Updated on May 17, 2016
The “Old” BumGenius Elemental Is Back!
Has a cloth diaper you loved ever been discontinued? No longer made, lost and forgotten, kept in your stash long after it has become worn and tattered? This was the fate of the much loved “old-style” BumGenius Elementals (OBGE). The OBGE was an organic cotton all-in-one cloth diaper from Cotton Babies that was discontinued when the “new-style” BumGenius Elemental (NBGE) was introduced in early 2013. Although I never used either of these diapers with The Heir, it was pretty clear just by following the buy-sell-trade groups that the OBGE was a much loved and coveted diaper, if you could get your hands on one. The NBGE, on the other hand, seemed to be less popular. When I heard that my local retailer was going to be the exclusive Canadian retailer to bring back the OBGEs in new prints, I had to get my hands on a couple of those diapers! What’s the verdict? Did I love them? Umm… In a word? Yes. Here’s what I think about the return of the OBGE!
The “old-style” BumGenius Elemental cloth diaper is an all-in-one style diaper. That means that all the absorbency is sewn right into the diaper. There’s no stuffing or snapping of inserts required, it’s just one piece. The outer waterproof layer of the diaper is made of PUL, and the inner material of the diaper and the sewn in soakers are made of organic cotton. The inner soakers are sewn in at both the front and the back of the diaper, but are left open along the sides to allow for faster drying time. Each of the two soakers that are sewn into the diaper consist of three layers of organic cotton for six layers in total. In addition, the inner material of the diaper is made of two layers of organic cotton and does add to the absorbency of the diaper.
The elastics along the legs of the diaper look quite different from what you’ve come to expect from the newer styles of BumGenius diapers. Instead of these leg elastics being run through an elastic casing, they are instead just sewn into the edge of the diaper without a casing. This makes the leg openings look sort of puffy, for lack of a better word to describe their appearance.
The OBGE fits babies from 8-35lbs and accommodates that range of sizing with three adjustable rise settings. The rise settings are adjusted with a 3×3 snap adjustment on the front of the diaper. The smallest rise should fit babies from 8-16lbs, the medium rise should fit babies from 17-22lbs, and the largest rise should fit babies from 23-35lbs.
The diaper closure is a double row of snaps along the front of the diaper. The tabs of the diaper are a stretchy material. This allows for a really customizable fit without any bunching at the tabs.
How It Works:
Let’s get right to it, shall we? I’ll start with the fit. Petit Prince weighs around 20lbs (give or take) and is wearing the OBGE on the medium rise setting. For comparison’s sake, he’s still wearing his BumGenius 4.0s and 5.0s on the smallest rise setting, though he could probably go up to the medium rise setting any day now. The organic cotton soakers of the OBGE extend beyond the points where they are sewn into the diaper shell. What that means is that you will be folding the soakers a bit regardless of which rise setting you have the diaper at. This is not a problem, but rather an advantage. It allows you to customize the absorbency in just the right place for either a boy or a girl. With Petit Prince, I fold the soaker up at the front so as to increase absorbency where he needs it the most (with girls you’ll want to fold the soaker at the back).
I find the fit of the OBGE on Petit Prince to be lovely. As in, I love it. I find it to be fairly trim as far as all-in-one style cloth diapers go. I was a little concerned that the way the leg elastics were sewn would be problematic. I thought for sure the leg openings would end up rolling outward leading to wicking around the legs. I’m happy to report that this is not the case and doesn’t happen at all. I am careful to make sure all the cotton material is tucked in around the legs, just in case. In terms of the rise of the OBGE, it does seem to be a bit of a lower rise than what I’m used to with the 4.0 or 5.0 pocket diaper from BumGenius. At the medium rise setting, I don’t find the OBGE to be that much higher on Petit Prince’s body than the 4.0/5.0 at the smallest rise setting. So I’d say the OBGE is definitely a smaller fitting diaper. I’ll be interested to see how well this diaper fits as Petit Prince grows into the largest rise setting.
Absorbency! How does it perform in the absorbency department? Really well! This diaper has made it through 3-4 hours regularly, and even longer when Petit Prince took an unexpectedly long nap. I haven’t had any leaks with the OBGE at all. I will point out that the organic cotton soakers do have a tendency to bunch up a bit where the pee hits it. I haven’t found this to be a problem, likely because there is that double layer of organic cotton under the soakers and sewn right onto the inside of the PUL shell to catch any wetness that makes it past the bunched up soakers.
Now I’m sure you’re all wondering about the drying time. It’s no secret that all-in-one style cloth diapers can take a long time to dry. It’s also no secret that natural fibre materials, like cotton, can have a particularly long drying time. I have not put my OBGEs in the dryer. I know that with the original OBGEs, wear and and even holes in the bottom sewn in layer of cotton are common, so I have opted to avoid putting them in the dryer at all in the hopes of preserving that bottom layer for as long as possible. With hanging the OBGEs to dry (indoors mind you as I don’t have a laundry line set up outside) it took approximately 36 hours for the diaper to be completely dry and ready to go back on the bum. That’s definitely longer than a BumGenius Freetime all-in-one which has microfibre soakers and hang dries fully overnight, but not the longest drying time I’ve experienced with an all-in-one cloth diaper.
What’s the verdict? I actually really like the “old-style” BumGenius Elemental. I like it well enough that I think I’m going to buy myself a couple more for my stash. There’s something really nice about the trim fit and the slightly smaller cut of the diaper. I love that the absorbency is made entirely of organic cotton, and that this diaper is made in the USA! What’s not to love about that? Though I haven’t had the chance to try the OBGE overnight yet, I think it would perform quite nicely with an added booster. A booster can easily fit underneath the organic cotton soakers, and would be a great addition to this diaper for overnight absorbency.
- Made in the USA
- Absorbency is organic cotton
- Trim fitting all-in-one
- Adjustable rise settings for a “one size” diaper
- Dries relatively quickly for a natural fibre all-in-one
- Stretchy tabs provide a customized fit
- Snap closure
- Limited release!
- Bottom sewn in layer of organic cotton is prone to signs of wear and even holes over time
- Lower rise/small cut may not fit larger babies through potty training
I’m really glad Cotton Babies decided to do another release of the beloved OBGE! I find the fit on Petit Prince is top notch, and the absorbency on its own is fantastic. This is a diaper I thought I’d never get the chance to try, so I’m quite pleased that it’s been made available once again! The “original” old-style BumGenius Elemental cloth diaper is available in four prints: Love, Oops, Chico, and Alicia. If you’d like to get your hands on these limited re-released old-style BumGenius Elemental cloth diapers, you can find them online at Cotton Babies in the USA and Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot in Canada.
Has a favourite cloth diaper of yours ever been discontinued? Tell me which diapers you’d love to have brought back from retirement!
Disclosure: I did not receive any product in exchange for this review. I purchased these diapers for myself, and all opinions are my own.