UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat | A Chicco KeyFit 30 Alternative?

If you’re after an infant car seat that ensures no-fuss installation and is specifically designed to accommodate smaller babies, including premature babies then read on for our comprehensive and detailed review where you can determine if the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is the right car seat for you and your family and of course, if it is worth the investment.

Here is our quick summary of the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat:

2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

Quick Summary

  1. A highly rated infant car seat that is specifically designed to accommodate premature babies.
  2. Engineered and tested to meet or exceed Federal US Safety Standards.
  3. Portable design for travel as it is compatible with VISTA and CRUZ stroller models.
  4. Features world-class technology for a hassle-free setup and installation.
  5. Breathable and naturally flame-retardant merino wool fabric.

Check out what we believe is the best infant car seat here.

UPPAbaby is an American company that is owned and operated by parents. Their mission is to design and manufacture high-quality baby products that are both convenient and reliable as well as being stylish. They also focus on ease of use and comfort, ensuring that their baby products cater to the needs of parents and children alike.

What Are The Key Features of The UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat?

The UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat includes a number of features that contribute to its overall safety, comfort, and convenience. Here we have compiled a list of some of the key features worth highlighting:

  • Available in 5 different colors.
  • Features a no-rethread 5-point harness.
  • A 4-position adjustable foot for easy and quick leveling.
  • Includes a built-in wedge to safely position your child, allowing the infant car seat to accommodate premature babies.
  • Features a SMART Secure System, which includes a tightness indicator and self-retracting, push-on LATCH connectors.
  • Naturally flame-retardant merino wool fabric that is both breathable and moisture-wicking.
  • Integrated storage pockets for harness buckles.
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty (An additional 1-year warranty if your car seat is registered with UPPAbaby.om within 3 months of purchase).
  • Compatible with VISTA and CRUZ stroller models (no adapters required).
  • SPF hideaway canopy.
  • Built-in lock-off for installation via the vehicle seat belt.

Will The UPPAbaby MESA Fit In Your Vehicle? The Specifications

  • Carrier/Seat weight: 9.9 pounds
  • Base weight: 9 pounds
  • Seat dimensions: 25.8” L x 17” W x 23” H
  • Base dimensions: 21.3” L x 14.5” W x 10.3” H
  • Car seat on base dimensions: 28” L x 17” W x 25” H

The car seat itself is relatively lightweight, which means it is easy to use as a carrier, particularly with its comfortable carrying handle. However, if you plan on regularly transferring the UPPAbaby MESA between vehicles, this may not be the best infant car seat for you as it is rather heavy and bulky with the base. We recommend installing and leaving this infant car seat.

The UPPAbaby MESA is rather bulky so it may not be ideal for 3-across car seat configurations and some parents found that it reduced the legroom available for front-seat passengers.

When it comes to fitting in your vehicle if you have a small or more compact vehicle we recommend comparing the measurements of your back seat to the car seat specifications outlined above to ensure that it is the right fit for your vehicle.

Will Your Child Fit The UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat?

The UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat comfortably and securely accommodates children within a 4 to 35-pound weight rage and up to 32 inches tall.

With a lower minimum weight, the UPPAbaby MESA is a great choice for smaller babies, including premature babies. In addition to the weight range, this infant car seat includes an infant insert/wedge as well as a low harness position, which are recommended for babies weighing between 4 and 8 pounds.

Some parents have noted that once their children hit the 20-pound mark that the seat was too small for them as the straps became too tight, making it difficult to buckle them in. This means that if your child is higher on the size charts they may outgrow the UPPAbaby MESA before they reach the 35-pound weight limit.

Is The UPPAbaby MESA Easy Is To Setup And Install?

The short answer? Yes!

The UPPAbaby MESA is specifically designed to ensure secure and quick installation. Thanks to its unique and patented SMART Secure System, parents are able to achieve a secure installation within seconds thanks to a number of handy features, including:

  • Tightness indicator.
  • Self-retracting, push-on LATCH connectors.
  • An indicator window that changes from red to green for visual confirmation that the base has been installed correctly.
  • A 4-position adjustable foot for easy and quick leveling.
  • A built-in belt lock-off for installation via the vehicle seat belt.

As you can see installation is practically fool-proof!

In terms of ease of use and convenience, the UPPAbaby MESA wins a few points due to its compatibility with the UPPAbaby VISTA or CRUZ strollers and its unique breathable and moisture-wicking material, designed to keep your child cool and comfortable.

How Safe Is The UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat For Your Child?

The UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is an exceptionally safe car seat thanks to its safety features that ensure your child’s safety and protection. These features include an adjustable headrest that is reinforced with EPP foam, providing added support for your child by keeping their head still in the event of a side-impact collision. 

The features that ensure a secure installation also contribute to the overall safety and protection offered by this infant car seat.

However, no car seat is perfect and some parents reported quality control issues, including broken parts, flimsy canopies, and torn fabric. We recommend inspecting your UPPAbaby MESA car seat before use and contacting UPPAbaby immediately if you come across any quality control issues.

While this does not pose as a safety issue, it is worth mentioning. Despite this infant car seat having breathable fabric, there is still a warning label that says babies may sweat on their backs. We recommend monitoring your child to prevent overheating.

Optional Accessories

This UPPAbaby infant car seat shield is an absolute must-have for a number of reasons. It protects your child’s car seat from all sorts of weather, including sun (with UPF protection), wind, and rain. This is particularly helpful if you live in a warmer climate and if you’re constantly on the go. 

This infant car seat cover not only fits over any UPPAbaby car seat but will also fit over most other infant car seats. In our opinion, the UPPAbaby Cabana Shield is definitely a wise investment.

We know how stressful travel is and the UPPAbaby VISTA Travel Bag makes traveling with kids that little bit easier. This travel bag fits UPPAbaby strollers, car seats or a bassinet. 

The travel bag itself is a durable, luggage grade, 600 denier bag that is designed to not only protect your child’s infant car seat but can be rolled up for easy storage when not in use. To give you further peace of mind, if you register this Travel Bag online any damage that occurs to your infant car seat during air travel is covered by UPPAbaby’s TravelSafe program.

The only infant car seat within the UPPAbaby brand is the MESA, hence there are no UPPAbaby alternative options. However, we have decided to take a closer look at the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT, another infant car seat that is specifically designed to accommodate premature babies but at a fraction of the cost of the UPPAbaby MESA.

Here are the key features of the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT:

  • Available in 3 different colors/designs.
  • Removable, machine-washable, and dryer-friendly seat pad.
  • 4 harness heights.
  • Compatible with any Safety 1st QuickClick-equipped stroller.
  • Adjustable infant car seat base.
  • FAA approved.
  • Side impact protection.

The Good: Affordable, designed to accommodate premature babies, and ultra-lightweight.

The Bad: Canopy is flimsy and difficult to use, straps are difficult to adjust, and some parents reported that the bottom buckle is over-sized, causing it to cut into their child’s thighs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is a winner. Its innovative and intuitive world-class technology takes the guesswork out of setup and installation to make life that little bit easier. We also highly recommend this infant car seat for smaller and premature babies, as it is specifically designed to provide them with more support and security, giving you peace of mind.

To sum up our review, here is our pros and cons list:

  • Breathable and naturally flame-retardant merino wool fabric.
  • Available in 5 different colors.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to install.
  • SPF hideaway canopy.
  • Designed to support smaller and premature babies.
  • Bulky, which reduces the legroom available for front-seat passengers.
  • Colors with merino wool fabric come at an additional cost.
  • Even with breathable fabric, babies may still sweat on their backs.
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Brenda Williams

Brenda Williams

Hi, I'm the founder of Car Safety Hub, Brenda Williams. I'm a happily married mother and have 2 of the sweetest children you could imagine.

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