UPPABaby is a US-based luxury brand that’s actually worth the money; their gear is attractive, well-designed, and their US-based customer service is top-notch. I like pretty much everything they make.
The UPPABaby Mesa is an incredible car seat. Next to a Graco, for example, it’s apples and oranges. The schtick with the Mesa is ease of installation with a self-ratcheting base. Just clip the LATCH connectors into your car, push the base down with your body weight and BAM! He’s done. Finito.
Most other seats require lots of pulling, tugging, etc.
This is one of the reasons they earned a 5-star rating from NHTSA for “ease of use.” I LOVE self-ratcheting anything — and you will too – HA! A big thing that most people don’t realize: if you’re using LATCH, you can install this seat in any position, including the middle seat. You can’t do this with the Nuna Pipa because it has rigid LATCH connectors — and most vehicles don’t have LATCH in the center seat, unless you drive a wide vehicle like a minivan, large truck or the like.
With the built-in lockoff, a seatbelt installation is also quite easy. The only downside is the lack of an anti-rebound feature found in seats in this price echelon (the Pipa and the Aton, for example). At 10 lbs, it is average weight for an infant seat, perhaps even a little on the heavier side.
The Mesa comes in 6 beautiful colors — two of which are fire retardant free…
Henry and Jordan (merino wool) ~ $349
These two versions/colors of the seat are an extra $50, but completely fire-retardant free. Yes, it’s the first car seat on the market with no fire retardant chemicals whatsoever (I get really excited about this, can you tell?). You see, wool is naturally fire resistant. It’s the shizzy.
The Henry ~ Blue Marl
People think of wool and they think of something that’s rough or scratchy (wool gets a bad rap), but higher-end wools are soft, cozy, and extremely breathable — it works great in any climate, even hot ones. Check out the reviews, they are phenomenal. If I were pregnant right now — and had the money — it would be hard not to get this seat, just saying.
The Mesa also has a no-rethread harness (very hard to find on infant seats! — also found on the Cybex Atons – and now, on some higher end Graco models) and a huge sunshade.
*This seat has a traditional American belt path, whereas previous versions had the Euro belt path. If you are looking for a seat with a European belt path, this one no longer has it — sorry! You can still take it into your Ubers, taxis, airplanes and such without a base, it’s just that the way you have to route the seat belt (called the “belt path”) isn’t as convenient/secure as a true European belt path, which goes behind the seat.
Note that the 2019 Mesa and the 2018 Mesa (on Amazon) are exactly the same. No changes were made for 2019 with the exception of one new color added, Bryce White Marl. The white is so delicious, I could eat it — but damn, good luck keeping it clean!
Again, if you are in the market for the UPPAbaby Cruz or the UPPAbaby Vista stroller (see Stroller Section), both of which I LOVE love, you are best off with the Mesa. Your problem is going to be finding a simple, lightweight frame stroller for this guy… though now UPPABaby has a lightweight travel stroller, the Minu (see also: UPPABaby Minu review), it will work there as well (with an adapter). See also: Best City Strollers
It works (sort of) being strapped into the BabyTrend Snap N Go, though it’s not a very elegant solution. It also works with Thule brand strollers (with an adapter).
And that is about it. The truth is that stroller adaptability is a weak point of this car seat, so you better like UPPABaby strollers if you want this car seat — or look elsewhere.
Bottom line: The Mesa is an awesome American luxury infant car seat. If you’re buying an UPPAbaby stroller, you’ll be very happy with it (plus, it’s all matchey-matchey). The self-ratcheting installation is amazing and the soft goods are to die for, especially the wool versions.
UPPABaby Cruz Travel System