In the second part of our look at the MoliCare Premium Slip products we will now focus on the higher absorption level variants labeled as maxi and maxi plus.
The maxi plus is what back then was the newly introduced Molicare Premium soft Super Plus that started the whole affair that brought us here today as explained in the lead-in article. Back then I only had a handful of samples and not a full package, so consequently it might be a good idea to have a second look and include some additional thoughts based on longer testing experience.
As evidenced (in part) in the above shot, the product (and it’s brother the maxi plus) comes in all standard sizes from S to XL. You may wonder why this should even be worth a mention, but it’s not a given for all products. Many manufacturers only offer lighter absorption levels outside the M and L size range because apparently they consider those other sizes too much of a limited market and the production and distribution are not cost-effective. So if you fall into those categories, the MoliCare products may be an alternative you might want to have a look at when you’re getting tired of having to wear too thin nappies just because you’re small.
In my article last year I was actually surprised how well the Super Plus, now the maxi, worked compared to its lower level siblings. The funny thing is, I still don’t quite exactly know why. On a basic level all of them share the same properties – identical shape, identical materials for the backing, identical auxiliary materials. The only real distinction is the shape, size, thickness and possibly composition of the absorbent pad, but it makes all the difference. My working theory is that the different pad prevents too much moisture reaching the outer shell too quickly and thus there’s an overall better shape retention and less soggy feel. In the end, I suppose, it brings us back to my favorite sticking point: A good diaper (and not just that) is all about the right balance and here it’s just perfect. The same is true for the fit, at least in my case. The diaper sits just right and with this thicker pad version even more so. Arguably they could extend a bit higher above the waist, but this is of course a subjective and individual thing.
As you would expect, the absorbent pad lives up to its promise and is deserving of its maxi attribute. As a matter of fact it’s a noticeable notch up from its immediate predecessor, the super plus. It’s also my impression that it’s better than the MoliCare Slip maxi despite sharing an identical naming convention. This is more of a feeling, though, and I have not verified it since I don’t usually engage in “obscure science” like weighing used diapers. That’s left for another time or someone else. ;-)
Regardless, it shows how arbitrary even the new rating system is and how important hands-on testing. This also touches upon the next version, the maxi plus, which is the one that finally fills all ten drops on the rating scale. At first sight that may seem to not mean that much. There should not be that much that you could add on top of the already good absorption of the maxi, should it? But of course there’s a twist.
Many vendors do not give much consideration to really distinguish such a high absorbency product from their others and just make the pad even thicker or throw in more super absorber. This is not the case here. The shape of the pad is considerably different and within the line of the Premium Slips unique in that it is particularly wide in the rear parts. This clearly makes this a diaper aimed at being used in bed only. While I’m not shy about exposing my diapered bum in public, this time even I would probably abstain. In addition to being rather large the pad also feels a bit hard when you sit on it, something which you will even notice when just lounging around on your bed while watching TV. It really only works when you stay mostly horizontal and find a good position to snuggle up.
The reason teh pad is so large is of course that when you lie on your back in bed, the liquids would follow gravity and in good parts also end up in those anterior regions. That sounds good in theory, but it’s not that easy. There’s a downside to the pad being that large and that is potential issues with the fit and liquid distribution. As per some unwritten natural law that’s exactly the case here. In my testing the liquids just didn’t want to go where they were supposed to go and therefore I ended up having “accidents” more than once. Perhaps it was the wider area between the legs that rolled up unfavorably and blocked everything, perhaps something else. Either way, I was only able to resolve this issue to my satisfaction by adding a small rectangular insert pad that acted as a kind of wick/ drain to funnel the urine where I wanted it (and possibly also filled up and sealed any cavities inside the diaper).
There was another thing that at times slightly got on my nerves and that were the adhesive tapes coming off all too easily. They are of the velcro type, naturally, but something must have gone wrong during the production process, so on their sticky end where they are thermo-pressed/ glued to the backing material they didn’t hold right. Either they would tear off right away when I was putting the diaper on or they would come off the next morning when taking the thing off. The latter would confirm my suspicion about this being a thermal issue with the adhesion layer responding to the body temperature and causing things to come off. Mind you, it didn’t happen with every single example, but the number of failures was disproportionately high, especially for a quality brand.
In summary once more one can only say that where there is light, there is also shadow. The MoliCare Premium Slip maxi is a great diaper with an almost perfect fit and good absorption, but the maxi plus perhaps not so much. At least at this point I feel that this needs a second pass to really make it work. The quality issues aside, which I totally attribute to start-up problems with the initial production run, the user should not have to put up with leakage issues on such a high price product. Something is simply off that needs to be rectified. I’m in touch with Hartmann, so look for an update on this as things evolve.