Once upon a time, when my incontinence problems only started to manifest themselves and I knew a lot less about diapers, I ended up with a few packs of Molicare Premium Soft. Having shyly asked my doctor for a prescription and walking into one of our Sanitätshaus medical supply stores, I didn’t have much of a clue or a plan. All I knew was, that the extremely thin and cheap looking “budget” diaper they showed me wasn’t what I wanted, so I opted for this “better” product.
This specific diaper comes in two absorbency levels. The pack shot above is from the Super, the actual product shots from the Extra. Aside from this little difference they are identical. As the name implies and you can clearly gather from the photo, this is a breathable product, which should be a good thing. Or should it?
Without much song and dance this also immediately takes us to the biggest issue: While being manufactured by a reputable big player (Hartmann) that should have plenty of experience, something is seriously wrong with this product in the absorbency department. The tragedy of it is, that while the pad feels nice and has a sufficiently large shape, it just doesn’t hold the liquid too well. Yes, once you go beyond a certain fill level, it allows everything to be squeezed out again under pressure like when sitting. This is then further exacerbated by the outer surface not being very insulating. It’s definitely an unhealthy combination of circumstances.
The exact cause is not clear and my theory is pure speculation, but it seems to me that they simply went a little too lightly on using super absorber. You can kind of deduce this by observing the behavior as the diaper fills up – it doesn’t notably gain volume, which could be a sign that the liquid is mostly held in “physically” between the cellulose fibers, but not chemically bound in gel particles. Of course this is useful when wearing the product under clothes and trying to look inconspicuous, but I’d never wear it without an extra plastic pant and be super careful to change into a new diaper early enough.
The other aspects of the diaper are what you would expect from a renowned brand. The fit is good and having velcro tapes always helps positioning. The back is longer than the front, meaning it feels cosy and offers enough of a tight, firm fit even when things should go wrong in the anterior region. The cloth-like tissue feels smooth, yet strong and actually holds the shape quite well.
If the Hartmann people were in the comedy business, their slogan could easily be “brought to you with love and irony”. While the design and comfort aspects of the product work just fine, it unceremoniously fails in the most critical area – keeping your bum (and your jeans) dry, at least under certain conditions. It’s like they focused too much on one aspect and didn’t give enough consideration to the other.
Unfortunately, as a result you never feel quite safe wearing the diaper, which is probably the most important rule of all incontinence protection. I only use them now when I know I’m not on the road too long and using it to ease my bladder doesn’t break its limits. Another option would be to “double up” and wrap a second diaper around, so any leakage gets absorbed, but of course that’s a question of using a thin product that is slightly larger and cost efficient.
This may all sound very damning, but the usual “your mileage may vary” disclaimers apply. When used with careful consideration within the limitations pointed out, it can actually work, but I would still hope they’d give the thing a workover one of these days. The biggest weakness is easy to fix by sprinkling in some more absorber and no other work needs to be done to make an already well thought out product even better.