Updated on April 6, 2017
bumGenius Elemental 3.0 Review
I received this item at no cost in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
I’ve made no secret of my love of bumGenius cloth diapers. They were the very first brand I registered for when I was pregnant with The Heir, and to this day they remain the brand I reach for first in my sizeable cloth diaper stash. In some ways, I consider them my “old faithful” diapers. I have the 4.0, the 5.0, the FreeTime, the OBGE (that’s Old-style bumGenius Elemental), and the NBGE (that’s New-style bumGenius Elemental). Last fall at the ABC Expo Cotton Babies announced an all new diaper: the newer new bumGenius Elemental which they referred to as the bumGenius Elemental 3.0. Thus the NBGE was retired and the newer new bumGenius Elemental aka the Elemental 3.0 arrived. The OBGE had been retired some years ago when the NBGE was introduced, but it had been brought back briefly in some of the newest prints last year. Available exclusively at Cotton Babies in the USA and Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot in Canada, the OBGE quickly became my favourite AIO cloth diaper. Was it possible for Cotton Babies to improve upon the OBGE and the NBGE? Could the Elemental 3.0 really be better? I think it just might be!
The bumGenius Elemental 3.0 is an all in one (AIO) one size cloth diaper. That means that all the absorbency of the diaper is sewn right onto the shell. There’s no stuffing or sorting of inserts required. It goes right into the wash in one piece and comes out of the dryer ready to go on the bum again. The exterior of the Elemental 3.0 is a PUL (polyurethane laminate) and provides the water resistant outer layer. The interior is made up of five layers of organic cotton. Two of those layers are sewn right onto the PUL layer so the inside of the PUL will not sit against baby’s skin. The other three layers make up the soaker of the Elemental 3.0 and are sewn in to the front of the PUL strip at the top of the shell and to the back of the PUL at the back of the shell only. The way the soaker is attached allows for a faster drying time since all five layers are not sewn down together. As the soaker is made longer than the length of the shell, it can be folded to increase the absorbency where it’s needed for your baby (in the middle, at the front, or at the back). There’s a strip of PUL inside the front and back of the Elemental 3.0 to help prevent moisture from wicking out of the diaper.
The Elemental 3.0 is a one size cloth diaper and it will fit babies from 8 lbs to 35 lbs + (depending on the size and shape of your baby). It accommodates this range of sizing with 3×3 adjustable rise snaps on the front. The closure of the Elemental 3.0 is a double row of snaps across the front of the diaper with stretchy tabs creating the patented butterfly closure that is exclusive to bumGenius diapers. The elastics along the legs of the diaper look quite different from what you’ve come to expect from other recent 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. Speaking of elastics, Cotton Babies now uses special proprietary elastics designed specifically to be used in cloth diapers. That means these elastics should last a good long time without relaxing.
Elemental 3.0 Compared to the OBGE & NBGE:
How does the Elemental 3.0 differ from its predecessors the OBGE and NBGE? Like the OBGE, the Elemental 3.0 has two layers of organic cotton sewn right into the shell underneath the soaker. The NBGE, unlike the OBGE and Elemental 3.0, has the inside of the PUL exposed under the organic cotton soaker. What tends to happen with the NBGE is that the cotton soakers bunch up a bit when wet leaving a lot of exposed PUL against baby’s skin (often resulting in leaks). The Elemental 3.0 is definitely an improvement on that! The Elemental 3.0 has the same style of leg elastic as the OBGE, while the NBGE has the leg elastics in a casing. I actually prefer this “puffy” style of leg elastic, and although you will want to check that all the cotton is tucked inside the diaper around the legs, overall it makes for a more comfortable leg opening for baby.
The number of layers of absorbency in the OBGE, NBGE, and Elemental 3.0 are different. The OBGE has the most layers with a total of eight layers of organic cotton (two sewn into the shell, and six in the doubled soakers). The NBGE has fewer layers than the OBGE with a total of six layers of organic cotton (six in the doubled soakers). The Elemental 3.0 has the least number of layers with a total of five layers of organic cotton (two sewn into the shell, and three in the single soaker).
The cut of the Elemental 3.0 is more in line with the cut of the NBGE. It is the same length as the NBGE, but is narrower through the crotch. It is wider through the crotch than the OBGE, and is about an inch longer than the OBGE when it is fully unsnapped. This doesn’t make the Elemental 3.0 seem more bulky, in fact, it is less bulky than the OBGE because of the way the soakers are sewn into the shell. Since I have a boy, I fold the OBGE and Elemental 3.0 soakers at the front to increase the absorbency where Petit Prince needs it. When I do this with the OBGE, the place where the soakers are attached and the doubled 3-layer soakers make the OBGE quite thick up front. The Elemental 3.0, on the other hand, is significantly less bulky when I fold the single soaker to increase absorbency up front.
How It Works:
Petit Prince is 19 months old, weighs 22 lbs 3oz, and is around 32.5″ tall. He wears the Elemental 3.0 on the medium rise setting. I’ll be honest. I was a little concerned that the fit of the Elemental 3.0 would be baggy and less trim than the OBGE. I’m happy to report that this is not the case! I find the Elemental 3.0 to have a really nice trim fit around Petit Prince. There is less bulk up front than with the OBGE, and the single soaker inside the diaper keeps the bum nice and trim. That means I can fit pretty well any style of pants over the Elemental 3.0 without needing to size up to accommodate a fluffy bum. Although it is worth checking that all the organic cotton inner is tucked into the shell around the leg openings, I have to say that I’ve never found any of it to be sticking out after I’ve put the diaper on Petit Prince. I happen to love the way the Elemental 3.0 leg elastics are sewn. I really like to get the leg elastics right up into the underwear lines to ensure a snug fit, and these elastics are just really soft and gentle on baby’s skin. I’ve always loved the bumGenius stretchy tabs as they allow for a really customized fit around baby. You can stagger the snaps to make room for a bigger tummy or the other way to make room for thicker thighs as needed. Because the tabs are stretchy, staggering them doesn’t result in any bunching of the tabs at the front.
How about the absorbency? I’m sure everyone is curious how the Elemental 3.0 stacks up in the absorbency department since it technically has the least number of layers of organic cotton of any of the Elementals that came before. Compared to the NBGE, the Elemental 3.0 is more absorbent despite having one less layer of organic cotton. This is in large part due to the way the absorbency is sewn into the Elemental 3.0. With the NBGE, the soakers were prone to bunching leaving nothing but PUL to contain larger pees or toddler pees that tend to flood a diaper. The two layers of cotton sewn edge to edge right into the whole shell of the Elemental 3.0 mean that if the soaker bunches a little, there’s still lots of absorbency to keep that moisture inside the diaper. Compared to the OBGE, I find the Elemental 3.0 to be on par. The OBGE is probably one of the most absorbent AIOs in my stash so the Elemental 3.0 keeping up with it despite having fewer layers overall is impressive. I attribute this to the overall surface area covered by the Elemental 3.0. The single three layer soaker of the Elemental 3.0 is longer and wider than the double three layer soakers of the OBGE. As the shell of the Elemental 3.0 is wider and longer than the OBGE, there’s also more organic cotton sewn into those two layers in the shell than there is in the OBGE. Although you’ve lost one three layer soaker in the Elemental 3.0, I think you’ve made up for it in the increased surface area. I can easily get three solid hours out of the Elemental 3.0 on Petit Prince, and if he takes an unexpectedly long nap it lasts even longer!
A great thing about the size of the Elemental 3.0 shell and the placement of the soaker is that it leaves plenty of room for adding a booster for overnight use. With the OBGE, you’re limited in what you can fit underneath that double soaker, but with the Elemental 3.0, you can add a substantially sized soaker underneath the sewn in soaker without having to fold it up and make the diaper super bulky. While I wouldn’t personally use the OBGE overnight because I wouldn’t be able to fit my overnight inserts under the organic cotton soakers, I would absolutely use the Elemental 3.0 overnight (with an extra overnight soaker added).
How about the drying time? I typically put my AIOs in the dryer on low for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I find that the Elemental 3.0 is completely dry in that amount of time. This is great because it means it can be washed and back on the bum in no time at all! I have also hung it to dry (indoors) just to see how long it takes, and it dries in about 24 to 30 hours.
- Made in the USA
- Fits from 8 to 35+ lbs
- One size diaper grows with baby
- Stretchy tabs
- Double row snap closure
- 3×3 rise snap adjustment
- Organic cotton inner is trim and absorbent
- Sewn in soaker can be folded to place more absorbency where your baby needs it
- Fit is snug and trim
- Very absorbent just as it comes
- Can accommodate a large overnight soaker/booster
- AIO means no stuffing/unstuffing or searching for matching soakers out of the wash
- Leg elastics are gentle on baby’s skin
- May not fit well until closer to 10 lbs
- Organic cotton is more prone to staining
Okay so I kind of LOVE the Elemental 3.0 and I didn’t think I would! I thought it would be pretty darned difficult for any diaper to take the place of my beloved OBGE, but it has! That it matches the OBGE in terms of absorbency, but does it with less bulk up front and an equally trim fit across the bum gives the Elemental 3.0 top marks in my books. Like other current bumGenius diapers, I doubt that it will fit well on babies until they reach 10 lbs, but should continue to fit well to 35 lbs and beyond (and hopefully to potty training for most kids). The OBGE is more likely to fit under 10 lbs, but less likely to fit to 35 lbs and beyond, so you’re going to get more longevity out of the Elemental 3.0 in the long run. That extra room in the Elemental 3.0 makes it a great option for overnight use (with additional absorbency added). The Elemental 3.0 has taken the best of the OBGE and the best of the NBGE and fused it together to create an all new bumGenius AIO cloth diaper that checks off all the boxes for me.
How would you like a chance to win a bumGenius Elemental 3.0 AIO cloth diaper? One lucky reader will win one bumGenius Elemental 3.0 courtesy of Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot! The winner can choose from the available in stock solid colours. Just scroll down to the giveaway and get your entries in for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to Canadian & US residents, 18+, and closes on February 28th, 2017. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Don’t forget to follow the Keep Calm and Hop On Giveaway “hop” and enter the other awesome giveaways linked up below!
Welcome to the 2nd annual Keep Calm and Hop On Giveaway Hop!
Don’t let the lull of late winter get you down! The Keep Calm and Hop On giveaway hop will give you lots of prizes to look forward to this winter! This hop is packed with amazing prizes at each stop. Be sure to check out the 3 hosts for wonderful grand prize packages. Visit daily to increase your chances of winning and good luck!
This hop event is brought to you by:
MamatheFox will be giving away the the following all the (1) winner!
- $30 in assorted products from MAM
- Go Go Bugs by Sassy – $13.20
- Bumpy Ball by Sassy – $9.99
- (1) Squeasy Gear (winners choice of style and color) – up to a $16.99 value
- (1) Simply Soft Blanket by Balboa – up to a $25 value
Enter to win a bumGenius Elemental 3.0 AIO cloth diaper!
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