While last year had a bit of a slump with regard to new product releases in the colorful diapers department, this year makes more than up for it and is swarming with new stuff to try out. So here we go again and will be checking out Rearz‘ latest offering, the Lil’ Monsters. I totally skipped over their skull-and-crossbones printed Rebel and it’s been a while since the Lil Squirts as well, so this is a good opportunity to check out where Rearz these days is at in terms of quality and user-friendliness of their diaper products.
The first thing to note is that the packaging has become more professional and now features printed bags as opposed to the old plain transparent bags with crude label stickers. It’s by no means essential for using the products, but it clearly helps with sales presentation and also gives you a good feeling when unpacking those big crates and boxes from your favorite online retailer. A unique feature is the labeling being printed in French on one side and in English on the other, which of course makes sense with Rearz being a Canadian company and both languages being officially used there.
Another thing to notice right away is the number of pieces per pack. Unlike the older products that wir firmly locked to ten units per bag, here you get 12 for size L and even 14 for size M. That alone indicates that there might be further differences worth exploring and of course there are or else I probably wouldn’t have troubled myself with writing this article.
The basic dimensions match up with Rearz‘ other products and are slightly larger than your average European diaper with the length from front to back for the M being around 83 cm and for the L around 94 cm. Likewise the panel widths are approximately at 68 cm and 81 cm. Now of course none of that tells you much about the actual shape and fit and that’s where it gets interesting.
As the images below kinda indicate, the diaper retains the asymmetrical proportions used on most of their other current products, meaning the aft panel is about one-third taller/ higher than the front panel. This is meant to allow the diaper to go relatively high up in the back, providing good bum coverage, while at the same time resulting in a somewhat triangular shape in the crotch and ensuring freedom of movement. Here’s the thing: The less bulbous my tummy gets due to my weight loss, the more this delicate balance shifts and it does so in – at least for me – unexpected ways.
In fact it’s getting less favorable for size M and at the same time my user experience with L-sized diapers improves. I suppose without a “stopper” to hold it down I’m too keen on pulling the front parts up a bit too far and this then interferes with the design intention for the M. Just in the opposite way, (almost) having a waistline makes it more enjoyable to wrap an L around your hips. At the moment I’m neither here nor there and both methods have their quirks and shortcomings, but I could see this becoming a significant factor eventually which might result in me resorting to a size L more often in the future.
A point of contention on some forums is the absorbent pad. A few users claim it wouldn’t be that great and not as good as on other Rearz products. I cannot confirm any of this, but the fact of the matter is that indeed the pad is at the very least different from those other diapers. This can easily be verified by measuring it and weighing the dry product. The pad is wider in the front and back, but the diaper overall is not as heavy as e.g. a Safari. Now I’ll be careful here, as a lot of that could be attributed to manufacturing tolerances and discrepancies, which depending on the manufacturer can be considerable even across all the pieces in a single pack, but I won’t write it off as unintentional, either.
Based on that of course you could argue that the overall capacity is a little less, but since here on this blog I prefer to focus on practical aspects rather than winding myself up over theoretical specs, I think it’s not really relevant. An effective use of around 1600 ml of total liquid absorption in my world is more than enough even during the night. Granted, it my come in short e.g. when compared to last article’s ABU product, but on a rational level it’s still pretty good. Personally I’m not necessarily wearing the diapers that long most of the time to even come close to this maxed out usage, so I really consider it a non-issue.
A small hitch in all this is the softness of the pad, anyway. It’s surprisingly soft. That is very pleasant on a fresh diaper up to a certain degree of wetness, but gets a bit uncomfortable beyond a certain tipping point. At least I’m not the person who gets a kick out of overly mushy pads, which further reinforces my point of changing the diaper at predictable intervals and earlier than some other people might and overall absorption perhaps sometimes being not the most critical factor.
Before we leave, let’s have a look at the design. It’s a primary selling point for these types of products and as far as that goes, I think this one hits the right beats. It’s very colorful and noticeable, yet the overall combination doesn’t annoy you. I love myself a pure, radiant blue, so this is obviously more than just fine with me. It’s really nothing I would be embarrassed about it peeking out of my denims. This is helped by the monsters being cute, but simple and somewhat non-specific in their design, so you could brush off any questions about them as “So what?” when being asked about it. My only small gripe is with the pattern repeat. It would have been better to use a longer tiling and not a simple flip-flop vertical mirroring. That could have avoided two monsters of the same type appearing so close to each other.
Overall the Lil’ Monsters may not be the “now with more More” product that people always seem to expect in this race for the ultimate diaper with every new release trying to outdo the previous offering from a competitor, but it’s still a very solid diaper in the upper category. It’s by no means as bad as I have heard people talking about it and if you can tone down your excitement and expectations to a realistic level, it will be more than adequate even for some more demanding situations. If the color and design are up your alley there’s nothing speaking against trying out this product, assuming you don’t mind the price tag. As usual this is a serious consideration, too, like with all other imported products. Lucky enough it’s only slightly above 20 Euros here in Germany at SaveExpress, which is still okay (if only barely), but it may be more costly where you live.