2018 Nuna PIPA lite and PIPA lite lx Review
I think one of the biggest challenges for a car seat company is when they already have an exceptional product on the market. Typically, it’s not that difficult to find ways to improve your existing product. But when you already have a great seat, like say, the Nuna PIPA, it’s tough to find ways to make it better. Nuna seems to have been working hard on this and for a great majority of families, I think they’ve knocked it out of the park.
First, I’d strongly recommend you read our original Nuna PIPA review because the PIPA lite is, at the most basic level, a PIPA, and that review is a very thorough look at it. I’m not going to waste words retelling the PIPA story because I want to highlight the features of the “lite” model.
The Nuna PIPA lite and PIPA lite lx have the same exceptional base, the same stroller adaptivity, and basically the same dimensions. If you looked at one from a distance, you might not notice it wasn’t an original model PIPA. But when you get closer and especially when you get your hands on it, you can see the ways they’ve taken an already outstanding rear-facing-only seat and thoughtfully upgraded it.
PIPA lite Specs & Features
- 4-32 pounds; 32” or less AND at least 1” of shell above baby’s head
- 3 harness height positions, 1 crotch buckle position
- PIPA base with rigid lower LATCH connectors, seatbelt lockoff AND “stability leg” (otherwise known as a load leg)
- Energy-absorbing EPP foam through entire top and back of shell
- FAA-approved for use in an airplane WITH the base
- 7-year expiration
- Luxe leatherette carry handle
- Weight of carrier is only 6.7 pounds including infant insert and canopy
- The entire seat, foam, fabric, and inserts are flame resistant but contain zero chemical flame retardants
- Infant insert is now 2 separate pieces
- 2 sets of inserts/strap covers, one of which is certified organic cotton. The head support insert contains tailor tech memory foam to make it fit and grow with baby.
PIPA lite Measurements
- Harness slot heights: 6”, 8”, 10”
- Lowest harness slot height with infant insert and low-birthweight pillow: approximately 4”, the curved nature of the insert makes it tough to measure precisely, but it’s looooow.
- Crotch strap/buckle position (without insert): 6”
- Widest point (at the outside of the carrying handle adjuster): 17”
- Internal shell height: 19”
- Carrier weight: 6.7 pounds with canopy and inserts (5.3 pounds without)
What Makes it Lite?
So the base is the same, the shell is essentially the same and you might be tempted to dismiss the PIPA lite as nothing new, but you’d be wrong because there are some substantial differences between the original PIPA and the PIPA lite and these differences are big deals.
PIPA lite on left, original PIPA on right
The original PIPA model weighs in at a very reasonable 9.4 pounds, but the PIPA lite (without the inserts) is only 5.3 pounds, making it the lightest rear-facing-only car seat out there. When the seat is empty, it’s almost unbelievably light for an infant seat, especially for such a solid seat made of quality materials. It’s so light you can literally carry it with a single finger. Once you put a baby in it, it’s not quite as light, but I will tell you, without hesitation, the difference in weight between my 4-month-old baby in the PIPA and in the PIPA lite is noticeable. Those 4 pounds make a difference.
I routinely have to carry several handfuls of kid paraphernalia out of the car in addition to the baby, and the PIPA lite is so much easier to carry than other infant seats. I often carry it with 2 fingers or hook it in the crook of my arm and even with Ben in it, it’s generally not the heaviest item in my arms. You might be tempted to dismiss the weight reduction as insignificant, but you would be wrong. I really mean that.
To make the PIPA lite so light, the folks at Nuna had to trim some “fat” from the original PIPA and adjust some of the materials.
What’s missing from the original PIPA?