Nuna RAVA convertible car seat caught my eye due to its beautiful design and extra features. It seems that every detail of the Nuna RAVA seat has been designed with care and parents and children in mind. However, it does come with a higher price tag.
Today, my Nuna RAVA review will try to bring this high-end seat closer to you, so you can decide whether it is the right fit for your child and wallet.
The Nuna RAVA Car Seat
The brand’s mission resonates with me – trying to make parenting easier with simple and safe equipment. Nuna RAVA is a convertible car seat, which means you can use it in both rear and forward-facing orientation.
However, it can accommodate toddlers in rear-racing orientation for longer, because the weight limit, in this case, is 50 pounds. Once you convert the seat, you can use it until the baby starts weighing 65 pounds.
Nuna prides itself in using only the best materials while creating the products. Indeed, the fabric is soft to touch, and naturally retardant, without added chemicals.
Here are the good and bad sides in short:
- No-rethread harness system
- Soft fabric
- Multiple recline position – easy to set
- Quick installation
- Extended rear-facing use
- Retractable side pods
- Too wide for smaller cars or people with 3 children
- High Price tag
Nuna convertible car seat is an excellent choice for parents looking for a durable and lavish car seat they can use from a newborn stage to several years. The seat has a removable infant insert, so it is safe for babies from five pounds.
It is an excellent seat for parents who own a slightly larger vehicle because the seat is bulky. Also, it weighs almost 30 pounds, so it is more of a stationary seat and is practical only if you plan to install in one car and keep it there.
Even though the seat has multiple recline positions and an insert, I don’t recommend it for small babies or premature. Moreover, if you have two or more children, I recommend you to keep looking for something more compact. You can jump to the Alternatives section and find something that might be a better fit for you.
Is the Nuna RAVA worth it?
Nuna RAVA is safe, comfortable, and has several extra features that add to the price tag. For example, the seat uses naturally retardant fabrics without added chemicals to improve the safety of the child.
Next, the seat features have extension panels to provide taller babies more leg space and plush, well-ventilated padding. The seat doesn’t seem overpriced, but it is on you to determine whether you need all those thoughtful details.
How long does the Nuna RAVA last?
The Nuna car seat RAVA model has an expiration period of ten years since the manufacturing date. It accommodates children with a maximum of 65 pounds and no taller than 49 inches.
Is Nuna better than Graco?
Nuna and Graco car seats are well-constructed, safe, and practical for parents and children. Nuna is pricier, but it has plush padding, and some safety features Graco lacks. On the other hand, both brands produce car seats for taller babies and have extension panels to make tall babies comfortable in the rear-facing position for longer.
Briefly, Graco car seats are durable and safe, but the Nuna uses softer fabrics, thicker padding with ventilation to provide better comfort.
Let’s dive into everything that makes the Nuna RAVA car seat so extraordinary. From design and safety crash tests to installation methods and TrueTension technology – here is all you need to know about the Nuna RAVA car seat.
Nuna RAVA car seat supports both seat belt and LATCH installation. But the company promotes the seat belt method because most parents get confused about lower anchors and tethers. The seat has two true tension doors, designed to help parents secure the seat quickly via seat belt. If you opt for a LATCH method, prepare yourself for a complex installation.
So, if you want to install the seat in the rear-facing position, you have to flip the cupholders and release the cover to get access to the tension door. Once you do that, you can follow the seat-belt path and steps described in the manual. It is quite simple to complete it and you don’t need to use force, just make sure that the belt isn’t slacked.
Finding the appropriate recline angle with the Nuna RAVA car seat is quite simple, and you should find the lowest position possible for the newborns.
Rear-facing installation with lower anchors is similar, but it does require more force and hassle. Both methods are completely safe, but the seat belt is much more practical.
Forward-facing installation via seat belt is also smooth, as the parts required for this installation type are colored red and clearly labeled. You have to find access to TrueTension doors for forward-facing installation, tread the belt, lock it in place and connect the tethers. Shut the door, and you are ready to ride.
Luckily, the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and you can find additional installation on TrueTension doors to guide you through the process.
Nuna RAVA car seat is super safe with well-placed side impact protection, an all-steel frame, and shock-absorbing foam. Unlike some other convertible seats, RAVA has both a smart and comfortable design. The foam has two purposes – to improve comfort and absorb shock, and is located inside of the seat.
The side pods are outside and can be customized. For example, you can pop them out on one side, or retract them when you use the seat in the center position.
I must mention that retractable side pods appear like an excellent idea, but the feature somehow seems irrelevant. All parents prefer maximum safety for their child, and the manual doesn’t answer when is the right situation to remove the side pods.
Additionally, the Nuna RAVA safety ratings by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proof that the seat meets Federal Safety Standards. Nuna RAVA crash test results by Baby Gear Lab and Consumer Reports showed the seat deserves its spot in the list of the safest convertible seats on the market.
RAVA car seat features almost standard height and weight limits for convertible car seats. The rear-facing range is slightly extended, which is great if you want to ride the baby longer in rear-facing orientation. It is from 5 to 50 pounds. Moreover, the extension panel makes it possible to ride even the tall babies for longer.
The forward-facing range is 25-65 pounds, and once the baby is taller than 49, you should stop using the Nuna RAVA seat. Still, until the baby reaches 49 inches, you can adjust the inserts to make the baby comfortable all the time.
Nuna RAVA enables ten reclining positions, which simplifies the installment for the young ones. Finding the angles is simple, all you have to do is press and select the right recline angle on the color-coded indicator.
Nuna seat features a sturdy all-steel frame and it adds to the weight. The seat weighs 27.2 pounds, which is more than some similar, more affordable seats. But I would rather have my daughter ride in a strong seat and carry a few extra pounds than have her in a lightweight, plastic seat.
Also, I don’t switch the car seat between the vehicles, so I don’t mind the weight. But, if you have two cars and one seat, you might need to find something lighter.
First of all, the RAVA seat comes with a removable infant insert that makes it possible to use for babies from 5 pounds. The insert is curved to make the baby more comfortable, and provide correct support.
Also, the seat provides removable calf support, which ensures that there is enough leg space for taller children.
The fabric is soft, and you cannot feel the frame through padding. That way, the little one riding in the seat will remain comfortable even during rides on cobblestones.
The padding is ventilated, which ensures proper airflow. However, the padding is thick, and the ventilation might not be sufficient during long summer rides, and the kid still can get hot.
RAVA seat has Green Guard certification, which ensures that no harsh chemicals were added during the manufacturing process. It means that not only is the fabric naturally flame retardant, but it is also smooth. I appreciate it because my daughter has sensitive skin and sometimes has a rash after prolonged contact with rough fabrics.
The Nuna RAVA car seat has retractable cupholders, which require some effort to push in or out. But, I don’t see it as a downside. It prevents the baby from playing with it and accidentally getting hurt. I can handle it easily.
But I don’t like that you have to remove cupholders, every time you want to install the seat in the rear-facing orientation via seatbelt.
An important part of my Nuna RAVA car seat review is the maintenance because I know how babies can be messy. Spilled juices, snacks, saliva, and vomit are common around car seats. The Nuna RAVA seat is surprisingly easy to clean, and the fabric doesn’t stain easily, nor it collects odors.
Manual comes with instructions on how to remove the seat pad easily, but you will probably figure it out by yourself. You can wash seat cover and pads in the machine and air dry.
Other parts of the seat can be wiped clean, and there aren’t many tight places to collect the dirt. You can use a damp sponge to clean those parts, but don’t remove the harness system. Instead, you can easily clean it with a cloth.
Resist the urge to disinfect the seat with bleach or harsh chemicals, because it can damage the seat parts and make it unsafe for the child.
I recommend occasionally, removing pads to vacuum the seat thoroughly. That way, you will prolong the time between two deep cleanings.
RAVA seat is tested and certified to meet FAA requirements for use in aircraft. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to install the seat properly in airplanes. The FAA-certified label is on the bottom of the seat and I recommend analyzing the instruction before you go on a trip.
Seats in airplanes are different, and even though RAVA is FAA certified, installing the seat in some airplanes can be more difficult than in others.
My strongest impression about the RAVA car seat, apart from safety and comfort, is the simplicity. Everything about this seat is easy to use – seat-belt installation, customization, maintenance, etc. You can even adjust the head support without unbuckling the harness.
Pulling cupholders and extension panel for leg support is also simple. But, my favorite part is a push-and-recline feature, so you don’t have to struggle much to get the right angle for newborns. The seat is pricey. But it is well-designed, and its smart features simplify the life of modern and busy parents, so using a car seat is one less worry on your list.
Nuna RAVA Review: Alternatives
If Nuna RAVA doesn’t seem like the right fit for your car, budget, or preferences, here are three alternatives.
Graco is a common choice for parents looking for a great blend of quality and affordability. The model Extend2Fit has an extension panel for additional legroom space, similar to the Nuna RAVA car seat.
It also accommodates babies from 5 to 50 pounds in rear-facing orientation, with a maximum weight range for forward-facing use of 65 pounds. The seat is significantly lighter than Nuna RAVA and supports both installment methods. LATCH installation is simpler than with a Nuna seat. But, I prefer the seat-belt installation of the Nuna seat, because you can complete it quicker and with less force and fuss.
Graco also has 10 headrest positions and a no-rethread adjusted harness system. For a more in-depth guide, check our Graco Extend2Fit review.
Similarities between Graco Extend2Fit and Nuna RAVA:
- Both have 10 headrest positions
- Both are suitable for taller babies
- Both are simple to adjust
- The same weight range in the rear and forward-facing orientation
- Nuna RAVA has natural flame-retardant fabric
- Nuna RAVA is simple to install via seat-belt
- Graco has integrated cupholders
- Graco car seat is budget-friendly
- Ten pounds difference is seat weight
- Convertible car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (4-50lbs) to forward-facing harness (22-65 pounds)
- Made of Steel reinforced | Product dimensions – 20.75” D x 19” W x 24.5” H | Product weight – 19.25 lbs.
- Up to 50 pounds rear facing, allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer
If you are looking for an alternative with the anti-rebound bar, I recommend checking the Boulevard convertible seat by Britax. The anti-rebound bar is a useful safety feature, which prevents the rotation of the seat during accidents. The Britax Boulevard ARB ClickTight car seat features a unique ClickTight installation system. It enables simple, three-step installation.
The Britax seat is suitable for babies from 5 to 40 pounds in rear-facing orientation, but you can use the seat forward-facing until the baby weighs over 65 pounds.
When it comes to the construction of the shell, it is a tie between Nuna RAVA and Britax Boulevard seat. Both feature steel construction and both weigh about the same 27 pounds.
However, the Britax car seat has 14 no-rethread harness positions, opposed to 10 positions by Nuna RAVA.
The seats are pretty similar, but Nuna RAVA is more stylish. However, Britax has additional safety features such as V-tether for stability, and a crumple zone, which absorbs energy during shock.
Also, Britax is more affordable, but it still belongs to the category of high-end seats.
Similarities between Britax Boulevard and Nuna RAVA car seats:
- The total weight limit is 65 pounds
- Both have steel frames
- The seats weigh around 27 pounds
- Both seats are easy to install
- The similar 5-point harness system
- Nuna RAVA has an extension panel for additional leg space
- Nuna RAVA have flame-retardant fabric
- Britax seat features an anti-rebound bar, V-tether, and crumple zone as additional safety features
- Britax seat weight limit in a rear-facing position is 40 pounds
- Britax car seat is more affordable
- ClickTight Installation System is the safest and simplest technology on the market; Open the front of the car seat, feed the seatbelt through the indicated path and click the seat shut; That's all you need to do for rock solid installation
- Anti Rebound Bar minimizes forces associated with crashes by stabilizing the car seat when installed rear facing
- Anti Rebound Bar: Padded, steel bar minimizes crash forces by stabilizing the car seat when installed rear facing.Care & Cleaning: Hand Wash
Lastly, if the Nuna RAVA seat is too bulky for your car, and you have two more seats to place on the backseat, check the Safety 1st car seat. It is designed to provide all necessary safety and comfort features of a convertible car seat but in a compact size.
The seat features an easy-to-remove head and body pillow, which are a bit thin. Still, the seat offers medium comfort.
Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible car seat is one of the most affordable convertible seats, with required safety features and FAA certification.
The seat is also one of the lightest convertible car seats on the market with less than 15 pounds of weight. The cover is machine washable, and the seat has convenient cupholders.
Lastly, the seats have the same weight range from 5 to 65 pounds, but you can use the Nuna RAVA car seat in rear-facing orientation for longer.
Similarities between Nuna RAVA and Safety 1st car seat:
- Both have a weight limit of 65 pounds
- Both seats are FAA certified
- Both seats are suitable for newborns and have removable infant inserts
- Covers are machine-washable
- Nuna RAVA has a steel frame
- Nuna RAVA supports children until 50 pounds in rear-facing
- Safety 1st is compact and fits smaller cars and more car seats on the backseat
- Safety 1st cover is dryer-safe
- Nuna RAVA seat has an extension panel and is a better fit for taller babies.
Looking for more convertible car seats by Safety 1st? Consider reading our review on the Safety 1st Grow and Go.
- An extra-comfortable ride that lasts for years: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65 pounds
- Side Impact Protection
- Fits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles
Nuna RAVA car seat is one of the most stylish, easiest to use, and safest convertible car seats on the market. If you don’t want to struggle with complex LATCH installation, the RAVA seat might be a great choice for you.
Installation via seat belt is simple in both rear and forward-facing orientation.
Overall, the seat is comfortable, durable, and easy to maintain. Because it fits children until 65 pounds, you will use it for several years.
The seat also fits newborns of five pounds, so I recommend buying the seat as the first car seat for your baby, so the initial investment has more years to pay off.
Learn more about Nuna RAVA seat here!
Alternatively, consider further reading our reviews on Nuna Pipa vs Pipa Lite,
What do you think about the Nuna RAVA seat? Would you consider it for your baby?
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API