While UPPAbaby is a popular name in the stroller world, this is the first time they’ve ventured into the world of car seat safety with their UPPAbaby MESA infant carseat. I was a bit apprehensive at first, simply because the first shot at something tends to have a few kinks that can be worked out in subsequent models. However, my apprehension was dead wrong. They hit this one, and they hit it right out of the park. I’m thoroughly impressed, from the installation, to the use, to the aesthetics.
MESA Specifications and details:
- For babies 4-35 lbs and 32 inches or less (1″ rule also applies)
- No-rethread harness with 5-position front-adjustable headrest
- 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
- Lowest harness slot height is about 5.5″ and highest harness slots about 10″
- Removable infant insert recommended for infants 4-8 lbs.
- Robust head wings and shell lined with thick energy-absorbing EPS foam for enhanced side-impact protection
- SMARTSecure™ system features auto-retracting lower anchor LATCH attachments
- Built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations
- Tension indicator on base – turns from red to green when base is installed tightly
- Recline angle indicators on both sides of base
- Allows European-style belt routing when installing baseless
- Storage pockets in cover for keeping buckles out of the way when placing a child in the seat
- Carrier weighs 11.1 lbs
- 7 year lifespan before expiration
MESA Base – the base is very low profile and clean looking. The entire base is rounded and smooth so it won’t leave a dent or scuff in your vehicle upholstery. The blue lockoff is located in the center of the beltpath. The LATCH connectors are stored in neat little compartments and you release them by pushing a button on top of the base. That’s a nice touch because then you don’t have LATCH straps flapping around interfering with your seatbelt installation or whacking you in the shin when carrying the base. There are recline angle indicators on both sides of the base and a button on top to adjust the recline on the base (there are 4 positions). A little window above the lockoff turns from red to green when the base is installed properly. I will discuss this more in the installation section.
Extra MESA bases can be purchased separately and retail for $119.99
Currently, MESA is available in 4 fashions. Drew (Tangerine), Sebby (Teal), Lindsey (Wheat), and Jake (Black) were all named after children of UPPAbaby employees (fun fact!).
A button on top of the handle allows you to release the MESA from the VISTA or CRUZ stroller with one hand. The handle has 3 positions, all of which can be used in the car. The release mechanism to detach the carrier from the base is located on the back of the seat above the blue panel that serves as the shoulder belt guide for European-style beltpath installation when the seat is installed without the base.
The seat itself is fairly long front to back and should accommodate tall babies well. It measures about 28″ front to back when attached to the base and almost 26″ when installed baseless. It’s not particularly narrow and measures about 17″ wide. The base itself is a tad over 14″ wide and should puzzle well next to other seats due to its low profile. Internal seated height measures about 17.5″ tall to the top of the adjustable head rest.
Installation and Fit to Vehicle:
UPPAbaby claims that the LATCH installation on this seat only takes about 10 seconds and I will say that is accurate. As you can see in the video above, there’s not much to it and it’s as easy as they claim.