Shortly after I had finished my reviews of the MoliCare Premium Slip 2016 versions, Hartmann pulled a stunt on me and released a new product, the MoliCare Premium Elastic. Someone seriously neglected to inform me beforehand. ;-) It took a while to work out the details, but now after poking them long enough, the powers were kind enough to provide the goods and therefore I can give you a pretty comprehensive article, I hope.
At the time of writing this, not all sizes and absorption levels were available, at least not here in Germany, nor are they listed on the Hartmann web pages yet, but the chart printed on the wrappers shows that eventually this should come out with additional levels. Shown are the ones on the upper end of the absorbency spectrum. The funny thing is, that for this product the absorption levels are not referred by the newly introduced short names and merely by the number of drops. For the sake of consistency and making things simpler to write, I’m going to correlate to the names used for the other products. In that case the purple package would be the super flavor whereas the dark blue is maxi. Continuing that line of thinking, the lower levels would be extra (six drops) and extra plus (seven drops).
The package sizes are in line with other products from the MoliCare family, both in terms of dimensions and number of pieces per pack. The twist here seems to be that unlike the conventional slip variants and their large and thick absorbent pads there’s no need to reduce the number of diapers in a package too much. To elaborate: Where the MoliCare Slip maxi has only 15 pieces because its pad folds over itself like three times and in some places has five layers of it stacking up (front, back and in addition the sideways extensions layered on top of each other contribute considerably to it being quite a thick brick right out of the package until you unfold it), the Elastic has 24 and 26 pieces even in maxi in sizes L and M, respectively. For the even thinner levels I would predict that this will go as high as 28 or 30 units.
Because of the specifics, the diaper feels actually relatively thin by comparison even next to some thin conventional products. One mustn’t be fooled by that somewhat deceptive impression, though. There’s a relevance of the thickness of the pad even for this product, but not in the traditional sense. While there’s no denying the influence on absorbency, it also plays a huge part in the overall stability and wearing comfort. Which brings us to a point.
When it came out and was drooling over it with no real information at hand, I was under the impression that this would be something similar to the Attends Adjustable. As it turns out, I was somewhat mistaken. It’s not easy to explain what this product exactly is, because it’s a belted/ flex diaper, but then again it is not. On first sight, the actual diaper part is reminiscent of the typical almost rectangular shape of most flex products.
The real difference is that there’s no extra belt. Rather there’s two strips directly attached to the mid section that act as extended, elastic fixation tapes. There’s one on each side and they are extra broad, though the actual velcro zone is less wide. The tapes are very soft and stretchy, lending the Elastic attribute to the product name. It also makes the diaper very enjoyable to wear. After a while you quite forget about it because it’s so comfy.
Due to how it’s constructed, these tapes also become relevant in terms of size. As is evident in the photos, I had a generous supply and could test to my heart’s content, but if you’re not that lucky and need to decide on what to get, the next few lines will be important. At about somewhere between 90 to 100 cm (34″ to 36″) circumference around my waist line, size M works well, but there’s a caveat: You have to make sure everything is centered perfectly and in my case it also stretches the tapes almost to their maximum.
On the other hand, when using size L the tapes are way too long. Even though in that case they end up way higher and across my belly, which adds more centimeters, I still have to fix them in an overlapping cross pattern similar to a sports racing belt or something like that. This looks funky, but clearly cannot be the original intent of the product designers. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to be the odd one here, this problem seems to be quite common, at least what I gather from reading certain web sites. In other words: On a size L product the tapes result in a circumference that is more like XL. This may need to be tackled in a future revision. I don’t even want to imagine what strange things you could possibly do with a genuine XL version of this diaper. ;-)
The oddities with the overly long tapes also bring us back to my point with the different absorption levels influencing the stability: The thicker version has better shape retention and doesn’t sag as much, compensating some issues, especially after a while of wearing. Naturally, that time is also much longer. The rating may only indicate one drop more, but the difference between super and maxi is considerable. This is even more important since the pad is smaller than the one on the regular Slip variants of the MoliCare Premium line for apparent reasons. The longer you wear the product, the clearer this difference becomes.
Now for the big one: Of course I’ve said several times that I’m not the biggest fan of flex diapers, but it seems I could get used to this one. I’m not going to lie about it – in my view it’s still a missed opportunity and I would have loved that Hartmann‘s designer had thought about those additional 5 centimeters left and right in the posterior region, but as far as it goes, this is probably as good as it gets for such a belted diaper.
Thanks to the elastic tape and an overall snug fit it feels safe enough for a certain duration at least, until that uneasy feeling of too much air sneaking in through the leg holes returns when it begins to get too wet beyond a certain degree. In my case that’s about two-thirds in of what I would consider the practical use time. You know, when the liquid has passed that magic point between your legs and you begin to feel moisture on your butt cheeks. I might wear a conventional diaper longer then, but not necessarily this product, because it seems inevitable that the next time I sit down liquid will come out. This is also why personally it would not be my first choice during the night and I’d only use it by day.
Anecdotally, I can also attest to the “Quick & Easy Use” of the product as stated on the package. I had a coloscopy this week and in the wake-up room I had such a diaper with me. Still slightly fuzzy from the sedatives I was able to put it on without much effort and my brother was able to assist me easily, though he never had any experience with this stuff. In such situations the advantages of the product play out nicely. The compact rectangular shape is easy enough to get placed under your butt without too much acrobatics, and, which is rather awesome, the tapes are folded in such a manner that you do not need to unfurl them before you are ready. You can leave them as they are and then only need to pull on their ends to make them stretch out. This neatly avoids those tangles everybody hates.
On a whole, this is an almost perfect product as in “almost, but not quite”. It’s really a pity that it’s not a full-blown diaper that could replace the slip/ briefs shape products. Hartmann just didn’t take the idea far enough and settled for less. The tapes and their ease of fixation would look good on otehr products, too, and be wonderful in those pesky situation where you need to change in some crammed toilet, if only I could be sure it would cover my behind better. Still, it’s not a bad product at all and if you are only suffering from urine incontinence, it will be more than adequate within the specifics I laid out in this review.