*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
The Tena Slip Original Maxi is a premium high absorbency European diaper that closely resembles the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and Ultima. The “original” in the name of this diaper appears to be a reference to the unusual history of Tena products in Europe. In the past, at the top of the European Tena was a product called the Tena Slip Maxi, which had a complete plastic backsheet and seemed almost identical to the current Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi; though perhaps with a little more bulkiness in its build. Then, early in the previous decade, it was given a cloth-like backsheet following the clothification trend at the time. This caused a bit of a consumer uproar as the Tena Slip Maxi was a very popular product, which in turn led to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi; effectively the same plastic backed diaper as the original with a different name. The diaper with the cloth-like backsheet continued to be known as the Tena Slip Maxi until more recently it was renamed as the Tena PROskin Slip Maxi. At some point at that time Essity also decided to bring back the “original” Tena Slip Maxi, but it isn’t quite the original since the diaper they labelled “original” features cloth-like wings (breathable sides), whereas original Tena Slip Maxi was all plastic-backed.
So now we have the Tena Slip Original Maxi and it’s a hybrid diaper, not unlike the Attends Slip Active M10 but with a fit much like the original Tena Slip Maxi. This diaper provides a high amount of absorbency, taking about 2 wettings during daily or overnight wear before leakage would likely be a concern. It also rates highly for discretion and comfort, being one of the quietest plastic-backed diapers on the market. I found it to be slightly better suited to daily wear due to its cloth-like sides. I know it's received criticism in response to its misleading branding, but I don’t hold that against it. It’s nice to have this option in the line of Tena products and, for people who like plastic-backed diapers for protection but find themselves frequently overheating, this diaper is a perfect choice. However, I should note that this diaper does fit the often smaller European sizing and is not very forgiving if it turns out to be too small (plastic tapes won’t adhere well to cloth-like sides) so if you’re in the upper half of a size it may be best to go up a size.
- Plastic backsheet
- Cloth-like sides (wings)
- Refastenable tapes
- Rear waistband
- Standing inner leak barriers
- Incredibly quiet during wear
- Comfortable and breathable
- Strong tapes + durable
- Good absorbency
- Limited availability/sizing
- Requires near perfect fit
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Tena Slip Original Maxi Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Manufacturer: Essity HMS North America Inc.
Units Per Bag: 24
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 39 cm (15.4") x 16.5 cm (6.5") x 24 cm (9.5")
Weight: 3.2 kg (7.1 lbs)
Available Sizes: M, L
Advertised Absorbency: Maxi
|1.1 Tena Slip Original Maxi Packaging
Backsheet: Plastic (poly)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (two yellow lines 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 (purple drops + text pattern down middle)
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: Yes
Folded Thickness: 1.8 cm (0.7")
Folded Length: 24 cm (9.5")
Dry Weight: 142 g (5 oz)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 80 cm (31.5") x 65 cm (25.6") x 27 cm (10.6") 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 15 cm (5.9") x 24 cm (9.5")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 4 cm (1.6") x 7 cm (2.8") x 4.5 cm (1.8") x 15 cm (5.9")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1091 cm2 (169 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 3 cm (1.2") x 13 cm (5.1")
Tape (W x L): 3 cm (1.2") x 4 cm (1.6")
|1.2 Tena Slip Original Maxi Diaper
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1183 ml (41.7 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1208 ml (42.6 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (41 s, 41 s, 46 s, 46 s, 53 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 5 cm (2")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 95%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1.08 ml / cm2 (0.25 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 25 ml (0.9 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Original Maxi performed well when it came to surface dampness. During the lab test there were no signs of surface dampness until the 3rd wetting and even then there was relatively little moisture present when dabbed with a paper towel. During real world testing surface dampness held up into the second wetting and shouldn’t be much of an issue before 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: 1108 ml (39.1 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 2 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 99%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1.18 ml / cm2 (0.27 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Original Maxi had no trouble absorbing the first wetting while standing during testing. All moisture was quickly absorbed with little perceivable surface dampness and no obvious pooling. There was no leakage upon sitting soon after. After the first wetting the padding around the crotch swelled a bit but there was still plenty of unused padding. The second wetting while seated was again fully absorbed without any leakage also though it did feel close to passing the leak guards at the front. At this point the front padding swelled considerably but the rear padding was still largely dry. The padding did a great job at constraining surface dampness and remained comfortable. On the third wetting the pooling at the front of the diaper finally overcame the leak guards and spilled through the breathable left-side. It wasn’t a huge leak but would easily have been noticeable. With plastic wings it may have even managed one more wetting before leaking as moisture would be redirected toward the rear padding. At the end of the test there was still a large area of unused padding at the rear. Given these results, I feel the Tena Slip Original Maxi will generally manage 2 wettings without leakage but I wouldn’t push it past that.
Total Absorbed Volume: 1283 ml (45.3 oz)
Total Wettings: 2
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 99%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 1.18 ml / cm2 (0.27 oz / in2)
Lying Down Rating: 8
The Tena Slip Original Maxi performed quite well when tested while lying down. The first wetting was easily absorbed quickly with few signs of surface dampness and afterward there was still substantial unused padding. The second wetting was also fully absorbed but the padding felt very near saturation. Surface dampness wasn’t terrible but I suspect it would have been susceptible to pressout moisture at this point. The third wetting resulted in a massive leak, which lines up with the state of the diaper after the second wetting. At this point most of the padding was wet and surface dampness very obvious. After this test I’m confident this diaper should take up to 2 wettings while lying down, but 3 would really be pushing it. This puts it roughly in line with the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi, perhaps slightly more absorbent but not so much to take an additional wetting.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)
Daily Wear and BedwettingThe Tena Slip Original Maxi is a well rounded diaper with a good combination of comfort, discretion and absorbency. Of the diapers tested so far it’s most comparable to the Attends Slip Active Fit M10, being a hybrid with plastic backsheet over the core padding and cloth-like wings. I found the fit and absorbency to be a bit better in this diaper and its construct was very similar to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi or Ultima. It has roughly the same amount of overall padding coverage as those two diapers, but I found it to be slightly wider in the mid section. When used for bedwetting I found this diaper sufficiently absorbent in most cases, but I wouldn’t say it’s foolproof. The cloth-like sides are susceptible to leaks if you’re a side-sleeper so you may need to be careful. Personally, I’ve never had an issue with a single wetting when worn for bedwetting, likely because it has a rapid absorption rate. However, I found there were some small leaks when multiple wettings happened when tested while lying down. Don’t expect this diaper to take more than 2 wettings without leakage when worn for bedwetting but it should be sufficient for most bedwetters, particularly those who aren’t side sleepers. In terms of daily wear this diaper worked surprisingly well, in fact I would say it’s a bit better suited for daily wear than overnight wear. Leaks through the side wings are less of an issue with daily wear as gravity will pull pooling into the central padding when standing/sitting. This diaper is also quite resistant to pressout when seated and I rarely noticed any leakage when sitting while wet. Additionally, the Tena Slip Original Maxi is highly discreet, particularly when dry. For a diaper with a plastic-backsheet this diaper is incredibly quiet, even wet, which is particularly rare for plastic-backed diapers. Moreover, it has the same great odor reducing capability as the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and Ultima and a relatively slim profile when dry. That said, I found its profile discretion to be a little weaker than those other two diapers, particularly when wet where it will be a bit trickier to hide. The front padding has a tendency to bulge when wet, which may make it challenging to conceal. In its dry state I found it easier to conceal and highly durable. With its cloth-like side wings I feel this diaper could also be great for active wear as it readily dissipates heat. I wasn’t expecting to think much of this diaper when I started this review, but I’ve found myself partial to the “hybrid” design and am willing to give up perhaps a bit of absorbency for the added comfort of the breathable wings. This diaper was exceptionally good at maintaining skin health owing to its breathable design and resistance to surface dampness, I never noticed a trace of irritation or rashes during testing.
Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 9
Expect the Tena Slip Original Maxi to perform respectably when used for bowel incontinence. I couldn’t quite give it a perfect score as I have some concerns around odors due to the cloth-like wings. That said, it retains a snug fit with generous inner leak guards and a substantial area of rear padding. I have little doubt this diaper will do a good job at bowel containment. Having a plastic-backsheet over the core padding area is also a huge plus in blocking odors and preventing the “perspiration” that sometimes occurs in cloth-backed diapers.
Wear & Tear Tests
The Tena Slip Original Maxi has an interesting “hybrid” design with a plastic backsheet and cloth-like breathable sides. This design has the benefit of skin comfort on the wings where skin irritation is often at its worst without losing the core protection provided by the plastic-backsheet over the core padding. This diaper uses the same double-tape adhesive mechanism found in the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and Ultima, but tapes must be placed over the plastic part of the diaper to adhere properly.
|3.1 Tena Slip Original Maxi Fastener
Ease-of-Use Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Original Maxi has a smaller European fit so it’s important to get the right size. Sizing is all the more important for this diaper because the tape adhesive will not stick well to the cloth-like sides, so if it comes small you may find it won’t even be unusable. For this reason I would err on the side of caution when it comes to the sizing and avoid a size if your waist falls in the upper half of the waist range. Otherwise, it's quite easy to get and maintain a snug fit with this diaper. It’s nearly full featured with a rear waistband and inner leak guards; however, I didn’t find the rear waistband adds much to the snugness. The tapes are high quality and held up well after multiple refastenings much like the similar Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi or Ultima. The taping mechanism also makes this diaper easier to wrap up after usage, unlike other hybrid style diapers with a hook & loop mechanism like the Rearz Barnyard Elite Hybrid or Tykables Little Rawrz. Due to the limited range in sizing I can’t rank this diaper too high in ease-of-use as some will find it doesn’t work, but for those who find a proper fit this diaper should prove quite user friendly.
|3.2 Tena Slip Original Maxi Diaper Fit
Comfort Rating (dry): 10
The Tena Slip Original Maxi earns top marks when it comes to dry comfort. This diaper has the same soft padding and plastic-backsheet as the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and Ultima. Yet it also has the added bonus of breathable wings, making it a great choice for warmer weather. I never noticed any chafing while wearing this diaper nor did I have any skin irritation. It seems to be well built and very effective at retaining a snug fit without sagging. In some ways the Attends Slip Active Fit M10 is comparable to this diaper in that both have a hybrid type design with a double tape mechanism. However, that diaper has only a single double tape with an additional hook & loop mechanism to hold it in place while this one uses a standard 4 tape mechanism so it doesn’t have the problem with the hook & loop tapes coming into contact with the wearer's skin.
Comfort Rating (wet): 9
The Tena Slip Original Maxi is quite resistant to surface dampness and proved quite comfortable when wet. Unsurprisingly, it was very similar to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi in this regard, perhaps slightly more so due to the breathable sides. The overall absorbency isn’t quite what you’d get from the Tena Slip Active Fit Ultima so I can’t quite rank it at the top as it will hit saturation relatively early. That said, it isn’t susceptible to clumping and while there was a little padding tearing it wasn’t noticeable during wear. The tape strength also holds up well under the weight of a wet diaper and I never had issues with sagging during testing.
|3.3 Tena Slip Original Maxi Topsheet and Backsheet
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 20.7% (topsheet), 15.7% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 2 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 8
The results of the dry durability test were surprising given how similar this diaper is to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi. The amount of deterioration measured after the Tena Slip Original Maxi was much higher than the other two, but key areas of padding remained intact and much was due to padding collapsing between the legs.The mid-section padding on this diaper is about 1 cm (0.4”), which could go a ways to explaining why there was more deterioration in this one. During testing I didn’t notice much in the way of clumping or tearing so I didn’t weight the deterioration as much as I otherwise might; the padding was in a good enough condition to remain functional and effective after the test. Moreover, there were no issues with the tapes after multiple refastenings and the wetness indicator didn’t show any effects from sweat/drips & dribbles.
Durability Rating (wet): 8
I found the wet durability of the Tena Slip Original Maxi to be similar to the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi. During testing there wasn’t any noticeable clumping and, in spite of the results from the dry durability test, I hardly noticed any tearing when wet. It didn’t perform particularly well on the wet shake test but I’ve found that test has little bearing on real world durability. All in all it didn’t feel much different from its dry state and the tapes held up very well under the weight of the wet diaper.
|3.4 Tena Slip Original Maxi Dry Test Deterioration
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 5 cm (2"), 5 cm (2")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 6 cm (2.4"), 5.5 cm (2.2")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 2.5 cm (1"), 3 cm (1.2")
Profile Discretion Rating: 7
The Tena Slip Original Maxi has a pretty discreet profile. With the wider mid padding, I noticed a bit more of a diaper bulge at the rear and crotch but not hugely compared with the active fit models. That said, this diaper has quite a bit of give and could probably be well suppressed with meshpants or regular underwear. Yet it’d be tougher to hide when wet as I found the bulge to be significant.
|4.1 Tena Slip Original Maxi Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)
|4.2 Tena Slip Original Maxi Sweats Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)
The Tena Slip Original Maxi earns top marks with respect to noise discretion. The combination of the exceptionally quiet plastic backsheet of the Tena Slip Active Fit Maxi and cloth-like wings give this diaper a slight edge over the fully plastic-backed models. During testing I never noticed any crinkling or obvious noise with wear. I highly doubt anyone would notice noise from this diaper when worn outside the house, even without being covered by meshpants or underwear. Moreover, the lack of noise continued even when the diaper was wet, which is particularly rare for plastic-backed diapers.
|4.3 Tena Slip Original Maxi Noise Profile
Odor Reduction Rating: 10
I struggled to rank the Tena Slip Original Maxi in terms of odor reduction. I figured the cloth-like wings would make it more susceptible to odors but I didn’t find that to be the case. Once again, Tena seems to have mastered the ability to retain odors within the padding. Combined with this diaper’s snug fit odors are easily suppressed. You’re unlikely to notice many odors with this diaper.
Want to give the Tena Slip Original Maxi a try?
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