I have loved GroVia (formally GroBaby) nappies since they first came out over here and they have been one of our favourite fitting nappies on Chloe both when she was smaller and now. They have some gorgeous prints as well as bright colours and the AI2/hybrid version now comes in both velcro and snaps – yay! Fill Your Pants have recently started to stock the GroVia range and I had to buy the gorgeous newly released colours, Surf and Cloud to add to our collection.
So I’ve now got the Mod Flowers print, Ice and the new Cloud and Surf plain colours, plus a whole load of soaker pads, the photos dont do the Mod Flowers justice, it really is gorgeous. Anyway, so the main idea of the GroVia AI2 is the same as Flips – but I think the GroVia do a much better job. You snap in a soaker pad and put the nappy on and then at change time, unsnap the wet soaker, snap in a clean one and off you go. So you can have lots of soakers and less shells as you’re reusing them. Which should work out cheaper then filling your stash with normal AIO nappies and it also reduces the volume in your nappy bucket, both great things! The shells are a one size and have 3 settings, snapped up fully for small, second snap setting for medium and fully unsnapped for large. Chloe is 24months and 21lbs and has the rise completely unsnapped and the waist setting is done up on the smallest setting without using the crossover tabs – she’s tall and skinny!
As I mentioned, you can get the shell outers in both velcro and snaps, in 8 plain colours and 4 prints, new prints and colours should be released a few times a year which is always good news! The shells on their own are £11.95 and the organic cotton soakers come in packs of two for £14. And you can and you can buy the shells and soakers together in sets which give you a discount over buying them separately. The soakers are made with 5 layers of organic cotton and have elasticated leg gussets to help keep any mess contained and a layer of waterproof backing on the underside to keep the shell from getting damp. To help with drying the top layer of the soaker is loose but sewn down at each end, I think it would make more sense if it was only sewn down at one end it could flap open to dry but I guess it still dries quicker with both ends sewn down then it would if it was all just one thick piece of fabric.
Also like Flips, there is an option to use bio soakers, we have tried them and they worked well. They are elasticated sides and a little gusset and are thin, soft and quite absorbent – although I think if Chloe was going to be in one for a longish time like a car journey then I think I’d use two just in case. They are £14 for a pack of 50 and are biodegradable, compostable, hypo-allergenic, fragrance, dye, plastic and chlorine free with a super soft lining. Great for if you’re out for a long day, going on holiday or staying somewhere where washing would be an issue (I’m thinking about using them when we stay in a hotel for a few nights after Christmas).
We do generally get on better with side snap nappies but this being front snaps isnt a problem, I love the trim fit of these and they look great on, lovely and trim. There is a crossover snap for smaller babies and there are two, nicely spaced out, snaps on each wing to give the nappy some support and stop wing droopage. One niggle that I do remember from when Chloe was small was that the soaker pads only come in one size so when the shell is snapped down to the smallest setting the soaker does stick out a bit at the front but it can just be tucked in. It would be awesome if they sold a small/medium and a medium/large size in the soakers but I guess that would just add to the cost. I’m pretty sure you could just get away with using a prefold or small insert/booster in the nappy for smaller babies and just use the shell like a wrap.
Ease of use: I find these super simple (as does Daddy), and I dont find them any fiddlier to use than any other nappy and I much prefer to snap AI2′s together then stuff pockets. I tend to have a new shell and soaker ready at change time to put straight on Chloe, then take the wet/dirty one to the nappy bin, pop in the wet soaker and the replace with a fresh one ready for next time. If the shell’s been used a few times already or if there’s been a poop explosion and has leaked onto the shell (has only happened one time) then I pop it all in the bin.
Performance: No problems here, containment is fab, messes are generally contained in the soakers gussets, there has been a few times the inside of the shell has got a little dirty but nothing has escaped from the nappy at all. Chloe can wear it for around 3 hours, I do have some of the organic cotton boosters as well which are great, slim and thirsty and we can get longer out of them then. The shells are almost dry straight from the machine, the soakers do take a while, as expected with organic cotton. I do have to say that the soakers can dry a little rough/hard over time which happens to all our organic cotton and some bamboo nappies, a quick whizz in the tumble dryer every now and then helps. When Chloe was smaller we did actually use the shell over a night nappy and it was great, no leaks in the morning, sadly as her night nappies are now so big now it wont fit but it’s good to know you can use it over ‘normal’ fitteds as just a pretty wrap too.
Design: I love the range, I do wish they had more prints but the ones that they do have are a good mix of girl/boy/neutral ones. The fit of it is fab for us, no bulky bulges anywhere and I love that the soakers are contoured so there’s no sumo wrestler look between the legs or a boxy look to them which I hated with the Flips. Love the cute little label and love the colour co ordinated snaps, which actually feel really durable, and are a little bigger I think then normal snaps so are a bit easier for Daddy to do up.
Overall: I think these are my favourite AI2 nappy, really easy to use, trim and come in nice colours/prints. Yes it may work out a little more expensive than some other AI2 systems but I think the fit and quality is so much better, plus did I mention there are nice colours and prints? Flips didnt work for us but the GroVia do, and I think even if the Flips had of worked I’d still take the GroVia over them as they really do seem to do a better job. If I wasnt a cloth nappy addict who always wants to try the latest things, I would be quite happy with a whole stash of the GroVias, less washing then normal AIO’s, they’re pretty and for us are leak and problem free. I also find them great for the change bag, a few shells and some soaker pads (or some bio soakers if you want) and we’re sorted for the day and it takes up less room then 4/5 normal nappies.
These are a keeper for us, they really are a great workhorse of a nappy for us but with the added plus that there’s no compromise on a bulkiness/poor fit and the colours and prints are lovely. If you want a good AI2 then these are worth a try, even if you’re a die-hard Flip fan then it’s worth trying a shell cover, as you can just use them like a wrap over a Flip insert (or any fitted nappy) and still experience the nice colours and prints.
If you want to try then the AI2′s then the experience trial pack is worth getting as you can pick two shells in any colour or fastening and 2 packs of the organic cotton soakers – so 4 pads in total, all for £49. Which saves a few pounds over buying them separately and if you still think £49 is expensive for two nappies, well it is usually but seeing as you have four soaker pads, that means you can get four wears before you need to wash them. And of course the more soakers you get and the more times you re-use a shell then the more you’ll save. There is also a full time complete kit for £195 and has 5 shells, 20 soakers and 4 boosters, which as BTP sets go is pretty amazing value.
GroVia also do a side snap AIO in a tiny newborn size (which I get broody just looking at!) and an one size - which we’ve tried and love as well and are super thirsty, have amazing stretchy wings for a fab fit and are very trim. So if you dont fancy the fuss of the AI2′s then deffinitely get an AIO to try, I love everything in the GroVia range and would recommend them to anyone.
I bought the nappies mentioned in this post and did this review because I wanted to, no one told me what to write and no compensation was received for doing it.