Thirsties Duo Wrap with Duo Hemp Prefold Review
Pros: Thin, absorbent, and fill out cover better than their Stay Dry Inserts
Cons: Expensive prefolds that stain, cover's extra fabric bunches, two sizes (both prefold & wrap)
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested two of Thirsties inserts with their Duo Wrap, the Duo Hemp Prefold (reviewed here) and the Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert (for specific information about the performance of the Duo Wrap cover, please click on the Stay Dry Duo Insert review).
This type of diaper system is refered to as an All-in-Two or AI2, because it has two separate parts. A prefold diaper is folded according to the size of the baby and where the desired area of absorbency is and then placed into the Duo Wrap cover (or a different brand cover).The Duo Hemp prefold has a different design than a traditional prefold. The fabric is sewn into a loop (which Thirsties describes as a "tunnel") rather than being one flat piece, which makes the prefold 2 layer thick panels prior to folding. This open 2 layer, open-loop design allows both water and air to get between the layers during washing and drying for improved results.
The fabric itself is nice and seems high in quality, however, we have some minor picky sewing complaints. You can also see above that there are several loose threads hanging from where the flap is sewn together. In our opinion, this could be more neat and tidy for a more finished look.
One of the main reasons that most people go with prefolds is affordability. Most prefolds are sold in packs of 6 or 12, however, it's important to point out that this prefold is sold individually, which does not make it very cost-effective in comparison.
Thirsties claims on their website that their hemp-based prefold is 25% more absorbent than one made with pure cotton. The custom hemp jersey fabric of the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold is a combination of 55% hemp and 45% cotton and we found it to be soft, breathable and very absorbent.
It performed much better in our lab tests for absorbency than other prefolds, earning a 7 of 10 score, placing it near the top on this metric. We found it was much more efficient at pulling the moisture away from the surface, thus leaving baby drier and more comfortable. This is noteworthy because this was one of the only inserts made from 100% natural materials that was able to do this effectively without having some sort of synthetic fleece layer over it to act as a barrier.
The Thirsties Duo Wrap has a lot of extra fabric, so getting the cover to fit flat around baby is something we were never able to achieve in our testing. The Duo Wrap unfortunately had a tendency to bunch up with movement.
The cover has leg gussets which offers fairly good leak protection out the the diaper.
The Duo Hemp Prefold filled out the Thirsties Duo Wrap a little better than the Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert that we also tested. This helps the cover from becoming as messy, However, the cover is made of waterproof 100% PUL and can be wiped clean between diaper changes. So, if the mess isn't too bad, chances of being able to be re-use the cover at changing time are pretty good which in turn and cuts down laundry load.
The Duo Hemp prefold fabric is soft against baby's skin and is much thinner as well as less bulky than other prefolds we tested. The Duo Wrap cover is made from waterproof 100% PUL which Thirsties markets as breathable.
Prefolds tend to be easy to care for and relatively inexpensive.
There is a funny flap where the prefold is sewn together to create the loop. Thirsties website mentions that for smaller babies, this flap should be folded under first to make it shorter. Also as mentioned above, in our experience, this loop design didn't cut down drying time noticeably.
Again, the Duo Wrap can be wiped clean.
The product scored well in eco-health, with an 8 of 10 score, due to it's use of natural materials. Many people choose a prefold if they are interested in using a diaper that is made of all natural materials rather than synthetics.
The Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold was the best prefold we tested. It fills out the Thirsties Duo Wrap well for less mess on the cover. As the waterproof cover can be wiped down in between changes, there is more opportunity to re-use it if the situation isn't too messy. If you are looking for natural materials directly against baby's skin, this is a good choice. Cost wise, these Duo Hemp Prefolds are more expensive and are sold individually, rather than in multiples as most other prefolds are. You will also need to size up once your baby gets around 18 pounds and/or 9 months as Thirsties cloth systems come in two sizes, further adding some overall lifetime cost.
This video below demonstrates use of the Thirsties Duo Wrap with their Duo Hemp Prefold.
— Alison Buck