Two of our favorite infant car seats: the Nuna Pipa and the Cybex Aton Q (ratings/reviews/price)
When it comes to an infant car seat, you don’t want to skimp on quality – if you’re getting an item that strictly exists for the sake of your child’s safety, why not get the very best? Today, we’re going to look at two of our top-of-the-line seats, featuring the latest in cutting-edge safety technology and convenience.
Nuna hails from the Netherlands, and they’ve been making a big splash in the last year with new products including the super-cool Nuna Leaf Floating Baby Lounger and the popular Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat. What’s cool about this seat? It is chock full of safety features that work to make your life easier and put your mind at ease at the same time:
- The steel stability leg is a load-bearing leg that sits on the floor of your car to reduce front-to-back movement in the event of a collision. Can’t use it because of the transmission hump that is on the middle seat of your car? No problem, just fold it up under the base for easy storage!
- The True Lock installation system is essentially a rigid LATCH system that makes the Pipa a breeze to install. These LATCH attachments, because they are rigid, also help to reduce lateral movement in the event of a side impact. No LATCH in your middle seat? No problem – Nuna has provided an easy seat belt lock-off system that will ensure a nice tight installation.
With all of these features, the Nuna Pipa is definitely one of the front runners in terms of safety. It’s also super easy to use: it’s feather-light, weighing in at only 8.8 pounds (I used a luggage scale to make sure!). The extra-large Dream Drape canopy provides shelter from sun and inclement weather. Worried about the adaptability to your stroller? Nuna is one of the only companies that actually makes adapters for strollers! If you have the Uppababy Vista or the Bugaboo Cameleon, Nuna makes a special adapter for the Pipa to fit into. Do you have a different stroller? Fret not because the Nuna Pipa also fits into most Maxi Cosi adapters. How can you go wrong with a car seat that is lightweight, safe, and easy to use?
The Cybex Aton Q infant car seat is similarly high-tech, and boasts an unusual sleek and stylish look as well. It’s an update on the Aton and Aton 2, and uses the same base as the Aton 2, so if you have the older model, you can just use that base to go with your fancy new car seat! Without further ado, here is the rundown of the features that this car seat offers.
- Like the Nuna Pipa, the AtonQ also sports a load-bearing leg that hides away with ease. This feature serves the same purpose as the anti-rebound bar that you might find on other infant car seats.
- Because 25% of collisions involving children are side impacts, the AtonQ has the new LSP System (Linear Side-Impact Protection). These rods that slide out and absorb part of the collision and actually increased the safety of the seat by 40%.
- Most infant car seats have energy-absorbing foam in them, but usually only around the headrest. The Aton series is the only one that actually provides a full shell of protective foam in the whole seat, providing protection from all angles.
Of course, one of the main reasons why you’d choose an infant car seat over a convertible is easy transportation from car to stroller to house, so it’s awesome that the Aton Q fits onto most Maxi Cosi adapters securely. At 11 pounds, this car seat is a smidge on the heavier side, but the plethora of safety features more than makes up for this 2-pound increase over the Pipa. Everything has improved from the Aton 2 to the Aton Q, including the canopy size and new high-end fabrics, making the additional $50 well worth the price.
A convenience feature that Cybex has included in this premium seat is the non-reweave harness that makes for hassle-free adjusting of the seat’s harness heights. At $349.99, this car seat is on the higher end, but it also provides the high-end components and features that will put your mind and your child at ease!
These two car seats look incredibly similar in terms of features and safety on paper, so I would like to offer a little more insight into these car seats to help you make a more informed decision with this next portion, Ben’s Two Cents!
Ben’s Two Cents
On paper, the Nuna Pipa seems like the easiest installation, since it has rigid LATCH and a seat belt lockoff, but with some cars I’ve tried it out on, including BMW sedans and the X1, the LATCH positions are actually too deep into the seat to install properly. Also, on some cars, the seat belt is positioned so the belt slides down and doesn’t sit properly in the lockoff. The combination of a swiveling rigid LATCH, a floppy base, and a load-bearing leg has made for some tougher installations, depending on the car.
But of course, no infant car seat is compatible with every vehicle, which is why we recommend that you bring your car to a Magic Beans store so you can try different seats before you buy.
Also, the Pipa is better in some Maxi Cosi infant car seat adapters than others – I prefer the Nuna-specific adapters, because they provide a bigger target to put your car seat into.
Nevertheless, the light weight makes a big difference in convenience – it’s just plain more pleasant to carry this featherweight seat, and I like how the squared-off handlebar makes it easy to hug to your hip. You’re going to be lugging your baby around in her car seat a lot, so weight really counts! Also, the canopy on this seat is truly superb.
The Cybex Aton Q has a big plate in the base that some may think is a seat belt lock-off but is actually what is called a Belt-Tensioning Plate. That means that you won’t have to get your whole weight into the car seat base in order to tighten it because the plate does it for you! Just make sure to lock the seat belt after you get it nice and tight.
The Aton Q also fits seamlessly on Maxi Cosi infant car seat adapters, and removes with ease. The hideaway canopy gives it a nice clean look, while ensuring that the canopy does not hit the seat in front of it whilst in the car. The deeper seat on the Aton Q provides great head and neck support for preemie babies as well!
Long story short: these are two awesome car seats for you to consider. Come visit any Magic Beans store and check them out – and talk to our baby gear experts, who will make sure you find exactly the seat you need to protect your most precious cargo!