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Thread: Now That Plastic Depends Are Gone

  1. #1

    Default Now That Plastic Depends Are Gone

    Do you think that the pendulum that has slowly swung in the direction of cloth-like could start to slowly swing back to plastic?

    Was the loss of plastic Depends the wake up call the industry needed?

    I apologize for not being as active as I once was, school can keep you incredibly busy. I also apologize for bringing attention to relatively old news but when I got wind of it,I felt heartbroken.

    Plastic backed adult diapers have been dying a slow and painful death, but could now be the time the pendulum starts to swing back in the other direction? Let me show you what I mean.

    Here, check this out:

    That is the Walmart page for the new Depends diaper. First off, notice the shady way Kimberly Clark rolled out this change. Notice how the product picture looks deceptively like the old version. The actual packing is the same or similar from what I've heard. There was also little to no advance warning that I'm aware of.

    Now look at the reviews and general reception.

    Pretty damning, isn't it?

    97 1 star reviews

    16 2 star reviews

    15 3 star reviews

    38 4 star reviews

    93 5 star reviews

    At best the reception to the new and "improved" (/sarcasm) Depends is at best, polarizing and extremely mixed and at worst, almost universally negative

    Most of the reviews are coming from active users who need them and caregivers, not just the AB/DL crowd.

    So the industry has slowly shifted towards breathable backing and some people like breathable products, and they work for some people, but definitely not for everyone.

    Could this be the wake up call that helps us realize what we've lost now that it's gone?

    Depends were never the best diapers in the world, they were out performed by what some would consider mid range but not quite premium brands like Tranquility. However, for me, and quite a few others, they were more effective at what they were designed to do than what people give them credit for.

    So, without further ado, I present a few solutions that not just KC but also other adult diaper companies could implement to alleviate this dilemma.

    1. Bring back the old style and replace the new breathable style - The only problem with this solution is that it would make fans of the old product happy, but risk alienating people who liked the new version and believe it works for them.

    2. Bring back the old style alongside the new style with redesigned and clearly labeled packaging to avoid confusion on what consumers are buying. - This option offers maximum choice and makes as many consumers happy as possible, fans of the old style are happy, fans of the new style are not alienated in the process.

    3. Look to the Bambino Hybrid diaper and the long defunct Provider's Choice Active Ultra for inspiration. Work out a way to design a hybrid diaper that provides the benefits of cloth-like with the benefits of plastic. Add strong velcro tabs and a preferably non-breathable landing zone which the tabs can stick to while the rest of the diaper has a traditional poly backing. Also adding more padding in the wings couldn't hurt to offer more protection for side sleepers like myself. Breathability and audio discretion will need to be sacrificed in order to ensure an adequate level of odor control and side leak protection.

    4. Add a landing zone to the old style plastic diapers which should help to address the complaints over the lack of adjustability of the tabs and ripping of the plastic.

    5. Look to Japan for inspiration. Based on what people who have tried Japanese brands say, our friends in the land of the rising sun seem to have figured out how to make cloth-like work for adult products about as well as it does for baby products. I wouldn't mind an all cloth-like market if NA and EU and elsewhere if they simply followed Japan's example.

    So is this the start of the pendulum reversing course? or is this the final nail in the plastic coffin?

    If the latter is the case, I may deal with the extra expenses of buying from AB/DL companies or just switch to old school reusable cloth diapers and just deal with the extra work of washing them.

    So what are your thoughts?

  2. #2


    Give up on cheaped out medical diapers altogether and only buy from ABDL quality makers is my opinion.

    Once they start cheapening out it is highly doubtful they will invest in making their products better sorry to say.

    Of course if you like cloth use those too as they seem less likely to be ruined by a corporation.

  3. #3


    I don't think there is any chance they will go back to plastic backed.... its cheaper to have universal matirials so they can borrow matirial accross their lines (you'll notice depends uses pullup covers for their depends if you look closely you see little stars when the brief gets wet) Click image for larger version. 

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    Also depends long gave up on their brief line awhile ago, getting stingier with the absorbent area in the front and back (especially in the back) messing mid production with tapes, sending out many batches of briefs with tapes cut badly.

  4. #4


    So there's no chance the pendulum could reverse course? despite the universally negative reception from users and caregivers? That's discouraging. I still hold out hope that in a decade or two some new technology will produce a more advanced, possibly biodegradeable, cheaper to product plastic, and the technology will get cheaper over time, also with new manufacturing technologies like 3D printing and nanofabrication either backing should be cheaper to produce and maybe then in either of those circumstances the pendulum should begin to change course. I guess for now I'll have to stick to the few medical companies left that offer a plastic option, Abena, Molicare, etc. Maybe try out Bambino's Total Dry product line. I think the other AB/DL Companies could make an alienated consumer base very happy by offering their own medical oriented line of products. Imagine if ABU or Tykables/Snuggies produce a separate medical line. Until then, I may just stock up from AB/DL companies and the few medical companies that haven't alienated customers like me just yet. Maybe switch to reusable cloth, or some combination of both.

  5. #5


    Depends has made it clear time and again they don't give a hoot about the wearers or the product particularly briefs... the only way to send a message to them would be not to by and their only reply would be simillar to their old undergarment and boost pad reply... removing the product.

    The other companies have gotten pretty comfy using prevail who seems to be pretty successful with their cloth back line ( which is actually not as bad as some people say, you can stuff it pretty well and elf works well.

  6. #6


    I have Angelfluff U-3 contours and super heavyweight nite diapers with bloomers as a fall back, I tend to hold all cloth when I have more mobility issues, for dispes my insurance provides 3 cases of ATN'S, that is my basic level of protection for traveling I have Northshore Supremes provided for long trips. Therefor my extra cash gets spent on radios and the latest greatest ABDL for me to play in.
    Tranquility is the best insurance provided diaper and with 96 diapers in a case(Just shy of 300 hundred diapers a month) I give all my extras away in the ABDL community so people who dont have any diaper funds or Web use can still have a case or two of a midrange diaper to play in.
    If Depend was really interested in the US market they would bring out the European product here and call it a day, a successfull day, since there last "improvement" they have success in causing harm to there subscribed customers who are now asking people like me on like 20 other communities " how do I keep my Dad/Mom dry for longer than an hour" I send them to XP and Northshore with the knowledge that they will get a full nights rest, people come back and are so happy to have a choice and are amazed at the quality they can get for just a little more than the Depends service. I'm a people person and know if my mom was alive still I would not put her in depend.

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

  7. #7


    Fair enough, I have heard some people say some pretty good things about the plastic Prevail IB diapers, the plastic Invacare Value Diapers, Wings diapers seem ok, Subjectively, there still seem to be some ok medical brands that offer plastic options that will likely be better than Depends. I wonder how good the XP Medical A+ are? Might try those as well as Northshore Supreme.

  8. #8


    Unfortunately I'm not talking the first quality IB breifs (which prevail acquired awhile back, luckily they haven't changed them though, they also don't advertise them on their site either) the vast majority of the ones they make for others like cvs and walmart are based on their per fit and stretch fit briefs. The Per fits are meh, not the worst ever but also not great either can be used fairly effectively for moderate incontinence, wouldn't be the most fun for heavy diarrhea days. The stretch fit which walmart just switched to as the one they have in stores is horrid as its almost in possible to get a good leakless fit.

  9. #9


    As I am disabled I have used the Invacare ones they aren't the best but are far from the worst, they are supposedly made by Molicare ( my bed,mattress ,my nightstand, my tray table, and the wheelchair I just junked are from Invacare, a subsidiary of Baxter Pharmaceutical) located in Elyria Ohio but everything is made someplace in China or Korea and just shipped from Ohio

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

  10. #10


    I also heard the medline protection plus diapers are decent, and I mostly heard good things about the tapes on breathable Prevail products and how their ELF system seems to work better than most other velcro systems in terms of sticking and maintaining fit. I saw a lot complaints about the velcro tapes on the new Depends not sticking at all or very well and the fit loosening very easily.

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