When you are looking at infant car seats, there is such a wide array of styles and prices. Some infant car seats are less than $100, and some are pushing $500. That’s quite a range. For many years, car seats maxed out at $200, and the selection and technology were limited. But not today!
When you buy a car seat that is over $200, you are paying for advanced safety features that you won’t get in a value-priced car seat. Granted, all car seats sold in America provide a high level of protection for babies – they have to pass MVSS213, which means when installed properly that they are safe to use. But the advanced features found in premium infant car seats take safety to the next level, vastly improving the performance and ease of installation.
Two of the most popular car seats that have some of these advanced features are the Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat and the UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat. Here’s a rundown of some of their impressive extras.
Load Leg: This feature is common in Europe (the Pipa was designed in the Netherlands), but fairly rare in the US. The Load Leg provides a third point of contact and stability, improving safety in forward collisions by halting some of the forward motion in a crash. I think the load leg on the Pipa is nicer quality and easier to adjust than some others I’ve seen.
Maxi Cosi Adapters: Many stroller manufacturers make infant car seat adapters that work with Maxi-Cosi seats, and they also work with the Pipa! This means that you can use your Pipa in a travel system with many popular stroller models. Always check the manufacturers’ suggestions and ask us, but most of the time you can make it work.
ISOFIX or rigid LATCH: The Nuna Pipa uses ISOFIX to make it easier to install. This system is a European LATCH system, which enables you to install the car seat with one simple motion. It doesn’t work with all vehicles (we’ve had issues with some Range Rovers and BMWs), so make sure before you buy your Pipa with us, we try it out to make sure the base will install in your car. This is a good reason to schedule a consultation with us in advance!
Dream Drape: The Pipa also has a “Dream Drape” that creates dark environment for your child to nap, and it will stop strangers from touching your baby if you are sensitive to that. It attaches with silent, safe, hidden magnets, and tucks away in a secret compartment when it’s not in use.
Sadly, infant car seat adapters for the Mesa aren’t widely available (except for some Baby Jogger strollers). However, it does click right onto a 2015 UPPAbaby Vista or UPPAbaby Cruz stroller without the need for adapters!
Smart Secure System: This system makes it easier for your to install your infant car seat base with LATCH. It has an internal ratcheting system that helps you install the seat with one gentle push. It also has an improved lock-off for easy seat belt installation.
Non-Rethread Harness: Instead of unthreading and rethreading the harness to adjust it as your baby grows, you can easily adjust the harness by pulling a small tab. Remember: you always want the straps at your baby’s shoulders and below for rear-facing installation, with all infant car seats.
The right car seat is one of the most important safety products that you will buy for your child so it makes sense to invest in one that’s easy to use and has advanced safety features. The extra cost definitely pays off in peace of mind.
Got more questions about these two seats, and car seats in general? Please download our Car Seat Buying Guide, watch my video on the 5 most popular infant car seats, and/or send us an email. We’d love to answer your specific questions – you can even sign up for a free consultation below!