Nuna Pipa Review | Tested by BabyGearLab
the zaaz™ high chair was the first product launched by the nuna company in 2007. headquartered in amsterdam, this international company works to create smart baby gear selling fan-favorite car seats, premium strollers and other diverse products for the little ones.
When it comes to crash test results, the Nuna fails to impress with results near the bottom of the pack. All car seats on the market in the United States must meet or exceed federal guidelines defined in FMVSS 213. We compared each product’s crash test results to the FMVSS and the other products in the review to identify options that potentially provide an additional margin of protection.
Reading: Nuna pipa car seat review
test results for the nuna are generally not impressive as the chest sensor result is the absolute maximum allowed by federal standards at 60g where the best result is only 44 obtained by the cybex aton 2 using the load leg during the test. see comparison chart below.
nuna performs better when dummy head sensor block results are compared to hic results (see graph above). the maximum allowed for this test is 1000, and a lower result is better. the nuna head sensor registered 431 while the chicco keyfit 30 sensor shows only 330. still, 431 is well below the limit.
ease of installation – latch
Installation with the latch system is where the nuna shines. With rigid latch anchors that push over the vehicle’s u-anchors, it’s one of the easiest seats to latch on.
the latch anchors are rigid and protrude from the base (top left). They move up and down for easy vehicle installation, and can be attached one at a time or in unison with a color-changing feature, so you know when they’re attached correctly. there is a button on the side (top right) to release the car’s anchors. they are easy to use and do not require any adjustment.
Knurled anchors are a bit tricky to fit when the car has in or hidden anchors. If you can’t see the anchor points in your vehicle, you may be in trouble. The Nuna comes with latch guides, a small plastic pocket that slides between vehicle seat cushions to help you find your anchor point. many of the clek options also include rigid latch connectors.
The base has a flip-up foot that can help stabilize the seat or achieve the best angle for installation. the foot is easy to flip over but hard to use once you install the seat. tilting the seat up after connecting it to the vehicle provides a little extra room to stick your foot out. once the foot is out, the seat can be rotated to the proper position.
ease of installation – belt
installation using a seat belt was the worst method for the nuna with average results. The Nuna is not color coded for belt installation with the base, but does have a belt lock which makes securing the seat easier than non-locking products. threading the belt is relatively easy while using the lock is more complicated.
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Overall, the seat isn’t terrible to install using this method and is relatively stable. It also has a level gauge on the base, a traditional liquid and bubble gauge that works well.
easy installation – without the base
the nuna is fairly easy to install without the base.
This seat uses the Eurobelt routing (top left) and the thread points are color coded. the shoulder strap wraps around the rear of the carrier (upper right) to help pull it comfortably against the back of the vehicle seat. the lap portion of the belt travels through the bottom of the carrier. Threading the belt is relatively easy compared to the competition, and we had no trouble getting it in place or with folding belts.
If you don’t have a shoulder belt in the desired location in the car, you can also install one using the lap belt only if your car manual allows for placement of the seat in that location.
ease of use
la nuna struggled with ease of use with below average performance for the group.
the nuna has a stiffer buckle worse than some competitive products. the button is difficult to press, requiring some testers two thumbs to release, and the padding in the crotch interferes with its use. furthermore, the chest/retaining clip is difficult to operate. the button on the clip is a little stiff, and the more we squeeze the other side of the clip, the harder it gets. the buckling is more manageable and the two sides fit together smoothly.
tightening and loosening of the pipe harness is normal. the strap at the foot of the carrier works relatively well with a bit of stiffness, and the harness’s smaller shoulder pads don’t interfere with a proper fit. an easily accessible button on the padding on the wearer’s foot will loosen the harness. the button is easy to use and the harness moves smoothly.
Shoulder height adjustment is accomplished by rethreading the straps which attach to a t-divider at the rear of the seat. We prefer the non-rethreading type of adjustment, both for its ease of use and adjustability. The shoulder straps have large loops that make them easy to get on and off the divider, but cause problems when threading them through the padding layers and slots in the back of the seats. The seat has three height options and three crotch positions. We believe a minimum of 4 height options is best to ensure the best fit for most babies.
the handle on the nuna works fine and works by pressing the buttons on each side of the handle on the pivot joint. The handle has four positions and any position is acceptable when driving. the downside is that the handle clips into the canopy no matter which position you choose. If both the canopy and handle are raised for carrying, it can be annoying to have the canopy rub against the sides and possibly rub your fingers.
carrier and base connection
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installing the rack on the base can be a bit temperamental and doesn’t fit like some of the competition. we do not experience thinking that it was in place when it was not. Unlike most seats, this seat has the handle on the back of the base. It’s easy to use, but we didn’t like it, and it made releasing and lifting the carrier awkward and more challenging than the traditional release style.
latch anchors and manual storage
Because this seat has a rigid latch that folds back into the base when not in use, there’s no way for the latch anchors to prevent the carrier from properly attaching to the base.
La Nuna obtains the best results in terms of comfort and quality. It has good padding and a firm cushion for your head and body with thicker than average padding that feels softer than most. The fabric that covers the seat is soft. the shell is of average quality and does not impress or disappoint. It feels solid and durable, but it’s nothing to write home about. Overall fit and finish of the seat is good. The fabric fits the seat well and the canopy cover is nice. the pipe offers the same level of quality across the board, including a well-functioning handle.
The Nuna Canopy is a medium-sized sunshade (top left) with an easy-to-use hide-away window (top middle) that lets you see into baby’s world. the window is a unique feature, as most products do not offer it. nuna also offers a removable cover that pulls out of the canopy area and attaches to the foot of the carrier with magnets for nearly 100% coverage (above right). the canopy is vented for airflow, but it’s not a good weather shield.
At 9.78 pounds, the nuna is no light lifter. Even though the group has heavier options, this seat still feels like a beast. It’s a large seat with girth and weight, and it’s not the easiest to carry with a baby on board.
The bottom line is that while weight is important, it’s not everything. we suggest that you use the weight of the luggage rack to decide between 2-3 seats that you consider worthy of consideration.
nuna works best with nuna mixx2. It can also be paired with the following high-end strollers by purchasing compatible adapters.
- uppababy minu — the minu is a lightweight travel stroller from uppababy. This stroller folds into three parts and can be stored in some airplane overhead bins. While it likely doesn’t have the chops to function as a full-size stroller, it could be an option for an infant carrier if you plan to travel with your baby frequently in the future.
- thule urban glide 2: the urban glide 2 is arguably the jogging stroller you covet right now. the nuna is compatible with the purchase of adapters for maxi-cosi car seats. If you want a nuna seat and want a unique solution where size and weight aren’t a factor, then this might be the stroller for you.
- uppababy cruz v2 – This full-size stroller has won awards in multiple reviews and is a quality product with helpful features like a giant storage bin with 25-pound storage capacity.
- uppababy vista v2 – the vista is a full-size stroller that can grow with your family and could be a good choice for those planning to have more children close in age. This stroller works with two seats and a footboard to accommodate up to 3 children at a time.
should you buy the pipe?
Although the pipe has some intriguing qualities and uses high-end materials, it only scored average overall in our tests. It really didn’t offer a standout feature or function to justify the price or the other sacrifices you’ll need to make with this seat. With one of the lowest crash test analysis scores of the bunch, we think there are better options out there.
what other infant car seat should I consider?
If quality and crash tests are important to you, we think the cybex aton 2 will be a good choice. It has a higher crash test score than much of the competition and good padding for comfort. however, it is not compatible with many strollers and could limit your choice if that is important to you. Alternatively, the higher-end Chicco Keyfit 35 is an attractively priced option with better crash test results and one of the highest ease-of-installation scores for the latch. Keyfit seats are also compatible with a variety of adapter strollers, including the awesome Chicco Keyfit Caddy.
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