In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Thirsties Duo Wrap with Stay Dry Duo Insert Review

Roomy AI2 system ideal for bulky fitteds and extra inserts.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $13.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Good wicking properties, cover can handle bulky inserts, affordable
Cons:  Funky fit, not one-size, more prep
Manufacturer:   Thirsties
By Abriah Wofford & Juliet Spurrier, MD  ⋅  Sep 2, 2019
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The Skinny

The Thirsties Duo Wrap is one of the most popular cloth diaper covers on the market. We like that the cut of the fabric is generous enough to fit over multiple layers of inserts or bulky fitteds with ease. The Stay Dry Duo Insert was one of the top-performing products in terms of absorbency, and when combined with the cover, made this pair a fail-proof product. While we did struggle a bit with getting a snug fit around baby's waist, we did not experience any leaks during testing. We found the fit to be even less of a problem when used in conjunction with thicker inserts that fill in the extra space, making it a perfect option for heavy wetters.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Founded in 2014 by Erin Kimmett, Thirsties is a Colorado company, born from the desire to create the perfect cloth diaper cover. In the early months of the company, covers were patterned, cut, and sewn by Erin on her dining room table. With a few tweaks along the way, the company grew into one of the most popular cloth diapers on the market. Still made in Colorado today, the Thirsties company strives to make it easy to choose cloth, creating an affordable combination of social and environmental consciousness.

We let our little tester roam and explore to see how the diapers would hold up in a real life situation.
We let our little tester roam and explore to see how the diapers would hold up in a real life situation.

Performance Comparison


The Thirsties Duo Wrap and Stay Dry Duo Insert are a well-matched hybrid pair, but the real star of the show is the insert. Solid performance in our lab tests and impressive results during hands-on use, make the Stay Dry Duo Insert one we'd happily combine with any cover.

On the flip side, the Duo Wrap cover also has some distinct advantages. It is a sized diaper which allows you to get a more customized fit than you would with a one-size diaper. In comparison to some other hybrid systems, the Thirsties cover seems to have a lot of extra fabric. At first, this can seem cumbersome and prohibitive to getting the perfect fit. However, we found that it worked very well for babies who needed a little extra in their diaper. The extra room allows the cover to fit comfortably over the top of multi-layered inserts or prefolds, as well as those bulky fitteds that are so good for overnight use.

The average of three tests  this filter paper shows the small amount of mock urine that was not absorbed by the insert.
The average of three tests, this filter paper shows the small amount of mock urine that was not absorbed by the insert.

Absorbency


The Thristies system includes a set of two inserts that snap together to provide maximum absorbency and wicking powers. The first layer is a hemp/organic cotton blend that is the real soaker. Over the top of that goes the polyester terry cloth layer that wicks away any remaining moisture and keeps baby nice and dry.


In our tests, the Stay Dry Duo Insert scored a 9, earning it a second-place ranking in our review. The mock urine we used was almost instantly absorbed, with no pooling or run off to speak of. During hands-on use, the insert was slightly damp after changing, but not enough to bother baby. We think you will especially appreciate this diaper if you have a heavy wetter on your hands. The cover allows for the use of multiple inserts and is still roomy enough to fit comfortably around all the fabric. This ability not only significantly improves absorbency but also opens up the diaper for a variety of uses.

We struggled to eliminate the waist gap with the Thristies cover.
We struggled to eliminate the waist gap with the Thristies cover.

Fit/Leakage


While we did not experience any leaks when using this diaper, the fit is something we were constantly adjusting and could never get quite right. This problem was partially due to the single row of waist snaps, rather than the two which we greatly prefer. Although the cover was the correct size for our tester, it still seemed like there was an excessive amount of fabric bunching and gapping around the waist. The odd fit is evident in the photo above. While this extra fabric is what makes the cover so versatile, there are certainly some drawbacks if you do not need to stuff it to the max every time. We do like the double gussets found on the leg openings on the cover and feel that they add an extra measure of leak-proof security to the whole set up.

The double gusset helped keep the leg openings snug against baby's skin  preventing leaks and blowouts.
The Thirsties Duo Wrap has only one row of snaps around the waist. We weren't too keen on this as we felt it made it more difficult to get a snug fit.

The Thirsties system is very trim fitting, as are most hybrid diapers. The inserts are highly absorbent relative to their size, and many users appreciate that the diaper fits under regular clothes with no problem.

The stretchy elastic waistband was covered in a fabric that we thought may get itchy but didn't seem to bother baby.
The stretchy elastic waistband was covered in a fabric that we thought may get itchy but didn't seem to bother baby.

Comfort


The Duo Wrap is just average in terms of comfort. The fabric that hems the cover feels like it could get itchy, and there are exposed snaps on the inside that left red marks on baby's belly after being worn for a while. Neither issue seemed to bother her, but we didn't have to worry about them with other diapers. Additionally, the insert does not reach both ends of the cover, so parts of the cover are exposed and lay directly against baby's skin.

On the other hand, the Stay Dry Duo Insert is incredibly soft. The cozy microfleece lining is something we imagine would be comfortable to sit in for hours at a time. Its primary purpose is to keep baby dry, but the fact that it is also impressively cushy is a bonus.

Lay the cover down  and lay the insert down. The simple two-step process makes diaper changes quick and painless.
The double gusset helps keep big messes inside the diaper.

Ease-of-Use


As a hybrid, this Thirsties diaper is very simple to assemble and use, second only to an AIO. The liners snap together, which can help you better keep track of sets. It also helps add extra absorbency without the fuss of trying to line up the insert with each other mid-change. Another benefit of this is that being able to take apart the liner can greatly reduce dry time.

Like most hybrid style diapers, the inserts are free-floating. Although they do snap together to lessen the amount of traveling they might do, having loose inserts means that messes may get on the cover as well. It is helpful to keep these things in mind when looking at the combined fit of the insert relative to the shell. If the pair is well fitted, it can add a touch of convenience to your life. After most changes, you can toss the insert into the diaper pail, wipe down the cover, and reuse it. In this way, you can cut back on laundry and extend the life of your diaper.

The Duo Wrap and Stay Dry Duo Insert can be used together  or in any other insert/cover combo you prefer.
The Duo Wrap and Stay Dry Duo Insert can be used together, or in any other insert/cover combo you prefer.

Value


Individually, the components of this diaper seem relatively low cost, but you must buy both parts separately. In the end, this diaper is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to price. You may end up spending a bit more as it is a sized diaper and you will want to have a properly fitted diaper for your baby's age. Luckily, you will only have to replace covers, as the inserts will fit in any of the Thirsties cloth diaper covers. The real savings lie in the reduced laundry. Using a hybrid system can cut you diaper laundry nearly in half, saving you time, water, and detergent.

Thirsties has a variety of simple but adorable patterns for their diaper covers.
Thirsties has a variety of simple but adorable patterns for their diaper covers.

Conclusion


The Thirsties Duo Wrap and Stay Dry Duo Insert is an ideal pair for anyone who is looking for a diaper that allows for buildable absorbency, and fantastic wicking properties. We were impressed with the performance of the liner and love that the sized cover offers a customizable fit while also being roomy enough to handle a lot of bulky inserts. It is one of the easiest diapers to assemble and use. If these all sound like things that you have been searching for in a cloth diaper, then look no further, Thirsties is here for you.


Abriah Wofford & Juliet Spurrier, MD