This is my first post on ADISC and I created an account just so I could share my experiences shopping at agecomfort.com. I would have posted in an existing thread but all of the relevant ones are closed so here's a new one. After trying some Depends last summer in the privacy of my own home I decided that while I was away at school this year I wanted to try something better and quickly settled on an Abena M4. Living at School I have to get parcels from the front desk, which means there is lots of opportunity for embarrassment, since the desk is staffed by fellow students.
Looking online, there are plenty of great retailers of Abena products in the US, but since someone else will be looking closely at my mail I couldn't have any customs labels. This left Canadian retailers, and the usual markups. I was ready to spend over $60 CAD on a single bag of M4 diapers when I discovered agecomfort.com. The cost for bag was $28 CAD, with $10 CAD Canada Post shipping. Cases were $67 with free shipping, but since I wasn't sure of sizing and don't know how fast I'll use them, I decided to just go with the bag.
I ordered using a prepaid VISA, and went with the Original style, not the Air ones which they also offer. Since I ordered on the weekend, I expected them to arrive Tuesday and checked my mailbox frequently, looking for the paper telling me to get my mail at the desk. Sure enough at the end of the day they had been dropped off, quite reasonable for a major center. The only identifying mark was the shipper on the label "Agecomfort.com" and their address. I expected this, and came prepared with an example should anything come up. While I was looking into their history to ensure I wasn't about to get ripped off, I discovered that agecomfort is a division of Busy Bee Tools, and then if anyone asked I could simply say I ordered tools and it must have been fulfilled by them. Even the tracking e-mail from Canada Post showed the package being shipped by Busy Bee Tools - Age Comfort, further backing up my story if it came to it.
Going to pick up my box, I simply acted normal and no questions were asked. I couldn't wait to try one on, but my roommate and upcoming class prevent my from tearing open the box right away. Instead, when my roommate was eating I opened the box. I was surprised at the size of the bag itself, even though there are less in a bag then the Depends the bag is much bigger. Pulling one diaper out at first I though I had grabbed two, it was just that thick.
Locking the door to the washroom, I stripped off my jeans and wrapped the diaper around me. The plastic crinkled slightly, but once it warmed up it was basically silent. Pulling my jeans over the diaper it was definitely taller than the waistband, but by tucking my shirt in and wearing a sweater noting was visible. Once the diaper warmed up and became more flexible, the shape was invisible under my pants unless someone was looking for it, but I knew it was there!
One of the good things about living in the north is the bulky clothes and early sunsets, and I decided to put my new Abena to the test. Confident nobody would notice my diaper when I was wearing a coat that covered the top half of my butt, I decided to go out in a diaper for the first time. WHen making this decision I was determined not to waste the diaper bu not wetting it, so I quickly drank a can of Pepsi. While I was doing this my roommate returned, but since I knew he would be back I already had my coat on and another can of pop and a garbage bag in my pockets, ready to go. I just sat at my desk as he walked by, and checked my e-mail until he had sat down at his desk, at whch point I got up and left.
Although I had never been out in public in a diaper, I planned my strategy to test the diaper. I started by heading to Wal-Mart, since I needed to get batteries anyways. This meant taking the bus, and I enjoyed the padding under my bum on the relatively hard seats. At this point I started to get worried that one of the lower tapes had come loose, so while I was in the store I checked it in the washroom. False alarm, it was just not a tight as the other side, but the top tapes were holding well, a good fit for a first time. I found what I needed and checked out in a few minutes, the diaper still dry.
At this point I was beginning to feel the need to go, and decided to open the can of pop I had brought with me. Draining it quickly I decided that to test the diaper, I would take one bus across town, and another back, about an hour each way. Since the buses run frequently, I could go back at any time by just getting off and crossing the street, and there are lots of places to remove the diaper if needed. It was while waiting at the crowded bus stop that I first started to wet, and I sat down to better use the padding and reduce the chance of leaks. I was impressed with how well the diaper held to begin, giving me the confidence to keep going.
I had to take one bus a few blocks to switch to the crosstown stop, and did so with no consequence. I knew that as long as I looked like nothing was up nobody would suspect anything unusual. While waiting for the second bus I wet again, another good go and the diaper was just getting started. I could feel the SAP between my legs swelling, but there was lots remaining at the front and back so I was comfortable getting on the crosstown bus.
On the crosstown, the bus was already well loaded but I got the last pair of open seats and sat next to the window. A few stops later someone sat next to me, and while he was there I actually began to doze off a bit. After he left I moved seats, sitting right at the back. I had a growing urge to go, and I usually have no trouble doing so sitting down, but the vibrations of the bus and the tightness of the swelling diaper made it tricky and I couldn't manage. I focused elsewhere, and after another 40 minutes the ride was over.
Waiting in the small shelter for the bus back I found myself alone and decided to go for another wetting. Flooding the diaper as quickly as I could while sitting in it, I could feel the wetness against my skin for a minute until the diaper absorbed it. Everything was good by the time the bus got back, and luckily this bus took a more direct route back to the transfer point. At this point I could barely cross my legs, and when I did I could feel the SAP clump and squish between my thighs. After a 45 minute trip back I was at the transfer for the short bus back to my room, and while waiting I gave one more good wetting.
Since I wasn't sure my roommate would be able to ignore a soaked diaper 5 feet away, I went straight into the public washroom to dispose of the diaper. When the washroom emptied I tore the tabs free. They had held well, and the plastic tore when I pulled them off, a secure fit. The diaper was soaked most of the way up the front but not far up the back, I probably could have done one more wetting standing/sitting and than another If I lay down, but 4 was enough for one night. I put the diaper into a garbage bag I brought and threw it in the trash after tying it shut.
Overall, I was happy with the performance of the plastic backed Abena M4. While indoors and wearing a coat, the plastic did get a bit sweaty underneath, but once outside I could feel it dry quickly. The diaper was nearly invisible under jeans when dry, and after 4 good wettings I could feel it tight in the crotch but not terribly visible. I think I will try this again sometime, possible going for a ride on my bike sometime as well since I shouldn't be close to anyone long enough for them to notice what I was wearing.
In conclusion, I found agecomfort.com to be a great source of Abena diapers for Canadians. I will also send them an e-mail requesting Dry 24/7s, since I wouldn't mind trying them in the future. My advice to those scared of being caught is to take reasonable precaution and do your research, but when it comes to the actual event act normally and confidently, nobody will suspect anything unusual unless you give them reason to. I realize that wearing a diaper may seem screaming obvious when you can feel it with every step but as I'm sure others can attest to, act normally and the fact that you're wearing a diaper will be the last thing an anyone's mind.