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Graco vs UPPAbaby (2021): Best Car Seats, Strollers, and Travel Systems

When it comes to travel essentials for infants, Graco and UPPAbaby are arguably two of the better-known brands. Graco’s car seats, like the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, are especially popular for their affordability and longevity. UPPAbaby, on the other hand, is known for the versatility and premium textiles of its strollers. The UPPABaby VISTA V2, for instance, boasts a reversible toddler seat featuring full-grain leather accents.

Between the two brands, however, parents and families will find a broad catalog of car seats, strollers, and travel systems. To help you choose, we’ve narrowed down the top-rated products from Graco and UPPAbaby across four categories. Read our review below to find the next baby transport to add to your child’s travel gear.

Graco vs UPPAbaby Comparison Chart

ModelGracoUPPABaby
Best Infant Car SeatGraco Extend2Fit Convertible Car SeatUPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
Price

Standout FeatureNo-frills and functional car seatInnovative LATCH installation system
Most Affordable Car SeatGraco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car SeatUPPAbaby ALTA Booster Seat
Price

Standout FeatureA lightweight car seat designed to meet and exceed federal safety standardsA stylish booster seat that can accommodate growing children
Best Full Size StrollerGraco Modes Nest StrollerUPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller
Price

Standout FeatureSturdy and functional stroller that supports up to three configurationsIntuitive and expandable design that can accommodate up to 3 riders
Best Travel SystemGraco Modes Nest Travel SystemUPPABaby VISTA Stroller + MESA Car Seat
Price

Standout FeatureFunctional travel system with an extra-large storage basketExpansive and compatible with several UPPAbaby accessories

Best Infant Car Seat

Graco’s Extend2Fit is the best convertible car seat to get for its price point. Meanwhile, UPPAbaby’s MESA is a standalone infant car seat of choice for more discerning parents.

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat versus UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat

Graco’s lineup of car seats is quite extensive. Parents can choose from standalone variants to 3-in-1 models, as well as 4-in-1 and all-in-one options. However, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is undoubtedly the best-seller. Parents can set up the budget-friendly car seat as rear-facing for infants or forward-facing for toddlers. It also comes with an extension panel for additional legroom.

While the Extend2Fit doesn’t convert to a highback or a backless booster, its rear-facing mode has been bolstered to support infants up to 50 pounds. This is 10 pounds more than most Graco convertibles, including the 4-in-1 options. For parents, this means children can ride rear-facing for much longer, which is the orientation recommended most by experts.

Compared to Graco, UPPABaby’s catalog of car seats is much more modest. Among its three models, however, the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is the most revered. The premium car seat sports a unique LATCH mechanism that minimizes installation errors. Like the Graco Extend2Fit, the UPPAbaby MESA also comes with a 5-point, no-rethread hardness system.

For added protection, the UPPAbaby has reinforced the MESA’s headrest with EPP foam. The seat also comes with an extendable canopy that boasts a UPF 25+ rating for sun protection. Eco-conscious parents will also like UPPAbaby’s standalone car seat a little better. The MESA is chemical-free and uses Merino wool that is designed to keep babies comfortable.

Most Affordable Car Seat

The Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat and the UPPAbaby ALTA Booster Seat are among the brands’ more affordable products.

GracoSnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat versus UPPAbaby ALTA Booster Seat

Parents who aren’t into a convertible car seat can consider the Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat instead. This standalone recliner is a lightweight model with heavy-duty safety features. For instance, the SnugRide 35 Lite LX is ProtectPlus Engineered, having been tested against frontal, rear, side, and rollover crashes. Graco also adds the car seat’s removable head and body support are soft knit for a snug and cozier fit. The SnugRide is easy to install thanks to its LATCH system. It also features a durable 4-position adjustable base with a visual indicator for easy installation.

UPPAbaby, on the other hand, maybe a pricey brand, but it does have a few affordable options β€” one of them being the UPPAbaby ALTA Booster Seat. Designed for kids 6 to 10 years old, the ALTA is a stylish and functional addition to your travel gear. The booster seat boasts a multi-position headrest that can accommodate growing children. Its sides are also equipped with impact pods designed to absorb and dissipate crash forces.

Even though it’s on the lower end of UPPAbaby’s price range, the ALTA Booster Seat still offers premium features. The seat itself is quite spacious and comes with sturdy dual armrests for comfort. The ALTA is also available in four color swatches, including Lucca, a high-quality teal mΓ©lange that’s bound to stand out.

Best Full Size Stroller

The Graco Modes Nest Stroller and UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller are among the brand’s respective bests.

Graco Modes Nest Stroller versus UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller

Stylish and functional strollers are not just a fad β€” they are the standard. The Graco Modes Nest Stroller, for instance, boasts a durable aluminum frame and a height-adjustable seat. It also features urbane touches like a leatherette handle and an extra-large canopy. The UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller, on the other hand, is a highly-versatile stroller that can expand to accommodate up to three riders. Aside from the regular toddler seat, parents can configure the VISTA V2 for twins, toddlers, and even three children.

Graco’s best-selling stroller supports only three modes, but they’re all functional. For instance, parents can set up the Modes Nest as an infant bassinet. There is also the forward-facing stroller mode for toddlers. The best part is that the Graco Modes Nest is compatible with Graco’s infant car seat, too. You can read more about this in our Graco Modes Nest Travel System review.

The UPPAbaby VISTA V2 is another favorite, especially among growing families. The stroller sports a sophisticated design expected from the brand, including a zip-out canopy that’s rated UPF 50+. UPPAbaby’s intuitively designed baby transport also features an adjustable handlebar wrapped in full-grain leather. On-the-go families will also like the generous and easy-access storage basket.

Best Baby Travel System

Graco’s Modes Nest Travel System is a great option for most parents. Growing families, however, stand to benefit from UPPAbaby’s VISTA and MESA bundles.

Graco’s Modes Nest Travel System (left) and UPPAbaby’s VISTA and MESA bundle (right)

Parents can save themselves from the hassle of buying different seats and strollers by investing in a travel system. These bundled-deals come with multiple components and support versatile configurations for a growing family. The Graco Modes Nest Travel System is arguably one of the more popular examples. Combining the toddler stroller with the Graco SnugRide 35 Lite Elite Infant Car Seat, this all-in-one baby transport makes it easy to move around.

Graco’s travel system builds on the functionality of the Modes Nest Stroller, too. Parents benefit from the large storage basket, as well as the thoughtfully included parent cup holder. The stroller itself converts to a self-standing fold for easy storage.

Meanwhile, UPPAbaby offers a VISTA stroller and MESA infant car seat bundle. This baby travel system supports multiple configurations to accommodate a second and even a third child. With the VISTA stroller, parents already enjoy the flexibility of a multi-position recline. The stroller’s frame, however, can be expanded through RumbleSeat and Piggyback accessories.

True to its brand position, UPPAbaby’s travel system is available in chic and tasteful color swatches. The accompanying infant bassinet even boasts a water-repellent liner and, like a toddler seat, comes with an extendable canopy. Parents will also appreciate the bassinet’s perforated mattress pads that make it more breathable.

Verdict

Graco’s Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat offers the best value for your money. But for those with deep pockets, the UPPAbaby VISTA and MESA bundle is an excellent investment.

It’s hard to compare Graco and UPPAbaby products because they come at different price points. A quick look at their respective catalogs, however, will show Graco has more products. The brand offers a wide selection of full-size and lightweight strollers, for instance. There are plenty of options for car seats, too. Among them, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is arguably the most notable. Not only does it come with all the safety features you want in a car seat, but it’s also affordable.

UPPAbaby, on the other hand, seems to deliberately cap its roster of car seats, strollers, and accessories to just a few models. The result is a sense of exclusivity within its lineup, making it feel like every product is a limited edition. UPPAbaby’s use of premium textiles and penchant for refined colors and finishes also push the brand’s price range up. This is nowhere more obvious than in the UPPAbaby VISTA stroller and MESA infant car seat bundle. The top-of-the-line travel system delivers a stylish, functional, and user-friendly way of travel with your child β€” or even three children.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ What’s the difference between Graco and UPPAbaby?

Graco offers an extensive catalog of baby gear that boasts safety, affordability, and functionality. UPPAbaby, on the other hand, carries a premium line of strollers, car seats, and accessories.

πŸ“Œ Why is UPPAbaby so expensive?

UPPAbaby’s catalog of baby transport products is intuitively designed and typically features premium textiles and sophisticated color swatches. Their car seats and strollers are also covered by an extended warranty not offered by other brands.

πŸ“Œ What is the frame material used in Graco Modes Nest strollers?

Graco shares that its Modes Nest strollers use an aluminum frame for durability.

πŸ“Œ Can I get a sample of the swatches used on UPPAbaby strollers?

Yes, you can. Parents can fill up a form to request up to 4 swatches, and UPPAbaby will send the samples to your door for free. You can check out the information here.

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.