Monday, 22 June 2020

ConfiDry 24/7 Adult Diaper Review

*For information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology



Summary

The ConfiDry 24/7 is a premium plastic-backed adult diaper that ranks among the most absorbent diapers on the market. These diapers might well be the only premium plastic-backed adult diapers still made in North America (they're made in USA); of other North American-made adult diapers, the Tranquility ATN is also plastic-backed but falls more within the mid-range, while the plastic-backed Depend Protection with Tabs falls within the cheaper range of adult diapers. Manufacturing location aside, these diapers are truly unique in their construction, I really haven't come across anything comparable. It feels like perhaps a throwback to the best diapers of the 1980s (in a good way). The backsheet is pure white with no lines, writing, or wetness indicator and the padding and waistband run very high up the wearer's hips. If you have large hips this allows the diaper to wrap down over your hip giving it a snug (but comfy) fit that won't budge in the slightest even if the diaper becomes heavier when wet.

The ConfiDry's large sizing provides plenty of space, which would probably also be a big plus for those with bowel incontinence. In my experience this is one of the best diapers on the market for bedwetting, it won't leak or even feel damp for at least 3 wettings. It may be a bit bulky for daytime wear, but certainly keep you protected if you need that extra confidence (generally I found it performed better for overnight wear). My primary concern with the ConfiDry is availability. It's been on the market for almost a decade but can still only be found from a small handful of distributors; I've also heard concerns about certain batches having manufacturing defects, though I've never had that experience personally. I feel this product has great potential and will continue to buy and support it as long as it's available; the company took a real risk moving their manufacturing to their home market in North America while offering a premium diaper at a fair cost and I would love to see other premium "North American" brands follow suit. If you haven't tried it yet I highly recommend giving the ConfiDry a try, especially for overnight wear.

Key Features:
  • Plastic-backing
  • Pure white backsheet/topsheet (no print or wetness indicator)
  • Dual waistbands (front/rear)
  • Wide/strong refastenable tapes
  • Thick padding
  • Standing inner leak barriers
Pros:
  • Highly absorbent/leak-resistant
  • Strong backsheet
  • Large padding surface area
  • Resistant to odors/skin irritation
  • Snug/comfortable fit
Cons:
  • High unit price
  • Some may find it large/bulky
  • Not widely available

Product Details

For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized ConfiDry 24/7 diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below.


Packaging


Brand: ConfiDry
Manufacturer: Dry Care
Origin: USA
Units Per Bag: 18
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 50 cm (19.7”) x 19 cm (7.5”) x 25 cm (9.8”)
Weight: 4.33 kg (9.5 lbs)
Available Sizes: S, M, L
Advertised Absorbency: Maximum

1.1 ConfiDry 24/7 Packaging

Diaper

Backsheet: Plastic (Poly)
Wetness Indicator: No
Standing Inner Leak Guards: Yes
Leg Gathers: Yes
Product Style: Tab-Style Brief
Refastenable Tabs: Yes
Number of Tapes: 2
Repositionable Tabs: No
Outer Color: White
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: Yes
Rear Waistband:Yes
Folded Thickness: 3 cm (1.18”)
Folded Length: 30 cm (11.8”)
Dry Weight: 225 g (7.94 oz)
Fragrance: None (slight sweet synthetic smell)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW):
85 cm (33.5”) x 71 cm (27.9”) x 32 cm (12.6”) x 69 cm (27.1”)
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW):
70 cm (27.6”) x 31 cm (12.2”) x 18 cm (7.1”) x 36 cm (14.2”)
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH):
6.5 cm (2.6”) x 17 cm (6.7”) x 9 cm (3.5”) x 19 cm (7.5”) (height averaged)
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1823 cm2 (283 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 2 cm (0.8”) x 14 cm (5.5")
Tape (W x L): 4.5 cm (1.8”) x 4 cm (1.6")

1.2 ConfiDry 24/7 Diaper

Laboratory Absorbency Tests

Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1850 ml (65.3 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1950 ml (68.7 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (51 s, 69 s, 92 s, 94 s, 112 s, 117 s, 115 s, 129 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 6 cm (2.36 in)
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 99.9%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1850 ml / 1823 cm2 = 1.01 ml / cm2  (0.23 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 100 ml (3.52 oz)

Surface Dampness Rating: 9
The ConfiDry diaper performed strongly when it came to resisting surface dampness. There was no sign of dampness in the first two wettings and only a little in subsequent wettings until it hit capacity. However, it should be noted that the dampness check happened approximately 10 minutes after the wetting and the slow absorption rate indicated some dampness may be felt immediately after the wetting. This was confirmed during the "real world" tests, and thus I couldn't quite give the ConfiDry a perfect score, but it still performed remarkably well when compared to other high absorbency diapers.





2.1 Wet vs Dry Diaper After Capacity Test

2.2 Used vs Unused Padding After Capacity Test


"Real World" Absorbency Tests


Posture Tests


Standing-Sitting

Total Absorbed Volume: 1300 ml (45.9 oz)
Total Wettings: 5 (1 standing, 4 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 65%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1300 ml / 1823 cm2 = 0.71 ml / cm2 (0.16 oz / in2)

Standing-Sitting Rating: 8
The ConfiDry diaper performed well in the sit-stand test. It had no problem when wet while standing and no leaks were observed upon sitting. Due to the relatively slow absorption rate, there was a brief point of moisture pooling initially, but once absorbed the surface felt perfectly dry. The surface remained dry until about the 4th wetting; at that point the crotch of the diaper was noticeably damp while the back was still perfectly dry; by this point the diaper's superior structure was likely the greatest factor in holding back leakage. By the 5th wetting there was obvious leakage out of the sides from the diaper's rear mid-section. What's interesting is that in spite of absorbing 4 wettings, the rear padding of the diaper was largely untouched, suggesting room for much more absorption had it been supported by wicking. For this reason I feel this diaper, while it performed amazingly, still has room for improvement in daytime wear.



Lying Down

Total Absorbed Volume: 1652 ml (58.2 oz)
Total Wettings: 6
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 99%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1652 ml / 1823 cm2 = 0.91 ml / cm2 (0.21 oz / in2)

Lying Down Rating: 10
The ConfiDry diaper performed remarkable well when tested while laying down. The first few wettings were quickly absorbed and the diaper demonstrated a strong distribution of moisture through the padding in this position. Based on these tests I feel it may be slightly better suited for overnight wear over daytime wear, but I'm certain the wearer can have confidence in this diaper with either scenario. By the 5th and 6th wetting the rear of the diaper started to become saturated, at this point it was largely the diaper's structure that was holding back leakage. Even so, when it finally leaked on the 6th wetting the leakage was pretty minor, making this among the best performing diapers for bedwetting. When worn while laying down I feel a wearer could easily stay dry and comfortable for at least 4 wettings.


2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) / Lying Down (left)

Daily Wear and Bedwetting

The ConfiDry diaper is unique among adult diapers I've tried in that it tends to run much larger than the sizing would indicate. One notable characteristic is that the padding runs above the typical pant-line, nearly to its waistband. When wearing a ConfiDry diaper of your regular size preference you will likely feel like your whole waist has been wrapped in a cushion; you'll certainly feel that you're wearing a diaper. Admittedly the padding isn't the softest you'll find but I still found it comfortable. The backsheet is made of a soft plastic that's thicker than you find in most adult diapers and is very resistant to tearing. Also notable is the fact the diaper's sizing leads to large pockets which assist in keeping your skin dry and would be very beneficial to those with bowel incontinence. I found that during typical wear the ConfiDry will not cause skin irritation, in fact it's among the best I've tried in that regard, but it could be more of a problem after 3~4 wettings if left too long (moisture will eventually build up even if the backsheet stops leaks). It feels a bit better suited to overnight wear because it will not easily wick excess moisture up the backside when seated. However, when tested while standing and not sitting for an extended period of time it actually performed better than when seated, absorbing about 1600 ml (54 oz) through multiple wettings. In terms of bed wetting performance this is among the best adult diapers on the market and will not leak under most conditions. Though, when it comes to warm weather wear, I feel it could get a bit warm and uncomfortable for the wearer (perhaps not more so than any other diaper of similar thickness). Moreover, the padding is thick and widespread and will lead to a diaper bulge if you're not careful with your daytime wear. Also, it should be noted that this diaper will swell in size when wet, although slightly less than you'd find with the BetterDry/Crinklz diaper. With that in mind, this is an amazing diaper and it won't let you down when it comes to protecting you from leaks day or night.

Wear & Tear Tests


Fitting

The ConfiDry 24/7 features two large double-tape fasteners per side, allowing the diaper to be detached and reattached in the same position. These tapes are thick and of high quality, they won't easily come undone or lose their stickiness.


3.1 ConfiDry 24/7 Fastener



Easy-of-Use Rating: 10
I give the ConfiDry diaper a perfect score when it comes to ease-of-use with the caveat that if you're used to applying smaller adult diapers you may mess this one up on the first change. In my case I didn't realize how far to the front the tapes needed to reach for a good fit. After figuring that out this diaper is about as easy as they come with respect to finding a good fit. The dual-waistbands ensure the diaper fits snug around the hips and the tapes keep it firmly in place so no adjustment should be needed. The double-tapes also make it a breeze to remove, and for caregivers tending patients with bowel incontinence the pouches in the back and crotch and wide padding should help reduce messes and make cleanup easier.

3.2 ConfiDry 24/7 Fit


Comfort

Comfort Rating (dry): 9
When wearing a ConfiDry diaper you really will feel like you're wearing a diaper; its comfort factor doesn't come from hiding the fact that it's a diaper, but more from embracing it. These diapers run large and have a fit that wraps the entirety of your hips, with padding that runs high on both the front and back of the diaper. This wide area of padding contributes to a sense of comfort and gives the wearer a sense of protection. It's dual waistbands also help, allowing for a snug fit without feeling overly tight. The backsheet is soft where it comes in contact with the wearer's skin, although it's thick and could potentially get a bit warm on a hot summer's night. In spite of its overall comfort I do feel it has a few areas for improvement, namely softer padding and leg gathers (only really noticeable when seated), so I couldn't quite give it a perfect score here. Though it does make up for those concerns with its size and pockets for air movement that provides; moreover the padding remains durable and won't clump when dry.


Comfort Rating (wet): 10
A wet ConfiDry diaper really doesn't feel much different than a dry one; you're unlikely to feel any dampness until the 3rd or 4th wetting. In fact, in some ways (similar to diapers like the iD Expert Slip) it actually feels more comfortable when wet. This is because the padding tends to soften up a bit even as the diaper retains its surface dryness up to near the point of saturation. I've worn this diaper for bedwetting and have always been impressed how comfortable it remains, often waking up unsure if it was actually wet. Comfort and protection when lying down is a huge strength in this diaper that shouldn't be overlooked.

3.3 ConfiDry 24/7 Topsheet and Backsheet


Durability

Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 4.1% (topsheet), 1.6% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 4 shakes to deterioration

Durability Rating (dry): 9
The padding on the ConfiDry diaper is quite resistant to wear/tear. In this durability test it showed little signs of wear after 8 hours and only minor padding deterioration after about 14 hours of dry wear with modest activity (see figure 3.4). I wouldn't say it's perfect because several parts of the padding became a little loose, but there was no obvious clumping and the diaper was still in good enough shape to absorb multiple wettings. Given this I'd say it ranks among the top performers for adult diaper durability.

Durability Rating (wet): 9
The ConfiDry diaper seemed to struggle during the wet shake test, coming apart after 4 shakes. Even so, we can't overlook the fact that it had absorbed an immense amount of liquid and the shear weight was enough to cause failure. During real-life wear I found it to be very resilient, with only minor parts of the padding becoming detached prior to saturation On the plus side there were no signs of clumping, even after multiple wettings.. Its performance when wet was similar to the BetterDry/Crinklz diaper. After a single wetting you wouldn't even notice the diaper was wet; you might start to feel it after 2~3 (though just barely) but again it wouldn't have much impact on the padding. I still think it has a little room for improvement, but it's hard to imagine such an absorbent diaper getting much better durability performance.



3.4 ConfiDry 24/7 Dry Test Deterioration

Discretion Tests


Profile

Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 8 cm (3.15"), 8 cm (3.15")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 7 cm (2.76"), 4 cm (1.57")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 6.5 cm (2.56"), 6 cm (2.36")

Profile Discretion Rating: 4
The ConfiDry 24/7 is an incredibly absorbent diaper, but with that comes the loss of discretion. I gave it props for the level of protection it provides, but can't overlook the fact that this diaper will leave a distinctive shape on the wearer's profile. Most telling, the bulky padding on its rear side will produce an obvious "diaper butt" if you're not careful in your choice of outfit. Moreover, the diaper's padding and waistband extend well above the typical pant waistline and could easily be exposed (though the padding is all white and may be mistaken for regular underwear). However, if protection is your priority, you could probably find a way to make it work.


4.1 ConfiDry 24/7 Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear Jeans (right)


4.2 ConfiDry 24/7 Sweatpants Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear Sweatpants (right)

Noise

Noise Rating: 7
I feel the ConfiDry diaper is most similar to the Abena Abri-Form M4 when it comes to noise. It certainly produced a distinctive diaper crinkling sound as I walked around the house while wearing one under my clothing. Like the BetterDry/Crinklz diaper this was somewhat muffled by the thick padding, but I feel it was still slightly louder than the Crinklz diaper (as funny as that sounds). I'm sure the sound could be managed under the right outfit, but it would be something to keep in mind when wearing a ConfiDry when out in a quiet environment. The observed waveform of the crinkling produced by sitting/standing multiple times in a ConfiDry 24/7 is shown in figure 4.3.


4.3 ConfiDry 24/7 Noise Profile


Odor Reduction


Odor Reduction Rating: 10
I have no complaints when it comes to odor reduction from the ConfiDry adult diaper. Although it has a slight sweet synthetic smell, no one would notice it and it didn't bother me. Where it excels is in retaining odors. Even during the extended capacity test it never gave a hint of odors. I feel this comes from a combination of the padding (which retains odors internally) and the snug fitting backsheet/waistbands (which prevent any internal odors from escaping). I imagine it would be similarly effective in preventing odors from fecal incontinence. I really can't see how a diaper could be better than this in terms of odor reduction.

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