When we were deciding on a car seat, I think we looked at 6 or 7 options at least. There are so many choices and it can definitely be overwhelming. We ended up with a Nuna Pipa Lite and after 14 weeks of use we still love it! Is it perfect? No. I’m not sure any car seat would be, but it works great for us and our needs.
When car seat shopping, I recommend first figuring out a handful of seats that will fit well in your car because a good installation is the most important thing. Once you’ve found a few that would work in your vehicle you can think about some of the extra features that might be important to you, whether that’s things like the fabric, weight, ease of install etc. If the Nuna Pipe Lite is on your list of contenders, check out some of my pros and cons of this seat.
Pro: Very Lightweight
This was a big seller for me because I am not known for my upper body strength and y’all, car seats are heavy! If you have one that’s heavy to start with and then add a chunky little baby to it, you’re doing some serious strength training every time you get the baby in and out of the car. The Pipa Lite is only 5.3 pounds without the canopy or inserts, and even with those added it’s still only 6.7 pounds. For comparison sake, an average infant carrier will weigh around 9 pounds with some even upwards of 12 pounds. A few pounds may not seem like much but once you add the baby in there too, I assure you it makes a difference!
Pro: Easy to Install
We had absolutely zero trouble getting the base installed in our car. We used the LATCH system to install and it took no time at all to get a good, snug fit. It can also be installed with the seatbelt. There are clear instructions and everything seemed pretty straightforward without needing any special “tricks” to get a tight fit. Then the seat just clicks in and out of the base, easy peasy!
*Tip* Once you’ve installed your seat, have it checked by a local CPST to be sure you’ve got it secured properly.
Pro: Slim and Compact
While it isn’t the slimmest (side to side) or most compact (front to back) seat on the market it is definitely a good option for someone who needs a slimmer or more compact seat. For example, if you or your partner require the front seat to be all the way back, you’d want a more compact seat to accommodate that. Or if you have more than one car seat in a car and you don’t want things to be too cramped, this could be a good option for you. This all depends on your vehicle and specific needs but it’s definitely on the slimmer side which is great.
The material for the cover as well as the inserts is so comfortable! It comes with two inserts, one in the same fabric as the cover which is a micro knit fabric and the other is an organic cotton. The micro knit is great for the warmer weather and the organic cotton seems like it will be nice and cozy when we get to winter. All of the fabric is flame retardant free which is awesome so you don’t have added chemicals in the seat. The two inserts (body and head) are able to be used together or separate. This is great because when you need to remove the body insert when your baby outgrows it, you can leave the head insert in (if it still allows a good fit) to give them some extra comfort.
Con: Must Be Installed with the Base
On the surface this is not a big deal and is probably only a con depending on your day to day lifestyle. As I mentioned above it is extremely easy to install the base into your car and then only take the actual seat in and out. However, if you use a rideshare service, public transportation or fly frequently it could be a bit inconvenient to have to also have the base with you. Not because it’s any trickier to install than someone just using a car seat but it is obviously heavier and more awkward to carry around than just the seat.
Additionally, while the seat is approved for use on an airplane, the fact that it must be installed with a base means it may not fit in the seat properly so you might not actually be able to use it on the plane. We aren’t frequent flyers in this season of life, or public transportation users, so this wasn’t a deterrent to us. However, to make life simpler we did order a second base so each of our cars could have one ready to go.
There is a large array of prices for car seats and this particular seat is certainly on the higher end and therefore it is not in everyone’s budget. Keep in mind that all car seats in the U.S. are required to meet the same safety requirements and pass the same safety tests so the price is not a direct reflection on how safe the seat is in comparison to others. The price is going to reflect other features like how lightweight and comfortable it is.
For us the pros outweigh the cons for this seat and we have been very happy with our choice! Our baby is 14 weeks old and still has plenty of room to grow in the seat so we hope to get quite a bit of use out of this seat before we upgrade to anything new.
Happy car seat shopping!