In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Nuna RAVA Review

Comfortable with better crash test results but this quality option comes with a higher price
nuna rava convertible car seat review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $500 List
Pros:  Very good crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfy
Cons:  Expensive, heavier, stiff buckle
Manufacturer:   Nuna
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Dec 21, 2021
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 18
  • Crash Test - 35% 7.5
  • Ease Of Install - LATCH - 20% 7.7
  • Ease Of Install - Belt - 15% 8.2
  • Ease Of Use - 15% 6.6
  • Comfort / Quality - 10% 8.8
  • Weight / Size - 5% 4.0

The Skinny

The Nuna Rava is a high-end quality convertible car seat with impressive attention to detail and lots of extras for comfort. This car seat has impressive crash test results with the best-combined sensor results giving it a potential additional margin of protection over most of the competition in this review. This sleek and stylish seat is easy to install, easy to use, and sports thick but firm padding with soft fabric for an excellent seating configuration that makes longer trips a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, the Rava is expensive making it a no-go for families on a budget. It is also heavier than average making it a poor choice for those who travel or will need to move the seat frequently. This seat has great crash test scores and is one of the most comfortable options, but the higher price is a hindrance. However, if you are looking for comfort that doesn't sacrifice safety, and money is no object, it could be a contender.

Editor's Note: This gear review was updated with more information on testing details on December 21, 2021, with sub-metric information.

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nuna rava convertible car seat review
This Product
Nuna RAVA
Awards Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award 
Price $500 List$400 List
$399.99 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon$235 List
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Pros Very good crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfyEasy to install and use, cozy comfort, nice qualityGreat crash test results, easy to use, attractive price, lighterBest crash test results, rear-facing till 50 lbs, priceBudget-friendly, better crash test results, narrow
Cons Expensive, heavier, stiff buckleAverage crash test resultsHarder to install using the vehicle beltNot the best quality, harder belt installationThin padding, harder to install, lower quality
Bottom Line Comfortable with better crash test results but this quality option comes with a higher priceImpressive option with quality features and super easy installation parents will loveA lightweight, easy to use seat with excellent crash test result and priceBest crash test results on a budget-friendly seat that lets little ones sit rear-facing for longerInexpensive choice with impressive crash test results
Rating Categories Nuna RAVA Britax Boulevard Cl... Britax Emblem Graco Extend2Fit Evenflo Tribute LX
Crash Test (35%)
7.5
5.5
8.0
8.5
8.0
Ease Of Install - LATCH (20%)
7.7
9.5
7.2
6.6
4.9
Ease Of Install - Belt (15%)
8.2
9.6
6.0
7.0
5.1
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.6
7.6
7.6
7.3
6.6
Comfort / Quality (10%)
8.8
8.6
7.4
5.8
3.4
Weight / Size (5%)
4.0
5.0
5.5
5.0
9.5
Specs Nuna RAVA Britax Boulevard Cl... Britax Emblem Graco Extend2Fit Evenflo Tribute LX
Crash Test HIC Score 292 289 218 214 251.2
Crash Test Chest G Clip 40 51 42 40 42.7
Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight 5 - 50 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 4 - 50 lbs 5 - 40 lbs
Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight 25 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 22 - 64 lbs 22 - 40 lbs
Max Rear Facing Passenger Height Not Listed Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint 37"
Max Forward Facing Passenger Height 49" 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the seat shell. 40"
Measured Rear Facing Seat Weight 25.8 lbs 29.5 lbs 18.8 lbs 18.7 lbs 9.3 lbs
Measured Forward Facing Seat Weight 25.4 lbs 28.4 lbs 18.8 lbs 18.7 lbs 9.1 lbs
Width 19" 18" 18.9" 19.6" 17"
Recline Positions 5 Rear Facing
5 Forward Facing
7 1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
4 Rear Facing
3 Forward Facing
1 Rear Facing
1 Forward Facing
Max Recline Angle 40° 51° 42° 51° 45°
Shoulder Harness Positions 10 14 10 10 4
Crotch Strap Positions 2 2 2 2 2
Built in Lock Off True Tension Door ClickTight System Yes No No
Anti-rebound Device No Yes No No No
Head Support Yes Yes No No No
Newborn Insert Yes Yes Yes Yes No
No Rethread Harness Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Onboard Manual Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level Indicator On Seat Indicator on base Ball in Tube. Line on Decal Ball in Tube. Line Molded onto Shell
Foam Type EPS EPP EPP EPS EPS
Seat Lifespan 10 yrs 10 yrs 7 7 yrs 6 yrs
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 90 Days

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nuna company began with the idea of bringing a baby closer to the dining table with the creation of the ZAAZ™ high chair in 2007. The Amsterdam company believes parenthood should be "practical and beautiful with clever, design-thoughtful" solutions to get you through babyhood. You can find Nuna internationally-selling baby gear from car seats to strollers.

Performance Comparison



nuna rava convertible car seat review - even the headrest/harness assembly on the rava has impact foam to...
Even the headrest/harness assembly on the Rava has impact foam to absorb forces in the event of an accident.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Crash Test


The Rava has an excellent crash test score thanks to a combination of impressive head and chest sensor results. Every product in our review must meet or exceed Federal guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213. Meeting the guidelines means the car seat is considered safe or offers a basic level of protection. In a side-by-side comparison of crash test results using identical methods (BabyGearLab uses the same testing methods as those used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA]), we can tell if a seat offers an additional margin of safety if it exceeds the Federal minimum requirements and the results of the competition.


The Rava has G-force test results that are better than average for both the HIC sensors and the chest sensor, indicating that it offers an additional margin of protection.

The charts below show the test data from the test dummy sensors in the Boulevard (shown in black) and the test data for the seats in this review that have the lowest recorded G forces (shown in green) for comparison.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the nuna chest sensor result is an impressive 40 where the maximum...
The Nuna chest sensor result is an impressive 40 where the maximum allowed is 60 and the best in our tests was 33 earned by the Clek Foonf.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff, MGA Research
nuna rava convertible car seat review - while the nuna did not earn the best hic result, it did score below...
While the Nuna did not earn the best HIC result, it did score below average and far below the maximum allowed with a 292 where the maximum allowed is 1000 and the best is 186 for the Britax Allegiance.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff, MGA Research

The Britax Allegiance head sensor result is the lowest in the group with a 186 where the maximum allowed is 1000, and a lower result is better. The Rava result is only 292, far below the maximum allowed and better than the average for the group of 351. The Clek Foonf has the lowest (best) chest sensor results compared to the competition in our tests with a 33 where the maximum is 60, and a lower number is better. The Rava chest sensor result is 40. The charts below offer a comparison view of the sensor results for both the HIC and G results, so you can see how each seat compares to the competition.



nuna rava convertible car seat review - the nuna has additional side impact protection (sip) by way of wing...
The Nuna has additional side impact protection (SIP) by way of wing type additions designed to absorb forces during an accident.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Nuna has a feature they claim is designed to provide additional side impact protection (SIP) located on both sides of the Rava shell in the head region. We love any improvement that translates to increased safety, but it is difficult to determine what, if any, benefit this feature has. We could not find any testing data or third-party confirmation that the feature improves SIP. Because there is no industry standard or agreement on testing for SIP, we caution parents to avoid making their buying decision based solely on these claims. While safety is important, this kind of undefined and untested feature should be viewed as a nice addition and not the end all be all.

Rear-facing is the safest way for little ones to travel and parents...
Rear-facing is the safest way for little ones to travel and parents should keep children rear facing as long as the seat instructions allow.
The Nuna is easy to install using LATCH in the forward facing...
The Nuna is easy to install using LATCH in the forward facing position. Parents should familiarize themselves with the user manual as your installation options can change as your child grows.

Ease of Install - LATCH


LATCH installation was created to provide an easier car seat installation method; the Rava LATCH method is straightforward with the same result it earned for belt installation.


The Rava has easier-to-use push-style LATCH connectors. In some of our test cars, the LATCH strap wasn't as long as it needed to be, making it difficult to get the connector onto the car anchor. However, for others, it was plenty long enough.

The Rava recline can be adjusted for proper installation as well as...
The Rava recline can be adjusted for proper installation as well as comfort for the passenger.
The Nuna has push style LATCH connectors that are easier to attach...
The Nuna has push style LATCH connectors that are easier to attach and remove than the clip style.

We could get the connectors attached every time, and the strap wasn't too difficult to tighten. The push-button connectors (above left) are easier to release than their clip-style counterparts. The Rava has a press and select angle recline with color-coding for forward and rear-facing so you can find the right angle for installation.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the belt lock-off for installation using the vehicle belt is...
The belt lock-off for installation using the vehicle belt is somewhat hidden and less user-friendly on the Nua than some of the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Install - Belt


The Rava is easy to install using the vehicle belt, making it one of the most straightforward options in the review.


With only four seats earning a higher score, you can rest assured the Rava is easier than most of the competition if you need to install it using the vehicle belt.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the rear-facing installation using the vehicle belt includes a lower...
The rear-facing installation using the vehicle belt includes a lower belt pathway that slides under the padding on the Rava seat bottom.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

When the seat is rear-facing, the belt path goes under the lower portion of the car seat (above left) with a "True tension door" under the seat padding (above right). This configuration can make it more challenging to complete, but it isn't hard to use the door.

The belt pathway for forward-facing installation of the Rava is easy...
The belt pathway for forward-facing installation of the Rava is easy to identify but we do like the ease of color-coding.
The belt lock-off on the Rava is not hard to use, but you do need to...
The belt lock-off on the Rava is not hard to use, but you do need to move the padding out of the way to access the lock.

Installing the Rava forward-facing includes the belt path on the back of the car seat behind the back padding (above left). If the seatbelt is too tight, the tensioner door can be hard to close, and the harness straps can get in the way of the true tension door (above right).

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the harness on the rava can be "held" open with the retention...
The harness on the Rava can be "held" open with the retention pockets so you can place baby right in the seat without fumbling for the harness behind them.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The Rava is harder to use than much of the competition, but don't be fooled it isn't super challenging to manage day-to-day, there are just other seats we believe are more straightforward.


Adjusting the height of the Rava harness is easy with the...
Adjusting the height of the Rava harness is easy with the non-rethread harness/headrest assembly that can be adjusted on the fly with your child in the seat.
The Nuna buckle is somewhat stiff but the chest clip sides mate up...
The Nuna buckle is somewhat stiff but the chest clip sides mate up easily enough.

Harness


The harness on the Rava is a non-rethread style harness which means you can adjust the shoulder height by moving the headrest assembly (above left) and without removing your baby from the seat. The buckle is stiffer than some of the competition and harder to release. The chest clip is also stiff but not difficult to mate up.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the rava's harness tightening strap and release button are easy to...
The Rava's harness tightening strap and release button are easy to access and work smoothly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The harness is easily tightened by pulling the strap at the seat's foot, which moves smoothly without a hiccup. The release button (above left) is located right on the surface and is easy to access and use. The harness can be kept open using the harness restraint system on either side of the shell (above right).

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the rava user manual has a storage pocket on the bottom of the seat...
The Rava user manual has a storage pocket on the bottom of the seat to keep the directions close at hand.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

LATCH Storage


The LATCH connectors are stored under the "true tension door" under the seat. There is plenty of room to secure the anchors and straps. The manual also tucks in a designated pocket on the bottom of the seat. A folded or crumpled manual will be hard to slide in place, but it is easy to access.

Cover


The cover on the Rava is removable and can be machine-washed. It is somewhat difficult to remove because it tucks into the shell, but we think the finished look of the tucked cover is worth the extra effort it takes to remove it.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the rava is primarily self-contained with a closed back and fewer...
The Rava is primarily self-contained with a closed back and fewer nooks and crannies for grime to hide in.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort/Quality


The Rava earned one of the highest scores for comfort and quality. This result indicates that the Rava is of higher quality than much of the competition, with features designed specifically for comfort and longevity.


The Rava has medium to firm padding that is supportive and comfortable. The seat cover comprises two different soft fabrics that are machine washable to keep things clean. The hard plastic shell back is easy to wipe clean and cuts down on locations where dirt and grime can collect. The fabric fits the shell well without looking frumpy or undone.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the rava comes with a pop-out cup holder that older children find...
The Rava comes with a pop-out cup holder that older children find useful to keep snacks and drinks close at hand. Notice the way the cover smoothly fits into the side of the shell with no visible fasteners.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The overall fit and finish are clean with a well-thought-out placement of features. The bottom is smooth without rough edges to damage your vehicle. The impact foam is the more common Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) style that is more brittle and less environmentally friendly than Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) foam, which does not off-gas. It would have been nice to see EPP foam on the Rava for the price.

nuna rava convertible car seat review - the nuna rava is a heavily padded seat with a high degree of comfort...
The Nuna Rava is a heavily padded seat with a high degree of comfort and quality readily visible in a side-by-side comparison with the competition. This additional padding comes with a cost of a heavier weight.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight


The Rava is one of the heavier seats in the group, but it is relatively narrow for its weight; the Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo are narrower.


The 19-inch wide seat weighs almost 26 lbs, depending on its configuration. The weight makes this seat one you probably don't want to use for travel, and the width may be too wide for three car seats across but could be narrow enough for two seats and one person.

Should You Buy the Nuna RAVA?


The RAVA is the seat for those looking for the highest comfort and quality for passengers combined with better crash-test results. This high-quality car seat is also easy to use and install, with better than average marks for both metrics. There is much to love about this high-end seat, and if it is within your budget, it is one we'd recommend to a friend with applicable goals.

What Other Convertible Car Seat Should You Consider?


While the Nuna is a good seat with many admirable attributes, it may not be for every family. This seat is expensive, and options like the Britax Emblem or Graco Extend2Fit might be more within your budget. These seats are half the Nuna price and still, offer impressive crash test analysis and scores in other metrics. The Emblem is easier to use, has the same crash test score, and offers similar quality and lighter weight. The Graco has better crash test scores but is lower quality and more challenging to install. Overall, we think the choice depends on your goals or main priorities.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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