Uppababy Mesa Vs Nuna Pipa Comparison – Pros, Cons & Recommendations

uppababy messa vs nuna pipa comparison

Welcome to the Uppababy Mesa 30 Vs. Nuna Pipa showdown!

After spending the last month testing, reading reviews, talking with other moms, looking up recalls, and checking consumer reports while my husband was enjoying some peace and quiet at home (honey, you owe me a big one…), I’m ready to reveal which of these two car seats is the best choice.


Finding the perfect infant seat is hard. Many parents spend weeks researching, and that’s a lot of time invested. That is why I’ve decided to shorten this time by driving around my little one, doing chores, and getting her feedback.

I’ve evaluated everything about the Uppababy Mesa and Nuna Pipa, starting with the cry-to-sleep ratio, safety features, comfort, design, ease of installation, and value.

Now, no matter which one you end up choosing, rest assured that it is the right choice as they are both good infant seats and will protect your little one, no matter what.

Let’s see which the best choice is already!


Direct Comparison: Uppababy Mesa vs Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat

Uppababy Mesa Nuna Pipa
VS Uppababy Mesa Infant Car Seat Nuna Pipa
Safety Side Impact Protection
5-point harness
Side Impact Protection
5-point harness
Size Limits 4 to 35 pounds
4 to 32 pounds
Installation SMART Secure system True lock
Fabric/Material Machine Washable Machine Washable
Newborn Padding Included
Stroller Compatibility
ECO Friendly Material
Breathable Fabric
Price Uppababy Mesa vs Nuna Pipa: Which is the Best in 2024? 1

The Winner is the Uppababy Mesa

Here is why Uppababy Mesa is better than the Nuna Pipa:

  • The main reason why the Uppababy Mesa won is that it allows more mileage. The Nuna taps out at 32 pounds, while the Mesa goes up to 35 pounds.
  • These two car seats are very similar, both safety- and comfort-wise. Besides, Nuna’s main selling point is that the leg is hard to get stiff enough, so that feature is almost nulled.
  • The Mesa provides great head and neck support, and there were no floppy heads whatsoever while I was testing it. My baby slept through most of the trips.
  • Finally, the Nuna Pipa has a manual rethread harness, which I dislike, while the Uppababy Mesa has an automatic system.

Here’s why Uppababy Mesa is a must-buy:

  • Hospital’s preferred seat: It’s one of the safest infant seats on the market, and the guy who helped my husband install it correctly at the hospital said it’s his favorite, both safety- and installation-wise.
  • Designed by parents for parents: Uppababy did a great job with this seat. They made our life easy and our baby happier.
  • Best for travel: Whether you’re running errands on long trips, it’s comfy, and you can easily attach it to a stroller.
  • It’s the highest-rated car seat, according to Consumer Reports.
  • It’s easy to transfer from the car.
  • You can install it in 5 minutes, and it is just as easy to adjust.
  • It’s not compatible with most shopping carts.
  • The canopy doesn’t cover the baby sufficiently.

Breaking it down

The comparison article will follow the table above. For a parent, these are the most important things to consider when shopping for a car seat. The first is safety. The next thing to know is the limits of the seat. After that, you have to know what you’re getting into during installation.

The last important part is material. I mean, it’s extremely hard to spot clean puke off a super-duper high-tech fabric. Accidents happen with kids, so you will know how easy to clean are these seats.

Finally, I will touch upon additional features. Every car seat maker tries to add something to differentiate them from the rest. I will share with you a few things that make these car seats special in their way.

Let’s get this Uppababy Mesa vs Nuna Pipa comparison started. Just one more thing…

I have something special for you in the end. I have compiled a quick pros/cons list. The things I’ve found are quite interesting.


child car seat safetyI know all to well how hard is to find the safest infant seat. This is where many parents waste a lot of time. I mean the selection is almost endless.

What I love about these brands that they are pushing the envelope. They are coming up with newer and newer safety features. This makes the installation a bit difficult and it’s well worth it.

Both car seats have top notch safety ratings. Let’s see which is the best choice for you.

Uppababy Mesa Infant Car Seat

It’s one of the safest car seats you can get. It has all the protection that your little one will ever need. Starting from the front and the rear impact, they have also tested it for the side as well. The headrest serves as an impact cushion.

Our bodies were built to handle front and rear impact well. When it comes to side, it’s not that protected. Just take a look at our skull. This front and rear portion has a thick bone. When you check the temples, you can feel how soft it is. This is why you will need side impact protection.

You never know when somebody will run a red light and get you in an unwanted T-bone accident.

The harness is a 5-point one, which is the safest on the market. This norm has become the standard.

Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat

Nuna Pipa is just as strong safety-wise as the Messa. They have gone above and beyond the minimal requirements. It comes with front and rear impact protection. Plus, it has one of the best side impact protection. Seeing your little one in that seat, you will have peace of mind.

The harness, as I mentioned above, is the now-standard 5-point one. This will keep your baby secure no matter what.


It’s a tie. They are the same when it comes to safety.

Size Limits

Being an infant carrier, you will have to know upfront how much it weighs and what are the limits in which it offers the protection.

Uppababy Mesa Car Seat

The Uppababy Mesa gets you the most mileage. From 4 pounds to 35 pounds, it means you will be using it for many years to come. Since it caters to newborns, you will be able to take your baby home from the hospital with this one.

Depending on the growth spurts, you might be using it to 2 and even at 3 years of age. The height limit is set to 32”. As you know, it’s highly recommended to do rear-facing as long as possible. This is the safest way for your little one to ride.

Since it can be detached from the base, it’s light. The top portion weighs around 8 pounds. It’s not that light, but it’s doable because it protects your little one.

Nuna Pipa Car Seat

The Nuna Pipa is quite similar to the Mesa. The only difference is that the top weight is limited to 32 pounds. This is infant friendly since you can take your newborn home with it. The Nuna Pipa isn’t a cheap seat, so the more mileage you can get out of it, the better.

For some parents, that 3-pound difference is significant. The height limit is the same, which is 32”. This carrier was intended to be moved around, so engineers made it as light as possible. It weighs 7.9 pounds without the base.


By a small margin, the Uppababy Mesa Car Seat takes the lead.


child car seat installation 4This is the hardest thing when it comes to car seats. With some brands, you will need an engineering diploma, at least. Luckily both of them are easy to install.

You need to know how hard or fast is the mounting process because you will be doing it for the next few years. Now, if you get two or more, then you won’t have to fiddle with the installation part.

Uppababy Mesa Car Seat

This baby carrier can be installed both with the base and without it. This is perfect when the other parent has to pick up the little one, and there’s no base.

Before you get to the install part, you have to get the leveling right. There’s a  4 level recline that can be adjusted to your liking. Check to see if the bubble shows that it’s leveled.

The base install is quite simple. You have to pull out the latch connectors. Make the right and left side click, and then you pull the central leaver. Done. It’s that simple. You can’t get it wrong.

The carrier part is done with a single click, and you’re done.

Nuna Pipa Car Seat

The Nuna Pipa works somewhat similarly to the Mesa. The only difference it’s a bit more sophisticated. When you connect via the latch system, you can see how good the connection is. If it’s green that you have done it right.

Some parents said that if the car has deep latches, it will be very hard to get them to click.

Then you have to adjust the stability bar. This has a red and green indicator. Interestingly the purpose of this side leg is to level the carrier and to absorb energy. Many parents complained that the leg isn’t snug. They have to adjust frequently.


The point goes to Uppababy Mesa Car Seat.


There’s no way around the fact that kids will have accidents. From simple drink spills too much harder ones as throwing up or blowouts. Somebody has to clean that up.

Sadly that person is mostly you. So this is why I go into detail when it comes to the fabric. If you have a motion sick baby, you will have to get the easiest to remove and simple to wash cover that you can get.

Uppababy Mesa Car Seat

There’s some good news and some bad news with the Mesa. Let me start with the good one. The fabric is made out of merino wool. There are no toxic chemicals in it. If you have a baby with sensitive skin, that is a good choice for you.

Now what you need to know is that the manufacturer recommends hand washing only. The material is easy to remove and easy to reinstall.

Nuna Pipa Car Seat

The Nuna Pipa uses ecological material as well. It’s made out of organic cotton. They don’t use any toxic chemicals either.

The upside with cotton is that it’s machine washable. Do look into the manual before washing. They recommend a gentle program with gentle soap and cold water.


By a small margin, Nuna Pipa Car Seat takes the point.

Bonuses and Features

Every car seat maker tries to add something new or something different from the seats. They want to stand out and be unique. This is the case with them both. I will dig up the small things if they add up might lead to a frustrating experience.

With the secondary features, both car seats fair the same way. For example, both of them come with baby inserts. Once your little one is grown out of it, you simply remove it.

Both the Mesa and Pipa are stroller compatible. They mainly work with their brand strollers. Now, if you have a different one, then with the help of adaptors, you can mount it securely. With two clicks, you will have your ultimate travel system.

In the section above, I’ve mentioned that they both don’t use toxic materials because they rely on natural wool and cotton. Other brands use fire retardants and brominated or chlorinated chemicals. So if you have a little one with sensitive skin, these types of carriers are a good choice.

Here’s a major biggie. The Uppababy Mesa comes with auto adjust straps. All you have to do is adjust the headrest, and the straps change accordingly.

The Nuna Pipa is different. You have to manually rethread them. I hate this with a passion. I can’t ever get it right, and I always need to ask my husband for help.

And to make things worse with the Pipa, the straps are short. I mean, you have shelled out so much money, and your little one doesn’t fit. It’s odd, and many parents had this issue.

The canopy works fine with the Uppababy Mesa. It covers the whole baby, and when it’s not in use, it can be hidden away.

There are some issues with the Nuna Pipa. For instance, it’s hard to pull out and put it together again. The magnets are weak, and it doesn’t work as advertised.


The little things add up, so the winner is Uppababy Mesa Car Seat.

Uppababy Mesa Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat Review

  • It’s the top-rated safest car seat on the market
  • Do you have to run some errands this is the perfect carrier to do it
  • No more guessing just look at the tightness indicator, and you know if you’re good
  • It’s a pricey infant car seat
  • There were a few complaints that the baby gets hot

Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat

nuna pipa infant car seat

  • It looks nice the design is eye-pleasing
  • It comes with baby insert included
  • You can install it in 5 minutes, and it is just as easy to adjust
  • It’s expensive you need a serious budget for it
  • The support leg needs constant readjustments

Final Recount

UppaBabby Messa Car Seat won by two points (3/5)

Nuna Pipa Car Seat lost by two points (1/5)

In one category, they are tied.

Verdict on Uppababy Mesa vs Nuna Pipa Car Seat

Initially, the two baby carriers looked the same. Little by little, the Uppababy Mesa has outdone the Nuna Pipa. The biggest difference happened when we checked out the little things.

When it comes to safety, both Mesa and Pipa are doing a great job protecting your little one. When we talked about the size limits, it was clear that the Uppababy Mesa gives more mileage for the money. And the installation is easier and faster than the Nuna Pipa. Now the washing machine is a big deal, so the Nuna Pipa has outdone the manual Uppababy Mesa. The most ground was lost in the features section. The Nuna Pipa has many flaws that are not advertised. This is why the Uppababy Mesa has won.

We have reached the end of the UppaBabby Messa vs Nuna Pipa. I hope you’ve learned a lot from these seemingly similar baby carriers. Now it’s your turn. Take action now because these car seats are selling like hotcakes.

If you have tips or ideas, share them below.

Catch you next time!

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base
  • Includes: 1 MESA Infant Car seat and 1 MESA base
  • Suitable for infants 4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height
  • SMARTSecure system installs in seconds, Adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Are Nuna car seats worth it?

It’s true that Nuna car seats are expensive. It’s worth it if you value non toxic fabric and if you want to look different.

Is the Nuna PIPA safe?

Yes the Nuna Pipa is safe. It has a steel reinforced base. Plus it comes with a load leg which reduces impact damage by 40%.

Nuna Pipa vs Uppababy Mesa infant car seats who has the best infant insert?

There’s and infant insert included with both infant car seats. Typically the infant insert is used until 11 pounds.

Infant car seats Nuna Pipa vs Uppababy Mesa which one has the best travel system?

These infant car seats are mostly compatible with strollers in their own brand. Now you can mount it on different strollers if you have an adaptor. For example the Mesa is compatible with the Uppababy Cruz and Uppababy vista. The Pipa and the Pipa lite is compatible with nuna strollers.

What is the seat weight with Nuna Pipa vs Uppababy Mesa?

It doesn’t matter if it’s the regular pipa or pipla light seat weight is the same 8 pounds. The Uppababy mesa seat weight 9.9 pounds. The seat weight is measured without the base.

What kind of safety features do the Nuna Pipa vs Uppababy Mesa car seats have?

When it comes to safety features there are plenty of them. There’s the load leg with the nuna pipa lite lx. During the installation you have to set it at the vehicle floor. According to the company a the load leg reduces impact energy by 40%. I wonder why aren’t other companies using the load leg? The ease of use as well is important if not you can install it incorrectly. Among safety features I have to mention the side impact protection. I can’t get enough of the load leg the video is very convincing. If I would have a baby in the future I would go with a car seat that has a metal load leg. The nuna pipa lite lx comes with rigid latch installation or you can use the seat belt installation. There’s crumple zone to avoid head injury. All this is needed for a child car seat safety. The side protection is needed against t-bone accidents and the ratcheting system makes it easy to tighten. Nuna pipa lite xl vs uppababy mesa the harness buckless have holders so they don’t get lost.

What other features are good with the Nuna Pipa vs Uppababy Mesa car seats?

There’s the dream drape. Also there are car seat adapters for ease of use. The latch connectors make the install way too easy. The load leg which reduces impact damage. The dream drape is great protection against the elements. These are the most needed things when you looking for the perfect baby gear. Make sure that you only use the latch connectors with the seat base. Without it you have to use the seat belt. We shouldn’t forget ease of use. The latch connectors are of the latest generation so they are easy to use. The dream drape is included in the package (carry handle).

Uppababy mesa vs nuna pipa what other alternative car seat is there?

If you want an alternative car seat that you can check out the chicco keyfit infant seat it’s popular with many car brands.

Which car seat has the best canopy from uppababy mesa vs nuna pipa?

Both the uppababy mesa and the nuna pipa lite lx have a hideaway canopy. The hideaway canopy means that it can be hidden from plain sight. Sometimes you can even remove the hideaway canopy. They are rated as upf 50. They are also known as dream canopy or folding canopy. The height limit for these child car seats is 32 inches.

What baby stroller brands are compatible with nuna pipa lite lx vs uppababy mesa car seat?

When it comes to stroller brands there are many compatible ones. First of all they mostly work within their own brands. With the stroller release button you can easily eject the carry handle. Most strollers come with a car seat adapter. This means that with the help of a car seat adapter you can fit it to a different brand stroller. Car seat adapters are a must have. The most popular strollers are the uppababy vista, baby jogger and the uppababy cruz. The uppababy vista is the go to choice.

Which one is the better choice if we compare uppababy mesa vs nuna pipa?

The Uppababy mesa is a lot better choice.

How about the uppababy mesa vs chicco keyfit 30 which is better?

The Uppababy mesa is the right choice.

Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Nuna Pipa which one should I choose?

Chicco Keyfit 30 is the one you should buy.

Last Updated on October 27, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!