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Hands-on Gear Review
Flip Hybrid Review
Price: $300.00 Estimated lifetime cost
Pros: One-Size with nice adjustability in waist & rise, thin and trim, easy, re-useable cover
Cons: Cover needs to be line-dried, synthetic, but organic cotton insert option available
Bottom line: Flexible hybrid system with excellent performance, comfort, and ease-of-use
The Flip received our Best Value Award for cloth diaper in our review The Search for the Best Cloth Diapers, and we loved it for so many reasons. It's a hybrid system, so parents can choose between five different insert options: the Flip One-Size Stay-Dry Inserts, which we tested, the Flip Newborn Stay-Dry Inserts, the Flip Day Time Organic Cotton Inserts, the Flip Night Time Organic Cotton Inserts, or the Flip Disposable Inserts. The Flip provides quality in a trim, comfortable fit while performing superbly. Most importantly, we love this diaper because it's easy. It consists of a straightforward cover and a simple, lay-in insert. Sizing the diaper and getting a good, snug fit on baby aren't complicated. The cover and insert system are relatively effortless compared to others we tested, allowing for minimal prep time and the ability to re-use the cover if you'd like. We highly recommend the Flip to anyone looking for an easy, economical way to start cloth diapering.
RELATED REVIEW: The Search for the Best Cloth Diapers
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
bumGenius Freetime and the bumGenius 4.0.
Hands down, we recommend the Flip. It is a hybrid system whose cover is compatible with three different types of inserts. We tested the Flip Stay-Dry Insert, but also available are the Organic Cotton Insert in both Day Time and Night Time variations and a Disposable Insert. This gives you some choice and flexibility depending upon your lifestyle and activities. Let's face it, sometimes you don't want to lug around a bag full of dirty diapers all day when you're traveling or running errands. Similarly, other caregivers may have a preference for one insert over another.
The Flip Hybrid Snap when paired with the Stay Dry Insert performed best in Absorbency among all cloth diapers we tested in this review with an 8 of 10.
The photo line-up below shows absorbency filter photos of the three cloth diaper systems which won awards in our review. At left is the Flip Hybrid with Stay Dry Insert. This system demonstrated the best absorbency in our testing with an 8 of 10, wicking moisture away from the surface and locking it into the core of the insert. Rumparooz G2 (in center, tested with both included microfiber inserts) and GroVia Hybrid (at right, tested with a Stay Dry Soaker Pad) each scored a 7 of 10 in our absorbency testing.
The Stay-Dry Insert works very well at wicking moisture away from the skin and into the absorbent layers below. This insert has a smooth, stay-dry side which should always be touching the baby. It is very important to get the correct side of the Stay-Dry Insert against baby's skin. The very absorbent, rough microfiber side should always face the cover, never touching the skin. Absorbent microfiber will dry and irritate the skin if directly against it.
In addition, all Flip Inserts can be folded down to the correct size or absorbency pattern needed.
This is a one-size diaper, so it should fit your baby from 8 up to 35 pounds or more if they are on the thin side. There are plenty of snaps at the rise and waist, allowing the settings to be adjusted for a perfect fit. There is no need to keep purchasing additional diapers as your baby grows out of them like you do with cloth diapers that come in different sizes, like the Thirsties brand which with their Thirsties Duo All-In-One comes in 2 sizes and drives up cost significantly.
The Flip's Stay Dry Insert is wide enough to fill out the cover perfectly. This means that reusing the cover is more likely as baby's business has a better chance of staying on the insert and not transferring to the cover. If the cover is still clean during a changing, simply reuse it by replacing the wet insert with a dry one. If needed, the waterproof cover can be wiped down beforehand.
The Flip fits very nicely under clothing and baby can move around freely. Even with the insert folded down to accommodate its smallest settings, this system is thin and trim and avoids the issue of bulk commonly associated with cloth diapers, particularly with AI2 prefold systems such as Bummis, OsoCozy, and Kushies.
Ease of Use
From preparing for use to changing to laundering, the Flip system is easy. Just lay the cover flat and place an insert inside, and it's ready to go. No stuffing or folding required. The cover design avoids the need to touch anything undesirable during a diaper change. Simply hold the edge of the cover over the pail and the insert drops right out. If you choose to use a liner over the insert to catch solids the process is even easier, just lift the liner and flush solids and liner right down the toilet. Then, drop the insert into the diaper pail.
The Stay-Dry Insert can be machine dried while the cover needs line-drying. Sorting covers out from inserts before drying is not that troublesome and the cover air dries very quickly. Line drying will preserve the cover's elastic and waterproof qualities. For longevity's sake, this extra step is well worth it.
Both the Flip with Stay Dry Insert and bumGenius systems are composed of synthetic fabrics, which with these brands have a tendency to retain ammonia from urine. Thus, for odor control, Cotton Babies recommends washing these diapers in a 1/4 cup bleach in hot wash once a month. As well, for best performance, their advice is to avoid baking soda, vinegar, fabric softeners, additives, boiling, rash creams. If a rash cream is necessary, using a re-useable, washable liner is best practice instead of a flushable liner. Cream, particularly zinc oxide and petroleum-based creams are very difficult to remove and will cause repelling and leakage issues. The bumGenius Stay Dry Liners fit best into the Flip system. Since re-useable, washable liners are thicker, it is less likely that diaper cream will get onto the absorbent insert.
The Flip cover combined with the Stay-Dry Insert received the lowest score in Eco-Health that we gave to the cloth diapers with a 7 of 10 because it is made completely of synthetic materials. The cover is 100% laminated polyester while the stretchy side tabs are 95% polyester/5% spandex. The insert's inner smooth Stay-Dry side is 100% polyester while the rougher microfiber absorbent side is 80% polyester/20% polyamide-nylon.
If natural fabrics are important to you, using the Organic Cotton Insert is your best bet with the Flip. We did not include this insert in our testing, however.
The Flip Hybrid is best for families that prefer flexibility in diapering but who expect stellar performance. It is roomy enough to also accept other brand inserts and prefolds if needed. It also suits those on a budget fantastically as it is an economical one size system. The cover line-dries very quickly, so this really isn't a deterrent to those who desire efficiency in their laundering routine. Furthermore, because the cover can be reused, you don't need to purchase as many of them as you would with a pocket diaper or all in one system.
Receiving our Best Value Award, the Flip at an estimated lifetime cost of $300 is a shoe-in when combined with its excellent overall performance. The fact that the Editors' Choice, Rumparooz G2, only beat out the Flip by one point in overall score speaks volumes as to its stellar value.
Editor's Note: 9-11-14
Flip is no longer selling a bulk pack of 2 Snap Covers with 6 Stay Dry Inserts. Instead, each Flip Hybrid Snap Cover is sold individually for $14.95 and Flip Stay Dry Inserts are sold in a 3-Pack for $14.95. Our estimated lifetime cost does not change, however, and Flip Hybrid still is worthy of our Best Value award. 10 Covers and 30 Stay Dry Inserts still come to a total cost of $300.
During testing, we kept finding ourselves reaching for the Flip Hybrid because it is so easy to use and is very trim and comfortable. Simplicity goes a long way when you're using cloth diapers and the Flip achieves this for us. Because it is an easy to use, well performing, economical system that truly grows with baby as well as roomy enough to accommodate bulkier prefolds and inserts if extra absorbency is desired, it received our Best Value without the bat of an eye.
the Flip Day Time Organic Cotton Insert which comes in a pack of three for $22. There is also the Flip Night Time Organic Cotton Insert, coming in a pack of 2 for $25, and the Flip Disposable Insert. The Organic inserts are flat cotton pieces of fabric that are folded into the absorbent layer much like old school flats (see video below).
For potty training, Flip also has their Training Pant which has an Organic Cotton Pad which is meant for baby to feel wetness more.
The following video from the website Dirty Diaper Laundry highlights the different insert options available with the Flip Hybrid as well as the Organic Cotton Inserts and the Stay Dry Inserts in use.
— Alison Buck
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