*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is a slightly more absorbent version of the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and identical in most respects. It has a high quality ridiculously smooth plastic-backing; the same backsheet that made the original Tena Slip Maxi such a popular product. The padding is dense, compact and barely, if at all, thicker than the Maxi. It’s an interesting product, as if the company decided they needed something a little more than Maxi and added another drop of absorption to the branding, breaking their scale (see packaging). As far as I can tell there’s nothing more absorbent in this line of products.
Like the Maxi this is a premium European diaper and I feel its absorbency better fits that title. It’s reliably about a half to full wetting more absorbent than the Maxi, so it could make a big difference if you found the Maxi was leaking earlier than you’d like and makes this diaper better suited for bedwetting. Otherwise it provides a snug fit, is super discreet, and highly durable like the Maxi, perfect for active individuals. Because it’s so similar, I won’t go into as much detail about it as I do with the Maxi, but I frequently reference that review for easy comparison.
- Plastic backsheet
- Two-tier padding with very absorbent mid-section
- White backsheet with grey dots
- Rear waistband
- Refastenable tapes
- Standing inner leak barriers
- Very comfortable backsheet/topsheet
- Snug/discreet fit
- More absorbent than the Maxi
- Great durability/fit for active wearers
- Great for warm weather wear
- Resistant to odors/skin irritation
- High unit price
- Not widely available
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Manufacturer: Essity Hygiene and Health AB
Units Per Bag: 21
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 39 cm (15.4") x 17 cm (6.7") x 25 cm (9.8")
Weight: 3.25 kg (7.2 lbs)
Available Sizes: M,L,XL
Advertised Absorbency: Ultima
Backsheet: Plastic (Poly)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (yellow line down 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 grey dots along edges)
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: Yes
Folded Thickness: 2 cm (0.8")
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8")
Dry Weight: 158 g (5.6 oz)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 80 cm (31.5") x 63 cm (24.8") x 26 cm (10.2") x 61 cm (24")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 62 cm (24.4") x 23 cm (9.1") x 14 cm (5.5") x 24 cm (9.5")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 4.5 cm (1.8") x 8 cm (3.2") x 5 cm (2") x 18 cm (7.1")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1120 cm2 (174 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 4 cm (1.6") x 15 cm (5.9")
Tape (W x L): 3 cm (1.2") x 4 cm (1.6")
|1.2 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Diaper
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1392 ml (49.1 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1442 ml (50.9 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (43 s, 46 s, 45 s, 49 s, 58 s, 51 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 6 cm (2.4")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 96%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1.24 ml / cm2 (0.28 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 50 ml (1.8 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Ultima performed well during surface dampness tests with no significant surface dampness on the first 3 wettings, putting it ahead of the Maxi. During real world testing it performed similar to the Maxi, and I didn’t find dampness to be much of a concern. It should remain comfortable until it approaches saturation.
|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: 1367 ml (48.2 oz)
Total Wettings: 4 (1 standing, 3 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 85%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1.22 ml / cm2 (0.28 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima performed well in the standing-sitting test. The first wetting was easily absorbed when standing and no pressout was observed upon sitting. Also, all surface dampness was quickly locked away. The second wetting while seated took a bit longer to absorb with more moisture wicking up the front of the diaper; however, there were no leaks and surface dampness faded quickly. On the third wetting the front of the diaper became noticeably saturated with trace amounts making it through the front leak guards and the surface dampness was more noticeable. The leakage wasn’t much more than a light sweat, so I decided to continue the test. By the fourth wetting more spilled through the front leak guards and resulted in a light leak, it wasn’t a lot but it would have been noticeable on clothing. What’s interesting is that there was still a substantial area of unused padding at the back; it might be that the snug fit was acting against more effective channeling to the diaper’s rear padding. Even at this point of saturation, the diaper was still pretty comfortable, which I found surprising. Overall, I feel this diaper could take 2~3 wettings without leakage during active daily wear and, as expected, it performs slightly better than the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi.
Total Absorbed Volume: 1717 ml (60.6 oz)
Total Wettings: 5
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 99%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1.53 ml / cm2 (0.35 oz / in2)
Lying Down Rating: 9
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima performed exceptionally well when tested while lying down. Its padding was clearly more absorbent than the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and it benefited from the same amazing structure. The first wetting was quickly absorbed and barely noticed. The second took slightly longer to absorb but little-to-no surface dampness was perceivable afterwards. On the third wetting some moisture did get to the edge of the padding and it felt like it might leak but instead the leak barriers held it in and the padding absorbed the excess. It was much the same on the fourth wetting and the diaper felt noticeably damp afterwards. At this point I believe had I got up and sat somewhere there would have been leakage, but lying down with no pressure on the core areas of padding meant it wasn’t going anywhere. The diaper had a noticeable dampness to it at this point but wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. By the fifth wetting the leak barriers clearly failed and there was substantial leakage through the rear leg gathers. Even so the diaper held onto a lot of moisture that would otherwise have leaked in a diaper with weaker barriers. This test pushed the padding to its limit and it was well past saturated, so I feel the recorded absorbency is a bit of an exaggeration of how well it performed. It reflects more on the strength of its leak barriers, which, while impressive, wasn’t enough for me to justify a perfect score. Overall it is well suited for bedwetting and should hold 3~4 wettings before leakage becomes a concern.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)
Daily Wear and BedwettingThe Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is a more absorbent version of the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi, but I feel its added absorbency puts it more in line with other premium adult diapers for performance. It also features the two tier padding construct with a more absorbent midsection that swells above the light surrounding areas. The material and construct is the same as the Maxi, with an exceptionally smooth plastic-backsheet that will put up no resistance when active. Like the Maxis, these seem to have their most absorbent padding in the mid-front section. In practice I found this diaper to be better than expected for bed wetting even though it's geared more for daily wear. Where the Maxi would fail between 2~3 wettings this diaper typically won’t leak on the 3rd wetting. During my test it did exceptionally well but part of that was due to the structure and its ability to retain moisture even when ridiculously saturated when not under pressure. This diaper is designed for daily wear and again it outdoes the Maxi in that regard. However, I did find it suffers the same occasional problem, where a very heavy wetting while standing may allow some moisture to escape the leg gathers well before saturation. Where I found the Maxi had a tendency for small leaks after 2 wettings, it wouldn’t be an issue on this one until at least 3 wettings. In terms of durability, it’s exceptionally durable and the tapes are surprisingly strong for their size. It also feels light and is very easy to hide under clothing. With that in mind, even with it being slightly more expensive than the Maxi, I feel like the extra confidence this diaper provides makes going up a level in absorbency worthwhile.
Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 8
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is reasonably well suited for bowel incontinence. It features a plastic backsheet with a rear waistband, strong inner leak guards and a snug fit with good tapes. The only real disadvantage it has in this regard is the relatively limited area of rear padding. Otherwise, it should be an excellent choice for bowel containment.
Wear & Tear Tests
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima fitting is almost identical to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and 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 difficult to position if you need to reattach it.
|3.1 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Fastener
Ease-of-Use Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Ultima again is almost identical to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi when it comes to ease of use. The primary challenges are its relatively small sizing, which can make it tough to get the tape alignment correct and finding the best position for the lower tape. Otherwise, this diaper provides a snug and comfortable fit with great backsheet flexibility.
|3.2 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Fit
Comfort Rating (dry): 10
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima, again like the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi, is among the most comfortable diapers on the market; particularly among plastic-backed alternatives. The plastic used in these diapers has a unique almost “breathable” feel to it, it’s very smooth and not prone to wrinkling. The padding is dense and relatively thin, but also very soft (although not as soft as the Attento diaper). This diaper certainly fits it “active” fit categorization as it’s flexible and breathable and doesn’t feel heavy to wear. It has a rear waistband like the Maxi and that may slightly help with providing a snug fit, but I don’t feel it makes a big difference overall.
Comfort Rating (wet): 10
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is effectively the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi but more absorbent. In my review of the Maxi I mentioned my biggest complaint in terms of wet comfort was around absorbency and the tendency for some minor leakage with only 2 wettings. That isn’t so much an issue for the Ultima and thus I’ve given it a higher rating. This diaper will swell quite a bit when wet but it is highly resistant to surface dampness and doesn't feel particularly different from its dry state until it approaches saturation. It is also incredibly durable and doesn’t clump or tear.
|3.3 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Topsheet and Backsheet
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 2.1% (topsheet), 2% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 3 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 9
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima performed similarly to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi in terms of dry durability with only very minor padding tearing and no significant deterioration in key parts of the padding. After hours of wearing while dry the diaper won’t feel much different from when it was applied. In fact it may be slightly more comfortable as the dense padding fluffs up a bit.
Durability Rating (wet): 8
No surprise, but the Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima was again similar to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi in terms of wet durability. It didn’t perform particularly well on the shake test, but it had absorbed a lot and I’ve found that test isn’t always indicative of how well a diaper will perform in reality. The padding will stay mostly intact when wet with more deterioration toward the edges than in the middle; part of this may be a side-effect of the tendency for the highly absorbent padding down the middle to expand more than that around the edges. I feel it could continue to be worn when active after a single wetting with high confidence it won’t come apart on you; but you wouldn’t want to push it when it reaches saturation.
|3.4 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Diaper Dry Test Deterioration
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 5 cm (2"), 5 cm (2")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 5 cm (2"), 4 cm (1.6")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 2.5 cm (1"), 2.5 cm (1")
Profile Discretion Rating: 9
While the Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is more absorbent than the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi, it’s identical in terms of profile discretion. It’s easy to hide under clothing and won’t be noticeable unless it's very wet and has swollen in size.
|4.1 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)
Noise Rating: 9
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima is identical to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi in terms of noise. These diapers are incredibly quiet for having a plastic backing that won’t be noticeable in all but the quietest of rooms. Even then you could likely dampen the sound with the use of mesh pants or underwear over top.
|4.3 Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima Noise Profile
Odor Reduction Rating: 10
The Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima doesn’t have any perceivable fragrance and provides best in market odor reduction capabilities. Like the Maxi, I almost never notice odors coming from its padding and suspect it uses something special to nullify them. The snug fit also helps if any odors were to form. I can’t see any diaper performing better than this in this regard.