The Thule Yepp Mini child bike seat is an incredible front-mounted seat that we highly recommend to families with babies and young toddlers. It is durable, comfortable, highly ventilated, and has a longer life of use compared to other front-mounted child bike seats.
As bike moms who have tested over 40 child bike seats, this review will cover all the pros and cons of the Yepp Mini, as well as how it compares to other seats on the market. Is it really worth its $200 price tag? We think so. Read the review to find out why!
Thule Yepp Mini Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Families in hot climates. The Yepp provides much more airflow than competitors.
MOUNT TYPE: Front frame, 2 different mounts available to fit your bike
AGE RANGE: 12 mo. to 33 lbs.
- Made of “Crocs-like” foam material that is durable, comfortable, easy to wash
- Highly ventilated, maximizing airflow for child
- Rubberized shoulder pads prevent the straps from sliding down a child’s arm
- 5-point harness with a two-handed safety buckle
- U-shaped handlebar provides a sense of safety for child
- Fits older toddlers and kids better than other front- mounted seats
- Comfort for not only the child, but adult rider
- Standard mount and a threadless specific mount available
- Seat attaches and detaches in seconds
- Shoulder pads make shoulder strap adjustments difficult
- Shoulder straps only have one height setting
- Doesn’t easily fit newer, modern mountain bikes
- Smaller age range of use compared to rear-mounted seats
Thule Yepp Mini Review – Results of our Test Rides
My toddler bike tester has ridden and experienced many different child bike seats over his few years, and the Thule Yepp Mini comes with our highest recommendation. We love the comfort, ease of use, breath-ability, durability, and of course that handy handlebar!
Front-mounted bike seats are an incredible way to spend time with your little one. Littles love being able to sit up front versus in the back or in a trailer. They get to be part of the action, but all while safely and securely nestled between the adult rider’s arms. I truly think every bike parent should have an opportunity to ride with their little one in a front-mounted bike seat!
This is our go-to bike seat for casual riding and city commuting . We ride around the neighborhood, to the store, and on our local bike paths.
Adult Rider Comfort
I found the Thule Yepp Mini to be more comfortable to ride with than other front-mounted bike seats I’ve used. This was largely due to the shape of the seat, rounded edges, and material of the seat. Not only does your child enjoy these features, but you as the rider will benefit as well!
All front-mounted bike seats will interfere with your (1) pedal stroke, and (2) riding space. The shorter the rider, the more problematic the seat may be. For reference, I am a shorter rider at 5’4″.
(1) Pedal Stroke
Riding with the Thule Yepp Mini only slightly affected my pedal stroke. I really didn’t have to splay my legs much as I rode. I had anticipated that there would be more interference.
Occasionally I would knock the seat with my knee as I pedaled. However, the occasional knock was no big deal with the “Crocs- like” foam material that this seat is made from. Other seats typically have some type of harder plastic outer shell that is not as forgiving.
(2) Riding Space
Front-mounted bike seats take up space in your cockpit, and rest near your chest. With the Thule Yepp Mini I had about 2 inches of clearance between the top of the bike seat and my chest while riding.
In the pictures below my jacket was in the way of showing a true depiction of the 2 inches of clearance, but it does show that I am able to grasp and lean forward on my bike without the bike seat getting in the way too much. For me it was plenty of room to safely ride and maneuver the bike. I personally enjoyed the feeling of sitting close to my toddler and snuggling as we securely rode together.
Note that the amount of space a front-mounted bike seat takes up in your cockpit or the amount of pedal stroke interference will also depend on the bike you are using. For testing I was using the Decathlon Riverside 100 hybrid bike.
I’ll talk more below about how a slackened head tube angle on a bike (typically mountain bikes) may really interfere with your cockpit space. See more info below in the fitting section.
Other Comfort Considerations
The trickiest part in using and riding with a front-mounted bike seat is mounting and dismounting your bike. Some riders prefer to slightly lower their saddle for easier mounting and dismounting of the bike.
Also be aware that your turning radius while riding will be impacted. You won’t be able to make as sharp of turns, but for casual riding, that shouldn’t be a big deal.
Size and Age of Child
The Thule Yepp Mini fits babies and toddlers from 12 months to 3 years of age or 33 pounds. Thule markets their seat to work with babies as young as 9 months, but also recommends consulting a pediatrician before using the Thule Yepp Mini with a baby younger than 1.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends waiting until a child is 12 months old to ride along with you in a bike seat. It is also illegal in some states to ride with a child under 12 months. Therefore, our recommended age of use for the Yepp Mini is 12 months to 3 years old or 33 pounds.
Thule Yepp Mini Offers Great Room for Growth
After testing the Thule Yepp Mini with my 2.5-year-old who currently weighs 29 pounds, I found the Thule Yepp Mini seat to accommodate older toddlers extremely well in comparison to smaller front-mounted child bike seats like the Hamax Observer or Peg Perego Orion.
Here’s a side by side comparison of my son in the Thule Yepp Mini vs. the Hamax Observer. You can clearly see how big my 2.5-year-old looks riding in the Hamax versus the Thule. His knees barely clear the handlebars in the Hamax Observer bike seat . You can also see the difference in the seat height if you look at the seat in conjunction with where his shoulders are.
Thule Yepp Mini vs. Hamax Observer
When riding with the Hamax, it feels like he’s about ready to max out and move on to something bigger – either a rear-mounted child bike seat or an open style bike seat. But with the Thule Yepp Mini it feels just right, and he still has comfortable room for growth.
Even just looking at the seats straight on you can see that the Thule Yepp Mini is going to be roomier for older kids, specifically ages 2 – 3. This isn’t a huge age range, but certainly may make a difference if you want the most life out of your front-mounted bike seat.
Great Fit for Young Toddlers as Well
How does the Thule Yepp Mini fit younger toddlers? Here you can see the difference in fit on an 18-month-old (red helmet) versus a 2.5-year-old (yellow helmet).
18-month-old versus 2-year-old in the Thule Yepp Mini
You can see the difference in where the shoulder straps start in relation to the child’s shoulder. The shoulder straps hit directly at our younger tester’s shoulder height, but a bit lower on the back of our older tester. Both examples are still an appropriate fit, just different based on age and height.
Younger riders (12 – 18-months) will have straps starting from slightly above their shoulder. For riders approaching the 33 pound weight limit, if the shoulder straps are significantly below your toddler’s shoulders then there is a higher risk of the straps sliding off and is a sign that your toddler is too big for the seat.
Fitting Your Child on the Thule Yepp Mini
Overall, fitting your child to the Thule Yepp Mini is a pretty straightforward process. No tools are required for adjustments as the child grows. One of the most important steps is ensuring a snug and secure fit of the shoulder straps and pads.
5-Point Harness and Buckle
I love anytime a bike seat has a 5-point harness. It feels much more secure for the kiddo and the Thule Yepp Mini marks that check box! This five point harness features a childproof two-handed buckle as well as non-slip shoulder pads. The shoulder pads help the straps from slipping down the child’s arms or shoulders.
Like most front-mounted bike seats, the Thule Yepp Mini only has one height option for the shoulder straps. You can lengthen or shorten the shoulder straps to accommodate different heights, but the straps can’t be physically moved up or down to better adjust to the height of the rider (like in a car seat).
This ultimately shortens the life span of front-mounted child bike seats, but realistically there is limited space up front anyways. Some parents prefer a rear-mounted bike seat as it has the ability to accommodate a growing toddler and has a longer life of use.
Some complain that the shoulder straps are hard to adjust on older kids. I found it only to be a slight inconvenience to adjust. I did, however, find that the padding on the shoulder straps doesn’t line up as perfectly with older kid’s shoulders. I found myself spending more time adjusting the shoulder pads than adjusting the actual shoulder strap length.
The shoulder pads are made from a rubbery material that is intended to prevent slipping or sliding of the straps, specifically off the child’s shoulders or arms. However, I did find with down coats or some polyester fabrics that the shoulder pads weren’t as slip-proof. But with cotton materials and fleeces, the pads remained firm in place.
Be mindful that the slider buckle that releases or tightens the straps should remain inside the shoulder strap padding. (See the picture above for reference.) If you move the pads up and over the slider buckle, the pads will not stay in place and will slide down towards the 5 point-harness buckle. You can see an example of this below.
The shoulder padding has slid down and no longer has any use or effectiveness. The shoulder pads are intended to rest on the child’s shoulders and will only prevent potential slipping if placed directly on the child’s shoulders.
Seat Back Height
The seat height of the Thule Yepp Mini is high enough to provide plenty of back support but does not come up high enough on babies or toddlers to interfere with their helmets. Traditionally, rear-mounted seats need some type of helmet recess to avoid kid’s heads being pushed forward, but this is not usually an issue for most front-mounted bike seats.
You can see in the photo below how low the back of the Yepp Mini is in comparison to this 18-month-old’s head and helmet. Possibly if you used this seat with a child younger than 1 year of age then their helmet may slightly interfere with the back of the seat.
Other Thule Yepp Mini Features
The Thule Yepp Mini has features we love and stand by including their incredible seat material, premium ventilation, handlebars, and foot straps. Learn more below why we love and rave about these features on this seat.
Quick Release Bracket
The Thule Yepp Mini attaches to and detaches from the bike in seconds with a quick-release lever. This is a convenience factor that cannot be overstated! Many front-mounted seats are designed to stay on your bike all the time and require time, tools, and patience to remove.
With the Thule Yepp Mini, you simply push the red button on the underside of the seat, pull the lever back, and then slide the seat into its position on the mounting bracket.
In addition, you will have keys to lock the seat to the bike so you can park your bike in public and not worry that your seat will be stolen while you’re away. Some have complained that Thule has stopped making replacement keys for the Thule Yepp Mini, so be sure keep track of keys that are provided.
Seat Material and Venting
One of the most note worthy and unique features of the Thule Yepp Mini is the incredible material it is made from in conjunction with the unique ventilation.
The “Crocs-like” material is not only comfortable for both the child and adult rider, but is extremely durable! And if that wasn’t enough, the material is also highly water-resistant and easy to keep clean.
In addition to the material, this seat has incredible venting, allowing maximum airflow for a child riding in hot climates. This seat has 42 small holes along the back of the seat. This is a huge plus for families riding in hotter temperatures or longer distances.
While this seat and most front-mounted bike seats don’t offer suspension, the material of the Yepp Mini is shock-absorbing. And while this isn’t as luxurious as suspension, shock-absorbing properties still increase overall comfort for the passenger.
The Thule Yepp Mini comes with a built-in, u-shaped handlebar. It is my toddler’s favorite feature of the seat. He loves to hang on and feels more secure as we ride. Thule also sells handlebar padding that acts as a headrest or nap pad for your child on your rides.
Footstraps and Footrests
The footrests and foot straps on the Thule Yepp Mini are adjustable to grow with your child. You can slide the footrests up and down the seat’s legs to accommodate the length of your child’s legs – no tools required!
Similarly, the foot straps have 8 different strap positions, but I only found 6 of the positions to be possible to use, unless you maybe pulled with some brute force. But regardless, 6 different strap positions should be plenty to secure your child’s feet.
Compatibility – Will the Thule Yepp Mini Fit on Your Bike?
The Yepp Mini comes with a standard mount that requires about 1″ of space on the steer tube of your bike (see What to Look for When Purchasing a Child’s Bike Seat). With 1″ of clearance, the standard mount should easily fit on most threaded headsets. It can also fit on threadless headsets, but will require the removal of spacers.
There is also a separate ahead (threadless) adapter available that will work for some threadless headsets that don’t have 1″ of clearance needed for the standard adapter.
Don’t know if your bike has a threaded or threadless (ahead) headset? Here’s a handy visual reference.
Installing the Standard Mount – Threaded Headset
The process for installing the Yepp Mini standard mount on a threaded headset is incredibly simple. With a longer, thinner stem, the mount fits naturally. Just place the two pieces of the mount around the headset and tighten the mounting bracket directly on your bike.
Installing the Standard Mount – Threadless Headset
Because threadless headsets are “fatter”, the Yepp’s standard mount won’t fit around it. You will have to remove handlebars and spacers, and attach the mount directly to the steer tube (which is underneath the spacers). If you aren’t familiar with this process have your local bike shop set this up for you.
You can see in the picture below an example of using the standard mount directly on the steer tube after removing spacers. (Note the photo below pictures an older Thule Yepp Mini mounting bracket which is taller than the current bracket).
Installing the Optional Threadless Adapter
If you have less than 1″ of clearance on your steer tube, a much thinner adapter is available for threadless headsets. This adapter requires the removal of the handlebars to mount. There is no way to mount over the spacers, so it must be installed directly on the steer tube. Again those not accustomed to the care and maintenance of bikes, have the adapter installed by a bike shop.
Once the adapter is installed on the headset, take the U-shaped bolt and place it over your stem and through the adapter. You will need a stem with a longer neck (like shown above) for this to work.
Will the Thule Yepp Mini fit on my Mountain Bike?
(NOTE: This discussion is not about recreational mountain bikes you might buy on Amazon or at Walmart – for which the threadless adapter typically works. This section is geared towards high-end mountain bikes, particularly those with short and/or slammed stems.)
One of the great debates with both the Thule Yepp Mini and the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is if either seat will fit on newer, modern mountain bikes. Older mountain bikes may have greater success with these seats, or even hardtails versus full-suspension mountain bikes.
The answer is… maybe. It will largely depend on your stem design and steer tube spacers.
Truthfully these Yepp seats weren’t necessarily designed with mountain bikes or mountain biking in mind, especially on newer, modern mountain bikes. But they have been named by the mountain bike community as a potential mountain biking seat for babies and toddlers, so of course, we tested it out for ourselves.
Realistically we would recommend a mountain bike-specific seat like the Mac Ride or Kids Ride Shotgun seat. You can use these seats starting around the age of 2. But for parents who want a seat solution for mountain biking with their youngsters between 12 months and 2 years old, we understand your need!
Standard mount on mountain bikes
The Thule Yepp Mini has two different mounting options – (1) the standard mount, and (2) the optional ahead adapter. For modern mountain bikes, it is more likely that the standard mount will be your best option. The ahead adapter requires a stem with a long neck, which was common for mountain bikes in the past, but not those with modern geo.
You can attach the standard mount directly to the steer tube by removing handlebars and spacers. You will of course only be able to do this if you have enough spacers to remove to then replace with the standard mount.
You may also consider the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini seat. This seat only offers a standard mount, but the standard mount is slightly slimmer and some mountain bikers have had better success.
Thule Yepp Standard Mount Measurements for Clearance on Steer Tubes and Stems
The image above gives you the measurements on the standard mount for the Thule Yepp Mini to help you identify if your bike has enough room or clearance for this mount.
You can also remove the front cover of the standard mount on either the Thule Yepp Mini or the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini. This simply exposes the rain shield connection piece and does not affect the integrity of the mount. This will free up a small amount of space when fitting to mountain bikes. This is shown in the image on the right above.
Also keep in mind that the rise of your stem and how far down the stem’s handlebar clamp goes will also affect the amount of clearance you have for the mounting bracket. On the bike below, there is about 1.25″ on the steerer tube, but only about 1″ of usable space due to interference from the handlebar clamp.
Threadless headset adapter on mountain bikes
The Thule Yepp Mini is unique as it offers an optional threadless headset adapter in addition to the standard mount. That said, the threadless mount very likely won’t be a great option for your threadless headset unless you’re riding a bike with a long stem.
Here’s how the ahead adapter should work. After the adapter is placed on the steer tube, the U-shaped bolt is intended to go over your stem and then through the adapter to tighten and secure. This was a great set-up on a friend’s old bike she used with her son who is now 9.
But most mountain bikes these days have significantly shorter stems, with very little (if any) “stem neck” to place the U-bolt over. Here you can see on my 2020 Cannondale Jekyll mountain bike that the U-bolt is actually in front of my handlebars. It is impossible to secure the U-bolt on the stem.
Position of the Yepp Mini on Mountain Bikes
If you do get the mounting figured out, then your next hurdle is dealing with a more reclined seat position of the Thule Yepp Mini when mounted on a mountain bike. You can see the difference in seat position below compared to a casual hybrid bike. This is commonly due to slackened head tube angles on modern mountain bikes.
Seat Position on a Hybrid versus Mountain Bike
This reclined seat position on a mountain bike will largely interfere with your riding position and your ability to control the bike or properly weight the handlebars. Taller riders may be able to make this work as they have more room to sacrifice in the cockpit, but shorter riders may find it impossible to ride with the seat in such a reclined position.
Below is the same photo, but with no lines to display more clearly the difference in cockpit space on a mountain bike versus a hybrid bike. Keep in mind too, that the mountain bike saddle is lowered in this photo. In reality, that seat would be raised up another 5 inches for riding flat and uphill terrain.
Seat Interference with the Rider on a Hybrid versus Mountain Bike
Rubbing on Your Fork
With both the Thule Yepp Mini and Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini I have found there to be some rubbing or undesired contact between the seat legs and the bike’s front suspension fork. I’ve read about some parents who go to lengths to trim the legs, but that’s a personal decision and not one that we are recommending.
Ultimately, in many mountain bike forums there are discussions about how you can adapt and even physically alter these seats and mounting systems to be more compatible with mountain bikes. Again, that is a decision you will have to make and doesn’t guarantee the absolute integrity of the Thule Yepp Mini.
At the end of the day you can always try it out and see for yourself. Just be sure you purchase your seat from a retailer that will allow you to easily return. Hopefully in the future we will see some better compatibility with these seats and mountain bikes.
Bottom Line on the Thule Yepp Mini
The Thule Yepp Mini is an incredible front-mounted child bike seat. You won’t be disappointed with the quality and features of this seat. It makes riding as a family possible from a young age and gives young riders a turn at being part of the action versus being stowed away in a trailer or behind the parent.
The Thule Yepp Mini is going to have a longer life of use, is comfortable for both the passenger and adult rider, highly ventilated for families in hotter climates and safe and secure for precious cargo as young as 1 years of age. We highly recommend the Thule Yepp Mini to families.