01 July 2013

Review: Best Bottoms Shell & Inserts

Description: The Best Bottom system is an all-in-two (AI2) or hybrid system which means that it consists of a seperate waterproof cover (or shell) with snap-in inserts. The cover is made of a double layer of PUL and features double leg gussets and contrasting binding around the edges. The cover features four rise snaps on the front to adjust in size from small baby to toddler and comes with the option of either velcro or snap closures around the waist. Inserts are available in either a hemp/cotton mix or a stay-dry option made of microfibre and topped with microfleece. The inserts snap into the cover via one snap at the front and back of the diaper.  Inserts are sized and available in small, medium and large.

First impressions: For the price I am very impressed with the quality of this cover and the fact that it is a double layer of PUL makes it very sturdy without being stiff. I love the contrasting binding around the edges - it really adds a little something extra to the plain colour covers and there are quite a few really pretty colour combos. The Best Bottoms covers also comes in a couple of print options. The cover seems able to get very small and looks like it could come very close to fitting a newborn - especially with those double gussets. The hemp/cotton insert is very trim, while the stay-dry insert is slightly thicker (though not too bulky) with super-soft and downy microfleece touching baby's bottom. I like the fact that the inserts are sized, because it means you don't have to fold anything over to fit into the smaller cover settings. [Rating: 4/5] 

Ease of use: These are super easy to use - just snap in the insert and there you go. I think it's quicker to snap in an insert than to stuff a pocket, so in that sense I would place it between a pocket and an AIO on the ease-of-use scale (with an AIO being the easiest to use). I love the fact that the inserts are sized, because you don't have to fold anything over to fit into the smaller cover settings - it's literally just snap in and go. When the diaper needs to be changed, you can simply snap out the insert, snap another one in and put it back on your baby. Obviously if the cover is soiled you would throw it in the pail. [Rating: 4.5/5]  

Fit: The fact that there is four rise settings gives you a wider range of fit than the traditional three rise settings and so we are able to get a pretty good fit on A. I would've loved a bit of stretch in the covers to make for an easier fit around the waist, but even without that we do get still get a pretty good fit both around the waist and legs. Of the three covers I have, one seems to have stiffer leg elastics than the other two, which sometimes leaves red marks on A. Not sure if it's just the specific batch though and it doesn't seem to bother her, but might be more of an issue with a chunky legged baby or bigger toddler. The Best Bottoms system is very trim, especially when using the hemp/cotton insert and I would say that combo is probably one of the trimmest diapering options in our stash, so it's perfect for those little skinny toddler jeans. Crotch width is neither particularly narrow nor very wide. The cover is a fairly trim fit and I found it to work best when paired with the Best Bottom inserts, a snappi'd flat, snappi'd prefold or even trifolded prefold. So not a good option as cover for bulkier fitteds. The four rise snaps, double leg gussets, trim fit and cross-over waist tabs leads me to think that this cover could be a viable option for a newborn, though I would use it over a snappi'd prefold to keep that runny newborn poop off of the cover. [Rating: 4/5]  

Value for money: These are great value for money and gets cheaper the more you buy as you only need about 6 covers for a full-time stash paired with four inserts each. The stay-dry inserts are cheaper than the hemp/cotton ones, so that is something to consider if cost is a big factor for you. For overnight use you'd need to add one of their overnight inserts which are also more expensive than the regular inserts, but you only need about four of those, so it's not too bad. [Rating: 5/5] 

Performance: I am very happy with the performance of this diaper, especially the hemp/cotton insert which can hold a ton of liquid! The stay-dry option wasn't able to hold quite as much and I found I had to change it a bit sooner to avoid leaks. I tried both the stay-dry insert with its matching overnight insert as well as the hemp/cotton insert with its matching overnight insert and both of these kept A dry the whole night long. I'm not a fan of exposed PUL against her skin for such a long stretch though, so we prefer to use this system for day time only.
 [Rating: 4/5] 

Overall impression: If love how trim and easy to use the Best Bottoms system is and how little space it takes up in the diaper bag. I reach for it first when heading out - I can throw in an extra cover and couple of inserts in the bag and be good to go for a few hours without having to lug a big bulky bag around. It's affordable, easy to use, does the job and looks cute on - a pretty good deal if you ask me. [Rating: 4/5] 

Best Bottom diapers are available from local reseller Mulberry Moon.  Like Best Bottoms on Facebook to be the first to hear of new products and prints. 

Disclaimer: All image credits belong to Hippie Safari. Please do not use or distribute without my permission.  I paid regular retail price for this diaper, was not compensated in any way for my review and all opinions expressed above are my own. While I aim to provide detailed, objective reviews of all the diapers that I've used, please bear in mind that this is my opinion and that every mom has her own preferences and every baby is built differently. So what works well for me and A, might not necessarily work well for you and your baby. At the time that these photos were taken, A was 20 months old and weighed 10.5 kg.

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