Cosco Apex


New member
Joyjoy is in the 3rd slots from the bottom. I have to say I'm not impressed. The headrest does not lock into place (the display model didn't lock even when the knob was turned.) I'm hoping that it's just because it was the display model, but according to the guy working there, they'd only had it for about a week. :p~
It was not as heavy as a MA, but it seemed much flimsier as well. It's not (from eyeballing it) significantly narrower than a Husky.
I suspect we'll see a lot of misuse, not to mention the whole headrest locking thing


Senior Community Member
If it makes you feel any better, I didn't have any trouble with the headrest locking on the one I had. I never did get around to writing up a formal review but I guess I'll take this opportunity to add my .02 on the Apex.


The kids’ stats for reference (at the time)
Dd1: 4.5yo, 43-44”, ~42lbs
Dd2: 10mo, 20-21lbs, ~27” at her last checkup

Limits listed in manual:
Over 1 year old

Over 1 year old

All without the optional “Body Pillow”

Harness slot heights
The bottom slots are essentially useless. Dd2 would already need the 2nd slots and she’s nowhere near the 34” minimum height.

Crotch buckle depths

Seat depth is 12.5” from seat back to where it starts to curve downward.

Belt guide at the highest setting is 22.5” from seat. It is *just* below my shoulder and I’m 5’2”.

Back height is 30.5” but that might not matter much. See below.

Hip room is kind of hard to measure because the shell curves up, but I got at least 13-14”. I wear size 12 or 14 pants and I fit in it but there is no room to spare.

Weight is about 13lbs.

It is about 20” wide at the front of the seat area and about 21” wide at the side wings (the widest part). So it is only slightly smaller than the Britax Husky.


First, the one that disappoints me the most. According to the manual the midpoint of the child’s head must not be above the top of the vehicle seat back. At first I thought that was a copy & paste error brought in from a backless booster manual, but there is a diagram in one spot that makes it clear it is no mistake. So much for that nice tall seat back. I do see where they’re coming from. The headrest is rather flimsy when fully raised. However, with the headrest down it is about as sturdy as any other adjustable back booster.

The buckle release button is very hard. Dd1 is able to unbuckle herself in every seat she’s tried lately but she’s not strong enough to release this one. I guess that’s a disadvantage if you want the child to be able to unbuckle him/herself but an advantage if you have an escape artist.

The adjuster strap is kind of short. I only had about 5” of strap left after tightening the harness on dd1 and she’s nowhere near the height or weight limits. Because of this a child approaching the harness limits might find the harness too short. Unfortunately I don’t have such a child available to try it out so that’s only a guess at this point. Also, when I let dd1 out I did the usual flip the lever and tell her to lean and she leaned far enough to get the strap wedged in the A-lock mechanism. It was very difficult to get out.

The comfort padding in the Apex is just adequate. Without the optional "Body Pillow" it is minimal. DD1 had no complaints, but she wasn't in it for an extended amount of time either.


It installed well with both a lap only belt and a lap shoulder belt. The seat belt kept bunching up in the belt path but I think it may have been something about my car. In any case, I was able to get it tight so I was satisfied with the installation. There are no built in lock offs, but unless your vehicle is old enough to need a locking clip you won’t miss them. I don’t have a LATCH equipped vehicle available to test the LATCH installation but I don’t anticipate any issues.

There is no mention in the manual about the tether being required at any weight. However, I would strongly recommend using one at any weight, especially for the higher weights, above 40-ish lbs. There was also no mention of discontinuing use of the lower LATCH anchors and switching to a seatbelt installtion at any weight, even though though most vehicle manufacturers give a 40 or 48lb limit on the lower anchors. I would advise switching to a seatbelt installation once the weight limit on the lower anchors is reached.

Lower anchors and tether must be detached when used as a booster. This is true of most combination seats currently on the market.


The roomy seating area and tall height means for most kids it will be the last seat they need. For families needing a higher weight harnessed seat and needing to stretch their dollar as far as possible, the Apex is a good option (provided the vehicle has proper head support). Just don't expect to get the full 65lbs out of the harness. I expect most kids will either be too tall for the harness or will run out of harness length well before reaching 65lbs. That said, if your budget can handle a little more I would recommend considering the other higher weight options available.

Pictures at Safety 1st Apex/


Admin - CPS Technician
Wish I coulda come to BRU with ya yesterday! (2 hour dr appointment, bah!). Yeah, that 'child's head must be supported by the vehicle seatback' is a pretty strong indicator we aren't looking at a very solid seat, I guess!


Senior Community Member

Here's a picture of AJ in it. I didn't have the straps on right since I didn't want to rethread them, but from looking at the pic, he'd need the top straps already (unless there's another set that is covered by the head rest?). He's 36" and 32#, but has a really long torso which is where a lot of our problems lie. :)


New member
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That's Joyjoy in it, I did move the harness slots, but the entire thing just seemed really flimsy.
I didn't find the buckle stiff at all though....


Senior Community Member
Does this seat have a puzzle buckle or just the regular 2 tongues?? If it had a puzzle buckle it would be a deal breaker for me.



Senior Community Member
I think all the new Cosco seats have normal buckles, I know this one did and our Scenera does. Our 03 AO doesn't though.


Admin - CPS Technician
There are big slots in the side of the seat, and there should be pictures of the belt routed through them, under the cover where the bum goes, and then through the slots on the other side. I'm pretty sure the manual should have fairly good pictures. And no, you never, ever want to use a mighty tite, car makers and seat makers specifically prohibit them.

This isn't a Scenera, but it's almost exactly how you need to route the seatbelt for rearfacing


New member
joolsplus2 said:
There are big slots in the side of the seat, and there should be pictures of the belt routed through them, under the cover where the bum goes, and then through the slots on the other side. I'm pretty sure the manual should have fairly good pictures. And no, you never, ever want to use a mighty tite, car makers and seat makers specifically prohibit them.

This isn't a Scenera, but it's almost exactly how you need to route the seatbelt for rearfacing

I'm confused. I thought the Apex was FF only? :confused:


New member
We just got the Apex yesterday, to replace my 6yo DD's Marathon. The top harness slots in the Apex are much higher than the MA, which was the reason she needed a new seat (only 40lbs right now). Admittedly, it's flimsier than any of our Britax seats and I do not like the flexible LATCH connecters as much as the alligator-clips on Britax, I think it's a good seat for the $$. Having a bit of trouble with the vehicle headrest pushing the Apex forward, but it may just be the design of my vehicle's headrests. If you have a larger child, this seat is very wide and deep- I imagine it would fit a chunkier child better than a MA would.
Looking into buying an Apex

This seat seems to have most of the features I'm looking for, major and minor, but I can't seem to find any info on whether those safe-looking side and head wings have the EPS foam in them. Side-impact safety features are high on the list for me, as I was recently in an accident and am in hyper-safety mode... LOL Anyone know about this?

FWIW, I'm shopping for my 4.5 y/o, 35-lb. dd, who will need to use this seat a couple more years. Has anyone used it as a BPB? Comments, complainst on that aspect welcome as well.


New member
well, keeping mind that the back of the Apex provides no structural support (that is provided by the vehicle seat), the belt guides are pretty open, so it would make a decent booster, HOWEVER, you *will* need another booster because it will be outgrown by height before your child is tall enough to not need any kind of seat at all. By the time that happens a backless booster will be fine though, as long as there is support (high seat backs or head rests) behind the child's head.


New member
i did not see EPS foam when i went to look at the apex (alpha elite), and
I've read in reviews that there is none. i'm not sure how much, if any, side impact protection the wings themselves offer but i too am curious!

Patriot201 Ambassador
I played with this seat quite a bit today. Like Rebekah, I too was unimpressed. I did not like how incredibly flimsy the seat was. :(

I think there is a market for this seat because there are so many people who need a higher-weight harness but may not need the RF flexibility of a Britax or Radian. HOWEVER, because this seat is so wide, it seems to me that it would make more sense (for most people) to buy a Regent. In most cases, if you can fit an Apex, you can probably fit a Regent. This seat won't be one I will consider when the time comes that I need a seat like this one.


Senior Community Member
The Apex is one of the few seats I've been able to properly install on the center "hump" of our 2 door 1997 Civic....

Without being able to find anyone near the Reservation to install top tether anchors, the only seat I've managed to safely install outboard in this vehicle is the Husky/Regent -- because of it's reverse belt path: the vehicle belt buckles are a bit forward of the seat bight. The Apex moved at least 3" while isntalled outboard, but it fits great over the center hump & the manufacturer Reps allowed me to turn the lap belt over to ensure that it would remain locked.

Otherwise, I do agree that the seat in general feels extremely flimsy & for this reason I was hoping for center install regardless! I prefer my Husky/Regent to the Apex, but if a family cannot afford Britax & the Apex fits child, vehicle + will always be used correctly, then it is a fine option :)


New member
Recently purchased 2 of the Safety 1st Signature-Biltmore seat, very similar to the APEX but w/ EPS foam in the headrest. Did not find them "flimsy" at all, in fact I was expecting them to be judging from what I had read here and I was pleasantly surprised :) Very easy to adjust for my girls (4 yr. old's harness in the 2nd to tallest slot, 5 1/2 yr. old's harness in the last/tallest slot w/ plenty of room to grow) and install in my van (Honday Odyssey). I would definately recommend them, dependant only on whether the persons vehicle had the necessary headrest. ~Cat

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