gDiapers Hybrid Review

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gDiapers– we have all heard of them.  Many of us have used them at one point in our cloth diapers career or those new to cloth are wondering if they really are a better solution than disposable diapers without the hassle of washing cloth diapers.  I’m not going to battle the “are hybrid inserts as good as cloth if you consider the water and electricity used to wash”  because my review is for the function of the cover and the inserts.

I will say that as a cloth diaper advocate I am not anti-hybrid diapers. For the record my stance is that hybrids are a fine way to dip your toes into the alternative world of cloth or a good alternative to disposables while traveling.  I can count many, many families that started using gDiapers and then went to full cloth diapers in a matter of time.  Yes, others stick with G’s on a full time basis but this isn’t an affordable option for most families considering gDiaper inserts do cost more than using plain disposables and certainly more than using cloth diapers full time.

Finally- I will add this story:  I was attending the ABC Kids Expo in 2011 and went by the gDiapers booth.  I met the fun loving owners 2 years prior but this time they were out but other reps were there.  I asked one rep (forgive me for not remembering her name) what the company thought about the high rate of conversion from families who start with gDiapers and make the switch to cloth diapers after.  She responded that they were just happy to see families using cloth diapers even if they converted and no longer used their products.  I’m not a perfect judge of character or truth but I really felt her response to be genuine.

Fletcher in a Medium gDiapers at 8 Months old (2009)
Fletcher in a Medium gDiapers at 8 Months old (2009)

Ease of Use ✩✩✩ I won’t go into details and explain the features of the diaper itself because that is why I make videos. The ease of use for gDiapers is really dependent on how you dispose of the flushable inserts, if you are using those rather than cloth. gDiaper inserts are flushable but the company recommends you use the swish stick and tear them a bit before placing in the toilet. I have used gDiaper inserts but have never felt comfortable enough to flush them and risk a costly repair to my plumbing. Since I didn’t want to use too many disposable inserts for testing I only chose to use them while out and about (like many people do instead of going full cloth) and here and there around the house. I even tried them overnight. If I were comparing them to disposables I would say they are more tedious to use because you have to carefully stuff that insert into the liner and I was always like “what the heck, how do I hold this wet insert” between throwing it away and putting the new diaper on. I’m almost never changing a diaper in a bathroom, I choose the back of my car or benches. With a sposie you roll the diaper into itself, same with a cloth diaper in many cases.  Out of the dryer if you leave the piner in the diapers can come out a twisted mess so be aware of that too.
Bang for the Buck ✩✩✩ Using the hybrid inserts is a choice that is probably better than disposables but the price can be much more. Many gMums will say you can always find coupon codes and deals. Same can be said of disposables but not every parent is willing to do so. Even the individual gPants are pricey considering that they are mostly cotton. However gDiapers have some of the most adorable designs seen in the cloth diaper world. The new Chevron has me drooling. Unlike PUL/TPU cotton is easier to make in these designs so they have a lot more freedom than traditional cloth diapers. I’ve also heard amazing things about the gDiapers work place and how they treat their employees.
Performance ✩✩✩✩ The first time I ever used gDiapers I wasn’t impressed. I was also new to babies and cloth diapers. I used them on my first son when he was a few months old and had several leaks and lots of wicking. My impression of them wasn’t great. I was asked to review them officially and decided to try one more time for the sake of having them in my video library. This time I feel like I was more aware of how to get the insert in the liner *just right* and this made a difference in how they performed. I only had a wicking issue (wicking means moisture has traveled from the saturated insert to the outside of the diaper- in this case the cotton pant which will absorb) 2 times and both could be explained by a very wet insert that needed changing. The inserts are absorbent abd do have some SAP gel, though less than a disposable diaper. The other times I used the diapers I chose my own cloth inserts or pad folded flats and these worked just as well, if not better, than the flushable inserts and can be reused over and over. Overnight I used just one flushable insert and found my son woke up with dry pajamas. To be fair he isn’t a heavy wetter, but I was surprised with this outcome.
Fit ✩✩✩✩ I’ve tried the size Medium gDiapers on Fletcher when he was around 6-8 months old, and I’ve used the Medium on Everett at 18 months. Both fit as they should in a baby that age. My only issue with both was how the wide elastic band around the stomach could sometimes gap although this was mainly an aesthetic issue and had no effect of the performance. They also now offer adorable newborn gPants and if I ever have a another baby I will have to try a few, with some preemie prefolds or small flats. My biggest issue with gDiapers is how the snaps for the snap-in liners are exposed. The snaps are flat but they almost always leave red marks on the baby. Not all red marks are painful but I guarantee you that many parents stop using gDiapers due to red marks. I keep thinking there has to be a solution to this issue and wonder why they haven’t re-designed their diapers to solve the problem.
Overall: As a cloth diaper gDiapers aren’t my favorite and I would rather use a true waterproof shell just to avoid any chance of wicking. As a hybrid the G’s are really good at what they so and make a lot of sense. They can be washed with regular laundry and parents don’t have to be concerned about delaminating or elastic wearing out due to typical laundry additives so non cloth diapering parents can wash away.   I even noticed that they have improved their laundry tabs and velcro tabs since I first tried them 3 years ago.  They used to come undone very easy and create awful diaper chains but these are holding strong so far.  They come in handy for travel, even if you are using flats and handwash them and wash the g pants in the coin laundry or handwash those as well. As I said before I am all for families embracing cloth diapers and even gDiapers have a place in this world. The cute factor reels them in (especially since they are found in most mainstream baby stores and even Big Box Stores) and then the families get tired of spending so much on inserts so they buy cloth inserts or switch to a different brand. I’m pro-cloth and pro-saving money.
Where to Buy The Ultimate Green Store sells gDiapers and provided 2 gPants and a package of inserts for me to review.

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  • Lauren

    Thanks for reviewing these!  We use them and are very happy with them – but we use gmd prefolds instead of the gcloth (sometimes I use the bio or gcloth inserts when dd is wearing something that needs a trimmer fit) and have never had leaking problems.  We also used the nb tiny g’s which were very affordable for a nb cover and came in a set of 12 which was nice bc that nb poop tends to get everywhere!

  • Aimee Rose Formo

    I was surprised to read that the disposable inserts are such a contentious issue in the cloth diapering world–this never would have occurred to me.  I started using gdiapers with cloth and assumed that those who are seeking out a cloth option would do the same and bypass the flushable inserts altogether. 

    I’ve tried AIOs and other cloth options and my husband, who is the resident changer, refuses to use them because they’re too much work to keep up, to wash and dry, etc.  I wish you’d tried and reviewed gPants with a cloth insert as part of your post, as this review paints a rather negative picture of them and I think they are an affordable and easy-to-use  option when used with cloth (I use prefolds, not the branded inserts).

    • Anonymous

      I also reviewed them with cloth inserts but not the branded ones.

      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone

  • It was good to see a video of a gDiaper being put on a baby.  It looks much easier than I’d imagined. I would be interested in seeing an actual gDiaper cloth insert and review at some point down the line.

    • Elyse Huey

      As someone that has never used the gDiaper cloth inserts (I used some cloth inserts I made at home) I’d be interested in seeing a review on their cloth inserts as well since I’ve heard mixed reviews.  I’d also love to see a comparison between that and several other cloth inserts in a gDiaper since I know many families that use cloth in their gDiapers use other inserts.

  • Yara Aguilar

    I’m glad you reviewed gdiapers.  They are the only reason I tried cloth diapers.  One day when my daughter needed diapers, whole foods was out of her regular, chlorine free disposable diapers, so I grabbed a pack of gdiapers (after a store employee assured me I could return them if I hated them).  Half way through the first pack of flushable liners, a (cloth diaper using/non judging) friend pointed out that I was washing diapers, and it wouldn’t be a big leap to also wash the insert instead of buying more flushables (this was also in 2006 when they had just gotten started & at this point it wasn’t as easy to find the inserts) so off I went to her house to look at cloth diapers.  We realized a hemp baby kicks in medium would fit nicely in the gpants I had, so I ordered a few of those & began our cloth diaper journey. Between that point and having our third baby, I even sold my own cloth diapers online.  
    Without gdiapers, I wouldn’t have been able to save so much money cloth diapering my babies.  
    Also, I did use them when we traveled, once to Hawaii (I wish I had a picture of our gpants hanging in the bathroom of the Ritz Carlton to dry) and once to Guatemala where I took both gdiapers & flip hybrids; the latter were a horrible mess just getting through airport security.  I also took a bunch of flats and a few of the gdiaper cloth inserts in case baby got sick & needed more changes than expected. 

    • Anonymous

      Thank you! That was really cool to read 🙂

  •  I just recently had my first experience with gDiapers.  I like them but probably won’t use them regularly because they do take a few more steps than an easy AIO 🙂

  • Katja

    Hi Kim,
    We love G Diapers but already need XL-and this size is not available in Europe! Can’t understand the UK Gnappy Folks why they do not stock XL:-(
    GDiapers.com does not ship to Europe.
    Maybe do you know somebody who would ship some XL Pants to Europe/Switzerland?
    Have a great day,
    Katja

  • Elyse Huey

    I <3 gDiapers.  I've used them for over a year on my toddler who is now 2.5 and my baby who is now not such a baby at 15mos.  We decided to stick with one system and I like the option of using flushable inserts when life gets crazy (beach trips, moving, sitters that "don't do cloth").  90% of the time we use cloth inserts and I usually just change the whole set.  If just the insert is wet — which is usually the case — I put the insert in the diaper pail and let the cover + liner air out on the changing pad so its ready to be stuffed for the next diaper change.  Its really simple.  My husband finds the gDiapers far easier to stuff than our pocket diapers too because there is no sleeve for his massive hands to squeeze in to.
    When I was hand washing I found it to be a great system too.  About 50% of the time I would wash the gPants and liners with our other laundry in the coin-operated machines.  This plus the fact that I didn't have to use a new cover with every change really cut down on the amount of diaper laundry I had to hand wash.  I also found the gPants and liners cleaned more easily than the pocket covers we have.

  • Melissa C

    I love how trim the gDiapers with the flushable inserts are (never had an issue with the toilet) and have even composted a bit with the wet ones.  I love how soft the gCloth inserts are and how well they hold up in the wash without stinking.  My son was a very heavy wetter so just the one cloth did not do the trick, but as we got into cloth diapers more heavily, often used the gCloths as a slim stay-dry doubler which worked really well.  

    Now we are expecting baby #2 and I am very excited to try the newborn covers.  I ended up not using the gDiapers much as my son got older except for travel or to have an extra cover with pre-folds stashed in various places for an emergency, but my husband uses them exclusively when he is on diaper duty.  I think a newborn gDiap with a flushable insert will be our new baby’s first diapers until the meconium passes to make cleanup easier.  We are also using a birthing center that is over 2 hours from our home, so we will essentially be traveling for the first few days to a week or so of the new one’s life without reliable access to a good washer/dryer.  

    Thanks for the review!

     

  • Amber

    Just wondering if these are the only diaper covers that close in the back. Do you know of other cloth diapers that fasten in the back? Thanks.

    • kimrosas

      No I don’t know of any, but some cloth diapers will work backwards….