Friday, 3 December 2021

NorthShore MegaMax Adult Diaper Review

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


Summary

The NorthShore MegaMax is a high absorbency adult diaper sold by the incontinence supplier NorthShore. It’s the second of their “in house” line of products, introduced after the NorthShore Supreme and advertised as more absorbent, but comes with a higher price. In this way it follows a trend of companies like Rearz or Forsite importing from China to market as in house. But in contrast to the Rearz, Forsite or Bambino diapers, the MegaMax has a considerably different construct, suggesting a different manufacturer or manufacturing process. The exterior is similar to those diapers with a firm plastic landing zone. However, its padding is thinner and has a honeycomb-like texture. The topsheet is also far more resistant to surface dampness than those other diapers, while the waistbands are wider. The backsheet comes in several additional colors including blue, pink, black and tie-dye (of all things).

The sizing of this diaper runs large and in my review, following the recommended sizing I went with a small rather than the usual medium. The sizing is comparable to the ConfiDry 24/7, which now has me curious about how the small size of that diaper would fit. Overall, I found this diaper to be comfortable and surprisingly breathable, but it fell short when it came to absorbency, largely as a result of the topsheet repelling moisture causing leakage through the sides. The theoretical capacity of this diaper is certainly much greater than observed in testing, perhaps closer to the lab test result. Also, it’s marketed as a medical diaper, but it comes at a very high unit cost and after testing both I feel the NorthShore Supreme provides a better value. That said, perhaps with some design improvements it could be a great diaper for long duration wear.

Key Features:

  • Plastic backsheet
  • Tape landing zone
  • Standing inner leak barriers
  • Dual waistbands

Pros:

  • High level of absorbency
  • Comfortable fit
  • Very strong tapes
  • Wide waistbands
  • Strongly resistant to surface dampness
  • Durable padding

Cons:

  • Very high unit cost
  • Topsheet pooling
  • Tapes can be hard to remove

 

Product Details

For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the small-sized NorthShore MegaMax Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:


Packaging

Brand: NorthShore
Manufacturer: Unknown (imported by NorthShore)
Origin: China
Units Per Bag: 10
Cost Per Unit: $$$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 29 cm (11.4") x 17 cm (6.7") x 25 cm (9.8")
Weight: 1.95 kg (4.3 lbs)
Available Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Advertised Absorbency: Maximum (12 hours)


1.1 NorthShore MegaMax 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: Yes
Outer Color: White
Inner Color: White (bright blue rectangle in middle padding)
Front Waistband: Yes
Rear Waistband: Yes
Folded Thickness: 3.0 cm (1.2")
Folded Length: 24 cm (9.5")
Dry Weight: 183 g (6.5 oz)
Fragrance: No
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 80 cm (31.5") x 63 cm (24.8") x 34 cm (13.4") x 62 cm (24.4")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 69 cm (27.2") x 30 cm (11.8") x 20 cm (7.9") x 37 cm (14.6")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 5 cm (2") x 12 cm (4.7") x 8.5 cm (3.4") x 19 cm (7.5")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1823 cm2 (283 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 3.5 cm (1.4") x 13 cm (5.1")
Tape (W x L): 5 cm (2") x 5 cm (2")

1.2 NorthShore MegaMax Diaper


Laboratory Absorbency Tests

Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1917 ml (67.63 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1942 ml (68.5 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (35 s, 42 s, 60 s, 63 s, 63 s, 63 s, 60 s, 60 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 6.5 cm (2.6")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 68%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1.05 ml / cm2 (0.24 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 25 ml (0.9 oz)

Surface Dampness Rating: 9

The NorthShore MegaMax performed very well when it came to surface dampness. During lab testing there was no apparent surface dampness in the first 3 wettings and no substantial surface dampness until the 6th wetting. I couldn’t give it a perfect score because I do account for the fact a significant amount of moisture was repelled by the topsheet and could result in a lot of temporary surface dampness. Its performance was backed up in real world testing, even when wet this diaper rarely felt damp and it deserves a spot among the top performers 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


Standing-Sitting

Total Absorbed Volume: 1267 ml (44.7 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 2 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 57%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.70 ml / cm2 (0.16 oz / in2)

Standing-Sitting Rating: 8
The NorthShore MegaMax easily absorbed the first wetting while standing with minimal pooling. The padding swelled a bit, but the surface of the diaper remained comfortable and dry. There was no sign of leakage upon sitting shortly afterwards. The second wetting was again fully absorbed but there was noticeable pooling as the topsheet initially repelled moisture before it eventually settled. There was no leakage at this point and once the pooling subsided the padding continued to remain dry and comfortable. On the third wetting enough moisture was able to pool at the front that a small amount was able to escape from the sides and I ended the test at that. There certainly was enough absorbency left to handle more wettings, but when the topsheet repels moisture so readily it becomes prone to leaks. I believe this size will generally take 2~3 wettings in daily wear before leakage becomes a concern.


Lying Down

Total Absorbed Volume: 1367 ml (48.2 oz)
Total Wettings: 3
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 59%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.75 ml / cm2 (0.17 oz / in2)

Lying Down Rating: 8

The NorthShore MegaMax performed quite well when tested while lying down. The first wetting was easily absorbed with no signs of leakage and minimal surface dampness. Afterward any moisture was barely perceivable. The second wetting was again easily absorbed with little in the way of surface dampness (though there was some brief pooling), by this point the diaper’s padding around the crotch/mid-section had swelled substantially. Still, it felt like it had a lot more capacity to go. The diaper was perfectly comfortable at this point. The third wetting was a bit of a surprise, the front padding repelled a substantial amount of moisture allowing some to pool and push out through the sides eventually leaking from outside the rear leg gathers. I wasn’t expecting it to leak so early because it did seem like it had a lot of absorbency remaining. However, it was consistent with what was absorbed in the lab absorbency test. The topsheet does a great job at stopping pressout surface moisture, but it also repels moisture that should be getting absorbed, this became more of a problem as the padding swelled creating less space to distribute excess moisture. After the leakage the diaper continued to remain comfortable, but the wearer would have ended up with wet bed sheets. There was also still a substantial amount of unused rear padding.

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


Daily Wear and Bedwetting

The NorthShore MegaMax performed reasonably well when tested for daily wear and bedwetting. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting in terms of total absorption. It absorbed a decent amount before leaking, but leaked when there was still plenty of untouched padding.The total absorption in the lying down and standing-sitting test was similar and both could be expected to handle up to 3 wettings before significant leakage becomes a problem. In both cases the reason they leaked was because the padding repelled moisture from entering so much that it pooled and pushed out the sides before it could be fully absorbed. Initially, I thought this was a fluke but I noticed it in all tests done, including the capacity test (in that case I just ignored it to push it to the point of significant surface dampness after a 10 minute wait time). I will again mention that I tested the “small” version of this diaper rather than my usual medium because the sizing of this diaper runs very large (like the ConfiDry 24/7), but even then I’m not sure the pooling issue would be that much better with a medium. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but based on the marketing I kind of expected it to absorb twice as much. There were other problems too. The tapes held remarkably well, but almost to a fault because they proved very difficult to remove. This would be problematic for those with a weak grip. In this way, this diaper may be better suited for those who are double incontinent or perhaps bedwetting, but not for daily wear for people who can still sometimes make it to the bathroom in time. I also noticed a rash developed after 2 nights of wear for bedwetting. I found that surprising given how well it performed for padding surface dampness, but perhaps some moisture made it out the sides. Aside from that, this diaper is incredibly comfortable, it seems quite resistant to trapping heat and feels surprisingly breathable for a diaper with a plastic backsheet. The backsheet is a smooth/soft plastic that isn’t prone to chafing. It also has an impressively durable padding that won’t readily clump or tear and ranks among the top performers for resisting surface dampness once a wetting has been fully absorbed. In terms of daily wear or bedwetting I feel this diaper could theoretically handle 4~6 wettings were it not for the pooling issue, but as it is I’d be hesitant to push it beyond 3.


Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 8

The NorthShore MegaMax diaper is fairly well suited for bowel incontinence. It has very wide waistbands at the front/rear and a plastic backsheet to better contain odors. There’s a generous amount of rear padding, standing inner leak guards and quite a bit of extra space at the rear for containment. That said, the leak guards aren’t the strongest you’ll find and pooling could be an issue. I rank it similar to the Attends Slip Regular Plus in this regard.


Wear & Tear Tests


Fitting

The NorthShore MegaMax has a plastic backsheet with a special landing zone for the tapes, similar to the Forsite AM/PM or Carnation diaper. The tapes are of high quality and have a very strong grip. They can be refastened multiple times if placed over the landing zone, but in practice I found them very difficult to remove because of how strongly they grip the surface.

3.1 NorthShore MegaMax Fastener

 

Ease-of-Use Rating: 8

The NorthShore MegaMax is quite user friendly, I was surprised by how easy it was to attain a snug fit in this diaper. It features front and rear waistbands, which help a lot with fitting and has a smaller snugger fit compared with some of the larger high absorbency diapers like the ConfiDry 24/7 or Rearz Barnyard. The caveat is that I followed the recommended waist size for myself of small on these vs medium on those two (the actual sizing on these is similar to the ConfiDry 24/7). The refastenable landing zone is also quite convenient as it makes it easy to adjust the tapes or detach when needed. However, the tapes can be difficult to remove once they’ve been attached, they hold incredibly well but could be a struggle for a caregiver or someone with arm weakness to remove. Aside from that, the only other downside in terms of ease-of-use is the lack of a wetness indicator, which could make it more challenging to use in a care environment.

3.2 NorthShore MegaMax Diaper Fit

Comfort


Comfort Rating (dry): 9

The NorthShore MegaMax provides a high degree of comfort. The padding is reasonably soft, though not the softest on the market. The backsheet is quite comfortable, with the only exception being the hard plastic landing zone. It fits snugly and the parts of the backsheet that come into contact with the skin are of a skin friendly material. It felt surprisingly breathable for a diaper with a plastic backsheet and absorbent padding. With that in mind, the padding is a little thinner than you might expect, quite a bit thinner than that of the ConfiDry 24/7. Also of note with regards to the padding is that it’s very resistant to clumping and tearing and adheres quite well to the backsheet. The waistbands are exceptionally wide and flexible/comfortable against the skin. I can’t say this diaper is the most comfortable I’ve ever tried, but it’s not far off and I put it on par with the Attends Slip Regular Plus.


Comfort Rating (wet): 10

The NorthShore MegaMax is among the top performers for wet comfort (ignoring initial pooling after a wetting). The topsheet appears to repel moisture from coming back up to the wearer’s skin and the padding remains fairly firm without clumping or tearing, similar to the BetterDry/Crinklz or Drylife SlipSuper. The tapes hold strong so you don’t get the degree of sagging you would in many other high capacity diapers. The padding does have a tendency to swell but I didn’t find that took away much from the comfort. In fact the padding may even become more comfortable when wet as it softens a bit like other diapers with a similar padding construct. You’re unlikely to notice much clamminess with this diaper, overall I have no complaints.

3.3 NorthShore MegaMax Topsheet and Backsheet


Durability

Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 6.7% (topsheet), 12.4% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 4 shakes to deterioration


Durability Rating (dry): 8
The NorthShore MegaMax performed very well when it came to dry durability. The padding is highly resistant to clumping or tearing, but it does collapse inward a bit at its midsection. At the end of the dry durability test there was a fair amount of deterioration but none in any of the core padding so the impact it would have on absorbance wouldn’t be significant. The tapes hold together ridiculously well, once they’re fastened you won’t need to worry about them coming loose, but if you pull them or misplace them they can easily tear bits of the backsheet. The honeycomb-shaped padding does a very good job at adhering to the backsheet, which is another big plus for this diaper. I feel it could easily be worn for active wear though it is a bit big.


Durability Rating (wet): 9

The NorthShore MegaMax performed strongly when it came to wet durability. It was perhaps similar to the BetterDry/Crinklz in this regard, but slightly short of the Drylife SlipSuper or NorthShore Supreme diapers. The padding on this diaper is remarkably resilient and even though the padding somewhat collapsed during the shake test, part of it still remained and did not seem to want to budge. During active wear the padding swelled quite a bit when wet but did not show significant signs of clumping or tearing when wet. It seems well constructed to stay in place and retains a degree of firmness. There were no issues with the tapes during testing, if anything they held a bit too strong because they proved difficult to remove. I feel this diaper could be well suited to active daily wear, it’s very hard to see it coming loose or the padding falling apart while active.

3.4 NorthShore MegaMax Dry Test Deterioration

Discretion Tests


Profile

Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4 cm (1.6"), 4 cm (1.6")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 6 cm (2.4"), 4 cm (1.6")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 3.5 cm (1.4"), 2.5 cm (1")

Profile Discretion Rating: 6

The NorthShore MegaMax is far from the most discreet diaper on the market in terms of profile. However, it’s not the thickest either and slightly easier to conceal than the Forsite AM/PM or Abena M4 for comparison. It will produce an obvious diaper bulge at the front and rear of the diaper, but it also fits snug against the body and is very resistant to sagging. This makes it a little easier to conceal with the aid of underwear or meshpants to hold it in place.

4.1 NorthShore MegaMax Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)

4.2 NorthShore MegaMax Sweats Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right) 


Noise

Noise Rating: 5

The NorthShore MegaMax is surprisingly quiet. This is characteristic of diapers that do a good job at keeping the padding attached to the backsheet. The main problem is that, like the Forsite AM/PM, the plastic landing zone on this diaper is a different material that’s more prone to noise. If it weren’t for that I’d score this diaper around an 8 in terms of the amount of noise it produces.

4.3 NorthShore MegaMax Noise Profile
 

Odor Reduction

Odor Reduction Rating: 8
The NorthShore MegaMax performed decently from an odor reduction perspective and I rarely noticed odors. It has the benefit of some very wide waistbands and padding resistant to surface dampness as well as a plastic backsheet. However, I didn’t find it quite as odor resistant as the Tena Slip Ultima or Seni Super Quatro.


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6 comments:

  1. Hey diaper metrics, I've been a huge time follower and actually use your research when buying diapers. I was wondering if you would like to join my Facebook group called official ABDL and Incontinence support group

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Thanks for reaching out. I'm happy to hear you've found my reviews helpful :). I deleted my Facebook account awhile ago, but now that I'm running this blog perhaps it's time to create a new one.
      J.

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    2. Does anybody know how many diapers are in a case of North Shore Supremes

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    3. It depends on the size, but there are 15 per package and 60 per case for the NorthShore Supreme's medium/large. The small has 20 per package and 80 per case.

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  2. First and foremost I commend your detailed analysis of the subject matter. But I must strongly disagree with what you have published as the capacity of this item, and the method you used for obtaining said result.

    When properly fitted and taped, which I beg to differ with the pictures that are posted that the brief was properly fitted for your test and the subsequent result you obtained.

    I have used these for over a year and have been constantly amazed by the capacity. On occasion out of astonished curiosity I have weighed the garment after many hours of use... fluid only, and on occasion have got weight measurements upwards of 10 pounds without 1 drop of leakage! Estimating 8.2 pounds per gallon that is well over 140 oz. or 4140ml. This is the large size result.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback. I have no doubt the NorthShore Megamax is capable of greater absorption than experienced in my testing. I will note that I tested a small version of the diaper vs the usual medium that I test with due to sizing. Even so, I try to be as consistent as possible with my tests so I don't believe the averaged relative absorbency is too far off what could be expected vs other products.

      I was surprised by the results of this test, but I also found similar results with this one (https://blog.diapermetrics.com/2022/04/abu-peekabu-adult-diaper-review.html), which has a very similar construction to the MegaMax. In the video you'll see that several times it isn't able to absorb quick enough and the leak guards are overwhelmed. Of course, these results may also be more applicable to those with a similar body type to mine so I wouldn't be surprised if some find it performs better. I'd be interested to do a test of the medium at some point in the future for reference even if I fall slightly below its sizing.

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