Since BumGenius just improved the design of their popular Elemental AIO cloth diaper, I wanted to review it and share the results with you – AND offer a giveaway!
If you’ve seen Cotton Babies products before, the butterfly wing two-snap closure on the Elemental will be familiar to you. I really like the soft, stretchy tabs that gently hug the waist and give a perfect fit. And in four years of diapering, we’ve never had any problems or issues with the snaps on any of our BumGenius or Flip diapers. They are very sturdy.
The Elemental AIO features a waterproof PUL outer and a soft, 100% organic cotton inside. The cotton soakers are 3-layers each, and there are two of them sewn inside, which gives you six layers of protection. You can lift the cotton layers up and add inserts or doublers for even more soaking power.
The leg elastics are now encased/closed.
The organic cotton layers are tremendously soft and smooth; it feels like “pima cotton” to me and I’m sure they feel great against my children’s skin. I love that BumGenius offers an AIO diaper with natural fibers inside. Here are my thoughts on the other features:
Absorbency: After a couple of test runs on Susanna and Samuel (both toddlers), I found the absorbency to be very good. There weren’t any leaks after wearing the Elemental for a couple of hours. And it dries fairly quickly for an AIO diaper, which is a plus. The fact that the soakers aren’t sewn to each other OR to the inner PUL lining really decreases the drying time. The small trip of PUL on the inside waistband also helps a little when your baby spends time on his tummy. I have a few Flip organic inserts in my stash already and they are 4 layers of cotton. That means when you fold them up you get 12 layers, so if you’re looking for a thirstier AND more economical system then Flip is the way to go. The Elemental is more of a convenience diaper – but it’s actually less absorbent than our Flips.
Something else to note: the cotton soaker inside the Elemental tends to shift or bunch up after your baby has been wearing it a while. I notice this more with my baby, than with my toddlers, and maybe that’s just because they are bigger.
Sizing/Fit: The new Elemental runs a bit bigger now, so the size range is supposedly larger. It fits (and is cut) a lot like our 4.0 pocket and Flip covers. There are 3 snap settings on the rise and range is supposed to be from 7 to 35 pounds. I noticed that even after snapping down the rise to fit on Erik and Susanna, the front is not really bulky like you often see on one-size diapers. The organic cotton soakers are definitely more trim than microfiber inserts.
UPDATE: I’ve noticed after owning the Elemental more than a year, that the organic cotton is prone to developing small holes. However, it doesn’t affect function.
Although it’s marketed to fit babies as small as seven pounds, the rise on the Elemental is a little higher than I would like on Erik (he’s 2 months old and 10.5 pounds). However, the waist and leg gussets are snug, so there haven’t been any leaks or blowouts.
Old vs New? As I mentioned before, the new Elemental is meant to accommodate a larger range of sizes. It’s now’s USA made. And the organic cotton inner is sewn differently. On the old version it was sewn into a double layer of cotton, which meant there were 8 layers of absorbing material. The new Elemental has six layers total, however the soakers are wider and they almost completely fill the front, middle and back of the diaper – which *almost* makes up for the “loss” of two layers.
The new version is only available in snap closure.
Price: An Elemental costs about $24.95. That’s pretty steep, even to a die hard Cotton Babies fan like me. I know it’s an AIO and is very convenient since there’s nothing to stuff or snap in, but there are some other good choices on the market for much less (even ones with natural fibers like cotton and bamboo).
While the Elemental is certainly a high-quality, great-fitting and easy to use diaper, my preference (and my budget) is for the Flip covers and inserts (which are also organic cotton). However, while you do spend less on the Flip system, there is folding involved – plus, the drying time is much longer.
The BumGenius Elemental is available in all the beautiful Cotton Babies colors:
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