First impressions: UPPAbaby Mesa

mesa1A few days ago a knock came on our door and at it was the infant car seat we had registered for: the UPPAbaby Mesa! (UPPAbaby’s car seat)

Let me say this right now: we could not be more blessed to have the parents we have on both sides. Wow.

For those who don’t understand the difference between car seats these days (because I had literally no idea going in) let me give you a rundown from my understanding. Which is minimal.

Nowadays you have two basic kinds of car seats to schlep your baby around from place to place in a vehicle: the “infant car seat” and the “convertible car seat”.

The infant car seat is smaller and can easily be popped out of the base (the doohickey it sits on in the car) and into a stroller/on top of a high chair/into the main shopping cart area, etc. You don’t have to take the baby out to get it into the stroller, and they only go up to 35-40 pounds. After the baby gets too big or the entire ordeal becomes too heavy, you graduate to…

The convertible car seat. The convertible car seat can be used rear-facing (which you are supposed to do, by law, at least a year and a minimum of 20 pounds, but longer if possible/ideally). The seat then goes front-facing when they are older. These are obviously a little bigger than the infant car seats since they then go forward up to 70 pounds(ish) and you take the baby out of the car seat in order to do anything with them.

Some people only use a convertible car seat from birth, which is cool, but it seems a little harder in terms of the schlepping around and restaurant maneuverability when the baby is super young, which is why we registered for the UPPAbaby Mesa – an infant car seat – and will also be registering/purchasing a convertible car seat for later.

My husband and I have one car between us, so our needs are a little different from many people in terms of getting car seat bases, etc. However, with the infant car seat you can purchase JUST the base (the doohickey the seat clicks into and out of) so you can transfer the seat across multiple cars without buying separate seats for each car.

Now that we’ve gotten that cleared up, let’s get back to the seat!

Here’s one of the vain reasons I like this car seat: it looks nice. It looks sleek and no muss/no fuss. Here are the other reasons I really like this car seat as well…which I will explain further down.

  • The base itself is very thin, which in any car is a godsend, but especially a sedan since our furry baby (dog, I have a problem, I know) needs his room too when we all go in the car together!
  • The pop out is SUPER easy and you don’t need eyes to use it
  • No threading to adjust the seat for the baby
  • Because this car seat is relatively new on the scene, it doesn’t fit with a lot of strollers but DOES fit with the stroller we chose, the UPPAbaby Vista. (I wrote about the stroller a little while ago.)
    • Side note: you DO need an adapter for this car seat to work with that stroller, which is baffling since they’re the same brand.
    • Side side note: oh well. You can’t win ’em all.
  • The install is so easy, even I feel confident in doing it.

mesa pop outThe “pop out” – what the heck am I talking about? When you’re in the car you need to be able to pop the seat out of the base easily. Some seats have buttons, but the UPPAbaby Mesa has a super easy lever that you can just feel for in the back of the seat to pop the seat out and go on your way. Love that.

Now, no threading? Have I started sewing? What am I talking about? Trust me, when I first started this journey that would have made literally zero sense to me. Basically in car seat talk, “threading” is the norm for how you adjust the various aspects of the seat, such as height for the head and then how tight the straps are. As the baby gets bigger and plumper you need to adjust the head rest higher and the straps out. Most seats use a mechanism called “threading” where you have to take the straps OUT of the seat, and re-thread them through another hole to adjust the seat up. But not the Mesa! It’s so simple that even my husband and I could do it.

And that’s saying a lot.

Here’s me adjusting the length:

And here I am adjusting the…girth? Width? Whatever you call it:

mesa level indicatorFinally, the install of the actual base is so easy it’s a little bit mind-boggling. Since our car is a 2004 it has the LATCH system available, which means that there are special little hooks you would have no idea existed unless you needed to put a child in the backseat of your car. Essentially these hooks come out, and you pop the seat in. In order to get the Mesa correctly installed, you pop the hooks in, and literally just press down on the back of the base until it’s tight. In Buy Buy Baby they have a fake car seat with LATCH system to show how the different car seats install, and this one took less than 1 minute. No, it took me less than 1 minute. If we ever need to transfer the seat to another car, I will have 0 doubts that we will be able to put it back in safely. It even has a little level indicator to show you if you need to adjust the level of the seat for optimal…level-ness. I truly cannot stress enough how easy this seat is to install, which is important since anything to do with baby gear seems to throw my husband and I in for such a loop that we sit confused and frustrated for hours after.

As you can see, it’s really easy. Like, REALLY easy. The rest of the features of the UPPAbaby Mesa don’t really differ from other infant car seats (sun hood, adjustable handle, etc.), but really, the adjustments and the day-to-day ease of use make this car seat stand out, which is good, because the price also stands out. Like I said, we are so blessed to have the parents we have, but really, if you can, take a look at the UPPAbaby Mesa.

First impressions: so glad we chose what we did.

Here’s the seat on the stroller!

uppababy all together

Oh my god, there is going to be a PERSON in there.

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