Nuna PIPA Comparison: PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, PIPA Lite, and PIPA urbn

Nuna PIPA Comparison: PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, PIPA Lite, and PIPA urbn

Deciding on the best and safest car seat for your newborn is challenging enough—and now Nuna offers four choices within its line of infant car seats alone: the Nuna PIPA RXPIPA Lite RX, PIPA Lite, or PIPA urbn.

The PIPA RX and PIPA Lite RX include the RELX base (pronounced like “relax”), simplifying installation while adding more safety features and comfort to your baby. The RELX base offers four recline positions and increased adjustability to customize the fit for both your baby and your vehicle. 

The PIPA Lite RX, the top-of-the-line model, combines the best aspects of all seats: a "Lite" weight, the RELX base and a seatbelt-only installation option. The PIPA Lite RX also adds exclusive features like magnetic harness buckle holders and a no-rethread harness for easier height adjustments.

Next up, the PIPA Lite includes the original PIPA base, which does not have an anti-rebound panel or a way to adjust recline, but does have an extremely easy install as well. It is not able to be used the base like the other current models though. The seat is the lightest on the market at 5.3 pounds!

And lastly, the Nuna PIPA urbn is the first infant car seat model to have integrated rigid LATCH connectors that are ultra-sturdy with steel reinforcement. This model does not attach to an infant car seat base in the vehicle, and is only sold as a travel system with a few of Nuna's top selling travel-friendly stroller models.

All four Nuna infant car seats offer leading safety technology, high-quality materials and compatibility with a wide range of strollers. But each model differs in its features, weight and installation options.

In this comparison, we’ll help you decide which of the Nuna car seats is right for you: the Nuna PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, PIPA Lite, or PIPA urbn.


Nuna PIPA Comparison Videos


Watch this video reviewing the PIPA Lite RX, which combines popular elements from the previous PIPA models:

To learn more about Nuna's innovative car seat, see our video review on the Nuna PIPA urbn Infant Car Seat.

What are the differences between all of the Nuna PIPA models?

In this post, we’ll cover all the features of the Nuna PIPA car seats in detail. But first, let’s review the basic elements that differentiate each model: the included base and seat inserts, weight* of the seat, installation methods and features like the magnetic Sky Drape cover.

* Note that Nuna takes weight measurements without the canopy or infant insert, components that add about 1.5 pounds depending on the model.

Nuna PIPA lite infant car seat and base

*Nuna PIPA urbn is only available for purchase in a prepackaged Travel System with the Nuna MIXX Next, TRIV Next, and TRVL strollers. This model is not sold separately and prices vary between travel systems.

Base differences

Nuna offers two types of infant car seat bases: the PIPA base and the more adjustable RELX base, which fits a wider range of vehicles and seating positions. We’ll explain all the differences between the bases later in this post.

The Nuna PIPA Lite comes with the original PIPA base.

These car seats come with the RELX base: the Nuna PIPA RX and Nuna PIPA Lite RX.

Any of the Nuna PIPA models (no matter the model or production year), except for the new PIPA urbn, can attach to either base model. Both bases can each be purchased separately if you’d like an extra for a second car.

The PIPA urbn is Nuna's first baseless infant car seat, featuring the pipaFIX rigid LATCH system instead of needing a car seat base.

Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

Weight differences

If a new parent's No. 1 question about infant car seats is "Which is the safest?", then the No. 2 question is "Which is the lightest?"

The two Nuna PIPA Lite versions—the PIPA Lite and PIPA Lite RX —can claim both titles.

Because they’re made with a different type of foam, the Lite car seats are lighter than any other car seats on the market, including the Nuna PIPA RX

The PIPA Lite RX is 1.6 pounds heavier than the PIPA Lite because it includes seatbelt guides that allow the seat to be installed without the base.

Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

Installation differences

Most infant car seats come with a base that stays in your vehicle, which allows you to simply click the car seat in and out.

The Nuna PIPA RX and Nuna PIPA Lite RX can also be installed without the base using only the vehicle seatbelt, allowing you to leave the base at home if you’re traveling.

But the PIPA Lite doesn’t have seatbelt guides and therefore must be installed using the base at all times, which may disqualify the car seat for families who frequently travel in taxis and planes.

The PIPA urbn uniquely features built-in, steel reinforced rigid LATCH connectors so you never need a base. Trying to install it somewhere without LATCH anchor points? No worries! You can also secure it with your vehicle seatbelt and use the European belt path as an alternative installation method.

Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

Sky Drape

One signature element of a Nuna car seat is the Sky Drape, a piece of stretchy fabric that attaches to the end of the seat with magnets to protect baby from the sun (and from nosy visitors). The Sky Drape zips inside the canopy when not in use.

All models except the PIPA Lite include the Sky Drape, which makes it lighter as well as less expensive than the Lite RX.

    Nuna PIPA vs. Nuna PIPA Lite vs. PIPA Lite LX Infant Car Seat Comparison

    Nuna PIPA Base vs. RELX Base

    Choosing a Nuna car seat also means choosing between two types of bases: the original PIPA base and the newer RELX base.

    See the RELX base in the video below.

    Both the PIPA and RELX bases take a matter of seconds to install, and both include the leading safety feature in infant car seats: a steel load leg that stabilizes the seat in a collision.

    But the RELX base offers several additional features that help parents troubleshoot common installation problems while adding comfort for the baby, too. 

    Plus, the RELX base fits better in your vehicle’s safest position—the middle seat—because its load leg is more adjustable and the base can be more easily installed with a seatbelt when LATCH is not available.

    Here’s an overview of the differences between the PIPA and RELX bases.


    Recline options

    LATCH positions

    Load leg positions

    Anti-rebound panel

    Weight of base

    PIPA base

    1 flip foot

    1 position

    12 positions


    14 lbs

    RELX base

    4 positions

    4 positions

    17 positions


    18.6 lbs

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Recline options

    The side of the RELX base includes a button that reclines the seat to four different angles. Angles are labeled and color-coded: The first two positions are safe for a baby between 4-20 pounds, while the third and fourth positions can be used from 21-32 pounds, when your child has gained more head and neck strength.

    The recline options serve two purposes: As your baby grows, they can sit slightly more upright, which may be more comfortable (especially for babies with issues like acid reflux). All recline positions have been crash-tested to ensure safety.

    Plus, the recline button eliminates the need to check a bubble indicator, seen on the PIPA base and most other car seats, to ensure the car seat is level.

    The PIPA base doesn’t have recline options, only a recline foot underneath the base that changes its angle. The recline foot is used only to ensure the base is level and does not affect baby’s comfort.

    Nuna RELX Base Recline Controls

    LATCH connector positions

    Both types of bases have a rigid LATCH system, which means the connectors are steel for an installation that’s easier and more secure. To install the base, simply slide the connectors into the lower anchors in your vehicle.

    The connectors on the PIPA base can rotate but can’t be extended, which occasionally means that the connectors aren’t long enough to reach the anchors in certain cars. 

    The connectors on the RELX base have four positions, allowing them to be shortened or lengthened to fit a wider variety of vehicles. When you press on the RELX base, the connectors ratchet closer to the vehicle seat—reducing the gap between the base and your car’s anchors and allowing for a more secure installation.

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Load leg positions

    For both bases, the load leg is adjustable, allowing you to raise and lower the leg until it hits the floor of your vehicle.

    But the load leg on the RELX base consists of three pieces instead of the two-piece PIPA load leg, helping the base to fit in more vehicles—especially those with a hump in the center seat. The RELX base adjusts to 17 positions, while the PIPA load leg offers 12 positions.

    The load leg also tucks into the RELX base seamlessly, so the base remains a smooth surface that won’t damage your vehicle seat.

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Base installation with seatbelt

    Even though LATCH base installation is preferred due to the safety features of rigid latch, some parents want to install their car seat in the middle seat to keep baby away from the passenger doors or need to install it in the middle for other reasons. However, many cars don’t have LATCH in the center seat, requiring the base to be installed with a seatbelt instead.

    The RELX base is easier to install with a seatbelt, thanks to a redesigned lockoff that makes it easier to open the belt path and secure the belt. Separate paths for the lap and shoulder belts are clearly labeled, helping to avoid bunching and slipping.

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Anti-rebound panel

    The RELX base includes an anti-rebound panel, something not seen on the PIPA base. The panel reduces rearward motion, although Nuna notes that safety testing has not been conducted on its anti-rebound panel or anti-rebound bars on other car seat models.

    But the anti-rebound panel also helps parents ensure that the car seat is flush with the vehicle seatback, ensuring the most secure installation.

    Nuna PIPA Series Installation

    Nuna offers two choices of car seat bases: the original PIPA base and the RELX base. Another consideration: the PIPA Lite cannot be installed without the base, making it more cumbersome for travel.

    Which Nuna PIPAs can be installed without the base?

    The Nuna PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, and PIPA urbn can be installed with just the carrier and a seat belt using the European-style seatbelt installation. The PIPA Lite needs the base at all times.

    If the base is so great, why wouldn't you use it all the time? On-the-go families will see a few reasons.

    If you live in an urban area, you may have to rule out the PIPA Lite unless you're certain you'll never Uber with baby. The PIPA urbn is an even better option for city-living, as you have extra security with the pipaFIX anchors.

    The same is true if you're a frequent flier: While all Nuna car seats are FAA-certified, the PIPA Lite will require you to lug the base (14 pounds for the PIPA base and 18 pounds for the RELX base) onto an airplane.

    Suburban dwellers and road trippers may do just fine with the base-only PIPA Lite version, while other families may need the flexibility offered by the seatbelt installation option on the PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, and PIPA urbn.

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Nuna PIPA Series Weight Differences

    How much does each version of the Nuna PIPA weigh?

    First, let's cover the disclaimer: The advertised 5.3-pound weight of the lightest seat, the PIPA Lite, does not include the canopy or infant insert. For all models, those components add about 1.5 pounds to the advertised weight.

    But with or without those add-ons, the PIPA Lite is still at least 1.5 to 2.2 pounds lighter than the other models. 

    The PIPA Lite RX is 1.5 pounds heavier than the regular Lite version because it includes seatbelt guides for the base-free installation option. 

    Most parents we've met immediately notice the weight difference between the PIPA Lite and non-Lite versions. When you're carrying a growing baby, every pound helps! However, the PIPA urbn is just about the same weight as the PIPA Lite RX. 

    Here are the weights for each car seat.

    Nuna PIPA RX Weight

    • Without canopy and insert: 7.5 pounds

    Nuna PIPA Lite RX weight

    • Without canopy and insert: 6.9 pounds

    Nuna PIPA Lite weight

    • Without canopy and insert: 5.3 pounds

    Nuna PIPA urbn weight

    • Without canopy and insert: 7 pounds 

    Nuna PIPA Series Comparison: PIPA, PIPA RX, PIPA Lite, PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX

    Nuna PIPA Series Safety

    All car seats in the Nuna PIPA series are among the safest infant car seats you could choose for your child.

    The Nuna PIPA Lite and Lite RX are rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports, which does independent crash testing to rank car seats on a "good, better, best" scale. Other versions of the PIPA have not been ranked by Consumer Reports, but we can assume all models would receive the same grade.

    That's because Nuna uses a steel-reinforced base that includes a load leg—a steel anchor that extends from the base of the car seat to the floor of your vehicle for additional stability.

    Most of the infant car seats with load legs on the market are all rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports. The organization found that a load leg reduces the risk of head injury by 46 percent, while Nuna says its steel load leg minimizes forward rotation during a crash impact by up to 90 percent.

    Additionally, the two Nuna bases and the PIPA urbn all include rigid (steel) LATCH connectors, which Nuna says is 50 percent stronger than the plastic LATCH connectors seen on most infant car seats.

    Each Nuna model differs in the materials used to create the protective shell of the car seat. Like most infant car seats, the PIPA RX is made with EPS foam, which is not flexible.

    The PIPA Lite models use a newer type of proprietary, lightweight foam called Aeroflex, a flexible EPP foam that compresses to absorb and diffuse energy away from the baby. While most car seats consist of the non-flexible foam inside a thick plastic shell, the thin plastic walls of the PIPA Lite models have been fused with foam to create a one-of-a-kind seat that's light yet strong.

    PIPA urbn installed in the car

    Nuna PIPA Series Price Differences

    The different price points for the Nuna PIPA series exist because of features like the RELX base, merino wool fabrics and the Sky Drape adding to the cost.

    For current pricing please see the respective product pages:

    The RELX base costs more than the original PIPA base because of its added features.

    nuna pipa comparison

    Nuna PIPA Series Fabrics and Materials

    All Nuna PIPA car seats are made with high-quality fabrics that are free of flame-retardant and PFAS chemicals. Models differ slightly based on their materials, Sky Drape and infant inserts.

    Sky Drape and Peek-a-Boo Window

    Three of the four car seats—the Nuna PIPA RX, Nuna PIPA Lite RX, and Nuna PIPA urbn—have the Sky Drape: the magnetized, ventilated fabric that attaches to the end of the seat for extra sun protection and privacy. The PIPA Lite does not have the Sky Drape.

    The PIPA Lite also does not have the ventilated peek-a-boo window seen on the PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, and PIPA urbn.

    Nuna PIPA vs. Nuna PIPA Lite vs. PIPA Lite LX Infant Car Seat Comparison

    Infant Inserts

    Each Nuna car seat includes a removable infant insert that adds support for your newborn’s head, neck and body, but the materials used differ by model.

    The PIPA RX insert is made with an organic jersey fabric, while the PIPA Lite insert is polyester. 

    The inserts on the PIPA Lite RX and PIPA urbn have added benefits because they consist of merino wool TENCEL lyocell fiber blend fabric. In addition to being soft and environmentally-friendly, merino wool naturally helps regulate your baby's body temperature, keeping your baby warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather.

    Unique to the PIPA urbn model, the infant head support includes a 2-layer soft surround to accommodate smaller babies.

    Plus, the PIPA Lite RX and PIPA Lite include a second set of organic cotton inserts to use while the first set is in the wash.

    • PIPA RX: Organic jersey knit
    • PIPA Lite: One polyester set, one organic cotton set (2 sets)
    • PIPA Lite RX: One merino wool/TENCEL set, one organic cotton set (2 sets)
    • PIPA urbn: One merino wool/TENCEL set, head support includes a 2-layer soft surround to accommodate smaller babies

    Flame Retardant Chemicals

    All models in the Nuna PIPA series are made with naturally fire-resistant materials that are GREENGUARD Gold certified.

    Nuna is GreenGuard Gold Certified with all their infant car seats

    The nonprofit Ecology Center's Healthy Stuff program found in a 2018 study that 80 percent of the car seats tested contained chemical additives that have been associated with a range of health effects and environmental concerns.

    While exposure to flame retardants has not been directly correlated with health conditions, some experts are concerned that chemicals in car seats can break down and allow children to touch or inhale harmful toxins. 

    Nuna PIPA Series Colors

    The Nuna PIPA Series comes in several (mostly) neutral colors that vary slightly by model. For current color choices, please visit the product pages:

    Strollers Compatible with Nuna PIPA Series

    All Nuna infant car seats are compatible with all Nuna strollers, as well as strollers from numerous other brands. Note that the older models of the PIPA including the Nuna PIPA, PIPA Lite R, and PIPA Lite Lx will also work with all Nuna strollers and adapters made for Nuna car seats.

    For Nuna strollers, car seat adapters are either included with your purchase, or in the case of the TAVO and TRVL, adapters are not needed. To connect a Nuna car seat to another brand's stroller, a car seat adapter must be purchased.

    Strollers compatible with the Nuna PIPA series 

    Nuna PIPA vs. Nuna PIPA Lite vs. PIPA Lite LX Infant Car Seat Comparison

    Nuna PIPA Series Past Models

    The original Nuna PIPA, PIPA Lite R, and PIPA Lite LX models have been discontinued, however, these seats will still work with all Nuna strollers and with the same Nuna adapters for other brand strollers. They will also work with both the original PIPA base and the RELX base. Note that the PIPA Lite R and PIPA Lite LX cannot be installed without the base so they may not be ideal for travel or city dwellers who need to use ride shares often. 


    Choosing a car seat from the Nuna PIPA series involves choosing between a couple of features; weight of the car seat itself, which base it comes with or if you want a baseless option, Sky Drape sun canopy extension, and convenience features like adjustable headrest or harness buckle holders.

    The RELX base builds on the original PIPA base by solving the most common problems parents face when installing an infant car seat. However, parents may prefer the lighter and lower-priced PIPA base, which still offers leading safety features. For parents on the go, the baseless PIPA urbn offers a simple installation without sacrificing safety.

    Next, parents can choose between the PIPA RX or a lighter PIPA Lite version. Do a couple of pounds really make a difference when carrying an infant car seat? Every parent may have a different answer.

    Your opinion aside, the biggest factor in choosing a car seat model may be where you plan to install it.

    If you need to use your seat in taxis or during travel, the PIPA RX, PIPA Lite RX, and PIPA urbn are better choices because they can be installed not needing a base. But if you're confident that your baby will only be riding in your car, you might choose the PIPA Lite.

    No matter which of the PIPA version you choose, you'll be purchasing one of the safest, most innovative and most stylish infant car seats available.


    Strolleria is an authorized Nuna retailer dedicated to making the baby gear buying experience less overwhelming for parents. If you have more questions about the differences between Nuna PIPA versions, feel free to chat us, call us at 480-442-9433, or email us at