November 8, 2010

GroVia vs. Flip - are they the same?

There are so many new diapers coming out...AIOs, OneSize, and now Hybrids--diapers that can be 100% cloth or a mix of cloth and disposable.  Flip and GroVia are two examples of hybrid diapers.  Both are diapering "systems" that can either be used with a cloth insert or a disposable insert. 

Why choose hybrid diapers?  As my husband says, cloth diapering isn't a religion (though it can feel like it!).  Most families do choose to use disposables at least occasionally for vacation, daycare, etc. 

When we had our daughter 5 years ago, I was strictly 100% cloth.  No disposable ever touched her bottom once we made the switch to cloth.  Even our wipes were cloth and we didn't own a single package of disposable wipes.  But now that our son is here, I find myself relaxing about what diapers we use.  Colby had a non-diaper-related rash that required a special ointment.  The same weekend, we were heading out of town for a 3 day trip.  I pulled out a pack of Flip disposable inserts and thought...why not?  I should at least try them since I sell them. 

That started our trial of Flip disposable inserts, GroVia disposable inserts, and even a pack of GroVia disposable wipes.  Here is my review.

Just looking at the packages you'll notice that GroVia disposables are meant for full-time use.  They come in packs of 50.  Flip disposables come in a pack of 18 and are advertised as an alternative diaper for vacations, etc. 

GroVia insert, Flip insert
You'll notice the difference between the two inserts immediately.  Flip are an off-white natural color, long, no elastic, and no plastic.  GroVia are pure white, feature elastic at the leg and in a gusset, are a lot shorter, and are backed with a layer of plastic for waterproof protection.

GroVia insert inside GroVia cover, Flip insert inside Flip cover
GroVia inserts feature two spots of sticky tape to stick the diaper to the cover.  I found right away that you pretty much have to use this sticky tape.  Otherwise, because of the elastic, it bunches up and doesn't provide coverage.  The old GroBaby inserts, I heard, would stick fast to PUL products, meaning they couldn't be used with other covers like Thirsties.  I carry the new version of the GroVia inserts and I've used them now with every cover we own, including Thirsties.  The sticky tape is just the right amount of stick...it holds without sticking forever to the fabric.

Flip doesn't have any sticky tape or elastic.  You fold it under to the length you need, then lay into a cover.  Flip covers are easy because they feature a flap at each end for holding the insert.  But I've used these in all of our covers with no trouble. 

The GroVia feel more like a disposable with the elastic and the plastic backing.  The Flip feel more natural.  Both claim to be compostable, but I don't think I would ever put GroVia in the compost pile.  The package says the elastic needs to be removed first as it may not break down. 

Days: Both do great during the day or for naps. 

Nights: I was never successful with GroVia overnight.  Since they have plastic backing, you can't lay another insert underneath for extra absorbency.  With the Flip inserts, I would put a hemp insert underneath to hold overnight.  Worked great every time.  I did try folding a second GroVia insert and placing inside the first for overnight use, but that didn't work either.  After about 5 nights of trying GroVia overnight, we gave up.  We had leaks every night, some worse than others.  Flip, however, kept our son dry every night, as long as we had a hemp insert for extra absorbency.


Poop:  GroVia does the best at containing runny breastfed baby poop.  The elastic generally keeps everything where it needs to be.  Since Flip inserts don't have elastic, the poop did escape the insert a few times but the cover did hold it in.  We never had an actual poop leak with either brand.  But I wash covers more often with Flip. 

Price: Before shipping costs and not counting any discounts, the Flip inserts are $0.33 each.  GroVia inserts are $0.43 each. 

Bottom line: I wouldn't use either one of these for full-time diapering.  Too much disposable to really be saving the planet, too expensive to be saving money.  After all, I'm a cloth mom!  But for vacations, times when you need to use diaper creams, Grandma's house, etc, these are both perfect choices.  I would use them both again, though I'd probably pick Flip first just because it seems more of a natural option and the package count is smaller.

7 comments:

Great info! Thanks! I have used inserts inside cloth for plane trips and rash issues as well.

PS My husband would LOVE your hubby's philosophy on cloth.

This is very helpful! Thank you for taking time to write all these articles. It's really helpful for moms just learning about all the cloth diapering options (like me!) :)

Hi Heather,
Thank you for the info! I was wondering if I could use either insert with all my covers (I have thirsties, gen-y, and BumGenius AIO's 3.0's and Fuzzibunz). I do have one question though, we are traveling internationally in a few months and wanted to know which of the 2 you'd recommend. Our son is 13months old so no runny poop anymore. I traveled internationally before but bought disposables because we weren't able to wash his BG. I'd need only about a week's worth of inserts and he's a heavy night wetter. I'd also use whatever insert with any or all of the above diaper/pocket diaper covers. Thanks in advance!

Hi Heather,
Thank you for the info! I was wondering if I could use either insert with all my covers (I have thirsties, gen-y, and BumGenius AIO's 3.0's and Fuzzibunz). I do have one question though, we are traveling internationally in a few months and wanted to know which of the 2 you'd recommend. Our son is 13months old so no runny poop anymore. I traveled internationally before but bought disposables because we weren't able to wash his BG. I'd need only about a week's worth of inserts and he's a heavy night wetter. I'd also use whatever insert with any or all of the above diaper/pocket diaper covers. Thanks in advance!

Annette -
I just got back from a 9 day trip to Missouri. I took a pack of GroVia with me. While there, I bought Flip inserts. After using both back to back on a trip, I really prefer the Flips. I like that they're flat. GroVia's elastic make it harder to get into the cover easily. Plus the Flip don't have waterproof backing, which means you can use two Flip inserts for extra absorbency when needed. You can't do that with GroVia (I've tried). I know lots of moms prefer GroVia disposable inserts, but I much prefer the Flip and that's what I'll use in the future for long trips. But perhaps most importantly, both did work just fine. We never had leaks from either brand and I was able to use both overnight (with a booster).

Oh, and I did use both inserts with all types of covers. I had Thirsties Duo, Flip, GroVia, Econobum, Mommy's Touch, and Weehugger covers on the trip. Both inserts did fine in all of the covers.

This is a really helpful comparison, and I can see when it would be useful to have a few hybrid diapers and disposable inserts on hand. Did you compost the flip inserts? How long did it take to break down?