In this UPPAbaby MESA review, our product testing team looks at the key details and features of this high-end infant car seat and carrier. We tested the MESA in person and combed through hundreds of customer reviews to help assess the quality of this travel system.
We really like the MESA, and even listed it as one of the best infant car seats based on its material quality, ease of use, and adjustability. It’s also a safe car seat that’s been crash-tested and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
UPPAbaby MESA Overview And Features
This car seat is designed for infants up to 35.0 pounds. It features high-quality materials, including fire-retardant Merino wool lining. It’s available in four different colors and features a no-rethread headrest.
- Cost: Around $350
- Weight limit: 4.0 to 35.0 lbs.
- Height range: 32.0 inches or less
- Car seat weight (excluding base): 9.9 lbs.
Our Take: A comfortable infant car seat that’s easy to install and use.
UPPAbaby MESA Testing Process
Any car seat sold in the US must comply with federal motor vehicle safety regulations and have been thoroughly tested for safety. This includes the UPPAbaby MESA. Our testing looked primarily at ease of use, material quality, and adjustability.
In addition to reviewing feedback from parents on Amazon, we ordered our own MESA so that we could examine it in person and practice installing it ourselves.
Ease Of Use
While the MESA passes federal safety tests (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), a car seat is only safe if properly installed. Easy installation and clear labeling help increase the security of any seat more by reducing the chance of user error.
Ease of use can be especially important for infant car seats. The MESA, like many infant car seats, can be detached from the base and used as a carrier or with a stroller. Being able to quickly remove the seat from the car seat base is an important feature.
The more adjustable a car seat, the more likely it can properly fit in your vehicle and provide a comfortable receptacle for your little ones. Features like a built-in level indicator help with recline adjustments and easy-to-operate buttons and levers go a long way toward improving car seat usability.
Quality Of Materials
Each of our best infant car seats uses strong and secure straps for safety. However, not all safe car seats are equally comfortable. Infant car seats with soft materials, extra padding, and quality stitchwork scored best in this category.
What We Like About The UPPAbaby MESA
The MESA uses a SmartSecure® latch system, which makes it one of the easiest car seats to install among any that we tested. Straps are loosened when you hold down the chest clip button and automatically tighten when this button is released. If you have an older car without anchor latches, the MESA can be attached using the rear seat belt.
The MESA has quality LATCH connectors, which are easier to use than plain metal clasps and are always a plus in car seat design. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, guaranteeing its durability.
Perhaps what stands out the most about the MESA is the high quality of its materials. The machine-washable Merino wool fabric is among the softest linings we’ve encountered in a car seat and it contains flame-retardant chemicals for added safety.
For parents seeking functionality outside the vehicle, the UPPAbaby MESA is compatible with strollers. The UPPAbaby VISTA V2® and CRUZ® strollers work with the MESA without any modifications, although pairing with the MINU® will require adapters.
What We Don’t Like About The UPPAbaby MESA
While the MESA features high-quality materials, it comes with a high price tag and some babies may be just as comfortable in a less expensive car seat.
The other downside to the MESA is that it is relatively heavy, which could make it harder for some parents to install. The carrier is only 10.0 lbs. when detached from the base, but the base is quite heavy (almost 20.0 lbs.).
UPPAbaby MESA Reviews
Amazon Review Score: 4.9 out of 5 based on over 2,600 reviews
Positive UPPAbaby MESA Reviews
Most appreciate the MESA for its robust materials and ease of use. It is compatible with UPPAbaby strollers and is easily removable from its base.
“Love this car seat ([and] the entire vista system) the latch base makes it super easy to take in and out and pop on [a] stroller.”
– Weable via Amazon
“It’s a wonderful seat, easy to clean in the wash, and can handle a lot of wear and tear.”
Negative UPPAbaby MESA Reviews
Overheating is a problem that some parents have mentioned. The Merino wool lining can be quite hot for some infants. One reviewer (who lived in Arizona), noted that they had to get a different seat because the seat fabric was too hot for their child.
“We have experienced absolutely terrible overheating issues with this car seat.”
– Angel via Amazon
While this isn’t a common experience, it is something to look out for when using this car seat, especially in hot climates. Make sure whichever convertible car seat you purchase is comfortable for your child under your typical weather conditions.
Our Take On The UPPAbaby MESA: 4.5 Stars
We like the UPPAbaby MESA because it is easy to install, made from the best, softest materials, and has excellent stroller compatibility. This is a high-end infant car seat that offers forward and side-impact protection as well as comfortable harness positions. However, this seat can be hot for some children, especially in arid climates.
|Overall Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Ease of Use||5 out of 5|
|Adjustability||4 out of 5|
|Quality of Materials||4.5 out of 5|
Remember that anytime you purchase a car seat, you should check to make sure there have been no recalls on the model.
Our Review Standards
The car seat in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors like design innovation, customer ratings, and prices.
Our product testing team then ordered the car seats that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a car, taking note of the car seat’s safety features, installation difficulty, and overall durability. Each car seat was given a rating out of 5 stars based on this criteria.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.
UPPAbaby MESA: FAQ
*Data accurate at time of publication.