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).
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 50 lbs. rear-facing (current model Apt 50). Six harness slots; three crotch positions.
Cons: Built-in cup holders make seat wider than others. May be hard to install rear-facing.
Comments: The Apt 40 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. In 2015, Cosco rolled out a revised Apt (the Apt 50) with a top weight limit of 50 lbs.
FYI: Even though the Apt 40 is discontinued, we continue to see “Disney Apt” seats sold online that are Apt 40’s.
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, for the Apt 40, 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. Good news: the Apt 50 has a 16″ top harness slot height.
One key difference between the old Apt 40 and the newer Apt 50: the latter has a cover that can be machine washed and dried.
The Apt 50 only received a three star rating from the NHTSA on ease of use. Here is what the NHTSA said were the issues:
- Interference is possible between a seat component and the belt routing system.
- A printed/molded line is present on the restraint that must be leveled to the ground.
- There are not three levels of built-in recline available.
- The restraint is equipped with hook-style LATCH attachments which may require twisting to remove from the lower anchors in the vehicle. The LATCH storage area is not clearly labeled.
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.
Bottom line: if your budget us under $100 for a convertible car seat, the Cosco Apt 50 is a good choice. (We’d go for the 50 over the older 40 models—that extra harness slot is worth the extra money). Rating: B-