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.
Nuna RAVA Review
Pros: Very good crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfy
Cons: Expensive, heavier, stiff buckle
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$399.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Very good crash test results, easy to install, high quality and comfy||Easy to install and use, cozy comfort, nice quality||Great crash test results, easy to use, attractive price, lighter||Best crash test results, rear-facing till 50 lbs, price||Budget-friendly, better crash test results, narrow|
|Cons||Expensive, heavier, stiff buckle||Average crash test results||Harder to install using the vehicle belt||Not the best quality, harder belt installation||Thin padding, harder to install, lower quality|
|Bottom Line||Comfortable with better crash test results but this quality option comes with a higher price||Impressive option with quality features and super easy installation parents will love||A lightweight, easy to use seat with excellent crash test result and price||Best crash test results on a budget-friendly seat that lets little ones sit rear-facing for longer||Inexpensive choice with impressive crash test results|
|Rating Categories||Nuna RAVA||Britax Boulevard Cl...||Britax Emblem||Graco Extend2Fit||Evenflo Tribute LX|
|Crash Test (35%)|
|Ease Of Install - LATCH (20%)|
|Ease Of Install - Belt (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Comfort / Quality (10%)|
|Weight / Size (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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More