I received this product free for review from Charlie Banana. All opinions remain my own.
The vast majority of one-size diapers on the market are adjustable using a set of rise snaps on the front of the diaper. The diaper is folded over itself and snapped into place to size the diaper down. Depending on the brand, you may be able to adjust the diaper to 3 or 4 different sizes.
Charlie Banana Diapers is the first diaper design I’ve tried (though not the only on the market) that uses a completely different method of sizing the diaper shell:
Nope, that’s not my bra strap! That’s one of the leg elastics in my Charlie Banana diaper! Exactly as you adjust the strap on your bra, you can adjust the elastic length of your Charlie Banana diapers to get the perfect fit on your baby. There are “S,” “M” and “L” indications on the elastics to help you gauge the right fit. I found it a bit awkward to pull the elastic through the casing to adjust it, and I would find it really annoying to adjust an entire stash. That said, if having that perfect adjustment meant no leaks, it would be worth my time.
Charlie Banana diapers are marketed as a 2-in-1 system, as, along with the washable microfibre inserts that come with each diaper, you can also lay a disposable, Charlie Banana disposable insert on top of the shell to create a convenient, disposable option.
You can use any pocket diaper you want with a disposable insert from any brand to the same effect, but in terms of availability, Charlie Banana-brand cloth and disposable diapers are fairly easy to find in big chain stores, particularly in the US. (They are widely available at Walmart, Target and Babies-R-Us south of the border.)
What I love about my Charlie Banana one-size pocket diaper:
- Extremely narrow gusset: At about 5 inches wide, this diaper is well-designed for skinny babies who might seem a bit bow-legged in other one-size models. (A BumGenius, for example, is almost an inch wider.)
- Perfect adjustability: Although I’ve been fairly lucky in terms of Cub fitting well into most one-size brands, I often read of Moms struggling leaks due to an improper fit. Oftentimes their baby is “in between” sizes, so the diaper is either too snug, or a bit too big, causing leaks. You can adjust the fit of Charlie Banana diapers almost to the millimeter, unlike brands with rise snaps.
- Trim fit: Due to the factors listed above, this is a very slim one-size pocket diaper. Sure, we love a fluffy butt, but fluffy butts can sometimes interfere with the fit of pants, and sometimes parents used to the fit of disposables on their babies prefer a cloth option that fits similarly.
- Stay dry inner: I prefer my pocket diapers to have a stay-dry top layer (rather than having to put an additional stay-dry liner on top), and the fleece inner of Charlie Bananas does the trick!
- It works: We got a great fit and experienced no leaks during the test period, even over nap time!
- Cute prints: I love my Maple Leaf print, and there are some really adorable designs in their “Fashion” collection!
- Microfibre isn’t my favourite: I’m not crazy about microfibre inserts, and swap out all microfibre inserts for hemp trifolds. I love when brands have the option of selling their pocket shell and inserts separate, so I can choose. Charlie Banana does make a hemp insert that fits their shells, which I’m curious about!
- I prefer to stuff a diaper from the back: Charlie Banana’s pocket opening is at the front of the diaper. Since I have a boy, pulling the insert out means I’m always touching lots of pee. I personally prefer when the pocket is at the back of the diaper.
- Narrow pocket: While the narrow pocket on Charlie Banana diapers can be a plus, you may find it awkward to fit boosters in for your heavy wetter. Also, if you have large hands, you may simply find the pocket difficult to stuff.
- Not practical for families with two in diapers: Because adjusting the size of Charlie Bananas is more time consuming, it would be a pain to have two kids wearing the same diapers, unless you had one set specifically adjusted to each child.
- I think it’s a bit overpriced: At a similar price point to BumGenius 4.0s and Funky Fluff Stay Dry 2.0s, I find that my Charlie Banana doesn’t quite compare. The adjustable elastics may, however, be the selling point for Mamas unable to get the right fit with rise snaps.
- Made overseas: Charlie Banana diapers is based in Hong Kong, and I always give bonus points for North American made diapers.
- Elastics aren’t easily replaced: As far as I can tell, it would not be very easy to replace the elastics in a Charlie Banana diaper.
If you’re struggling to get the right fit with other one-size diapers in your stash, especially if you’ve got a baby with skinny thighs, Charlie Banana may just give you that perfect fit!
Charlie Banana wanted me to mention that the diaper I was sent does not have their newest elastic style, which is shown here: