*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
SummaryThe NorthShore AirSupreme is a premium line of European cloth-backed adult diapers that mirrors the plastic-backed NorthShore Supreme. There’s also a less absorbent version of this called the NorthShore AirSupreme Lite. I found this diaper to be quite absorbent, somewhere between the Seni Super Quatro and Seni Super Plus. However, compared with the plastic-backed version of this diaper I found the tapes on this diaper to be far weaker, unfortunately frequently resulting in a loose or sagging fit. For this reason I don’t believe the NorthShore AirSupreme to be a good choice for daily wear. It’s likely better suited to overnight wear, but even then I noticed a bit of looseness. Sagging aside, this diaper has a highly comfortable padding and is quite breathable and skin friendly. I prefer the NorthShore Supreme, but if the tape issue were to be corrected this diaper could be a serious contender.
- Cloth-like backsheet
- Repositionable tapes
- Rear waistband
- Standing inner leak barriers
- Breathable design
- Resistant to surface dampness
- Tape weakness
- Some backsheet perspiration
- Loose fitting
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized NorthShore AirSupreme Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Manufacturer: NorthShore Care Supply
Units Per Bag: 15
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 35 cm (13.8") x 15 cm (5.9") x 24 cm (9.5")
Weight: 3.9 kg (8.5 lbs)
Available Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Advertised Absorbency: Maximum
|1.1 NorthShore AirSupreme Packaging|
Backsheet: Cloth-like (non-woven)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (yellow line and text down middle, blue when wet, text fades)
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
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: Yes
Folded Thickness: 2.7 cm (1.1")
Folded Length: 23.5 cm (9.3")
Dry Weight: 192 g (6.8 oz)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 77 cm (30.3") x 66 cm (26") x 28 cm (11") x 60 cm (23.2")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 62 cm (24.4") x 29 cm (11.4") x 17 cm (6.7") x 28 cm (11")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 6 cm (2.4") x 12 cm (4.7") x 5.5 cm (2.2") x 13 cm (2.1")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1341 cm2 (208 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 4 cm (1.6") x 13 cm (5.1")
Tape (W x L): 3 cm (1.2") x 5 cm (2")
|1.2 NorthShore AirSupreme Diaper|
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1448 ml (51.1 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1458 ml (51.4 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (59 s, 42 s, 45 s, 45 s, 49 s, 46 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 5.5 cm (2.2")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 95%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1.08 ml / cm2 (0.25 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 10 ml (0.35 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 7
The NorthShore AirSupreme performed well when it came to surface dampness. There wasn’t a trace of dampness after the first wetting and only a little after the second wetting. There was a bit more by the third wetting and further wettings. In real world testing, surface dampness was never an issue after first wetting and only slightly noticeable on the third.
|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: 1158 ml (41 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 2 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 96%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.86 ml / cm2 (0.20 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 7
The NorthShore AirSupreme performed well in the standing-sitting test. The first wetting while standing was rapidly absorbed with little sign of surface dampness or leakage thereafter. There was also no sign of leakage upon sitting shortly after. The second wetting while seated was also quickly absorbed but there was a brief period of pooling before it was fully absorbed. Afterward there was very little surface dampness and no sign of leakage, the diaper remained comfortable and breathable. There was a bit more dampness on the 3rd wetting, particularly up the front of the diaper. There was no immediate leak, but shortly after there was a substantial leak through the rear leg gathers and I ended the test at that. The diaper still felt relatively dry and breathable but most of the padding was wet and it was clearly at capacity. This diaper is definitely sufficiently absorbent for daily usage, expect at least 2 wettings before leakage would be of concern.
Total Absorbed Volume: 1183 ml (41.7 oz)
Total Wettings: 3
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 80%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.88 ml / cm2 (0.20 oz / in2)
Lying Down Rating: 8
The NorthShore AirSupreme also performed well when tested while lying down and feels like it may be better suited to bedwetting on account of the tape weakness. The first wetting was quickly absorbed and there was little sense of surface dampness. The padding swelled a bit and certainly feels thicker when wet but not uncomfortable. Similarly, the second wetting was absorbed nearly as quickly and again there wasn’t too much surface dampness, though I suspect it was more susceptible to pressout at this point. Even so it didn’t leak while lying down. On the third wetting there was finally a bit of leakage and more obvious surface dampness. The leakage was relatively small in area and the diaper was still relatively comfortable, but I did notice the tapes had loosened a bit by this point. I stopped the test at that, as I believe this diaper will realistically take 2 wettings when lying down and 3 would likely push it to leak.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)|
Daily Wear and BedwettingThe NorthShore AirSupreme proved highly absorbent during testing. As mentioned previously, I found it to be somewhere between the Seni Super Plus and Seni Super Quatro in terms of capacity. This diaper is highly breathable, perhaps to a fault since it’s prone to loosening due to tape weakness. With that said, I never noticed much skin irritation during testing but did spot a few minor leaks after 1~2 wettings, perhaps partly a result of perspiration through the backsheet. I should also note that the padding in this diaper becomes somewhat firmer rather than squishy when wet, this probably makes it a little more prone to tearing but perhaps less prone to clumping; all in all I think it benefits its durability and comfort. It has a generous amount of padding coverage like the Seni diapers, but the primary difference I noticed is definitely in the tapes. While the Seni Super Quatro tapes hold up quite well for a cloth-backed diaper, that is not the case in the NorthShore AirSupreme. The tape weakness was noticeable even when not doing any refastenings, making it particularly difficult to retain a snug fit. I found this to be less a problem for bedwetting, where movement is limited. I never had any leaks overnight and feel it should be well placed to manage up to 2 wettings before leakage when worn for bedwetting. The extent of the padding coverage would be a big benefit for side sleepers, although the cloth-like wings will not prevent moisture from leaking out the sides (something I discovered in testing). As you can probably guess, this diaper is not appropriate for active daily usage. I’m not sure if I got a bad batch or if this is a regular problem, but every time I tried wearing during the day I found the diaper would come loose to the point that it sat very low on my hips. In terms of absorption it was similar during daily usage, but perhaps with a slight increased risk in leakage when seated. This diaper would be best for bedwetters, but probably also be well suited for a care facility in less active individuals as it’s quite skin friendly.
Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 5
The NorthShore AirSupreme diaper should be alright for bowel incontinence in overnight wear. Though it has a cloth-like backsheet it also has a rear waistband. Again, the primary downside with this diaper is the weaker tapes. Weak tapes mean it won’t hold up a lot of weight without sagging and consequently it would not be good for daytime usage.
Wear & Tear Tests
The NorthShore AirSupreme features a cloth-like backsheet with a mix of tape / hook & loop fasteners. The tapes are a decent size but don’t have a particularly good grip, particularly after refastening. I’ve found the tape part of the fastener quickly loses adhesiveness as it pulls away bits of the backsheet with refastenings, while the hook & loop sections are relatively weak on their own.
|3.1 NorthShore AirSupreme Fastener|
Ease-of-Use Rating: 7
The NorthShore AirSupreme is about as easy to use as any cloth-backed diaper. Initially it’s easy to get a snug fit, but it’s hard to retain it due to the tape loosening. On the plus side it does feature a rear waistband which helps with form fitting and containment. It also features a wetness indicator that isn’t sensitive to sweat/light dribbles. I rank it similar to the Nextgen Absorbent Plus with respect to ease-of-use. It will be better suited for bedwetting or non-active daytime wearers.
|3.2 NorthShore AirSupreme Diaper Fit|
Comfort Rating (dry): 8
The NorthShore AirSupreme features a soft backsheet and firm but comfortable padding. With wear the padding will loosen up a bit and it's fairly resistant to clumping or tearing, though less so than the NorthShore Supreme. The feel is perhaps similar to the Seni Super Plus or Egosan Ultra, but I found the tapes to have a weaker grip. For this reason it often loosens up with wear so I can’t quite rank it among the top performing diapers for comfort even if it is super breathable and skin friendly.
Comfort Rating (wet): 6
I found the NorthShore AirSupreme to be much like the Lille SupremFit Maxi when it came to wet comfort. It has some great features like a surface-dampness resistant padding and breathable design. But the tapes are just too weak and it’s highly prone to sagging. It’s also somewhat susceptible to backsheet perspiration which can cause external dampness seemingly out of nowhere; but I didn’t find that to be as much of a problem as in some cloth-backed diapers. Sagging aside, the padding is relatively durable but not among the top performers, with some degree of padding tearing when wet but little in the way of clumping.
|3.3 NorthShore AirSupreme Topsheet and Backsheet|
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 7.9% (topsheet), 11.1% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 4 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 7
The NorthShore AirSupreme padding is very durable when dry. I never noticed much in terms of clumping or tearing, though because it’s so wide it can be expected to collapse inward between the legs with wear. That said, little core padding is affected and I don’t see dry deterioration that would create any sort of barrier to absorbency. This diaper does also feature a rear waistband, but I don’t find that contributes significantly toward durability. Instead, as is a common theme, the biggest issue is the tape looseness that over time can cause the diaper to slip or become looser. This isn’t as big a factor when dry but certainly factors in when the diaper has more weight when wet.
Durability Rating (wet): 6
Durability when wet in the NorthShore AirSupreme reflects comfort in that again it’s primarily affected by tape weakness and sagging. Moreover, the tapes tend to pull off fabric from the backsheet when refastened, contributing further to weakness and making it hard to refasten if needed. Because of this it would not be a good choice for daytime usage in active individuals. Padding durability is similar to its dry state, though perhaps with a little more tearing. Even so, it did perform reasonably well in the wet shake test, managing 4 shakes before collapse. Once again, I rank the performance of the NorthShore AirSupreme at a similar level as the Lille SupremFit Maxi. Improving the tapes could go a long way to making this a great product.
|3.4 NorthShore AirSupreme Dry Test Deterioration|
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4 cm (1.6"), 7 cm (2.8")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 3 cm (1.2"), 3 cm (1.2")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 2.5 cm (1"), 3.5 cm (1.4")
Profile Discretion Rating: 5
Much like the NorthShore Supreme this diaper features a noticeable bulge at the front and rear that would be difficult to conceal under all but the loosest of clothing. Aside from that, its rise above the pantline is relatively modest.
|4.1 NorthShore AirSupreme Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)|
|4.2 NorthShore AirSupreme Sweats Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)|
The NorthShore AirSupreme has a fairly quiet design and would be pretty easy to conceal under clothing with meshpants or underwear. I did notice a bit more noise in this than in the Tranquility Smartcore or Prevail Air Overnight, but it was just a soft crinkling. Some of the noise likely resulted from that sagging, which could be correct with a snugger fit.
|4.3 NorthShore AirSupreme Noise Profile|
Odor Reduction Rating: 8
The padding in the NorthShore AirSupreme does a great job at neutralizing odors. This goes some way to making up for the weakness of the looser fit, a factor that makes it more susceptible to odors. The padding is also highly resistant to surface dampness, which further benefits against the formation of odors. Overall I have no real complaints in this regard.
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For such a base weight I would have expected a much higher absorption! It is similar to Euro Tena-Flex purple and ultima but weighing about 150 and 165 grams for Large and surpassing absorption.ReplyDelete
It's interesting that sometimes the weight isn't much a factor in absorbance. It was also actually very similar to the Medline Extended Wear. It will be interesting to compare with my next test on the Tena Flex Maxi. I didn't realize there even was an Ultima in that line. I'll need to check it out for a future review.Delete
I think it is a SAP ratio to Fluff-pulp. Where SAP will result in a higher end absorbance but fluff will have faster wicking. I usually calculate the ratio between empty weight and full weight. Anything around >9 will decent absorption. Best so far was pampers size 7 which weighs 35g and has ~18g SAP and 10g fluff and rest is plastic. It should hold about 750ml.Delete
Interesting, that makes sense. I measure absorption-to-surface area, but haven't done anything with absorption-to-weight. I think that could be an interesting metric to add. At some point I'd to run the test on baby diapers as well to see how the compare with the adult diapers, in theory the technologies used should be similar.Delete