If you have narrowed the choice to the Nuna car seats, it’s a good call. Nuna makes excellent infant car seats, in terms of safety, durability, and features. But, there are several versions of the Pipa seat, and you are stuck. Which one to choose?
My Nuna Pipa VS Pipa Lite comparison will break down all the functions, features, similarities, and differences between the two most popular infant seats by Nuna.
Let’s start with the short intro of the Nuna Pipa infant car seats.
When I first came across the Pipa series of infant seats, there were a lot of things to be admired. All seats from the series, including Nuna Pipa Lite Lx, and Nuna Pipa Rx have naturally flame retardant fabric. It was fairly innovative when it first appeared.
Further, from the duel of Stokke Pipa VS Nuna Pipa, I prefer Nuna Pipa, because it weighs 3 pounds less than Stokke’s edition of the seat. Not to be confused, Stokke Pipa is a special edition of the original Pipa car seat, which Nuna created with Stokke strollers in mind.
The Stokke Pipa seat has built-in adapters for the seat to be compatible with the Stokke strollers and doesn’t have a Dream Drape canopy. Besides, Stokke Pipa isn’t compatible with other brand’s strollers.
Pipa Rx and Lite R use Relx base, which has four recline options and a slightly different load leg, which fits more vehicles, but is somewhat heavier.
Additionally, the Pipa Lite VS Pipa Lite Lx comparison shows that the fabric is the crucial difference between the two seats. The Lx version of Nuna Pipa Lite features environmentally friendly fabric, a combination of Merino wool and Tencel fabric, and is slightly more expensive.
But, let’s see what makes the stars of this article, Pipa and Pipa Lite, so extraordinary.
Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat
Nuna Pipa infant car seat is the original version, and you can use it with or without the accompanying base. It has a simple installment method, a Dream Drape canopy with a UPF protection of 50+.
- Baseless installation enabled
- FAA certified for aircrafts
- Front-load leg as an additional safety features
- Removable infant insert
- The base is included
- Slightly heavy
- Only offers one recline position
Nuna Pipa Lite Car Seat
Nuna Pipa Lite is quite similar to the Pipa seat. The Lite version is lightweight, and you have to install it with the base. Both seats are FAA certified and exceed the US traffic safety standards.
- Easy to use as a carrier
- Simple to install
- Adjustable load leg
- It doesn’t include a Dream Drape canopy
- No recline options
My comprehensive Nuna Pipa review alongside a review of the Lite version will reveal which one is a better match for your needs.
Both car seats use a standard Pipa base and install the same with the base. Here is the first difference: the Lite version can only be used with a base, and Pipa supports the baseless installation via the seat-belt method.
You can only install the Pipa Lite Nuna infant car seat through the lower anchors method. It makes it slightly inconvenient for families who often ride in cabs or travel a lot because the base is quite heavy.
As far as the LATCH method goes for both seats, installation is straightforward because of the True Lock system. You can complete it in several seconds and safely install both seats in the rear-facing position.
Therefore, the winner in the installation round is the Pipa Nuna seat because it enables baseless use.
Weight & Height Limits
The weight and height limits of Nuna infant car seats, Pipa and Pipa Lite are identical. Both seats support babies from four to 32 pounds of weight. Further, the height limit is 32 inches. The seats are almost of the same size, and in this round, I must announce a tie.
Car Seat Weight
Pipa car seat weighs 8 pounds without the base, and 21.4 pounds with it. Pipa Lite is significantly lighter because it is made from a different foam material. It weighs only 5.3 pounds without the base.
Therefore, it is much easier to use the Pipa Lite as a carrier, and is suitable for people with disabilities. A lightweight infant car seat is practical for many situations, including road trips, picnics, and walks in the park, etc.
With the base, it weighs 19.3 pounds.
As far as the seat weight goes, the Pipa Lite wins.
Dream Drape Canopy
Pipa car seat has a so-called Dream Drape canopy, a feature that Lite misses. It is a specialized fabric that provides better sun protection. Moreover, the Dream Drape also protects the baby from noise, allowing it to sleep undisturbed. I would love to have a Dream Drape canopy when my daughter was an infant, as it would protect it from mosquitos, too.
Also, the Pipa has a ventilated peek-a-boo window, which is excellent for an occasional check-up of the baby. It also improves the airflow in the seat, making the temperature more comfortable for the baby. Lite misses these features.
Overall, in terms of the canopy, the Pipa wins. It is more convenient and practical for parents and babies.
Material & Fabric
All Pipa car seats have naturally flame retardant fabric. The seats have a GreenGuard Gold certificate which means the seat is free of added chemicals. Therefore, whichever seat you choose you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals being in close contact with your baby.
The removable infant insert in the Pipa seat is made from polyester, while Pipa Lite has an insert made from certified organic cotton. It is softer than the insert in the Pipa car seat.
Overall, both seats have comfortable and breathable fabric. It has a premium micro-weave that won’t scratch the sensitive baby’s skin.
Both covers are machine-washable, but removing them from the shell is a bit challenging.
Additionally, even though the foam used for padding is different, both seats are very comfortable and provide appropriate support to the babies.
When you inspect the seats for comfort and press the padding, you won’t feel the shell of plastic or metal parts. It seems like Nuna Pipa and Nuna Pipa Lite are equally comfortable, once you remove the infant insert.
Even though it seems like the two seats are a tie, I give my vote to Pipa Lite, because of the organic cotton infant insert. Babies should be in touch with soft and gentle natural materials, especially just after birth, so polyester seems like a downside to me.
However, if you still lean toward the Pipa seat, you can purchase the organic cotton newborn insert separately.
Overall, both seats exceed the federal stands for infant car seats. I will start with the rigid anchors which hold the seats in place tightly and prevent any unwanted movements.
Both car seats feature a load leg for improved stability. It is adjustable and prevents accidental rotation of the infant seat in case of a crash.
However, the seats lack a rebound bar and fail to address the proper position for the handle when installed in the vehicle. You would normally place the handle behind the seat, but you cannot be sure if it is the safest position. It is something I consider as a minor flaw for both of the seats.
Next, Pipa Lite and Pipa seats have side impact protection and energy-absorbing foam.
The bases are the same and reinforced with steel for ultra strength and resilience during the crash.
Because the shells aren’t made from the same materials, I prefer the heavier shell, as it seems sturdier, which is Pipa. It is made from sturdy EPS foam, while Lite has Aeroflex foam construction. Both materials absorb the energy in the case of a crash, but Aeroflex is flexible and lightweight.
Additionally, the Pipa’s Dream Drape canopy doesn’t only protect the baby from UV rays, but also against debris in case of a car crash and broken glass.
Pipa Lite and Pipa car seats look similar and elegant. The available colors for the Lite version are darker and generally without any interesting print. There are three available colors for the Lite seat, while there are four available colors for Pipa.
The color pallet for the Pipa car seat is slightly wider and has two pastel colors, with beige and a light grey canopy.
Nuna Pipa Lite looks like a luxurious car seat, but I would prefer slightly brighter colors for my child. Even though the available colors of the Pipa car seat aren’t much better, I announce it as a winner because of the wider color range and lighter colors.
Luckily, whichever seat you buy, you have numerous options for compatible strollers. First of all, Nuna Pipa car seats, including Lite, original Pipa, and other seats from the series are compatible with all Nuna strollers.
Moreover, the seats support installation with top stroller brands on the market through adapters, including, Bugaboo, Bumbleride, Stokke, Uppababy, Baby Jogger, etc.
Also, Nuna offers easy to install adapters, which makes the Nuna infant seats compatible with a large number of strollers on the market.
In this category, it’s a tie!
|Feature||NUNA PIPA||NUNA PIPA LITE|
|Weight range||5-32 pounds||5-32 pounds|
|Height limit||32 inches||32 inches|
|Installation||With base – LATCH|
Without base – Seat belt
|With base only – LATCH|
|Removable infant insert||Yes, polyester||Yes, organic cotton|
|Seat weight (with base)||21.4 pounds||19.3 pounds|
|Seat weight (without base)||8 pounds||5.3 pounds|
|Colors||Granite, Birch, Caviar, Frost||Aspen, Granite, Caviar|
Standout Features of Nuna Pipa vs Pipa Lite
The two infant car seats are quite similar yet each has its own distinctive feature:-
- Nuna Pipa features a full-extendable canopy with a dream-drape fabric. It is quite an admirable smart feature, which I haven’t seen in other high-end car seats. I know what you’re thinking – if you cover the baby completely, how can you check if everything is okay?
The canopy has a small window on the backside, which I really love. It works great because when you ride the baby in rear-facing orientation, you wouldn’t be able to check on it unless you pull over.
- Nuna Pipa Lite is among the lightest infant car seats on the market. It weighs just a little over 5 pounds. The car seat is lightweight because it uses specialized foam. The engineers at Nuna successfully created a safe car seat that doesn’t weigh too much, combining the sturdiness and flexibility of the new form of foam for the shell.
If you still have doubts, let’s answer the questions related to today’s competitors from the Pipa series.
Is the Nuna PIPA Lite worth it?
Nuna Pipa Lite is very similar to the Pipa car seat, but it has a slightly higher price tag. It weighs less and has a softer, organic cotton infant insert. However, because it cannot be used without the base, the use is restricted.
Still, if the weight and the overall safety of the seat are the most important determining factors for you, you will hardly find a lighter and safer seat, other than Pipa Lite.
How long can a baby use Nuna PIPA?
You can use the Nuna Pipa car seat until your baby overgrows it – starts weighing more than 32 pounds and becomes taller than 32 inches. Most babies overgrow the seat at about 12 months of age, but you should occasionally check if the baby is still within the safe weight and height range.
When the baby overgrows the seat, its safety is compromised and you should move to other seats which can support the baby’s weight and height, such as a convertible seat.
Moreover, before you buy a Nuna Pipa car seat check the expiration period. Pipa expires 7 years after the manufacturing date, and you can find the expiration date printed on the seat shell bottom.
If you are buying a used seat, it is essential to check the expiration date. Some parts may deteriorate over time and compromise the safety of your child.
Lastly, the seat is only good as long as it isn’t damaged. If you have been in a car accident, inspect the seat for damage and replace it immediately if you notice deterioration.
Which Nuna car seat is best?
The entire Pipa series features ultimate safety for your infants. Between five infant car seats from the series, the Nuna Pipa Lite LX is the most luxurious car seat. It features a specific material combination and includes the best features of the Pipa and Pipa Lite car seat. The LX model has a Dream Drape canopy and is lightweight!
Nuna makes convertible seats too, and Nuna Rava is a high-quality seat, which will keep the baby comfortable, and more importantly safe during rides. Also, it is a parent-friendly seat, which means that it is easy to install and clean.
However, between the Nuna Pipa and Pipa Lite, my preference goes to the Nuna Pipa.
What are the alternatives to the Nuna Pipa or Pipa Lite car seats?
If Nuna doesn’t fulfill your standards, you can check the UPPABaby Mesa infant car seat. It is also easy to install, but it has a slightly wider weight range – from 4 to 35 pounds.
Moreover, the seat has a protective canopy and side-impact protection. The material isn’t naturally flame retardant like in Nuna seats, but it wicks moisture away and keeps the baby comfortable and dry during the rides.
If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative similar to the Nuna Pipa series, I recommend checking the Evenflo LiteMax DLX infant car seat. It is affordable, but it shares some features with Nuna Pipa and Nuna Pipa Lite.
Those include the load leg, side-impact protection, simple installation, and the extendable canopy. However, it weighs double the Pipa car seat and more, and the fabric isn’t as soft as in Pipa car seats.
Let’s wrap up with a quick overview:
Overall, Pipa has plenty of useful and practical features, in addition to a sturdy shell and simple installation. Because of the convenient Dream Drape and full-size canopy, Pipa protects the baby from UV rays, bugs, mosquitos, debris, and dust. The Dream Drape is also great as an additional shade on hot summer days.
Use Nuna Pipa if you:
- Are traveling a lot and look for a baseless installation in taxis
- 8 pounds aren’t heavy for you
- You want a car seat in pastel color
- You cannot ride without checking the baby
Check more Nuna Pipa features here!
Nuna Pipa Lite is a robust and safe infant car seat, but extremely lightweight. It makes it easy to use as a carrier, and you can even have your older children carry the baby in Pipa Lite. It is that lightweight.
Pick Nuna Pipa Lite if you:
- Have any physical issues that can make carrying the carrier challenging
- You don’t ever plan to install the infant car seat without the base
- Your baby has sensitive skin
Find out everything about Nuna Pipa Lite here!
In the end, I prefer the original Pipa car seat, but Pipa Lite is a tough competitor though. Which one would you choose?
Don’t forget to share the articles with other parents in the dilemma of which car seat to buy!