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Diaper Quickie: ABU BareBum Diapers

For reasons that will become clear further down (if they aren’t already obvious from the start) I’m only filing this in the Quickie category, so this shouldn’t overwhelm your brain even if it’s hot outside. ;-)

The BareBum Diapers have been on my mind for quite a bit not just because of their original name (in the comedic sense), but because I actually quite dug the simple yet elegant design ever since I saw the first pictures. Actually getting it was an entirely different story since it was only being distributed in the US initially and then in smaller quantities at outrageous prices also in the UK. All this changed for the better when ABU went on a rampage earlier this year and essentially gobbled up a bunch of brands and popped on their label sticker. That can be seen in a multitude of ways, but at least it ensures that products are more widely available through existing distribution channels. I got my examples through Nappies’R’Us once again, but I’m sure in time you will be able to find the product elsewhere, too.

ABU Barebum

While it may carry the ABU label now, one thing must be spelled out loud and clear:

This is not your typical ABU diaper!

It shares no similarities whatsoever with the Cushies, Little Pawz and so on. Rather it’s – you may have guessed – your standard China-made diaper. It’s good to know that there’s more than one diaper factory over there, yet they seem to be forming a single monopoly or conglomerate and all work off the same specs. In turn that means that aside from the different packaging and some minute differences laid out below, for all intents and purposes it lines itself up on the shelf with all those MyDiaper variants, the Tykables and Super Boompa. Almost makes me wish I had my own diaper factory just to prove the point that things could be done differently. ;-)

ABU Barebum

Being based on the same specifications and measurements like the rest of the lot, naturally the same rules apply when it comes to size and body fit: In the usual manner a size M is slightly too narrow for me and an L is preferable. In this case this also evens out the scale compared to other ABU products. After all, most of them are rather large-ish and e.g. a Space size M almost covers this particular diaper’s size L almost all the way.

ABU Barebum

Getting down to business regarding the small and subtle differences, the first thing you will notice is that unlike some of its brethren this product uses a relatively thin and malleable foil. This improves the fit, which on other similar diapers sometimes can be a bit tricky due to stiffer foils being used. Here this also is advantageous as it makes the doubled-up transparent sticker in the front respond less stiff as well. While we’re on that subject, I found the adhesive tapes slightly odd by contrast. They are somewhat thick-ish and tend to turn into wavy little patches as soon as you touch them and exert even the tiniest bit of force. This ultimately somewhat nullifies any benefits the ability to take them off and pop them on again may have, as you have to rub them on pretty hard to iron them flat again, in a manner of speaking. Also the tapes are not that strong to begin with.

ABU Barebum

The other deviation from the norm – in a positive sense this time – is the absorbent pad. I’m pleased that the Chinese manufacturers seem to have worked out the balance of the ingredients and the settings on the machines, so the pads are a lot softer and not as much compressed as they were on some older models. This immensely helps to actually exploit the full capacity and increases wearing comfort.

ABU Barebum

To conclude this quick glance: If you don’t mind the premium on the price, then this could be a nice thing for you and in the end perhaps qualifies as the best of these MyDiaper-like products, only rivalled in design and tastefulness by the Tykables. On the other hand, for the same money you can get tons of other diapers with or without prints, so it really boils down to how much the pattern appeals to you and how important it is to satisfy your inner urges.

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Diaper Quickie: Jessa Hygiene Slip Flex Slip

I’m still running behind schedule due to too many other distractions and annoyances of my life as a chronically ill person requiring my time and attention, but things should improve again now that some of these obstacles have been pushed to the side. There’s more to come, but let’s start with a mini review of a product that has only recently entered the market, even if it has been around in a different guise already for a while. Confused? Keep reading! As a matter of fact to you people from abroad this is probably going to be more of a bit of travelling advise than a genuine diaper test. Since summer holiday season isn’t too far away or already has started for some of you this may be even more relevant, so listen carefully.

As you well may know from my articles (or other sources and personal experience), here in Germany most incontinence care products of the more serious kind are only available via our Sanitätshaus/ Rehatechnik specialized home care shops. This for a number of reasons has several disadvantages like product choice usually being limited to a few predominant suppliers that vary from region to region, prices being higher than presumably necessary due to this being a regulated market and, this is where it gets interesting, business hours like back in the 1980s where hardly anyone could even imagine working longer in a store than 6 PM.

Now imagine you having landed at some airport late in the afternoon and looking for some diapers to spend your night in the hotel padded. Exactly! Unless you have made special reservations, you might bump into closed doors. The obvious thing to do would be to evade the issue by going to the nearest drugstore/ chemists or shopping centre like you may be used to from wherever you are coming from, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Yes, most of the time you will only find pull-up pants with low to medium absorption ratings, but no “serious” diapers.

Thankfully, with the people in power realising the potential of selling incontinence care products in an ageing society, this is beginning to change and so some of those drugstore chains are making a foray and have begun holding either some stock brand diapers or creating their own OEM brands. This made some waves and caused some cheers in respective diaper-centric communities, since it’s really not common. With that long foreword hopefully making some sort of sense we are getting to the interesting bits and have a look at the Jessa Hygiene Slip Flex Slip.

Jessa Hygiene-Slip

This product is sold at the dm drugstores which is short for “drogerie markt” and it just means that – drugstore. Imaginative, isn’t it? ;-) So first lesson here: If you look for this product, follow the signs with the yellow/ red wave thingy. To make it easier to find and recognize the package on the shelves I have also included the front and reverse angles, just in case. Typically you will find this stuff more at the back of these stores where you also can find baby diapers, ladies’ pads and toilet paper, so work your way past all those tempting lipsticks and creams. Since I live in a small town in the outskirts of Leipzig and we don’t have one of those dm shops it took me an excursion to the big city to procure a package for this review.

Jessa Hygiene-Slip

There are ten pieces in the package and once you take one of them out, it will look mightily familiar: Yes, it’s an Attends Adjustable. If you paid attention and looked at the package design you might even have clued in on some of the graphics already which in style and execution look also similar and have a detailed rendition of the product. Even if you didn’t open tha package, you could have guessed. Further indication is the address of the distributor being exactly the same as AttendsGerman headquarters. With all these hints and by reading the original article you should get some idea.

Still, there are some things you need to pay attention to. First, for reasons that are hard to understand they opted for the L sized Adjustable, which as a matter of fact makes it too large for many people even if they labeled it as M/ L. This has caused some controversy and uproar. Even for me the ribbons of the belt are too long and the only thing that makes up for that is that with these products you put them up higher on your waist and thus for once I can exploit my slight tummy. Naturally it also takes care of providing enough coverage in the rear parts, which sometimes can be a problem with belted diapers in smaller sizes. Regardless, it remains an odd decision and one can only hope that soon they will add an S/ M version derived from the original size M.

Jessa Hygiene-Slip

Quality-wise you get what you expect. I had no examples of the genuine Attends Adjustable in size L at hand, but I’m inclined to think that there are no technical differences. It simply wouldn’t make sense to reconfigure the production lines and redesign the product. If at all, it may be a bit lighter, but again, at the moment I have no way of verifying that.

The difference in materials should not distract too much. Lately Attends have simply been using a different tissue for the outer shell which is more pure white instead of having the blue-ish tint to it. I see the same with my health insurance funded Attends Slip Regular. The new material is slightly softer, which makes wearing these products even more pleasant. Not as pleasant as my all-time favorite the ID Slip Super, but I’m not going to complain.

Beyond that there’s not much more to say. Personally I’m quite pleased that such products popping up may signal a change in how manufacturers think about their incontinence products and in an open market this can only be helpful. A bit of competition might at least have a corrective and stabilizing effect on prices. If you are lucky you can already get this one for around 7 Euros on a discount offer, which means the retail price for ten pieces is even below some online offerings compared to the regular 21 piece Attends Adjustable package. That can’t be a bad thing. ;-)

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Diaper Accessories: The big Onesie Shootout – Part 7 – DryLife

With a bit of delay due to some annoying things having interfered with my schedule and last week’s heat wave turning me into a lazy sloth I opted for a product this week that allows for a slightly simplified and trimmed down review (You know, not too many pictures to prep) by ways of the DryLife onesies. I got mine via Nappies’R’Us, but in the end you can just as well order them directly from DryLife. Both sites belong to the same company, after all.

Colors and Patterns

I must admit that the colors were what attracted me in the first place. I confess my obsession about pink-ish colors is getting weird, but actually I had my eyes mostly on the blue one. A reasonably “pure” cobalt blue/ light ultramarine is hard to find and next to all shades of dark slate greys, blue tones happen to be my second favorite color. As a third color there is a white one, too.

DryLife Onesies

If you head over to their website and compare the colors to my tweaked versions you will realize, though, that they are not as bright and intense in color as the overcranked photos on those store pages. The less aggressive coloring makes them much more suitable for everyday use and you don’t have to be anxious about looking like a crazed flamingo even with the pink diaper suit. ;-)

Size and Fit

As a product proudly made in the UK (at least that’s what they claim on the website) the sizes should match standard measurements pretty closely and that is indeed the case here. It comes in S, M, L and XL variants. I ordered my examples in size L based on the measurements tables and they do fit okay. If in the future I might get replacements I would go with an XL, however. Why? As with most of these products there is always an “if” or “but” attached and this is no exception.

DryLife Onesie

While the measurements themselves are okay, they unfortunately opted for a less than ideal cut pattern/ shape. The bottom section is as flat as a sand beach. In fact the photos paint a better picture than it actually is. The front and rear panels are almost identical, which also has other repercussions. More on that later on. Anyway, pretty clearly the design is more meant to reach further down your butt and legs rather than being a more triangular tight fit, hence an XL would be required in my case to actually make it work this way – at the cost of losing functionality.

DryLife Onesie

Despite being seemingly undersized (again, as possibly intended by the designer/ vendor, not in the practical sense) the dimensions fit my body nicely and it was less critical than I thought at first. There’s enough cloth to provide sufficient freedom of movement even around the arms, which ironically makes this even more puzzling and frustrating. It would be perfect “if only…” and that brings us to the real source of trouble in the next paragraph.

Diaper Fixation

Yupp, you read it already, the fit is actually reasonably good and would function perfectly to even hold up a relatively thick diaper on my body, yet the designer(s) lost sight of some fundamental things. First I’d have to rehash that size thing of course. If I were to use an XL, I’d be getting better coverage, but almost no anti-gravity support. See the problem? Naturally this will even out for people who are taller, so I suppose things would then probably be okay if I was 1.85 meters in height and a little more slender.

DryLife Onesie

The other glaring oversight – if you can’t even call it genuine ignorance and neglect – is the placement of the buttons. With the front and rear being nearly identical in shape, there can only be one place where those snaps might end up and that is the most undesirable and inconvenient place in the world – right between the thighs and, if you allow me to use that word, near your poop hole.

I couldn’t think of a more awkward location especially when you are in a rush and need to do a diaper change in a public toilet. You literally have to bend forward to see the buttons and be able to close them up again. The one good thing that comes out of this is that the mere three buttons will suffice and even don’t tend to leave visible cracks too much, being that they only need to cover a short distance, but that seems little consolation.

I feel that for this kind of special needs apparel more thought needs to be given to those details, especially if you are dressing yourself. I wouldn’t even want to imagine how a person with motor disabilities like tremors, spasms or partial palsy would deal with this without having someone at hand to assist.

DryLife Onesie

As a last thing I take issue with I need to mention the placement of the buttons themselves which, to put it mildly, is strategically not so smart. The snaps are placed at the innermost edge of the seams which greatly increases the risk of one of the claws of the fixation rings ending up on the thin cloth itself instead of the double-layered edge.

On my pink specimen it also happens that one of the claw holes has ended up very near a stitching hole, resulting in a mess with a noticeable hole and the yarn becoming frizzled, quite likely ripping out soon-ish and then I’ll have to pull out the sewing kit. Granted, with most onesies there is never a good way to get those buttons on the small ribbons (unless you add extra broad rim liners), but I wish a bit more attention would be used on this.

Materials and Manufacturing Quality

The quality of the textile is okay. It’s mostly your standard 100% cotton stretch cloth, but of a slightly higher quality level that will withstand a couple of washes without immediately showing lumps and rough areas. The colors will equally stay fresh nicely and barely fade. It seems they used a hot dye process so little color comes off during washing. I use those color absorbent tissues on the first washes just to be on the safe side, but it barely had any coloration, so at least you can be sure about that part.

The sewing is okay in that it doesn’t show any flaws in the threading, however the diaper suits themselves appear to have a lot of variability built-in with regards to the shape. The blue one was perfectly straight, the pink one has a noticeable crookedness/ twist. Go, figure! What also rubs me the wrong way is that the wrong kind of needles seem to have been used. I don’t know much about this stuff, but when under tension the stitching holes blow up to visible punctures something must be wrong.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing starts at 16.95 British Pound (GBP) for the white version if you take advantage of the tax exempt status for handicapped/ disabled people and the regular price with taxes clocks in at 20.34 GBP. The colored onesies cost one pound extra. While that’s an okay price and probably even cheap-ish for UK residents, it will turn out more costly for people from elsewhere due to the exchange rates. On average you will end up paying around 25 Euros in most cases. Availability should be okay, but I have to admit that I don’t nearly as often check this as I do for other products, so this is more of a guess.

Summary

As you may have gathered from my use of conditional phrases here and there this product doesn’t make it easy. It gets some things right, but at the same time botches up other critical factors. It’s like it can’t decide whether it wants to be a cheap “me too” or a full complement to your daily incontinence needs. Most annoyingly it’s simply convoluted to actually put on due to the placement of the snap buttons, which feels like someone just scaled up a pattern for a baby onesie with no regard to practicality for adults. Strangely enough I would be more than willing to buy more of these products because of the fit and the nice blue color, but those quality issues need to be straightened out with a redesign for a v2. Until that happens it will really be a case of “YMMV” (Your mileage may vary.) and by a huge margin at that.

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Diaper Test: Bambino Magnifico

After some disappointing experiences with printed diapers I try to restrain myself and try not to spend too much of what little cash I have on these kinds of products anymore, but of course every now and then something comes along and I can’t resist the temptation. The Bambino Magnifico is one such case.

Bambino Magnifico

The only reason you’re even reading this review is because somehow it made a fuse melt in my brain. Now imagine how I sat there when I first saw pictures of this product late last year (or was it early this year?), doing baby-ish facial expressions and going “Ooooh-aaaah, that isss soooo cuuuuuuute!”. You know, those dragons/ dinosaurs with their well-rounded butts in diapers. Oh my! As the Borg say on Star Trek: “Resistance is futile!”. I – just – couldn’t!

From there on it was only a matter of time before a chance might arise to order them somewhere and a few weeks ago Nappies’R’Us was useful in fulfilling that secret desire of mine. If you hurry up after reading this article, you might actually be able to catch some of the goods before they run out again, which – as usual – sadly enough will and shall forever be the biggest concern with these things in terms of actually being able to experience the product.

Bambino Magnifico

Upon first inspection, the product appeared rather huge to me since I’m not wearing these rather exclusive and elusive diapers more often and in addition they are labeled as dual sizes, i.e. S/ M and L/ XL which made me assume they would skew toward the upper end. This could easily be disproven by taking actual measurements which match the regular Bambinos almost all the way. There is a twist here, though, which explains things a bit.

In contrast to the traditional adhesive tapes this one uses velcro, but in a rather unusual manner, since the outer surface is still plastic foil. So in place of the extra transparent sticker that on other models would serve as a strengthened area on which you place your sticky tapes it has a sticker with the velcro slings. The velcro hooks therefore are where the tapes would be, but to make this even more unusual they aren’t classical separate tapes, either. Instead this is in fact a very broad elastic ribbon with protruding tabs which claw into the slings.

I hear this is a rather common method on some local Asian products, but naturally I have no access to these things and can’t verify it first hand. I guess it might be time to learn Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese or whatever to be able to read those web pages of theirs… ;-) Either way, it’s pretty cool when you see it and it works nicely. It also blends in nicely with the surroundings and thus becomes almost invisible.

Bambino Magnifico

The elastic tape takes a moment to unfold its magic, so you will find yourself readjusting it after a few minutes in most situations. It seems rather rigid at first but then presumably due to the body heat becomes more malleable. In my case I had to tighten it up a bit. Based on my experiences I’m therefore not really convinced that the intended multi-size use would actually work that well in practice since unless you have those ten minutes to wait for the tape to become expandable it might be tricky to get a decent initial fit. If you have big hips (if you get my meaning) and really need those two or three centimeters there’s always the risk you might rip it while it’s “cold”.

On my examples the elastics were a bit off-center due to a manufacturing glitch, so it looked a bit odd at times, but nonetheless it worked. The adhesion tape/ ribbon is sandwiched inbetween the outer plastic foil and the inner textile lining, by the way, so if it rips out, the damage could be potentially huge. One of the many benefits of those tapes is that I can wear the larger size much better because I get more freedom in tweaking things to my liking and thus get a nice seal in the back region just as of course the flexible tapes will allow for some leeway with my bulbous tummy.

Another feature that sets this diaper apart from other products (including other Bambinos) is the once more boosted absorption volume/ size and weight of the pad. This one is up there with the best of them and just feels very thick and heavy. All the same it shares the same problems with its brethren – by the time you may actually have managed to exhaust the volume, your diaper is pretty ripe/ rife in the literal meaning of the word and you probably would prefer to change it earlier, anyway. Regardless, you can feel pretty safe with this product and should easily get through a full night, even if you sleep in on a Sunday morning.

Bambino Magnifico

The rest is pretty much like on the other Bambinos. The pad is generously large, the foil rather crinkly and the shape slightly old-fashioned, yet efficient and comfortable to wear. You now also get ten pieces per pack instead of just eight, though I’m not sure if you can call it much of an improvement. It merely makes things easier to compare to competing products and simplifies the math when you plan your purchases.

The price for a pack is higher as well, of course, and when you break it down to individual unit prices it remains one of the more expensive products out there. Combined with the spotty availability this can really only be an occasional treat and diversion from your daily routine, not a full on replacement of your current incontinence protection.

All that said, I rather like the product and that is rare enough as it is. I’m feeling quite content and even my graphics designer sensors don’t go on alert because it’s one of the few printed diapers out there that is actually really nice to look at and not one of these atrocious eyesores. Even if you don’t care for diapered dragon babies you might get something out of the plain white version called Bambino Bianco UltraStretch and enjoy the same quality.

Diaper Accessories: The big Onesie Shootout – Part 6 – SaveExpress AO 1021

While we’ve covered a number of products already that originate from my home country Germany or other parts nearby in Europe, today’s onesie of the day has traveled much further  – from China, to be exact – yet in a way has quickly become a “German Classic” in its own right ever since everybody’s favorite diaper dealer SaveExpress added it to their lineup. We are going to talk about the AO 1021 which they are selling under their Airoliver label, which incidentally was their original company name that still exists as a subsidy today.

Before we delve into the details, let me preface this with a warning: This article is exclusively talking about the 1021 series, not any of the other diaper suit/ onesie products you may also find on their website. If you intend to get one of those, you will have to work things out on your own, I’m afraid. Things like sizes and fit may be completely different, after all.

Colors and Patterns

At the time of writing this article there are like 20 different patterns for this product and only a few are illustrated in the images based on what I have in my clothing cabinet. It would simply be financially impossible for me to buy them all nor are all patterns relevant. In my mind I still have my eye on a few of them like that polka dot pattern with dots in different colors and light green seam liners that popped up only recently, but it’s an open question if I will ever get them for a number of reasons you will find out about later.

SaveExpress Onesie

The basic product design is always the same – white textile, the patterns printed on using sublimation/ inkjet printing and contrasting seam lining ribbons, matching a predominant color of the pattern where relevant. That’s in itself okay, but the real issue is of course with the selection of patterns. To cut to the point: Most of them aren’t that great in my opinion.

One of the problems is the choice of subjects to begin with. These products coming out of some Chinese mega-factory many of the designs have a definite Asian touch and influence and as a result some of the shapes and colors used feel odd compared to a more traditional European aesthetic. It also stands to note that this often makes things look very girly due to lots of light rose tones and other pastel colors being involved. That’s okay if you are into that a bit, it’s just not really my thing, give or take the occasional cute design one can’t resist.

SaveExpress Onesies

My designer niggles aside, which are a matter of personal taste and preference, anyway, the bigger issue for me is that many of the patterns feel rather crammed and – dare I say it – sloppily placed. Some of them are scaled so tiny that you can’t help but get the impression the designer was paid by the square inch and how many flowers, birds and other shapes he can squeeze in. That’s almost tragic, as funny enough some of those things would actually look pretty decent had they chosen the opposite direction and made them reasonably large, more loosely spaced and with different colors.

It also wouldn’t hurt if some of the patterns would be a lot less perpendicularly arranged. As a graphics design person I feel that some fundamental principles like the Golden Ratio or certain rules of angles like they are commonly applied in traditional painting have totally eluded whoever cobbled those patterns together. There’s really nothing worse than an all too obvious repetition of some tiling.

SaveExpress Onesies

Overall the patterns are a bit odd. That’s terrible to say, but I deem most of them unsuitable for wearing anywhere else than at home. Even the versions with the stripes could look quite weird and potentially embarrassing in public. It’s really a case of “If only they had…”. With a little more thought poured into it and some better decisions on the colors I feel this would work better.

Size and Fit

One of the reasons I started this series is the eternal struggle over finding the right size and this product is a good example how way off Asian sizes can be (a future article will show that this can be even more whacked out). All examples in this article are in size XL. I also had one in L quite some time ago (a white with blue borders if you must know), which I long have gifted to a much skinnier guy because it was too small for me. It was just impossible to get the buttons to close.

With those bits of info dropped into your laps you might already guess that this is once more a case of a tight fit. That’s what I prefer, anyway, but I would just love to one day a size L product that really deserves this attribution and fits me off the bat. Since I’m already at XL, the potential to go further up is limited. There are a XXL (2XL) and a XXXL (3XL) version, but I would predict that a 1.95 meter person would exhaust those options easily and then it’s end of the line. My usual disclaimer of “My barrel tummy costs me half a size.” of course applies, too, so there may be some headroom left.

SaveExpress Onesie

On the downward scale things go as far as an S and looking at the measurements table this should fit people around the 1.55 meters height mark if they aren’t too cuddly or bear-ish, if you get my meaning. In light of my experiences with the size L I would be wary with an M as well. It may not fit a 1.70 meters person like it actually should. In the end you have to try, but consider yourselves warned. To me it definitely appears like the sizes are always 10 centimeters body height short – quite literally.

The actual fit is okay, even if the proportions of the product appear a bit odd. Due to having to use a larger size it feels rather square and even in my case there’s still a bit of room left on the main trunk. The sleeves on the other hand are a relatively tight fit, which I attribute to the way they are tailored and sown. This could definitely be a bit better, but more on that further down.

SaveExpress Onesie

The leg holes have this interesting curvature which hints at the main parts going quite a bit down, offering good coverage of your posterior parts as well as almost fully hiding your diaper. Depending on what kind of diapers you use the broad flap section can be a bit disadvantageous at times, since it tends to absorb sweat and moisture vapors when it sits too deeply in the skin folds in your groin area. Due to osmotic effects it may in fact also “suck out” more moisture from a diaper with breathable surfaces, building up an undesirable stench that may make you want to change your onesie immediately.

Diaper Fixation

Diaper fixation is a bit of a mixed bag for me due to the various circumstances. On a basic level this will do just fine, but if you are a victim of those triple-damned sizing issues and caught halfway between fire and flood things get a bit more complicated. For the most part these stem from the cloth itself. It is a very plain, basic cotton textile which you usually would probably only use for T-shirts. That being the case, it doesn’t offer much in the way of being particularly stretchy or adaptable. Once it has worn out, it really has worn out and won’t snap back into its original shape fresh like when fresh out of the bag.

SaveExpress Onesie

In addition to the normal loss of shape things get even more annoying if it really gets soaked for whatever reason. In such a situation the cloth loses almost all tension and resilience and to make things worse, the many tiny manufacturing issues (more below) then add up and reveal the true nature of the product. Even the seam ribbons don’t help much here.

SaveExpress Onesie

The button placement is kind of okay, but doesn’t feel like someone cared much, either. It is pretty uneven and this becomes even more apparent if you put up different examples of this onesie side by side. It’s literally like the are merely eyeballing this. One of the undesirable side effects of this approach is that the whole button row tends to be a bit too far left or too far right on some models, resulting in a somewhat crooked fit in this area. To be fair, though, the shifts in position are only a few millimeters, so not all is lost.

What is really disconcerting is how the buttons (and in turn the claws they are held with) are hammered in at the very edge of the seam ribbons, producing those very visible indentations. On one of my examples they clearly missed the ribbon and as a result the prong of the back ring caused a whole in the tissue which due to the stress when wearing has now turned into a loose thread. It’s not the end of the world, but not nice, either, and could have been easily avoided.

SaveExpress Onesie

The buttons themselves are the usual 9 mm standard and hold nicely even if there are “only” four. Having five like on the Kiddo seemed a bit excessive, anyway. On the other hand I’d gladly trade those in if they were better quality. The buttons deteriorate noticeably in relatively short time. First they get dull after a few washes and then the chrome plating comes off entirely, revealing the brass material. If you don’t use your onesie regularly and thus also wash it as often this could turn into nasty black stains when the copper part of the material oxidizes.

Materials and Manufacturing Quality

I’ve said quite a bit in the previous chapters already, so a quick recap should suffice. From the selection of the cloth to the issues with the buttons this product has “cheap” written all over it. This line of thinking continues with the way it’s put together.

It is evident from the images that not too much thought is given how the patterns line up when the separate pieces are sewn together nor how multiple layers of textile may form undesirable thick bulges where they meet. The sleeves are one such area, hence my concerns earlier about them being perhaps a bit too tight.

The seams don’t fare that well, either. Many of them are uneven and all too clearly stitched in rapid fire mode. Even some of the edge ribbons already curl up and the less said about the “China twist”, the better. Really every single piece I have of these is warped in some way which makes folding them cleanly for stowage an exercise. Trying to spread them out evenly for photographing therefore wasn’t as simple, either.

Pricing and Availability

Since SaveExpress is a reasonably big outlet that has lots of storage space you can be reasonably sure that a handful of prints are available at any given time with this model. Conversely you should be able to find something in any size, though the two factors might not always work out in all combinations. It’s quite possible that your favorite pattern may not come in your size and vice versa.

The bad news here is, that it can take forever before everything is back in stock, should they really run out. It simply takes a while for those containers from China to arrive and based on my experiences at SaveExpress they only ever re-order at the last minute and if there is a large enough number of back orders to justify the cost for transport and storage.

The pricing follows a “one for all” approach and is firmly pinned at 19.99 Euros a piece for every size and every design. Depending on what your actual size is that could be a bargain or a more costly proposition than what you pay elsewhere.

Summary

Unfortunately this is a rather hum-ho product. While it does the trick, the quality issues are way too obvious and combined with the odd selection of designs and colors the practical use is limited. You can wear it at home or secretly as an undershirt, but aside from two or three patterns perhaps I can’t imagine using this onesie openly as a T-shirt substitute.

In my heart I therefore already have kinda decided that I’d rather focus on other products and spend a few bucks more if and when the time comes to get replacements by the time my current ones are just a bunch of old rags. The only reason to get another one of the AO 1021 models would be an extraordinary pattern that I can’t resist or some problem makes it difficult to obtain stuff from other vendors in a timely manner.

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Diaper Accessories: The big Onesie Shootout – Part 5 – Sanetta / Inpetto

This week’s edition of our onesies article series brings us yet another of those “German classics”, that is a regionally produced and distributed product. Sanetta are a well-known brand for higher-class children’s clothing and they even have their own stores in some bigger cities, but the larger size onesies we discuss here are exclusively available at Inpetto Reha, one of the specialized outlets for handicapped people.

Colors and Patterns

These onesies come in a variety of plain colors and simple patterns, though not as many as the pictures may give the impression (see comment further down). The striped versions are one of those standard patterns that have been around forever. In addition to the ones displayed here, there are e.g. a blue one with green-ish/ cyan alternating stripes, a light blue one, a pink-ish one for the girls and so on. Some of these are however not necessarily available on all shapes/ cut patterns nor are they available perpetually, so this is a bit all over the place and depends on the timing of your shopping spree and selection of your products.

Sanetta Onesies

With the solid colors the situation is somewhat similar. There are a few standards that you can purchase at any given time without issues and then occasionally there will be seasonal colors and “special edition” items that are only around for a limited time. In the picture below that would be the hot pink, or as they officially call it, “fuchsia” onesie. When I just checked this morning there was a nice lilac/ purple long sleeve, a light turquoise sleeveless, a light pink with short sleeves and a couple of others. So there’s certainly a choice, if only circumstantial.

Sanetta Onesies

With my limited technical equipment I tried to match the colors as best as I could, but on a quite general note most of them are rather muted with the odd exception from the rule like my fuchsia one. The dark blue is really very much on the almost black-ish side as shown and even in the striped version it comes across more as a dark grey with a blue cast. The red is more on the orange-y side, but also slightly washed out. An additional effect with the striped suits is that the white never actually appears perfectly white. This is in part a perceptional thing, in part the colors bleeding slightly over at the borders after a few washes. The spacing is simply too narrow to make it appear pristine and clearly separated.

Size and Fit

When I got my first examples of this brand size 176 was the largest one they had. Those are depicted in the first image in the previous paragraph. At some point so many people must have bugged them with inquiries that they must have decided to just get over it and add another size on top, so the second image shows the products in 188. To me that is a minor distinction, as both sizes remain a tight fit, regardless.

Sanetta Onesie

The older size 176 took quite a bit of courage to actually put on fresh out of the bag back then because I was too afraid to damage it. It took quite a bit of force to pull on the flap to make it stretch out enough for buttoning it up. This gets better over time as the whole onesie adapts itself to your body. For me the real limitation is that despite this there’s not enough room left if I take my arms up above my head and I can sometimes hear the buttons pop open under my pants. It’s okay for more ordinary tasks like sitting on the computer and all that, though. As you might imagine, with this tight it’s not a good idea to wear excessively thick diaper packages underneath, but for my daily standard padding it’s just fine.

Sanetta Onesie

The size 188 versions fare a bit better, if only by a tiny margin. For me this merely eliminates the exploding button problem and allows slightly thicker diapers to be worn, but ultimately it doesn’t feel like a different size. The jump is not distinct enough in my case. With that said, I don’t think a person who genuinely is taller than 1.85 meters will be able to wear this, even if he/ she might be a lot skinnier than I am.

Sanetta Onesie

As the pictures in this article hopefully get across, the overall shape is very narrow, which furthers my point about this perhaps being not suited ideally for people who exceed certain parameters, to put it diplomatically. That’s not just chubby kids like me, but also if you are bulking up too much at the gym. Even getting your arms through the sleeves might be difficult then since they are in line with the overall rather snugly fitting design.

Of course this makes sense on some level as it prevents wrinkling, thus avoiding pressure marks e.g. in bed. It just limits the user base in terms of size, as it were. Speaking of size, while 188 may be the ceiling, in the other direction you typically can go down to size 116, so smaller people shouldn’t have a problem finding the right one.

Sanetta Onesie

The lower half appears similarly triangular to the Kiwisto, but in my opinion this works better here for the simple reason that due to the longer shape the back part reaches further down. When wearing the product it ends up being a bit more convenient with less risk of unwanted diaper exposure and more coverage on the rear parts.

Sanetta Onesie

One point where the slim shape works to full advantage without any “buts” and “ifs” is the winged body/ American collar model. There’s just not as much material that can flap around and curl up.

Diaper Fixation

As you may already have concluded yourself from the previous paragraphs, diaper fixation is quite good with this model due to the tightness – within the restrictions already mentioned. With the rear part also wrapping nicely around your bum this also helps to press the absorbent pad against your body and keep things airtight, in a manner of speaking.

Sanetta Onesie

Surprisingly, Sanetta onesies use the smaller 7 millimeter diameter snaps. Back then I didn’t make much of it because I didn’t know better (the Sanetta bodies were actually my very first even before the Kiwisto), but when you see everyone using bigger buttons it still has you wondering. However, any fears of this being inadequate can quickly be alleviated, because “it simply works”. It can be a bit fiddly to match up the separate halves of the buttons, especially if you have big and clumsy hands, but once they are in place, they secure everything nicely.

Sanetta Onesie

As a nice touch all of these onesies have the rings with the claws varnished in a tone matching the actual cloth. This is not essential and in fact may only ever be noticeable on the lighter colors (dark colors simply tend to “swallow” silver rings and make them disappear), but it gives the whole product a nice aura of high quality and classiness. It’s also neat for the button rows on the long-sleeved versions and makes them less visible in case they may be visible under your sweater (but then again, you might also wear visible chest hair to distract audiences *lol*). Talk about going the extra mile!

Sanetta Onesie

Materials and Manufacturing Quality

The basic material for these onesies is a 100 percent cotton stretch. It’s very finely woven/ knitted, light and thin. This contributed considerably to my reservations when I first got those products since it seemed too easy to poke a hole into the material, which only goes to show how inexperienced I was and completely misjudged the situation. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Despite mangling and stretching the material quite a bit over time, the usual laundry cycles and not always being gentle it seems rather indestructible.

The seam linings add quite a bit of strength and keep everything in shape, though in some areas they appear slightly crooked, which is even noticeable in the above images. I know that sewing things straight is difficult, but my Asperger-ish, pedantic brain just wants all those lines to be in parallel or perpendicular. ;-) The sewing is spot-on, which of course you would expect from a continental European product put together with care and attention. Even the cross-connections under the sleeves that have a lot of force to bear due to the tight fit so far hold together well.

For some of the the special run products an alternative textile containing a portion of Lycra thread/ Elasthane in addition to the cotton is used. It’s even finer in its texture, but obviously the better stretchiness is beneficial to guys like me that tend to bulge out things. I can’t tell you how durable these materials are, though, since I haven’t had those models long enough. If it wasn’t for my odd liking of intense pink tones in fact I might not even have a sample, since this seems more addressed towards the female crowd.

The very fine cloth in both flavors neatly avoids excessive sweating and dries quickly. I often wear these onesies during my physical therapy and aside from keeping things covered like a gymnastics suit (no belly buttons popping out when laying on the mat and doing a few crunches, if you know what I mean), it’s just nice to know you won’t be wearing a sweaty towel by the time you get up.

Pricing and Availability

Prices for these products are in the usual range, beginning at around 17 Euros for smaller sizes and then ramping up to around 25 to 28 Euros, depending on the material. Occasionally there are promotional or cleanout sales where your can save a few pennies. If you are lucky, you might also snatch some B-Ware (second rate products with minor defects), but this really is a lottery and you have to hit their shop on the date. Which brings us to a point…

Availability is a real stinker and I honestly mean it. I totally understand that any outlet that isn’t named Amazon cannot have a stockpile of all products in all sizes worth thousands of Euros, but c’mon! It would be perfectly acceptable if the large sizes would run out from time to time and you have to wait for a month before new supplies arrive, but doing my occasional checks I definitely get the impression that even smaller sizes share the fate of being totally absent from the online store and unavailable for considerable periods. That’s not good in my opinion.

Summary

While it’s a fine product, getting your hands on it can be an exercise in patience and tenacity. I think I tried to get my hands on those three size 188 onesies on and off for a few months because when one was available, the others seemed to be out of stock again. Spontaneous Sunday afternoon shopping? Get out of here! Still, if you are willing to wait and give it a try there’s nothing speaking against it, especially if you are looking for some subtle colors that go well together with other daily attire.

Diaper Accessories: The big Onesie Shootout – Part 4 – Kiddo / Diaper Minister

Quickly progressing our little series we’ve already arrived at our third actual onesie product, this time from our friends at Diaper Minister under the Kiddo brand/ label. This one came in that nice package I got a while ago when I was updating people about the ABU and Bambino diapers. So thanks to our French buddies for providing the sample! :-)

Colors and Patterns

At the Diaper Minister online shop they have two patterns available right now – the one with the planes depicted here and another in white with pine trees and bears printed on. Of course it’s possible that at any time in the future there may be additional colors and prints, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now let’s focus at what we have.

This particular onesie is rather unique in that it features genuine silkscreen textile printing, which is a rare thing these days since the more cost-efficient sublimation/ inkjet direct printing methods have pretty much taken over (in addition to indirect transfer methods, of course). There are a few advantages in this as there are of course also some downsides.

Perhaps the most apparent key benefit is that such a method allows to print on colored stock, in this case a fully dyed light blue-ish/ cyan-ish cotton cloth. Even the white clouds are printed instead of being left out regions of white material (negative space) like with the other methods. So the color is there from the inside as well and not just shining through from the outside like on a painter’s canvas. As a result you have much less risk of colors fading all too heavily in a short time and this onesie will probably still have a nice sky color next year.

Even still, the question of course is whether the prints will last equally long and that’s another story entirely. One of the less favorable properties of these kinds of textile colors is that they form very dense, impenetrable, plastic-y areas and close up the “pores” of the tissue as it were. The white is ironically particularly bad. Not only does this affect the “breathability” of the overall product, but like all these things the surfaces lose their elasticity and get brittle after a while, meaning they start to crack and the color may flake and peel off. You can also see how it affects the tension of the cloth and forms those discernible patterns on the inside.

The aircraft pattern also has a slight design flaw in that someone forgot to print black outlines on the green planes, but that is a minor thing. I’ve been a bit of a (military) aviation buff all my life, so I’m glad that such a cool onesie even exists and this imperfection can be overlooked and forgiven easily.

Size and Fit

Based on past experiences with other products and my gut feeling (after reading the sizing chart, of course) I asked for a size XL and when I first tried on the product my hunch was confirmed. It felt very comfortable and fitted like a glove, that is it’s tight enough to not flap around too much, but at the same time loose enough to not turn dressing into an exercise. Looking back, though, I tend to think that a size L might also have done the trick.

Kiddo Onesie

Contributing massively to the almost perfect fit is the shape which is somewhere between the Kiwisto and Pien & Polle we tested previously. The angle of the lower section is not as obtuse as the latter, but also not as steep and triangular as the former. For me this gives just the right amount of coverage. It doesn’t cover up your diaper completely, but I always like to think that some bits of your nappy peeking out looks kinda sexy, so that doesn’t bother me too much. It’s still definitely better than the Kiwisto. If I wasn’t wearing this one almost exclusively at home for bedtime I’d feel reasonably confident that it would go down far enough my pants to not reveal too much. That said, obviously the print doesn’t lend itself too much to be inconspicuous in public.

Kiddo Onesie

Another thing that likely makes this less of an alternative to your daily T-shirt is the “American collar” or “Wing body” as we call it in Germany, meaning the neck hole isn’t actually a hole but rather a slit formed by the specifically shaped front and back parts where they overlap. This makes it easy to climb in and pop your noggin through. However, it also represents a slight inconvenience here. Because there is no stitching to secure the overlap in place it tends to roll up and you need to spend a bit of time to straighten it out again.

Kiddo Onesie

On a whole this is still very comfy for what I’m using this onesie for – cuddling myself up for sleep. The spacious nature of my size XL also allows enough room for those extra thick diapers when you just want to sleep in on Sundays. ;-)

Diaper Fixation

Given the very good fit as per the previous chapter you should expect this product to hold up your diaper nicely and indeed it does. The cloth is more on the heavy and slightly thicker side when it comes to the cotton stretch variety which allows for some strength and resilience. Additionally the seam linings provide another bit of strength and retention, so you can bet a penny or two that this won’t give in so quickly.

Kiddo Onesie

That notwithstanding, the open neck piece might somewhat diminish this effect, especially if you have narrow shoulders and the sleeves are sliding down further. It may in fact be a good idea to spend a home crafting afternoon and apply a few stitches to that much-mentioned crack to make it work mor like a conventional onesie or shirt.

Kiddo Onesie

As the images show, there’s plenty of buttons for you to close everything up (or alternatively ruin your fingernails when opening it up again). Because I requested an XL, there are five buttons. Other sizes only have four, but that’s still enough to keep you busy and ensure a tight seal. The placement is even and precise and on my example I did not notice any damage caused by the buttons or their prongs.

Kiddo Onesie

Since this onesie buttons up from back to front (or bottom to top if you will) the rings on the reverse piece match the color of the seam linings, making them a bit less pop out. One might not think it from the pictures since the flap appears rather short, but it’s easy to handle and ends up in an accessible area, allowing for convenient diaper changes if necessary. The dense placement of the buttons also provides a good grip and stiffens things up a bit, further facilitating procedures. Their only downside really is that they appear to be just a tiny bit too strong. That makes things a bit tricky the first few times you open and close them.

Materials and Manufacturing Quality

As I already mentioned casually in the previous chapter, the textile is very robust and should last you very long if you don’t damage it in some way. The same goes for the seam lining ribbons. The sewing itself is mostly okay. There are a few slight kinks here and there and some of the areas where multiple parts are joined together look a bit bumpy, but nothing too dramatic. This onesie passes with flying colors in the “Chinese factory twist” category, meaning it has none and was put together in a way that allowed the materials to relax and produce straight lines.

So far I have not noticed any stitching starting to unravel and as far as I remember there weren’t too many remnants of cut-off thread falling out when releasing the product from its package, so the quality could be considered very good within the bounds of its manufacturing origin. If this holds up in the long run, the crumbling print will really be more critical to making it look shabby.

Pricing and Availability

The pricing for this onesie is extremely reasonable. At 21.90 Euros it’s almost a steal, I dare say. I’ve paid more money for lesser products in my time. Diaper Minister being a small outlet you should expect availability to be somewhat erratic at times, though I’m sure they are doing their best to always be stocked up. It may just take a few weeks for their resupply to arrive if they run out. That being the case I would recommend to contact them beforehand, especially if you plan on buying multiple items or your size is no longer listed as available in the online store. It helps to be patient and not in a last-minute rush.

Summary

Overall this is a nice product and it seems to me that Diaper Minister have made a good catch and proven a lucky hand picking out this onesie for their customers. Even if you are not into planes (or bears for that matter) you might consider one of the two available patterns and who knows, perhaps soon there will be even more to choose from. I definitely like the fact that for the foreseeable future this will hold up nicely in light of its good quality, though I might find those color flakes on my sheets occasionally. You could definitely do worse and spend your money on not so great products (which later entries in this series will show), so this is a onesie you might consider as an excellent alternative.

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