Diaper Test: Fabine Exklusiv

While I try to keep things up-to-date around here and present products in a timely manner, there are some that I keep pushing around in my schedule again and again. One of those has forever been the Fabine Exklusiv line of diapers.

Fabine Exklusiv, Packages

Now usually the reason why I postpone stuff is this weird mix of me only being able to get so much done vs. new products coming out or on occasion new versions of existing products making my efforts nil and void when I just was about to get to it with its predecessor. In this case I can’t make any such excuses or blame it on anyone, as I really consciously have avoided for quite a while. “Why?”, you may ask, so here are my reasons.

The product has been around quite a while and derives its name from the person who obviously goes by the last name of Faber. Said person had a batch of these thingies made in China a few years ago. So far nothing unusual and they even seemed to be rather popular, but then somehow things fell off the cart with consecutive batches. People were all too willing to preorder, but then had to wait forever until the products were actually being produced and deliveries arrived. Since this apparently happened more than once, it caught the company a bit of a bad reputation.

It also made it neigh on impossible to actually plan an article, because you wouldn’t know if and when the stuff might arrive and in what quantities plus then I couldn’t even point you to a source for a reliable purchase afterwards. Oh the complications! Recently things changed, however, and SaveExpress added the products to their line-up and perhaps we are lucky enough, that this also means they haggled out a reliable supply contract that ensures a continuous flow of product.

Fabine Exklusiv, Package, Size M

Based on what I just wrote, this article deals with the current edition of the product (as of July/ August 2017), not older ones. This distinction is important since there have been different versions over the years, which I can attest to because friends have occasionally given me single examples from their treasure vaults. Those older variants are a completely different beast, but as they are no longer available, anyway, there seems no point in elaborating on them further.

Fabine Exklusiv, Colors

The current selection includes a couple of color variants, some of which are depicted here. The cyan/ magenta one represents the baseline product, with a fully “girlyfied” pink version thrown in for good measure.

The blue denim pattern is an oddity, and not in a good way. Not only have jeans hotpants gone out of fashion for a while, but the design is also pretty crude and bulky. I honestly don’t know who would wear this and be proud of it. They could at least have omitted the fly imitation and toned down the contrast on the seam lines. To top it off, there is a fully pink version of that, too, which looked just too weird, so I didn’t include it.

Additional evidence of this product being riddled with oddities and quirks is the mirrored print. Yes, that’s really not me having flipped the photo, that’s the pre-press operator having done something wrong when preparing the print plates. It’s minor, but funny nonetheless.

Fabine Exklusiv, Sizes

Having gotten into the habit of trying out at least the two mainstream sizes (where relevant and within the confines of what I can afford to buy at a given point) I followed the same approach here. Not that this would have been a difficult decision – you can only buy size M and L, anyway, limiting the options. Always cautious, I was of course expecting this to be yet again the ump-teenth derivative of the “standard China diaper”, but lo and behold, this time we’re indeed in for something different.

Both sizes follow standard European measurements and conventions and therefore are a good fit for me and pretty much anyone who is used to products from big vendors available in these parts. Within the normal expectations hence the L is actually too large while the M is a nice and snug affair, eliminating the need to pick the larger size as I would have had otherwise.

Fabine Exklusiv, Front

The proportions take a bit of getting used to, though, since the diaper is highly asymmetrical. The front flap is a very slim thing whereas the back part is a lot higher/ taller. This makes it necessary to be a bit particular about how you fixate the product. In my case this means that I have to pull the front quite a bit up to ensure the backside of the legs and butt has good seal while also making sure there is no hollow in the front and everything is packed up nicely to prevent leakage.

As a result you may end up with quite a bit of the foil from the backside peeking out of your protective pants, onesie or whatever and you may need to tug it away. The back panel being so long also means that you may have a bit of a struggle with the upper seam as it tends to fold and roll up, especially if you have a bit of a hollow back like me. Other than that I love the excellent bum coverage, though.

Fabine Exklusiv, Side View

Speaking of posterior convenience, let’s have a look at the absorbent pad. In contrast to the typical “China product” mentioned earlier, this one does pretty well in that it doesn’t suffer that awful hardness that hinders actual absorption. Here the pad is soft and fluffy from the get go, which makes a lot of things easier, beginning with putting on the diaper. Instead of having to battle a stiff, almost rigid panel you can adapt things with relative ease.

This then continues with the actual usage, where you don’t have to be afraid to let things go for fear of the liquids not being absorbed quickly enough. It’s also worth noting that due to the loose structure the liquids distribute nicely in the pad in just the right amounts, meaning you don’t get a wet butt long before it’s time, but at the same time don’t need to put up with things staying just in one place, either.

The overall absorption is definitely in the upper range, though I wouldn’t necessarily buy into the extremely high values promised in the marketing. Yes, this product is definitely better than some others, but quite likely not the proclaimed ultimate achievement. There are still some laws of nature involved that you just can’t defeat.

Fabine Exklusiv, Inside

Before we part, allow me to sprinkle in a few words regarding the adhesive tapes. Those are a bit of an oddity as well, at least on the denim-patterned version. In contrast to the regular ones that do a good job, there some sort of semi-opaque, very thin ones are used without the blue edge demarcations.

I totally “get” that they did this to not ruin the illusion, but unfortunately those tapes are rather weak and barely stick even on the transparent, high-gloss front sticker. They kinda remind me of the quite similar low adhesion Scotch tape, that also has this matte appearance that then only turns fully transparent once you actually stick it onto something. In any case, you might want to keep some extra tape handy.

Fabine Exklusiv, Back

In closing I can say that my eternal waiting and procrastination on this particular product paid off in the end and it turned out better than anticipated. The print design is okay and not too obtrusive, the fit very good and the absorption behavior can compare with other high quality products. Naturally it’s not the cheapest one on the block, but compared to those products imported from the US or elsewhere, it is still reasonably priced here in Germany.

Of course this still may mean nothing – they could fall back into their old pattern and the next production batch again be an entirely different beast. I can’t promise you to always catch any changes in time, but I’ll definitely be monitoring this closely. For the time being, however, you can safely order a bunch of those diapers without having to worry much. It could even be that this funny misprint becomes a collector’s item just like with old post stamps. Who knows? ;-)

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