In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

Nuna RAVA Review

This impressive seat is the easiest in the group to use, but it comes with a high price tag
gearlab tested logo
Nuna RAVA Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $650 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Nuna
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 5, 2024
84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 20
  • Crash Test - 35% 8.6
  • Ease of Installation - LATCH - 20% 8.1
  • Ease of Installation - Belt - 15% 8.4
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Comfort/Quality - 10% 8.5
  • Weight/ Size - 5% 6.7

Our Verdict

The Nuna RAVA is a top-ranked convertible car seat with a higher crash test analysis score and impressive ease of use testing results. This Nuna stands out in the group for comfort and quality, but it has a price to match. The Rava has straightforward and easy-to-accomplish installation, with LATCH leading the way and the vehicle belt not far behind. There is so much to love here, with the only exceptions being a bulky monster that is unwieldy and a price that could be a deal-breaker for some. If your budget allows, and you want the absolute best for ease of use, then the Rava is one for you.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfy infant inserts
Integrated tensioner
Super easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Super expensive
Belt threads through cup holders
Editor's Note: We updated our convertible car seat review on January 5, 2024, with the Nuna Rava and 20 other seats in a head-to-head competition with crash testing.

Compare to Similar Products

 
nuna rava
This Product
Nuna RAVA
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Best Value Award 
Price $650 List$330 List
$329.99 at Amazon
$250 List
$249.00 at Amazon
$220 List
Check Price at Amazon
$80 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
84
80
78
78
62
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line This nice looking seat is super easy to use, but it will cost you more than most seatsEasy to install and use and one of the best crash test analysis scores make this seat a winner for most familiesBetter crash test analysis and a lower price make this easy-to-install seat an award contender that just missed the markWallet-loving price on a seat that is easy to install and earned better crash test results than mostDespite a lack of padding and a harder LATCH install, this inexpensive option earned impressive crash test results, making it a winner for budget-limited families
Rating Categories Nuna RAVA Graco 4Ever DLX Graco Extend2Fit 3... Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Evenflo Tribute 5
Crash Test (35%)
8.6
8.8
8.6
8.5
8.6
Ease of Installation - LATCH (20%)
8.1
7.9
7.8
7.9
4.3
Ease of Installation - Belt (15%)
8.4
7.1
6.4
6.5
5.6
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.5
5.0
Comfort/Quality (10%)
8.5
6.5
8.5
8.0
3.0
Weight/ Size (5%)
6.7
7.5
7.5
7.1
7.8
Specs Nuna RAVA Graco 4Ever DLX Graco Extend2Fit 3... Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Evenflo Tribute 5
Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight 5-50 lb 4-40 lb 4-50 lb 5-40 lb 5-40 lb
Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight 25-65 lb 22-65 lb 22-65 lb 22-65 lb 22-40 lb
Rear Facing Maximum Height 49 in Top of head must be at least 1 in below handle Top of head must be at least 1 in below handle Top of head must be at least 1 in below handle 37 in
Forward Facing Maximum Height 49 in 49 in 49 in 49 in 40 in
Weight 26.4 lb 21.8 lb 20.5 lb 18.5 lb 9.4 lb
Minimum Rear Facing Length 28 in 25 in 26 in 28 in 29 in
Minimum Seat Width 19 in 19 in 19 in 19 in 18 in
Number Of Recline positions 10 6 6 4 1
Shoulder Harness Positions 10 10 10 10 4
Crotch Strap Positions 2 2 2 3 2
Anti-rebound Device No No Yes No No
Head Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Infant Positioning Insert Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Harness Type No-rethread No-rethread No-rethread No-rethread Rethread
Onboard Manual Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Facing Level Indicator On Seat None Bubble, one side Bubble, one side Bead, one side Line on decal, both sides
Booster Mode Available No Yes Yes Yes No
Foam Type Not mentioned Not mentioned Not mentioned EPS EPS
Seat Lifespan 10 years 10 years 10 years 10 years 6 years
Aircraft Certified Yes Yes in harness mode, No in booster mode Yes in harness mode, No in booster mode Yes in harness mode, No in booster mode Yes
Warranty 2 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 90 day limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

Wanting to bring a baby closer to the dinner table, Nuna launched the ZAAZ high chair in 2007. This company was established in Amsterdam and feels parenthood should be “practical and beautiful with clever, design-thoughtful” options for families to sail through babyhood. Nuna is available internationally, selling gear from the best car seats to strollers.

Performance Comparison



The Rava earned impressive results compared to the competition in the crash tests we commissioned.
Credit: GearLab & MGA Research

Crash Test


The Rava earned impressive high marks for crash test analysis in our crash tests. With better-than-average sensor data from the crash simulation seld tests, this seat potentially offers an additional margin of protection over much of the competition.


This Nuna has some of the lowest recorded G-force levels in the group for the HIC/head and chest clip sensors.

The Rava had some of the best sensor results in the group, but here...
The Rava had some of the best sensor results in the group, but here is the chest clip results compared to the Graco 4Ever, one of the best in the review.
This comparison graph compares the Rava HIC sensor results to one of...
This comparison graph compares the Rava HIC sensor results to one of the best in the group, the Graco 4Ever.

While all the seats in the review meet the federal guidelines and are assumed safe, our hotter tests look for seats that outperform competitors and stand out. The Rava is one of those seats.

The belt/strap system on the Rava is convoluted, with a lot happening in a little space.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Install - LATCH


The Rava is easy to install using the LATCH method. It has push-style connectors with a useful lock-off and no level indicator. We worry that no indicator isn't the best for determining the right angle for infants and positional asphyxiation. Still, if you take our advice and use an infant car seat before graduating to the convertible options, perhaps it isn't as big of a concern. Indeed, having no worries about leveling the seats decreases installation frustrations.


nuna rava - the routing system on the rava has a lot going on in a small space...
The routing system on the Rava has a lot going on in a small space and while directions are nice, this is overwhelming and we recommend you use the manual as well as the stickers on the seat.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The recline adjustment is located on the side and is easy to push. It is so nice that the handle isn't wedged against the vehicle seat. The pathway is accessible, and we didn't have twisted webbing trouble. The lock-off works well but does not act as a tensioner, so you'll need to tighten the strap as much as possible before engaging the lock-off. The cup holders can get in the way of tightening, but the final result is stable. We did have to get in the car to get enough leverage to close the lock-off, but it is wide and easy to press, unlike those that only have space for one or two fingers. The installation process was smooth, and the final installed Rava is very sturdy.

The angle to pull the tightening strap on the Rava is not the best...
The angle to pull the tightening strap on the Rava is not the best, and it takes some patience and strength.
The Rava forward-facing system threads through the back of the seat.
The Rava forward-facing system threads through the back of the seat.

Forward-facing is similarly straightforward, with smaller pathway holes for the LATCH strap, but the access is open, and the connectors work well. Having a tensioner and lock-off makes all the difference in ease of installation, and Nuna clearly understands the assignment. The process is quick and painless, with a very stable final installation.

Adjusting the Rava recline is smooth and simple, with a side button and clear number indicators.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Install - Belt


Installation using the belt is easier than using the LATCH method. So, either method should be easy enough to complete for most families.


The belt path for forward-facing Rava installation runs through the...
The belt path for forward-facing Rava installation runs through the back of the seat and requires moving the cover and following detailed directions.
The rear-facing Rava installation runs through the foot portion of...
The rear-facing Rava installation runs through the foot portion of the seat and requires removing the fabric cover to reach the mechanism.

This Nuna has a belt lock-off, color-coding, and no level indicator, making installation a breeze. The recline adjustment is a side button that is easy to operate, and the seat moves smoothly. The belt gets threaded through the cup holders. There is a bar you need to shimmy past, but the webbing moves past fairly easily. The tensioner is integrated into the process, and it helps you do the hard work of tightening without much effort. Pushing down on the mechanism wasn't easier than some competing tensioners/lock-offs. The lock-off makes it feel stable and solid, easily passing the wiggle test.

The belt path on the Rava uses the same opening as the cup holder...
The belt path on the Rava uses the same opening as the cup holder and it makes the space crowded and harder to tighten the strap.
The Rava pathway for the vehicle belt uses the same location as the...
The Rava pathway for the vehicle belt uses the same location as the pop-out cup holder.

The pathway is color-coded in blue, which is different from forward-facing, making it less confusing and easy to navigate. It is so straightforward that we were impressed and relieved compared to some of the more convoluted options that lack helpful features like a belt lock-off.

nuna rava - there is a lot going on for the installation system on the rava, and...
There is a lot going on for the installation system on the Rava, and while it is somewhat color-coded and detailed, parents should refer to the manual for full instructions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The forward-facing installation for this Nuna is also a snap with a red color-coded pathway and a truly useful lock-off/tensioner. The path and tensioner mean you don't need to fight with the shoulder strap to get it tightened. We struggled with the harness competing for space, but once you get it out of the way, it is easy enough to snap the lock-off closed. The pathway is well-marked and large enough for most parents to use without a problem. Getting the belt tight is not a chore; the final product is rock solid in both test cars.

The everyday features of the Rava are very easy to use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


This seat is a standout if ease of use is one of your top goals in a car seat. The Rava earned the high in this metric with straightforward, foolproof features.


nuna rava - nuna thought of convenience and comfort when designing the harness...
Nuna thought of convenience and comfort when designing the harness system on the Rava.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Harness


The Rava has a standard buckle that is easy to access, has a square button, and requires a little effort pushing the prongs in place. The buckle comes up higher than some other seats, making it easy to access. We had no problem using the buckle or chest clip, and the clip is simple and works well.

Harness adjustments in the Rava are easy to do with features that...
Harness adjustments in the Rava are easy to do with features that function as they should.
The Rvav has side retention pockets for the harness prongs to...
The Rvav has side retention pockets for the harness prongs to prevent them from disappearing under little bottoms.

Both tightening and releasing the harness on the Rava are simple and work as they should. The tightening strap has no resistance, but the button requires more effort than we like. However, the button is minor when you consider how easily the harness moves when operating it.

nuna rava - the rava has a non-rethread harness height adjustment with ten...
The Rava has a non-rethread harness height adjustment with ten possible height variations.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The harness height adjustment is a non-rethread style with a smooth-moving assembly with an easy-to-operate pinch handle. This harness has ten height options and two positions for the buckle strap. It feels like enough spacing and variety to find a good position for most kids for a snug-fitting harness.

nuna rava - the latch connectors and strap on the rava tuck into pockets under...
The LATCH connectors and strap on the Rava tuck into pockets under the seat in a compartment with a closeable lid.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

LATCH Storage


The LATCH connectors are stored under the seat cushion. We like that you don't need to connect them to anything; there is plenty of room for all the strap webbing.

Cover


This cover is quick and easy to pull off but requires a more systematic touch when putting it back on. It isn't a negative experience but it will require more time than taking it off.

It can be difficult for younger or smaller little ones to access or utilize the cup holders on the Rava, but this is not uncommon across the products.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort/Quality


This seat is also pretty comfortable and of higher quality than most, but its price indicates it should be, and you get what you pay for here. It scored very good or above average in every sub-metric for comfort and quality.


The material on the headrest is the same as the infant insert. It is soft and feels cool to the touch for sweaty summer noggins. The Rava's seating area is a bit rougher fabric, but nothing to worry about, given the placement on the seat. The infant insert is very lush, and when all components are used, it creates a cocoon and is very different than the seat without the insert.

The Rava has a side impact feature to be used in the seat next to...
The Rava has a side impact feature to be used in the seat next to the Rava is empty.
The Rava manual slides under the base for storage.
The Rava manual slides under the base for storage.

The insert is more of a system than a single cushion. It is more than a thin, padded additional pillow. It includes thicker sides and another curved padded block below the main insert, allowing for some placement variation based on needs. The padding is cushy on top but less so in the seating area when it feels like cheaper foam, and we wish there was more padding in the tushie area.

The cup holder on the Rava pops out and folds down to use. It isn't...
The cup holder on the Rava pops out and folds down to use. It isn't as big as some of the competition.
The cup holders on the Rave fold into the seat shell but need to be...
The cup holders on the Rave fold into the seat shell but need to be popped out as they share the hole with the belt pathway.

The shell fit and finisher are nicer than most. It has some texture that sets it apart and helps it look fancier, but this could make cleaning more intensive. It also has support for the lower legs that pops out for longer legs. The cup holder flips out from the same location as the belt pathway, so it will be hard to tuck it back in if the path is used. If you press on them hard enough to get your cup in, they also collapse back down, which could be a problem with toddlers.

nuna rava - the rava is both heavy and wide compared to the competition.
The Rava is both heavy and wide compared to the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight/Size


This seat is heavier than the average for the group, with a weight of 26.4 lb, where the average is almost 3 lbs lighter. With this weight, you get more padding and foam for comfort and quality, but if you want something light, it won't fit the bill. 19.1


It also isn't genuinely narrow, with a width of 19.1 in when the average width is 18.6 in. Depending on your car, you might be unable to fit three safety seats in one row or two seats with one adult.

Should You Buy the Nuna RAVA?


If budget is no concern and you want impressive crash test analysis and the best ease-of-use results, look no further than the Rava. This high-quality seat looks good and functions better. With a padded headrest, non-rethread harness adjustment, and straightforward features, it offers the easiest day-to-day use in the group. While this seat will not be the best for all families, given its size and higher price, we think it is a great seat that can fill a niche for some families if their goals align with what the Rava offers.

What Other Convertible Car Seat Should You Consider?


The Rava is expensive and might not be within your budget. If you want something that is easy to use and has an additional margin of protection, then the Graco 4Ever DLX could be a great stand-in. This seat earned a great overall score and the highest for crash test analysis. It is easy to install and earned one of the highest ease-of-use performance scores, slightly lower than the Rava. With a price that can save you more than two hundred dollars at the list price, the 4Ever deserves serious consideration, in our opinion.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz