Nuna PIPA Car Seat Selection Guide
Understandably, many who are interested in buying a Pipa are still not sure which Pipa is right for them. So with that in mind, we’ve developed this (we hope!) helpful guide. Which Pipa should you pick?
YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A LIGHTWEIGHT SEAT
The PIPA lite is the lightest weight rear facing only (“infant”) seat on the market right now, coming in at 6.7 pounds with the canopy and inserts.
Don’t mind a few more ounces? The PIPA lite lx is the same as the lite, except it includes the popular Nuna Sky drape™ extending cover. Neither one can be installed without the base.
YOU NEED AN EASY INSTALLATION
The PIPA urbn has, in our opinion, the easiest installation of any seat on the market right now. In terms of bases, the Pipa RELX base is, in our experience, an easier base to install than the original PIPA series base. The RELX base is featured on the PIPA lite r, the PIPA lite rx and the PIPA rx, a CarseatBlog Editors’ Pick.
YOU DON’T OWN A CAR
The PIPA urbn is again the winner here. While any PIPA except the lite and lite r can be installed without the base, the urbn has the easiest baseless install of any seat on the market. And why buy a base you’re not going to use? Even if you do end up getting a car, the urbn baseless install takes about as much time as clicking it on a base does.
YOU’LL BE USING THE SEAT IN MULTIPLE CARS
Any pipa would work here! You can purchase an extra base for your additional vehicles. If you don’t want to purchase extra bases, we’d recommend the PIPA urbn, as the baseless installation is exceptionally easy. Or, you can install the original PIPA, the PIPA rx, and the PIPA lite rx without the base using the seatbelt.
THE BABY IS EXPECTED TO BE HUGE
Any of the PIPAs except the urbn, which is outgrown earlier than the other PIPAs, would work. We have noticed that the PIPA lite rx has an excellent fit on larger babies, and the no-rethread harness means it’s the easiest seat to adjust as baby grows.
THE BABY IS EXPECTED TO BE TINY
The PIPA urbn would be the one to get. It has lower strap slots than the other PIPAs, and it fits tiny newborns very well.
YOU TRAVEL A LOT WITHIN AMERICA AND CANADA
With its easy baseless install, the PIPA urbn would be the best choice for frequent travel. It can also be installed on an airplane using the airplane seatbelt.
YOU TRAVEL A LOT TO PARTS OF THE WORLD WITHOUT LATCH (ISOFIX) OR LOCKING SEATBELTS
In this case, the best idea would be to bring along a PIPA base. Otherwise, you’d need to use a locking clip on the carrier, which can get tricky. The RELX base has an easier seatbelt installation than the standard PIPA base. The PIPA rx and PIPA lite rx have the RELX base but also allow a baseless seatbelt installation, in case you do want to use a locking clip or travel within America and Canada, where the belt locks. Either of those would be a good choice.
YOUR BACK SEAT HAS LITTLE FRONT-TO-BACK SPACE
The urbn is the most compact front to back of the PIPAs, and since it’s lower down on the vehicle seat (as it doesn’t sit on top of a base), it can fit behind the front seat better as it lands in the curvature of the back of the front seat in many cars.
YOU NEED TO FIT TWO OTHER CAR SEATS IN THE BACK ALONG WITH THE PIPA
This one is tricky. While all of the PIPAs are narrow, when you install a seat with latch, it needs to be centered within the vehicle seat. Therefore, the best bet would be a seatbelt install on a base, so that you can easily move it over. The RELX base is quite narrow and has an easy and tight seatbelt installation, so any of the PIPAs with this base would be our choice: the PIPA rx (Our Editors’ Pick), the PIPA lite r, and the PIPA lite rx.
YOU OFTEN DRIVE INFANTS OF DIFFERENT SIZES (FOR EXAMPLE, GRANDCHILDREN)
The PIPA lite rx has the easiest adjustment between sizes, as it’s much easier to move the headrest up and down than it is to rethread the harness straps through a different slot, so this would be the one we recommend. However, you may still need to add in the bottom insert for a smaller infant.
YOU WANT A PIPA, BUT YOU’RE ON A BUDGET
The original Pipa is the least expensive of any of them. However, if that’s not within your means…
YOU CAN’T AFFORD A PIPA
Not to worry at all!! The right seat is the one that fits your car, your child, and your budget. Check out our entire review section to find a different seat that’s right for you.