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In February 2013 an updated version of the bumGenius Elemental One-Size All In One (AIO) was released, and since I owned one of the old style Elementals, I’ve been curious ever since to see what had been changed in the updated diaper and what had remained the same. I’m happy to report that many of the diaper features that were most exceptional have stayed the same, with noticeable improvements in other areas. In this review I’ll walk you through the features of the newest version of the bumGenius Elemental (post-February 2013) and explain how it worked on both of my children.
This diaper is an All In One, which means that the absorbent part of the diaper is attached to the waterproof outer layer (there is no stuffing or finding the correct insert required – everything you need to use the diaper is all attached in one piece!)
The diaper is lined with PUL, and the attached 6-layer certified organic cotton insert is sewn down at the front and back of the diaper.
The fact that the insert hasn’t been sewn down in the middle makes it possible to add additional inserts behind the absorbent component of the diaper. If you’d like to keep the organic cotton against your baby’s skin, this is a great feature (though when I needed to use extra inserts, I found it easiest to simply lay them on top of the diaper).
The attached absorbent insert is further separated into two layers, which makes the diaper easier to get clean and quicker to dry.
The diaper has a strip of PUL across the tummy, which prevents wicking (particularly for tummy-sleepers!)
The diaper has encased leg elastics that help keep messes contained while providing a gentle (yet snug!) fit around the legs.
This was, for me, the most significant change from the old style Elemental (which had non-encased leg elastics, and always made me nervous). I feel more confident about total poop containment with encased leg elastics, and my kids never had a poop leak with this diaper.
This diaper is available in snap closure only (there is no hook and loop option).
I prefer snap closure diapers to hook and loop closures, with the exception of during the newborn stage (when having a snug fit at the waist and legs is of utmost importance, which you often need overlapping tabs to accomplish). Since this diaper does not have overlapping snaps, I’m not sure how well it would fit on a newborn. If you’re looking for a OS diaper to use from birth, that might be something to keep in mind.
There are two rows of snaps (so that you can adjust the fit at the waist and legs separately) and the stretchy tabs help the diaper conform to your baby’s waist so that the diaper can flex and move with them.
This diaper is available in 12 solid colors and 2 prints (with limited edition prints available on occasion).
This diaper is advertised to fit from 8-35 pounds, and can be adjusted to small, medium, or fully extended rise settings using the snap-down rise.
For those people who may have tried the old bumGenius Elemental (pre-February 2013) it should be noted that the cut of this new version is slightly larger in all dimensions, which means it should fit a broader range of baby sizes. The cut and fit remind me of the Flip diaper covers.
$24.95 for standard colors/prints, $26.95 for specialty or “limited edition” prints
This diaper is made in the United States.
Here is how I would fill out a Padded Tush Stats All In One Diapers survey based on how it worked on my kids. Neither my baby (14 months) or my toddler (2.5 years) wake up to eat at night, and both of them are average to heavy wetters.
Note: Absorbency = 2-3 hours, Nap = 3-4 hours, Night = 12-14 hours
For all absorbency related scores: 5 = no leaks or wetness, 4 = outside of diaper damp, 3 = clothing damp, 2 = clothing/bedding wet, 1 = dripping wet
Each score is out of a possible 5 points
Child Specific Scores (Scores calculated separately for each child. If score is not attributed to particular child, it performed equally on both of them)
Nap Diaper (As Purchased): 5
Nap Diaper (Either As Purchased Or With Additional Or Different Insert): 5
Night Diaper (As Purchased): 4
Night Diaper (Either As Purchased Or With Additional Or Different Insert): 5
Fit: Baby – 4, Toddler – 3
Overall Scores (Scores take into account all experiences with the diaper and how it performed on both kids combined)
Worth The Price: 5
Liked By Skeptics: 4
Would Recommend To A Friend: 5
Notes on my responses:
- This diaper is incredibly trim (I was actually startled at how trim it looked on my kids, because I’m used to very fluffy bums!) This would be an excellent option for parents who are struggling to fit shorts/pants over their child’s cloth diaper, or for those people who want a cloth diaper that looks as similar (under clothes) as possible to a disposable.
- This diaper was very absorbent, particularly given how trim it is, but it should be noted that neither of my children wake up at night to eat anymore. (The one time my toddler had a glass of water in the middle of the night, the diaper received a “2” for night diaper as purchased). Babies who are eating throughout the night will most likely need to add additional absorbency to the diaper.
- We used a large Thirsties hemp insert for additional absorbency, though since the absorbent layer of this diaper is so trim and the waterproof layer so roomy, you could probably fit a variety of other inserts into the diaper without difficulty.
- The new version of this diaper is purposely cut larger than the old version, but it ended up being rather wide between the legs for my kids (who tend to do better with diapers that are narrow between the legs). This would cause the insert to squish and bunch up, which didn’t affect the function of the diaper, but did make it more difficult to clean the poop off of it (the poop would end up on all sides of the insert, and when I used my diaper sprayer, the poop water and particles would frequently gather behind the insert instead of falling into the toilet). It also occasionally caused the diaper to look somewhat saggy and folded (though this was more pronounced on my toddler, who seemed to be between rise settings). If you’re a fan of how the Flip diaper cover fits your baby, you’ll likely be a fan of how the Elemental fits your baby, as well.
- My 14 month old is petite for her age, but at 19 pounds is on the smallest rise setting and the second tightest leg/waist snaps on each side. Given the fact that this diaper does not have overlapping snaps, I have concerns about how well it would fit on a baby at the lower end of the advertised weight range. It does fit my 30 pound toddler (who is growing out of many of his other diapers) so this diaper might be a better “one-size” option for larger babies and children (and perhaps a diaper petite children can wear when they get older, though not necessarily from birth).
- When the diaper is used on it’s largest setting, the absorbent layer of the diaper is the same length as the waterproof layer. However, when you fold the waterproof layer down to fasten the rise snaps for the small or medium settings, the absorbent layer isn’t automatically shortened accordingly (since it isn’t sewn down in the center of the diaper). I initially tried to figure out how to best fold the insert, but ended up just putting the diaper on without attempting to position the insert at all. The diaper seemed to fit and function fine this way, but I did find it a little bit confusing at first. Score for “liked by skeptics” reflects this fact.
- Scores for “would recommend to a friend” and “worth the price” both assume I am speaking to someone interested specifically in AIOs. For someone interested in natural fiber AIOs, this diaper is competitively priced and performed excellently. For someone interested in other diapering options, there are more economical natural fiber diapers (including the Flip diapering system with the organic cotton insert, which would likely have similar fit and performance scores).
14 months / approximately 19 pounds
2.5 years / approximately 30 pounds
Where To Buy
You can see who carries this diaper by typing in “bumGenius” at the Cloth Diaper Retailer Database (www.clothdiaperretailers.com). You can compare retailers based on shipping costs, location, and even specials they have going on. Many of them even post exclusive discounts for Padded Tush Stats followers. If you buy from those with an asterisk (***) next to their name, a portion of your purchase goes towards supporting this site, so thank you in advance!
Have You Tried This Diaper?
If you have tried this diaper (or any other all in one diapers!) please head on over to our All In One Diapers Survey page and take a quick, 2-minute survey on how this diaper worked for you. Survey results can be viewed on the All In One Diapers Statistics page and are also used to write detailed statistical reviews (a complete list of which can be found on our Cloth Diaper and Product Reviews page).
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When not working on PTS, Carolyn is also an Independent Health Coach for Take Shape For Life.