The Bambino Bellissimo is a thicker and higher capacity product from Bambino than its other diapers, with a different print. Originally released in 2011, it previously differed slightly in fit from Bambino's other products, but by the current revision appears to be roughly the same in dimensions save for being noticeably thicker. The most recent changes happened in the second half of 2014, following an incident where a batch of the previous version was manufactured with the print upside down.
I am reviewing the medium size Bambino Bellissimo as shipped in November 2014. The medium size is listed as fitting waists of 32"-44", the large size is listed as fitting 45"-60", and the extra-large size is listed as fitting 59"-65".
Appearance, Size, and Features
The Bambino Bellissimo has a printed front landing zone printed with a repeating pattern of cute images on a blue background, and is otherwise solid white. The pattern is easily the most colorful of those on Bambino products, and the only which gives a solid print across the landing zone instead of just a repeating pattern against the white of the diaper.
Front and Back of Folded Diaper, Respectively
To test their dry thickness, I stacked three diapers on top of each other and placed a heavy book on top of them, and measured their height. Together, the 3 diapers had a height of approximately 11.2 cm (4.4 in). Thus, the dry thickness of a single folded diaper is 3.7 cm (1.5 in).
This diaper really is noticeably thicker than the Bambino Classico both by eye and when held, and feels unusually thick for a diaper generally. By my measurements, the dry thickness of the Bellissimo is about 20% greater than a Classico.
3 Diapers Stacked
The Bambino Bellissimo uses the conventional double tape design seen on most adult diapers. The tapes have a blue tip without adhesive to pull on. Bambino advertises their tapes as being refastenable, but I have never had much luck with getting them to stick well on a second try. They are fairly typical tapes for diapers using adhesive tapes on a landing zone.
The plastic backing is the same as on other Bambino products, and similarly changed with this revision of the diaper. It is noticeably thicker and more rigid than on previous Bambino diapers, and feels very smooth with an oily-like texture. It crinkles a bit, but is not notably crinkly.
The inside of the diaper is all white, and the padding is arranged in an hourglass shape that is wider in the back than the front. The padding is soft with a fluffy texture. The diaper has standing leak guards and an elastic waistband in the front and back.
Front and Back of Unfolded Diaper
With the diaper outstretched, it measures 70 cm (27.4 in) in length, 64 cm (25.2 in) in width at the wings, 31 cm (12.1 in) in width at the center, and 23.0 cm (9.0 in) in width between the leak guards.
Performance and Fit
To test the capacity of this diaper quantitatively, I ran a test to simulate use. I put a diaper on and then repeatedly poured water into the front of it in 100 mL increments and sitting down in a chair for 30 seconds each time to give the diaper a chance to absorb the liquid, pace the process, and see if it would leak when sitting. After 1300 mL of water, I noticed wetness around the leg cuffs. At 1500 mL, I felt like I was sitting in a pool, but it was not yet leaking. At 1700 mL, one of the upper tapes started pulling, and at 1800 mL, it popped off. At 1900 mL of water, the diaper began to leak on my chair, and I ended the test.
Having recently tested the Bambino Classico, it is clear that the Bellissimo is a higher-capacity diaper than other Bambino products. It swelled larger and managed to hold out much longer when the bottom padding started filling up. It did have some issues with wicking quickly; for the last several hundred milliliters, I felt like I was sitting in water, and that water wasn't noticeably being absorbed over 30 second increments.
Really, the diaper failed before it reached capacity, because its tapes started failing before that point. The diaper was so swollen and stretched underneath the tape that it gave out. It has been my experience with high-capacity diapers that they tend to hit walls like this, where they often fail less because they run out of capacity and more because the weight and bulk of the liquid causes other parts of the diaper to fail first.
The diaper started thicker than other diapers and finished thicker than other diapers. By the end of the test, it was getting difficult to put my legs together. After the test, I measured it and it had expanded to roughly 10.5 cm (4.1 in), about 3x its original size.
Dry Diaper Next to Full Diaper After Quantitative Test
To gather qualitative data for this review, I put on a fresh diaper and wore it while going about ordinary activities. The diaper lasted a total of 6.5 hours; I stopped the test because an upper tape starting popping at 6 hours and a lower tape had just torn. I had about 3 large wetting and some minor wettings, but did not flood the diaper; I think it could have taken one more large wetting, but the tapes were breaking because it was already very full. I have worn several of this version of the Bellissimo over the past month, and I would say that this is pretty typical with the tapes giving out before the diaper leaks, especially if you move around much when it gets close to full.
I have a 36" waist which puts me squarely within the size range for the medium, and there is no question that this is the right size for me. I have tried samples of the earliest previous versions, and had some issues with the different fit leading to suboptimal sealing around the legs, but with this version, the fact that it fits like other Bambino products has resolved that issue. The diaper comes up a bit shorter on me than most medium adult diapers, but I have had less of a problem with the newest versions of Bambino products sealing well at the top.
The tapes stuck well early and didn't really slide, but they clearly had problems by the time the diaper was close to full. With the front of the diaper stretched out from swell, I started to have problems with both the tapes popping from where they were stuck and with them tearing from the wings. Once popped, these tapes have very little adhesive left and it can be hard to get them to stick again even if all you do is sit down and stay still. It is worth noting that by the time it reached this point, the diaper was already holding more than many other "premium" adult diapers do.
There's some irony in dwelling on the tapes here because I actually think the tapes have improved a bit relative to the previous version of Bambino products. Nonetheless, the tapes still ended up being a frequent fail point on the higher-capacity product.
Price and Final Thoughts
I purchased these diapers from bambinodiapers.com at 91.72 USD for a case of 48, including shipping to the US. This comes to $1.91/diaper. This price is about 50 cents higher per diaper than other Bambino products, almost a 1/3 increase in price. It's more expensive than typical high-end, "premium" adult diapers, but not out of line for ABDL-specific diapers, and certainly the highest-capacity ABDL diaper you can buy without paying a whole lot more than that.
While you clearly get something for the price increase in terms of higher capacity versus the other Bambino products, it is not an increase that is proportionate to the change in price. There are other aspects about the Bellissimo which may move the needle for some ABDLs, in that it has a unique print, is bulkier, and has the ability to swell more than most other diapers.
If you are strapped for cash, I would say that the other Bambino products are better bargains and more typical of "premium" diapers. If you do not mind paying disproportionately more for a particularly thick and diaper with a bit more capacity, the Bellissimo is an attractive ABDL-specific option.