When I was pregnant with my first, I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. I only knew one cloth diapering mama, and she happened to use RagaBabes. She added me to their Facebook group, and I tried to follow what was going on. There were stockings and buying frenzies, different sizes and different prints and lots of lingo that I didn’t understand. I was overwhelmed. Too overwhelmed to buy a diaper to try, if I’m being honest. The disorientation I felt when I tried to learn about cloth diapers is the primary reason I founded this blog four years ago! Since then, I’ve always wanted to try a RagaBabe, so I was pretty thrilled to hear from Joy, RagaBabe’s founder and CEO.
Based in Iowa (you can see pictures of their production facility here), RagaBabe got its start like most mama-owned businesses do (including this blog). Joy had a parenting problem, and she decided to solve it. Her children got rashes from disposable diapers, and cloth diapers on the market helped with the rashes but didn’t perform the way she wanted them to. She wanted a diaper that would be absorbent enough, quick to dry, durable and easy to launder. A mere 300 prototypes later, RagaBabe was born. It’s been six years since their first release, and they now have RagaMoms (and Dads) worldwide.
I received one of each of RagaBabe’s diaper styles to review on Miss Cub. There’s the “Easy” All-in-One (AIOs), a one-piece, sized diaper with a sewn-in insert and a pocket opening for adding absorbency; and the 2-Step diaper, which is an all-in-two (AI2) diaper that has rise snaps, various snap-in insert options and four different sizes. Both styles have a signature “star” Velcro closure. RagaBabe doesn’t make a snap closure diaper.
The RagaBabe “Easy” AIO
This diaper is as close to a disposable diaper as possible. There are no rise snaps to befuddle the newbie cloth diaperer or disposable-addicted caregiver, and the Velcro tabs are just like the sticky tabs on a sposie. When you open up the diaper, there are no loose inserts, just a smooth and soft stay-dry layer of suedecloth.
The sewn-in absorbency is an hourglass-shaped pad made of bamboo rayon. Unlike other AIOs we’ve tried with sewn-in inserts, the RagaBabe dries quickly!
Also included with our “Easy” is a RagaBabe liner which adds a hint of absorbency and makes it easier to plop a poop into the toilet.
At 24 lbs and 32″ tall, Miss Cub is wearing a size medium. Although there are four sizes, most average-sized kids can probably get away with using just the small (9–20 lbs) and the medium (14–30 lbs). Sized diapers can be a big turn-off for some parents because of the need to purchase multiple sizes. I am definitely on team “one size” as a general rule. That said, the devoted community of RagaMoms means the resale value on your RagaBabe diapers is higher than average. When you need to size up, you can likely sell your outgrown diapers at a surprisingly high rate of return.
In terms of absorbency, I found that especially for the heavy morning pee, the “Easy” was not sufficient without a booster: after sitting on my lap for breakfast, we both needed our pants changed. The pocket makes it easy to stuff in the booster of your choice, although it can be frustrating if you are shopping in US dollars and the diaper that cost you CAN$40 still needs a boost. RagaBabe diapers are priced to reflect their high-quality materials and US-manufacturing—it’s the exchange rate that can be the sticking point for those of us north of the border.
The Bulletproof insert that came with our 2-Step diaper (described below) fits perfectly in the “Easy” pocket and gives us a massive amount of absorbency. Recently it gave us a solid four hours when we were out of the house.
The RagaBabe 2-Step Diaper
While the 2-Step also has four available sizes, the range for each size is much higher because of the rise snaps. For example, Miss Cub’s Size 1 has a weight range of 9–30 lbs. Some kids might never need to size up, whether they start with the size 1 or the size 2 (15–40+ lbs). Miss Cub is currently wearing her size 1 on the middle rise.
We received a Bulletproof insert with our 2-Step diaper. This insert is five layers of absorbency with organic cotton Sherpa on top and hemp underneath. There are four different sizes of inserts to match the different diaper sizes.
To use the 2-Step, you snap in an insert and pop the diaper on baby. When it’s time for a change, you can swap in a new insert and put the wet one in the wash. RagaBabe recommends rotating your shells between changes. Depending on how heavily your baby pees, the lining of the shell can get wet. You can wipe it with a damp cloth if desired and hang it to dry, using it at the next change. My personal preference for AI2 diapers is for a cover that is completely wipeable. I don’t really consider a suedecloth lining to be wipeable in the same way a PUL-lined cover is, but other users may be quite happy to use the diapers in this way. For newborns with lovely, generously liquid poops at almost every change, it is unlikely you’ll ever be able to reuse a shell.
When I saw the Bulletproof insert, I wasn’t convinced it would last very long on Miss Cub. I must report that I have been very impressed with the performance of this single insert. She can easily get at least two hours from this insert on its own, and the fleece underneath is barely damp, so I don’t mind using the shell again.
The 2-Step diaper, both for its reusability and its wider weight-range, is definitely the more economical RagaBabe option.
Other Unique Features of RagaBabe Diapers
- “Stay-locked” laundry tabs prevent Velcro from snagging other items in the wash
- Contoured leg gussets are made with “last-ever” elastics that apparently never need to be replaced!
- Latex-free, wide comfort-fit waistband prevents blowouts and drooping
What I like best about RagaBabe Diapers
- Unique, vibrant colours and prints and that adorable “star” closure
- Ethically and thoughtfully manufactured in the US
- Quick dry-time
- Easy-to-use and very sturdy Velcro closures
- Bulletproof insert is surprisingly absorbent and works well in the 2-Step and as a booster in the AIO
- Excellent resale value for your used diapers
- No microfibre!
What I like less about RagaBabe Diapers
- Velcro-closures are an automatic deal-breaker for many cloth diaper users who prefer the durability of snaps
- First-time cloth diaperers may find the stocking process and size options overwhelming and confusing at first glance
- AIO needs boosting to get enough absorbency even for daytime use
- The 2-Step is not a “true” reusable cover in my opinion, although with the Bulletproof insert, the suedecloth lining can remain fairly dry and be suitable for reuse
How to buy RagaBabe diapers:
- Find their ready-to-ship items here (Shipping to Canada is $9.95 for up to six diapers)
- Learn how to score the diapers you want during their stockings here
- Join RagaChat
- Join RagaMarket