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Confused about car seat regulations? Find baby car seat advice here.

Car seats

Nuna Pipa Next or Cybex Cloud Z - any feedback gratefully recieved!

20 replies

Springblooms08 · 18/12/2022 20:57

Hi all,

I have narrowed down my infant car seat search to these two. I think I want to go for a swivel base 'system', where the swivel base sits an infant and a toddler car seat. I have a bad back and so decided this would help me a lot! We do want the option of putting the infant car seat on a pram too.

The pros and cons for both I can see so far are:

Nuna

  • Much more lightweight
  • Really easy to use when I tried it in my car, not clunky at all which I found with the Maxi Cosi 360 system
  • Great sun shade canopy
  • Maybe not as long lasting as the Cybex
  • No lie flat function


Cybex
  • Has the lie flat function when used out of the car
  • Can accommodate up to 87cm infant, slightly more than the 83cm of the Nuna
  • A con is it's very heavy which I could potentially struggle with once the baby is in there too!
  • I haven't tried this system in my car yet so I can't say how easy it is to use


I know ultimately it's for me to decide what is most important, but if anybody has any experience of using either of the seats and how you found them, I'd be really grateful!

Thanks so much in advance.
OP posts:
BertieBotts · 19/12/2022 09:38

There are other swivel base options too now - you have Maxi Cosi Pebble 360 and Coral 360, Britax i-Sense or Babysafe 3, and Joie have the Encore base which works with the i-Snug, i-Gemm and i-Level seats.

Don't worry if these don't appear on your pushchair's fit list as those lists are always out of date. These are newer models, but they are all compatible with the same pushchair adapters.

The length thing is misleading so I would not worry about this. The Cybex is really long, meaning you can potentially use longer, but the Nuna will easily get you to over 12 months and that's the important milestone in terms of next stage seat choice. Over 80cm is important, but 83/87 isn't a significant difference. Most people change car seats towards the end of the first year, as babies tend to want to sit up and see more out of the window by this age. However in terms of length the Maxi Cosi Coral 360, Pebble 360 and Joie i-Snug are a bit smaller and don't last as long (more like 9 months than 12+). If you are moving into a newer style ERF seat from 60cm, or one of the modular seats on the base system, then this doesn't present a significant problem, it's purely the early loss of the carry seat that you may regret. If you want to save money on the next stage seat or simply retain usage of the infant carrier for as long as possible, it's worth looking at the Cybex, Britax or 80cm+ Joie seats.

The Nuna is significantly lighter than the Cybex, the Cybex is a heavy seat. Remember babies typically weigh 3-4kg at birth, 6kg by 3 months, 9kg by 9 months, so in some ways the car seat is going to be heavy whatever you pick. It's worth considering whether you're likely to want to carry it long distances or simply lift from car to pushchair and back again. Maxi Cosi Coral is interesting, because it has a lift out portion which is much lighter than any other, but the part which you need to lift if using on the pushchair is even heavier than the Cybex!

Some people tend to find that the inserts in Nuna (and Joie) seats scrunch the baby up a lot especially when newborn and sit very upright in the car. The Cybex, Maxi Cosi and Britax seats and Joie i-Level have a nice position for newborns, though. Whether a flatter position is achieved with a recline function or inserts is more a question of preference. You may wish to view the various seats in a shop and look for how flat the position is for a newborn. The angle in your car will also play a part here. Only Britax offer the combination of flex angle and rotation in one (expensive!) base. Cybex also have a newer model, Cloud Z2, that can also recline in the car.

I would lastly question whether you really want/need the swivel function for the infant seat in the first place. The sets that take both an infant and toddler seat is not the only way to do it, and they can be eye wateringly expensive. There are swivel seats available for age 0-4 years, which you can purchase after the travel system stage, that come complete with their own built-in base and cost in the region of £200-350. You may also at this stage wish to look at extended rear facing models which last longer than any of the spin seats. But when buying a modular set, the add on creating the spinning toddler seat is commonly priced at around £300 by itself, and on top of this you have the higher cost upfront for the modular base + compatible infant seat, compared to a standard, non-spinning infant seat with static base, AND, if you have a second child with under 4 year gap, by using a modular system you lose the use of the base for your second baby because their older sibling is still using it for their seat.

Sales assistants like to tell you that it's great because you can use the base for longer, but it's not really necessary because the majority of toddler seats on the market don't need a separate base.

Some people do like the spin feature on the infant seat enough to invest in the spin base anyway and then make the decision later whether to buy the matching toddler piece for the set or a separate seat, but I think it's worth being aware of the options later before you spend £400+ now :)

Springblooms08 · 19/12/2022 10:57

@BertieBotts thank you so much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive response, I am so grateful! There is a lot of food for thought for me there.

May I ask, if I was to go for a standard, non spinning infant seat, and a spinning next stage seat, which two models would you recommend for these?

I know that I would like the option to use the infant seat on the pram, and I am certain that I’d like a swivel seat for at least the next stage seat if I don’t go for it for the infant one.

It’s a really good point about thinking about the next (potential) child too. In an idea world I’d love a three year age gap, so I’ve been trying to think ahead and work out what I would do here.

Thank you so much again.

OP posts:
Perpop · 19/12/2022 10:59

Not so comprehensive but we love the cybex teamed with the uppababy vista! Easy to use, super safe and has tested time well!

Baconand · 19/12/2022 11:01

I had an older version of the Nuna and loved it. It was so light. I’d have the same again.

Springblooms08 · 19/12/2022 11:23

Perpop · 19/12/2022 10:59

Not so comprehensive but we love the cybex teamed with the uppababy vista! Easy to use, super safe and has tested time well!

This is great to know, thank you! We've decided on an uppababy cruz. Will you (or maybe you have already!) go for the Sirona seat and use the same Cybex base?

OP posts:
Springblooms08 · 19/12/2022 11:23

Baconand · 19/12/2022 11:01

I had an older version of the Nuna and loved it. It was so light. I’d have the same again.

Ahh thanks for the feedback. Did you also use the next stage seat on the same Nuna base and if so, how was that?

OP posts:
Baconand · 19/12/2022 11:32

Springblooms08 · 19/12/2022 11:23

Ahh thanks for the feedback. Did you also use the next stage seat on the same Nuna base and if so, how was that?

No we went for something different, we had changed cars by then and needed 2 seats and the Nuna wasn’t listed on those cars.

We have a Joie 360 and a Britax that spins (Dualfix maybe? Can’t remember exactly). Both of those have been great. DD will need new ones again next year when she is 4, it’s a never ending saga!

But compared to other mums I met, I used the Nuna far longer as it was lovely and light. Amongst my friends they stopped using theirs on the pushchair much sooner than me. I used mine for such a long time.

We have an icandy All Terrain which the Nuna was great with.

Anewhoo · 19/12/2022 11:35

Cybex was amazing, felt very safe. We also have the Cybex Priam, it’s a very well made brand.

Springblooms08 · 19/12/2022 12:04

Baconand · 19/12/2022 11:32

No we went for something different, we had changed cars by then and needed 2 seats and the Nuna wasn’t listed on those cars.

We have a Joie 360 and a Britax that spins (Dualfix maybe? Can’t remember exactly). Both of those have been great. DD will need new ones again next year when she is 4, it’s a never ending saga!

But compared to other mums I met, I used the Nuna far longer as it was lovely and light. Amongst my friends they stopped using theirs on the pushchair much sooner than me. I used mine for such a long time.

We have an icandy All Terrain which the Nuna was great with.

thank you, that's really good to know! It's great that you were able to use the Nuna on the pushchair for a really decent amount of time.

Ahh this is where I'm so baffled with seats. I was wondering whether we would be able to get away with an infant seat, then a 0-4 then go straight to a high back booster (handing down the previous two to a potential future sibling), but it seems most people end up needing something to bridge the gap between the 0-4 and the high back booster seats. So many seats!!

OP posts:
Caspianberg · 19/12/2022 12:12

We have the maxi cosi mica. It’s a 0-4 swivel whilst we used from birth. Ds is 2.5 and still uses rear facing. On sale it was only €220 and that includes the base.

I would get something like that for 1-4 years. And get a more basic car seat and cheaper base if you want the removable option for younger baby.

BertieBotts · 20/12/2022 08:33

it seems most people end up needing something to bridge the gap between the 0-4 and the high back booster seats.

This is because the 0-4 years seats vary in size and so do children. In general, if your child is within the 25th-91st centile (so, around 2/3rds of all children) these seats will last until somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 years old. That means they might outgrow a little bit before their fourth birthday. In addition, a lot of these are starting to feel cramped by 3.5 or so, even though this is fine, parents often worry that their child is too big. If their shoulders can still fit under the headrest, and the harness is still on their shoulders, not dipping down below, and they are still within the stated weight and (to a lesser extent) height limits, it's still safe to use. Parents sometimes also need to hand the seat down to a younger sibling, depending on the age gap and the amount of time that you are able to use the infant carrier.

This all worked fine when the recommended age for booster seats was 3. But these days a lot of experts are saying 4 is the minimum recommended age. When I worked in fitting, our store policy was 3, so I test fitted a lot of 3 year olds, and IME there are basically no 3-3.5 year olds that sit well and look safe in a booster seat, and of the 3.5 - 4 year olds, some of them did well but a lot of them were immediately drawn to fiddle with the belt, wriggle around, slouch, complain, and generally I tended to recommend their parents look at a group 123 type seat which has the 5 point harness until 18kg and then you remove it.

I moved my older child (14 now) at 3 and it seemed fine. But I now have a 4y4m old and I am not ready to move him yet. He still tantrums, he still immediately fiddles with anything placed in his vicinity. He probably would sit nicely in a seatbelt but I tried it on him in the summer and it just looked too big and ridiculous, so I'll keep him in the harness until he outgrows, which will be any time as he's on the top settings now (was in the summer too).

So anyway.... long story short... it's probably not hugely necessary to your decision right now, but as you get to the age that your first child is outgrowing the baby seat, you may want to look at whether they are taller than average or a lot heavier than average, and if so, opt for a seat that is up to 6/7 rather than up to 4 for the next stage. OTOH, if you're likely to hand their second seat on to a sibling anyway, then the outgrown age won't matter so much, because you'll need 2 of the seats in this stage anyway. Yes, in theory you only need 3x seats, but if you have two (or more) children, then the stages are too long to pass them all down in sequence. You'll need at least 2 probably of the middle stage and/or high backed booster stage, long term.

May I ask, if I was to go for a standard, non spinning infant seat, and a spinning next stage seat, which two models would you recommend for these?

There's a lot of personal preference involved TBH but I personally used a Cybex Aton 5 (which I think is discontinued now, but Cybex have some newer "basic" models) and a Joie 360 Spin GT. I've been really happy with these two, but my approach is to find out what features REALLY matter to me and then find out how cheap I can go - it wouldn't be everyone's approach.

The only other suggestion I'd make is to look at the Avionaut infant seats, because they are newer to the market and less well known. They have a really good insert that positions the baby almost flat, very unusual in car seats, and the car seat itself is extremely lightweight. I think I probably wouldn't have paid the extra, I liked the price point on the Cybex, but they are worth looking at. And the Cybex Cloud Z is a lovely seat, just again, too expensive for me personally. I also really like the inserts in the Maxi Cosi Pebble seats, just a shame they are so short lasting. But as said earlier, that's not so much of a problem these days, as there is more of an overlap in the second stage seats, especially newer ones.

In terms of spin seats, the Joie is fantastic for the price, and you don't really need any extra features, but if you have a bit more budget I'd look at Britax Dualfix i-size, Recaro Salia and Besafe izi Turn because those have some nicer features that the original Joie doesn't have. People get a bit frustrated with the harness pads and the inserts on the Joie seat because they are bulkier than other seats, and it has very little leg room for rear facing older children, which a lot of people dislike, although some live with it. I am personally not a fan of the Cybex Sirona, most spin seats have a button to press to "release" the spin but with the Cybex, you push up a hollow between the child's legs, which is the same mechanism as the recline and it was forever getting stuck when I demoed it. I think it would be difficult with a larger child as well and it sometimes jolted quite abruptly which might wake up a sleeping baby/toddler. The seat is also short so it's outgrown sooner than other brands, although the harness is lovely and smooth to use - it's good if you have a child on the smaller end.

Springblooms08 · 26/12/2022 11:34

BertieBotts · 20/12/2022 08:33

it seems most people end up needing something to bridge the gap between the 0-4 and the high back booster seats.

This is because the 0-4 years seats vary in size and so do children. In general, if your child is within the 25th-91st centile (so, around 2/3rds of all children) these seats will last until somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 years old. That means they might outgrow a little bit before their fourth birthday. In addition, a lot of these are starting to feel cramped by 3.5 or so, even though this is fine, parents often worry that their child is too big. If their shoulders can still fit under the headrest, and the harness is still on their shoulders, not dipping down below, and they are still within the stated weight and (to a lesser extent) height limits, it's still safe to use. Parents sometimes also need to hand the seat down to a younger sibling, depending on the age gap and the amount of time that you are able to use the infant carrier.

This all worked fine when the recommended age for booster seats was 3. But these days a lot of experts are saying 4 is the minimum recommended age. When I worked in fitting, our store policy was 3, so I test fitted a lot of 3 year olds, and IME there are basically no 3-3.5 year olds that sit well and look safe in a booster seat, and of the 3.5 - 4 year olds, some of them did well but a lot of them were immediately drawn to fiddle with the belt, wriggle around, slouch, complain, and generally I tended to recommend their parents look at a group 123 type seat which has the 5 point harness until 18kg and then you remove it.

I moved my older child (14 now) at 3 and it seemed fine. But I now have a 4y4m old and I am not ready to move him yet. He still tantrums, he still immediately fiddles with anything placed in his vicinity. He probably would sit nicely in a seatbelt but I tried it on him in the summer and it just looked too big and ridiculous, so I'll keep him in the harness until he outgrows, which will be any time as he's on the top settings now (was in the summer too).

So anyway.... long story short... it's probably not hugely necessary to your decision right now, but as you get to the age that your first child is outgrowing the baby seat, you may want to look at whether they are taller than average or a lot heavier than average, and if so, opt for a seat that is up to 6/7 rather than up to 4 for the next stage. OTOH, if you're likely to hand their second seat on to a sibling anyway, then the outgrown age won't matter so much, because you'll need 2 of the seats in this stage anyway. Yes, in theory you only need 3x seats, but if you have two (or more) children, then the stages are too long to pass them all down in sequence. You'll need at least 2 probably of the middle stage and/or high backed booster stage, long term.

May I ask, if I was to go for a standard, non spinning infant seat, and a spinning next stage seat, which two models would you recommend for these?

There's a lot of personal preference involved TBH but I personally used a Cybex Aton 5 (which I think is discontinued now, but Cybex have some newer "basic" models) and a Joie 360 Spin GT. I've been really happy with these two, but my approach is to find out what features REALLY matter to me and then find out how cheap I can go - it wouldn't be everyone's approach.

The only other suggestion I'd make is to look at the Avionaut infant seats, because they are newer to the market and less well known. They have a really good insert that positions the baby almost flat, very unusual in car seats, and the car seat itself is extremely lightweight. I think I probably wouldn't have paid the extra, I liked the price point on the Cybex, but they are worth looking at. And the Cybex Cloud Z is a lovely seat, just again, too expensive for me personally. I also really like the inserts in the Maxi Cosi Pebble seats, just a shame they are so short lasting. But as said earlier, that's not so much of a problem these days, as there is more of an overlap in the second stage seats, especially newer ones.

In terms of spin seats, the Joie is fantastic for the price, and you don't really need any extra features, but if you have a bit more budget I'd look at Britax Dualfix i-size, Recaro Salia and Besafe izi Turn because those have some nicer features that the original Joie doesn't have. People get a bit frustrated with the harness pads and the inserts on the Joie seat because they are bulkier than other seats, and it has very little leg room for rear facing older children, which a lot of people dislike, although some live with it. I am personally not a fan of the Cybex Sirona, most spin seats have a button to press to "release" the spin but with the Cybex, you push up a hollow between the child's legs, which is the same mechanism as the recline and it was forever getting stuck when I demoed it. I think it would be difficult with a larger child as well and it sometimes jolted quite abruptly which might wake up a sleeping baby/toddler. The seat is also short so it's outgrown sooner than other brands, although the harness is lovely and smooth to use - it's good if you have a child on the smaller end.

This was so incredibly helpful - thank you so much. I’m going to look into all of those seats you have suggested. I agree with your approach of working out what you really need and finding the best value for money - think I’m just struggling to really hone in on what it is I want out of a seat, without knowing how much (if at all) I’ll use it on the pram, how helpful I’ll find a swivel function, how much the weight of the seat will matter to me. There really is so much to think about!

I’m very grateful for you taking the time to respond so carefully - thank you again. x

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 26/12/2022 17:10

Yes, I appreciate, it is difficult to know in advance. You might want to try searching for "travel system" or "car seat pram" or "swivel car seat" to see if you can find threads where other people have talked about whether they have used these features - though TBH it is mostly people asking questions in advance!

Maybe if you know anybody with older children/toddlers you can ask them what type of set up they have and how much they use it, or how much a travel system helped, or swivel or lightweight seat. You could even do a newer thread asking only for responses from people with children age 2+ and what their ACTUAL experience is.

Another idea is that for the next week or so, try to imagine every time you exit the house that you're bringing the baby - what would be useful? Pram, car seat, carrier? Would it be helpful to have the baby already bundled into the seat and wrapped up or stand next to the car getting them in? What's the weather like, are there steps you need to navigate, are you carrying the imaginary car seat around?

With my first baby, I had a non-compatible belt fitted infant seat and separate pram, I was not a driver myself and I didn't miss the capability, except for about twice when I had to turn down an unexpected lift, but I might not have known to bring the car seat with me anyway. Second time around, I had DH around basically all the time for 5 months because he took parental leave (EU country) and he could drive, but our car was tiny and didn't fit the carrycot in the boot, so we used the car seat on the pram loads. We used to go to the supermarket and put it on the trolley as well every Saturday. There is a period where babies nap about 3-4 times a day (under 6-8 months really) and it was really helpful during that time because it just minimised the amount of disruption to those naps. On the other hand, the messaging today about safe sleep and limiting duration of time in the car seat is much stronger certainly than it was when I had DS1, and although I didn't find the new guidance hard to stick to with DS2, I get the impression that people are more worried about this these days and tend to want to minimise use of the car seat as much as possible, in which case the travel system option seems superfluous. It may also depend on how you get from car to house. With DS1, we had on street parking and steps. With DS2, we live in a flat with a car park and lift.

Swivel it's hard to judge, because when you have a swivel seat, you do use the swivel every single time and the seat is really hard to use without swivelling because the position of the seat when it's locked into place is quite high, bucket-like in shape and quite cramped towards the back of the seat, so it's hard to get into. But in contrast, I used a forward facing seat for DS1 which didn't need a swivel at all, and when people use rear facing seats that are fixed and don't swivel, they are positioned lower down in the car and have more open sides so again, you don't hugely miss the swivel. IME, you need to use both swivel and non-swivel seats to judge. I like the swivel, it's helpful to make sure that the harness is even on both sides and not twisted anywhere, but equally, if you choose the right non-swivel seat, you probably won't miss it.

justgettingthroughtheday · 26/12/2022 17:15

What about the nuna arra next? That has the benefits of the nuna pippa and the lie flat function both in and out of the car?

Porridgeislife · 26/12/2022 17:23

I’m using a Cybex Cloud Z for my 6 month old so can give some current feedback.

My baby hated the flat pram bassinet and only tolerated the car seat on the buggy frame (not at all uncommon) so we’ve gotten quite a lot of use out of the lie flat feature. In this respect it’s been well worth it.

The spin is very good and useful with an infant, I’m not sure how useful it is with a larger more upright child on the next seat up.

It’s really heavy, I won’t lie. It’s also not the easiest to clip onto the base, you have to get it perfectly positioned over the rear hook and it takes some practice. Now she’s moved into the buggy seat we tend to leave it in the car.

It looks much nicer than all of my friend’s Maxi Cosi and Nuna car seats if that matters! The Nuna is quite a weird looking seat.

Porridgeislife · 26/12/2022 17:25

Oh the other reason the spin is great is if you use a sling often - it makes it a doddle lifting them into the sling/carrier from the car seat.

caseymxx · 16/01/2023 14:27

Hi!

I am in the exact same position and thinking!
I would like to say though that the NUNA next does lie flat in and out of the car whereas the Cybex cloud z doesn't it only lies flat out of the car but the new one which is the cloud Z2 does lie flat in the car!

I am going for the NUNA next I think just because it is exactly the same as the Cybex but its so much lighter!

In regards to the other comment I completely agree about the base! I never thought about the fact that if I have another child they will not be able to have the base and I will have to buy another base! However the swivel function for me is a massive selling point! I have seen parents struggling so much with ones that don't swivel but if it ends up that your child is great and just gets into the car seat no problem then the money on the swivel feature is wasted really and you've now bought 2 swivel bases when 1 could be used with the 2nd child in the infant carseat and then just buy a toddler+ carseat that's rear facing.... I don't know!! Too many options we are spoilt for choice!!

caseymxx · 16/01/2023 14:31

caseymxx · 16/01/2023 14:27

Hi!

I am in the exact same position and thinking!
I would like to say though that the NUNA next does lie flat in and out of the car whereas the Cybex cloud z doesn't it only lies flat out of the car but the new one which is the cloud Z2 does lie flat in the car!

I am going for the NUNA next I think just because it is exactly the same as the Cybex but its so much lighter!

In regards to the other comment I completely agree about the base! I never thought about the fact that if I have another child they will not be able to have the base and I will have to buy another base! However the swivel function for me is a massive selling point! I have seen parents struggling so much with ones that don't swivel but if it ends up that your child is great and just gets into the car seat no problem then the money on the swivel feature is wasted really and you've now bought 2 swivel bases when 1 could be used with the 2nd child in the infant carseat and then just buy a toddler+ carseat that's rear facing.... I don't know!! Too many options we are spoilt for choice!!

NUNA ARRA next I meant to say!

BertieBotts · 16/01/2023 17:02

Yes but the child isn't getting into the car by themselves when you have the infant carrier seat anyway. They are too little. They start to climb up by themselves probably from about 18 months - 2 years old.

If you want a swivel for the toddler stage, which I agree is handy, then you don't need a swivel base that can fit a baby seat on it. There are loads of swivel seats that come with the base attached and they cost about £200-300 which is cheaper than the ones that go onto the modular bases anyway. You might as well save your money and get a static base for the infant seat.

Springblooms08 · 16/01/2023 21:45

@caseymxx It is a minefield and takes a lot of research! I followed @BertieBotts’s great advice and imagined having the baby here and what we would do every time we left the house, which was a really helpful exercise.

At the moment I’m thinking of going for an Avionaut cosmo seat and belting it in. This makes it an affordable price and will allow me to think more carefully about the next stage seat, once I know little one’s height/centiles as they grow.

My last step is to decide how much of a faff belting it in will be and how confident I am with that.

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