Someone posted a short blurb in another thread about what they would change on a diaper. I thought it would be a fun exercise to imagine what the ideal diaper would be. Of course, this is going to vary from person to person and maybe even situation to situation. Here are a few things to consider:
Outer cover-some like plastic and some like the cloth-like. There are many kinds of plastic though. Depends and Attends have a thin, crinkly plastic; Molicare is all but silent; and Abena is somewhere in between. There is the relatively thin plastic of Abena and Molicare and the thick plastic of Bambinos.
Color-Some diapers are white and others are blue, green, pink, or purple. Some have prints and others don't.
Tapes-How many? Resealable (Depends claims to be resealable; Abena, Molicare, and others have a double tape system that actually is resealable)? Colored tapes?
Filling-Every diaper has a balance between fluff and gel. Fluff is designed to absorb. Gel is designed to wick. More fluff means more capacity; more gel means the diaper absorbs faster, keeps you drier, and is less likely to have a press out effect. There is also a clumping problem in some diapers.
Inner layer-There is also the issue of the layer that holds the fluff in.
Some diapers are plain on the inside. Some are quilted and some have an "acquisition layer." Some diapers have a medicated inner layer, typically with aloe.
Capacity and thickness-A diaper that holds a lot is not always the best. I like a thick diaper as much as the next guy, but if I only have a few hours from the time I get home to the time I take a shower, then I will almost never use an entire super thick diaper. To put this in perspective, an Abena Super holds 50 ounces, an Abena X-plus holds 75, an attends with waistband holds 18. There is also the issue of discreteness.
Waistbands, leg gather, and leak guards-Some don't enjoy waistband, some like them in the back, and some like them all around. Likewise for leg gather; some are elastic and some are not. As for leak guard, some stand up and others don't. Other diapers don't have them at all.
Wings-Some diapers are T-shaped. Most have wings on the front and back.
Scent and odor control-Most adult diapers are not scented. Most also have odor control. Some people like scents and other worry about it giving them away. Most diaper caim to have odor control technology, but some people enjoy the odor of a well-used diaper.
So if you could design the perfect diaper, based on these and other features, what would it be?
I'll start with mine.
Cover-I like plastic covers, preferably quiet, but I'd like to to have a sturdier plastic as well. Something along the lines of the Bambino. I find it more babyish.
Color and print-I like the idea of a colored diaper, but all the adult diapers that have colors have lousy colors. I'd like a bag of mixed colors: baby blue, baby pink, and white. Emphasis on the "baby" shades of these colors. I also like a printed waist band, with cartoon characters from my youth: TMNT, Tiny Toons, Care Bears.
Tapes-I like two tapes. The third seems superfluous when the tapes are well made. I'd like them wider and clear. I also want double tapes, like Abena.
Filling-I like a moderate layer of gel with a thick layer of fluff underneath followed by another layer of gel. I'm not sure what could help the clumping issue, but at least the gel on top will keep the wetness away from my skin and the thick fluff will hold alot. The gel on bottom would prevent pooling and leaks better than the fluff being right up against the outer layer. A sixty ounce capacity would be ideal, especially if there were more fluff than in other diaper. This would be thick, which I like, but I'd still get my money's worth. And I like the feeling of a very wet diaper, especially if it gets a little saggy.
Inner layer-I like a thick inner layer. The Abena inner becomes see-through once it's used. I'd prefer it didn't. I think this would also help with the issue of the fluff falling to the bottom when it gets saturated. I don't care for the quilted sheet, but I like them to be medicated. I'd medicate with Desitin and aloe. I alos like the acquisition layer. Sometimes those are blue, sometimes not. I'd prefer a colored acquisition layer, the opposite color of the outer cover: baby blue/baby pink or vice versa.
Capacity and Thickness-Sixty ounces, very thick.
Waistband, leg gather, and leak guards-I like a waistband in the back. It makes it somewhat adjustable, but I think a waistband all the way around makes it hard to get it as tight as I'd like it sometimes. I think the leg gathers in the Abena are perfect; they give some room to move without the diaper shifting back and forth because it doesn't have a hold on you legs. I like standing leak guards. In my perfect diaper, there would be leak guards on the side and also on the wings, the front and the back. These are the place people seem to leak most, and the only places I ever leak.
Wings-I like them on both the front and back. The single biggest improvement I think any diaper can make: absorbent material in the wings extended far enought that they would overlap when taped (or leace no more than an inch of bare plastic). This is where I typically leak, especially when lying down. I think this would stop 70%-90% of leaks.
Scent and odor control-I like odor control. As much as I find the smell of a wet or dirty diaper babyish, too much of a good thing is a stinky thing. As for scent, I love, love the smell of pampers from back in the day.
That's my perfect diaper. What's yours?