UPPAbaby vs. Nuna | Infant Car Seat Comparison

UPPAbaby vs. Nuna | Infant Car Seat Comparison

If you're considering an UPPAbaby stroller, you probably know that an UPPAbaby infant car seat is the go-to choice of infant car seat for many families.

But UPPAbaby strollers are also compatible with a number of other car seats, one of the most popular being Nuna infant car seats.

Both UPPAbaby and Nuna infant car seats are highly rated for safety and ease of use, can be installed in a matter of seconds, and offer a similar price, style and level of comfort for your baby.

In this post, we'll compare UPPAbaby infant car seats to Nuna infant car seats.

UPPAbaby Aria vs. Nuna PIPA aire RX

UPPAbaby vs. Nuna Infant Car Seat Video Comparison

See below for a video version of this comparison, including a review of safety features, installation, compatible strollers and more.

UPPAbaby Infant Car Seats

Paired with an UPPAbaby stroller, UPPAbaby infant car seats create the easiest of travel systems: Connect the car seat directly to the frame of the UPPAbaby Vista or Cruz (no adapters required) and disconnect it by pressing a button on the top of the handle. 

Awarded the government's highest ease of use rating, the Mesa simplifies car seat safety with features like a tightness indicator that signals a safe installation and a no-rethread harness that allows parents to make adjustments for a growing child without having to remove and re-attach the straps. Side impact protection and an adjustable headrest with EPP foam wings help keep babies safe as they grow. The Mesa Max and Aria base also features a load leg to help add stability and absorb crash forces.

About the UPPAbaby Mesa Series:

UPPAbaby released a brand new infant car seat in early 2024 called the Aria! The Aria has many of the beloved features of the Mesa series car seats plus more, but it only weighs 6 pounds! This is almost four pounds less than the Mesa Max.

Learn about the UPPAbaby Aria Infant Car Seat in more detail here:

Nuna Infant Car Seats

The Nuna PIPA is one of few infant car seats rated "best" in crash protection by Consumer Reports. Along with side impact protection, the PIPA offers a steel load leg that extends from the base to the floor of your car—adding stability and absorbing crash forces through its crumple zone.

Among the features that make the PIPA a best-seller: an innovative "Sky Drape" cover that protects baby from the elements, as well as compatibility with strollers from Nuna, UPPAbaby and several other brands. Nuna is also known for having some of the lightest car seats on the market!

The RELX base offers four recline positions and more adjustable components, allowing the base to fit a greater range of vehicles and troubleshoot common installation problems.

Learn about the differences between the models in this Nuna PIPA comparison and watch this video here: 

Below is a review of the Nuna PIPA aire RX Infant Car Seat released in early 2024:

Do UPPAbaby or Nuna infant car seats cost more?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna

For current pricing of UPPAbaby infant car seats, click here.

For current pricing of the Nuna infant car seats, click here.

Factors that influence the price of the different models include materials used, added features, and lighter weight.

    UPPAbaby MESA vs. Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat Comparison

    Are UPPAbaby or Nuna infant car seats lighter weight?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    Nuna is known for their light weight car seats. How much weight are we talking? Really only about 1-3 pounds less than other brand car seats like the UPPAbaby Mesa series. This weight difference is substantial and significant to many parents, especially as your baby grows. However, UPPAbaby released their lightest infant car seat, the Aria, in early 2024 that weighs only 6 pounds - on par with Nuna's lightweight seats! 

    Woman pushing Cruz V2 with Aria car seat and woman pushing Mixx Next with PIPA aire RX car seat

    Can UPPAbaby or Nuna infant car seats be used for longer?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    Most infant car seats are similar in their height and weight limits and can be used for about a year, depending mostly on the height (and head height) of the baby. Once one limit is met, the seat is outgrown.

    • Mesa series: 4 to 35 pounds; 32" height limit; head 1” within top of seat
    • UPPAbaby Aria: 4 to 30 pounds; 30" height limit; head 1" within top of seat
    • PIPA RX: 4 to 32 pounds; 32" height limit; head 1” within top of seat
    • PIPA aire RX4 to 30 pounds; 30" height limit; head 1” within top of seat
    • PIPA Urbn: 4 to 22 pounds; 29” height limit; head 1” within top of seat

    UPPAbaby MESA vs. Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat Comparison

    Which infant car seat base is the easiest to install? UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    Both brand car seats can be installed with the base in a matter of seconds, using either the LATCH system or the vehicle seat belt. Both methods are equally safe; the LATCH system was designed for convenience.

    However, unlike the Mesa, the Nuna base has steel rigid latch, which is an added safety feature so if your vehicle has LATCH, definitely use it! Note that the PIPA Urbn does not have a base, but instead has rigid latch on the car seat itself!

    UPPAbaby Mesa Series

    Watch how to install the UPPAbaby Mesa base in the video below:

    Watch how to install the UPPAbaby Mesa Max base in the video below. Note: The Aria base installs the same way:

    Nuna PIPA Series

    See the video below for a look at installing the Nuna RELX base.

    Can UPPAbaby and Nuna infant car seats be installed without a base? UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    If you're traveling or taking a cab, you'll need to install your car seat with the seatbelt instead of the base (assuming you don't want to carry the base around).

    Note that the Nuna PIPA Lite cannot be installed without a base, and must use the base at all times. (PIPA Lite models have been discontinued)

    Both UPPAbaby models and Nuna models use the European belt path, which also routes the seatbelt through a guide at the back of the car seat. The Nuna PIPA Urbn does not have a base, but can also be installed using this method if the seat does not have LATCH available.

    See how to do a carrier-only install for both car seats below.

    UPPAbaby Mesa

    Nuna PIPA

    What strollers are compatible with UPPAbaby and Nuna infant car seats?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    While the UPPAbaby models are designed to fit only a select few other brand strollers, the Nuna PIPA series of car seats are compatible with a variety of other brands in addition to Nuna strollers.

    That makes Nuna PIPA series infant car seats a more versatile choice if you're looking to use the car seat on a jogging stroller, travel stroller, wagon, or on a double stroller in the future.

    Strollers Compatible with UPPAbaby Infant Car Seats

    The UPPAbaby Mesa and Aria fit the UPPAbaby Vista or Cruz strollers without the need for adapters.

    While UPPAbaby does not manufacture any car seat adapters for the Mesa or Aria to fit other brands' strollers, some other brands do make adapters for UPPAbaby infant car seats to fit their strollers.

    Click >>>here to see a full list of compatible strollers

    Strollers Compatible with Nuna PIPA

    Adapters are needed to attach Nuna PIPA series infant car seats to any stroller but are included with your purchase of a Nuna stroller. For any other brand, adapters are sold separately.

    Click >>here to see the extensive list of compatible strollers.

    uppababy mesa vs nuna pipa infant car seat comparison

    What colors do UPPAbaby and Nuna infant car seats comes in? UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    Both UPPAbaby and Nuna models are available in a wide range of mostly neutral colors. For specific color options, please see the respective product pages.

    For current colors of UPPAbaby models, click here.

    For current colors of Nuna models, click here.


    Are UPPAbaby or Nuna infant car seats better?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

    So which car seat is better: one of the UPPAbaby models or one of the Nuna PIPA versions? Only you can decide which is best for your family, but here are the benefits and drawbacks we see.

    UPPAbaby Infant Car Seats


    • Awarded 5-star NHTSA rating, the government's highest rating for ease of use
    • Connects to UPPAbaby Vista and Cruz strollers without the need for adapters and easily disconnects with one hand using the button on top of the handle
    • Requires fewer adapters than PIPA when using Vista as a double stroller
    • Tightness indicators turn from red to green to show when the car seat is securely installed (for both base and seat belt installation)
    • No-rethread harness makes it easy to adjust the harness as the baby grows without having to disassemble the seat
    • Adjustable headrest is lined with EPP foam to add protection and comfort as your child grows


    • Has lower Consumer Reports crash protection rating than Nuna PIPA and Mesa base lacks safety features of Nuna's load leg base (Mesa Max and Aria base does have a load leg)
    • Not compatible with most other stroller brands
    • Canopy provides less sun coverage
    • Has plastic handle instead of leatherette handle on PIPA except on the Aria

      UPPAbaby MESA vs. Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat Comparison

      Nuna PIPA Series Infant Car Seats


      • Steel load leg in the base minimizes forward rotation of the car seat by as much as 90 percent, absorbs forces and minimizes impact on baby
      • Compatible with a wider range of stroller brands and types than Mesa versions
      • PIPA Lite versions are more than 3.5 pounds lighter than Mesa
      • All versions are free of flame retardant chemicals and feature a leatherette handlebar
      • Sky Drape cover attaches with magnets to provide completion sun protection and can be zipped away when not in use (not on the PIPA Lite)
      • RELX base offers more adjustability than most car seat bases, allowing for four recline positions and reducing installation problems
      • Rigid (metal) LATCH connectors make for quick installation plus are an added safety feature
      • Ring-shaped car seat adapters available for Nuna strollers and UPPAbaby Vista/Cruz allow the car seat to click in and out of stroller with one hand


      • Harness must be threaded through back of seat to make adjustments as baby grows, adding inconvenience and risk for errors
      • Does not have adjustable headrest of Mesa 
      • With strollers for which a ring-shaped adapter is not available, removing car seat from adapters for other strollers requires two hands

        Nuna PIPA Lite/Lite LX

        What infant car seat is best for my family?  UPPAbaby vs. Nuna:

        Nuna PIPA Series Infant Car Seats and UPPAbaby Infant Car Seats are both highly-recommended car seats regarded for their safety, quality, comfort and style.

        UPPAbaby infant car seats offer direct compatibility with UPPAbaby strollers, eliminating the need for adapters.

        Nuna PIPA Series Infant Car Seats provide a wider range of stroller compatibility. The PIPA RELX base offer an adjustable recline and rigid latch installation. 


        Strolleria is an authorized UPPAbaby and Nuna retailer dedicated to making the baby gear buying experience less overwhelming for parents. If you have more questions about the Nuna vs. UPPAbaby infant car seat debate, feel free to chat with us today or email us at customercare@strolleria.com!