After a bit of a somewhat enforced hiatus due to my hospital stay and taking care of the duties that come with it afterwards, it’s now time to continue with our product reviews. This one is going to be as big and chunky as the one for the Tena Slip, so hang in there, even if it’s a long read. Under examination this time are the Abri-Form products.
Similar to the already mentioned Tena stuff, there is a bit of potential for confusion here, because the actual name is shared by different versions of the product and to make matters worse, they are both still available. First let’s start with the old, classic version. This is a foil-coated diaper. I’m not wearing padding long enough to know the full story, but from what I gather from reading forums, this version is produced under license in some independent factory that bought the production lines and recipes. Sometimes this is also referred to as Abri-Form X-Plus. Since it is not not distributed via Abena‘s own channels, it is only available via certain resellers like once again SaveExpress, that (re-)import them.
I will admit that, while I don’t share some diaper conaisseurs’ nostalgia for “the good old times” when those products were thick as in really thick, I’m not above and beyond understanding their position nor am I immune to enjoy the cosy feeling. As such the old Abri-Form is probably indeed a trip down memory lane and gives you a feel for what one can love about the product.
First and foremost its padding is so large and thick, it makes the whole thing quite bulky. Any plans of wearing it under clothing should be evaluated carefully, especially if your pants don’t have that extra inch of room around your waist. Not saying that it would be impossible, but it certainly can be a challenge. This is even more so, since that legacy vibe also includes a somewhat square-y overall shape with large extensions of the absorbent pad sideways that might further reduce available fitting space underneath your pants.
At the same time, and that’s the part I really do “get”, it’s exactly this feeling of being fully wrapped that makes you feel safe. As a night-time diaper this product is perfect. You can snuggle up in it in the evening and wake up in the morning without any leakage and still have room left in the pad. By that description it should be obvious that the pad is excellent and hasn’t any real shortcomings except the usual potential fit depending on your figure. Otherwise the shape and size are pretty bog standard, meaning it’s neither too big nor too small in relation to my regular size M.
The rest product’s other features and parameters do not need much discussion. The foil is reasonably stable, so at least when buckling up you get a chance to place the sticky tapes in the right position and pull them off once or twice without damage. The old-fashioned shape is also useful in that it provides enough material to wrap around your thighs neatly, giving a tight and firm fit. Even the wetness indicators actually work as you would expect them. Where on other products they always turn blue prematurely, on this diaper they indeed represent the level of actual liquid in the diaper, which once more speaks for the quality of the pad.
In summary there’s nothing wrong with this product at all, but of course times are a-changing and even Abena had to modernize. As a result, they have two lines of products. They are basically the same, except for their surface. One being the “normal” Abri-Form (See how this gets confusing?), also referred to as Abri-Form Comfort, it has a cover similar to the recently tested Delta-Form from the same company. This cover is some sort of densified tissue/ foil inbetween, but not explicitly labeled as breathable, despite a mat, paper-y surface. This product acts as a direct replacement for the previous version. The Abri-Form Premium on the other hand has a breathable surface with a distinct tissue feel and is marketed as such.
The common denominator for both is the changed shape, especially of the downsized pad. For this article everything will be exemplified by the simpler product, but at the end you’ll find at least a pack shot of the Premium version. You would also see fancyful “Air Plus” prints and it would look even more flat, but quite honestly I was simply too lazy to photograph and photoshop a third set of pictures. I might do that at some point in the future. At any rate, the relevant points can be discerned easily from the pictures.
I already mentioned the different shape of the pad. For my taste it has been trimmed down too much, especially in the front area. It’s barely any wider than the average width, which opens the doors wide for sideway leaking when lying in bed. It’s not as big an issue during day time, though. I’m definitely undecided about the same trimming having been applied to the butt area. As someone with bowel incontinence this always makes me feel like nobody really is thinking of those situations – pardon the language – when you are shitting water and a large and absorbent surface can be a godsend.
Other changes include a slightly higher cut in the front and back and tapes, that are a hybrid between conventional ones with glue and a bit of velcro. Especially for the Premium this is a slightly odd design decision, as sticky stuff tends to damage the cotton like surface. More or less the products look almost the same beyond that and it would be difficult to distinguish them with only a fleeting glance.
There’s one (or two) weakness(es), after all, though: The Premium tends to look and feel weird when it gets really soggy because its shape begins to change and unfortunately, while I’m not one to get carried away with the foil vs. breathable war, I must say that the surface tends to feel moist after some time, which isn’t ideal, regardless of which side you’re on. Not the end of the world, but all the same not “premium”. The consolation here is, that Abena products generally tend to have a good value-for-money relation, so it may still be worth a spin. With that let me close this article and give you the promised pack shot. *tada*