The Thirsties Duo Wrap is a two-part diaper system, often referred to as all-in-two or AI2. The Duo Wrap cover comes with several inner options which include the Stay Dry Duo insert (described in this review), the Duo Hemp Prefold (also tested), and the Duo Fab Fitted. The cover and the inner are two separate pieces, each purchased separately. The Duo Wrap comes with two different closure options: Aplix Hook and Loop (which we tested) or snap.
In order to use the Thirsties Duo Wrap with the Stay Dry Duo Insert, you lay the insert, fleece side up, into the cover. This particular insert scored a little higher in ease-of-use than many other AI2 systems we tested because it doesn't need to be folded or stuffed into the Wrap cover, requiring less preparation. There is the necessary step of separating the insert for laundering and reattaching the 2 insert layers after drying, however.
The Stay Dry Duo insert performed well in our absorbency tests, scoring 7 of 10, and placing it near the top.
The two layer insert lets you have the best of both worlds - the microfleece and microfiber terry top layer pulls the moisture away from baby's skin while the hemp and cotton bottom layer adds great absorbency through the use of natural materials.
It is very important to follow the manufacturers laundering instructions to retain initiate and maintain maximum absorbency. For example, the Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert needs a specific laundering protocol before initial use to really get absorbency going. Once in use, avoid sanitizing or white cycles in on HE machines and high heat drying as well as use of bleach, pure soap, laundry boosters or additives.
The Duo Wrap cover has three rows of snaps at the rise to adjust for a proper fit. It also has nice gussets at the leg openings to keep messes from leaking out of the diaper itself. Unfortunately, however, the Stay Dry Duo Insert doesn't completely fill out the cover's inside, leaving room for mess to transfer onto it, causing one to grab for a clean cover during a diaper change more than is desirable with an AI2 system.
The Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert is fairly thin so it doesn't look huge under clothing or make it difficult for baby to move around. However though the insert is fairly trim, the Thirsties Duo Wrap cover is not, sporting a lot of extra fabric. Even on the smallest settings, the Duo Wrap is quite big on skinny babies.
As such, we found that it was tricky to get the cover to lie flat in front and it always ended up wrinkling and bunching up. Although this didn't affect how well the diaper worked, it doesn't look very snug and trim. Our assessment: older or chunky babies will likely do much better in the Duo Wrap than trimmer infants.
In addition, the hemp layer of the insert gets a little stiff over time which is very typical of hemp, particularly after line-drying. If stiffness becomes an issue, Thirsties recommends drying them on medium heat with some wool dryer balls to soften them.
This system scored an 8 of 10 in ease-of-use. There's no folding or stuffing involved. Simply lay the insert in the cover and it's ready to go.
Again, what's nice about AI2 systems as compared to AIO systems is that the separate insert and cover allow you to re-use the cover…if it's not soiled, that is. You can remove the wet insert and replace it with a dry one fairly easily. As noted above, however, the Thirsties Stay Dry Duo insert doesn't fill out their Duo Wrap cover completely, so soiling can be an issue to contend with.
Also, It's very important to make sure that you get the right layer of the insert on top - sounds easy, but the simplest things can be quite tricky when you're sleep deprived! The fleece layer always touches baby. If you get the hemp/cotton layer on top you end up with major staining, and the wettest part of the insert is against baby's skin.
A big bonus is that the two layer design cuts down the drying time of this insert which can be either line or machine-dried.
The Thirsties Duo Wrap with Stay Dry Duo Insert scored a 8 of 10 in Eco-health, about average compared to competing cloth diapers. The Duo Wrap is made of synthetic material, waterproof 100% PUL which can be wiped if mess extends from the insert to the cover, allowing for re-use of the cover prior to washing. Though with PUL the waterproof laminate is adhered to the cover's polyester fabric using a chemical process instead of heat as with TPU, Thirsties markets their product to be free of VOC, PVC, pthalate, lead, and latex.
The lower absorptive portion of the Stay Dry Duo Insert is fabricated from natural fibers: 55% hemp and 45% cotton and the upper portion touching baby's skin is made of a stay-dry, stain-resistant 100% polyester microfleece. The combination of natural with synthetics in Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Insert edges out thier more natural Duo Hemp Prefold in absorbency by a hair, 9 to 8.
The Thirsties Duo Wrap with its Stay Dry Duo Insert is a no frills diaper that does what it is supposed to do. It wicks moisture away from the skin, doesn't leak, and washes and dries easily. Having a separate cover and insert gives you options for customizing absorbency depending on your needs and allows for multiple uses of the cover, particularly because the Duo Wrap is waterproof and wipeable.
The following is a You Tube video explaining the Thirsties Duo Wrap with Stay Dry Duo Insert with some helpful fitting tips.