An Expert Guide to Nuna Car Seats

Published on 04/24/2023 · 14 min readNuna is one of the most well-known and safest car seat manufacturers on the market. Baby & Toddler Expert Stephanie C. outlines the best features of the brand!
Stephanie Craig, Baby Expert
By Baby Expert Stephanie Craig

Photo by Amanda Mills

Buying a car seat can oftentimes be overwhelming for new parents. With so many options on the market and factors such as lifestyle, vehicle specifications, and safety feature needs, the choice can seem daunting. Nuna’s clever solutions are reimagining the way car seats are designed, providing top safety-rated features which create the perfect balance of simplicity and quality. By introducing a steel-reinforced frame with a redesigned seat belt lock-off with an open belt path to all of the Nuna car seats, along with a steel stability leg (load leg) to the infant car seat base that has five settings to accommodate different vehicles, Nuna leads the market in innovative safety features, functionality, and ease of use.

As a Baby & Toddler Expert and mom of two boys, ages 6 & 8, I am passionate about helping parents hone in on what products fit their lifestyles and needs. Nearly every day, I provide info to parents through my own first-hand experiences on the pros and cons of different seat styles to determine which style and product will be the best fit for their family. Seats are changing and improving each year as companies add safety features and functionality to improve the car seat experience for us and our children. Nuna baby gear is durable while maintaining comfort and keeping safety a priority. Nuna car seats have received more than 320 awards in safety and design since 2009.

Who Is Nuna?

Nuna, a global brand, has come up with thoughtful solutions to provide you with simplicity while ensuring that your baby is comfortable and safe. They offer lightweight car seats for each stage in your growing child’s life, from baby carriers to convertible car seats, all-in-one car seats, booster seats, and numerous next-level travel systems.

Inspired by the ingenuity of Dutch design, Nuna was established as a brand in 2007. Best known for its high-end craftsmanship and luxurious car seats and baby products, Nuna specializes in high-quality, safety, and sustainability. The brand features such distinctions as OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which certifies that Nuna products are free from harmful and allergenic substances, is GOTS certified, an environmental and socially responsible manufacturing certification, and TENCEL, which is an environmentally friendly brand of merino wool.

Additionally, 8 Nuna baby products have met the standards for GREENGUARD GOLD certification. This means the materials that Nuna uses in their products do not release hazardous chemicals or VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air, and their products meet the rigorous chemical emissions standards of UL, a global independent safety science company. Having products that are GREEDGUARD Gold certified reduces indoor air pollution, providing a safe haven for you and your baby.

Lastly, Nuna is a UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) partner, which advances road safety education internationally. Furthermore, all of the fabric material is premium micro-knit, machine washable, and extremely easy to take off and put back on!

Watch how to correctly install a Nuna Pipa Car Seat here:

What to Consider When Buying a Nuna Car Seat

  1. What category of car seat do I want?
  2. What size seat will work in my vehicle?
  3. What safety features matter to me?
  4. What is my ideal price range for a car seat?

What Category of Seat Do I Want?

As of 2022, the car seat age recommendation for children is from birth to 8 years old. So, the first thing to consider when buying a new car seat is what type of seat you need. This is determined by your child’s age, weight, height, and the needs of your family. There are three types of car seats currently on the market:

  • Infant: Used from birth to approximately one year. Typical maximum weight ranges are between 30 and 35 lbs. Added benefit of stroller compatibility. Easy to move from your vehicle to a stroller, or you can carry your baby inside this style of seat as they are portable.
  • Convertible: Can be used from birth or as a replacement for when your child outgrows their infant seat. Designed to stay in your vehicle, grow with your child from rear to forward-facing and sometimes booster mode, and are not compatible with strollers.
  • Booster: Designed for older children, can sometimes be used with a harness or with the car’s seat belt; these are the last stop on your car seat journey.

What Size Seat Will Work in My Vehicle?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children in the back seat until age 12. Consider where in your back seat you will place your car seat. The placement is important, especially if you have other children that use car seats. Always measure your seat space as each car and car seat dimension differs.

What Safety Features Matter to Me?

The first car seats were nothing more than burlap sacks that hung over the passenger seat headrest by a drawstring. Car seats were mainly designed to lift the child higher, allowing them to see out of the window while keeping them secure in one place during the car ride. It took about 30 years before people considered car seats as a safety device. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that safety regulations and laws started to be enforced. Today’s car seats feature a wide range of options and safety features, including base vs non-base installation, an anti-rebound bar, stability load legs, latch vs seat belt installation, steel frames, and side impact protection.

What is My Ideal Price Range for a Car Seat?

Nuna offers quality car seats at various price points, with added safety features and options that often come with an added price. Remember, the car seat you buy could potentially last up to 8 years plus. When choosing your price range, consider your top priorities in safety and lifestyle features to determine what matters most to you. The price range for Nuna infant seats is between $330 and $550. Their convertible seats range from $550 to $750, and their booster seat comes in at $250.

What Are the Different Types of Nuna Car Seats?

Nuna Infant Car Seats

The top-rated Pipa infant car seat is split into four categories: the Pipa, Pipa Rx, Pipa Lite Rx, and Pipa urbn.

Benefits:

  • Made for easy transfer between cars, in taxis, and when heading on your next adventure. Infant car seats are portable, compatible with strollers, and can be installed with or without a base.

Keep in Mind:

  • Infant car seats can only be used in the rear-facing position and for approximately the first year of life. The entire Pipa line is designed for babies weighing from 4 to 32 lbs and up to 32 inches tall.

Nuna Convertible Seats

Nuna offers three convertible car seat options: the Nuna Rava, the Nuna EXEC, and the Nuna REVV.

Benefits:

  • Convertible car seats are designed to be used in multiple modes and last through most or all of your baby’s car seat stages. They work for newborns 5 lbs and up, in rear-facing position and in forward-facing mode for ages 2 and up, and in some cases in booster mode up to 120 lbs.

Keep in Mind:

  • Convertible seats are designed to stay in your vehicle; they can be transferred but are not designed to be easily portable and cannot connect to a stroller.

Nuna Booster Seat

The Nuna Aace is a high-back booster seat that utilizes your car’s seat belt.

Benefits:

  • Grows with your child from pre-school to pre-teen ages up to 120 lbs. You can remove the high back to create a no-back booster seat.

Keep in Mind:

  • Does not feature a 5-point harness.

Features to Look Out for When Buying a Nuna Car Seat

Base vs. Non-Base Installation

The Pipa car seat offers two types of bases, the original Pipa series base, which comes with Pipa, and the Relx base, which offers more adjustability to fit a larger range of vehicles and comes with the Pipa RX and Pipa Lite RX. Both of the base series are steel-reinforced and feature True Lock base installation with rigid latch connectors and stability load leg and can be installed within five seconds. The True Lock installation makes installing your car seat faster and easier while ensuring that your baby is locked in safely! Say goodbye to those bubble levelers—the rigid latch connectors on the Relx base can be set in four positions to remove or help reduce the space between the car seat and the vehicle seat.

All Pipa car seats can be installed without a base. The urbn is the only seat that cannot be installed with a base and is the only baseless car seat to use pipaFIX rigid latch that installs in under 2 seconds.

Stroller Compatibility

All Pipa infant car seats are compatible with Nuna strollers as well as other stroller brands with car seat adapters. The urbn, one of the new arrivals to the Nuna line, is only sold as a duo with a Nuna stroller. Convertible car seats are not compatible with strollers. If you choose to use a stroller without an infant car seat, you will need to look for a stroller that works with a bassinet, or that is newborn-ready, as most stroller seats are designed to be used for children with head and neck control which is generally around 6 months of age. All Nuna bassinets are sold as a separate accessory for specific Nuna stroller models. Some brands offer a bassinet as an included accessory with the purchase of the stroller.

Seats that Grow with Your Child

Infant car seats are designed only to be used in the rear-facing position and for approximately the first year, depending on the height and weight of the baby. All children will eventually need to use a convertible car seat. Convertible and booster seats are designed to grow with your child and transition through different phases of use. Convertible seats can be used in the forward and rear-facing positions like the Nuna Revv and Rava and sometimes in booster mode with a seat belt and as a high back like the Nuna Exec or backless booster. Booster seats can be used with or without a harness, with your car’s seat belt like the Nuna Aace, and as a high back or backless booster, depending on the seat.

How to Choose the Right Nuna Car Seat for You

Selecting the right car seat for your family can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, how do you know which seat will be best for your child and your family? Below are three different types of parents I’ve helped on Curated and the key factors I considered before suggesting a car seat for them.

Kyle: First Time Parent Looking for a Convertible Car Seat

  • Recommended Convertible Car Seats for Newborns: Nuna Exec and Nuna Rava

Nuna Exec and Nuna Rava

Kyle is a new parent, their baby is due in just a few weeks, and they want something super safe to bring their baby home from the hospital. They drive a compact SUV and are worried about the seat taking up a lot of space in their back seat. Since Kyle lives in the mountains and it’s wintertime, they won’t be taking their baby out in a stroller any time soon. Therefore, they want a seat that will grow with their child through their car seat years.

Features that Kyle should look for:

  • Rear-facing convertible car seats are designed for children who weigh 5 lbs up to 40 or 50 lbs and less than 43in in height and up to two years of age. Standard rear-facing seats can be used for up to 40 lbs rear-facing, while extended rear-facing options work up to 50 lbs. Keeping your child safer longer, both the Exec and Rava feature a rear-facing capacity of up to 50 lbs.
  • A car seat that can grow with your child. The Rava works in rear and forward-facing modes for children up to 65 lbs. The Exec works in rear, forward, and booster modes for children up to 120 lbs.
  • Removable infant insert made of merino wool.
  • Energy-absorbing foam and Side Impact Protection pods offer additional protection for your baby.
  • Five-point no-rethread harness, 10 posimodes adjustable headrests with the Rava and 12 with the Exec; removable infant head and body inserts made of merino wool can grow with the baby.
  • Ready for long road trips, designed with ventilation panels within the heavy-duty shell and material that is breathable and machine washable!
  • Built with an all-steel frame and reinforced belt path for superior protection, locking the vehicle's seat belt in place and keeping your baby safe while on the road.
  • Fully adjustable leg rest.

Christine: First Time Parent Looking for Stroller

Christine is an excited new mom overwhelmed by the choices on the market for car seats and strollers. She wants an all-in-one system that gets her everything she needs without doing a ton of research on what seats work with which strollers. Convenience and extra features are a top priority for Christine. She knows that she and her partner will both be using this car seat and stroller, so she wants a stroller that works for them both, as well as a car seat that is easy to transfer between their two vehicles. They live down south, so they would love a nice sunshade to protect their baby from heat and UV rays. Christine and her partner plan to travel a lot, so they want a stroller and car seat they can use on the go as well as for everyday use.

Features that Christine should look for:

  • A car seat that allows for installation with or without a base like the Pipa RX or a car seat you can use in any car without a base like the Pipa urbn.
  • Full coverage eyeshade with Nuna’s game-changing Sky Drape (formerly called the Dream Drape) canopy boasts a protective UPF of 50+ and is made of a mesh micro knit fabric and provides a peek-a-boo window on top of the seat.
  • A convertible stroller with multiple configurations. The Nuna Mixx Next stroller and Triv Next are both compatible with bassinet accessories, and the seat of the stroller can be used in world or parent-facing positions.
  • Made with high-performance lightweight materials like Aeroflex foam, both car seats are lightweight and ready for use on the go.
  • The Mixx Next and Triv Next are full-size durable strollers with all-terrain tires, height adjustable leatherette handlebars, and a one-hand fold, with full suspension on the Mixx and spring suspension on the Triv.

Ryan: The Second-Time Parent

  • Recommended Full Feature Car Seats: Nuna Revv and Nuna Pipa Lite RX

Nuna Revv and Nuna Pipa Lite RX

Ryan is an experienced parent who knows that extra features are a top priority for his family. He already owns a stroller and wants car seats that check all the boxes and will make life easier for his wife, himself, and his kids. He drives a pickup, so he wants to make sure he and his wife can easily get their newborn in and out of their vehicle while also leaving room for their older child’s car seat.

Features that Ryan should look for:

  • Maximum safety features like side-impact protection, fabric that is naturally flame-retardant with no added fire-resistant chemicals, and GREENGUARD Gold Certified.
  • Integrated rebound bar on the Nuna Revv that helps prevent the car seat from rotating during an impact which can also be used as a handle when switching cars.
  • Stability load leg in the base of the Nuna Pipa Lite RX Relx base.
  • Features that increase ease of use like a no-rethread five-point harness, straps with magnetic buckles, and magnetic buckle holders.
  • A lightweight car seat like the Pipa Lite RX Ultra-lightweight, which weighs just 6.9 lbs, the lightest of all Nuna infant seats.
  • A versatile car seat like the Nuna Revv gives you the ability to rotate the seat a full 360° to allow you to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing with no stress!

Conclusion

Photo courtesy of Stephanie C.

Whether you are needing a car seat for your newborn, a seat that is compatible as part of a next-level travel system, more than one car seat that fits together perfectly in your back seat, or you are wanting a single seat that supports each stage, Nuna has set out to deliver the safest car seats for your little one, no matter their age! Do you need help deciding which car seat is best for you? Reach out to one of our Baby & Toddler Experts, and let us help you with any questions you may have during this process.

This content is meant to be informative and add to your understanding of this subject, but it is not definitive nor a replacement for your own sensibility. Neither Curated nor any Curated Expert is responsible for any liability resulting from information or advice shared here. Please consult with a medical professional for any health concerns.

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