26 January 2015

Review: Alva Color Snap Diaper Cover

Description: The Alva Color Snap Diaper cover is designed to be used as an AI2 with one of their snap-in bamboo inserts or simply as a waterproof cover over flats, prefolds and fitteds. It is made of a single layer of PUL with a wipe-able interior. Inside there are flaps at the front and back to keep an insert, trifolded prefold or padfolded flat in place.  There is also a snap on the inside front, underneath the flap, where you could snap any compatible insert into. The cover features double gussets around the leg openings. The cover fastens with snaps around the waist and features hip snaps to avoid the wings drooping. This is a one-size cover featuring three rows of rise snaps on the front to adjust the rise as baby grows.

First impressions: This cover is very well priced, however only available in a limited selection of prints and solids.The flaps on the inside front and back are very generous and looks like they would do a good job to keep loose inserts in place. At first glance this cover seems very similar to the Eco Nappy Solutions cover, with the exception that the Alva cover has double leg gussets. The elastic on the double leg gussets seem to be quite tight at first glance. The flaps on the inside front and back is also reminiscent of the Flip system. [Rating: 4/5] 

Ease of use: The flaps on the inside make these very user-friendly for those new to cloth as you can simply lay an insert inside and fasten the cover onto your baby. In this way the cover functions like an AI2, giving you the freedom to use any insert you choose or even padfolded flats or trifolded prefolds. When the insert is wet, simply remove and use another insert. You can also choose to use this cover over snappi'd prefolds or flats or even fitteds. In between uses I like to wipe the interior and air out the cover. When the cover is soiled, simply place in your nappy bucket, ready for wash day. I have had no hassles with washing these and because of the single layer of PUL they dry super fast. This makes them ideal for hand washing (eg when on holiday) too. [Rating: 4/5]  

Fit: I found it really difficult to get a nice fit on J, without the double leg elastics digging into his (not-chubby) legs and leaving deep marks on them. I found these to fit best over fitteds, for the simple reason that the leg elastics seemed to fit best with the rise completely unsnapped and the extra room was filled up nicely with a fitted. If I use a snap-in insert or padfolded flat or even snappi'd flat or prefold, I need to snap the rise down to get a trim fit (otherwise it sags in the crotch area), but then it leaves deep red marks on J's legs. J is on the leaner side of the spectrum, so we really shouldn't be having issues with too-tight leg elastics on him. With a bigger/chubbier legged baby I imagine this issue will be amplified. In these photos J is 10 months old and weighs 8.7kg and has a trim daytime fitted on underneath the cover, so he is on the middle rise setting and two snaps showing at the waist. There is still plenty of room to grow. Inserts stay put very well, even if they aren't snapped in, so the snap in front is not really needed. [Rating: 2.5/5] 

Value for money: These are very affordable and an excellent option for those on a budget. The fact that they are one-size and can be used over a variety of different diaper types makes them even better value for money. They are compatible with most snap-in inserts eg Buttons, Snappy Nappy or the bamboo snap Alva inserts. [Rating: 5/5] 

Performance: We have tested this cover for day and night use and have not experienced any leaks. Everything that was supposed to be inside, stayed inside and I would be surprised if anything escaped those super tight leg elastics. [Rating: 5/5] 

Overall impression: I really wanted to like this cover because of the great price and the fun chevron print that I chose. But sadly it's just not love for me. While I like how versatile the cover is - roomy enough to cover a fitted, yet also compatible with snap-in or lay-in inserts (which I have a lot of!), the super tight leg elastics just doesn't work for us and I actually avoid using this cover for that reason. Fit may change as J grows, but for now I just don't reach for it.

You can buy the Alva Color Snap Diaper Cover directly from their website or one of the various local resellers. Like Alva Baby 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 received this diaper free of charge for purposes of review, but did not receive any compensation for it 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 10 months old and weighed approximately 8.7kg.

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