Nuna PIPA Lite vs. UPPAbaby MESA V2: Infant Car Seat Comparison

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This article was reviewed by Amanda Brown, CPST.

There are a lot of car seats on the market, and choosing the right one can be a stressful decision. After all, keeping your kiddo safe while in the car is a top priority. To help you choose between two of the best infant car seats on the market, our gear experts tested and reviewed each one. Here’s what they have to say about the Nuna PIPA lite vs UPPAbaby MESA V2.

Main Differences Between Nuna PIPA and UPPAbaby MESA Car Seats 

The main difference between the Nuna PIPA series car seats and the UPPAbaby MESA is that the Pipa is compatible with more strollers, plus has a steel load leg that provides superior impact protection in a crash, while the MESA is easier to install. That said, both car seats are highly-rated for safety, comfort and style.

UPPAbaby MESA V2: Pros & Cons 

UPPAbaby MESA V2 Car Seat Review

  • Retail Price: $330
  • Amazon Price: $330
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $249
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 25.8 x 17 x  23 inches
  • Child Height Limit: Up to 32 inches
  • Child Weight Limit: 4-35 pounds

Best for: Families who prioritize ease of use and have an UPPAbaby brand stroller.

The UPPAbaby MESA V2 is one of the most popular infant car seats on the market today, largely because of how popular the brand’s strollers are and how seamlessly the seat clicks into them. You don’t need any adapters to attach the seat to the stroller. And if you have twins like I do, you can even attach both infant car seats to the stroller, as long as you buy a set of adapters. The UPPAbaby MESA V2 is also exceptionally easy to install in cars, thanks to a simple latch system complete with a green indicator to let you know the seat has been installed properly. Even though the UPPAbaby MESA V2 is relatively simple to install, we recommend following the NHTSA and car seat manufacturer guidelines on how to properly install any car seat. The  UPPAbaby MESA V2 is also a stylish option that doesn’t have any flame retardant chemicals—instead, the all-season merino wool fabric is naturally flame retardant. If there’s any downside, it’s that this car seat is one of the heavier infant car seats out there, especially when compared to the Nuna PIPA Lite.


  • Seamlessly clicks into UPPAbaby strollers
  • Naturally flame retardant merino wool fabric
  • Easy to install in cars, no base required for installation 
  • Higher height and weight maximums
  • Machine-washable fabric


  • Compatible with fewer strollers
  • Heavier than other infant car seats

[Shop This Car Seat]

Nuna PIPA Lite: Pros & Cons 

Nuna PIPA Lite Car Seat Review

  • Retail Price: $280
  • Amazon Price: N/A
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $189
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 27.3 x 17.5  x 22.5 inches
  • Child Height Limit: Up to 32 inches
  • Child Weight Limit: 4 to 32 pounds

Best for: Parents who want added safety features and the convenience of better stroller compatibility.

Another bestselling piece of baby gear, the Nuna PIPA Lite goes above and beyond in safety features, since it has a steel load leg (basically a steel arm that stabilizes the seat to the ground to provide increased impact absorption in the event of a crash). It’s also compatible with a wide range of strollers (adapters sold separately). What’s more, it’s one of the lightest car seats on the market, so it’s easier to carry around if you don’t have access to your stroller. The seat has plenty of added features, too—a thoughtfully-designed canopy and a removable adjustable headrest, for example. Unfortunately, it does have a more restrictive height and weight limit—but it’s high enough that most parents won’t take issue with it. It’s also slightly more complicated to install in the car—namely because the indicators aren’t as clear and the load leg requires an extra step.


  • Compatible with a wide range of strollers
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Load leg for enhanced safety


  • Fabric is not machine-washable
  • Harder to install, base required for installation
  • Lower height and weight maximums

[Shop This Car Seat]

Nuna PIPA Lite vs. UPPAbaby MESA V2: Comparison Chart 

Nuna PIPA Lite


Retail Price 



Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price 




5.3 pounds

9.9 pounds


27.3 x 17.5 x 22.5 inches

25.8 x 17 x 23 inches

Child Height Limit

Up to 32 inches 

Up to 32 inches

Child Weight Limit

4 to 32 pounds

4 to 35 pounds 


Removable headrest made of memory foam

Adjustable to grow with baby

Side impact protection 

Stroller Compatibility 

Nuna strollers and select premium strollers to create travel system 

Direct attachment to VISTA and CRUZ strollers

Adapters available for the MINU and RIDGE strollers


Micro-knit fabric

Not machine washable, must spot clean 

Removable and machine washable merino wool fabric 


Removable UPF50+ canopy

Flip out eyeshade 

Peek-a-boo window 

UPF 25+ hideaway canopy 

FAA Certified? 

Yes, when used with car seat base 

Yes, but base is not approved (see instruction manual for more aircraft details) 


Plastic, easy release button

Accent made of luxe leatherette 

Price Comparison 

Brand new, the UPPAbaby MESA v2 and the Nuna PIPA Lite have similar price tags, but ultimately, the Nuna PIPA Lite costs a bit less. The UPPAbaby Mesa costs $330, while the Nuna PIPA Lite costs $280. If you opt to buy open box or gently used models through GoodBuy Gear, you can score both seats for about the same price.

Winner: UPPAbaby MESA V2

Weight Comparison

The Nuna PIPA Lite is one of the lightest infant car seats on market—it’s only 5.3 pounds. For comparison, the UPPAbaby Mesa V2 is nearly double that at 9.9 pounds. Some parents think this is a very important distinction, since you tend to lug infant car seats around.

Winner: Nuna PIPA Lite

Size Comparison 

The UPPAbaby MESA V2 and Nuna PIPA Lite car seats are nearly identical in both width and height, but the PIPA is about 1.5 inches longer. That said, parents say the difference is so nominal, you’d never notice.

Winner: UPPAbaby MESA V2

Age/Weight Range Comparison

The UPPAbaby MESA V2 can be used until your little one reaches 32 inches tall or 35 pounds, whichever comes first. The Nuna PIPA Lite’s height and weight maximums are slightly more restrictive—it can only be used until your kiddo is 32 inches or 32 pounds, whichever comes first. The good news: Most babies won’t come anywhere close to either seat weight or height measurements during the first year of their life—the most common time to use an infant car seat.

Winner: UPPAbaby MESA V2


The UPPAbaby MESA V2 is a high-end infant car seat complete with naturally flame retardant merino wool seat fabric, but the Nuna PIPA Lite has a few more features for parents looking for all the bells and whistles. The PIPA boasts a load leg for added impact absorption, a removable UPF50+ canopy with a flip out eyeshade and a peek-a-boo window, plus a removable headrest made of memory foam.

Winner: Nuna PIPA Lite

Stroller Compatibility 

Parents love how seamlessly the UPPAbaby MESA V2 clicks into the brand’s UPPAbaby Vista V2 and Cruz V2 strollers, but the PIPA is compatible with more brands of stroller than the MESA is.

Winner: Nuna PIPA Lite

Which is Better, Nuna PIPA or UPPAbaby MESA? 

It’s important to note that both car seats have excellent safety ratings—your baby is in great hands in either car seat so long as it's properly installed. Both seats meet federal safety standards. That said, parents who are looking to go above and beyond might like the fact that the PIPA has added safety features like the load leg, which further improves impact absorption in the event of a crash.

Whether you choose the Nuna PIPA Lite or the UPPAbaby MESA V2 will largely depend on what type of stroller you’re eyeing (or already have!). The PIPA is compatible with a much wider array of strollers (adapters sold separately), but the MESA clicks into UPPAbaby strollers without any adapters.

Weight may also sway your decision—especially if you envision yourself lugging the car seat from place to place. This may be particularly important for parents who drop their children at daycare every day or parents with older siblings who have busy schedules. The Nuna PIPA Lite is exceptionally lightweight to lighten your load.



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