The addition of the Yepp Maxi child seat into our outdoor adventure arsenal couldn’t have come at better time and season. This year’s late spring and early summer in Seattle has been one of the best yet. To be honest, I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough of an opportunity to properly test the seat out during this transitional time. Historically our Junes are gloomy; nicknamed Junuary due to the frequent rain, continued lower temperatures, and overcast skies. Not so in 2014, and we’ve got the outside memories to prove it.
To say we took advantage of the weather would be an understatement. I’m quite proud of the miles we’ve logged so far on our bikes–much more than in previous years. Thanks to the bike seat, we’ve visited new parks (and old favorites), new restaurants (and old favorites), and have added bicycling to our regular family exercise routine.
We love it. On our bikes we can travel further, compared to our typical walking routes, opening up our world to so many more potential destinations and adventures. Join us as I review the Yepp Maxi based on our experience these last few glorious months.
What is the Yepp Maxi?
The Yepp Maxi is a child seat that attaches to back of an adult’s bicycle. The seat can be used with children from 1.5 years of age to about 6 years with a weight recommendation of 18 to 48 pounds.
How does the Yepp Maxi Work?
Two ways to install:
- Standard: Attaches to the seat of your bike & fits 95% of American bikes.
- Easyfit: Attaches to a sturdy rear rack (already present on your bike) assuming your bike can handle the extra weight.
Those who are relatively handy wouldn’t have a problem installing the Yepp Maxi onto the back of their bike, however since we had our Yepp Mini installed at REI, we went ahead and had the store handle both the detaching the mini seat, and installing the maxi. The charge for this service was $25.
Once installed, the child (with helmet) is secured using a 5-point harness, plus foot stirrups. Both the harness and stirrups adjust depending on the size of the child, and should be checked for fit each and every time the child goes for a ride.
When the child is buckled into the seat, you are ready to start riding! Seasoned cyclists with good balance (my husband) seem to be able to hold the bike steady when loading their little passenger. Those not so experienced (or yet confident) can either try a double kickstand system or take some help from a prop such as a tree, bench or street-side bike rack.
What’s to Love?
- The Yepp Maxi has an easy to use 5-point buckling system (plus footholds). We were blown away by how slick and simple it is to get Bergen (2.5 years old) secured. It’s been easy to adjust the straps as he grows, and we feel completely confident in the harness’ safety level.
- Yepp’s color choices are smart and fun! We chose orange because of it’s quirky appeal as well as for practical purposes. It’s bright and visible to other cyclists and motorists.
- Simple detachment: The seat easily pops off (and pops back in) for riding without the child or for car travel.
- Greater joy, more exercise! The Yepp gives us another mode of transportation and exercise as a family. We walk as a family almost daily, but we’ve now added family bike rides to our weekly routine, and love that we can visit places that are further away than our walking destinations.
- The Yepp creates a smaller overall bike footprint (as opposed to a trailer system). We like that we don’t have to worry about an attached trailer behind one of our bikes and the extra room and attention it would require. With the Yepp, it’s easy to maneuver the extra weight, and doesn’t take up any additional space on the road or trail.
What’s to be desired?
We really have nothing to complain about, but there are a few things to take into consideration before purchasing:
- At about $200, the seat is an investment, and in order to get the value out of the product, one needs to make a strong commitment to riding as a family.
- While the benefits of having a compact system (not to mention lower cost) that Yepp Maxi (and Mini) provides far outweigh the luxury of the extra room a trailer system such as a Burley or Chariot provides, extra space (for two kids, possible storage) is something to consider when deciding on the best set-up for your family bike riding.
To purchase the Yepp Maxi (appox.$200):
What’s your favorite way to get outdoors with your family? Questions about the Yepp Maxi? We’re all ears–Stay tuned for a future tips posts. We’d love to include answers to your questions.
A very special thanks to the folks at Aika Trading (Yepp’s American distributor) for providing us with a Yepp Maxi for purposes of review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.