OK, I decided to give the "New Diaper" one last chance, and was much happier the second time.
I've given the key features scores out of 20, and a "perfect score" would equal my reference diaper, the Abena M4 with plastic backing. So, more than a "perfect score" is possible.
Here's what I came up with:
Usability: (Could you use it everyday?) 15/20
In terms of usability, these diapers are not practical. The padding in the crotch is WAY to wide. This isn't too much of an issue when dry. When it gets wet, however, it will cause you to waddle around to cope with mass of material between your legs. It's also not very discrete when wet. Due to the close tapes, it tends to sag uncontrollably under the weight of wetness.
However, if you are using it for AB/DL, like it's designed to be, this diaper is great, and the two issues I mentioned, actually become benefits. The printed tape panel also helps to enhance the wearing experience, making it look and feel like a 90's baby diaper.
Overall, really great for AB/DL, which is the intention. However, not really good for everyday wearing outside the house.
Absorbency: (How much moisture can it take down?) 25/20
"Hey, you gave it more than 20..." I know. But I've never experienced absorbency even close to this, and if an Abena M4 is my reference diaper, this deserves the extra points. It just doesn't say "No!". I would gauge the capacity at about 1.5 times that of the M4, leaning towards more possibly! When it finally began to leak out the leg holes, it was up to about 6-7 pounds! Which works out to nearly 1 gallon of water, in terms of weight. So, their claim about it ranking well, or possibly better than the Fabine, is confirmed.
It also didn't press out too much afterwards, all things considered.
So on the absorbency scale, it's as close to perfect as I've ever seen!
Durability: (How well does it hold up while wearing?) 13/20
One thing hurts the overall score quite badly: the tapes.
The first of my samples did have some pin-holes, the second didn't. That may have been just a bad one, but they BOTH had tape issues.
On both samples, the tapes just simply sucked. You could see them slowly pulling off the plastic backing while wearing. Luckily, my second one didn't completely fall apart before I was done with it, but both top tapes were quite close.
Sucky tapes are always a huge let-down, and deal breaker for most.
Comfort: (How comfortable is it to wear?) 16/20
The "New Diaper" is pretty comfy to wear. One issue I have with it is; when it's dry the crotch material doesn't horseshoe the right way. When wet, it pushes itself out flat, anyway, whether your legs like it or not.
However, it is quite nice to wear. The plastic backing is good, but does rub on your inner thighs a bit. If you're going to be wearing this diaper, though, you're not going to be running in any marathons anyway.
In terms of comfort, you'll almost forget you're wearing it... other than the crotch material big too thick.
Wicking: (Sure, you've got great absorbency, but how well do you make use of it?) 6/20
Wow... I mean wow. There's really no other way of saying it. This diaper wicks about as well as a piece of paper, maybe worse...
Now, I was able to get amazing absorbency out of this diaper, but I had to use a few techniques to do so. First, I had to start pointed "up", which actually produced a leak out the left leg hole on the first wetting! After that, I pointed "down", but unfortunately, neither the front nor back padding was fully saturated. I even began leaning back as far as possible in my chair, to give it a helping hand against gravity, but even then, the rear padding was only 50% utilized. With an M4 and a slight recline, the back padding will become up to about 95% utilized. Upon removal, the front padding was only about 70% utilized also. The problem I have with this, is that the crotch area will literally be "swimming", when the diaper should be able to pull the moisture away.
Maybe wicking is not that important on the AB/DL side of things, but because of it, the experience is constantly interrupted. I was finding myself checking for leaks every wetting after the crotch padding began to give that "squish" that usually tells you, "Change now, or you'll be sorry!"
Unfortunately, saying this diaper is terrible at wicking is an understatement.
Overall: (Would AbenaLeaf switch to this diaper?) 75/100
Overall, I did like this diaper. It has some amazing strengths, but also some pretty serious weaknesses. Despite the weaknesses, it is worth the price. I would, however, never choose this over the Abena M4.
The tapes would have to be the biggest downfall, despite the abysmal wicking performance.
Even though, I would still say, go ahead and pick some up. But keep in mind, Bambino's sizing has changed. I would consider myself with a 31 inch waist, in about the middle of the spectrum of a medium. If you have a 36 or so waist, you might find that large will work better.
I would consider buying this diaper again after they fix the tape problems. Until then, I may purchase another sample pack, as I would only use them for special occasions, really.
Either way, purchase a sample pack before you go for any larger amounts.
I will post some photos of it compared to an M4 shortly.