Type: Convertible seat.
NHTSA ease of use rating:
Apt 40 RF: Forward facing: Three out of five stars.
Apt 40 RF: Rear facing: Two out of five stars.
Apt 50: Three out of five stars (either rear or forward facing).
Limits: Apt 40: 5 to 40 lbs. rear facing, 22 to 40 lbs. front-facing. Apt 50: to 50 lbs. front-facing.
Pros: Budget friendly seat that works to 40 lbs. rear-facing (both versions). Five harness slots; three crotch positions. New Apt 50 has six harness slots.
Cons: Built-in cup holders make seat wider than others. Top harness slot on Apt 40 is only 13″, meaning older toddlers will outgrow this seat quickly. May be hard to install rear-facing.
Comments: The Apt debuted back in 2012 and is basically an updated Scenera, Cosco’s popular and affordable convertible seat. The differences? The Apt has deep side walls for side impact protection and two integrated cup holders.
Reader feedback on the Apt has been positive—the seat is one of the more affordable options on the market for rear-facing use up to 40 lbs. On the other hand, critics note the low top harness slot (13″) means bigger kids will outgrow this seat by height more quickly than weight, despite the stated 40 lb. limit.
Ease of use when in rear-facing mode scored low on NHTSA’s ratings. NHTSA cited “interference is possible between a seat component and the belt path” when installing the Apt 40 rear-facing as a serious problem, as well as the lack of seat recline. The latter issue may require pool noodles or rolled up towels to get the seat at the right angle. We realize this is a trade off in price—more pricey seats have recline to better fit vehicles.
Another issue: the built-in cup holders make the seat wider than the Cosco Scenera—and that makes the Apt a tight fit in some back seats where space is an issue (or when trying to fit three seats across). Finally, in order to clean the cover (which features all-over elastic), you must first remove the harness, which is a pain.
FYI: there are now two Apts on the market: the Apt 40 RF and the Apt 50, which debuted in 2015. The Apt 50 features another harness slot position, allowing for the higher forward-facing limit of 50 lbs. (the rear limit is still 40 lbs.) Also new: a cover that can be machine washed and dried.
Bottom line: it is a mixed review for the Apt. We know toddlers like cup holders, but that design features makes the Apt much wider than the similarly priced, entry-level Cosco Scenera. And that could be a deal-killer if you have a small car. The ease of use and installation (especially rear-facing for the Apt 40) also drags down this seat’s overall rating. Rating: B-