After we revisited and have had a look again at the Premium version of the Kolibri Comslip, we can now move on to something fresh and new (in the sense that we haven’t discussed it here before) by evaluating the “standard” version. Yes, the one without extra names I had long wanted to cover, but never got around to.
This product is one of them hybrid diapers, meaning it consists of a foil coated centerpiece and wings. In all that time we had only a handful of those and apparently there seem to be good reasons for this. The manufacturing issues involved in joining the two parts are not to be underestimated and can reflect on the product quite unfavorably as was/ is the case with the Tena Slip Original. Therefore without further ado lets look how this one fares.
One of the fundamental contradictions with hybrid products is the way the have to be fixated. In theory you would have to make provision for velcro tapes in case you end up on the cloth parts, yet you also need traditional sticky adhesive tapes for the foil section. So what do manufacturers do? They opt for the stickies and hope for the best, while incidentally also saving some cost because they are cheaper. This can work out okay, but it remains a compromise. The tapes need to be strong to really adhere well on the textile part, but at the same time must not have destructive powers when settling on the foil part.
In case of the Comslip this works reasonably, though not necessarily perfect. In the middle part it’s possible to peel off the tapes carefully once or twice, assuming you haven’t rubbed and pressed them on all that intensely already. The foil is just stable enough for that. While the removal part is naturally easier on the textile surfaces, it is my impression that the tapes tend to slide a bit when ending up in these zones. The material is just a bit too smooth and the glue on the tapes a bit too light to give an immediately strong bond. It only begins to settle properly after a while when your body heat has softened everything a bit, by which time of course things could already have gone out of alignment. This requires a bit of extra carefulness.
On the subject of the textile parts you need to be aware of another thing: They are very sturdy. While that’s good in terms of being extremely robust to the point where you could twist it up into a rope and use it for towing a car, it may pose an issue for some people. On your skin the rope-like qualities can cause serious pressure marks if something rolls up and just the same, if you are not careful, the edges of the material can be almost like paper cutting into your skin or causing abrasions as it slides about. This is most definitely not something for skin-sensitive people.
Arguably the same could be said about the plastic part. Strange as it is, I have no issues with fully foil-based products nor with fully breathable products, yet with those hybrids things are many times a bit of a struggle. For the most part I blame this on the inherent nature of this product class and the requirement to attain a correctly centered fit. It’s a factory-built-in weakness/ glitch, if you will.
If you only get things to sit a few millimeters too far left or right, front or back, you somehow always end up feeling uncomfortable. The plastic parts’ rims may scratch against your thighs, the transition zones could end up slightly in the wrong places on your butt cheeks and groin area, you can’t correct the tapes and all those annoying things. In fairness, though, of course I’m not wearing this particular product permanently. If I did, things would improve because you instinctively develop a feel for how to put on the product correctly.
Sometimes you may be able to escape some of these difficulties by switching to another size, but this isn’t exactly the case here, either. While with the Premium I didn’t mind wrapping myself up higher on the waist line and enjoying the cosy feeling of a snuggly tugged up size L, for the more basic product I never get into that zone. As you might already have guessed, the tough textile material and the foil can get in the way and if you don’t really feel comfortable in one size, the slight uneasiness persists in the other size as well.
To complicate matters even more, this diaper also shares the odd “step” where the wings are attached to the middle and since it is covered in plastic, it’s even more inconvenient to deal with. If bad comes to worse, you could find yourself throwing curses just because those parts pop out and give away an otherwise invisible diaper and here the crinkly nature of the foil could exacerbate the problem.
Moving on, let’s have a word about the absorbency. This product comes in three levels called extra, ultra and plus. For variety I would have loved to give you a shot of the extra as well in its orange packaging, but I only had the ultra and plus available. The latter even comes in a totally unbranded white bag with a measly sticker on it, since it’s not meant for retail distribution and only available via specific channels. Hence the inglorious bulk OEM product appearance.
Next to one another there’s no discernible difference between the two absorption levels, but weighing the dry product confirms that the plus version has a few more ingredients. Still, even that one is in a lightweight range, so I didn’t expect miracles. On the other hand, my test of the Premium had already shown that it doesn’t take 200 grams of material per piece to hold a considerable volume of liquid – that is if the product is done “right” and well-balanced.
I’m happy to report that this product also lives up to that promise and is in line with its softer brethren. Personally, though, I would not rate the overall absorption as high. To me it always seemed to come up a bit shorter than in the Premium variants, but this could have been caused by my insecurities in using the diaper in conjunction with not being used to the fit and sometimes having difficulty in gauging the safety margin.
So basically the 10 drops on the plus are more like 9.5 drops to me and conversely the 7 drops on the ultra more like 6.5. That’s not much and roughly translates to those 120 milliliters I let out with one regular pee, but you have to be aware of it, consciously or otherwise. The absolute gap between the ultra and the plus is similar to the Premium products somewhere in the 300 ml range by my estimates, so there’s a distinguishable notch up and hence a justifiable difference in price. Considering that you get 28 pieces per pack that’s probably okay.
Interestingly, despite coming from the same company this is essentially a completely different product that aside from the overall shape and proportions plus sharing some of the materials really only bears a superficial similarity to the Premium. The very specific behavior of the materials makes this decision even more complicated.
I for instance like the overall more stable and rigid nature compared to its rather soft sibling product, but at the same time there’s something oddly off-putting going on here, which I can’t even put my finger on. I literally had to force myself to actually wear the products for testing after IGEFA had generously supplied me with the sample packages. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be right for you, but I would advise to test this thoroughly before stocking up.