In the ultimate show-down between premium baby brands that prioritize nontoxic materials, my search led me to two contenders: Uppababy and Nuna.
Both are American brands at a similar price point that make some of the best car seats, strollers, and other baby gear on the market. So if your search led you here, I’m here to tell you which is truly the best after trying out both brand’s strollers, bassinets, and car seats myself.
UPPABaby vs. Nuna Infant Car Seats
When I finally tackled the truly overwhelming task of creating a baby registry, it seemed like the best brands came down to UPPAbaby and Nuna. They both performed well in crash safety tests, and importantly, for me, used materials that did not have flame retardants, which can create chemical inhalation issues.
I put the Nuna Pipa Lite on my baby registry after finding a great deal on a Nuna Mixx stroller (more about that later). But I could have just as easily gone the other direction if we had found an UPPAbaby vista instead.
We then found out a friend had an UPPAbaby Mesa that he could gift to us, and I ended up getting the Nuna Pipa as well from the registry, so we used the Mesa as our travel car seat and the Pipa as our home car seat. Here are the specs:
Nuna pipa RX
- Weight limit: 4 to 32 pounds
- Height limit: up to 32 inches
- Fabric is machine-washable
- Heavy duty shell with side impact protection.
- Comes with removable infant insert
- FAA-certified for use on an aircraft without base.
- Carrier weight: 7.6 lbs
- Base weight: 5.3 lbs
- Priced at $400
- Weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds
- Height limit: 32 inches
- Comes with an infant insert
- Includes a canopy with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 50+
- No rethread 5-point harness
- Fabric is easy to remove and clean
- Carrier weight: 9.9 lbs.
- Base weight: 9 lbs.
- Priced at $329.99 or $349 for charcoal melange (without flame retardants).
I initially felt that both were great car seats and that you can’t go wrong with either one, until I saw this independent crash rating.
The Nuna Pipa (read my full review) is safer because of the stabilization leg – you’ve just got to get it installed corretly. It also has an extendable shade I liked, and it overall just felt nicer. Read my full Mesa vs. Pipa comparison here.
Who wins: Nuna
Uppababy vs. Nuna Strollers
I mentioned I started with the Nuna Mixx, but since there was no way to know whether the UPPAbaby Vista was truly better other than testing it myself, I bought a secondhand one solely for this comparison.
And Garrett was like, “another stroller 🤦🏻♂️?!”
But these are the things I gotta do for this blog.
Both strollers are full-sized strollers that have a large carrying capacity and are meant to be full travel systems, compatible with their respective car seats and bassinets. The Nuna Mixx Next does not come with the bassinet, while the UppaBaby Vista does.
After trying out both, I’ve got to say they are pretty similar, but there are some very important differences:
- Price: The UPPAbaby Vista V2 comes with a bassinet, which Nuna no longer appears to offer. The entire UPPAbaby Vista V2 travel system, inclusive of Mesa car seat, costs $1350. In order to get the Nuna Mixx Next and Nuna Pipa RX car seat PLUS , you’d have to buy them separately for a total of $1600. Plenty of parents don’t really use the bassinet, so if you decide not to, the Nuna could work out cheaper at around $1200 for the car seat plus stroller.
- Maneuverability: The UPPAbaby is better with maneuverability and curbs. It surprised me that the Nuna Mixx didn’t do better with curbs, though neither really holds a candle to the Guava Roam in this regard.
- Comfort: The Nuna Mixx does feel like it has more cushion, and similar to the car seat comparison, it just feels like the nicer stroller to me. The quilted stitching looks great, the leather accents look classy, and overall, it looks like the more expensive stroller, not by much, though. I really have to nitpick to find much difference between the two
- Fold: The Nuna Mixx Next has a smaller footprint and folds up smaller than the UPPAbaby Vista V2. However it can’t allow for multiple kids like the V2 does with the rumble seat and kickboard. For that, you’d be looking at the Nuna Demi. Both fold up easily though you’ll need both hands.
- Storage, Recline, Canopy: Both are similar with these three things. Both have ample storage, can fully recline, and have nice, big canopies.
I like both strollers, but if I had it all to do over again, I’d probably get the UPPAbaby Vista V2 and the Nuna Pipa RX car seat and just use an adapter, then you’d really have the best of both worlds.
Who wins: UPPAbaby
Uppababy vs. Nuna Bassinets
Given a bassinet came with each of the strollers I tested, I had a chance to check them out as well. They are remarkably similar, though the Nuna is slightly longer and, once again, feels a bit more luxurious.
If you buy the UPPAbaby bassinet separately, it costs $200, however it can’t stand on its own and would need to be attached to the stroller frame. The Nuna bassinet costs $400, however it comes with a stand.
Mine came with my secondhand stroller since, at the time, Nuna sold them together, so I tried it out and honestly, I used it way more often than the car seat. When I was pregnant, I saw myself clicking in the car seat all the time, but in reality, we use the bassinet with the stroller when my son was an infant so that he wouldn’t be in an inclined position, and more often than not, we wore him in a baby carrier instead of pushing him in a stroller.
Every baby is different, but consider whether you’d want that bassinet or not. It creates a great, safe sleep space on trips as well!
Who wins: Nuna
UPPABaby vs. Nuna Convertible Car Seats
Part of the benefit of getting a whole stroller travel system is being able to click the car seat right into the stroller instead of waking up a sleeping baby or having to lug another item along when traveling. But like all good things, the infant car seat days must come to an end.
Both brands also make convertible car seats, which are suitable from age 1 until 6 (or whenever they are too big for them), as well. Of all the products I’ve looked at, these are two have the discrepancies on several fronts.
On paper the Uppababy Knox has similar offerings to the Nuna RAVA. It can accommodate a child up to 65 lbs and height up to 49 inches. It comes with a cup holder and is made from two kinds of materials that are both flame retardant free. It has a no-rethread harness and side impact protection, and costs $299 or $349 depending on the fabric you choose.
However I went with the Nuna RAVA, which is a lot more expensive at $550, however it has a few features that the Knox doesn’t, notably that it can recline which makes it suitable from birth. It’s also much easier to adjust for height (can be done one-handed), and to install than the Knox.
You only have to look at reviews of the two to see that parents DO NOT seem to like the Knox. They complain it’s difficult to install and is much bulkier than the RAVA.
I really like the RAVA. If I knew what I know now, which is that I wouldn’t ever use the car seat in the stroller, I would have just nixed the Pipa and gone with the RAVA from day one.
OR I would have gone with the even spiffier Nuna EXEC, and I’m honestly kind of bummed I didn’t.
The EXEC is the most expensive of all of them, but it’s suitable from birth all the way up to 120 lbs, so in the long run it would have been cheaper as it replaces a need for an infant seat, convertible seat, and booster seat. It has an extendable leg rest and advertises being a “first chance at first class,” and honestly, it looks amazing.
Who wins: Nuna
Uppababy vs. Nuna Play yards/sleep spaces
Although both brands are best known for their car seats and strollers, they make other high-end items too with the same commitment to using low chemical emission materials and quality.
We had the opportunity to try a Nuna Cove Aire Go Travel Crib on our trip to Bali, which also had the bassinet. Typical of Nuna products, it was a quality crib and I was honestly impressed and surprised to find it on the remote island we visited.
Nuna also makes the Nuna SENA aire Travel Crib, which folds down to L 11″ x W 13″ x H 31.5″ and weights 22 lbs. It has a weight limit of 30 lbs, which means my 16 month old would have already almost outgrown it if we’d bought it.
The UPPAbaby Remi PLAYARD has some nicer features, in my opinion, including a front zip and included bassinet, which makes baby access much easier. For nap time, it’s actually essential for us that we lay next to my son, who will otherwise wake up upon transfer, so that front zip is a must. The Remi weighs 20 lbs and measures 11″ L x 10″ W x 28.5″ H folded.
However I would much prefer the Guava Lotus travel crib to both of these. It has a front zip, which is essential for our family, and it folds up smaller to folded size: 24″ L x 12″ W x 8″ H, weighing 15 lbs including the carrying case. It can be a carry-on and is much easier to travel with. It is also GreenGuard Gold certified, and there’s no weight limit as it rests on the ground.
The only time this presented a problem for me was when we were on a cruise, and being on the floor meant hearing all of the creaks and noises from the ship, which carried through the floor the most.
Who Wins: Guava Family
While UPPABaby’s product line is car seats, the play yard, and strollers Nuna makes even more baby items.
They have a baby carrier called the CUDL Clik, which has four carrying positions and comes in three colors. I personally would not buy this one, because I like more pattern and color variety, but more importantly, I find it uncomfortable when carrier straps connect in the middle rather than crossing in the back. The most comfortable baby carrier I’ve ever had is the Artipoppe, which is pricey, but you can get them secondhand.
Nuna also makes the ZAAZ high chair, which looks like a nice, compact high chair. It’s one of the high chairs I considered buying since I can’t stand my Stokke Clikk.
They also make a Leaf Grow baby bouncer which looks fine, but since my baby wasn’t a fan of the mommaroo, I’m not sure he would have liked this, either. Although every baby is different, mine did much better in his Lovevery Play gym which had more to do and look at.
So Who Wins Between UPPAbaby and Nuna?
Between the two brands, it probably comes down to strollers and car seats the most often, and after testing both, they truly are similar in terms of what they offer. Both are excellent brands with great products.
Overall, though, I have to give the edge to Nuna. Although the Vista maneuvers a bit better than the Next, it’s not enough to make up for my misgivings about the car seats. Nuna’s products also feel a bit more luxurious, and they come with the slightly higher price tag, too.
I’m glad I got a chance to try both, but if you’d rather not, let me make it easy for you – Nuna’s products are just a bit better, IMHO.
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