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Diaper Test: Kolibri Comslip

After we revisited and have had a look again at the Premium version of the Kolibri Comslip, we can now move on to something fresh and new (in the sense that we haven’t discussed it here before) by evaluating the “standard” version. Yes, the one without extra names I had long wanted to cover, but never got around to.

Kolibri Comslip

This product is one of them hybrid diapers, meaning it consists of a foil coated centerpiece and wings. In all that time we had only a handful of those and apparently there seem to be good reasons for this. The manufacturing issues involved in joining the two parts are not to be underestimated and can reflect on the product quite unfavorably as was/ is the case with the Tena Slip Original. Therefore without further ado lets look how this one fares.

Kolibri Comslip

One of the fundamental contradictions with hybrid products is the way the have to be fixated. In theory you would have to make provision for velcro tapes in case you end up on the cloth parts, yet you also need traditional sticky adhesive tapes for the foil section. So what do manufacturers do? They opt for the stickies and hope for the best, while incidentally also saving some cost because they are cheaper. This can work out okay, but it remains a compromise. The tapes need to be strong to really adhere well on the textile part, but at the same time must not have destructive powers when settling on the foil part.

In case of the Comslip this works reasonably, though not necessarily perfect. In the middle part it’s possible to peel off the tapes carefully once or twice, assuming you haven’t rubbed and pressed them on all that intensely already. The foil is just stable enough for that. While the removal part is naturally easier on the textile surfaces, it is my impression that the tapes tend to slide a bit when ending up in these zones. The material is just a bit too smooth and the glue on the tapes a bit too light to give an immediately strong bond. It only begins to settle properly after a while when your body heat has softened everything a bit, by which time of course things could already have gone out of alignment. This requires a bit of extra carefulness.

Kolibri Comslip

On the subject of the textile parts you need to be aware of another thing: They are very sturdy. While that’s good in terms of being extremely robust to the point where you could twist it up into a rope and use it for towing a car, it may pose an issue for some people. On your skin the rope-like qualities can cause serious pressure marks if something rolls up and just the same, if you are not careful, the edges of the material can be almost like paper cutting into your skin or causing abrasions as it slides about. This is most definitely not something for skin-sensitive people.

Arguably the same could be said about the plastic part. Strange as it is, I have no issues with fully foil-based products nor with fully breathable products, yet with those hybrids things are many times a bit of a struggle. For the most part I blame this on the inherent nature of this product class and the requirement to attain a correctly centered fit. It’s a factory-built-in weakness/ glitch, if you will.

If you only get things to sit a few millimeters too far left or right, front or back, you somehow always end up feeling uncomfortable. The plastic parts’ rims may scratch against your thighs, the transition zones could end up slightly in the wrong places on your butt cheeks and groin area, you can’t correct the tapes and all those annoying things. In fairness, though, of course I’m not wearing this particular product permanently. If I did, things would improve because you instinctively develop a feel for how to put on the product correctly.

Kolibri Comslip

Sometimes you may be able to escape some of these difficulties by switching to another size, but this isn’t exactly the case here, either. While with the Premium I didn’t mind wrapping myself up higher on the waist line and enjoying the cosy feeling of a snuggly tugged up size L, for the more basic product I never get into that zone. As you might already have guessed, the tough textile material and the foil can get in the way and if you don’t really feel comfortable in one size, the slight uneasiness persists in the other size as well.

Kolibri Comslip

To complicate matters even more, this diaper also shares the odd “step” where the wings are attached to the middle and since it is covered in plastic, it’s even more inconvenient to deal with. If bad comes to worse, you could find yourself throwing curses just because those parts pop out and give away an otherwise invisible diaper and here the crinkly nature of the foil could exacerbate the problem.

Kolibri Comslip

Moving on, let’s have a word about the absorbency. This product comes in three levels called extra, ultra and plus. For variety I would have loved to give you a shot of the extra as well in its orange packaging, but I only had the ultra and plus available. The latter even comes in a totally unbranded white bag with a measly sticker on it, since it’s not meant for retail distribution and only available via specific channels. Hence the inglorious bulk OEM product appearance.

Kolibri Comslip

Next to one another there’s no discernible difference between the two absorption levels, but weighing the dry product confirms that the plus version has a few more ingredients. Still, even that one is in a lightweight range, so I didn’t expect miracles. On the other hand, my test of the Premium had already shown that it doesn’t take 200 grams of material per piece to hold a considerable volume of liquid – that is if the product is done “right” and well-balanced.

I’m happy to report that this product also lives up to that promise and is in line with its softer brethren. Personally, though, I would not rate the overall absorption as high. To me it always seemed to come up a bit shorter than in the Premium variants, but this could have been caused by my insecurities in using the diaper in conjunction with not being used to the fit and sometimes having difficulty in gauging the safety margin.

So basically the 10 drops on the plus are more like 9.5 drops to me and conversely the 7 drops on the ultra more like 6.5. That’s not much and roughly translates to those 120 milliliters I let out with one regular pee, but you have to be aware of it, consciously or otherwise. The absolute gap between the ultra and the plus is similar to the Premium products somewhere in the 300 ml range by my estimates, so there’s a distinguishable notch up and hence a justifiable difference in price. Considering that you get 28 pieces per pack that’s probably okay.

Kolibri Comslip

Interestingly, despite coming from the same company this is essentially a completely different product that aside from the overall shape and proportions plus sharing some of the materials really only bears a superficial similarity to the Premium. The very specific behavior of the materials makes this decision even more complicated.

I for instance like the overall more stable and rigid nature compared to its rather soft sibling product, but at the same time there’s something oddly off-putting going on here, which I can’t even put my finger on. I literally had to force myself to actually wear the products for testing after IGEFA had generously supplied me with the sample packages. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be right for you, but I would advise to test this thoroughly before stocking up.

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Hartmann goes Shopping

The world of incontinence products is constantly moving, as some old-timers will be quick to confirm. The Tena brand alone must have changed owners several times back in the early 1990s. Hartman are not new to the game, either, having gobbled up Vlesia and a few other companies in its time. Therefore it comes as little surprise that a bit of reshuffling is going on again and Hartmann is going to acquire Lindor of Spain from its current owner P&G (that Procter & Gamble to you before shortening company names became fashionable).

I’ve never been to Spain since I’m not that much into sizzling in the sun (I only missed out on some business travel to Barcelona by an inch a few years ago, though), so I admit I don’t have the slightest clue whether those products are actually any good or relevant. If you read this and have something to say about it, feel free to comment or send in a pack for testing. In fact when I first read the name it reminded me of Lindt‘s chocolate cream brand of same name more than anything else, which isn’t really my kind of thing, even though my grandma keeps buying it for Christmas presies. Too sweet, too milky-creamy for my taste buds, but don’t tell her. *sssh* ;-)

Anyway, what does this mean? For the time being probably not much. These kinds of things happen all the time and this one is clearly mostly about market access, raising company visibility and brand awareness in local markets. In the long run the Lindor products might get re-branded or replaced with MoliCare names and the like, but who’s to say? I’d bet even Hartmann haven’t figured that one out yet. You can read the full press release in all its prosaic beauty on their website, which sadly is slow as a boar plowing his nose through mud, so be patient…

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Diaper Update: ABU and Bambino in Size L

When I received my package from Diaper Minister containing that nice pack of ABU PreSchool Plastic Edition that you still can win by participating in our little survey activity based raffle, it was stuffed and padded with some other nice things and some of those were single examples of diapers we already had reviewed in some form or the other, but this time in size L. This not only offered the opportunity to snap some shots, but of course also to gauge and grade the products. So here we go.

ABU Space

The ABU Space remains one of those colored diapers that I’d gladly stockpile if I had the money for it. The color is nice and unobtrusive, almost camouflage-like under blue denims, as a sci-fi nerd the spacey theme is right up my alley and of course the excellent absorbent pad and nice feel make this a nice choice. The size M in my original review fits perfectly, so there’s not much reason to go with the L.

Test fitting the single sample I had confirmed this. It’s quite large and in fact so big that it goes up way too high on my body and then my belly gets in the way. This wouldn’t be much of a problem on its own, but it also makes the lower adhesive tapes end up rather high. As a result I didn’t get a really tight fit and ultimately it doesn’t feel comfortable. It’s like a paper shopping bag wrapped around your hips rather loosely. One just doesn’t feel safe actually using the nappy for its intended purpose.

ABU Cushies v2

Moving on to the ABU Cushies v2 a slightly different picture is forming. Since it has only single fixation tapes and a slightly more triangular overall shape it ends up being more suitable for “oversize” use. In fact one could call the situation being reversed here compared to the Space. While size M tended to feel small-ish and I didn’t like the leg areas cracking open, with a size L this isn’t much of a problem.

At least in my case the “belt” region formed by the single tapes ends up in the right place on my waist line and feels comfortable. Because the legs are more open from the get-go you don’t notice it so much in a negative sense. Most of all, however, the larger size gives you the freedom to find a good balance between the front and back section before you seal up the diaper, which no doubt is the most important aspect of a good fit.

ABU Lavender

The ABU Lavender shares the shape with the Cushies and hence what was said before also applies here. The graphics artist in me has long wanted to get his hands on this product and indeed upon inspecting the design I can only say that it’s super nice. It’s subtle, yet colorful and has not too many crazy pattern elements to make the diaper look too sissified or overflowing. Perfectly wearable even for the male part of the population.

As an additional feature (or gimmick if you will) this one comes with a spritz of lavender perfume. Unfortunately it’s a synthetic scent and therefore has a rather pungent odour. Due to my lung illness and being hyper-sensitive to that sort of thing I had to cough quite a bit when dealing with the product even after I let it “breathe” openly for a while. This is something you may want to keep in mind.

ABU Lavender

So to summarize things briefly: In ABU-land the single tape diapers like Cushies can be a viable option in size L if you are similar in stature to me (about 1.80 meters tall, slight tummy) when the M isn’t working out. On the other hand in this situation you should stick with M for the conventional products with two adhesive tapes.

ABU Lavender

Last on the menu is the Bambino, this time in its Classico guise with the printed sticker literally spelling it out for you. ;-) When I first tested this product I was mostly satisfied with it except for the somewhat short front flap. This is naturally not an issue this time.

Bambino Classico and Bellisimo

Since the overall ratio in relation to standard measurements and clothing sizes isn’t excessive to begin with, this scales up nicely. For me therefore the L is the better option of the two despite my tummy. The more generous spread of the wings also makes overall fitting a lot easier since you don’t have to fiddle as much to keep thing centered, though of course this will become an issue again for larger people.

Bambino Classico

A slight disadvantage of the Bambino diapers is the rather wide middle section of the pad that goes through your legs. This is even bigger here compared to size M, which can be problematic and may lead to some pouching as I was explaining in my recent article on the Kolibri Comslip Premium (somewhere halfway down the page where the size comparison starts). That’s okay for nighttime use, but not so ideal during the day when you move about.

Bambino Classico Bambino Classico

Beyond that there isn’t really much more to say, so let me bring this to a close by once more thanking our friends at Diaper Minister. If you have own experiences with these products, consider sharing them by filling out the survey or commenting here. Thanks!

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Twitter = suck

This is a direct re-post from my main blog, so you can skip it if you already read it:

I swear, I’ve tried! In the end I have to declare defeat, after all. Yes, I’ve shut down my Twitter account. There’s a number of reasons for this.

One of them is that you never seem to be able to find anything. This is worse than Facebook. Even the simplest thing requires you to click and opens up external links. At the same time, following other people is not an option because then you are flooded with too much garbage. Not only does my crooked 10 percent-ish Asperger object to that, but there’s just not enough hours in the day to sort through all this stuff.

What really tipped me over however is all that political nonsense over there. It’s disappointing to see how even reputable media outlets play it rough and operate at the lowest intellectual levels and it’s way too easy to get dragged into those pointless feuds. It’s funny, I’ve been a rude boy often enough and I’m not going to pretend anything else, but this stuff makes my own scuffles look like a tender slap on the butt…

Therefore if you want to keep following me around switch over to Facebook. That button in the sidebar should make it easy enough. ;-)

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No Money here…

Well, since I apparently can’t stay away from running off with my mouth, there was a bit of a fallout over some recent article with Stiftung Warentest. That’s a bit like Consumer Reports or similar to you English-speaking people. The backstory is that in my own charming way and some not so nice words I pointed out some flaws in their recent incontinence-related article and the whole thing being not so great overall. I should have known better, but I commented on it on their site, regardless. They replied, I replied and some other people did as well and as these things do, it spun out of control.

One of the last comments insinuated that I had posted some links in the comments only to rake in some cash (when I actually did it since their comment system doesn’t allow to re-edit and correct posts and laying out my thoughts on my own blog seemed easier), so I feel compelled to spell it out clearly once more: This site here doesn’t make me any money. In fact the opposite is true – it costs money.

Aside from occasional free product samples I get from vendors and manufacturers, there’s no business in publishing diaper tests and similar for free on this site. You don’t even want to know how long it sometimes takes to set these things up and how many e-mails you have to write before such a package arrives. If I get things for free, of course I tell you about it in the articles, but as you know, I try to not let it influence my ratings. Even some freebies I got didn’t score that well.

Why am I telling you all this? Some people really seem to think you get terribly rich running a small blog. That’s why consequently I have deleted all my comments on the Warentest pages, since they contained links to this blog for the aforementioned reasons. God forbid I make something like 0.03 Euro Cent on other people’s backs! Yupp, that’s pretty much the amount you get for clicking on a YouTube video. Accordingly, it’s easy to imagine the endless rows of shiny Porsches and Ferraris I see when looking out of the kitchen window of my small flat in this 30-year-old concrete block building… ;-)

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Diaper Test: Kolibri Comslip Premium

It’s been quite a while since I tested the Kolibri Comslip Supra and while I always had plans to follow up with other IGEFA/ Kolibri products, these never really materialized for a number of reasons, which are too boring to go into here. Suffice it to say it got stuck in the pipeline somewhere, but if nothing else I’m persistent and so at long last things have finally come to fruition and I’m able to give you a better picture and present a more complete line-up of the Kolibri Comslip Premium product series.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

Funny enough this article might be fitting in the sense of being current and applicable to some people’s situations because lately I’ve been reading about these products more on forums and it seems they have made even more inroads into the German health system, being now used rather widely in public hospitals. Some of the details have also been tweaked, which offers another good reason to give this a second glance.

As you can see in the picture above, this product line comes in three distinct absorption levels called ultra, special and supra and more or less they all are in the upper third when it comes to their actual absorbency. This of course makes some sort of sense, since you probably wouldn’t bother to spend your money on lower absorption with a premium product.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

The color coding is consequently carried through to the actual product, so you always know what version you hold in your hands. In the picture I just stacked them in the wrong order. ;-) Even the adhesive tapes are synced up so the special I chose for the pictures further down in the article has sort of purple-pink-ish-rose flags and the others green and blue ones, accordingly.

That said, if it wasn’t for the colored prints (or alternatively the manufacturing codes in the center of each diaper), you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the separate levels that easily. There isn’t much in the way of a visually discernible difference in the thickness and even the dry stock weights are not that far apart to provide you with a means of determining which is which just by how heavy they are. Products from other manufacturers are much more distinct in both aspects.

Some of them even go as far as packing a different number of pieces for different levels just to be able to retain the package dimensions. This always brings that weird picture to my head like some elderly lady actually sitting there at the production line and counting the pieces in order to judge how many she can cram in. That is not the case here – you always get 28 pieces per pack.

Now that could indicate some sort of problem like the absorption not being that great, after all, but any such fear can quickly be alleviated. Indeed the products are actually quite good with respect to the way they hold your liquids. Since I don’t normally indulge in things like weighing my used diapers I always struggle to put this into perspective, but judging from my butt sensors, even the ultra appears to be slightly above my usual Attends Slip Regular M9 that I get via prescription.

The special and supra versions scale accordingly, with the latter of course primarily being meant for night-time use. In any case, there is a distinct separation across the levels and it’s something like that the special allows two more fillings than the ultra while the supra allows about two or three times extra pee compared to the special. In other words this translates to roughly 300 ml differences per level, which isn’t all that bad if you consider that a supra almost doubles the effective usage of an ultra.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

While the dry product is quite light and thin, this particular diaper tends to gain considerable volume when it gets filled with liquid. Especially on the “home stretch” when it’s almost full it can bulk up quite a bit. That’s nothing that concerns me too much, but you may want to figure this in into your planning as it can also make your additional protective undergarments (i.e. your plastic pants or whatever you use) feel a lot more snug as the tension from the swelling pad grows.

Strangely enough on the other hand the pad is somewhat narrow. Not so much in the bum section, but in the front. This is somewhat compounded by it not reaching that far up, which at times makes you feel a bit insecure when it comes to potential sideways leakage. It’s not the biggest of issues, it just takes time to get used to when you have been using other products. You have to employ a certain fixation technique, which brings us to another point.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

In my original test I was struggling with the overall softness and elasticity of the product. Feels nice on your skin, but can lead to problematic sagging. This time around I think I’ve figured it out (mostly).

Yes, the real trick is to actually exploit the powers of the stretchy middle sections of the wings. It may look unusual, but you really have to pull everything very taut so the fixation tapes almost meet in the middle. This ensures that the pad is pressed firmly against your body and nothing can ooze out just as it makes sure there is enough friction for the diaper to not slide to the floor. There’s no reason to be afraid anything because the stretchy parts are almost indestructible. It’s more likely that you may rip of the adhesive tapes instead.

Regardless of this I would still recommend wearing something on top to stabilize the whole affair and provide extra protection. Despite considering myself agnostic and neutral in the foil vs. breathable debate, the benefits of some piece of plastic sealing in yucky smells and other things can’t be denied especially for someone like me with bowel incontinence, be that the foil on the diaper itself or some protective underwear.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

Having been outfitted with a generous supply also offered the opportunity to do a size comparison this time. There’s still nothing wrong with my standard size M, but as you know from past articles, I’m one of those people who are kind of halfway in-between sizes and at times benefit from going larger and using size L.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

Doing so is not always easy, since my belly often gets in the way, pushing things down and rolling up the upper seam, but in this case it actually works. Having the diaper sit high up like one of those slimming pants may look odd, but it feels amazingly comfortable, no matter what. To me that is once again a result of the combination of the stretchy zones, the overall very soft nature of the product and the way you have to fit it to your body. Ironically the pad being very narrow is also helpful for this because you can pull up the front section quite high and get a similar tight fit around your intimate parts as if using the smaller size version. On many other products you can’t do that and they form undesirable “pouches” with too much material trying to find its place.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

A minor issue that bugged me with both sizes is the way the wings are attached to the actual middle part. I never quite knew what to do with the “step” and as a result, the overlapping parts just flap around uselessly and I was more than tempted to glue them to my underbelly skin with an adhesive band-aid or something like that. There is just no way to get things fixated in a way that this wouldn’t happen – on my body, anyway. It may of course be a different story if you are a slim person.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

The size L also doubles as sort of a XL, but more recently a genuine XL has also been introduced with even longer wings to wrap around your body.

I also took this opportunity to illustrate the different sizes side by side and perhaps do away with one misconception some people have: As should be rather clearly apparent, larger diapers do not necessarily have larger pads and thus are not a suitable means to boost your absorption volume. All they do is add a few centimeters of length between your legs to accommodate the larger distance from front to back. So unless you place emphasis on that cozy cotton feel reaching up higher on your body, there is almost no point in e.g. using a size L when otherwise a size M fits like a glove.

Kolibri Comslip Premium

Overall I’m still quite pleased with this product and not just because the guys at IGEFA sent me some nice packages for free (Thanks for that!). The product is not perfect, but generally very enjoyable to wear. After a while you almost forget that you are not dressed in regular underwear because it’s so soft. On the other hand this also makes things slightly inconvenient when it gets full and you end up with a rather wobbly, considerably swollen blob in your crotch area. Sometimes a diaper not feeling like a diaper can be a disadvantage, too…

Diaper Test: Super Boompa

At long last I’m able to continue our somewhat semi-random pattern of diaper tests after what felt like a never-ending photo safari in my living room (literally hundreds of photos to pick from for upcoming articles). While it’s perhaps nothing earth-shattering, let’s have a look at the Super Boompa.

Super Boompa

The product has been available for like two months only, yet when I peeked at first images of it online, it looked rather familiar. When I finally held it in my hands my suspicions were somewhat confirmed: There’s definitely a diaper factory somewhere in the People’s Republic of China keeping very busy. The overall look and feel is almost identical to the various variations of the MyDiaper (though we only covered a few of them here on this site here and here). Since I haven’t had a look at that other product in a while, this was a chance as good as any to have another spin with it and re-evaluate it.

Super Boompa

Being a graphic designer of sorts I was more than slightly skeptical about the design since in the usual manner of these products it looks slightly unsophisticated and hacked together, but once you actually put on the diaper, it is less obtrusive than it first appears. Still, there’s room for improvement and I’d start with picking different, more harmonious colors and then some… Come to think of it, perhaps someone might tackle the idea of doing a comic-themed diaper and “do it right” for a change?

Things being as they are, the current design has both its Pro and Con. The saturated blue with the white dots is barely noticeable when combined with blue denims *yay*, yet at the same time it constitutes a large surface area with lots of color that can rub off, which of course it does to some extent. In defense, though, it’s nowhere nearly as bad as the first batches of the MyDiaper, so someone took a hint and learned their lesson. Regardless, you may want to set aside a dedicated protective pant that is allowed to get “dirty”. The white one I’m using right now for this shows some interesting magenta-purple-ish hues already.

Super Boompa

In hindsight based on a gut instinct (or pure luck) I got my package in size L, so there aren’t any fit issues. The product still tends to be on the small end of the spectrum with this L actually feeling like the large M sizes you get with some other brands. Of course the same analogy would apply to the size M, which then presumably ends up being a bit too snug for my butt like in the past. ;-)

The absorbent pad appears to be pretty much the same as well. Despite the diaper overall not being the thickest, the volume of liquid it can take in is considerable. I also got the impression that the padding is not as stiff and as compressed as it used to be, being conducive a quicker absorption, which can only be a good thing.

Everything else is as you know it. The extra transparent front panel sticker allows repositioning of your adhesive tapes if you desire or need to do so. It also adds this bit of stiffness that takes a while to get used to when you put on the diaper and may initially make it a bit more difficult.

Super Boompa

Overall this is one of the more tasteful derivations of this particular product and if you’re looking for a bit of variety, this will do nicely. I was also pleasantly surprised by the improvements. They may be minor and merely a byproduct of an optimized production process rather than a conscious thing, but they are no less welcome. Sourcing this product may be a bit difficult and currently I’m only aware that it’s available via our new best friends at Diaper Minister, who also provided the review sample, but you may be able to dig it up at your favorite diaper outlet, after all.

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