UPPAbaby Mesa Car Seat Review: Is It Worth The Money?

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Choosing a car seat for your baby is one of the most essential yet daunting tasks you’ll encounter as a parent. You need a seat that’s safe, compatible with your car, and comfortable to your child, all without sacrificing the ease of installation and lightweight. It seems like a lot to consider! 

We know how tired new parents are. In an attempt to save them some time and effort, today we’ll be reviewing one of the best car seats on the market, UPPAbaby Mesa car seat

We’ll be looking closely at its features and evaluate its safety options. More importantly, we’ll be asking the question, “Is UPPAbaby Mesa worth your money?”

Table of Contents

Things to Consider Before Buying a Car Seat

We decided to go to experts on the topic to get some info on what to consider when choosing babies’ car seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that you start with choosing a suitable car seat type for your baby’s age and size.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

These seats are designed to accommodate young children who usually outgrow them by their first birthdays. A rear-facing car seat cradles your baby and reduces the impact of any possible crash. Thanks to the harness system and the belt, your baby is well fit into the seat.

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base

According to NHTSA, this is the best type to use overall. The American Academy of Pediatrics seems to agree with that. It seems worth noting that UPPAbaby Mesa is indeed a rear-facing car seat. 

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats are rear-facing seats that you can convert into forward-facing ones once your child grows. They rely on a harness and tethers, and they’re usually a tad bigger than rear-facing seats because they’re designed to be used even longer.

All-in-One Car Seats

These are similar to convertible car seats in the sense that they’re designed to stick with the child from newborn age to big kid years. A good all-in-one seat can transform a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one and, ultimately, into a booster seat.

The Car Seat Checklist

After you choose the right type, here’s a checklist we recommend you keep in mind:

  • Make sure that the car seat’s size is compatible with your car.
  • Look for a seat that has side impact protection features.
  • Select a car seat with long legroom to grow with your baby.
  • Choose a car seat that fits perfectly with its base.

UPPAbaby Mesa at a Glance

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base
  • Includes: 1 MESA Infant Car seat and 1 MESA base
  • Suitable for infants 4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height
  • SMARTSecure system installs in seconds, Adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection

Drawing on its three-decade presence in the juvenile product market, UPPAbaby combines experience with new technology to offer the best for parents and babies. 

Their premium car seat, UPPAbaby Mesa, is no different. The Mesa is an impressive car seat that aims to impress and reduce guesswork through its ease of use and sleek look. 

UPPAbaby believes that ease of use is key to minimizing error and thus ensuring the safety of your baby in their car seat. Did they manage to do that with the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat? We’ll see. 

Things We Like

  • Installation is a breeze
  • Multi-level footrest
  • Natural flame-retardant material
  • Clips perfectly to the base
  • Highly compatible with plenty of strollers
  • Features an infant insert seat for preemies

Room for Improvement

  • Heavier than other models
  • Steep price
  • Might make the baby hot and sweaty

Features & Benefits — A Closer Look at UPPAbaby Mesa

If you’re going to pay such a high price, it’s your right to know what you’re getting. Here, we’ll be exploring the nuts and bolts of the Mesa.

Technical Specs

  • Car Seat Dimensions: 26.5 x 17.5 x 23 inches
  • Base Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Car Seat + Base Weight: 20 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 4 – 35 lbs.
  • Maximum Height: 35 inches
  • Expiration: 7 years

Safety First — A Priority

We’re happy to tell you that the UPPAbaby Mesa scored five stars in the NHTSA safety rating. It successfully passed all federal crash tests, and it’s safe to say that there’s no need to worry about your baby in this car seat, assuming you’ve installed it properly.

To fit your baby in the Mesa car seat, all you have to do is strap the five-point harness. Thanks to its dual clips, this harness will ensure your baby’s secured tightly in the seat while being comfortable. We didn’t encounter any complaints of strap friction. 

The crotch buckle won’t bother your baby, as it won’t cut around your baby’s thighs.

To provide additional safety features, UPPAbaby introduced extra inner EPP foam padding to the headrest to protect your infant’s head and keep it as stationary as possible during, God forbid, any collisions or bumps. 

Ease of Installation – That’s Where It Shines!

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base

UPPABaby boasts of the Mesa’s ease of installation, and it has every right to do so!

Thanks to its self-retracting latches, installation is a breeze. You can release them from their anchors in the base with a button press. Then, pull them out. 

The Mesa leaves no room for second-guessing. You get to know whether you installed the car seat right to the base through the tightness light indicator that turns green when everything is tight and in place. No wonder parents have been raving about this feature all over the internet!

We’ve got to note that the indicator is overly sensitive. It’ll probably turn red after a bumpy ride. Make sure to check it every now and then. 

These features come in especially handy for those who live in urban places, those who frequently mount and unmount their car seats in cars and spend a lot of time in transportation. 

Adjustability – Speaks to Your Baby’s Comfort

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base

UPPAbaby’s Mesa has an adjustable headrest to which the harness adjusts, all aiming at your baby’s comfort. Besides, the seat base has multiple leg positions to adjust to your baby’s legs. 

Speaking of adjustability, you can adjust the 5-point harness and crotch strap to accommodate preemies. The car seat comes with an infant insert for that purpose. According to UPPAbaby, you can secure a newborn as little as 4 lbs. in this seat with this infant insert in place. 

In contrast, experiments revealed that the maximum 35 lbs. weight capacity UPPAbaby’s Mesa claims might be a bit over the top. Some reported issues trying to fit their babies in the Mesa car seat, starting from 20+ lbs., which is something to take into consideration. 

Material – Another Safety Layer

The Mesa is available in four versions. “Jake” is black, “Bryce” is a combination of white and grey marl, while “Henry” and “Jordan” are blue marl and charcoal melange, respectively. 

Color isn’t the only difference among these versions. Although all four are made of high-quality material that withstands the test of time. The Henry and Jordan are made with a particular fabric called merino wool, which results in them costing about 50 bucks more than the other two versions.

Merino wool is a thin, soft natural type of wool that’s known to be fire-retardant. Using this material, UPPAbaby integrates fire retarding properties to its car seat without using chemicals. In turn, Mesa car seats have passed the federal safety standards.

According to the manufacturers, merino wool will keep your baby cool in summer and warm on cold days, as it adapts to body temperature. However, some parents complained that their babies were hot and sweaty because of the warning sign sewn into the seat’s fabric.

You can place a cotton t-shirt or any soft material behind your baby’s head if you face this problem. So, it’s not a total deal-breaker. 

When it comes to cleaning, the lining is easy to remove and is machine-washable. Yet, UPPAbaby recommends handwashing their fabric, probably for the sake of the fabric’s longevity.

The Sun Canopy – Requires Improvement?

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base

The car seat features a UPF 25+ canopy that extends to protect your baby against harmful sun rays, especially when placed on a stroller. While we’re at it, we’d like to note that the Mesa fits perfectly with UPPAbaby’s Vista stroller, which we reviewed here.

However, like most UPPAbaby’s canopies, the canopy’s extension range is limited, and it probably won’t cover your baby’s legs. There’s room for improvement here, especially since that seems to be a recurring complaint of parents.

MESA Infant Car Seat - Jake (Black) + MESA Base
  • Includes: 1 MESA Infant Car seat and 1 MESA base
  • Suitable for infants 4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height
  • SMARTSecure system installs in seconds, Adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection


All states now require you possess a car seat with specific requirements based on your baby’s size and age. Infant car seats aren’t a luxury anymore.

However, UPPAbaby Mesa might be a bit luxurious. With such premium features, it has more to offer than its counterparts, but it costs more as well. In our opinion, the safety guarantees, ease of use, and sturdy build of the Mesa are worth the expense if you have a few bucks to spare.

If not, we’d recommend you check out Peg Perego’s Primo Viaggio. It’s a solid counter to the Mesa, and it also excels at ease of installation and seat comfort. Another cheaper but equally functional alternative is Chicco’s Fit2, loaded with quality options but falls short of stroller compatibility options. 

Investing in a quality car seat will pay off. It makes your job easier and protects your baby on the road. Don’t hesitate to purchase the Mesa if you find that it suits your needs.

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Amy Tanathorn

Amy is a mom and the creator of Stroller Envy. Though she's no longer an active part of the team, you'll still find some stroller reviews from her on our blog and YouTube channel