Every parent wants the safest ride for their new baby, but that's not all they're looking for in an infant car seat. Ideally, car seats should also be easy to use, lightweight to carry, compatible with popular strollers, and look nice, too.
For years, the Nuna PIPA has checked all of those boxes—and now, so does a new competitor from one of the industry's leading car seat brands.
The Clek Liing is the first infant car seat from Clek, a Canadian manufacturer known for the strength and safety of its convertible and booster car seats.
The Nuna PIPA and Clek Liing share a number of similarities, with both showcasing top safety features, premium materials, and compatibility with the leading strollers on the market.
In this in-depth comparison, we'll review all the features, benefits and drawbacks of the Clek Liing and the Nuna PIPA series, which includes the PIPA, PIPA Lite and PIPA Lite LX models.
Founded by veterans of the automotive industry, the parents behind Clek set out to make their children's convertible and booster seats just as safe as the seats in our own vehicles.
Now, the Canadian manufacturer is applying its safety technology and modern design to the littlest Clek, the Clek Liing (get it?)
The Clek Liing includes leading safety features like a metal load leg that stabilizes the base in a collision and "rigid" metal LATCH connectors that provide the strongest connection to your vehicle.
In a unique feature, the base of the Clek Liing can be adjusted to seven positions to ensure a safe fit in a variety of vehicles. Made in Canada and available in three fabrics, the Clek Liing is compatible with most of the leading stroller brands.
Beloved for both its safety and style, the Nuna PIPA is one of few infant car seats to earn a "best" crash protection rating from Consumer Reports. The PIPA features a steel load leg and rigid LATCH connectors to prevent the car seat from rotating or rebounding in a crash.
In addition to Nuna strollers, the PIPA is compatible with dozens of strollers from top brands. Unique to the PIPA is a "Dream Drape," a magnetic cover that provides full sun protection and conveniently zips into the canopy when not in use.
Nuna later added two models to its car seat lineup: the PIPA Lite and PIPA Lite LX, both of which are the lightest car seats on the market. See our PIPA vs. PIPA Lite vs. PIPA Lite LX for a full overview of Nuna's three infant car seats.
The 2019 model of the Nuna PIPA features new colors with fabrics that are free of flame-retardant chemicals. The PIPA Lite and PIPA Lite LX are not changing for 2019, though new colors will be added throughout the year.
Both the Clek and Nuna car seats are available at three different price points, with prices varying based on the materials used in each seat.
The Clek Liing offers three choices of fabrics, all of which are free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.
The lowest-priced fabric, Soft Jersey Knit, is a stretchy polyester/spandex blend that feels like a soft cotton.
For $20 more, the Tailored Crypton C-Zero protects against stains, moisture and odor-causing bacteria. The Crypton fabrics are free of fluorine chemicals and are certified by GREENGUARD, which means they meet the most rigorous chemical emissions standards.
For $50 more than the starting price, the Clek Liing is available in a 100% merino wool called Mammoth. In addition to being free of all added flame retardants, merino wool naturally helps regulate your baby's body temperature, keeping her cooler in warm weather and warmer in cool weather.
The Nuna PIPA Lite and Lite LX versions cost $50 to $100 more than the original Nuna PIPA because of the unique materials used in both car seats.
The Lite versions are made with a new, proprietary type of foam that's lighter and more flexible, as well as with fabrics that are free of flame-retardant chemicals.
Like the Mammoth version of the Clek Liing, the PIPA Lite LX is also made with merino wool, a fabric that's more breathable, moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic. The PIPA Lite is made of a jersey fabric, and the 2019 PIPA is made with bamboo fabric.
All three versions of the PIPA are among the few car seats on the market that are free of flame-retardant chemicals.
Additionally, the PIPA Lite LX (along with the original PIPA) includes the magnetic "Dream Drape" cover that protects baby from the elements.
While all three Nuna car seats are light among car seats, the Lite and Lite LX models are the lightest on the market, weighing in around 7 pounds.
The Clek Liing weighs 9 pounds, within a half-pound of the original Nuna PIPA.
Manufacturers sometimes advertise the weight of a car seat without pieces like the infant insert or canopy. Below are the true weights for each model, with all included pieces.
All infant car seats can be used for approximately one year, depending mostly on the height of the baby.
Only a handful of car seats on the market feature a load leg, a metal bar that extends from the base to the floor of your car. The load leg absorbs energy in a collision and prevents the car seat from rotating or rebounding, reducing the risk of head injury by 46 percent, according to a study by Consumer Reports.
Check out the crash test video below for a look at how the Clek Liing load leg prevents the car seat from moving or rotating in an accident.
The Clek and Nuna car seats include steel components that are commonly made of plastic for other brands. The base for both car seats is steel, as are the LATCH connectors, which are called "rigid."
Rigid LATCH makes the car seats easier to install, as the base slides into the LATCH anchors in your vehicle in only a few seconds. Rigid LATCH also makes for a steel-on-steel connection that's stronger and more secure than plastic LATCH connectors, making the car seat like an extension of your vehicle.
Compared with Nuna, the Clek Liing includes more features that aid in installation—a safety feature in itself, as so many car seats are installed incorrectly. We'll explore installation in the next sections.
So which car seat is rated better for crash protection? It's too soon to say. The Nuna PIPA carries a "best" rating in crash protection from Consumer Reports, which conducts independent crash testing. Consumer Reports has not rated the Clek Liing or the PIPA Lite versions, which debuted in late 2017.
Unless you're traveling or taking taxis, you'll want to use the base, as it offers an easier, faster install and additional safety features that protect your child.
Both Clek and Nuna bases feature rigid (metal) LATCH connectors that make installation as easy as sliding the base into the lower anchors in your car. For both brands, you'll also adjust the length of the load leg until the indicator turns green, signaling a secure connection.
Achieving a safe angle for a newborn is a key aspect of car seat installation. One unique aspect of the Clek Liing base is that it includes seven adjustable recline positions. The recline positions help ensure that the base can be installed safely in every vehicle, making it easier to fit in tricky vehicle seats that are flat or sloped. The recline can be adjusted after the seat has been installed.
The Nuna PIPA base offers less adjustability. A bubble indicator on the side of the base helps you check for a correct angle. If necessary, you can pull out a recline foot on the underside of the base to check the angle or adjust the height of the load leg.
If you live in a city, take taxis frequently or are often traveling away from home, you may be installing your car seat without its base.
The Clek Liing and the Nuna PIPA can be installed without a base, using only the seatbelt. The PIPA Lite and Lite LX require the base at all times, as the seatbelt guides were omitted in the design to reduce the weight of the seat.
Both the Liing and PIPA feature a European belt path, in which the seatbelt is routed through guides through both the front and back of the car seat for a secure fit. Other car seats use what's known as the American belt path, in which the seat belt is routed only through the front of the base.
That's because the Clek Liing has a similar design to Nuna, Maxi-Cosi and Cybex car seats, which share car seat adapters across almost all brands. If your stroller brand offers a Maxi-Cosi adapter, there's a good chance that both the Nuna and Clek car seats will fit your stroller.
The Clek Liing shares a design with Maxi-Cosi, Nuna and Cybex car seats that enables it to be used with car seat adapters for these brands.
Clek is undergoing product testing to ensure the Liing safely fits each stroller model. So far, these strollers are approved for safe use with the Clek Liing:
Adapters are needed to attach the Nuna PIPA to any stroller but are included with your purchase of a Nuna stroller (or, in the case of the Nuna TAVO stroller, adapters are not needed).
For any other brand, adapters are sold separately.
One advantage of using a Nuna car seat on your stroller: For some strollers, Nuna makes a "ring adapter" that makes it possible to attach and detach the car seat with one hand instead of two hands—a major convenience when you're carrying a squirmy or crying baby.
Ring adapters are available for these strollers: Nuna MIXX and Demi Grow, UPPAbaby VISTA and CRUZ, Bugaboo Cameleon and BOB single strollers.
Below are strollers compatible with the Nuna PIPA series.
* = not compatible with PIPA Lite or Lite LX
** = not compatible with PIPA Lite only
The Clek Liing in Soft Jersey Knit is available in:
The Tailored Crypton C-Zero fabrics come in these colors:
The Merino Wool option comes in a single color, which is a dark gray:
Colors for the Nuna PIPA are:
PIPA Lite colors include:
The colors for the PIPA Lite LX are:
Similarities: metal load leg, plenty of sun coverage, stroller compatibility, weight, infant insert with removable headrest, machine-washable fabrics.
So which car seat is better? Only you can decide which is best for your family, but here are the benefits and drawbacks we see.
Debating Nuna models? Check out our Nuna PIPA vs. PIPA Lite vs. PIPA Lite LXcomparison.
With its safety features, wide-ranging stroller compatibility and stylish look, the Nuna PIPA has long been a leading car seat—especially now that the Nuna line also includes the PIPA Lite and PIPA Lite LX, the lightest car seats in the world.
The Clek Liing is a tough competitor with its similar safety features and stroller compatibility, along with added bonuses like an adjustable base and array of fabric choices.
No matter which car seat you choose, you'll have one of the safest and most innovative options available for your baby.
Strolleria is a family-owned and operated retailer dedicated to making the baby gear buying experience less overwhelming for parents. If you have more questions about the Nuna PIPA vs. Clek Liing debate, feel free to contact us at 480-442-9433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.