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ABENA X-PLUS BRIEFS ADULT BRIEFS FULL REVIEW


SIZING


The Abena X-Plus Diaper comes in four sizes:


  1. Small 24” to 31” waist or hip

  2. Medium 28” to 43” waist or hip

  3. Large 39” to 59” waist or hip

  4. X-Large 43” to 67” waist or hip


Abena plastic backed briefs CURRENTLY come in four absorbencies labeled 1 - 4 (formerly “plus”, “super”, “extra” and “x-plus”).  I say CURRENTLY because there is a move to phase out the plastic backed Abena briefs as they have in Europe already.  In fact, very soon, the absorbencies 1 - 3 will soon all be ONLY cloth backed Premium Briefs here in the U.S.A..  See our review of the Premium Briefs on our Abena Premium Air-Plus Review Page. The size and absorbency are denoted on on the package like this S4 (would be small size number 4 absorbency.  It’s the size and absorbency denoted in the letter/number.  How’s that for complex?


The fit of the Abena X-Plus gets a “good” rating due to the fact that they are RIGHT at what the manufacturer says without any additional room.  If you fasten the tapes on the medium, for example, at the largest waist size of 43”, the tapes will be RIGHT AT the edge of the front wing of the product, with a very snug fit.  They do fit well though and the tapes hold quite well, even with a snug fit.


CONSTRUCTION


The X-Plus has a white plastic outer covering with a dark colored “ladder like” print (for lack of a better explanation) and 1 to 4 vertical lines, presumably to indicate the absorbency level, down the center on each side of a double yellow line wetness indicator.  There are two dual layer adhesive tapes on each side.  The dual layer tapes have a blue tape that attaches to the plastic backing of the diaper with a white tape tab on top of it.  When you need to unfasten and refasten the tape, you pull up on the white tape leaving the blue one behind.  When you want to refasten the tape, you put the white tape right back on the blue tape and you have the same fit as you did when you first put them on!  The X-Plus also has very effective standing inner leak barriers on each side and elastic at the legs for leakage containment and comfortable fit.


Plastic Backing

The plastic backing on these briefs is very strong.  It does not stretch like cheaper brands leading to diaper sag.  It also does not tear when you fasten the diaper very tight.  On RARE occasion, if the diaper is saturated, there may be leakage from “pinholes” that are poked in the plastic backing by the polymer granules in the product.  This is a rare problem but it does occur from time to time.  The plastic backing does make some noise under everyday clothing but this noise can be eliminated by either wearing heavy pants (like jeans) or wearing a pair of underwear over them.  Overall though, the noise is totally unnoticeable in average everyday situations.


Elastic Waist and Leg Bands

Those of you who know me know I think elastic waists are an extra cost gimmick that is not really necessary. Personally, on this product I feel the same, as the “elastic waist” at the back of the product is more like ruffled plastic than a true stretchable elastic waist.  If Abena eliminated this feature, I don’t think anyone would ever notice, as it doesn’t really do anything.  The elastic at the leg openings is VERY effective at giving a comfortable and snug fit around the legs and in the leg creases without binding or cutting into the skin.  If the lower tape is fastened comfortably snug, the elastic will flex as you move, keeping the diaper snug against your skin without allowing leakage.


Standing Inner Leak Barriers

The standing inner leakage barriers on this product are very effective.  They come about 3/4 of the way up the front and about 1/2 way or so up the back of the diaper on each side.  While not the tallest inner leakage barriers on the market they are more than effective at preventing urine and especially bowel leakage. 


Padding Size, Shape and Thickness

The padding shape on this diaper is the “figure 8” shape with padding out toward the wings in the back and front.  While the padding does not wrap all the way around the sides, it comes far enough past the elastic in the front and back to catch any wetness that MAY get past the standing elastic leak barrier.  The padding that extends out toward the wings in the front is about 4” narrower than it is in the back.  This allows a good, less bulky fit but still gives enough padding to make this a very protective product.


The padding on this product is not all that bulky for it's absorbency. The padding is just a little thicker than the padding on the Molicare Super Plus Brief. The padding tends to “fluff up” the longer the diaper is out of the bag, as Abena uses a “compressed packaging” which compresses the padding while in the bag.  Under everyday clothing, this product would not be obvious, other than MAYBE an occasional plastic crinkle that could be muffled with a pair of boxers over them. The padding seems to absorb very quickly and wick very well.  Usually, you can utilize just about every inch of the padding in regards to wetness without a leak.  This diaper is DEFINITELY my top pick for heavy overnight protection!  If taped snugly, this diaper will rarely ever leak even when you sleep on your side.


Dual Layer Refastenable Tape Tabs

As noted above, these diapers have the two piece refastenable tape system, with the blue “under tape” that fastens to the plastic backing and the white top tape that adheres to the blue tape and is used for unfastening and refastening.  Abena uses a reasonably large tape tab with VERY good folded over ends that make the tape easy to grasp when fastening and unfastening.  The tapes hold very well and the white tape can be unfastened from the blue one and refastened on the blue tape over and over again without any noticeable degradation in stickiness.  The white tab can also be refastened on other ares of the brief where the blue tab is NOT, but then the white tab is no longer refastenable and may rip the plastic backing if unfastened.


QUALITY


Overall, the quality of the Abena X-Plus is pretty good, with no stray padding pieces outside of the padded area, tape tabs that hold very well and great absorbency.  Abena does suffer from variances in their quality rom case to case though.  I have had some cases where EVERYTHING was perfect (more often than not) and then other cases where absorbent polymer is clumped in areas and not in others, padding is not as heavy at times and other times where the polymer is right against the plastic backing which results in “pinholes” that can leak if the diaper is saturated.  Variances in quality is about 15% of the time.  They are still an EXCELLENT product and when figuring defect rate, you have to remember the company runs millions of the product per year, so the defect rate is VERY low compared to other brands.


APPEARANCE


Again, a manufacturer who gets the fact that incontinence can be embarrassing enough without wearing a pink, blue, purple, peach or tan diaper! Who in the world ever decided on pink for a diaper color anyway?? They should be fired. Well, with this product, the plastic backing is all white, with the exception of the design down the center of the diaper about 1/3 of the diaper width that, under thin white pants, you would probably see, but as far as anyone would know, it could be a design on a pair of underwear.  It is not a design that would make it obvious that you are wearing a diaper.  This white plastic backing color applies to the small, medium, large and x-large sizes.


COMFORT


These diapers fit pretty well. if you are on the outer edge of the size though, you may find them a little snug due to the fit issue mentioned above. Other than that, they are indeed very comfortable without too much bulk in bad places. Once wet, they remain very well fitting without sagging. If you are a very physically active person (walking, running, etc..) you may notice the padding does come apart in the front and sag down into the crotch of the diaper...especially if saturated.  Under everyday “normal” activity or if you are a wheelchair user or confined to bed, this is not an issue.  Skin dryness is actually excellent!  Most times, it’s almost impossible to tell the diaper is even wet against your skin.  The odor control for the most part, is decent.  It is better than cheap products but not quite as good as Molicare Super Plus and the Dry24/7 diaper mentioned in other reviews.   They do control it well for the most part, but if you wear the product long enough and you are not drinking a lot (meaning your urine is concentrated), an ammonia smell will build up after about 4 or 5 hours. If you are drinking normally and stay well hydrated though, odor is not a real big issue until about 6 or 7 hours’ wear time.  Overall comfort is good.


VALUE FOR THE PRICE


Considering the average cost of these diapers is about $1.50, I find the cost very acceptable for a premium product such as this.  When it comes to skin dryness and capacity for that price, you really can’t go wrong!  If you have complete incontinence with large volumes, you should be able to feel secure in your protection while out and about in this diaper! 

Abena X-Plus Briefs at a Glance


Fit                                                 Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Ease of Putting it on                  Very Good        Good       Average        Poor

Comfort while dry                      Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Absorbency                                Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Rewet Absorbency                    Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Comfort While wet                     Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Keeps skin dry                           Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Ease of Removal                        Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

Plastic backing strength           Very Good        Good        Average        Poor

picture of an abena x-plus briefs bag
picture of an abena x-plus brief