It’s the Easter weekend, so it seems more than fitting to talk about something colorful. Not so long ago I wrote about the ABU Cushies and even back then I already mentioned the v2 that had just been announced. Now here it is and we can have a look. With a few extra comparative shots this should also make up for next week when most likely there won’t be another review due to other things on my schedule.
Dealing with these specialty products is of course a delicate matter, so it’s difficult to be objective and fair. On one hand you want the colorful prints just for the fun of it, yet at the same time the high prizes are off-putting and (mis-)lead you to higher expectations with regards to the other aspects of the product according to the motto “If it’s that expensive, it better be good.”. Luckily the vendors are realizing this and in recent months, with more varied products entering the markets and a stronger competition, the focus on quality has increased. The Cushies are a good example for this.
At first sight the differences between the old (right) and the new (left) version are not easily apparent. Aside from the different choice of colors and slightly different folding things seem pretty identical and could also be just variations within the manufacturing tolerances. Things get clearer when you stack the diapers on top of each other and naturally, when you hold them in your hand.
As you can see, the v2 (top) is much more voluminous. It also looks a lot smoother therefore, since the greater volume keeps the cover foil taut. When you hold the products in your hand there is a clear difference in the weight as well. Unfolding the diapers finally reveals the differences.
From the outside things do not look that dramatic at first. The one thing that stands out is that the blue/ lavender-ish overprint now fully extends to the sides and overall the foil is much more opaque, barely allowing the innards to show through. What is not so easy to see is that the new version also is larger than the original one. Not by leaps and bounds, but as I said in many of my articles, a few centimeters here and there can mean a huge difference in wearing comfort and make or break a product.
On the inside things get even more interesting. The shape of the pad is completely something else and has been streamlined to not only adhere to more common standards of medical products, but also improve the fit and put the absorbent material where it can actually do some good. One of the problems with the old version was indeed that the overly wide pad in the front could never be used to full effect due to how the diaper is shaped and sits on your body. It makes sense that on a skinny, triangular product you would want a less wide front region.
Generally the overhauled padding is perhaps the biggest and most noticeable improvement. It considerably contributes to a better fit of the whole thing. This is mostly due to it being much thicker and thus providing a stable core that just snugs into place. This had been one of the weakest things on the older version – the pad was just average and rather thin, resulting in a somewhat loose fit.
The added bonus of the new pad is of course more absorbency – a lot more. The ABU web site states a 25 percent increase, but without going out on a limb I dare say that it’s actually even more. My test samples lasted me several hours and withstood some heavy wetting after too much afternoon coffee without issues. Even if you go about this totally unscientifically, the increase in capacity cannot be denied.
All good things come at a price and not quite unexpectedly this is once more the matter of whether you find a certain bulkiness acceptable or not, especially under your clothes. The pad already is thick fresh out of the package and will gain more volume as it fills up. However, the visible effect is somewhat mitigated by the slim cut. So, to put it plainly, it may eventually look like a rather accentuated bulge in your pants, but unlike other products it won’t look like you gained another five pounds on your belly within a few hours. ;-)
One of the unresolved issues with these types of single-tape diapers remains getting good seal along the overlaps. I don’t blame anyone for my bulbous belly pushing things apart at the top, but it seems like I’m going to have some extra tape handy whenever I put on one of those diapers. In fact I’m convinced many people will have to, as this sort of fixation only benefits slender people. Even a trained abs atop a small hip might exert too much force. Bodies of grown-ups simply don’t function like those of toddlers in that regard.
As it stands, personally I like what I’m seeing and the enhancements make sense and take the product to a new level. This also bodes well for upcoming derivatives/ color variants like the ABU Lavender or whatever else they have in the pipeline. This only leaves the price as an obstacle for frequent and regular use, but one can always hope for birthday presents and other such occasions…