07 November 2014

Review: Bumgenius Freetime AIO Diaper

Description: The Bumgenius Freetime diaper consists of a PUL waterproof outer, with a micro suede interior lining. The diaper has one layer of microfibre sandwiched in the centre (ie between the PUL and microsuede lining) as well as two attached soakers. These soakers attach to the front and back of the diaper respectively and consists of two layers of microfibre, topped with microsuede fabric.  The diaper offers a rise adjustment via three sets of snaps on the front and the choice of either snap or velcro closures around the waist. It features Bumgenius' signature stretchy tabs on the waist closure and has encased elastic around the leg openings.

First impressions: My first instinct was to compare this with the Bumgenius Elemental, and yes it is bulkier, but not extremely so. I love the design of the attached soakers inside; it's a very clever idea to improve drying time while still having all the convenience of a truly AIO diaper (ie everything attached). Cotton Babies products are all well made and great quality, and the Freetime is no different. The Albert print pictured here has long been one of my absolute favourites and I love the contrasting white tabs at the front which perfectly sets off those black snaps. [Rating: 4/5] 

Ease of use: You probably won't get a diaper that is easier to use than this one. Well, maybe if it's a sized diaper so you don't have to adjust rise snaps. As for the rest - no stuffing, no snapping in of inserts, no unstuffing and best of all it dries super fast. This is quite a big deal for an all-in-one diaper, as usually the convenience of everything attached means looooooong drying times. These dry as fast as any pocket diaper which is really awesome. I thought the two flaps might make for awkward spraying off of poop, but it actually works fine and I haven't had any issues with poop getting trapped in the layers like I do with the Elemental. [Rating: 4.5/5]  

Fit: We get a nice fit with these, thanks to those lovely stretchy waist tabs. Granted, it's not as trim as some other AIOs, but it's not overly bulky either and fits well underneath clothes. At 8 months and 8.5kg, J is currently on the middle rise snaps with three sets of snaps exposed at the waist, so plenty of room to grow. [Rating: 3.5/5]  

Value for money: I find the Freetime to be fairly priced for an AIO, and especially in terms of how convenient it is to use. It is are more affordable than the Elemental, making it a better option for those on a budget, but still wanting to invest in a good brand. And of course Cotton Babies' products have good resale value, so it's always easy to recoup your investment. [Rating: 4/5] 

Performance: This diaper works very well for us during the day, however I do wonder how well the microfibre inserts will hold up with toddler pee. I anticipate having to add additional absorbency as J gets older and his output increases. Having said that, the Freetime is never saturated when I change J's diaper after 2 - 3 hours, so it can still absorb quite a bit more. Recently J even went for 5 hours in this diaper without leaks (late afternoon nap that turned out to be an early bedtime), which I must say I found pretty impressive. If you do need to add additional absorbency for heavier wetters, it should be pretty easy to do though as there are little pockets underneath each attached soaker, so it's easy to slip an extra hemp/bamboo insert in there. I love that the Freetime doesn't hold onto stains like my other natural fibre AIOs tend to do - I never have to worry about staining even after the worst poops that J can muster up. [Rating: 4/5] 

Overall impression:  The Freetime has lots of fans and I can see why - it fits well, dries super fast (probably my favourite feature) and cleans easily (easy to spray off poop and the microsuede isn't prone to staining). If I had to choose between Elemental and Freetime? I still love my old-style Elementals best - you just can't beat that trimness and level of absorbency. But I would choose Freetime over the new-style Elemental. If trimness isn't the be-all and end-all for you and you love diapers that are super easy to use and dry quickly, you will adore the Freetime. 

Bumgenius products are available through new local reseller The Nappy Shack, which I'm super excited about as it means we can finally get hold of new products and prints in South Africa again! Alternatively they are available directly from CottonBabies, but do note that there are shipping restrictions on their products though, so you would need to send them to a US or UK address and then have them shipped to you in order to buy. Another option is to buy preloved on the SA Cloth Diaper B/S/T GroupSpots Corner or the Bumgenius b/s/t group on Facebook. Like Bumgenius 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, received no compensation 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 J, might not necessarily work well for you and your baby. At the time that these photos were taken, J was 7 months and weighed +/- 8kg.

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