by Amy Venzke March 11, 2020 9 min read

UPPAbaby and Nuna strollers are often compared for their ease of use, quality and style—and now, the two brands are going head-to-head on convertible car seats, too.

In 2020, UPPAbaby introduced the KNOX convertible car seat, a close competitor to Nuna's best-selling RAVA.

Both car seats grow with your child through toddlerhood and beyond, while offering an easy installation and a wide variety of features to keep your child both safe and comfortable. 

The Nuna RAVA and UPPAbaby KNOX are both in stock at Strolleria and available to ship immediately.

Let's compare the differences between the UPPAbaby KNOX and the Nuna RAVA.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby KNOX

In 2020, UPPAbaby added the KNOX as the first toddler car seat in its lineup, which previously included only the MESA infant car seat.

Among the safety features on the KNOX is a tether that anchors the seat in a collision. While all convertible car seats have a tether for forward-facing installations, the KNOX tether is unique in that it's also used rear-facing, which prevents the seat from rotating and causing head and neck injury.

Take a look at the KNOX in the video below. Since the time of this video, the base of the KNOX has been revised to include Koroyd technology, which crumples on impact to absorb energy and slow crash forces.

Nuna RAVA

Rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports, the all-steel Nuna RAVA is a top choice for both safety and convenience.

The RAVA is one of the easiest convertible car seats to install: Simply open the door in the bottom of the car seat, thread through your vehicle seatbelt, and close the door for a secure installation. With the RAVA's 10 recline positions, it's easy to find a comfortable fit for your child and your vehicle, too.

The RAVA was updated in 2019 with new fabrics that are chemical-free and naturally fire-resistant. Nuna has not announced any changes for 2020. See the RAVA in the video below.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Price

The $349.99 starting price of the UPPAbaby KNOX is $100 lower than the Nuna RAVA, which is priced at $449.95 for all colors.

One color of the UPPAbaby KNOX, Jordan Charcoal Melange, is priced $50 higher because it's made with merino wool, a naturally fire-resistant material that is more breathable than the synthetic fabrics used for other colors. All colors of the RAVA have the same price.

  • KNOX: $349.99 for most colors; $399.99 for Jordan Charcoal Melange
  • RAVA: $449.95

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Height and Weight Limit

Both the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA grow with your child, starting as a rear-facing seat for a baby and transitioning to a forward-facing seat for an older child. Your child will likely outgrow the car seat around age 6, when they reach 49" in height or 65 pounds in weight.

The main difference between the two seats is that the RAVA can be used from birth with included newborn inserts that safely support a 5-pound baby.

While the KNOX also has removable inserts, it isn't safe to use with a newborn. The starting weight for the KNOX is 14 pounds, which most babies reach after 3 or 4 months.

Rear-Facing

  • KNOX: 14 to 45 pounds; 49" or less
  • RAVA: 5 to 50 pounds; 49" or less

Forward-Facing

  • KNOX: 25 or 65 pounds; 49" or less
  • RAVA: 25 to 65 pounds; 49" or less

Weight Limits for Installation with LATCH

All convertible car seats must eventually be installed with the vehicle seatbelt as your child grows because the combined weight of the car seat and your child will exceed the limits of the LATCH system.

  • KNOX: 14-35 pounds rear-facing; 25-35 pounds forward-facing
  • RAVA: 5-35 pounds rear-facing; 25-40 pounds forward-facing

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Specifications

While the UPPAbaby KNOX is slightly more narrow than the Nuna RAVA, it may take up more space in your vehicle overall. The KNOX is four inches longer and more than two inches taller than the RAVA.

The RAVA offers more adjustability compared to the KNOX, featuring six more recline positions and two additional headrest positions.

Product Weight

  • KNOX: 30 pounds
  • RAVA: 27.2 pounds

Dimensions

  • KNOX: 20"L x 18.25"W x 27.4"H
  • RAVA: 16"L x 19"W x 25"H

Recline Positions

  • KNOX: 4 positions
  • RAVA: 10 positions

Headrest Positions

  • KNOX: 8 positions
  • RAVA: 10 positions

Crotch Strap Positions

  • KNOX: 1 position
  • RAVA: 2 positions

Expiration

  • KNOX: 10 years
  • RAVA: 10 years

Warranty

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison 

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Safety Features

With their leading safety features, both the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA go above and beyond compared to most convertible car seats. 

Both models are lined with protective foam throughout the seat and headrest, and both include pods that extend from the sides of the seat, which absorb crash forces in the event of a side-impact collision. 

The Nuna RAVA is rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports and is one of the few car seats to feature an all-steel frame and reinforced belt path for maximum strength and protection. The UPPAbaby KNOX is not made of steel, but the shell is fully lined with EPP, the toughest type of foam.

The UPPAbaby KNOX includes two safety features not seen in other car seats: a tether strap used in both rear- and forward-facing modes, as well as Koroyd, a safety technology developed from aerospace research.

Koroyd, made from thousands of energy-absorbing co-polymer tubes, is used in high-performance helmets for skiing and biking. The Koroyd layer in the base of the KNOX crumples instantly on impact to reduce forces to your child. Learn more about Koroyd technology in the video below.

All forward-facing convertible car seats include a tether strap to prevent forward motion in a crash, but the KNOX tether is also used rear-facing to reduce rotation of the seat. While the rear-facing tether is optional, UPPAbaby says it can lower the risk of injury by as much as 45 percent.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Installation

Both the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA can be installed using either the LATCH system or the vehicle seat belt. Seat belt installation is recommended, as the combined weight of the seat and child will exceed the LATCH limits once your child reaches 35 pounds—requiring a switch to the seatbelt, anyway.

How to Install Nuna RAVA

The RAVA is simple to install, with fewer steps than the KNOX. To install the RAVA, open the TrueTension door in the bottom of the seat. Thread the seatbelt through the base of the seat and buckle it on the other side. Lock the seatbelt by extending the shoulder belt to its maximum length before feeding it back in. Remove all slack from the belt, then close the TrueTension door.

Take a look at installing the RAVA at the 30-second mark of this video.



How to Install UPPAbaby KNOX

To install the KNOX, first unzip the bottom seat fabric and thread the seatbelt through the bottom of the seat, buckling on the other side.

Place the lap belt under the tension plate. Pull the shoulder belt with one hand while using your other hand to push on the bottom of the seat until the SmartSecure indicator turns green. Tuck the belt under the tensioning clip closest to the seatbelt retractor. Lock the retractor by pulling on the seatbelt, then feeding the belt into the retractor.

Remove the tether from storage, guiding it around one side of the seat and through or next to vehicle headrest, depending its design.

See how to install the UPPAbaby KNOX with a seatbelt in this video.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Ease of Use Features

Even small features, like a cup holder or a recline lever, can help make your life easier as you're using your car seat daily. Let's take a look at the ease-of-use features on the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA.

Harness and Crotch Strap Adjustments

Both the KNOX and RAVA offer a no-rethread harness that allow you to make height adjustments without unfastening the harness. When you raise the headrest, the harness grows taller, too.

The RAVA also has two crotch strap positions, providing more comfort options as your child grows. The KNOX has one crotch strap position.

Recline Positions

The RAVA offers 10 recline positions to allow you to find a comfortable position for your child (and your vehicle), while the KNOX has four recline positions.

Push-to-recline buttons on the RAVA are color-coded to show parents which recline angles are safe for rear-facing and forward-facing positions, no level or bubble indicators required. Plus, the buttons are located on both sides of the seat, making it easy to recline the seat no matter where the seat is installed in your vehicle.

For the KNOX, the recline function is a lever located on the back of the seat, which is more difficult to access when the seat is forward-facing. A bead on the side of the car seat slides to show the recline angles safe for rear-facing and forward-facing.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

Cup Holders   

Both car seats offer a cup holder (or two) included with purchase for sippy cups on-the-go.

For the KNOX, the plastic cup holder can be removed for washing and attached to either side of the seat. The dual rubber cup holders integrated into both sides of the RAVA can't be removed for washing but can be stowed against the seat when not in use.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

Cleaning

The fabrics for both the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA can be easily removed and machine-washed on the delicate cycle. Air-drying is recommended for both fabrics.

The seat cover and head support cover for the RAVA unsnap from the seat. The seat pad on the KNOX unzips for easy removal, while two additional fabrics covering the head area and sides of the seat can be unfastened and pulled off.

Find cleaning instructions for the RAVA here.

See how to remove and attach fabrics on the KNOX in the video below.

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Colors and Fabrics

Both the UPPAbaby KNOX and Nuna RAVA have plush, high-quality fabrics that are easy to clean—an important selling point for a product your child will use daily for five or more years.

The RAVA includes a seat fabric and upper body fabric, both of which snap off for machine-washing. The KNOX seat fabric zips off for machine washing, while spot cleaning is recommended for the removable upper body fabrics.

All colors of the RAVA are fire-resistant without the addition of flame-retardant chemicals, using bamboo/polyester blend fabrics that are temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial.

Those same properties apply to the merino wool fabrics used in the Jordan Charcoal Melange color of the UPPAbaby KNOX. Jordan is the only color that's chemical-free, while other colors are made with polyester fabrics that, like most car seats, include flame retardants.

The KNOX is available in these colors:

  • Jordan Charcoal Melange (merino wool)
  • Jake Black
  • Lucca Teal Melange
  • Bryce White and Gray Marl

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

The Nuna RAVA comes in these colors:

  • Granite
  • Caviar
  • Lake
  • Frost
  • Rose

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Benefits and Drawbacks

So which car seat is better: the UPPAbaby KNOX or the Nuna RAVA?

Only you can decide which seat is best for your family, but here are the benefits and drawbacks we see.

UPPAbaby KNOX

Benefits

  • Base includes innovative Koroyd crumple technology not seen in other car seats
  • Safety tether strap can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing, unlike forward-facing-only tether on most car seats
  • Studies suggest that rear-facing tether strap can reduce the risk of injury by up to 45 percent
  • Costs $100 less than the RAVA
  • SmartSecure installation system signals proper tightness with indicators
  • Bottom seat fabric is zippered for easy detachment and access to installation
  • UPPAbaby offers limited lifetime warranty through 10-year expiration of KNOX

Drawbacks

  • Installation involves more steps and manual tightening, compared with RAVA
  • With its starting weight limit of 14 pounds, the KNOX cannot be used from birth like the RAVA can
  • Only Jordan Charcoal Melange color is free of flame-retardant chemicals, compared with all colors for RAVA
  • Car seat is larger and heavier than RAVA
  • Car seat has not yet been rated for safety by Consumer Reports
  • Has four recline positions, compared with 10 for RAVA, and recline button on back of the seat is more difficult to access
  • Does not have adjustable calf support seen on RAVA

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

Nuna RAVA

Benefits

  • Rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports
  • TrueTension doors offer quick and easy installation
  • Can be used as your first car seat for babies 5 pounds and up, unlike KNOX
  • Offers a total of 10 recline positions to help you find the best fit for your child and your vehicle, compared to four for KNOX
  • Seat can be reclined from either side with no level indicators required, using easy-to-reach, color-coded buttons
  • Fabrics for all colors are naturally fire-resistant without using flame-retardant chemicals
  • Ventilation panels within shell of seat allow for better breathability
  • Adjustable calf support extends seat by two inches for added comfort
  • Comes with two built-in cup holders, compared with one for KNOX

Drawbacks

  • Costs $100 more than KNOX
  • Does not include crumple technology used in KNOX
  • Tether strap is used forward-facing only, unlike rear-facing tether for KNOX
  • Cup holders are attached to car seat and can't be removed for cleaning, like detachable KNOX cup holder
  • Has 2-year warranty through Nuna, compared to 10-year limited lifetime warranty for KNOX

UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

Questions?

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 UPPAbaby KNOX vs. Nuna RAVA debate, feel free to contact us by starting a live chat, calling 480-442-9433 or e-mailing customercare@strolleria.com. 

Amy Venzke
Amy Venzke

Amy Venzke is the co-owner of Strolleria, along with her husband, Drew. Together, they have a mission to make the gear-buying experience easier on parents. Contact the Strolleria team with questions at customercare@strolleria.com or 480-442-9433.