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On the Up and Up with the UPPAbaby MESA: Infant Carseat Review

mesaWhile 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

image  image

uppababy-mesa-baseMESA 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.

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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.

Winning the Race

Ahhh…the old Hotwheels in a bottle trick eh? Try to get that one out.

Ahhh…the old Hotwheels in a bottle trick eh? Try to get that one out.

We all know the supposed “mommy wars”. Breastfeeding vs formula feeding. Co-sleeping vs crib sleeping. Working vs staying at home. Every mother has her own opinion, and unfortunately it usually differs from the one next door. Of course each one thinks her way is best, they butt heads, and the mommy wars begin.

The last few weeks I’ve been noticing a new trend. On Facebook and through emails, there have been numerous links shared to different blogs centered around spending time with your children. Great right? Nothing bad can come of that. I enjoyed reading them, and they were a good reminder to me on tough day to quit texting or cleaning and get down on the floor and PLAY. To enjoy my kids for who they are in this exact moment, for I will never get the moment back again. I was part of this revolution…the revolution to put away the phone and be a good mom.

I began turning off the radio in the car to talk to Liam about things. I began pointing out things in the store and giving him lists and taking advantage of educational moments. I turned my phone off for hours at a time. This is good, I thought. This is what I’m supposed to be doing so I don’t miss anything. I can’t miss anything.

But then it began to consume me. My few moments to enjoy music that wasn’t the beginning of the Cat in the Hat was gone and replaced with chatter about if bugs poop or why I’m turning left and not right. I was stuck inside Target with a kid having a melt down because I wanted to leave before he was done finding “something red” (horrible color choice for eye spy in Target. Horrible. Every freaking thing is red in that place). I had no adult contact, no inside jokes to laugh at on the side while playing Monster Jam on the living room floor.

Because this is how it’s supposed to be, right? Right.

Except I feel like it’s not. I am me. I am an individual person outside of who’s mother I am. Sometimes I don’t want to be climbed on, I don’t want to see how big your booger is, and I’d rather be locked in the bathroom than watch you smash my carefully built play-doh rabbit for the upteenth time. The immense guilt I feel is overwhelming. Yes the years fly by but oh how long some days can be. Days when I can’t wait till they are peacefully asleep in their beds and I can sit on the couch and do nothing. Except I am doing something…I’m feeling like I must be the worst mom ever and stressing out over what I can do with them tomorrow to make up for my inattentiveness today. That surely when I was scrubbing the kitchen floor, my 3 year old mastered long division and I missed it forever. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will ask him to show me. Always tomorrow. Oh wait…I’m not supposed to think that. Today. I only have today. Don’t put it off. It doesn’t matter that I’m exhausted to the point of tears. Do it today. Now.

The latest mommy war: who can spend more time with their kids? Who is more tolerant? If you wish for an hour of having your body and mind back, you lose. You don’t need that. You can have that when they are grown. Enjoy it now. Soak up every moment. If you aren’t sufficiently soaking, you are failing and will cry with regret on your death bed. You better be a fat dripping sponge of “now” moments.

While you are sitting there being that giant wet sponge, make sure you glare at the mommy at the park who is looking at her phone. Who cares if she spent every moment up till now on the floor playing with her kids and now she’s taken them to the park to play so she can maintain contact with her friends without feeling guilty? She should be climbing the slides alongside her kids. Running. Putting those yoga pants to use.

Come on. Seriously. Stop. Embrace each other. Embrace all of us on this journey. Embrace the fact that to give ourselves to our kids, we have to have something left to give in the first place. Stop the mommy war of guilt. Take care of yourselves, and offer help when you have extra to give. Because behind that internet cover up of moms out there who devote every second of themselves around the clock are moms like us who lock themselves in the bathroom for 5 minutes with a cup of coffee and a magazine that hasn’t been ripped up. Moms who try to take a deep breath and relax but instead notice the Hotwheels in the toilet and the tiny fingers reaching under the door. Because the years are short but the days are long and guess what? You’re doing a good job. We all are. So raise that chipped coffee cup and take a drink before you have to reach into the toilet. Cheers!

Baby? What baby?

Baby? What baby?



UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Seat Unboxing & *Giveaway*

Stay tuned for the official CarseatBlog review of the UppaBaby Mesa Infant Seat, coming soon!

The Mesa is rated from 4-35 and up to 32″ tall. Pair it with an UPPAbaby Cruz or Vista stroller to create the ultimate performance travel system!

  • SmartSecure LATCH with built-in retractor for easy installation
  • Lock-off for simple seatbelt installation
  • No-rethread harness
  • Internal SIP wings
  • Euro belt routing if installing without base
  • Fits Huggable Images preemie doll well
  • SPF 50+ canopy
  • Fits Vista and Cruz strollers with one-touch release

This promotion is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. A winner will be announced soon!

Uppababy Mesa and Vista TS



UPPAbaby Mesa Giveaway

We’ve partnered with our generous friends at UPPAbaby, to offer one UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Seat to a single winner!  Winner will have their choice of either “Drew” or “Sebby” fashions.

Contest open to all residents of the USA, including those residing in Alaska and Hawaii. :) 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms)

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or any sponsored giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2013 or 2014 (our own giveaways of goody bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned). Blog writers and editors are also not eligible. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason.

The contest will close on March 16, 2014, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 10 days, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Please note: If this is your first comment at CarseatBlog, or if you are using a different computer/device or a new email address, your comment may not appear immediately. It will not be lost; it may just take a few hours for it to be approved. Thank you for your understanding and patience as this is the only way we have to reduce comment spam.

Graco Buckle Replacement Instructions

As we reported a few months ago, Graco is allowing owners of some of their carseats to upgrade their harness buckles for a small fee.  Here are a couple videos with instructions for making the change!  So, if you need help installing the replacement buckle, hopefully these will do the trick!



Feel the Cybex Love: A Review of the Aton 2

After reading Heather’s full review of the Cybex Aton and Jennie’s follow-up review of the Cybex Aton, you may be left wondering if the seat could possibly get any cooler? Turns out it can. Cybex released the Aton 2 earlier this year and I immediately ordered one for the newest version of my spawn. Aton 2 for Shrimp 2…seems appropriate, no?

Declan before turning into a banshee in the car.

Declan before turning into a banshee in the car.


7lbs, 5oz of pure sleeping bliss.


So before I get into my thoughts on the seat, let me briefly review the differences in the Aton and Aton 2. The Aton 2 is essentially the same seat as the Aton, except there is a load leg attached to the base now, and the LSP (Linear Side-Impact Protection) system has been added to the handle on the Aton 2 carrier.  The load leg is popular in European seats, and reduces downward rotation in a collision, subsequently reducing rebound as well. The LSP system is a small plastic “wing” on the handle of the carrier that you flip out when you put the carrier in the vehicle in either outboard position and it significantly reduces side impact forces on the child.

cybex aton2 baseSpecs and Features for Cybex Aton & Cybex Aton 2:

  • Rated from 4-32 lbs; up to 30″ tall
  • Base with unique tensioning system
  • 3 sets of harness slots: 7″, 9″, and 10.5″
  • Integrated canopy
  • Carrier weight: 9lbs
  • European belt path installation when used without base