*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
The Tena Super Stretch is the slightly less absorbent cloth-backed North American cousin of the European Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi. Its refastenable stretchable sides make this diaper somewhat of a rarity in the world of adult diapers, although, dare I say, this technology seems to have become popular in modern-day baby diapers. In terms of performance the Tena Super Stretch provides a medium level of absorbency easily taking one or possibly two wettings without leaking. It’s also incredibly discreet and would be very easy to hide under clothing.
The Tena Super Stretch has an interesting set of features. For one, it doesn’t have standing inner leak guards, yet the leg gathers seem to make up for them. I found this very surprising because other diapers without inner leak guards that I’ve tried have leaked like crazy. This diaper also features only a single tape rather than double or triple tapes per side, but it’s a very large tape. It can be fastened multiple times anywhere on the backsheet without losing its stickiness but I’ve found it can slide around a bit over time. Moreover, like its European cousin this diaper is highly durable. In my experience this diaper will work for either daily wear or bedwetting, but in terms of performance it did a little better at providing bedwetting protection. Either way, it’s relatively easy to find but far better quality than most adult diapers you’d find on store shelves.
- Cloth-like (non-woven backsheet)
- Single tape stretchable sides
- Snug/comfortable leg gathers
- Easy to use
- Breathable design
- Can be worn discreetly
- High durability
- Tapes can slide around a bit
- Prone to leaks when wet while sitting
- No small/medium sizing
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Tena Super Stretch Briefs diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Manufacturer: SCA Personal Care
Units Per Bag: 28
Cost Per Unit: $$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 32 cm (12.6") x 22 cm (8.7") x 35 cm (13.8")
Weight: 3.25 kg (7.2 lbs)
Available Sizes: M, L/XL
Advertised Absorbency: Super
Backsheet: Cloth-like (non-woven)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (two yellow lines, turn blue when wet)
Standing Inner Leak Guards: No
Leg Gathers: Yes
Product Style: Stretch Sides Brief
Refastenable Tabs: Yes
Number of Tapes: 1
Repositionable Tabs: Yes
Outer Color: White (green lines and dots along the edges)
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: No
Folded Thickness: 2.3 cm (0.91")
Folded Length: 23 cm (9.1")
Dry Weight: 117 g (4.1 oz)
Fragrance: None (or very slight cardboard smell)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 79 cm (31.1") x 49 cm (19.3") x 29 cm (11.4") x 64 (25.2")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 61 cm (24") x 28 cm (11") x 16 cm (6.3") x 28 cm (11")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 6 cm (2.4") x 11 cm (4.3") x 6 cm (2.4") x 13 cm (5.2")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1264 cm2 (196 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1): 3 cm (1.2")
Tape (W x L): 12.5 cm (4.9") x 2.5 cm (1")
|1.2 Tena Super Stretch Diaper|
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 808 ml (28.5 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 958 ml (33.8 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (39 s, 41 s, 41 s, 42 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 4.5 cm (1.8")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 89%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 0.64 ml / cm2 (0.15 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 150 ml (5.3 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 7
During the capacity test the Tena Super Stretch didn’t show any signs of dampness after the first wetting but was obviously damp on the second. Normally that would lead me to rate it 6 or lower, but in actual worn tests I found it did a good job at staying dry until it approached the point of saturation after about 2 wettings. I was also impressed with how fast it was at absorption.
|2.1 Wet vs Dry Diaper After Capacity Test|
|2.2 Used vs Unused Padding After Capacity Test|
"Real World" Absorbency Tests
Total Absorbed Volume: 733 ml (25.9 oz)
Total Wettings: 2 (1 standing, 1 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 80%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.58 ml / cm2 (0.13 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 5
The Tena Super stretch was easily able to absorb a wetting while standing and did so relatively quickly with little noticeable dampness. Moreover, it didn’t leak upon sitting shortly afterward. However, it leaked a little through the leg-gathers at the front of the diaper on the second wetting while seated. The leakage was relatively minor but I stopped the test at that because it clearly would have been noticeable on clothing. It was hard to tell if this was a result of moisture permeating through the cloth-like backsheet but I think it was mostly due to it working its way back up through some gaps in the barriers. I feel this diaper likely could have performed better with standing inner leak guards to redirect the flow or for someone without as loose a fit. Even so, if you’re able to change after a single wetting or have a slower dribble incontinence this diaper would be just fine for daily wear.
Total Absorbed Volume: 933 ml (32.91 oz)
Total Wettings: 3
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 93%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.74 ml / cm2 (0.17 oz / in2)
The Tena Super Stretch performed very well when tested while lying down. The first wetting was handled without issue and no sign of leakage. The diaper became more noticeably damp by the second wetting but still showed no signs of leakage and even then the breathable design helped alleviate some of the dampness. The diaper clearly became saturated by the third wetting but it initially felt like it may be able to contain it within its structure because there were no obvious pockets for the moisture to escape. However, shortly after the excess moisture did seep through the breathable backsheet near the edge of the rear padding. At the end of the test most of the padding area was used, suggesting a strong wicking ability. Moreover, the final leakage was only modest and I feel this diaper could comfortably take 1~2 wettings while laying down.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)|
Daily Wear and BedwettingThe Tena Super Stretch excels in discretion and is what I would categorize as a moderate capacity diaper. It takes a full wetting without trouble and can give you a good degree of confidence you won’t experience a leak. I was initially skeptical of this because my previous experience with diapers that didn’t have standing inner leak guards was that they leaked like crazy (see Attends Waistband Style Briefs or First Quality Briefs). That was not the case with this diaper, its standing inner leak guards do a great job at preventing leakage. That said, in daytime wear it can leak from the front in weak parts of the leak guards if the padding becomes saturated; this might be less of an issue for those who get a better fit. Ironically, for an amazingly discreet diaper, this diaper may do a better job against bed wetting compared with daytime wear as I found it absorbed more, but the “breathable” sides could be a problem for side-sleepers who often leak from that region (not something I’ve experienced). In my experience this diaper does live up to its breathability in many ways and won’t cause much skin irritation, though oddly enough I found the padding can get a bit warm. The tapes also present a trade off; while they’re super easy to attach/reattach with no concern for misplacing them (a problem in plastic tapes), they have a tendency to slide around over time and make a noise when they do as they scratch the backsheet fabric. As a final note, this diaper took some getting used to, but once I became used to it I found it to be quite comfortable and convenient. If you don’t mind cloth-backed diapers and are looking for something with decent absorbency that’s easy to hide I would certainly recommend giving the Tena Super Stretch a try.
Wear & Tear Tests
The Tena Super Stretch features stretchable sides with single hook and loop (velcro-like) fasteners on each side. These tapes can be placed anywhere on the backsheet and are repositionable in that they can be removed and reapplied multiple times. The tapes are decent quality and can slide around a bit.
|3.1 Tena Super Stretch Fastener|
Ease-of-Use Rating: 7
The Tena Super Stretch diaper runs a little on the large size, it only comes in two sizes M/R and L/XL; there’s no S/M like in many other products. The advertised waist size for fit starts at 33”. In my case I was able to make it fit and you could probably make it fit down to a 28 or 29” waist without overlapping the tapes; but it may not be as tight as it should be for optimal performance. Otherwise this diaper is relatively easy to use, the tapes can be repositioned easily but it may take some practice to find the right fit.
|3.2 Tena Super Stretch Fit|
Comfort Rating (dry): 8
The Tena Super Stretch has fully breathable sides and reasonably soft padding. I figured this would help keep the diaper a bit cooler in warm conditions, but it was still a little warm during testing. The breathable sides stayed cool but the diaper’s padding felt warm, perhaps due to the padding being relatively warm compared with the sides. The diaper can be expected to hold its form, but I found during testing the bottom of the tapes can become loose and scratch the wearer's legs if you’re not careful (this may be less of an issue for those with a tighter fitting). Another potential problem for those with a looser fitting is that the front wings of the diaper have a habit of folding inwards without anything pulling them back. The padding coverage is somewhat small, ignoring the looser fit (which I can’t fault the diaper too much on as I was pushing the lower limit of its sizing) I found it very comfortable when worn dry, but it wasn’t among the top performers I’ve ranked for comfort.
Comfort Rating (wet): 8
Some diapers become more comfortable when wet, for the Tena Super Stretch this may have been partially true. While this diaper does have some surface dryness issues on the second wetting, it remains dry and comfortable after the first. You wouldn’t really notice the wetting after it was absorbed, it would just feel a little softer. Moreover, the first wetting will soften the somewhat rigid padding structure. Otherwise, the breathability of this diaper is more apparent when it's wet and I’ve never experienced clumping or significant padding deterioration when worn wet. While some low-mid range plastic-backed diapers can have a clammy feeling after 1 or 2 wettings, that certainly isn’t the case with the Tena Super Stretch.
|3.3 Tena Super Stretch Topsheet and Backsheet|
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 3.8% (topsheet), 5.8% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 2 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 8
The Tena Super Stretch diaper demonstrated good resilience to deterioration in the dry durability test. In this test it was worn for nearly 10 hours under modest activity and while there was some padding deterioration it was relatively minor and mostly connected to the edges of the padding. Although the tapes have a tendency to move they didn’t seem to lose any stickiness through this time. The wetness indicator showed no signs of dampness throughout the test. This is the first cloth-backed diaper I’ve tested so I don’t have a good reference diaper, but it feels like perhaps a slightly less durable Tena Slip Active Maxi (PE).
Durability Rating (wet): 7
The Tena Super Stretch wet durability was about the same as its dry durability and again similar to that of the Tena Slip Active Maxi (PE). During testing there were no signs of significant padding failure when wet in spite of a fair amount of activity. For an active wearer I suspect slipping tapes would be more of an issue, but I didn’t deduct from this score in that respect as it doesn’t advertise as being for active wear. I was a little surprised by its poor performance in the shake test and I probably would rank it an 8 if it weren’t for that because it wasn’t carrying a huge amount of weight. That said, in a realistic setting I feel this is a diaper you can count on to hold together for a reasonable amount of time after a wetting.
|3.4 Tena Super Stretch Dry Test Deterioration|
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 3 cm (1.18"), 4.5 cm (1.77")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 6 cm (2.36"), 4 cm (1.57")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4 cm (1.57"), 3 cm (1.18")
Profile Discretion Rating: 9
The Tena Super Stretch is very easy to conceal under clothing. The only notable aspect that would standout is its relatively high rise above the waistline. Otherwise, it easily fit under normal clothing and would likely work for all but the tightest fitting pants. Given it’s mid-range absorbency it feels like a safe bet where discretion is a top priority.
|4.1 Tena Super Stretch Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)|
Noise Rating: 9
I was torn whether to give this diaper a 9 or a 10 for its noise discretion rating. It was the quietest diaper I’ve tested so far, but I still feel there are some cloth-backed diapers I haven’t yet tested that will prove to be quieter. For that reason I gave it a 9, but rest assured this diaper is incredibly quiet and would be very easy to conceal in that regard. The only obvious noise seemed to come from the hook and loop fasteners rubbing the fabric when sitting up/down. Also this diaper will be very loud during a change because pulling the fastener makes a distinct tearing noise (I didn’t factor this into my rating).
|4.3 Tena Super Stretch Noise Profile|
Odor Reduction Rating: 8
Like many other Tena adult diapers, the Super Stretch did a great job at resisting odors. I’m not sure if there’s something in the padding that helps neutralize them but it feels like that must at least be a factor as this diaper didn’t have waistbands or a structure that was particularly resilient to retaining odors. My primary concern with this diaper was its tendency for surface dampness, which might happen in 1~2 wettings. I feel if worn for longer this could lead to odors, but otherwise odors should be easily concealed in normal circumstances.