After much searching of ADISC and the internet in general, I found very few reviews of the Abena Delta-Form M3, and even fewer pictures. I really wanted to find more information (especially photos) before I went and bought a case, but... I took the plunge anyways. I thought I'd share some information, since it is lacking.
The Abena Delta-Form is reportedly manufactured on old Abena Abri-Form equipment. These diapers are designated with numbers 1-3, with 1 being the least absorbent and 3 being the most. Sizes are indicated with S, M, L, or XL. I am reviewing the M3 diaper.
As shown above, the Abena Delta-Form M3 is most similar to the Abena Abri-Form X-Plus in padding coverage. Please note, however, that the padding coverage of a Delta-Form L3 is actually more similar to an Abena Extra, which has less padding in the front 'wings' of the diaper. For a photo of the large size, see: http://www.dailydiapers.com/content/...picture_id=482
The plastic shell of the Delta-Form is extremely soft and smooth--the most comfortable that I have tried. The plastic is definitely thinner (but more supple) than that of a Bambino. It is also smoother than the last case of Abena X-Pluses that I purchased--however, these were ordered in February 2009 and I've heard that the X-Plus (aka M4) now have thinner, softer plastic. I think this is an improvement, since it is more comfortable and I have not yet had a problem with this plastic ripping or splitting unexpectedly.
Another thing of note: the plastic of the medium Delta-Form is a nice, bright sky blue (wearers of the large size should make note that those diapers are colored green.) Appearance-wise, I think it's great and it's one of the reasons I wanted to try these diapers. And as shown, this diaper has much less writing than an X-Plus. There are two yellow stripes (the wetness indicator) with 'M3' printed between them. This is printed in a blue ink and does not stand out.
Bambino vs. Abena Delta-Form M3
As far as thickness is concerned, the M3 is roughly on-par with a Bambino ('fraid I don't have any X-Pluses on hand to compare with). Both diapers are fresh from half-empty packs, meaning that they've both had time to decompress a bit. It's hard to capture on camera, but going by feel, I'd say that the M3 is slightly thicker than the Bambino.
The M3 uses the same 2-tape design as the X-Plus. However, these tapes seem better than those of the X-Plus (keeping in mind, again, that I last used X-Pluses in early 2009). The 1st blue tape holds well, just as it did with the old X-Plus. The change comes with the 2nd white tape. These tapes, when refastened to either the blue tape or the diaper plastic, tended to come undone on the old X-Plus. Not so with these new tapes; I've really been impressed with how well they stay in place. I've had no issues so far with tapes coming unstuck or with the tape tabs breaking off of the diaper. Of course, if you stick the white tapes to the plastic cover, you're going to rip the cover a little when you go to change, but... I'd rather this than having tapes come undone unexpectedly.
Having used both diapers, the Delta-Form M3 performs roughly on-par with--but not quite as well as--an Abri-Form X-Plus. Like the Abri-Form line, it has a higher pulp content than other premium diapers (such as Bambino and Secure X-Plus), which aids in wicking wetness throughout the diaper's padding. I find that the padding is fully utilized before a change is necessary, as long as one does not wet in large floods.
A look at XP Medical's test (Adult Diaper Review and Testing) shows that the M3 is only 3 ounces less absorbent than the X-Plus. However, this test also reveals that the Delta-Form suffers from more press-out than the Abri-Form X-Plus. This reduces the useful capacity of the Delta-Form, unless you really don't mind having some wetness squish out when you sit down. I find that I need to change just a bit sooner with the Delta-Form than with the Abri-Form. However, the difference isn't that dramatic--I was worried it would be, but the Delta-Form is far from a leaky diaper. It is every bit as high-quality as one would expect from Abena.
Buying per case with free shipping at XP Medical, a Delta-Form M3 costs $1.22 per diaper, while an Abri-Form X-Plus costs $1.38 per diaper.
Since the Delta-Form is Abena's budget line, a few 'cutbacks' have been made to the diaper:
-the rear waistband has been removed; I have not found this to be a problem
-according to XP Medical measurements, it is slightly thinner than the Abri-Form X-Plus (0.4" vs. 0.5" when dry)
-it is slightly less absorbent
These changes result in a savings of 16 cents per diaper for the medium size--not huge, but if you buy a lot of diapers, it does add up.
Despite the fact that it is Abena's budget line, the Delta-Form M3 is worthy of being called a premium diaper. It is slightly less absorbent than its closest 'relative,' the Abri-Form X-Plus, but it is also slightly cheaper. However, the savings probably won't make much of a difference unless one goes through a lot of diapers. So why would anyone (who's not 24/7 or at least a nightly wearer) want to buy these instead of the X-Plus? For me, it's down to appearance and personal preference.
Although the Bambino is arguably the ultimate premium *B-oriented diaper, I have always found Abena diapers to be more comfortable and to have a better fit. However, the writing made them look very medical; it's easily overlooked when one's pants are on, but still... it's nice to have the option of having a relatively writing-free Abena. And did I mention that I really, really like the blue color?