gDiaper is a hybrid style diaper, so the cover can be combined with different insert options. It has three parts: the gPant cover, an elastic edged, waterproofed, breathable gPouch which snaps-into the gPant, and an insert which gets tucked into the gPouch. We tested their gCloth insert made from polyester microfleece, hemp and cotton. Compared to other hybrid diapers we tested such as Flip Hybrid (Best Value) and GroVia Hybrid (Top Pick for Eco-Friendliness), gDiaper scored much lower overall, coming in 11th out of 15 systems we tested. While gDiaper has many features which make it unique, it lost points because we found it to have a slightly awkward design that was not as user-friendly. Also, the gCloth insert did poorly in our absorbency testing.
Pros: Unique features such as rear-fastening closures and cotton cover. Hybrid sytem gives you more than one insert option.
Cons: Not one-size. Offered in hook & loop only. Troublesome laundry steps.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The diaper is cute and has many features that make it different. The rear-fastening closures, wide elastic waistband, and cotton cover are all unique to this diaper. But be forewarned: this is not a one-size diaper. gPants come in fives different sizes: Newborn 6-10 lbs, Small 8-14 lbs, Medium 13-28 lbs, Large 26-36 lbs, and Extra Large 34+ lbs. And, the cloth inserts as well as pouches come in two sizes: Newborn/Small and Medium/Large/X-Large. In addition, gCloth Inserts will not fit into Newborn gPants so you will need to go with the disposable insert for this size. With the gDiaper system, you will be purchasing a minimum of 3 gPant rounds and 2 rounds of both cloth inserts and inner pouches.
gPants, gPouches, and gCloth inserts are very high quality out of the package with good threading, nice seams, and soft, quality fabrics. The pouch which both snaps into the gPant and holds the insert is made of breathable fabric.
The gDiaper scored poorly in our absorbency tests, with only 2 of 10, one of the worst scores in our review. Below is a comparative look at our absorbency test filters between 3 hybrid systems we tested, Best Value winner Flip Hybrid (left, an 8 of 10), Top Pick winner GroVia Hybrid with Stay Dry Soaker Pad (center, a 7 of 10), and gDiaper (right).
The gCloth insert has 2 top layers of microfiber fleece and 2 bottom layers of a hemp/cotton blend. The soft fleece layer rests against baby and is intended to wick moisture away from the skin into the absorbent hemp/cotton layers below. Although we found that this insert became much more absorbent over time, which is typical of natural fibers like hemp and cotton, it just didn't perform as well as we expected in the wicking department, leaving wetness in contact with baby's skin. Contrarily, as demonstrated above in our absorbency testing, GroVia Hybrid with Stay Dry Soaker Pad is comprised of very similar materials yet demonstrated superior wicking ability over gDiaper's gCloth insert.
The gPant is pretty trim and the cloth insert very thin. Although the diaper fits fairly slender, we feel that it bunches in a weird way, particularly in the front. It doesn't fit very flat the way you might hope.
The rear-fastening tabs are the only way to customize the fit of this diaper. For hybrid systems, Flip and GroVia Hybrid seem to have better overall fit with the use of waist and rise snaps.
The gCloth insert is much more absorbent than it seems, particularly after many washings, but we still experienced leaking. If the urine doesn't get absorbed into the insert right away, it leaks over the sides of the gPouch and right through the cotton cover onto clothing. We found that the cover often felt slightly damp to the touch. Since the only waterproof layer is the gPouch, this became a real issue for us during testing.
Because the gPants cover is 92% cotton and 8% spandex, it is soft with a nice stretch providing both comfort and flex for baby's movements. Every other cover we tested had either a PUL or TPU waterproofing laminate; unfortunately many of these covers were distinctly less soft and pliable, particularly the Kushies and Bummis. However, as a pair, the gCloth insert when combined with the gPouch was not as comfortable as competing hybrid products. A few of our older testers even refused to wear the gDiaper because both the liner pouch dug into their inner groin and the posterior hook & loop closure was itchy.
The cover is only offered with hook and loop (velcro-like) closures which fasten around the back. There are no snap options, which are our favorite. In theory, these posterior closures help keep baby from ripping off their diaper, but it takes practice to get used to attaching the diaper around the back rather than in front. In addition, we found this particular hook and loop system to be extremely strong, needing quite a bit of "umph" to remove or readjust the diaper. For grandparents or other caregivers, this system could certainly prove to be confusing and cumbersome.
The gPant and gPouch can be re-used by replacing the wet insert with a dry one, that is, if wetness hasn't spilled over onto the gPant. This feat is usually only possible if the insert is wet, not soiled. Like with most cloth diapers, the solid messes have more of a tendency to get all over the inside of the diaper, whether hybrid, pocket, or all-in-one. It is rare for stool to remain on the insert only. So, on these occasions, the entire diaper will need to be washed.
The gPouch that holds the insert in place is an added complication. While necessary because it is the ONLY waterproof barrier between the insert and cover, it is indeed an extra step in the laundering process. The manufacturer suggests unsnapping it from the cover before washing, but constantly snapping and un-snapping those four snaps we felt became a tedious chore.
There are a lot of moving parts with the gDiaper system, so anything to make the product easier to use would go a long way. In terms of laundering, there is not much give in this department. Though the gPant and gCloth liner can be machine-dried, the gPouch must be line-dried. Unfortunately, however, we discovered that the gPouch retains stains easily. So, gPant pouches are sold separately in 6-packs when replacements are needed.
Additionally, you MUST remember to reattach the hook and loop closures prior to putting them into the wash or else they will stick to everything and likely ruin your gPants and every other possible item like cloth wipes. To add insult to injury, we found that the gPant's hook and loop closures don't hold up well with machine-drying, even after fastening the tabs. A solution? The company offers replacement hook and loop tabs upon request. However, YOU must remove the old ones and sew on the new ones yourself. Let's face it, with a little one(s), who has the time?
gDiaper scored well in Eco-Health, earning an 8 of 10, because cotton and hemp are used in both their gPants and gCloth inserts.
Specifically, gPants are made of 92% cotton and 8% spandex. The snap-in waterproof pouch is a breathable nylon coated with polyurethane for waterproofness. The cloth inserts are made of 2 layers of polyester micro-fiber fleece which lays against baby to wick moisture away and 2 layers 55% hemp/45% cotton for absorption.
Unfortunately, we weren't terribly impressed with them for several reasons. First, the insert itself is much larger and bulkier compared to the gCloth insert. Because of this, we found it somewhat troublesome to fit into the liner pouch.
If your plumbing allows, they can be flushed down the toilet after tearing down the sides and swishing the inner core around with a stick. We followed their "RIP-SWISH-FLUSH" directions, which include tearing down the sides of the insert, plopping the inner into the toilet, stirring it around in the bowl, dropping in the thinner outer, and then flushing. Great plumbing or not, it's downright frightening to put the size of this disposable insert into a toilet and hope that it flushes properly. To be honest, we'd just rather use a flushable liner with their gCloth insert and throw the insert into the laundry.
Nonetheless, we were brave enough to try this flushing method twice. We regret to inform you that both experiences turned out to be fairly unpleasant for us. The material expanded and absorbed most of the water in the toilet, so when it was time to flush, the mushy blob almost wouldn't budge. Even if we had flushed sooner, the idea of the insert expanding inside the plumbing is nightmare-provoking. It required several flushes and a lot of waiting for gDiaper's disposable insert to finally pass through. We would NOT recommend trying this if you have old or sensitive plumbing. We can't imagine having to go through this every time baby needed a diaper change.
gDiaper's response to this tricky flushing issue is in the g User Guide which provides tips for flushing their disposable insert.This brings us to composting of gDiaper's disposable insert. Solely urine-soaked disposable inserts can be composted. According to gDiaper, they have
We did not take on the composting bit, but according to gDiapers, it takes about 2 months as opposed to a grotesque 100-500 years it takes for a traditional diaper to degrade in the landfill.
gDiaper is for those parents who already have a composting system under their belt at home, good plumbing, and prefer the flexibility of a hybrid system with use of both cloth and disposable inserts. However, in our opinion, it would be much easier to go with more functional, comfortable, better fitting, one-size hybrid system like Flip or GroVia for respectively about $450 or $250 less cost. These brands do have disposable insert options if that should come in handy.
Simply put, we do not feel that gDiaper offers a good value compared to better performing hybrid cloth diapering systems now available. Not only did Flip Hybrid win our Best Value award with an estimated lifetime cost of $300 ($450 less than the gDiaper system), it scored 2nd place in our review of 15 cloth diapering systems.
While the gDiaper hybrid system has some innovative ideas, we do not recommend going this route as there are better one-size hybrid systems available now at less cost. The gPant comes in 5 sizes with 2 sizes of gCloth insert and gPouch, so you will continually need to repurchase the system as your baby grows. We also found it to be less comfortable with more of a tendency to leak and more cumbersome in laundering and prep for wear than the top performing one-size, all-in-two hybrid systems we tested, Flip and GroVia Hybrid, both award winners in our review.
Available accessories that can be purchased separately for gDiapers are: gCloth inserts, gPouches, gLiners, a laundry bag, a swishstick used for flushing, gentle (disposable wipes), and a hook kit should you need to replace the hook and loop closure on your baby's gPants. That said, we prefer other brands of disposable liners over gLiner which we find to be very rough and thick, a favorite brand of ours that would go well into a gDiaper is Eco Sprout Eco-Bottom Liner.
From gDiaper's co-founder Kim Graham-Nye on how to use a gLiner with their gCloth insert.
— Alison Buck