Sunday, September 2, 2012

RearZ Smitten Fitted Diaper: Review & Giveaway! (Closed)


For my latest review, I'm excited to be partnering again with RearZ, a cloth diapering company based in my hometown of Kitchener, Ontario. Back in February, I featured their Flair Snap Prefold and Couture Cover products during my Fluffy February review/giveaway event. This time around I'll be giving you the lowdown (as I see it) on their Smitten Fitted Diaper.

To read up on the company's history and core values, take a look at my previous post or visit the About Us section of the RearZ website.

Now, let's get to business! :)

Product Information:

Juicy, fluffly, luxurious.  You will be totally smitten with this diaper
Check out our Green America approved diaper! 
A very absorbent velour cotton diaper with some great features you will not want to miss.
  • pocket opening for night time boosters (like a newborn or small rearz prefold)
  • tongue design for faster drying time
  • available in X-Large for children who need diapers longer than average
  • certified organic dyes
  • available in snap and oversized velcro closures
  • cross over snaps for lean babes
  • low lint design
  • suitable for night time use
Small 6-15lbs, Waist range: 8"-18", Thigh range 4"-11.5", Rise Range is 12-15"
Medium 14-22lbs, Waist 10"-20", Thigh 6-14", Rise 13-16.5"
Large 23-40lbs, Waist 12"-24", Thigh 7-16", rise 15.5-19"
X-Large 40+ lbs, Waist 16"-28", Thigh 10-21", rise 17.5"-24" 

My Review:

Over the past few months, our daughter S (now 21 months) has had some challenges with diaper rash so we've been gravitating toward natural, breathable cloth diapering options, especially at night. As such, I jumped at the chance to review a RearZ Smitten given it is composed entirely of cotton and receives particularly positive feedback on its usage as a night diaper.

S hit the 20 pound mark early this year and has been gaining slowly but steadily, so I chose the large size Smitten for review purposes knowing the diaper would almost certainly fit until she's potty trained (side note: getting closer now! :) This would also allow testing of the lowest end of the recommended weight spectrum. I received an orange diaper with aplix closures.

My first thought - definitely a "hearty" diaper! Lots of absorbent material, and pleasant to the touch. The inner is nice & soft - not super-ridiculously soft like other diapers I own, but many/most of these others get their softness from synthetic materials like microfleece and minky. So a small trade-off here. I'd use the term "rugged" to describe the outer as it's a thick material with a microterry feel.

The waist aplix strip is long and wide, allowing for a highly customized fit.

Cross-over aplix is built in as well, allowing the slimmest of babes to get a nice, cozy fit. Similarly, cross-over snaps are available on the snap version of the Smitten.

(Side note - seriously, that would have to be One Skinny Baby, as our li'l girl is pretty trim and at the lowest end of the recommended weight spectrum for the large, yet we still secure the aplix tabs on the main strip as you'll see shortly.)

Perfectly-sized laundry tabs are built-in for prevention of diaper chains in the laundry.

Nice & stretchy elastic is built into the legs and back of the waist. The front of the waist is not elasticized, however.

The stitchwork around the edge of the diaper is solid and even with no loose threads. Definitely high-quality construction!

Finally, the design of the diaper is pretty neat. I' manages to be a regular all-in-one (in that the base shell contains absorbent material), a tongue-style all-in-one (with extra absorbency added by the "tongue") AND a pocket diaper, allowing Even More Absorbency to be added for the heaviest of wetters. 

Our li'l girl isn't a super-heavy wetter herself, so I was quite confident the diaper would have more than enough absorbency itself to provide complete overnight protection for her. And, upon testing the insertion of a bamboo insert, I certainly hoped this would be the case! The pocket is quite tight and challenging to stuff smoothly - definitely not a job for Dad! As such, I'd probably try laying the extra absorbency on top of the pocket, either above or below the tongue. So this is something I'd recommend looking to improve in future iterations of the design.

Another (more minor) gripe I have about the design is that the tongue is a bit lumpy/bulky where it is attached at the pocket opening. As such, I make sure to smooth & stretch it out before I put the diaper on our daughter so this isn't a bother to her.

Overall, the Smitten fits our daughter quite well. As I mentioned, she's at the lowest end of the weight spectrum for large, so she achieves the best fit with the aplix tabs pulled close together, but not overlapping. In this picture, it appears that the aplix itself is detaching, but it's actually just the non-aplix material at the edge of each tab curling outward a bit. So an aesthetic issue if anything.

The Smitten adds a li'l extra "junk in the trunk" (i.e. not the trimmest diaper in our stash), but it's certainly cute nonetheless! :)

And here you can see that the leg elastic gives her a snug yet comfy fit around her thighs.

During the testing period, S has worn her Smitten mainly overnight (with a wool cover) and it's performed admirably. We've had a perfect leak-free record during the 8-10 times she's worn it so far, and (as suspected) have never needed to add extra absorbency. She's pooped in it a few times as well, and there've been no issues with containment.

Care and maintenance of the Smitten is pretty easy. To prep, we just washed it 2x along with our regular diaper laundry and it was good to go. Solid poop generally stays on the tongue making spray-down a breeze (though looser poop which sneaks under the tongue is a bit more irksome as it can get trapped in the creases formed by the leg elastic). No special instructions for washing (just toss it in with your regular diaper load) though I do recommend machine-drying as both the inner and outer material gets pretty coarse/stiff when hung to dry. And (I'm sure this goes without saying) make sure to secure that aplix or the extra-large tabs will definitely "find some friends" in the dryer!

As for longevity, the stitching and elastic are holding up perfectly so far, and the inner is remaining nice and soft. The outer material is losing some softness over time, but this is only a minor concern. The aplix may become an issue in the longer run, however. The strip is already starting to get slightly pilly and the tabs doesn't hold quite as firmly as they did originally. I definitely prefer the aplix on the RearZ couture cover, which is remaining super-strong after several months of usage. Given this, I'd almost certainly opt for the snap closures if I were to purchase additional Smittens for our stash.

Time for the official evaluation!

+ Available colours are lush and vibrant
+/- Diaper does have a cute look, however it's not the trimmest option out there, particularly noticeable in the booty (especially when at the low end of the weight spectrum for a particular size?)
- Edges of aplix tabs are prone to curling when secured, so they stick out a bit
- Currently only available in 5 solid colours
Score: 3/5

+ Perfect leak-free record (8-10 usages along with a wool cover, focusing on night-time use) without adding extra absorbency
+ Pocket opening allows addition of extra absorbency for uber-wetters
+ No problems for us containing solid messes (note - not tested on EBF poop) 
+ Extra-long aplix strip + cross-over aplix allows for a perfect waist fit on babies of all sizes
+ Comes in an X-Large size for children who need diapers longer than average
Score: 5/5

Comfort & Health:
+ Made of a natural, breathable material (cotton velour)
+ Coloured using certified organic dyes
+ Inner is very soft to the touch
+ Does not appear to cause/exacerbate diaper rash when used with a wool cover
- Tongue flap is a bit lumpy where it's attached to the pocket; this could be a tad uncomfortable for baby if not smoothed down properly
- Material does not (on its own) wick away moisture from baby's skin,  so you might want to use microfleece liners to help with this (particularly overnight).
Score: 4/5

Ease of Use:
+ Oversized aplix closures make it super-easy to secure the diaper
+ AIO design means no stuffing/snapping of inserts required for "regular wetters"
+/- Prep and cleaning quite easy/straightforward. Spray-down is easy when poop stays on the tongue, but a bit more finnicky when it gets into the folds below. Machine-drying recommended to maximize softness. And don't forget to secure those laundry tabs!!
- Smoothing down the tongue where it attaches to the pocket opening is recommended so it isn't lumpy against baby.
- The pocket is very tight, making it quite challenging to stuff properly. Not a problem for us as our daughter hasn't needed extra absorbency, but could definitely be frustrating for parents of babies who do.
Score: 2.5/5

Quality & Durability:
+ Even, high-quality stitching around entire diaper; no loose threads
+ Elastics are tight & solid
+ Inner material remains soft & lush after multiple washes
- Aplix strip appears prone to pilling and loss of "grippiness" over time
- Outer material loses softness over time
Score: 3.5/5


Total "Diaper Awesomeness" Score: 18 / 25 (Good diaper. Recommended.)
Overall Comments: The RearZ Smitten is a hearty, well-performing cotton-based fitted diaper particularly recommended for night usage. Its unique design combines a tongue-style AIO with a pocket for extra absorbency (if needed), however the pocket is quite tight making it difficult to stuff. The aplix variant (while easy to use and great for achieving that perfect fit) appears prone to pilling/losing "grippiness", and as such, the snap variant may provide better longevity. The Smitten is available in 5 vibrant colours (using certified organic dyes) and achieves a cute (though bulkier than average) fit.

Approximate Stash Cost: $635.91 to $1059.85 + cost of covers
Calculation details: Most children would probably only need the S, M and L sizes from birth to potty training. Smitten are sold in packs of 5 (regular price $67.99 / S, $69.99 / M and $73.99 / L), so assuming you want 25 diapers in each of these sizes, the total would be $1059.85 plus the cost of whichever cover system(s) you opted to use. Note that Smitten 5-packs often go on sale at up to 40% off through various deal sites, so if you're a diligent deal hunter you could work this total down to $635.91!


Buy It:

RearZ products can be purchased directly from the company website or from select 3rd party retailers.

Win It:

One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win a RearZ Smitten fitted diaper of their own! Winner selects size, closure type (aplix or snaps) and colour. (Note: available colours may vary.)

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Comments do not count as entries, however feel free to add a comment to remind yourself that you entered! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The prize is being provided to the winner by RearZ.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample item free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.


  1. I have a few of these that I bought with the intention of using them with my wool cover at night. We've tried it once, stuffed with a Knickernappies Super Do (which, you're right, is a really tight fit), and it worked really well. We'll be doing it regularly from now on. (I really wish snaps had been an option when I ordered. I hate Velcro on my diapers.)

  2. i have been wondering if cloth would be right for us, this would be a start to my stash if i win. :)

  3. Great giveaway. Thanks for posting to my Tuesday FB Giveaway Wall!

    Besos, Sarah
    Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo