The UPPAbaby Mesa is a nice car seat… but it's also mostly overrated and over-purchased, primarily by parents who don't want to deal with the complexities of making sure their car seat will adapt to their UPPAbaby stroller. (There are lots of other options, including Nuna, Maxi Cosi, Cybex, Peg-Perego, and Chicco car seats.)
Things We Love
- Great-Looking Design: This car seat is beautiful, and you can’t go wrong with any of the color options, though we like it best in Henry and Jake.
- Fire Retardant-Free: UPPAbaby added absolutely zero fire retardants to this seat, which means less toxic chemical exposure for baby. Great news!
- Taxi and Rideshare-Friendly (American Belt Path): The UPPAbaby Mesa has an American-style belt path, meaning the seat belt only attaches at two points and does not wrap around the back of the car seat. Although the American-style belt path isn’t quite as secure as the European-style belt path, it does still allow for a safe, quick, easy baseless install using a car’s locking seat belt. This is great news for city dwellers or frequent travelers who hail lots of taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. (Note: Some car seat safety techs recommend using a rolled up towel or pool noodle when installing the car seat using the seat belt, especially on slopey seats. Always check for no more than one inch of movement side-to-side and front-to-back when installing your car seat without a base.)
- No-Rethread Harness: The height adjustable headrest automatically positions the harness into the correct spot. No rethreading necessary!
- Easy Compatibility with UPPAbaby Vista and Cruz Strollers: If you know you want an UPPAbaby Vista or UPPAbaby Cruz stroller, this car seat clicks in without the need for additional adapters, which can often cost upwards of $50.
Things We Don't Love As Much
- Side Impact Protection, But No Load Leg: The UPPAbaby Mesa has side impact protection but no load leg or anti-rebound bar to prevent rebound in a crash.
- Smaller Fit: Despite having similar height and weight requirements as both Cybex and Nuna car seats, babies seem to grow out of the Mesa faster than babies in Aton or Pipa seats.
- So/So Canopy: While the canopy looks nice, it is not super large, and doesn’t protect baby super well from the sun or wind.
- Medium Footprint: At 28 inches deep with the base, the UPPAbaby Mesa is a bit of a space hog, and every inch of legroom counts in compact cars.
- Medium Weight: At 9.9lbs, the Mesa is a pretty average weight, neither tremendously heavy nor impressively light.
- Very Limited Stroller Compatibility: The UPPAbaby Mesa is only compatible with UPPAbaby Vista and UPPAbaby Cruz strollers. No adapters required! Bonus: It is also compatible with the Mountain Buggy Nano and other strollers which do not use clip in systems to secure the car seat.