Infant car seats are crucial in protecting your little one in the car – usually from the time they are a newborn until somewhere around 30 pounds. Yes, most convertible car seats can be used from birth, but an infant car seat makes it easier to tote your tot: you can remove the seat while the base stays installed in the car. This allows for you to take your little one out of the car if they are napping – without having to wake them up!
Cybex has recently released the Cloud Q infant car seat with the ability to have your infant lie completely flat, making the seat more comfortable and ergonomically correct. In today’s review, we’re going to compare the Cloud Q to the Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat, which is also light and easy to carry, and optimized for preemies as small as 4 pounds.
The Cybex Cloud Q, weighing 13.89 pounds, holds your child from 4 to 35 pounds and 30 inches or less. The Cybex’s base installs painlessly with LATCH, and can also be installed without the base and by seatbelt if your regular mode of transport is by taxi or Uber. In addition, the Cloud’s base, like other European car seat models, includes a load leg to ensure stability and prevent forward movement during a collision. Additionally, the load leg reduces rotation of the base itself, keeping your child secure within the seat.
Another added safety feature on the Cloud is the telescoping linear side impact protection bars (LSP), which absorb additional shock and impact into the shell of the seat, directing energy from a collision away from your infant. Within the seat itself, the Cybex Cloud contains a no-rethread harness, making it easier to adjust as your child grows. To accommodate your child, the Cloud allows for 11 different headrest positions for all different heights.
The most innovative feature on the Cloud Q, though, is the ability to recline the seat: that’s right – an infant car seat with a full recline! Not only does this permit for comfortable napping, but it also allows for better breathing and spinal development. This feature is only to be used when the Cloud Q isn’t in the car, and there’s a nice built-in failsafe to keep the recline from working while the seat is installed on the base. But when your Cloud Q is riding atop your stroller, your baby can enjoy lying flat for naps – a huge advantage.
Moving on to the Pipa: it can carry babies from 4 to 32 pounds, providing a cozy and optimized ride even for a preemie’s first ride home. Additionally, the Pipa includes an infant insert to protect the child’s head, neck and shoulders. The Pipa is also one of our lightest infant car seats, at only 7.7 pounds; it’s ideal for quick trips to the grocery store when needing to remove your sleeping little one is crucial (and without waking them up)! Similar to the Cloud, the Pipa’s base is installed through LATCH – however, it is set up with rigid LATCH with red and green indicators to ensure a quicker and more accurate installation.
Again, because Nuna is a Dutch brand, the Pipa also includes the load leg, hidden underneath the base. The load leg has been tested and is able to reduce forward movement by 90% and injury by 33%.
Another unique feature on the Pipa is the Dream Drape, zipped hidden away inside the UPF 50+ canopy. Made out of UV fabric and mesh, the Dream Drape is magnetic, clicking onto the side of your car seat to protect your child on sunny days. Additionally, the two-position canopy contains a peekaboo mesh window that can be used to check on your sleeping infant. The Pipa is great for city living, due to the ability to install without the base and its light weight, making it easier to carry the seat and your child around while completing errands.
No matter how you plan on using your car seat, both the Nuna Pipa and the Cybex Cloud Q are loaded with great safety features, and are incredibly easy to use. The Pipa is one of our favorite all-around seats, suitable for any family – that light weight is a huge advantage! If you’re planning on doing a lot of long strolls with your infant car seat clicked onto your stroller, though, the Cloud Q may be your top pick, because of that awesome recline.
Not sure which seat is best for you? Ask us! Come to any Magic Beans store or book a FREE consultation with one of our Gear Gurus, and we’ll help you determine if either of these terrific infant car seats (or one of our other top-rated models) is the perfect fit for your family and your lifestyle.