Last year I shared my own confusion about the different Tena Slip models and confusing it was indeed ‘cos at the time of writing there were like five or six different ones, depending on how you count. Tena/ SCA clearly made a mess by not really knowing where they want to go with their products and communicating it poorly to their customers. Therefore it’s more than valid to have another look now after things have smoothed out and a more clear picture is forming.
At the time of this writing there are three distinct flavors available – the Tena Slip, Slip Active Fit and Slip Original. Not all of them may be available in all absorption levels where you live, though. Making sense of some companies’ product and distribution strategies is probably a futile exercise and will cause a lot of headache, so let’s just accept things as they are. It’s still enough to confuse your grandma, but one of the reasons this blog exists is to help you understand the finer points of it all.
For this article we start with the “problem child” of last year’s edition, the Slip Original. Pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong with this one when they first threw it on the market. Most of it was naturally attributed to bad manufacturing and selection of unsuitable materials. The side wings would come off, the glue/ sew lines between different layers split, releasing bits of the absorbent material and the carrier tissue in itself was extremely prone to ripping. SCA really got caught with their pants down on all fronts.
As you would have expected, these failures have been addressed one way or the other, but as it stands, I’m still not convinced it is a must-have product. As my ever-expanding knowledge and experience has taught me, there are better hybrid products out there. The wings are sort of flabby and I always struggle to get things fixed nicely, because they roll up already as soon as there’s a bit of tension. Having had to use a size L in fact revealed this issue even more. Not just at the top, but also around the legs. Try as I might, I couldn’t get it to fit snuggly as I would have liked. The material is simply sort of soft and eludes any attempts to make it conform tightly to your curves. To be fair, though, this would be less of a problem or none at all on a size M.
If you look carefully, the shape of the pad has also been slightly tweaked and it is almost rectangular in the front and only has small extra sideways extensions in the rear. This kind of weird “efficiency” always puts me on alert and makes me wonder whether I would ever pick such a product in light of my bowel incontinence, even if you ignore for a minute that I would not use a mere Plus absorbency level to begin with and probably at least go for Super.
Within the family of Tena Slip diapers the Original remains the peculiar child. It’s difficult to imagine a use case where you would favor it over the regular variants except to save a few bucks on your budget, though naturally even that tapers off on the higher absorption levels where the cost-driving factor is the amount of absorbent material, not the outer shell. Ironically these combo “plastic with breathable wings” products are usually proposed as bringing together the best of both worlds in particular for fecal incontinence, but the theoretical advantages (extra protection from the foil while still being skin friendly) often don’t play out and this is not much different here. Perhaps it’s a fundamentally flawed concept and the manufacturers should concede to that and focus on other things…