Nuna Pipa vs. Nuna Pipa Lite LX?
Help Me Decide! Nuna Pipa or Nuna Pipa Lite LX
January 15, 2021

Help Me Decide! Nuna Pipa or Nuna Pipa Lite LX

Help Me Decide! Nuna Pipa or Nuna Pipa Lite LX.
Help Me Decide! Nuna Pipa or Nuna Pipa Lite LX

Ever find yourself stuck between two products and you just can’t make up your mind? Baby registry decision fatigue is real—so Babylist’s Help Me Decide! series is here to help.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re deciding on a car seat. There are tons of features to consider, from safety and cost to weight and convenience…and that’s before you even start trying to decode car seat lingo like no-rethread harness or LATCH.

The good news? If you’ve made your way here, then it’s likely you’ve narrowed the (very wide) field down to two excellent choices. The Nuna Pipa and the Pipa Lite LX are two of the most popular infant car seats among Babylist users, and for good reason. Nuna’s seats are safe, sleek and packed with helpful features to make sure outings with your new baby in tow go as seamlessly as possible.

But what seat should you choose? Let the matchup begin.

THE SHOWDOWN

Nuna Pipa Nuna Pipa Lite LX
Price: $319 Price: $399
Carrier weight: 7.9 lbs Carrier weight: 5.7 lbs
Weight/height limit: 4-32 lbs, 32” Weight/height limit: 4-32 lbs, 32”
Can use without base: YES Can use without base: NO
Fabric: Premium micro knit, machine washable Fabric: Merino wool + TENCEL blend, spot clean only

THE LOWDOWN

There’s a lot to love about both the Pipa and the Pipa Lite LX. Both seats boast a ton of great features—but there are some major differences. Let’s break it down.

What’s the same?

  • Ease of installation. Ease of installation—or lack thereof—is a big one when it comes to car seats. Both the Pipa and the Pipa Lite LX feature something called True Lock. Color-coded indicators let you know when all buckles are fastened and locks are in place. (Green means install is complete, red means there’s more to do.) This means installation is both easy and reliable—you’ll always be able to confirm that your seat is installed correctly, a nice bonus for peace of mind.
  • Safety. While there are some minor differences in the safety features between these two seats, both the Pipa and the Pipa Lite LX meet and far exceed U.S. safety standards for infant car seats. Both also have one standout feature: a stability leg. Also called a load leg, a stability leg is a fold-down leg that wedges against the floor of your vehicle to stabilize your car seat. Stability legs help absorb collision forces in the event of a crash and are a feature not found on many seats in the U.S. (They’re much more popular in Europe.) It’s a major safety plus that these legs are found in both Nuna seat models.
  • Luxe features. There’s no shortage of luxurious, well thought out features packed into both of these car seats. Both feature one of the best car seat canopies on the market, called the Dream Drape, that extends across the entire length of the car seat to create a shady spot that’s perfect for privacy and for naps on the go. While there is a slight difference between the fabrics used for the Pipa versus the Pipa Lite (more on that below), they’re both high-end and flame resistant but made with no chemicals or fire retardants added. The Pipa and the Pipa Lite also attach to lots of different stroller brands with the addition of adapters, making it easy to create a custom travel system.

What’s different?

  • Installation options. The biggest difference between the Pipa and the Lite LX comes down to installation options. The original Pipa features what’s called a European belt path, a built-in pathway that allows you to install the seat using your vehicle’s seat belt rather than the base. The Pipa Lite, on the other hand, does not. Why is this a big deal? A European belt path means you won’t need to lug around your car seat base every time you want to use your seat in a rideshare, a plane or when you’re traveling. You also won’t need to worry about where to store the base when you’re on the go and it’s not in use. If you’re using the Pipa Lite, however, you’ll need the base for every installation. While this may not be a big deal for some parents, it’s a game-changer for others, and something you’ll definitely want to factor in when deciding between these two seats.
  • Weight. Both of these popular car seats are some of the lightest on the market. But the Lite, as its name implies, has the distinction of being the lightest. At only a little over five pounds, it’s featherweight compared to most other infant car seats and more than two pounds lighter than the original Pipa. That might not sound like a lot, but after you’ve carried it around multiple times a day for a few months, your back and arms will thank you.
  • Fabric. The Nuna seat is made from high end micro knit fabric. The seat cover is removable, although you do have to unthread the harness to pop it off which is a bit of a pain, and machine washable. The fabric on the Lite LX is made from a blend of Merino wool and Tencel (a super soft, more sustainable fabric), but you won’t be able to machine wash it—it’s spot-clean only.
  • Price. Both the Pipa and the Pipa Lite LX are expensive seats, but the Lite clocks in at about $80 more than the original Pipa. That’s a significant difference when you’re dealing with an already-pricey seat.

THE VERDICT

There’s no wrong answer when you’re debating which one of these car seats to add to your registry.

Instead of thinking of your decision as the Nuna Pipa versus the Nuna Pipa Lite LX, reframe the question: which car seat is right for YOU?

The original Nuna Pipa may be a good choice if:

  • You don’t own a car and rely on rideshares or taxis, or if you’re planning on traveling frequently with your baby. The ability to leave the base behind and install the PIPA using just your car’s seat belt is huge. It’s a convenience you’ll be super thankful you have at all times, but especially when you’re in the moment.
  • You want a seat cover that’s machine washable. Know your baby will likely be spending a lot of time in the car seat? Don’t want to deal with the hassle of spot-cleaning seat fabric? The fact that the original Pipa’s seat cover pops right in the washing machine is a must-have for some parents. If you think that’s you, then this seat is a great choice.
  • You’re trying to curb your budget…at least a little. The Pipa is by no means a low-cost seat, but it will save you almost $100 bucks over the Lite LX—and every little bit helps.

You may want to consider the Nuna Pipa Lite LX if:

  • You want (or need) an ultralight seat. If you know you’re going to be taking your seat in and out of the car frequently, or regularly carrying it down steps, on public transportation, etc., then the Pipa Lite’s featherlight weight will be a game-changer for you. It’s also really helpful for anyone with any type of mobility issue.
  • You’ll be using the same car regularly. The Pipa Lite always needs to be installed using the base, but if you’re planning to (mostly) use it in the same car on the regular—then this really won’t be a factor for you. The few times you will need to carry the base around shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
  • Sustainability is important to you. The Pipa Lite’s Merino + Tencel blend seat fabric is safe, naturally moisture wicking and environmentally friendly. (It’s also ridiculously soft.) If a seat with sustainable fabric is on your wishlist, then the Lite is a solid choice.

Shop These Seats

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