Uppababy Car Seat Review 2021 Edition

uppababy car seat review

Uppababy is an American company that makes high-quality car seat and stroller baby products that fit the need of every parent in style. For the past 30 years, Uppababy have been mastering the baby industry through the owners’ experiences of being parents themselves. The company offers two types of car seat: the rear-facing MESA Infant Car Seat for infants approximately 0 to 1-year-old; and the front-facing ALTA High-Back Belt-Positioning Booster for children approximately 6 to 10 years old. See what the hype is about in this Uppababy car seat review.

About the Company

Bob the owner and product developer, has his own personal background when it comes to invention and development for companies like Ford, Reebok, The First Years, and Safety First. Lauren, the other half of the ownership and the company’s salesperson, runs the test facility (AKA their home) and uses her Reebok licensing experience to keep Bob sane and provide strategic and legal input to the company.

Together, Bob and Lauren explore ways to provide comfort, safety, convenience, and style to moms and dads who are still discovering the joy of parenthood. Their products, although they challenge the common look for most baby products, also meets the industry standards required by the Juvenile Product Manufacturing Association (JPMA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

What sets Uppababy apart?

They count on personal experience as parents to continuously develop and innovate products. Other than their products, Uppababy also boasts excellent customer services which lead to recommendations from one parent to another. They have their Uppababy Gives Back Program in partnership with charitable institutions, and initiatives that include product donations, monetary donations, and volunteerism.

Car Seat Safety Checklist

To guarantee that children are properly protected inside the vehicle, the following should be ensured:

  • Installation of the Uppababy MESA should be tight: The infant seat should be securely fastened with the seat belt and not move.
  • Store loose objects in the trunk: Anything unrestrained in the vehicle can be a projectile hazard.
  • No bulky clothing under harness: Too much padding can give a false sense of tightness.
  • Car seats expire: Check the labeling on the seat and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Place chest clip at armpit level, not too high or not too low.
  • Conduct the pinch test: Adjust the harness, check straps and review safety guidelines
  • Re-check installation often.
  • Read manuals: Every car and infant seat has different installation instructions.
  • Choose the seat that fits the child’s current weight and age: as children grow, the types of restraints evolve including rear-facing only, booster, or child seat.
  • Avoid airbags: Children in rear-facing seats should not be placed in front of an active passenger airbag.
  • Keep children in the back seat until the age of 13, it’s the safest place to ride.
  • Remember to register your car seat to receive notifications in the event of a safety recall.
  • Always remember to wear your seatbelt: Children are more likely to buckle up when given a proper example.

Uppababy MESA Infant Car Seat Review

The Uppababy MESA infant car seat is designed with intuitive innovations, maximizing ease, and minimizing errors to give parents and caregivers confidence and security. Uppababy MESA is suitable for infants 4-35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height.

Infant Car Seat Weight

The Uppababy MESA infant car seat weighs 9.9 lbs. with an additional 9 lbs. for the base. Uppababy MESA is heavier than the average car seat, so the seat weight is one thing to bear in mind for parents who consider ‘ease of carrying’ in making their buying decision.

Merino Wool Fabric

The Uppababy MESA infant car seat offers thick padding and quality wool fabric that feels durable. One of the safety features of this stylish car seat is that the Merino wool is naturally flame resistant. This means that the material does not contain artificial fire retardants, making it naturally chemical-free for your baby’s respiratory and skin safety.

The Merino wool, a naturally grown fiber that is thinner and softer than regular wool, makes it easier to wear next to the skin. It can absorb as much as 30% of its weight without feeling wet and the anti-bacterial properties of the fabric destroy odors. It keeps babies cool on warm days and warm on cool days. It is machine washable on the gentle cycle. The Uppababy MESA infant car seat pad, infant insert, buckle pad and shoulder pad need to be laid flat to dry, as it is more ‘hydrophilic’ amongst the other natural fibers and may take a while longer to dry. The company also recommends spot cleaning the harness and canopy as well as any plastic parts.

Self-Retracting LATCH and Smart Secure System

Uppababy MESA infant car seat boasts of its Smart Secure System, the only car seat with a unique technology that uses a tightness indicator. It also has self-retracting LATCH connectors for fast, accurate, and easy installation. The Uppababy MESA car seat LATCH connector ratchets and tucks on the base when not in use, and releases with a touch of the car seat button and pulls out one at a time or all together. This one-hand operation is perfectly designed for many parents operating the seat with a baby in their arms. The Uppababy MESA infant seat has hard shell buckles and an audible clicking sound when the anchors connect. An indicator window changes color from red to green to confirm that the Uppababy MESA base has been correctly installed every time to minimize car seat installation errors and assure your baby’s safety. The Uppababy MESA infant car seat is awarded an NHTSA 5 stars rating, the highest government-rated for car seat ease of use.

The MESA Base Compatibility

uppababy mesa base

With a streamlined, low-profile car seat base, the Uppababy MESA is easy to install and prevents damage to vehicle seats with a level indicator window on both sides of the base. Multiple foot positions on the car seats are also available to allow easy leveling. The Uppababy MESA infant car seat can be attached to Uppababy VISTA or CRUZ stroller without the need for car seat adapters, as well as Uppababy MINU with the use of adapters. The Uppababy MESA infant car seat can be both parent-facing and front-facing on all three strollers.

Installation Without the Base

The Uppababy MESA infant car seat base is not required to achieve a safe and secure installation: the MESA can also be secured with a seat belt. It is easy to install by passing the seat belt through the blue guides on the carrier that are located near the carry handle. However, parents must ensure that the red line parallel to the carrier is aligned to the vehicle floor and not the ground outside the vehicle. Parents must also make sure that the back angle of the Uppababy MESA carrier stays in the correct position without the base, so the baby’s head is not flopping forward and blocking their airway.

Other than these safety checks, the Uppababy MESA infant car seat is sleek and easy to use, making it recommended for parents who frequent public transportation. The easy-to-install Uppababy MESA car seat meets safety standards on flights, without the base.

Side Impact Protection (SIP)

Another of the Uppababy MESA safety features is the Side Impact Protection (SIP). Uppababy MESA’s headrest is reinforced with expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam which has exceptional insulating properties that ensure thermal heat and comfort. The lightweight characteristic of EPP foam contributes to its ease of use when traveling. EPP foam also reduces vibrations, making car seats more stable and comfortable.

No-Rethread Harness

The Uppababy MESA has a unique no-rethread harness. Its shoulder straps are connected to the head of the seat, making the height positions independent from the straps. Uppababy MESA five height harness position can be adjusted at the front with the baby inside the car seat, to ensure the best fit for babies no matter their size. The buckle on the Uppababy MESA infant seat is strong enough to meet the required safety guidelines without being so stiff that it is hard to operate.

It has 2 stored pockets for the latch plates of the infant car seat buckle. This is where parents can pull the Uppababy MESA plates off to the side and put the baby inside the car seat without the need to move the baby and get the car seat straps. The Uppababy MESA chest clip is easy to connect and disconnect, and the car seat button depresses effortlessly. The sides are also noticeably non-sticky as it slides apart and together smoothly when a little pressure is applied.

Is it Suitable for Preemies?

Premature babies, or preemies, and small newborn babies can also enjoy the Uppababy MESA if they are 4 lbs. or more. The adjustable car seat harness together with a crotch strap creates a safer riding position as it also includes an infant insert. The infant insert is used for babies weighing 4-8 lbs. This is the added protection feature of the Uppababy MESA to support smaller infants whenever on the go. It is also made of the same Merino wool which is suitable for babies’ sensitive skin. A good indicator to remove it is to check if the car seat harness is already cutting down the infant’s thighs or when the infant starts to sit on top of the crotch buckle.

MESA One-Handed Release Handle

The Uppababy MESA handle is also conveniently placed. By just pressing the button on top of the car seat, it activates the one-handed release from the compatible stroller. It also secures the baby when adjusting the position to the parent-facing option when strolling, or can be front-facing without the handlebar getting in the way.

Canopy with UPF 25

The Uppababy MESA canopy is medium-sized with a hard flap for storage when not in use. The integration of the car seat canopy is compatible with both Uppababy CRUZ stroller and VISTA stroller and it is extendable to protect the baby from its environment. The Uppababy MESA canopy itself does not interfere with the carrier’s handle and is UPF 25, providing protection from 96-97% of both UVA and UVB.

The Environment-Friendly Option

Being a company that offers the highest quality of products, Uppababy assures that they meet the most stringent applicable Federal, State, local and voluntary standards. This includes chemical requirement agreement with suppliers, abiding by internal chemical policies created for well-known chemicals of high concern and published under Washington State, REACH, and Proposition 65. Through increased test frequency they make sure the products have the highest degree of safety and condition. The formulation of Uppababy MESA car seat does not use any hazardous materials and uses naturally fire-resistant materials to avoid the need for chemical flame retardants.

EPP Foam Use

In addition, the EPP foam used for the infant seat headrest is a chemically neutral and environment-friendly material because it is 100% recyclable. Its foam is resistant to mold and bacteria which is very important when it comes to juvenile car seat protection and product preservation.

Customer Concerns Line

As part of their customer service, a dedicated team ensures that parents and caregivers who have concerns on emerging hazardous chemicals are properly addressed within 24 hours using the most accurate information and assistance available. As members of the General Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) and other consumer and advocacy groups, the company engages in reinforcing this commitment to providing excellent products and services.

Continue with Uppababy ALTA

uppababy alta booster seat

When your bundle of love maxes out the 35 lbs. limit for the MESA, it’s time to continue with the ALTA. The Uppababy ALTA High-Back Belt-Positioning Booster Seat was first made in 2019 but was launched in 2020 as part of the company’s extension to offering quality car seats. This seat not only offers superior comfort but also optimized protection for car rides as the child grows. The ALTA booster seat is made for children approximately 6 to 10 years old, weighing 40-100 lbs. and 38-57” in height. Its key features also include the same SecureFit belt routing system, LATCH connectors, an Active Support Headrest with seven positions, Side Impact Pods on the side of the shell for absorption and dispersion of crash forces, and a unique lap belt positioner for the best fit for your child. It also comes with armrests and a removable cup holder for ease of hydrating on the go. It uses the same fabrics as the MESA infant seat which are removable and washable for parents’ convenience.

Limited Lifetime Warranty

The MESA car seat and ALTA high-back booster are both under the Limited Lifetime Warranty. This program only applies to purchases made after January 1, 2019 and is offered to all car seats. To receive this type of warranty, customers must register their Uppababy product online within 3 months of purchase and provide a valid receipt from an authorized retailer. The model number, serial number and date of manufacture are also required as well as the customer’s details for reaching out in case of product recall. The ‘lifetime’ of the product is defined by the expiration date included on the product as it represents the company’s commitment to ensuring child passenger safety. This Limited Lifetime Warranty only applies to car seats purchased in the United States.

Uppababy Car Seat Review : Overall Satisfaction Rating

Overall, the Uppababy car seat provides exceptional quality and comfort beyond standard and it is one of the highest-rated car seats on the market when it comes to child safety. Everything feels solid and durable, with a sleek and lovely finish that does not compromise between the safety features and security of the child inside the car seat and parents’ convenience at the same time.

While it is pricier than its competitors’ seats on the market today at USD $350 for Uppababy MESA car seat, and USD $180 for Uppababy ALTA high-back booster, parents and caregivers are sure to get their money’s worth when it comes to ease of installation, chemical-free and exceptional fabric, efficiency and accessibility of carrier parts, and general usability.