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Thread: M4 Quality Update: Looks like Abena's Kicking it up a Notch!

  1. #1

    Default M4 Quality Update: Looks like Abena's Kicking it up a Notch!

    Recently, there has been a lot of concerns brought up about plastic backed diapers.

    While it may be true that plastic backing will not be around for ever, most manufacturers still offer plastic backing in some form.

    There has also been bad news from Abena. The plastic backed "Comfort Line" was slated for extinction 1/1/12. Thanks to many concerned customers, that was not the case. Unfortunately, around that time, the quality of the "Comfort Line" was also noticeably worse.

    There was some speculation that this was a strategic move from Abena to switch people to the cloth backed "Air Plus". However, I did a little digging, and it turns out this was actually due to a switch of machines, and possibly raw material suppliers.

    The lower quality Abena's could be easily identified by the black Manufacturing Code on the back, but what was the problems with them?

    1) For one, the plastic backing was noticeably different. It was noisier, and thinner.
    2) The leak guards would fall apart after just a few hours if they got any sorts of lotions on them.
    3) The padding itself was thinner, and fell apart pretty easily. This affected the flooding capacity a bit also.
    4) The tapes were not as sticky, and on a few, fell off. There were also some that pulled off the wings.

    These were made from sometime in November on.

    So, recently, I received some new M4's, dated 2/16/12, and what a pleasant surprise, none of those issues were present at all...

    The first noticeable aspect was the tapes, they're much stronger.

    The plastic was still mostly the same, but I think it's quieter.

    There is also a noticeable smell of them, not bad, but different. The few I've tested seem to contain smells pretty well, though. The November/December M4's weren't as good, certainly.

    Another aspect that was clearly better was what Abena calls "Top Dry". With the November/December M4's, after a wetting or so, you did feel "wet". With these 2/16/12 M4's, "Top Dry" works amazingly well! The few I've tried were on the verge of leaking before it started to feel wet on the skin. Up to that point, it felt partially damp, even though almost all of the padding was almost completely soaked. This is what sets Abena apart from other diapers like Secures/Bambinos(which make your bottom half feel like it's in a swimming pool).

    Probably the worst thing about the M4's was the leak guards. They would fall apart very easily with any type of lotion. On these 2/16's, however, the leak guards have been 100% solid so far, even after a full night and several more hours (12+ total). That would simply not be possible for the November/December M4's with lotion.

    A nice surprise was absorbency. It seems to be 15-20% better. Wicking is also very good. Using the padding across the entire back of a 2/16 M4 before leaking a drop is entirely possible.

    So, there we are. These newer M4's (at least the one's I've just received) are amazing. They are just like the M4's from early/mid 2011. They are the quality that Abena is known for. Hopefully, this is what we can expect from them from now until the current Comfort Line is, in fact, discontinued. If it is, I'll be extremely happy, and if any of you were unhappy with the recent M4's, I would say give them another shot.

    I must say, I was worried that the M4 that I knew and loved was going to live out its remaining life in a shadow of its former glory, but it looks like it's back to the way it used to be...

    Absolutely brilliant!

  2. #2
    DrunknFox

    Default

    I had a feeling my January shipment of M4s felt... weaker.
    I used to be able to make them last, now its only one or two wettings before they're full.
    Good to hear they're back up to top-knotch quality!

  3. #3

    Default

    Wonderful! So, no need for searching for Rev.1 M4s anymore

    I had noticed the leak guards issue, both on Rev.1 and Rev.2, and it's good to know they've sorted it out.

    Looks like I have to blame someone for having made me panicbuying a truckload of M4s that are now outperformed by the currently sold ones... my bad for not listening to my instinct! Now I'll have to start wearing 24/7 for getting rid of them

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by quattrus View Post
    Now I'll have to start wearing 24/7 for getting rid of them
    Might as well enjoy them while we still have them.

    I've taken that approach lately. I've been using 3 to 4 M4's per day.

    Like I said though, hopefully they keep it up, and that was just a raw materials issue.

    ---------- Post added 27-03-2012 at 06:45 ---------- Previous post was 24-03-2012 at 21:46 ----------

    Bit of an update:

    Wore one to work yesterday..

    It was quieter, and stayed in place better. After about 20 total hours of wearing, 10 hours wet (fell asleep... what a tragic, tragic mistake that was.) the leak guards were still completely intact! WOW!!! After so many of the lesser quality M4's, I had expected the leak guards to be completely toasted. The padding itself also stayed together a little better.

    So far, so good.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbenaLeaf View Post
    It was quieter, and stayed in place better. After about 20 total hours of wearing, 10 hours wet (fell asleep... what a tragic, tragic mistake that was.) the leak guards were still completely intact! WOW!!! After so many of the lesser quality M4's, I had expected the leak guards to be completely toasted. The padding itself also stayed together a little better.
    Now I'm really curious to try them. I'mma send an e-mail to Oliver to be sure that the ones he's got in stock are the new M4s and then I'll order a case or two

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by quattrus View Post
    I'mma send an e-mail to Oliver to be sure that the ones he's got in stock are the new M4s and then I'll order a case or two
    ...and they tell me i need an intervention...

    Yea, if they're anything like what I got, you'll be happier for sure.

  7. #7

    Default Re:M4's

    I must have bought a bag of the first version. Though I'll try the revised batch. This was my first experience with them and I didn't like them. They felt great and had good absorbency, but didn't hold crap worth a crap. I know messing isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I don't do it all the time, but when I wan't to, I expect to diaper to do it's job. My daily diaper is the First Quality IB. It doesn't have inside leak guards but it does the job (as long as you don't flood and sit down) and they're cheap $8.00 for 16 and cheaper! If you're going to go all out, I'd go with the Eurobrief
    Just my

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sport View Post
    They felt great and had good absorbency, but didn't hold crap worth a crap.
    I have had the opposite experience with Abena. I find they are the only diaper that actually holds in a BM for me. I can fill them to the max and they hold great. I have tried a lot of other kinds of diapers and Abena is the only diaper that actually contains "everything" for me. They work great!

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by sport View Post
    I know messing isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I don't do it all the time, but when I wan't to, I expect to diaper to do it's job.
    Abena's are not the easiest diapers to tape.

    You may want to try adjusting your taping strategy, and I'd imagine you'll find they work quite well. I'll admit to messing here and there, and I've never had an issue, regardless of how full they were.

    If you want to give them another shot, try my taping guide for the Air-Plus. It's the same idea for the plastic version, also.

  10. #10

    Default

    Well I had a live chat with the people I'll be ordering off shortly here in Australia and apparently their Abenas are only cloth in the large and extra-large sizes. Medium and below are all plastic apparently. Wonder if that's related or that's just what they have left over...

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