When I ordered my ABU Space before Christmas, I also included a pack of their classic ABU Cushies, which is what we are going to review in this article. As (bad) luck will have it, just as I was about to write this, they announced their new and improved (?) version 2, so some of what you are about to read may not be applicable much longer, but perhaps this can serve as a foundation for comparison for a later update. Maybe someone out there has the means of providing samples of all ABU products in a cost-effective manner here in Europe or I can manage to pull off some miracle. ;-)
Pretty apparently this is once again a specialty product aimed at specific sparetime pleasures. Not only does the colorful print evoke this feeling, but also the overall shape and most importantly the wide, single adhesive tapes that are supposed to mimic how it’s done on baby nappies.
With that in mind, a few of the limitations become immediately clear. Similar to comparable products like the various belted/ flex diapers, some of which we already reviewed here, the shape is very triangular and has a high cut. This means that the areas where it’s actually fixated would sit above your waist line and you begin to see the problem. For people with a slight tummy this impairs the fit and you may need to employ tricks like using extra tape to hold things together.
This also extends to getting things tightly sealed. As you can see in the above photo, there’s a lot of material below and above the actual tape that provides ample opportunity for things to roll up or remain an open split through which liquid might get out. As a contrast you do of course get a lot of freedom of movement similar to like it should be with a toddler waddling around (See the connection?).
This also affects the padding. To me, it always felt very lofty and I didn’t feel particularly safe with it. It’s okay if you wear it throughout the day where you can monitor its condition as it fills up, but I wouldn’t dream of wearing it at night. To me it seems inevitable that it would leak sideways, given my anatomy. Your mileage may vary.
Regardless, you shouldn’t expect miracles. The absorbent pad needs to accommodate the overall shape of the diaper and thus falls victim to physics. The pad may appear quite large, but due to how the nappy fits, not all areas will be used to good effect. This is also true for the backside, making it not the first choice if you have intestinal digestion issues.
One more thing: The pad is noticeably thinner than the one in the ABU Space and accordingly will not hold as much. I estimate it to be about one third less than the other product. According to the info on the ABU site this is one area they are going to improve in v2 (among other things), so it may be a moot point then.
I admit that I fell for this product because of its nice colors and just wanted to try it out, but in the end it’s not really for me. It’s really just something you would probably wear at home why lying in bed, roaming the house half naked, cuddling up with your partner or visiting parties where you can impress. To me, the practical disadvantages outweigh the fun factor of finding excuses to wear it.
Of course as always this is specific to my requirements and it may work just fine for you, but even then the hefty price doesn’t make this an everyday product. You might want to get a pack for your birthday to satisfy your curiosity like I did, but daily use would be rather prohibitive. Perhaps the new version will fare better in some areas and change this, though.