MESA Facebook Q&A Recap

Posted by: Sam

We thank everyone who participated in our interactive Facebook Q&A to spread child passenger safety information during September Baby Safety Month. If you missed it, please see below. Feel free to email Daniella Brown, Child Passenger Safety Advocate, at with further car seat inquiries.

How do I select a car seat? Where do I start? What do I consider?

When selecting a car seat, it is important to find one that best fits your budget, your vehicle, and your family needs. Ease of use is most important! Did you know that three out of four seats are installed incorrectly?

Most retailers allow you to test and install car seats in your vehicle prior to purchase. This is helpful when making such a critical purchase decision. When installing, it is important to select a model that gives you the confidence that you’re installing it correctly every time either with LATCH or seat belt. Each vehicle and each car seat is different. When researching car seats, make sure you understand all the features and whether they are easy for you to use. Always have your vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manual on hand, so you can install the car seat correctly and achieve no less than one inch movement in the cross-car direction.

Are the more expensive car seats considered safer than the less expensive options?

All car seats are safe and follow the same safety standards created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Again, ease of use is key! Some car seats have additional safety features and functions that may be important to you to ensure an accurate install.

When is it the right time to transition to a forward-facing seat?

The UPPAbaby MESA is a rear facing only car seat that accommodates infants from 4-35 lbs and up to 32 inches. Most infants will outgrow their rear facing only car seat in height before weight. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate height when the MESA’s headrest is in the top most position. The child’s head should not be less than an inch from the top of this carriage. We recommend transitioning your child to a convertible seat in the rear facing mode by their first birthday. Safe Kids and the American Academy of Pediatrics are good resources to reference for further information.

My baby is due in the wintertime. How do I bundle them safely in the car seat?

Children should not wear bulky clothing while restrained in the carrier. Clothing or blankets can interfere with fastening or tightening the harness. Bulky clothing will prevent the harness from reaching the hard points of your child’s body in a crash situation. Instead, place a blanket over the child after they have been properly secured in the harness. If you prefer, a car seat cover is ok to use in place of a winter coat, as long as it is a model that is placed on the outside of the car seat carrier.

What’s the best location for me to install my car seat?

The safest seating position is one that works best for your specific car seat, family and vehicle where you can get a tight install every time. If your car seat does not install best in the rear center seating location, it is recommended to move to one of the outboard seating positions. It is critical that you refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to confirm specific guidelines for installation and proper use because every car and car seat is different.

Reminder – the driver or passenger vehicle seat can not touch any portion of the MESA, even the carry handle.

How do I know if I’ve adjusted the harness and headrest properly in the MESA? 

Follow these three steps to ensure your child is restrained properly:

  1. Position the head restraint so that the harness rests at or slightly below the child’s shoulders.
  2. The chest clip should be positioned at armpit level. Make sure the shoulder pads don’t interfere with positioning the chest clip. The shoulder pads can be removed for proper fit. If fitting a preemie, the harness pads definitely need to be removed in order to achieve a tight and proper fit.
  3. Conduct ‘the pinch test’. The harness should be snug so that you cannot pull the strap from the body and pinch the excess harness fabric together at the shoulder, above the chest clip. The straps should be flat and untwisted.

Here’s a helpful video to show you these steps –

How do I know if my car has LATCH?

Check your vehicle instruction manual.

What if my car seat has been in a car accident?

The MESA follows NHTSA guidelines if a vehicle accident occurs:

  • NHTSA recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate to severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.
  • NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.
  • Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:
    • The vehicle could be driven away from crash site
    • The vehicle door nearest child restraint was undamaged
    • There were no injuries to vehicle occupants
    • The air bags did not deploy and there was no visible damage to the child restraint

For more info, visit:

Do car seats expire?

Yes, all car seats have an expiration date. The MESA rear facing only car seat expires after seven years from the date of manufacture, or after a crash. Refer to labels on the bottom of carrier and base.

Do I need a tech to install my car seat?

No, a technician is not required to install a car seat. However, if you’re unsure how to install your seat properly, which installation method to use, which seat location is best for you, or need assistance fitting your child properly, we encourage you to find a Safe Kids Check Up event or qualified installer in your area. Visit this locater to search for one near you:

What position should the car seat carrier handle be in while installed in the car? 

It is important to consult with the manufacturer’s instruction manual or their customer service because manufacturer’s recommendations may vary. Carry handle locations can affect the performance of a car seat. The MESA carry handle can be in any of its three locked positions when installed in the vehicle.

Can the MESA go on planes?

Yes, the MESA carrier is certified for use in an aircraft when used according to manufacturer’s instructions. The MESA base is not approved for aircraft use.

Do you offer a carry bag?

Yes, we offer a MESA TravelSafe Travel Bag. Visit our website to learn about it here:

Our MESA carrier is FAA approved when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We suggest you travel with your MESA in flight for optimal safety.

Which strollers do the MESA work with?

The MESA infant car seat fits directly on the VISTA and CRUZ, without the need for adapters.

For 2014-earlier VISTA models, an adapter is needed to attach the MESA car seat. To receive required adapters, fill out this form to see if you’re eligible:

Can I install the MESA without a base?

Yes! For everyday convenience, city-dwellers traveling in cabs, or vacationing families, the base is not required to achieve a safe and secure install with the MESA. The lap belt routes through the blue guides that are located near the carrying handle of the carrier when rear facing. Please reference your MESA manual and your vehicle manual for seat belt guidance.

Please make sure that the red line on the side of the carrier is parallel to your vehicle floor rather than the ground outside the vehicle. This ensures the back angle of the carrier stays in the correct position so the baby’s head is not flopping forward and closing their airway.

Is the MESA reversible on the stroller?

Yes, the MESA can be attached in either direction on the VISTA or CRUZ stroller frame. Some parents find it helpful to have the car seat forward facing so it can be pulled up to a table without the stroller handle in the way

Is the MESA reversible in the car?

The MESA is a rear-facing car seat only.

Is the MESA preemie-approved?

Yes, the MESA is preemie-approved. The low harness position and included infant insert accommodate babies as small as 4 lbs.

Is it ok to remove the harness pads and replace with others?

It’s not ok to use non-regulated items with your car seat, because the items are not crash tested with the MESA, and that can impact the efficacy of a seat. However, if you are putting a preemie in the MESA, the harness pads will need to be removed because you won’t be able to get the retainer clip at armpit level and you will not be able to pull the harness tight enough to secure your child properly.

What happens if my child can unclip the chest clip?

The chest clip is used simply as a harness positioning aid. It is not required by Federal child passenger safety seat standards (FMVSS213), nor is it the mechanism used to restrain the child in the seat in the event of a crash.

How do you install the MESA carrier with a seat belt?

Watch our video to help you understand how to install with belt here:

Does the Henry MESA wool pass any certifications?

The merino wool fabric used has been OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. OEKO-TEX® Standard provides parents with confidence that the fabric has been tested for harmful substances.

Where has the Henry MESA been tested?

UPPAbaby conducts extensive testing through a private, 3rd party testing facility to ensure they meet the most up to date ASTM and JPMA compliance standards, state and federal governmental testing requirements.
In addition, the UPPAbaby MESA car seat in Henry was tested by the renowned:

  • org/ as part of their Children’s Car Seat Study
  • Duke University’s Superfund Research Center
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Participated in a Facebook Live with CBS San Francisco reporter, Julie Watts

What are the flame retardant materials used in the other MESA fashions (excluding Henry)?

The MESA flame retardant chemical composition does not include:

  • Polybromintated diphenyl ethers
  • Chlorinated flame retardants, such as chlorinated tris (a known carcinogen)
  • Brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
  • Phosphorus-based, halogen-free FRs

Do any of the MESA fashions contain the following?

  • BPA – NO
  • Phthalates – NO
  • Lead – NO
  • Latex – NO
  • Teflon – NO
  • ScotchGuard – NO
  • PVC – NO, only the MESA rain shield has PVC

Do the other MESA fashions, apart from Henry, use any melamine, brominated, chlorinated or organophosphate (including: TDCPP, TPP, TCPP) flame retardants?

None of the MESA fashions use any melamine, brominated, chlorinated or organophosphate flame retardants.

Does the Henry MESA still pass FMVSS 213?

Yes, the Henry MESA, and all other fashions of the MESA, pass the FMVSS 213 safety standard to be sold in the U.S.

Why did you choose merino wool?

In addition to being the only fiber that is naturally flame resistant, merino wool is also a wicking fiber that is comfortable in both warm and cool temperatures.

Are there any flame retardant chemicals applied to the Henry?

Our chemical free flame bonding application of merino wool to foam allows us to rely on the inherent fire resistant qualities of wool to pass government flame retardant standards under FMVSS 302.

Can the wool fabric be cleaned?


Fabrics (seat pad, infant inserts, buckle pads and shoulder pads) -Machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle with mild detergent. Dry flat and away from direct sunlight before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach, iron or dry clean.

Harness webbing + canopy – Spot clean using warm water with mild detergent. Air dry completely before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach or dry clean.

Plastic – Spot clean using warm water with mild detergent. Towel dry completely before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach.

Buckle and lower anchor connector hardware – Buckle should fasten with a “click” if not, rinse under warm running water. DO NOT use detergents or lubricants.

How do you wash the MESA fabrics?

Fabrics (seat pad, infant inserts, buckle pads and shoulder pads) -Machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle with mild detergent. Dry flat and away from direct sunlight before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach, iron or dry clean.

Harness webbing + canopy – Spot clean using warm water with mild detergent. Air dry completely before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach or dry clean.

Plastic – Spot clean using warm water with mild detergent. Towel dry completely before re-use or storage. DO NOT bleach.

Buckle and lower anchor connector hardware – Buckle should fasten with a “click” if not, rinse under warm running water. DO NOT use detergents or lubricants

What’s the warranty?

We offer a three year warranty on all strollers, rear facing only car seats, and now select accessories (Bassinet, RumbleSeat & PiggyBack) by registering your product online within 3 months of purchase. To register your MESA, go here:

How do I remove and install the MESA fabrics?

The MESA seat fabric and canopy fabric is easily removable for cleanup without the need to disassemble the harness. Watch how to take off the fabrics if your seat gets dirty here:

Done washing? Watch how to install the MESA fabrics here:

What are the fabrics used in the MESA?

The MESA fabrics consist of the following:
Outer covering: 100% Polyester, Filling: 100% Polyester, Infant Insert Padding: 100% Polyurethane Foam, Canopy: 88% Polyester/12% Spandex

Wool MESA Outer Covering: 65% wool / 35% polyester Canopy: 100% polyester Filling: 100% Polyurethane Foam Padding: 100% Polyurethane Foam

How do I remove and attach the MESA canopy?

To remove the canopy, view this video, go here:
To attach the canopy, view this video, go here:

Why aren’t car seats a safe resting place for extended periods?

Infants shouldn’t be in the car seat for extended periods of time, which is why we have the Bassinet as another alternative for lengthy trips/strolls. Experts say that the time limit that an infant should be in a car seat sleeping is two hours. When we designed the MESA, we considered the angle and how the baby should safely lie while in the carrier, base and stroller.

Do all hospitals require a car seat before leaving?

Yes, you can’t leave the hospital without a proper child restraint, so be sure to purchase and install your child restraint before delivering. Hospitals will perform breathing tests using child restraints for preemies to confirm their airways are open and they are breathing correctly while sitting in the seat.

What if my infant is below 4 lbs, how can I transport them?

Safe Ride News describes this well, see below:

Infants who are premature, very small, or have other medical conditions may experience dangerous breathing or heart rate problems when seated in the semi-reclined position of a rear-facing car seat. For these infants, even a car seat with a harness that fits perfectly according to the guidelines above is not appropriate. The hospital should monitor at-risk infants in a car seat before discharge. In some cases, a doctor will determine that the child may go home only if riding in a lying down position.

Angel Guard offers their Angel Ride model, suitable from birth to 9 lbs. Baby may ride in prone, supine, or side-lying position.

What are some aspects that the engineering team did in order to incorporate added safety?

The MESA is the only seat with a technology utilizing a tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors for fast, accurate and easy installation. The MESA indicator window changes from red to green showing parents when it’s installed properly.

Some safety benefits include the MESA’s integrated headrest with Side Impact Protection, which is incorporated into the shell construction. It’s an adjustable headrest that moves as baby grows, and is equipped with EPP foam-constructed wings that help distribute crash forces, minimizing head trauma and whiplash.

MESA’s adjustable harness and crotch strap settings allow it to securely fit infants as small as 4 pounds. As your baby grows, MESA adjusts — accommodating
babies as large as 35 lbs. The included infant insert is ideal when your baby is
between 4 and 8 pounds, as it creates a flatter and safer riding position for preemies and small newborns.

How did you incorporate the no re-thread harness?

When we starting working on the MESA, we evaluated NHTSA’s top five misuse items and really looked at how we could tackle them as a team.  In an effort to get rid of the use of a splitter plate in the back and that misuse, we incorporated our harness into our head restraint. As you adjust the MESA headrest, our harness shifts with it so if baby is sleeping or you notice the harness needs to move, you can accomplish this without waking your little one.

Remember that the harness should be at or below your child’s shoulders when they are rear facing.

How did you design the smart secure system and what were the items that you evaluated prior to starting this design phase?

The idea of the Smart Secure System started again from the evaluation of NHTSA’s top five misuse items.  With installation being high on that list, we looked at how we could make the whole concept easy for parents. We knew we wanted to have some kind of visual aid to let parents know they were installed correctly and we wanted to make the whole process easy even for grandparents!

With the SMARTSecure™ System we have two vehicle retractors in the base.  For those that don’t know what that is, it is the mechanism that takes the belt and retracts it back into the vehicle and also locks upon impact in a crash situation.  Just by pressing those orange buttons on top of your base, the mini connectors can be extended from their storage pockets and then attached to the vehicles lower anchors.  Then comes the easy part; just by grabbing the top rails on the base and applying weight, the retractors really do all of the work for you and pull that base into the seat bight (where the cushion and back meet).  The tension indicator on top rolls over red to green and when it’s all green, that means you are tightly installed!

Are there any special things we should know about the MESA?

A couple of things to point out about the MESA is that in order to adjust the head rest, there is a little grey tab at the top of the carrier near the canopy.  You have to pull this tab and then grab the top of the head rest and shift it up and down to adjust it.  Remember, the harness will move with it.

Also, the little window on top of the base is the tension indicator, not the level.  To adjust the level, you need to press the little grey button between the two orange buttons when it’s not installed.  This is the first step you should be doing before you attempt to install the base.  The little window on the side of the base, which is the base level, will then move.  You want both the tension indicator and the level to be all green in order to achieve a correct install.  If the level is green then when you place the carrier on the base, your child’s back angle will be at the correct location.

When I’m traveling, do I have to take my base with me?

That is one great thing about traveling with a rear facing only car seat…you don’t have to take the base with you!  You can use your vehicle seat belt to lock your carrier in place.  Do your research though beforehand to find out where your locking mechanism is in your seat belt!  It could be in your latch plate or your retractor.  Here’s a great video explaining how to install with carrier only when you are on the go:

Is the MESA approved to install on an airplane?  Or is the MESA FAA approved?

The MESA carrier is approved for aircraft travel however the base is not.  When you are installing in an aircraft seat, after you place the MESA on the seat in the rearward direction, the first step you need to do is make sure the red line on either side of the carrier is parallel to the floor.  This line ensures that the back angle of the carrier is at the correct location.  You will then thread the seat belt through the blue belt guides and buckle.  You then place one hand into the carrier near where the babies bottom sits and push the carrier downward toward the aircraft seat in the direction of the seat bight (where the seat back and cushion meet).  As you are doing this, you pull the slack out of the seat belt in an effort to tighten the install.  If the carrier rotates slightly causing the red line to move from its parallel location, just shift the seat slightly returning it back to this position.   (FYI – FAA stands for Federal Aviation Administration)

The rental car company we are using offers car seats upon arrival.  Is it safe to use these?

We would advise against using these car seats because the history of them is not known.  They could have been in an accident and there could be structural damage.  A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t know the person you are receiving the car seat from on a personal basis or they are not from a reliable source, it is advised to pass on the car seat.

I’m going to a major city over the holiday and will be using a taxi for transportation.  Do I need to bring my base?

Even if you aren’t traveling, having to carry a base with you every time you get in and out of a taxi is not ideal.  Luckily, you can install with carrier only and use the locking mechanism in the vehicle seat belt to lock your car seat in place so a base is not required!  Here’s a great video that explains what you need to do: