I received this item free for review. All opinions remain my own.
I have always admired AMP diapers from afar: the ruffles at the leg and waist always seemed so adorable, but so different than what I had grown accustomed to in the brands that make up the majority of my stash. I’ve been using AMP hemp 3-ply inserts in all of my diapers as a booster, and especially overnight, but had yet to try the covers themselves. When the good folks at NatureBumz offered me my first AMP Duo to review, I finally got to test drive this very popular diaper. I also recently won a size 2 AppleCheeks cover (also my first of that brand), so I’ve found it helpful to be trying these two very similar brands at the same time.
- Trim and cute fit: There’s something irresistible about the way this diaper looks: I think it’s the ruffles! And yes, boys can rock them no problem. If you’re not having a no-pants party, then this diaper, even with the hemp trifold insert, is very trim. I would recommend this diaper especially for someone with a skinny baby who might be swimming in other one-size brands.
- Elasticity in the front: I didn’t realize I loved this until I understood it by reading a review at Padded Tush Stats. It helps with leaks for your tummy sleeper! (And it’s true, it does!)
- Made in Canada: Oh, Canada! I try to buy Canadian-made items as often as possible, and AMP manufactures in Winnipeg, MB. They are nonetheless competitively priced with other brands of similar reputation and quality.
- (Optional) Trifold insert: When I first started learning about cloth diapers, I found the fact that many brands sold their pocket covers and inserts separately to be insulting! I would see the price of a cover and forget to factor in the price of the insert, then get all discouraged. I’ve definitely changed my tune in two ways: one is that I fully appreciate the cost of a quality cloth diaper and its potential to save me money, the other is that I much prefer being able to buy the pocket and/or cover separately so I can choose my own insert. AMP offers a choice of bamboo or hemp trifolds, and, if I were to cloth diaper all over again (one can only dream), I’d choose only hemp trifolds! (Though my favorites remain Oko creations, as they are just a bit larger than AMP and manufactured even nearer to me. The fabric composition remains the same so you may find my review if those inserts helpful!)
- One-size convenience & savings: AMP does make sized covers that are the same style as their one-size duo, and very similar to AppleCheeks sizes 1 and 2. (AMP’s are smalls and larges.) I have always chosen one-size brands over sized, since it just makes economic sense. I think most families would do very well going the one-size route. That being said, if I were redoing my stash and could also know in advance that I’d have a 95th percentile child, I’d choose the two-size system!
- Pocket opening at the front: You inevitably have to touch pee when changing diapers, but the pocket opening in the front makes it a regular occurence. This is one major difference between AppleCheeks and AMPs: ACs have an opening in the middle. Honestly, middle isn’t necessarily better: if you have an HE washer and inserts don’t agitate out (like with mine), you’ve still got to fish out that insert. Overall I prefer an opening in the back. I found the insert didn’t consistently agitate out in my parents traditional top loader, while it did with my ACs. Since I have an HE at home, this is of little consequence to me!
- Insert size: As mentioned above, I’d choose my Oko inserts as they have different dimensions. (Oko’s are more square, AMP more rectangular.)
- Low rise for my big boy: Before I realized my son would be significantly bigger than average, I would never have thought I would want sized diapers. One-size diapers seemed so much more practical. However, at just 16 months, I feel like the one-size AMP is pretty small for him, so for babies on the larger end of the scale for height and weight, I would recommend the sized version.
- Not really effective as an AI2: Although the Duo is marketed as an AI2 (as in, you can lay the insert in the diaper and, when soiled, change only the insert), I find the fleece still gets moist and I’m not a fan of reusing the cover most of the time. (This is a complaint I have with most pockets marketed as “dual function” diapers.)
I can’t decide if this aspect of AMP diapers is a pro or a con. Although very similar to AppleCheeks in many respects, AMP as a brand doesn’t have the cult-like following one can only attribute to AppleCheeks diapers. If you’re new to the cloth diapering world and have no clue what I’m talking about, let me put it in a nutshell: remember Beanie Babies? Remember how people collected them and how certain ones that were made in smaller quantities and then “retired” suddenly saw their resale value sky rocket? That’s what has happened with certain colours of AppleCheek diapers. Personally, it’s semantics: say discontinued instead of retired and it doesn’t sound all that exciting, now does it? Collectors (yes, of diapers) are willing to pay high prices to complete their AppleCheeks rainbow, and I’m not going to knock anyone who learns her $20 poop-catcher can now be sold for triple (or more), but this can lead to Mama Drama. I once got my hands on some of these valuable diapers, and I am embarrassed to admit that I turned into Ebenezer Scrooge over it. (Not my proudest moment.) On the flip side, as with any group or collectors, there is an amazing community around ACs that is about more than diapers. I admit I’ve lurked on the major AppleCheeks boards even before owning one, and enjoyed a lot of non-diapering related and very positive threads!
I guess my beef with ACs that I don’t feel with AMPs is that now that I own three, I’m afraid to diminish their value, and that’s ridiculous for something that is pooped and peed in and needs to be laundered all the time. AMPs have a decent resale value and there are still people who collect all the colours, but it’s just a lot less intense. A lot of the colours that AC has “retired” are still readily available from AMP, and I hope that remains the case.