High-Tech-Style Cloth Diaper Review

Natali Morris' diaper stash from her 30-day cloth diaper challenge. Natali Morris

Natali Morris' diaper stash from her 30-day cloth diaper challenge.
Natali Morris
I know gadgets. That is my day job. I do not know diapers or other children's products in the professional sense, so it is with trepidation that I try to "review" the diapers that I tested during my 30-day cloth diaper challenge.

I have been asked to run down the various diapers that I have tried. I do this with hesitation. Most of these diapers were created by work-at-home moms (or WAHMs as the lingo goes). They were made with love and the small businesses that resulted are a mother's attempt to succeed at a livelihood while raising her children. There is no more noble endeavor, so I don't take it lightly that my words will have impact.


However, I do want new moms to try out cloth diapering and I want them to succeed! It is an amazing thing that you can do for your child, your family, your budget, and the environment.

So without further ado, I am going to attempt to put my technology reviewing experience to work and try to review my cloth diapers the same way I would review a gadget. Here goes!

Charlie Banana pocket diapers

  • Interface: Easy to use, great fit, great variety of colors and designs. I especially like the black diapers. Makes my son look hardcore!

  • Storage capacity: These hold a good amount of poop! I haven't had leaks or explosions except when my mom snapped them too loosely because she was afraid of cutting off his circulation, bless her heart!

  • Battery life: I make it a point to change my son about every two hours if there has not been a poopoo. These do not leak at all within this time frame. They have also held up overnight without leaks.
  • Cost: You can buy a 6-pack of these diapers with 12 hypoallergenic inserts for about $100 on Amazon.

  • Overall rating: I love these diapers! I like that you stuff and un-stuff the inserts from the front of the diaper rather than from the back like some other brands. This means that you are a lot less likely to get poopy hands while removing the insert since poop most often stays in the back, unless it is one of those kinds of poops. You new parents know what I mean!

RagaBabe all-in-one diapers

  • Interface: The easiest! The liners for these diapers are sewn in so you don't have to stuff or un-stuff anything. You just put them on like a normal diaper. When you take them off, you throw them in a wet bag. When the wet bag is full, you throw the whole thing in the wash. A cinch! RagaBabe diapers are not quite as soft as the polar fleece pocket diapers but they are less bulky and the designs are super cute.

  • Storage capacity: They hold in what needs to be held in. I have not had any leaks or explosions with these because the fit is really snug and secure.

  • Battery life: My son can go about 2 hours between changes as long as there has not been a poopoo. They have also held up overnight without leaks.

  • Cost: You can purchase these individually for about $23-25 per diaper.

  • Overall rating: Two thumbs up for ease, fit, and effectiveness. As for design, some of them are cute but I can't say I am a fan of the tie-dye or the leopard print. My husband changed the tie-dye diaper tonight and when he unsnapped the onesie, he said, "What the (blank) is this!?"

Rumparooz pocket diapers

  • Interface: Some of the cutest designs I have seen and some of the best fit diapers we received. They are really snug and well fitted. My husband especially likes the velcro variety because who needs more snaps while changing a baby?

  • Storage capacity: The velcro variety hold as much as the other brands but those that snap are my least favorite. They seem to gap a little between the baby's legs which allows a little bit of leakage.

  • Battery life: Like the others, my son can go about 2 hours between changes as long as there has not been a poopoo. They have also held up overnight without leaks.

  • Cost: You can purchase these individually for about $23 per diaper.

  • Overall rating: A family fave! Super cute design and they appear very comfortable on my little man.

FuzziBunz pocket diapers

  • Interface: I find these the easiest diapers to stuff and fit on the baby. The opening for the fleece liner is large so I can jam the liners in faster than you can snap your fingers. I also like the solid color options.

  • Storage capacity:They get the job done! They hold a fair amount but you have to make sure to snap them snugly. If you try to give the baby some breathing room between the snaps, you will be more prone to leaks. I was a little shy about that at first and paid the price with leaks. The next time I fastened too tightly and left a mark on my poor baby's leg that took a few days to go away. I felt like a jerk mommy.

  • Battery life: Like the others, my son can go about 2 hours between changes as long as there has not been a poopoo. They have also held up overnight without leaks.

  • Cost: You can buy a 6-pack of these diapers with 12 hypoallergenic inserts for about $116 on Amazon.

  • Overall rating: I hesitate to give these an A+ because of the fit issue. I had an easier time fitting other diapers on my son out of the gate but after a little trial-and-error, I learned how to fit these properly and had absolutely no complaints. I will give them an A-.

Softbums

  • Interface: These are some of the cutest diapers I have seen. I love the patterns! The drawback to these are that they are a little hard to learn at first. I started with the Echo System in which the fleece liner does not get stuffed inside the diaper. It snaps onto the outside of the lining and you fold it into itself. I found that hard to get used to. I also had to watch videos to learn how to adjust the size toggles, although once you learn that, it is great because the diaper can grow with the baby. Perhaps if I had started with the Omni System which does get stuffed from the inside, I would have had more success out of the gate.

  • Storage capacity: Holds a good amount of pee because the insert doubles over on itself.

  • Battery life: The Echo System do seem to leak a little if my son wears them overnight. I think the doubling of the liner creates gaps that he seems to leak through. During the day, however, these diapers hold up like the rest: about 2 hours in between changes if there are no poops.

  • Cost: You can purchase these individually for about $23 per diaper.

  • Overall rating: I don't recommend starting with the Echo system. In theory, you should be able to go longer without washing the shell and just wash the liners but it did not work for me like that. I had to wash the shell pretty much every time. I would say start with the Omni system and try the Echo system once you are more comfortable with the idea of cloth diapering.
gDiapers hybrid diapers
  • Interface: These are some stylish diapers and I especially like how thin and form-fitting they are. Some of the pocket diapers can be bulky but these fit like disposables. The hybrid diapers have a reusable shell but liners that you throw away. Getting rid of the liners is not my favorite task. They bulk up in the toilet so you have to either tear it up or break it up yourself to get it to flush. I suppose I could use my Diaper Genie to dispose of these instead. They are also made to break down in a compost system in about 3 months but that is not an option in our small New York City apartment. gDiapers also have reusable inserts but I did not use these much.

  • Storage capacity:These don't absorb like the fleece pocket diapers. I have to change my son a bit more often or they will leak. They do hold the poopoo just fine though.

  • Battery life: About every 90 minutes for pee and as-needed for poo.

  • Cost: You can buy a 6-pack of the diapers with 4 biodegradable gRefill packs for about $130 on Diapers.com. The refills cost about $52 for about 160.

  • Overall rating: I'm not a huge fan of the hybrid system. They are said to be the best of cloth diapering and the worst of cloth diapering. The best because they are convenient since you have less to wash. The worst because you are still buying something and throwing away something with regularity like you do with disposables. I can see why some people choose these but in the end, they are not my cloth diapers of choice.

Bootyful Baby Boutique all-in-two pocket diapers
  • Interface: These are really cute and soft and easy to put on the baby. I also like the solid colors and I found them to be less bulky than other diapers.

  • Storage capacity: I did have a few leaks with these diapers along the top of the diaper along my son's belly button. These snap on the side and don't secure well around the stomach so if they don't fit perfectly, they seem to gape a little along the top. That created a little bit of leakage with peepee but they had absolutely no problem holding the poopoo.

  • Battery life: Like the others, my son can go about 2 hours between changes as long as there has not been a poopoo. They have also held up overnight without leaks.

  • Cost: You can purchase these individually for about $22 per diaper.

  • Overall rating: I like these but just wish they fit a little better. My son is tall and thin for his age so I think they may work better for chunkier babies.

Nifty Nappy woolie wraps

NOTE: I did not use these as specified. That was my fault. I thought that they were a rare kind of pocket diapers at first but they were not. They are fitted diapers, designed to be used with a cover. I chalk this up to user error - and by user I mean ME!

Since I did not really use these as intended and got carried away with my pocket system, I am not the right person to give these a full review but I will say that they are the cutest and softest thing ever to arrive in my mailbox. They are also very trim and fitted so baby's bottom won't look so bulky. They are also great for anyone who needs a more hypoallergenic material on the baby. You can purchase these individually for about $23 per diaper.

Tiny Tush pocket diapers
  • Interface: On par with the other high-quality pocket diapers. Cute colors, great absorbency, easy to fit to the baby. The snaps are placed in convenient locations so you can assure a snug and leak-free fit.

  • Storage capacity: Great! Never a leak or an explosion.

  • Battery life: Like the others, my son can go about 2 hours between changes as long as there has not been a poopoo. They have also held up overnight without leaks.

  • Cost: You can purchase these individually for about $18 per diaper.

  • Overall rating: These are the most affordable diapers I have seen and just as high quality as the others. A great bargain for a really great diaper.

Evolution Diapers pocket diapers
  • Interface: Very cute design but they don't secure across the stomach, making it a little more prone to leaks.

  • Storage capacity: Since these only fasten at the baby's hips and not across the stomach, I had a few leaks out of the top center of the diaper. Absolutely no poop explosions though. The material is more like the dry-fit material on your workout gear so it keeps the baby dry and clean.

  • Battery life: If there are no leaks out of the top, these diapers are on par with the other pocket variety. I go about every 2 hours between changes if there is no poop and they hold up over night.

  • Cost: TBD. The company's Web site is under construction.

  • Overall rating: These might be better for chunkier babies because of the lack of snaps across the belly. Otherwise, a solid choice for cloth diapering. Thumbs up for softness and overall effectiveness.

Note: I did not test out any prefold or fitted diapers so if you are curious about those, you'll have to go to the forums. There are plenty of those to choose from! Happy diapering!
  • Natali Morris On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Natali Morris is the host of Loaded on CNET TV and other CNET podcasts. She also contributes technology reports for CBS News.

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