03 October 2014

Review: Bumgenius Elemental AIO

Description: The Bumgenius Elemental diaper consists of a PUL waterproof outer, with interior layers of organic cotton jersey. The old version (pictured here) has the entire inside lined with the organic cotton fabric as well as two double layer sewn in soakers made of the same organic cotton jersey. The new version of this diaper (released in 2013) only has the sewn-in soakers with no interior lining.  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 rolled elastic (vs the usual encased elastic) around the leg openings.

First impressions: It goes without saying that this is a quality, well made diaper. Cotton Babies (the makers of Bumgenius) know what their customers want and they consistently deliver. While they may not have as many print choices as other brands out there, I love the ones they do have as well as the bright solid colours available. The organic cotton jersey feels amazingly soft and the profile looks super trim. The colour coordinating snaps are a nice touch. [Rating: 4/5] 

Ease of use: These go on just like a disposable - no stuffing of pockets or snapping of inserts. As baby grows you simply adjust the rise snaps at the front and then fasten the diaper onto baby. So as far as putting the diaper on and taking it off, it really couldn't be simpler. The pain comes in when you need to spray off a poopy diaper - poop inevitably gets stuck in between the layers of the attached soaker, so you really need to pay attention to make sure no poop gets stuck in the nooks & crannies of this diaper. The other con of this diaper is that it takes forever to dry. This is slightly less of an issue with the new design of the Elemental (launched in 2013), but even so it is still not a quick drying diaper. [Rating: 2.5/5]  

Fit: I adore the fit of these diapers - they are of the trimmest diapers I own and perfect for wearing under jeans or skinny leggings. The stretchy waist tabs make it easy to get a great fit around the waist even when baby is currently at an in-between snaps stage. I will say that I prefer the fit of the old-style Elementals vs the new-style Elemental. The new Elemental is without the interior lining, so technically slightly trimmer, but I found the fit of the old-style better on my kiddos as the cut is a bit smaller than their new design. This is something that is more obvious if you have a small baby (have a look at the fit of OBGE on J as newborn vs NBGE on him) and less noticeable as baby grows though. I love how gentle the rolled elastics are on chubby little baby legs, we've never had red marks using these diapers. [Rating: 4/5]  

Value for money: These are quite pricey, but in my opinion worth every last penny. I prize a trim, absorbent diaper very highly and this one delivers impeccably on both counts. They also have a very loyal fan base, so it's very easy to recoup a big portion of your investment if you decide to destash them. [Rating: 4/5] 

Performance: These were of my go-to diapers for those last few months of cloth diapering A during the day (she is now day potty trained - *sob*). Simply because they are so absorbent without being bulky. I never had to worry about leaks with these and up to about four months they also made excellent overnight diapers for Mr J. The extra layer of organic cotton forming the interior lining in the old-style Elemental does provide for extra absorbency; it was noticeably more absorbent than the new Elemental I had. On the other hand, it is easier to add an extra insert for additional absorbency to the new Elemental, so in that sense it is more versatile. These diapers wear extremely well, although I must mention that the organic cotton is prone to little holes. I have however not encountered this issue on the Elementals that I've had for almost a year now. One thing I did notice is that they are prone to staining - this seems to be an issue with all organic cotton diapers though, so not an issue specific to Bumgenius. [Rating: 4.5/5] 

Overall impression:  These are one of my favourite diapers that I find myself reaching for again and again. I just love how trim and absorbent they are. I do prefer the old-style Elemental over the new version available currently, as it's a little more absorbent due to the extra layer of fabric in the interior lining. I really wish these were available locally, although it's probably better for my wallet that they aren't! 

Bumgenius products are available through their manufacturers Cottonbabies or one of their many resellers. 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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