Convertible car seats allow you to get the best bang for your buck. In the early stages of your childs development, from 5 to 40 lbs, you can have your child in the rear facing position.
Then, when they've reached a heavier weight class, you can have them in the forward facing position. The forward facing position is great for children anywhere from 20 to 70 lbs. All in all, the convertible feature of the car seat allows it to accommodate your child's needs for a longer period of time than car seats that only fit in forward or reverse.
And as far as features to be on the lookout for, you should be looking for a convertible car seat that has a great safety rating. This way, in the event of a crash, you know your baby will be protected. Features like side impact protection, steel bars that provide a secure lock onto the vehicle, and safety harnesses are all important includes.
Also, the covers that come with the seat should come off easily for washing. Warranties are great too, and they ensure that you can get your money back if the car seat is defective in some way. So, if you want to save the most money and get the best deal, shop for a convertible car seat that will last throughout your childs development.
Kids 12 and under should always ride in the back seat, but until they're ready to do it without a car seat, the convertible models are the best option.