Christmas is almost upon us again and just like last year, it seems like a good place to review an ABU diaper, even if the timing is merely and completely incidental. How quickly time passes! It may be a bit too late to add the PreSchool to your holiday wish list/ shopping list, but you can of course always spend big afterwards.
For this article we are looking at the original initial version of the product, which comes with a breathable, textile surface. Ever since, however, ABU also have released a foil-based version with a Plastic suffix tagged on by popular demand. I was a bit surprised/ shocked/ dismayed/ annoyed when I heard the news, but what is one to do? It would have been nice to be able to compare them directly in this article. Not all is lost, though. Truth be told, I strongly believe it will be more or less identical in its attributes to the Space and Little Pawz. I’m trying to get my hands on the foil variant as fast as I can to have this verified. As usual: If someone knows someone who knows or would care to spring some cash to send me a pack, I’d be obliged. And some of those brightly colored ABU onesies would still be nice, too. ;-) Anyway, let’s return to the matter at hand.
What I said in the last paragraph raises an interesting point – this breathable variant is not your standard ABU diaper. From the shape and measurements to the selection of materials to some details it’s apparent that this comes off a different manufacturing line. This has some consequences for its practical use.
One of those consequences is that the prints do not appear as bright and colorful as they possibly could on foil. The textile tissue has a slight tinge to begin with and simply doesn’t reflect as much light as an intensely white foil would. There’s a selection of four motives and in a pack of ten pieces, you get two of the designs three times each while the others, according to simple math, are only in the bag twice. In my example I had three of the night sky and three of the random numbers and letters on the green. This distribution will naturally be different every time, adding a bit of surprise and excitement to your diaper shopping. The night sky also happens to be my favorite, but to (literally) add some color to this review I went with the aviation design for the photos below.
The prints themselves are on a transparent foil sticker in the front, which also has sort of a milky quality which on some level explains the slightly pale quality of the colors. It also feels distinctly different from the same panel on the foil diapers, which would be in line with what I said before about the choice of materials. The cover spans the entire area left to right and thus also serves as the adhesion zone for the conventional glue-based tapes. For me this is a bit ambiguous because with breathable diapers I really prefer velcros since at least the lower tapes do not necessarily end up high enough on my body. This is a minor problem, but apparently once you have tacked the stickies onto the textile surface, intentionally or inadvertently, you lose the advantage of being able to pull them off again like you would on the front panel.
The overall fit is very similar to other ABU products, but at the same time not quite. The basic dimensions make for a nice size M diaper, but even without taking out the ruler, you’ll notice different proportions right away even if you account for manufacturing tolerances. Most notably this is visible in the pad being less wide in the aft section. It’s still large enough, mind you, but you recognize the variation immediately.
So far everything sounds cool, but here’s the big one: For a breathable diaper this one is actually too big – for my body, anyway. Even the best of them begin to warp and stretch at least a tiny bit and the bigger they start out, the more problematic this becomes over time. That is unfortunately the case here and as if that weren’t enough, the chosen tissue isn’t even one of those with the best shape retention.
Complication arises from that and you will find yourself getting uncomfortable after a while because, in manner of speaking, gravity takes over and your “pants” want to drop to the floor. At least I got nervous after a while and ended up looking for ways to coerce them to stay up, tugging and pulling and messing with the tapes. Regardless of my efforts, I ended up leaking and that is most definitely something I don’t like. Lesson learned: Never wear this diaper without extra fixation to keep things in place!
As much as I would like to say something else, this product doesn’t get A grades from me. It’s an interesting idea and a nice diversion, but the manufacturing process hasn’t been thought through and the whole suffers. My guess is that the shortcomings were one of the reasons why people requested a foil version – they wanted the designs, but at the same time better reliability. I would even go so far as to predict that once the foil version is widely available, this review will be redundant and the textile version obsolete.
Don’t let this deter you from trying it out and me spoiling your Christmas with a negative review, but to me it’s a case of “Don’t leave your children unattended!” and you have to be careful to not make a puddle under the Christmas tree while forgetting time as you play with the toys. ;-) Once more this article was supported by some nice person providing the good stuff, so my thanks go out to him again. You know who you are! :-)