Saturday 18 July 2020

Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Adult Diaper Review

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


The Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi appears to be a rebrand of the once very popular plastic-backed Tena Slip Maxi, which has since switched to a cloth-backing. It is considered a premium European diaper, and has been exported to a number of different markets. It provides a nice balance of protection, comfort and discretion to its wearer. This diaper is best suited for active individuals who can change their diaper fairly regularly. It is hardly the most absorbent diaper on the market; even though some sites advertise it as having absorbency of over 3000 ml (101 oz)), in reality it hits capacity around a third of that.

I don't feel this diaper provides good value for overnight or extended wear. Although it is super comfortable, it will leak by the 3rd wetting. It can be hard to justify the premium price for a diaper that leaks this easily. However, for active individuals who need a diaper that will hold up to movements without causing irritation the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi is as good as they come.

Key Features:
  • Plastic-backing
  • Two-tier padding with very absorbent mid-section
  • White backsheet with purple dots
  • Rear waistband
  • Refastenable tapes
  • Standing inner leak barriers
  • Very comfortable backsheet/topsheet
  • Snug/discreet fit
  • Great durability/fit for active wearers
  • Great for warm weather wear
  • Resistant to odors/skin irritation
  • High unit price
  • Susceptible to pressout leakage
  • Not widely available

Product Details

For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below.


Brand: Tena
Manufacturer: Essity Hygiene and Health AB
Origin: EU
Units Per Bag: 24
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 39 cm (15.4”) x 17 cm (6.7”) x 25 cm (9.8”)
Weight: 2.98 kg (6.6 lbs)
Available Sizes: S, M, L
Advertised Absorbency: Maximum

1.1 Tena Slip Active Fit Packaging


Backsheet: Plastic (Poly)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (yellow line down the middle, blue when wet)
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 (with light purple dots running along the edges)
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband:Yes
Folded Thickness: 2 cm (0.79”)
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8”)
Dry Weight: 125 g (4.4 oz)
Fragrance: None
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW):
77 cm (30.3”) x 62 cm (24.4”) x 25 cm (9.8”) x 59 cm (23.2”)
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW):
60 cm (23.6”) x 23 cm (9.1”) x 14 cm (5.5”) x 25 cm (9.8”)
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH):
4.5 cm (1.8”) x 10 cm (3.9”) x 5.5 cm (2.2”) x 15 cm (5.9”) (height averaged)
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1095 cm2 (170 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 4 cm (1.6”) x 14 cm (5.5")
Tape (W x L): 3 cm (1.2”) x 3.5 cm (1.4")

1.2 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Diaper

Laboratory Absorbency Tests

Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1450 ml (51.1 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1250 ml (44.1 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (43 s, 48 s, 49 s, 52 s, 61 s, 60 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 5 cm (1.97 in)
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 100%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1250 ml / 1095 cm2 = 1.14 ml / cm2  (0.26 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 200 ml (7.1 oz)

Surface Dampness Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Maxi didn't show any signs of surface dampness after the first wetting. However, it did show a little dampness on subsequent wettings, which puts it behind some of the other premium adult diapers I've tested. It was also highly vulnerable to press out. I can back this up with evidence from real world testing where it produced micro leaks when seated (e.g. under pressure) well before hitting capacity. Even so, for whatever reason I found the pressout surface dampness didn't take away too much from the comfort of the diaper so I couldn't deduct too much from its score in this regard.

2.1 Wet vs Dry Diaper After Capacity Test

2.2 Used vs Unused Padding After Capacity Test

"Real World" Absorbency Tests

Posture Tests


Total Absorbed Volume: 1300 ml (45.8 oz)
Total Wettings: 4 (1 standing, 3 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 87%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1300 ml / 1095 cm2 = 1.19 ml / cm2 (0.27 oz / in2)

Standing-Sitting Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Maxi performed better than expected in the standing-sitting test, perhaps a function of its snug fit assisting with wicking excess moisture to the right places to prevent leaks. This was surprising because it failed relatively quickly while laying down. The first wetting while standing was quickly absorbed and there was no sign of leakage upon sitting. While seated the diaper was able to take 3 more wettings before leaking with the padding at the front of the diaper swelling significantly before much moisture made it to the back. This could suggest it's better designed for standing/sitting (with more absorbent padding at the front) than lying down, which perhaps aligns with the "active" prefix. It's also noteworthy that, although the Tena Slip Maxi diaper swelled, it didn't feel particularly wet or clammy until the point of saturation and when it finally leaked, it wasn't a major leak.

Lying Down

Total Absorbed Volume: 1125 ml (39.7 oz)
Total Wettings: 3
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 81%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1125 ml / 1095 cm2 = 1.03 ml / cm2 (0.23 oz / in2)

Lying Down Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Maxi performed decently when tested while laying down; I've ranked it similarly to the Tranquility ATN in this respect. There was no sign of leakage or surface dampness after the first wetting and it was absorbed relatively quickly. I noticed a bit more dampness on the second wetting and it took a bit longer to absorb, but it still didn't show signs of leakage. That said, based on experience, I believe it would produce minor leaks if the wearer were to get up and sit somewhere at that point. By the 3rd wetting the diaper had a major failure with significant leakage out of the leg gathers. I feel this diaper can safely take one and probably two wettings while laying down, but it certainly should be changed before the 3rd to prevent leakage.

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

Daily Wear and Bedwetting

I consider the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi to be something of a niche diaper. It has the pricing and comfort of a premium adult diaper, but absorbency of a mid-range diaper. The padding construction was interesting, as it seems to be constructed with 2 different non-overlapping materials: a very absorbent core pad in the diaper's midsection that will swell to more than double its original size when wet, and a less absorbent padding in the wings and parts of the diaper sitting higher on the wearer's waist. There's a distinct line where one padding type starts and the other ends so you'll likely notice a ridge sticking out at the front/back topsheet of the Tena Slip Maxi when wet. You'll also notice the topsheet over the diapers midsection has a different texture. I found it performed fine for bedwetting after 1 or 2 wettings and it didn't interfere with my sleep at all because it was super comfortable. However, it would almost certainly fail after 3 wettings while lying down, so if you're a heavy wetter or can't change the diaper for an extended amount of time it would probably be better to use another premium overnight adult diaper like the ConfiDry 24/7 or BetterDry. I've also found during daytime wear that it will produce microleaks/small wet spots on the chair while seated after only 2 wettings, so it may not be the best choice for daytime wear if the wearer has a desk job. This was surprising because it happened well before the diaper reached capacity; it may be a side-effect of the padding's tendency to release moisture under pressure. I feel the key distinguishing factor in favor of this diaper is its "active" label. This may be the only diaper I've tried that I would feel comfortable jogging, playing sports or going for a long walk in. It would have a far lower chance of leaking before capacity in wearers who spend much of their time standing/moving. It has a low profile and the backsheet is among the softest you'll find, which produces no friction when in contact with the wearer's legs. It also does an amazing job at staying relatively cool in warm weather. If it weren't for its high unit price this would probably be my go-to medium absorbency diaper, because it's quite a bit more durable than the Tranquility ATN.

Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 8

The Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi should do a good job at managing bowel incontinence. It features a plastic backsheet with a rear waistband, strong inner leak guards and a snug fit with good tapes. I do feel it would be better suited for bowel containment with a bit more rear padding, but otherwise, it should be an excellent choice for bowel containment.

Wear & Tear Tests


The Tena Slip Maxi features two small double-tape fasteners per side, allowing the diaper to be detached and reattached in the same position. While the tapes are relatively small they have a firm grip and won't easily come undone. My main complaint is that the small tape surface area can make it tough difficult to position if you need to reattach it.

3.1 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Fastener

Easy-of-Use Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Maxi isn't the easiest diaper when it comes to ease-of-use. This diaper runs a little on the small size so it may take some adjustment to get right. Also, the padding doesn't run very far to the sides on its wings so you likely won't be able to fit both tapes over the padding. I found this made it a bit tricky to determine where the lower tape should sit as my best fit came when it was sitting over an extension of the leg gathers. However, the diaper can achieve a surprisingly snug and comfortable fit when you have a feel for it. The rear waistband and general stretchiness of the backsheet assists in achieving a fit that conforms to the wearer's body and the double tapes make it easy to reattach or remove when needed. I get the impression this diaper was made for self-application, not caregiver application as even the instructions on the package only show the wearer changing their own diaper both lying down and standing.

3.2 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Fit


Comfort Rating (dry): 10
The Tena Slip Maxi is among the most comfortable diapers you'll ever find; certainly when it comes to those that are plastic-backed. It fits a little on the small side, so getting the right size is important. Assuming you have the correct fit, this diaper has a very soft-plastic backsheet and relatively thin but super soft padding. The diaper feels very light to wear and is hardly perceivable. It's identified as an "active" diaper, and I can attest that it will hold up well during activities. When wearing this I've never felt like it was going to come loose, nor does it interfere with walking/jogging (the plastic backing and lining is so soft that it won't chafe at all). Also, the diaper does a great job at redistributing heat so it doesn't get as hot/clammy as you might expect from a plastic-back diaper. In terms of fit, it has a rear waistband and perhaps it could be a little better with a front waistband, yet somehow I feel that wouldn't add much and might even make it less comfortable if done poorly.

Comfort Rating (wet): 9
The Tena Slip Maxi is a very comfortable diaper and its comfort when wet is no exception. With only a single wetting you'd barely notice it, but you might start to notice it after 2 and certainly will by 3 if it hasn't leaked already. Its biggest downside is that the padding can release absorbed moisture when pressed while wet; although, if it hasn't reached saturation this won't be too noticeable. If it were a bit more absorbent I'd easily rank it a 10 with respect to wet comfort. On the plus side, this diaper has a snug and light feeling fit to it; for being plastic-backed it feels very breathable, comparable to many cloth-backed diapers. Additionally, this diaper is highly unlikely to clump or have padding split in a substantial way, reducing chances for wearer discomfort.

3.3 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Topsheet and Backsheet


Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 1.5% (topsheet), 1.0% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 2 shakes to deterioration

Durability Rating (dry): 9
The Tena Slip Maxi performed very well in the dry durability test with very few signs of deterioration after around 10 hours of wear (see fig 3.4). There was no clumping and only a small area where the padding started coming apart. The inner part of the rear waistband didn't hold out particularly well, yet it didn't seem to make much of a difference with respect to the diaper's structure (perhaps it was designed to do that for a better fit?). Otherwise, after wearing this diaper for an extended period of time I could barely tell it had been worn.

Durability Rating (wet): 8
The Tena Slip Maxi diaper didn't perform very well on the shake test, failing after only 2 shakes; however, the diaper tested was completely saturated and quite heavy after the capacity test so I didn't hold too much against it with regards to wet durability. When testing this diaper in a real world setting I found it to be highly durable and experienced little-to-no clumping or tearing of the padding during regular use. I rank it similar to the Molicare Slip Maxi, as a soft-padding diaper that is surprisingly durable. In terms of the condition of the padding, I would say this diaper comes out slightly ahead of the Molicare Slip Maxi even if it wasn't as durable in the shake test. I also feel this diaper can hold up better than most under moderate-to-intense activities due to its compact size, fit and non-resistant backsheet (e.g. it won't get in your way).

3.4 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Dry Test Deterioration

Discretion Tests


Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4.5 cm (1.77"), 6 cm (2.36")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 5 cm (1.97"), 6 cm (2.36")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 2 cm (0.79"), 3 cm (1.18")

Profile Discretion Rating: 9
The Tena Slip Maxi is a nice compromise between absorbance and discretion. Its padding is relatively thin and will not form a substantial diaper bulge when dry (though it expands quite a bit when wet). Also, the overall fit of the Tena Slip Maxi is relatively small. It doesn't rise high above the pant-line, nor do the padding wings extend far to the sides. In this regard it's comparable to the Depend Protection with Tabs, but with more absorbent padding. It should be possible to wear this under most outfits (probably not leggings) without the diaper being obvious.

4.1 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear Jeans (right)

4.2 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Sweatpants Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear Sweatpants (right)


Noise Rating: 9
It would be challenging to make a plastic-backed diaper any quieter than the Tena Slip Maxi. That's not to say this diaper is completely noise-free. It will produce a very slight crinkling sound that could be heard nearby in a quiet room. I feel you'd really need to be listening to it to pick up on it. This is interesting, because many diapers with thin padding tend to be noisier. A key difference with this one is that the padding doesn't easily become detached from the backsheet. Moreover, the backsheet is soft and flexible and won't produce a lot of resistance under clothing. The observed waveform of the crinkling produced by sitting/standing multiple times in a Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi is shown in figure 4.3.

4.3 Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi Noise Profile

Odor Reduction

Odor Reduction Rating: 10
I've never noticed any odor issues with the Tena Slip Maxi, even when it's approached capacity. It has no perceivable fragrance and the snug fit/padding construction make it very good at retaining odors. There seems to be something special with the padding when it comes to retaining odors, perhaps similar to that of the BetterDry. It gets top marks in terms of odor reduction because it's hard to imagine any diaper performing better in this regard.