Lightweight and with a low center-of-gravity, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is super easy for the adult rider to manage. While its quality is excellent, only two shoulder strap height settings does limit is use. Read our full review below for all the details on this rear child bike seat.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Parents that are concerned about a rear-mounted child bike seat throwing off their balance.
MOUNT TYPE: Rear Rack or Rear Frame
AGE RANGE: 9 mo. to 40 lb.
- Lightweight and low center-of-gravity for easier balancing
- High-quality materials and design
- Modern, magnetic buckle
- Soft shoulder strap pads
- Offers great ventilation for hot weather
- Easy to mount and unmount for rides with or without baby
- Easy-to-use 5-point harness
- Padded seat bottom for extra shock absorption
- Shoulder straps only have 2 height adjustments which aren’t ideal for the youngest of riders
- Leg shields can hit adult’s calves – you may need to scoot the seat back
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi Review – Great, But Not Perfect Seat
For the last year, we’ve used the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini front-mounted seat and loved everything about it. But at 22 months old, my super giant toddler is about to max out the weight capacity on her front-mounted seat. As a result, we’re super stoked to be checking out the higher weight capacity Yepp Nexxt Maxi rear seat.
Child bike seats are tricky because not every seat fits on every bike. I actually have one hybrid bike that won’t take any child bike seats! My Priority Classic Plus Gotham Edition Step-Through generally works with front-mounted and rear-rack mounted seats, but won’t take a rear frame-mounted seat (but the diamond frame will). So before you fall in love with this Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi, let’s make sure it will work with your bike!
If your bike already has a rack, or can take a rack, you shouldn’t have any issues mounting the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi. If you’re not sure if your bike can take a rack, check out our page Child Bike Seats: How to Choose. I have an Axiom rack on my Priority.
I haven’t been looking forward to the transition to a rear-mounted seat because they tend to throw off my balance a bit and don’t allow me to really relax as I’m riding. Full disclosure – I’m a cautious rider and definitely don’t have the sense of balance of Simone Biles.
So I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi was significantly more stable than other rear seats I’ve tested. I was totally able to relax and truly did enjoy the ride!
While not quite as stable as a front-mounted seat, it was noticeably stable enough to immediately give me a boost of confidence. Lighter and sitting lower than seats like the Thule Yepp Maxi, there was less weight behind me and my center of gravity was lower, overall resulting in much less of an effect on my balance.
While many parents consistently ride with slightly heavier and higher-set seats without issue, if you’re a cautious rider or don’t have the best sense of balance (ME!!!), I highly recommend the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi over other rear-mounted seats.
Once you have a rack installed on your bike, mounting the Yepp Nexxt Maxi only takes about a minute. (The seat actually comes fully assembled. Huzzah!) Like most high-end rear-rack mounted seats, you sit the seat on the rack and turn a knob in the rear. This knob tightens the rack mounting arms underneath the seat until they clamp down onto the sides of the rack.
Removing the rack just requires you to turn the knob counter-clockwise to loosen the clamp. While it’s really simple and only takes about a minute, it’s not exactly what we’d call a “quick-release”. Seats like the Thule Yepp Maxi and Thule RideAlong have release systems that allow you to take the seat on and off in a matter of seconds.
While a super quick on and off is really convenient, for a rack-mounted seat with a quick-release, the Yepp Maxi is Thule’s only option. It’s a fantastic seat, but does require a rack adapter that costs an additional $45 or so. It also places the seat a little bit higher, which does have a slight effect on balance.
Be sure to attach the back-up safety strap to your seat post, for the very unlikely event that the seat clamps come loose from the rack.
Adult Rider Comfort
I personally love front-mounted seats because they don’t affect your balance nearly as much, and you also have a more interactive experience with your toddler. That said, there comes a time when a child is just too big to be sitting in a front-mounted seat!
For me, when it comes time to transition to a rear-mounted seat, the less weight the better, and also the lower the child sits the better. Both weight and child placement can have an effect on your balance, which of course also affects your comfort.
Weighing in at just 6.6 lbs., the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is the lightest rear seat offered by Thule. And compared to Thule’s other rear rack mounted seat, the Yepp Maxi, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi sits lower because it attaches directly to the rack, rather than on top of the additional Easy-Fit rack adapter. According to our measurements, it sits about 2 – 2.5″ lower.
Lower Placement of Yepp Nexxt vs Yepp
While a very minor issue, the leg shields are worth mentioning in regards to adult rider comfort. The footrests of the Yepp Nexxt Maxi are enclosed on the bike-side by a large plastic shield. This prevents your child’s legs and feet from coming into contact with your wheel if they managed to get their feet free from the foot straps. The potential issue here is that it’s possible that these shields can hit the back of your calves as you ride.
Based on the design of my rack, I have to be specific where I mount the seat so that the Yepp Nexxt Maxi’s clamp arms can tighten properly on the rack. There are many different styles of racks, so not every rack would require this.
Based on where the Yepp Nexxt Maxi is in relationship to my body, my legs periodically hit the leg shields on my first ride with the seat. After a little practice, it was pretty easy to make a slight adjustment to my body position so that shields didn’t hit my legs anymore.
Your rack design may allow you to place the seat back a little father, which would also easily resolve the issue.
Size and Age of Child
All of Thule’s rear-mounted seats are rated for babies, toddlers, and kids from 12 months up to 40 lbs. (This is the US rating. It’s a bit different in Europe.) We tested the Thule Yepp Maxi seat on our 22-month-old (30 lbs.) and a 15-month-old (22 lbs.).
Based on the placement of the shoulder straps, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi is better for toddlers and kids at least 18 months old. There are only two shoulder strap height placements and the lowest setting is a bit high for most 12 – 18-month-olds.
Below you can see how the shoulder straps fit on our testers. The lower of the two settings is perfect for our tall 22-month-old, so if you’re getting a seat for a slightly older toddler, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi is a great fit.
On the 15-month-old, there’s a less-than-ideal gap between his shoulder at the start of the strap. As a result, the straps aren’t quite as secure and can more easily shift to the sides.
If you’re starting your child in a rear seat at 12 months, we’d recommend either the Thule RideAlong Lite which has a third lower setting, or the Thule RideAlong which has continuously adjustable shoulder straps that cinch down much lower.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi Shoulder Strap Height Adjustments
Non-slip foam pads on the shoulder straps help keep the straps in place and also make the rider more comfortable. They’re the same style of straps found on the Yepp Nexxt Mini (front-mount) seat we’ve been using for almost a year. The straps have stayed in place just fine for the most part, but sometimes do slide a bit to the sides. Even so, we really don’t have any complaints.
That said, if you want a seat where it’s basically impossible for the straps to slide off, check out the Thule RideAlong. The straps actually attach to one another behind the child so that they can’t slip off.
The Yepp Nexxt Maxi has a super cool magnetic buckle that easily snaps into place. Unlocking does require two hands – one hand to slide the magnet out of place, and the other to un-attach the buckle snaps. While not hard, it’s a bit tricky to do while also keeping your bike upright, so make sure your bike is leaned against the wall before you try it!
This same buckle is on the front-mounted version, but it’s much easier to use when the child is in front of you and you’re cradling them as you undo the buckle.
With two large holes in the back of the seat, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi has better ventilation than most child bikes seats. The seat is a lightweight, durable, styrofoam-style material that we’ve really loved on our front-mounted version.
On this particular seat however, the material is slightly rough, while on the front-mounted seat we’ve been using, it’s very smooth. It’s strange, because they look identical, but they don’t feel identical. We’ve asked the manufacturer about this and are awaiting their response.
In the meantime, it’s not a reason to not buy the seat because it’s easy to work around. However, I wouldn’t have my child wear a tank top because it’s possible the material could irritate the backs of their arms.
The seat bottom is a soft, textured, dense foam that adds great cushioning for little bums as well as a little shock absorption. Compared to the Yepp and the Thule RideAlong Lite, the seat padding is definitely superior.
Seat Height and Helmet Recess
A child bike seat needs to be tall enough so that as a child grows, they still have proper back support, and the shoulder straps are at an ideal position. The Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is standard in height for a child bike seat, and the upper portion swoops back to allow for space for a child’s helmet.
Compared to other Thule child bike seats, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi doesn’t swoop back as far to accommodate the child’s helmet. As you can see in the image below, the Thule Yepp Maxi’s seat top angles back more steeply, allowing for more room for the helmet.
If your child’s helmet is not bulky, the Yepp Nexxt Maxi provides sufficient room, as you can see with our tester in a Giro Scamp helmet. While with a seat like the Yepp Maxi or the RideAlong Lite you could get away with a rounder, fatter helmet, we definitely recommend a helmet with a flatter back and lower profile (such as the Giro Scamp) for use with the Yepp Nexxt Maxi.
Even for a younger rider who has more of the seat back behind his head, our 15-month-old tester also had sufficient room for his flat-backed Giro Scamp helmet.
Helmet Recess: Yepp Nexxt Maxi vs. Yepp Maxi
Unless you live in an area with lots of speed bumps or pot holes, you probably don’t need suspension. Is sure can be nice to have, but shouldn’t be a make-or-break decision for most parents. The Yepp Nexxt Maxi does not have suspension, while the Thule RideAlong and RideAlong Lite both have dual beam suspension.
We’ve used a lot of footrests in our day, and those found on Thule Yepp and Yepp Nexxt models are our hands-down favorite. Like most footrests, they easily slide up and down to adjust for the length of your child’s legs.
But where the Yepp footrests stand out is in their foot straps. The foot straps are easy to tighten, and they actually stay in place! Oddly enough, even on high-end seats, often the foot straps are hard to adjust and come loose regularly.
Bottom Line on the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi
We love Thule child bikes seats, and the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is no exception. Beautifully designed and easy to use, it’s a sure winner in our book. For a rear rack mounted seat, what we love best is how light it is and how low it sits on the rack. It has minimal effect on your balance and is easy to ride with!