In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Nuna RAVA Review

Comfortable with better crash test results but this quality option comes with a higher price
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Price:   $500 List
Pros:  Great crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfy
Cons:  Expensive, heavier, stiff buckle
Manufacturer:   Nuna
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jun 12, 2019
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 17
  • Crash Test - 25% 8
  • Ease Of Install - LATCH - 25% 8
  • Ease Of Install - Belt - 20% 8
  • Ease Of Use - 15% 7
  • Comfort / Quality - 10% 9
  • Weight / Size - 5% 4

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 an 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 prevented it from earning an award. However, if you are looking for comfort that doesn't sacrifice safety, and money is no object, it could be a contender.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Nuna RAVA
Awards  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $500.00 List$380.00 List
$329.99 at Amazon - 13% off
$450.00 List
$429.99 at Amazon - 4% off
$240.00 List
$219.00 at Amazon - 9% off
$370.00 List
$309.99 at Amazon - 16% off
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Great crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfyEasy to install and use, cozy comfort, nice qualityAnti-rebound bar, easy to install, steel framePrice, better crash test results, easy to use, lighterEasy ClickTight installation, comfy quality
Cons Expensive, heavier, stiff buckleAverage crash test resultsHigher price, heavy, rethread harnessHarder to install using the vehicle beltHeavier, price, clip LATCH anchors, below average crash test results
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 loveInnovative seat with unique features that looks cool and is easy to installA lightweight, easy to use seat with better crash test result and priceLower crash test results hurt this option that is otherwise impressive
Rating Categories Nuna RAVA Boulevard... Clek Foonf Britax Emblem Marathon...
Crash Test (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
5
Ease Of Install LATCH (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
Ease Of Install Belt (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
Comfort Quality (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Weight Size (5%)
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
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6
10
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5
Specs Nuna RAVA Boulevard... Clek Foonf Britax Emblem Marathon...
Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight 5 - 50 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 14 - 50 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 5 - 40 lbs
Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight 25 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs
Max Rear Facing Passenger Height Not Listed Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint 43" Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint
Max Forward Facing Passenger Height 49" 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 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.
Measured Rear Facing Seat Weight 25.8 lbs 29.5 lbs 38.4 lbs 18.8 lbs 27.9 lbs
Measured Forward Facing Seat Weight 25.4 lbs 28.4 lbs 33.8 lbs 18.8 lbs 26.9 lbs
Width 19" 18" 17" 18.9" 18.2"
Recline Positions 5 Rear Facing
5 Forward Facing
7 1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
7
Max Recline Angle 40 51 40 42 53
Shoulder Harness Positions 10 14 6 10 12
Crotch Strap Positions 2 2 2 2 2
Built in Lock Off Yes No Yes Yes No
Anti-rebound Device No Yes Yes No Yes
Head Support Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Newborn Insert Yes Yes Accessory Yes Yes
No Rethread Harness Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Onboard Manual Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level Indicator On Seat Indicator on base Ball in Tube. Line on Decal Line on Decal Ball in Tube.
Foam Type EPS EPP EPS EPP EPP
Seat Lifespan 10 yrs 10 yrs 9 yrs 7 10 yrs
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rava is a high-quality seat with attention to detail and few if any manufacturer flaws or rough edges to speak of.
The Rava is a high-quality seat with attention to detail and few if any manufacturer flaws or rough edges to speak of.

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


The Nuna Rava (in blue) is an expensive convertible car seat that scored very well in our review; see chart below.


The details on how the Rava compared to the competition in this review can be read below.

Even the headrest/harness assembly on the Rava has impact foam to absorb forces in the event of an accident.
Even the headrest/harness assembly on the Rava has impact foam to absorb forces in the event of an accident.

Crash Test


The Rava has an excellent crash test score thanks to a combination of impressive head and chest sensor results which helped it earn an 8 of 10 for crash test 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 as safe or offering 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.

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.
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.
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.
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.

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 Nuna has additional side impact protection (SIP) by way of wing type additions designed to absorb forces during an accident.
The Nuna has additional side impact protection (SIP) by way of wing type additions designed to absorb forces during an accident.

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 were unable to 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 should keep children rear facing as long as the seat instructions allow.
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 earned an 8 of 10, which is the same result it earned for belt installation.


The Rava has the 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 comfort for the passenger.
The Nuna has push style LATCH connectors that are easier to attach and remove than the clip style.

We were able to 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.

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.
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.

Ease of Install - Belt


The Rava earned an 8 of 10 for installation 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.

The rear-facing installation using the vehicle belt includes a lower belt pathway that slides under the padding on the Rava seat bottom.
The rear-facing installation using the vehicle belt includes a lower belt pathway that slides under the padding on the Rava seat bottom.

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

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 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, then the lock-off can be hard to close and the harness straps can get in the way of the back lock-off (above right).

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.
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.

Ease of Use


The Rava is easy to use earning a 7 of 10 where the high is only 8.


Five seats scored higher than the Rava and four others tied with it.

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 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.

The Rava's harness tightening strap and release button are easy to access and work smoothly.
The Rava's harness tightening strap and release button are easy to access and work smoothly.

The harness is easily tightened by pulling the strap at the foot of the seat which moves smoothly and 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 by using the harness restraint system on either side of the shell (above right).

The Rava user manual has a storage pocket on the bottom of the seat to keep the directions close at hand.
The Rava user manual has a storage pocket on the bottom of the seat to keep the directions close at hand.

LATCH Storage


The LATCH connectors store under the lock-off 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.

The Rava is primarily self-contained with a closed back and fewer nooks and crannies for grime to hide in.
The Rava is primarily self-contained with a closed back and fewer nooks and crannies for grime to hide in.

Comfort/Quality


The Rava earned the highest score for comfort and quality with a 9 of 10 for this metric. This result indicates that the Rava is of higher quality than the competition with features designed specifically for comfort.


The Rava has medium to firm padding that is supportive and comfortable. The seat cover is comprised of 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.

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.
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.

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. For the price, it would have been nice to see EPP foam on the Rava.

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.
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.

Weight


The Rava is one of the heavier seats in the group but it is relatively narrow for its weight.


With a score of 5 of 10 for this metric, 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 3 car seats across but could be narrow enough for two seats and one person.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz