Thule Yepp 2 Maxi Review – Frame and Rack Mount Models

Comfortable, adjustable, and built to last, the newly update Thule Yepp 2 Maxi is a high-quality rear seat for toddlers and preschoolers, but one small change from the previous model puts a damper on the new one – the buckle. While all of our parents and toddlers who tested the Yepp 2 Maxi loved the experience, two of our little testers were able to unbuckle themselves 😳.

As a result, while the rest of this rear seat is pretty exceptional, if your child is a mini escape artist or even just a curious one who loves to open and close things at home, we would recommend going with Thule’s Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi seat instead.

Yepp and Yepp 2 maxi seats sitting next to one another

Thule Yepp 2 Maxi Overview

RATING: Recommended with Exceptions – NOT RECOMMENDED for mini escape artists (see buckle info in review)

MSRP$230 (rack), $250 (frame)

BEST FOR: Families who want a comfortable child bike seat for longer rides. NOT ideal for riders who are likely to attempt to unbuckle themselves (if so, go for the Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi seat instead).

MOUNT TYPE: Rack or Frame mount. Bike rack not included in rack mounted version.

AGE RANGE: 1 year to 40 lbs. (or 48.5 lbs. in Europe), but best starting around 18 months.

PROS:

  • High quality seat material is soft and water proof
  • Suspended seat design provides more shock absorption than most other seats
  • Smaller leg shields perfectly protect your child’s legs and feet, while not interfering with your pedal stroke
  • Good ventilation for the upper back

CONS:

  • Older toddlers may be able to unbuckle the harness – not recommended for mini escape artists
  • Loosening and tightening the shoulder straps is more difficult than it should be

Thule Yepp 2 Maxi Review – Results of our Test Rides

After testing the Thule Yepp 2 Maxi with several kids in both the rack and frame mounted options, we discovered that there is a lot to love about the seat, but the buckle issue unfortunately overshadows it all.

Safety Concerns with Buckle

Putting safety first, we immediately want to address the issue we had with the Yepp 2’s buckle. While the buckle is labeled as “childproof”, we disagree with that categorization. Some of our young testers were able to unbuckle themselves while in the Yepp 2 Maxi.

The buckle requires you to push down directly in the center with decent force. But our 3 and 4-year-old testers were able to unbuckle themselves after watching us do it. In the image below, you can see our 2-year-old tester attempting to undo the buckle, but he was unable to do so.

Toddler trying to unbuckle himself in the Thule Yepp 2 maxi child bike seat

We reached out to Thule, and they haven’t had any reports of a child being able to release the buckle (they have been selling this updated model in Europe for some time), but they are looking into the matter to ensure safety. We will continue to update this review as we hear more fromThule.

As a result, if you are planning to use this seat as your child grows to 3 or 4 years old, we would recommend staying away from the Yepp 2 Maxi and purchasing the Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi instead. The Yepp Nexxt has a unique magnetic buckle that is truly child-proof (and almost parent proof sometimes).

Overall Performance

Buckle issues aside (but certainly not forgotten), our parent and child test riders praised the Yepp 2 Maxi for its comfort and overall ease-of-use. Our little passengers loved the cushioning bottom while our adult riders loved its clean, modern design, as well as it non-intrusive foot rests (more on this below).

thule yepp 2 maxi on a cargo bike

In back-to-back tests with the Burley Dash rear child bike seat, our 2-year-old tester shown above had pretty opposite reactions to the Burley and Thule. He went from being a bit hesitant to get back into the Burley after a long rides to the park, to being upset about having to get out of the Yepp 2 after going the same distance. According to mom, he complained much less about the ride being bumpy while riding on the Yepp 2 and enjoyed it much more.

Recommend Child Age and Size

The Yepp 2 Maxi is rated for ages 1 and older up to 40 lb., which is the size and age range for all rear seats as required per ASTM standards. The higher back of the Yepp 2 Maxi does make the seat a little more comfortable for older/taller riders, but its limited shoulder strap height settings make it less ideal for toddlers under 18 months old. (More below.)

Helmet Pocket for Younger Riders

To ensure comfort for younger riders, the Yepp 2 Maxi has a recessed helmet pocket, which prevents the child’s helmet from being pushed forward by the back of the seat.

thule yepp 2 helmet recess

Shoulder Strap Height

The insertion point for the shoulder straps of bike seats should be placed close to the top of the child’s shoulders in order to get a secure fit (and ideally a tad below the shoulder). The Yepp 2 Maxi offers two insertion points that can be adjusted tool-free within minutes.

To adjust the height, simply pop out the plastic insert along the back of the seat (shown via the arrows on the right below), re-thread the strap through the plastic insert, and reinsert the strap into the desired insertion point.

two height settings for the shoulder straps of the Yepp 2 maxi

While you can adjust the straps while the child is in the seat, we highly recommend adjusting prior to placing the child in the seat.

We used the lower insertion point for our more petite 2-year-old tester (shown below) and the higher insertion point for our taller, almost 3-yo tester.

Child sitting in Yepp 2 with the shoulder strap in its lower position

With only two shoulder strap height positions, the straps can’t be lowered enough to be a truly good fit for a child under about 18 months. If you’re planning on riding with your child when they are younger than 18 months, the Thule RideAlong rear seat will be a better fit because its shoulder straps are continuously adjustable higher up and lower down.

Adult Rider Comfort

Compared to the similar Yepp Nexxt Maxi rear seat, our adult testers greatly preferred the smaller legs shields on the Yepp 2. The leg shields on the Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi are so big that they actually interfere with the pedal stroke of the adult rider. The smaller shields on the Yepp 2 do not get in the way.

Leg Shields of Yepp 2 Maxi vs. Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi

Leg shields of Yepp and Yepp Nexxt maxi shown next to each other.

Frame or Rack Mounted – Bike Compatibility

The Yepp 2 Maxi is available as a rack or frame mounted seat. Which model you should choose will depend mostly on your bike’s frame design. Many bikes are not compatible with the frame mounting system, while other bikes won’t allow you to mount a rack. Check out our Child Bike Seat Fit Guide (scroll down towards the bottom of the page) if you don’t already know which style of seat your bike is compatible with.

If your bike is compatible with both, the frame-mounted Thule Yepp 2 Maxi is slightly more expensive than the rack version, but you do save money by not having to buy a rack. If you choose to go with the rack-mounted option, the Yepp can be attached to any rack between 4.33 and 6.90 inches wide (110mm – 175mm) that has a weight capacity of at least 59.5 lb. and is also ISO 11243 certified.

Rack-Mounted Thule Yepp 2 Maxi

Previous versions of the Thule Yepp Maxi had a very different rack-mounting system that required the purchase of their Easyfit adapter. That is no longer the case. The Yepp 2 Maxi now has a traditional mounting system, identical to the Yepp Nexxt 2.

Mounting the seat to the rack is very easy. First, turn the knob on the side of the seat to spread out the four small rubberized rack arms enough to cover the rack. Then place the seat on top of the rack with the arms extended over the sides of the rack. Lastly, turn the knob to the right until the arms are firmly gripping the rack.

knob on the Thule Yepp 2 rack mounted

We mounted the Yepp 2 Maxi to our Aventon Abound cargo ebike which has a rack width of 6.63 inches. Even with the mounting arms of the seat fully extended, we had to give the seat a small bump to get over the rack, so we’re quite sure the 6.90 inch max width is correct.

Once fully tightened via the knob, the seat can then be locked into place using the included key.

Frame-Mounted Thule Yepp 2 Maxi

The Yepp 2 Maxi’s frame-mounting system is completely redesigned from the original Yepp Maxi. It is now identical to the Yepp Nexxt 2’s system, and similar to most frame-mounted seats.

Mounting block for the Yepp 2 attached to the seat tube of a bike

While our child bike seat fit guide has much more detailed information about fit, the Thule Yepp 2 Maxi frame mounting block should fit on your bike if you have 4″ of seat tube that is free of wires or cable brackets.

That said, frame-mounted seats generally don’t fit on step-thru frames because the seat tube is placed too low. You will also have trouble if your saddle is set close to the bike’s minimum seat height. Once again, please read our bike seat fit guide!

The mounting block is secured to the bike’s frame, and stays on the bike permanently (well, until you take it off). The Yepp 2’s mounting bars click securely into the block. To remove, simply pull on the bottom of the block to release the lock and lift the seat and bars up and out of the mounting block. On and off in seconds.

Additional Features of the Thule Yepp 2 Maxi

Harness System – Shoulder Straps

The Yepp 2 features a five-point harness system with straps that go over the shoulders and around the waist. Not all seats have the waist harness, so we certainly appreciate that added security. The harness is similar to the Yepp Nexxt 2.

The shoulder strap pads are very rubbery, which is meant to help keep them from sliding off of a child’s shoulders. Conversely, it makes it awkward and harder to adjust the tightness of the harness, especially when the pads are resting on a child’s chest. We did find this frustrating. Luckily, you only need to adjust them periodically as your child grows.

Mom adjusting the shoulder strap tightness on the Yepp 2 maxi seat

Suspension and Shock Absorption

With rear child bike seats, suspension is usually only found on frame-mounted seats. The mounting bars can flex, which allows the seat to counteract small bumps or chatter in the road.

With the Yepp 2 Maxi, both the frame and rack-mounted models have a shock-absorbing design. Thule touts the Yepp 2 as a more shock absorbing seat than the Yepp Nexxt 2. In addition to the foam material of the seat being able to absorb vibrations from the road, the Yepp’s seat is designed so that it sits suspended above the plastic base of the seat, further reducing the vibrations that can reach your child.

Yepp 2 Maxi seat from the side, showing how the seat is suspended in its base.

Yepp 2 Maxi Ventilation

The Yepp 2 Maxi offers decent ventilation through its 18 holes along the upper back. Some seats, such as the Thule RideAlong and the Burley Dash, don’t have any ventilation at all.

Compared to the Yepp Nexxt 2, the Yepp 2 has similar or less ventilation. This is in stark contrast to the original Yepp seat, which had 56 ventilation holes all over the back of the seat.

Ventilation in Thule Yepp 2 Maxi vs. Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi

Thule Yepp 2 and Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 shown from the rear to see their respective ventilation holes.

Side Wings are New

With the update of the Yepp 2, side wings were added to the body of the seat. Side wings provide more of a “cocooning” experience for your child, offering additional protection for their body. Additionally, the side wings can help prevent a child’s fingers from getting pinched against a wall if you were to set your bike against it to dismount and unload your child.

Footrests

The footrests of the Yepp 2 are identical in design to the Yepp Nexxt 2. Without tools, you can quickly raise or lower the footrests for the most comfortable position for your child. The wide foot strap do a very decent job of keeping your child’s feet secured and off your back (our kids have definitely used our backs as a foot rest with other seats). For best results, always have your child wear shoes, as the added bulk helps keep their feet secured.

Foot rest and foot strap secure a toddler's foot in the Yepp 2 rear child bike seat

Along with the footrests come leg shields, which act as a barrier between the bike’s rear wheel and your child’s feet. The Yepp 2’s leg shields are perfectly sized and positioned so that they don’t interfere with your pedal stroke. This is greatly preferred to the much larger leg shields of the Yepp Nexxt 2, which may require you to adjust your position on the bike to avoid hitting the leg shields with your calves or heels. (This will not be an issue on longtail cargo bikes, as shown above.)

Thule Yepp 2 vs. Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi Comparison

Collage showing Thule Yepp 2 Maxi and Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi side by side, from the front

The Thule Yepp 2 Maxi is Thule’s most budget-friendly rear child bike seat. Compared to the Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi, you can save about $20 – $30 by opting for the Yepp over the Yepp Nexxt. Throughout this review, we’ve shown you the major differences between the two seats. In the end, they each have some benefits that the other seat doesn’t have, but the Yepp 2’s strange buckle design provides little incentive to purchase this seat over the Yepp Nexxt 2.

In a nutshell, the primary differences between the two seats are:

  1. Buckle – the Yepp 2 buckle is significantly less child proof than the Yepp Nexxt 2’s magnetic buckle. Our testers 3 years and older could unbuckle themselves.
  2. Weight – the Yepp 2 is about 1 – 1.5 lbs heavier than the Yepp Nexxt 2, but in our riding experience, this difference wasn’t really noticeable.
  3. Leg shields – the Yepp Nexxt 2 has very large leg shields that prevent a child’s feet from getting into your rear wheel. These can often hit your calves or heels. The Yepp 2’s leg shield are much more compact, still providing sufficient protection for kids, but not so large that they interfere with your pedal stroke.
  4. Ventilation – Previous versions of the Yepp had significantly more ventilation holes. With less ventilation on the updated Yepp 2 seat, it now has the same or less ventilation than the Yepp Nexxt 2.

Thule Yepp Maxi vs. Thule Yepp 2 Maxi – What’s the difference?

Yepp and Yepp 2 maxi seats sitting next to one another

If you’re familiar with the original Thule Yepp Maxi seat, you may be wondering about all the ways this updated Yepp 2 Maxi is different. There are some very significant changes that Thule implemented with the update of its popular Yepp Maxi rear child bike seat. Which changes are the most significant?

  1. Different seat shape – the seat is now taller in the back and has side wings, providing more overall protection for a child’s body.
  2. Additional seat support – the back of the Yepp 2 is now reinforced with hard plastic, instead of the Yepp’s exposed foam and ventilation holes over the entirety of the back of the seat.
  3. Buckle – the Yepp 2 buckle is much easier for a child to unbuckle. The previous Yepp buckle was more childproof. We’re not sure why they made this change.
  4. Shoulder strap pads – the Yepp pads were a soft, smooth, and flexible foam. The Yepp 2 pads are flexible and rubbery, providing more “stick” so they are less likely to fall off shoulders.
  5. Mounting systems are completely different – the Yepp’s EasyFit rack mounting system was retired and replaced with a standard rack mounting system. The frame-mounting system was also completely re-designed to match Thule’s other rear seats.

Thule Yepp 2 Maxi Bike Seat Bottom Line

We love many features about the Thule Yepp 2 Maxi, but we are hesitant to fully recommend it due to concerns over its buckle. While we don’t anticipate the buckle being an issue for many kids (it does take some force to push), the fact that a child could unbuckle themselves if enough to give us hesitation.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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