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One of the very first diapers I reviewed on my blog was GroVia, but I felt 2016 was a great time to publish a new review AND offer a fun self-sponsored giveaway to go along with it.
GroVia diapers are everywhere, so it’s very easy to find them at your favorite retailer. I purchase mine from, and highly recommend my affiliates, Diaper Junction, Nicki’s, and Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique (more free shipping!).
Today I’m featuring the GroVia Hybrid diaper, which includes one-size covers or “shells” and various styles of snap-in soakers. GroVia diapesr are made ethically in China.
The Holland print is one of GroVia’s very newest releases, named to celebrate the arrival of founders Kim and Duane Ormsby’s newborn. Drift was released a few years ago and has always been a favorite of mine.
GroVia’s hook and loop is different than what you might typically see. The receiver fabric is not the usual rough and scratchy white stuff you see on other diapers; it’s smooth and softer, and color-coordinated to match the diaper, as you can see in the picture of Holland above. There’s also a little fabric loop you can tuck the laundry tabs under, so they stay extra secure in the wash and also not start curling back after a lot of usage. The hook and loop also stays very securely fastened at the waist (esp. nice when diapering an intrepid toddler). As with any hook and loop diaper, however, the closure gets weaker after much use and washing; it also starts to pill after time. GroVia does offer a snap conversion program so you can convert your diapers later on and get more life out of them.
GroVia snaps also have a unique look, as you can see in the picture below. I find the GroVia snaps to be very strong, and yet easy to open and close. They are larger than other diaper snaps, however, so they are only compatible with GroVia inserts.
Here’s a look inside the GroVia shell. It’s made of TPU, is fully waterproof and has a polyester mesh lining inside. There are snaps at the front and the back to hold inserts; you can use both, or just one, or none (if pairing the shell with your own prefolds, flats, etc.).
There are 2 rows of snaps on the rise, which gives you three size settings – small, medium and large.
GroVia offers a number of different insert options:
- No Prep ($16.95 for a pack of 2) – Four layers of miroterry with a microfleece topper and a waterproof TPU backing – High level of absorbency. They measure about 13 inches long and 5 inches wide in the middle.
- Stay Dry ($17.95 for a pack of 2) – Four layers of 55% hemp/45% cotton with a microfleece topper and a waterproof TPU backing – Basic level of absorbency. They measure about 12 inches long and 4 inches at the narrowest point.
- Organic Cotton ($18.95 for a pack of 2) – Five layers of 55% hemp/45% cotton and a waterproof TPU backing – Moderate level of absorbency
- Boosters ($9.50 for organic cotton and $10.50 for stay dry) – Trim, three layer inserts without snaps, that you lay in a GroVia diaper for a boost of absorbing power. They measure 12 inches long and 3 inches wide.
- BioSoakers ($19.95 for a pack of 50) – Disposable inserts made from certified natural 100% Ingeo spun bound non-woven fabric. The core consists of wood pulp fibers, and the waterproof backing is made of Bio-film (fecula). They have sticky tabs which help keep them in the shell.
GroVia inserts stand out from the pack because they have gussets (elasticized edges) and a waterproof back. Both features are meant to give an extra layer of protection by confining wetness and messes to the inserts only. This can really come in handy because it improves your chances of reusing the shell/cover multiple times before washing.
Each of the inserts has its pros and cons.
The No Prep inserts can be used right away because there aren’t any natural fibers, so that saves some time and hassle. They the most absorbent of the bunch but are also the bulkiest. The microfleece is very plush and soft and doesn’t hold onto stains. They are fairly quick to dry.
The Organic Cotton inserts are a small step down in absorbency, but are trimmer. The jersey fabric is very smooth and soft but stains more easily. However, cotton and hemp are less prone to buildup and odor. These inserts take several washes (3 or more) to prep and a noticeably longer time to dry. Over time, I’ve noticed tiny holes appearing in the cotton inserts around the edges; this is normal, especially with a natural/organic fiber that has been washed many times; it has happened to other organic cotton items in our stash. But it doesn’t affect performance or absorbency. The cotton will also lose some of its softness over time; you can try Ecover fabric softener and see if that helps with recovery somewhat.
The Stay Dry inserts offer a basic level of absorbency and combine a natural fiber core with a microfleece top, so you get the advantages of both natural and synthetic fibers. In the photo below, you can see there’s some puckering on the top layer; this is caused by the 2 different types of fabric shrinking differently when washed.
The Boosters are narrower and very trim, easy to lay top of any of the soaker pads. I like that you can position them anywhere you like. This is perfect for placing some more absorbency up front for a boy, because the snap-in inserts do not completely fill the front of the shell when on the largest setting, especially after you stretch it up to wrap around your baby:
Here is a picture of one soaker snapped into the shell, and then a soaker snapped in plus a booster on top (the diaper is on the medium rise setting).
I haven’t tested the BioSoakers yet, so don’t have any personal experience to share on those.
Performance: GroVia diapers are very versatile since you can choose just the right insert, or simply use the shells as covers with diapers you already own. They work great as is as a daytime diaper; for naps I would suggest the No Prep inserts or adding a Booster.
I did test our GroVia hybrid diapers overnight with 1 extra booster, and they will hold Ingrid, who is an average wetter, until morning. However, they are not my first choice for an overnight diaper. For those poos they often do upon first waking, we have better luck with a double-gusset cover. Secondly, I often use a well-stuffed pocket diaper overnight because entire inside is lined with soft fleece, which is comfy over an extended period of time. This being said, however, many families happily use GroVia Hybrids and AIO diapers overnight, usually with the addition of a booster. Something you might consider for night time are the GroVia bamboo/cotton prefolds; we used these on newborn Erik, but I haven’t reviewed any of the larger sizes.
I do like that the mesh lining in GroVia shells is easy to clean (I didn’t have any problems with dunking or spraying) and it gives you a layer of fabric between your baby’s skin and the TPU fabric underneath.
The gussets on the inserts help keep poo from getting on the cover underneath, but they aren’t bulletproof. So sometimes we do only get 1 use out of a GroVia shell before having to wash. Your experience will depend on what kind of child you are diapering and what their “habits” are like. Erik was fairly regular as a young toddler and we could get 2 uses (sometimes more) out of 1 shell. But Ingrid is more unpredictable, especially since she’s still trying a lot of new foods, and is also teething again (which makes output messy and loose).
One way to get more usage out of GroVia shells if you’re on a tight budget is to pair with a prefold or flat; you get more coverage that way.
Oh, and GroVia shells make nice little swim diapers with that neat mesh lining!
GroVia recommends washing diapers on warm and line drying/flat drying the shells.
Fit and Sizing: In our experience, GroVia’s hybrid diaper tends to run pretty true to size (i.e. they don’t run small or big). Ingrid is 18 months and small for her age and wears her GroVia’s at the middle/medium setting. Erik is a thin 3-year-old toddler and can fit into them quite well at the large setting. They are most trim when used with the Organic Cotton insert, and on the bulkier side using No Preps. Overall, however, the crotch is narrower than our other diapers and this always gives a nice trim fit between the legs.
The hook and loop closure is terrific when it comes to getting a perfect fit at the waist. Because the receiver strip is so large, you can pretty much position the wings wherever you want, even angling them up or down to tighten or loosen the leg openings a bit. In fact, I do this often for Ingrid when there’s an extra booster inside, because her legs are pretty chubby. For Erik, I use the snap shells.
Speaking of wings, I really like that the wings are long and have a lot of give. Ingrid has a round, fat tummy and short wings with very little stretch don’t work well around her waist.
Although GroVia shells/covers do have a crossover snap to allow for a very tight fit at the waist on a smaller baby, there are actual newborn GroVia diapers that might fit better. We used GroVia Newborn AIO’s on Erik and loved them!
One lucky reader will win a GroVia Holland package, which contains a hook and loop shell, wet bag and 2-pack of No Prep Soaker Pads. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Good luck!