I would not recommend for tall parents! When in stroller mode, baby is super low to the ground which means parents, especially tall parents, have to bend way down to pop in a paci, tuck a blanket, or comfort baby. It may seem like a minor inconvenience but if you plan to use it as a stroller a lot it can get very frustrating. There’s also not any real storage like you’d fine in a true stroller.
So glad you’re doing these reviews! Planning for baby 2 and have debated getting this for the next one because it would be nice to be able to wheel it and hold my toddlers hand. I agree with someone’s comment above – I had major FOMO for not picking this with the 1st. BUT after reading this I still think our Nuna Pipa RX is a great seat and worth considering for baby 2. We used your course and buying kit for our convertible seat and had a great experience. So I also want to see what I get from that for the second newborn. Thanks for doing these honest, accurate reviews!
Needing this!! This is a perfect breakdown of all the pros and cons. I keep having FOMO and/or buyers remorse with this product haha. This is very helpful when comparing our other choice the Nuna PIPA Lite Rx! Thank you so much for reviewing!
This is such a fantastic review…literally answered every question I had about the Doona for our family. So well organized and articulated. Thank you for this!
The user manual that came with ours said if the baby is more comfortable without the head insert as they grow it is ok to function without…My guy was born and maintained growing a 99th percentile head and once he hit 6 months it wouldn’t fit with the insert.
They changed the manual since we started writing this review. We have updated the review to reflect the changes. 🙂