Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review: Antsy Pants Trainers/Pull Up Diapers

We ordered these directly from Antsy Pants. I purchased a 2T size, with one insert. A variety of sizes and solid colors are available, but most of the packages can only be ordered in boy, girl, or gender neutral colors.

Antsy Pants - red, with black sides

Materials: Their website says, "The main diaper shell is polyurethane laminate (PUL) backing a soft polyester knit fabric. The absorbent pocket layers are made from cotton/polyester sherpa. The lining is a performance wicking material that forces moisture through the fabric into the absorbent layers, and the side panels are cotton broadcloth. We use Lastin at the leg openings; all other elastics contain natural rubber."  They do mention a cotton velour/bamboo liner version, but we didn't get that to try.

I did have some concerns with the materials - the synthetic "performance" layer against the skin in particular, which lets the child feel wetness for some amount of time before wicking it away. It doesn't *feel* like microfiber....but they also state in the FAQ on their site that in their testing, if you change diapers every 2 hours you won't have diaper rash. Since our intent with them is to use them as trainers, I fully intend for Alexander to be able to wear them more than 2 hours without going in far, no rashes, but it does make me wonder.

Closures: These have snaps. The sizes are strictly elastic, which seems a bit odd at first, but works out well for ol and off - these are a lot like the more common disposable pull-up style trainers

Sizing: Acorn is about 29 lbs, and mostly wears size 2T clothes - he can wear most 18 month pants, but they're too short, and he can wear 3Ts but they're too long.

We ordered a size 2T, and it fits pretty well, with room to spare.

I'm not super fond of the fit overall though - there is no shaping at all between the legs. It's a rectangle of fabric running from front to back with stretchy on the sides. It looks funky, since it's proportionally narrower in front/back than I'd expect, and wider thru the crotch than I'd expect.  So far, this hasn't resulted in leaks, so it may just be that it's different, not necessarily good or bad.

Absorbency: My standard absorbency test goes like this:  A toddler/premium prefold (our typical diaper, 4x8x4 layers of twill) and a flat (a typical Little Lions birdseye weave, 27"x27") both easily hold 4 oz of fluid. They're really soaked at that point, all the way up the front and back, but not dripping - so that's at least 2 pees, maybe 3. Knowing that trainers are meant to hold one pee, I've been testing all of them by slowly pouring 2 oz of water in towards the front of a clean, freshly washed, dry trainer. Acorn has a hypospadius, so his urine doesn't come out quite where it should (yet), but this should be pretty close to right in between where a girl or a boy would go. Most are tested after the first wash, though I'll probably test some of them a second time if it's something we're expecting to improve over time.

This is one area where Antsy Pants really do shine through and live up to what sounds like a lot of hype on their website - I actually did pour 4 ounces of water into this one, without any additional stuffing. While it didn't wick up the insides like I have seen some of our other trainers do, it held every last drop, with no drips.

The water pooled on the surface of the liner, and then after a moment, was almost magically sucked in. With 4 ounces in there, I carried it to the dryer without any drips on the floor, rang it out (getting probably half the water back out), and tossed it in to dry.

These cand be purchased with an additional stuffer for night time use. I have to say I doubt we'll ever use it, even though we bought one - it just doesn't seem to fit in the pocket in any reasonable way, even after following all the directions. the stuffer is a microfiber towel that you have to fold, which then goes into their funky pocket  It's hard to explain, and I've been unsuccessful at getting photos, but there's 2 layers of fleece, plus the layer against the skin, and it's sewn in a really strange way that I, as a fairly accomplished sewer, just find baffling. One layer of fleece is sewn down, the other is sewn to the synthetic layer against the skin, and the stuffing goes in between the two fleece layers. The pocket opening for stuffing runs the entire length of the wet zone, and I have yet to figure out (even with 8 pages of instructions) how to get the stuffer folded and stuffed in there without touching sensitive bottoms.

Drying: All in all it dries well, as long as it's not snapped up when you're drying it - drying with diapers, it comes out dry at the end of the cycle. The odd construction must help with the drying somehow. Like most training pants, it has a tendency to not get quite dry if it's a smaller load in the dryer, or if the drying time is a big shorter.

Final thoughts: This is the only article of clothing I've ever bought that came with an 8 page instruction manual. The fact that it's a diaper with an instruction manual just adds to the oddness of this.

These also took the longest to arrive - they arrived after the package from Alaska, and after the package from Canada (which had to go through customs!), both of which were ordered the same day as these. 

These were the most expensive trainers or diapers we've ever bought, at $27 each. Buying them in bundles, you can get the cost down to about $21-$22 each. I have to admit, we're cheap - that's one reasons we have stuck with mostly prefolds, and one reason we've mostly bought used diapers. Finding any trainers used has been a real challenge.

I suppose if you're fond of sized diapers, or have several younger children to grow into them, it might be worth that price, but I'm not entirely convinced - though the absorbency may be worth it if you're having a lot of misses, or if you have an older child with bedwetting episodes. You'd have to have a fair amount of cash to invest to just get these.

For all their oddness, I like them, I'm just not sure I like them enough for the price.

Disclaimer: these trainers were bought by me, and this review is my personal opinion of them. No compensation was provided.

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