New and Improved BumGenius Elemental Review & Giveaway

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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:

* Buy BumGenius with Free Shipping *

You can find BumGenius diapers with free shipping at Diaper Safari
NOTE: The Diaper Safari one-size pockets are on sale for $8.95 right now!

* How Can I Win One? *

It’s pretty simple! One reader will get the new and improved
BumGenius Elemental in “Mirror” (aqua color) – which is perfect for a boy OR girl.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!


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  1. I registered for a few of these – I’ve heard they are the bees knees, so I thought adding a few to my registry wouldn’t be a bad thing. I am getting so excited to meet my son, all of these diaper reviews only fuel the fire!!!

  2. LOL Erik looks WAY used to modeling now, I wonder if that will influence his career path in life? LOL! I love the way the insert is attached in this one and how this!

    • I mention the Flip system in my review because we have some of the covers and organic inserts, and that combo is actually more absorbent than the Elemental AIO. Really, you are paying a higher price for convenience. I definitely prefer the covers and organic inserts! ~Anne

  3. I am new to cloth diapering so am always open to trying different types of diapers. In my current stash I have the Flip Diapering System which I really like and this type of diaper looks very similar so I definitely would love to try this one out.

  4. I love that this diaper can be used from birth until potty training. What a great way to save money on diapers!!

    • You’re welcome, Cat! The new Elemental is great, but I still do prefer the Flip system (and the organic inserts are actually more absorbent when folded). ~Anne

  5. I have a few BG 4.0 and really like them, but find that they can take awhile to dry. Does this one also take a long time? (I hang my diapers to dry)

  6. I love that these look like they will fit chunky babies better. My son is 16 months and 30lbs. (He’s a big guy!) The old BG Elemental doesn’t fit him the best…

  7. I love that you include pictures and desciptions of fit on children aging in weight and age!
    This looks to be a very good one size diaper!

  8. I like how you post pictures! It looks like a very good one size diaper! Would love to try this diaper out!

  9. I love the clean look of these. I’m really hoping that the inner fabric will last longer than the old Elementals.

  10. I have to agree that is pretty steep for a diaper. I haven’t tried the elementals though so I would love to try them out, but not sure hubby would like buying a whole stash at $25 a piece

  11. We have some older velcro BumGenius, and the snaps on these (and all the other newer BG) look sturdier. I’m tired or replacing velcro. I don’t usually buy diapers new, though.

  12. Part of what I loved about the old BGE was how absorbent they are. I’m a little disappointed that it’s the same price point as the old ones, but with less fabric/absorbency. I’d still be interested in giving it a test run though, great review! 🙂

    • I think maybe since the inserts are wider and cover a larger portion of the inside of the diaper it might be comparable to the old one in absorbency. But I can’t compare perfectly since I don’t have an old one in my stash right now! ~Anne

  13. Great review! You answered any questions I had (like drying time, and would you purchase a flip or other brand over the bumgenius elemental) before I could even ask! Thanks 🙂

  14. I like that you are so honest about your thoughts. Cost is very important to me, and while I would live to win one of these diapers, your preference of flips and prefolds is good to know!

  15. The between the legs part seems awfully wide, especially on the little baby. Is it larger than other AIO? and is it ideal for smaller babies?

    • I would say this is not an ideal diaper for newborns or smaller babies, Danielle. It definitely is wider. And even when you snap down the rise, there’s still some extra fabric. ~Anne

  16. We have only one of the original BumGenius Elemental diapers and really love it so I’m sure I would really love the new one!

  17. I like how it’s fast drying for an AIO! I don’t see this fitting a 7lb baby though! It would be HUGE on him/her!

  18. I love that it is made to fit bigger babies, my son has a couple of the old elementals that we loved…but now they are just a bit too small.

  19. I think the new feature of how the cotton is not sewn to the elastic around the legs will be a big help!

  20. I like that they would no longer get holes along the leg elastics, but I’m concerned about exposed PUL (especially as the diaper gets wet and soakers bunch). Thoughts?

    • We have some of the Flip training pants and on those the soakers are narrow and they do bunch and shift. But on the new Elemental, the soakers are much wider, so I haven’t noticed any bunching. ~Anne

  21. Thanks for posting a review! My son is due next month and I am so excited to start cloth diapering! I know the new Elementals are supposed to be a lot trimmer, but which system is the trimmest…flips with organic inserts or the new Elementals? Thanks!!!

    • I would say Elementals have the edge on trimness (6 layers rather than 12) and convenience. The Flip covers with organic inserts win in terms of cost and absorbency. Thanks for entering, Amanda! ~Anne

  22. I’m still to be new to cloth (lo is due in June) I’m curious we haven’t looked at AIO’s yet although I’ve heard lots about Bumgenius, 2 questions, how scary are these for dad and 2) what are the snaps like for a disabled mama with tricky hands?

    • Victoria, I don’t think you’d have any trouble with the snaps. They attach very easily and there are just two on each side – and no hip snaps to worry about. I would think the Elemental would be great for dads (if it’s in your budget) because you simply snap it on the baby and that’s it. It’s like a disposable with snaps – but you don’t toss it! ~Anne

  23. It looks like a really nice diaper, but the price is really high. I honestly wouldn’t buy one of them due to the price. I wish they were cheaper because I hear that they are really good diapers from a lot of people.

  24. I have heard nothing but great things about Bumgenius but I still don’t have one! I love the mirror color too because I don’t know if I’m having a boy or girl yet!

  25. Love your review! I really want to try the elemental, it’s the only BG (well aside from the newborn size) that I haven’t had the opportunity to try!

  26. I’d love to try one but for the price I’ll probably wait! I do love the two shades of green that BumGenius carries though:)

  27. I’ve never tried the Elemental, even though I’d really like to. But I have a very heavy wetter so that often limits what I can use. (I don’t like having to change her every 30 minutes!) Thank you for discussing/comparing this diaper with the Flip system- I’d love to try a Flip diaper now that I’ve read the great things you had to say!

  28. I would like to try an AIO when my son arrives in July. I have never used cloth diapers before, but I am kind of partial to prefolds + covers/pocket diapers because you can play around with them and put the most absorbency where you need it. I feel like I SHOULD try an AIO though, just to have the experience, and I would love for this to be the one to try. A friend of mine has the previous version of this diaper, and she loves it!

  29. I’ve one one in a review/giveaway already, and I LVOE it, but I wouldn’t buy one becuase of the steep price tag. Also, it stained easily/heavily for me…do you have any tricks there? I think it’s because the inside is organic?

    • I’ve found that natural fibers hold onto stains more easily than synthetics. Immediately treating with Oxyclean, and sunning the stains out, are both good remedies. ~Anne

  30. Thank you for showing how this diaper fits on three different aged babies – who are adorable. It really helps me to get a good idea how this OS might work for me.

  31. I would love to try one of these out before investing! otherwise I will stick to less expensive options. Does look like a great diaper though.

  32. I think I will be using Flips for my one-size stash too, mostly, but I want some Elemental as well and hope to get them as gifts 🙂

  33. I love that they are now made in USA! I prefer flips for cost reasons too but I would love to try the new elemental!

  34. Thank you for doing this review! I’ve read great things about elementals but AIOs seem to be more trouble than they’re worth. I love organic flips and every other BG product I’ve tried so I may have to give these a try.

  35. First of all Erik is growing so fast, where did your little newborn go?? As for the diaper I love that it has6 layers of absorbancy and I love that it accommodates bigger sizes 🙂

  36. Very interesting different design than the old style BG Elemental… not sure if I’ll like it better, but I’d love to try and see!!

  37. I love my Freetimes and 4.0 diapers, but I can’t get past the price difference to spring for an Elemental. It’s great that they are now made in the USA, though!

  38. Thanks for a thorough review! I’m expecting my first in April, and plan on using cloth diapers, but the amount of information can be overwhelming!!

  39. Does it bunch all up inside when it’s wet? I really liked the old elemental so I am a bit sad at the changes… Would be interesting to try it out though.

    • It is wider, and that’s because they made the cotton soakers wider. But I think it works out ok because that keeps them from bunching up when the inserts get wet. ~Anne

  40. I like that the new version works for bigger babies. The rise on my old elemental isn’t going to work much longer. It is a great diaper though.

  41. I only used prefolds with a super whisper wrap with my first son for about a week, if that but I’m due next month and would like to cloth diaper the whole time and was wondering, do you think all in ones are the way to go? I need to look up how you handle cloth diapering outside the home and when traveling and out of town.

    • Stephannie, all in one diapers are very convenient for a newborn, but you’ll spend considerably more. I have a stash of both, but found myself using the covers and prefolds at home and then the AIO diapers more when we’re out. ~Anne

  42. I just scored some excellent condition, used elementals (the old style) at a big consignment sale last week. I got 8 for $46!! They don’t look used AT ALL. I’ve never used the elemental before. We did prefolds and flip covers because it was the cheapest, then got some Freetime’s from the second’s sale, and my husband likes them so much better than the prefolds that we decided to stock up on a whole stash of all in one’s. I LOVE the old style of elementals now that I have them. They’re super soft, and they’re trimmer than the Freetime’s that I have. Are the new ones trimmer than the old? And how do you feel about the exposed PUL?

    • I think they are slightly trimmer than the old ones, because there are less layers of cotton. But the soakers are also wider, which helps make up for some of the missing layers. The exposed PUL doesn’t bother me since the soakers are wider; I find they are not really bunching up and causing the PUL to bunch up against their skin. ~Anne

  43. I have the old style Elementals and have been dying to try the new ones. We are already a fan of the older ones so it can only get better, right?! 😀

  44. We haven’t started diapering yet as the baby isn’t born but this diaper sounds like it will work well. And I love all the solid colors.

  45. I would love to try a bum genius, being on a budget I only use china cheapies, but Id love to try a different kind

  46. I have 3 of the old style bumgenius elemental and I am intrigued about the new version, how absorbent it will be with less layers? Will love to give it a try on my little one!

    • I don’t have an old one on hand to do absorbency testing with, but the new one is very absorbent, in my opinion. There aren’t as many layers, but the soakers are thicker, and they cover almost the entire inside of the diaper. So maybe that makes up for the lack of layering? ~Anne

  47. great review! I love that this is made in the US. I need the mirror color in my stash! I also like how trim these are

  48. I have not tried the old style BGE, but think I like the new redesign much better. However, I think I would be more interested in trying the new daytime Flip organic inserts first.

  49. My son is due March19th! I’ve got a collection of 18 cloth diapers but would love to add one of these to the bunch!

  50. I have never tried cloth diapers, but have always wanted to. I’m glad to see pictures of how well they fit on a real baby.

  51. What beautiful children! I love how you showed all 3 babies in the diaper. That diaper will definitely go a long way, and that’s such a good thing!

  52. I have one BG AIO and I love the fit but I don’t like the hook and loop closure. I’m really more of a pocket girl but I like to throw a reliable AIO into the diaper bag when we go out.

  53. This review has made me decide I really need to try the new Elementals! I love the old style on my infant but they don’t fit my toddler. I love how the new ones have a more generous fit.

  54. Love your honesty! I will be cloth diapering, and reading honest reviews of what’s out there is exactly what I need!