Best Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat & Base Convertible 2021

Nuna Car Seat

Best Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat & Base Convertible 2021

our list for the best ones out there in 2021. Lightweight and Modern: Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat. Popular pick: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35. The Nuna Rava is strictly a convertible car seat, meaning it will last until your child weighs 65 pounds (approximately 4 or 5 years old).

This is… our list of the best ones out there in 2021. Lightweight and Modern: Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat. Popular pick: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35.Caviar. exec. granite. pipa RX + pipa real base. licorice. pipa real base. granite. pipa liter + pipa real base. caviar. pipa lite lx. aspen. pipa lite. caviar …

What’s an Infant Car Seat?

An infant car seat is a seat made specifically for infants and younger babies. These seats always face the rear of the car and are used from day one until your baby reaches the seat’s maximum height or weight limit (anywhere between 22-35 pounds, depending on the specifics of your seat).

Infant car seats are designed to attach to a base. The base stays installed in your car and the seat clicks in and out, making it easy to get your baby into and out of your car. Most babies outgrow their infant seat around one year of age or so.

Other types of car seats:

  • Convertible car seats: These grow-with-your-child seats transform from rear-facing seats for babies and toddlers to forward-facing seats for older children up to about 65 pounds. Some convertible seats can be used from birth, but they’re not designed to be easily popped out of your car and are much too heavy to be carried around so you’ll lose some of that convenience factor if you decide to use a convertible seat from day one. (More on that below.)
  • Booster car seats: Booster car seats: For kids at least four years old and at least 40 pounds, boosters do just what the name implies—boost your child up higher in your car’s seat. This ensures that your car’s regular lap and shoulder belts cross over your child’s body at the correct points to securely hold them.

What Should You Look for in an Infant Car Seat?

First things first: spending less money on a car seat doesn’t mean it’s any less safe.

Every car seat sold in the US must meet the same federal safety standards set forth by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. While each individual state may have its own guidelines around car seats (many states, for example, now require that children under the age of two rides in a rear-facing seat), any seat sold in the US must meet the same benchmarks around safety and installation.

So what will a more expensive infant car seat get you? More expensive seats often mean more extras like luxury materials, larger canopies, easier installation, and potentially some additional safety features not currently required by law.

Nuna Car Seat
Nuna Car Seat

Here are some factors to take into consideration when choosing a seat:

Fits in your car: Car seats range in size and shape. Some are a better fit for larger or smaller cars

Ease of installation: 

Many car seats can be installed using the regular seat belt or the LATCH system, which is an easier way to secure the car seat using built-in anchors and tethers (available in cars made after 2002).

Safety indicators: 

Some car seats come with built-in leveling systems and indicators to signal they’ve been correctly installed. (Most safety issues with car seats stem from them not be installing correctly. Here’s info on how to get a safe install.)

Fabric: 

Besides looking for a style of fabric that suits your taste, consider its durability and how easy it’ll be to wash if (when) any messes happen.

Safety extras: 

Some car seats include additional shock absorption, padding and higher quality materials.

Stroller compatibility: 

You can snap infant car seats into many strollers or stroller frames. A stroller and car seat that comes as a set is called a travel system. But if there’s a car seat you absolutely love that differs from your stroller, check if a separate adapter is available to fit the items together.

Nuna Car Seat
Nuna Car Seat

New vs used: 

Used car seats might be damaged and may not be up to snuff when it comes to current safety regulations. While we recommend new car seats, if you do end up selecting a used car seat, get it from someone you trust. Be sure to look up the seat’s expiration date and research if that particular model has ever been recalled. If the seat is dirty, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s strict rules around how to clean it. Each car seat has a specific set of rules around how to clean it while maintaining its safety and integrity.

For more details about car seats, read our How to Choose a Car Seat guide.

Why Purchase an Infant Car Seat Instead of a Convertible?

While it seems that purchasing a convertible car seat would be the most efficient, there are a few distinct advantages to using an infant car seat instead.

Babies can stay asleep during the transfer from car to stroller if you purchased a travel system. It’s also much easier to click your infant seat (baby in tow) in and out of your car since it attaches to a base that’s permanently installed.

If your baby will be riding in multiple vehicles, transferring an infant car seat is also much easier than uninstalling and reinstalling a convertible seat. Just be sure to purchase an additional car seat base so you can quickly click the infant car seat into the backseat base and go.

  Nuna recommends installing both seats with your vehicle’s seat belt instead of using ISOFIX latches so that you don’t have to worry about switching to a seat belt installation when your child becomes too heavy for latches.

7 Best Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat & Base Convertible 2021

Seat belt is just as easy as latch installation since the Nuna Rava and Nuna Exec have true tension doors that remove excess slack for a super tight installation without the struggle. The reinforced belt paths add another layer of security to the installation. Both seats have extended rear-facing capability and can be rear-facing in the car until your child weighs a whopping 50 pounds! 

Nuna Rava in Lake
Nuna Rava in Granite

Nuna Rava

   The Nuna Rava is strictly a convertible car seat, meaning it will last until your child weighs 65 pounds (approximately 4 or 5 years old). This is a shorter lifespan than the Nuna Exec but still buys you several years before you purchase a booster seat and is quite typical in the baby gear industry. Some families prefer shorter span car seats because they often fit your child’s developmental stages better than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ car seat would. 

   The Nuna Rava also features an adjustable leg room panel that flips out from the car seat itself and affords your little one just a little bit of extra room as they grow. While it is normal, safe, and expected for your child’s feet to touch your vehicle seat back while rear-facing, this extra legroom can increase their comfort before turning them forward-facing. 

Granite Exec
Different riding positions for the Nuna Exec

Nuna Exec

The Nuna Exec is considered an all-in-one car seat. That is, it is suitable from birth until your child weighs 120 pounds or 57 inches tall. This car seat is ideal for families who don’t want to purchase a new car seat every few years and would prefer to have a single car seat until their child is old enough to ride without a car seat. 

  The Nuna Exec has an anti-rebound panel built-in that stabilizes the car seat during an accident and also helps protect your vehicle seat back from dirty feet. When the car seat is turned forward-facing, this anti-rebound panel becomes an adjustable leg rest to give extra support to dangling legs. Ventilation panels and knit fabric keep the seat cool and comfortable on long road trips. 

   The seat converts to a high back booster when your child reaches 4 years old, 40 pounds, and 38 inches tall. The five point harness stores away and spring touch shoulder belt guides make it easy for your little passenger to get themselves buckled in properly. 

  Need help finding the perfect convertible car seat for your family? Get in touch with our gear gurus for a one-on-one virtual consultation, email us your questions at [email protected], or call us at 866-600-BEAN (2326).

Most kids will know three car seats in their lifetime: the infant car seat that carries them home from the hospital, the convertible car seat that takes them from rear-facing to forward-facing, and the booster seat that allows them to start wearing the vehicle seat belt. 

But what if a single car seat could act as all three?

The Nuna EXEC is an all-in-one option that transitions from a convertible car seat to a seatbelt-positioning booster (with harness easily tucked away).

The EXEC can accommodate your child from their first ride in a car seat to their last. Car seat laws vary by state, but many states require a child to sit in a car seat until they reach age 8 and/or 57 inches (4’9″).

But while the EXEC does it all, some families will still prefer a car seat built for each stage of your child’s development—with most of the time spent in a convertible car seat like the Nuna RAVA.

And the two seats share much in common, like an all-steel frame, quick-and-easy installation, and convenient features like a no-rethread harness, a wide range of recline angles, and dual built-in cupholders.

In this comparison, we’ll review the pros and cons of choosing the Nuna RAVA convertible car seat (and subsequently, a booster car seat) or bypassing the convertible for the Nuna EXEC all-in-one option.

Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA VIDEO

Watch a video comparing the differences between the Nuna EXEC and RAVA

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA PRICE

The Nuna EXEC is priced at the top of the car seat market at $649.95, or $200 more than the RAVA.

But compared with the total cost of buying a trio of Nuna car seats over the years, the EXEC actually offers significant cost savings.

You could spend more than $1,000 if you purchased a Nuna PIPA series infant car seat ($299-$399), a Nuna RAVA convertible car seat ($449), and a Nuna AACE booster car seat ($199).

  • EXEC: $649.95
  • RAVA: $449.95 
Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA SPECIFICATIONS

Both the Nuna EXEC and Nuna RAVA can be used from baby’s first car ride for many years to come.

The RAVA tops out at a height limit of 49″ or a weight limit of 65 pounds, which most kids will reach around age 6 or 7.

The EXEC surpasses those limits when you stow away the harness inside the seat, converting the convertible seat into a booster for kids over 40 pounds and 38″ in height. To start using the booster, your child should be at least age 4 and meet both the height and weight limits. In booster form, the EXEC can fit kids up to 57″ or a whopping 120 pounds.

Both seats offer a wide range of adjustments to fit a growing child and a variety of vehicles. Because it converts to a booster for a taller child, the EXEC has two more head support positions, but the RAVA offers two additional recline positions.

With their 10-year expiration, both seats can be used for the same length of time.

NUNA EXEC HEIGHT AND WEIGHT LIMITS

  • Rear-facing convertible: 5-50 pounds 
  • Forward-facing convertible: 25-65 pounds
  • Belt-positioning booster: 40-120 pounds, 38-57″, 4+ years

NUNA RAVA HEIGHT AND WEIGHT LIMITS

  • Rear-facing: 5-50 pounds, 49″ or less, up to at least age 2
  • Forward-facing: 25-65 pounds, 49″ or less, age 2+

PRODUCT WEIGHT

  • EXEC: 26.6 pounds
  • RAVA: 27.2 pounds

PRODUCT DIMENSIONS

  • EXEC: 22.5″L x 18.5″W x 26-33″H
  • RAVA: 16″L x 19″W x 25″H

HEAD SUPPORT POSITIONS

  • EXEC: 12 positions
  • RAVA: 10 positions

RECLINE POSITIONS

  • EXEC: 8 positions (4 rear facing, 4 forward facing)
  • RAVA: 10 positions (5 rear facing, 5 forward facing)

CROTCH STRAP POSITIONS

  • EXEC: 2 positions
  • RAVA: 2 positions

CAR SEAT EXPIRATION

  • EXEC: 10 years
  • RAVA: 10 years
Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA SAFETY AND INSTALLATION

car seats are made of steel—literally.

Both the EXEC and RAVA feature an all-steel frame, offering heavy-duty protection compared with the plastic shells of most car seats. Plus, both seats are equipped with side-impact protection pods that absorb energy in the event of a crash.

Unique to the EXEC is an anti-rebound panel, which inhibits the car seat’s motion in a crash and aids in the tightness of the installation. Plus, the anti-rebound panel doubles as a leg rest in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions, helping to keep your child comfortable (and protecting your vehicle seat from dirty shoes.)

Installing the RAVA and EXEC is similar (and similarly simple).

For both seats, Nuna recommends using the vehicle seat belt rather than the LATCH system because it eliminates confusion later on. Eventually, the combined weight of any car seat and your child will exceed the 65-pound limitation of your car’s LATCH system, requiring a switch to the seatbelt, anyway.

Besides, seatbelt installation is as simple as threading the belt through Nuna’s True Tension doors, closing the doors and buckling. The proper recline angles for rear-facing and forward-facing are printed and color-coded on the seat, eliminating measurements and bubble indicators seen on other seats.

Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NUNA EXEC AND NUNA RAVA

The main difference between the two seats is a major one: The EXEC can become a booster seat, and the RAVA cannot. But the two seats also differ in a few other ways.

While the RAVA has a one-position calf support that adds a bit of leg room to the seat, the EXEC has a leg rest that can be extended both up and out to provide more comfort. In rear-facing mode, the EXEC leg rest serves as an anti-rebound panel that prevents the car seat from rotating in a crash.

The EXEC also comes with a few extras that help keep your car seat clean: a second set of infant inserts to give you a spare while one set is in the wash, as well a machine-washable slip cover that protects the bottom and footwell of seat from dirty shoes.

Both car seats feature harness holders that make it easier to help your child in and out of the seat: For the RAVA, the harness buckles slide into a tab on the side of the seat; for the EXEC, the buckles can be secured to the sides of the seat with magnets.

Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA COLORS AND FABRICS

Both the Nuna RAVA and EXEC are among the only car seats on the market that are free of added fire-retardant chemicals. Their bamboo-blend fabrics, in addition to being naturally fire-resistant, are also more breathable, moisture-wicking, and hypoallergenic compared with the synthetic fabrics on most car seats.

On both car seats, the seat fabrics are removable and machine-washable.

The RAVA offers five color options to fit a wide range of tastes and car interiors:

  • Caviar
  • Granite
  • Frost
  • Lake
  • Rose

The EXEC is offered in four colors: Granite with brown leatherette piping; Caviar Black with black leatherette piping; Timber, a black with tan interior and brown leatherette piping, and Lake, a deep blue with matching leatherette piping.

Nuna EXEC vs. Nuna RAVA Car Seat Comparison

NUNA EXEC VS. NUNA RAVA BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS

So which is better: choosing the all-in-one Nuna EXEC or purchasing a Nuna RAVA and booster seat later?

The decision depends on your family’s unique needs, like your lifestyle, budget and the age of your children.

While the Nuna EXEC can be the only car seat you’ll ever have, you may determine it’s better to purchase the car seat you need right now. Most families start with an infant car seat like the Nuna PIPA, which is specifically designed to support a newborn and offers the convenience of portability and attachment to a stroller. 

Around your child’s first birthday, you can transition to the RAVA, which can be used until the child reaches 49″ or 65 pounds. Later on, you’ll choose a booster seat, which may or may not have a seatback. (The seatback of the Nuna AACE is removable, allowing your child to eventually transition to big-kid status.)

7 Best Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat & Base Convertible 2021

The Nuna EXEC is an all-in-one car seat that could save you hundreds of dollars on car seat spending in the long run. The EXEC may best fit your needs if you have a tall kid or an older toddler who will need a booster sooner than later, or if you’re looking for a one-and-done option to keep in a second vehicle or in a grandparent’s car for years to come.

But other families may hesitate on the $650 price tag of the EXEC, along with the feasibility (and cleanliness) of using the same car seat every day for 8 years.

With either the RAVA or the EXEC, you’re investing in one of the safest and highest-quality car seats that your family can use for several years to come.

Are Nuna car seats worth it?

While it’s on the higher end of price points for infant car seats, our editors and parent testers felt the lightweight, durable Nuna Pipa is worth it given the quality, ease of installation and use, and comfort for little ones.

Do Nuna car seats go on sale?

The brand’s car seats are also popular among newly minted parents, and it’s no surprise why. … As one of the most luxe stroller brands on the market right now, Nuna rarely goes on sale, so now would be the time to take home one of its high-end products

Nuna Car Seat
Nuna Car Seat

How long do Nuna car seats last?

6-7 years general, infant car seats expire 6-7 years after purchase, and the expiration date or useful life of the PIPA is 7 years after original purchase. You can find the expiration date of your car seat printed on the bottom of the seat shell and of the car seat base.

Which Nuna carseat is best?

The Nuna PIPA Lite LX is the most luxe version of the Nuna PIPA and still shares many qualities with the c. Like the Nuna PIPA Lite, the Nuna PIPA Lite LX an ultra-lightweight car seat at 5.7 pounds and also CANNOT be installed without the base.

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