Smartipants nappies are new to the UK, and Fill Your Pants* kindly sent us one to put through it’s paces and review. They have a great pedigree to them as they are designed by Jessica Burman who is the original inventor of the first ever birth to potty pocket nappy the Wonderoo! With Smartipants she has solved a lot of the issues many cloth nappy using parents have, firstly one of the downsides to pocket nappies, pulling out the wet/dirty inserts before washing. I hate doing this, there are some that dont bother but I like to make sure they get a really good wash and it helps them to dry quicker so I always pull them out (OH does tend to forget sometimes). However Smartipants have a sleeve rather than a pocket, so both ends are open, allowing the insert to make its way out of the nappy during the washing process.
Smartipants also have a Leak-Guard Technology, so the sleeve holding the insert is set away from the edge of the nappy, so the moisture stays inside the insert and away from the sides of the nappy to prevent leaking and wicking around the legs. The inside is a suede cloth lining which not only absorbs but also traps moisture and the entire nappy is designed to dry completely in just a few hours.
They only come in snaps, which they have made stronger than the usual nappy ones, so even curious toddlers wont be able to do the famous Houdini nappy escape whilst you’re not looking. Oh and did I mention the price yet? No, well they are £13.50 and yes it is a BTP nappy and yes that does include the insert and there’s even a choice of thirteen colours. Impressed so far? Well how about the fact that these nappies are made by mums in their very own facility in the USA rather than in China or elsewhere? So not only great for your wallet but great for your conscience too!
After reading up about them I was more than a little eager for the postman to deliver ours, the major selling point for me is not having to pull out inserts, it’s not a big time-consuming job but I would much rather just throw everything in the bin as soon as possible. Pockets are great and at one point they made up nearly the whole of our stash, but do I like pulling out wet/dirty inserts? No, why didnt I just change to AIO nappies, I hear you ask? Well because AIO’s take much longer to dry and because everything is sewn in, I dont always feel they get as good a clean as washing the shell and insert separately. But hopefully the Smartipants should change all this, making using pocket nappies that little be easier and nicer.
So when it first arrived I had a good inspection of it and I have to admit I wasnt sure if the self releasing insert concept would work so well as it did fit snuggly inside the sleeve but I was interested to give it a go. So straight on Chloe it went and I have to say I was impressed with the fit, very trim, probably one of the best fitting BTP nappies we’ve tried. You do only get the one insert with the nappy but it is a good size and I’ve checked with a few other inserts we have and they fit in the sleeve fine, so if you do need to boost it then it shouldnt be a problem. We have the nappy on the last rise snap done up which in other BTP pockets means we have to fold or snap the insert over to fit, giving Chloe a bit of boxy/bulky looking bum but with the Smartipants insert, it doesnt need folding over at all, it fits the nappy perfectly, giving such a streamlined look. So far I was a happy fluffy mummy, after a few hours it was change time, no leaks, and then the real test began, fighting the almost inbuilt urge to pull out the insert, but I left it in and popped it into the nappy bin. The next day was wash day and when retrieving the clean nappies from the machine I found the Smartipants with no insert inside, it worked! We’ve used it every time it’s been clean since and only once have I taken the insert out by mistake whilst popping it in the bin but all other times it’s gone in with the insert inside and has come out of the wash with it separate. It’s such a brilliant design that I have had to catch myself before throwing in ‘normal’ pocket nappy with the insert still inside, I so wish all our pocket nappies had sleeves!
Ease of use: Fantastic, slide insert in, do up nappy, take off when needed and drop in nappy bin. I know I say quite a few of our nappies are OH/family/new to cloth user-friendly but Smartipants are at the top of the pile. So easy to use and no one has to remember to pull out inserts or feel bad when they forget, perfect.
Performance: Has gone 4 hours with no problems, have had no leaks of any kind or wicking, everything has been contained fabulously. Drying time is great, nice and quick.
Design: I am so impressed with these, granted they may not be the most stunning nappies to look at but they work so well, this really has been worked on by people who use cloth nappies and have come across the same problems as everyone else. Wicking, streaking toddlers, having to touch icky inserts and the expense. They aren’t the most stylish of nappies but they work great and they dont feel or look cheap at all, sure they could have been prettied up a little but then the costs would have risen as well. I love that the insert has a green edge to it so it can easy be identified as a Smartipants one, again a small thing only a cloth mummy who’s spent time searching for the matching insert to a nappy would find exciting. And this has a crossover snap setting which a lot of BTP nappies dont have, so it should be especially good on smaller babies, I think all BTP nappies should have it as a standard!
Overall: this is keeper for us, I would love for it to be a bit more funkier but it works so well and is so trim I can forgive that. If I knew someone just starting out in cloth then I would point them in the Smartipants direction as they are affordable but without skimping on the important features. With the added bonus of strong toddler proof snaps, I can see these lasting the whole way to potty training. Chloe has yet to discover the magic of undoing her nappies, but I am sure in the summer when her nappy is more visible and easy to get at then it will be a fun new game, but I am 100% sure that she’ll have serious trouble getting this nappy undone, again a simple upgrade that solves a problem. With all these features they could have charged a bit of a premium but instead they are priced to encourage new users to cloth, which is always great. The die-hard fluff addicts may not want to fully kit out their stash with these but I think as a workhorse of a nappy these are great, especially if you use childcare and still want to use cloth, this is a perfect, easy and affordable option.
Want a functional, reliable nappy at a good price? These are it, they work just as good as the big brand names but are cheaper and have fantastic bonuses as well. I seriously would love it if this started a revolution in pocket nappies as I think the sleeve design is fab, it’s such a simple and obvious upgrade that I dont know why everyone doesnt use it.
We were kindly sent this nappy for the purposes of this review, however no one has told me what to write, all words (including spelling mistakes) and opinions are 100% my own and genuine, plus we loved it so much we now own a few more!
Update 8th August 2011
We’re still happily using our Smartipants*, the fit is still great on Chloe and OH loves the ease of them. We’ve got some in the new colours (I have updated the info and pic above to show them all), so now with 13 colours to chose from, including the lovely new brights, everyone should find something they like! The Bubble Gum pink is our current favourite, perfect for under pretty summer dresses!
The only thing I would love to see improved is the insert, maybe a thicker heavy/toddler wetter version, a mix of bamboo/hemp and microfibre would be nice. As Chloe is now doing bigger toddler wees and so if I dont boost it she needs changing after 2.5 maybe 3 hours. But I generally just pop in a bamboo/hemp insert along with the standard Smartipants one, it doesnt add much bulk at all and makes it go that bit longer. It just would be nice if they did their own version one as I love things that match! It’s still a keeper for us and they have a firm place in our stash!
Links with a * at the end are affiliated and if you click through and purchase something them I get a small amount credited to my account which will go on buying new fluff to review.