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PROVIDER’S CHOICE ACTIVE ULTRA ADULT BRIEFS FULL REVIEW

SIZING


The Active Ultra Plus Diaper comes in three sizes:


  1. Medium 32” to 44” waist or hip

  2. Large 45” to 58” waist or hip

  3. X-Large 59” to 64” waist or hip


The fit of this diaper received an “average” rating, as they suffer from the same problem every other diaper on the market does. They fit actually smaller than what the size rating says. This is mainly due to the hook and loop tabs on them. You read right. They have a plastic backing and hook and loop tabs! The problem is, the landing zone for these tabs does not go out as far on the sides to make them fit the dimensions that the company lists! They actually fit a about a 4” SMALLER waist and hip measurement than what is listed in my experience. Other than this problem, fit is generally good and comfortable with adequate coverage.<br /></p>


CONSTRUCTION


The Active Ultra Plus diaper has a plastic backing, elastic waist and leg bands, standing inner leak barriers, decent padding size that is fairly thin and hook and loop (like velcro) style refastenable tabs that must land on a landing zone to fasten.


Plastic Backing

The trend has been toward a cloth like breathable outer backing on diapers nowadays. Personally I despise the cloth like backing. Breathable means air flows through. What flows through with air? Odor! Also, most breathable covers feel damp or clammy on the outside to the touch. Anyway, I digress. The plastic backing on this product is good and strong. I can fasten the tabs very tight and the backing does not stretch or tear due to the strength of the landing zone. Even though the backing is plastic, it does not make much noise under everyday clothing like other brands do. I think this is due to how they have bonded the plastic to the padding. I have noted the dreaded pinhole leak on occasion with these, but we'll cover that more under the quality heading.


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, but for those of you who want an elastic waist, this product has one, front and back. It is more like a ruffle or wrinkle in the plastic than a stretchy elastic waist. The elastic at the legs is wide enough to work well and be comfortable but not so wide as to get in the way. It is effective.


Standing Inner Leak Barriers

This product does have standing inner leak barriers, but unless you run your finger along the barrier to stand it up when you open the diaper, you would never know. They seem to be stuck to the surface of the padding like the glue of the product had not dried before the diaper was folded. They can be raised though by sliding your finger underneath and along the leak barrier to make it stand up. The barriers run about half way up the front of the diaper, between the legs and about 2/3 the way up the back. They work OK for urine but seem that they would be very effective for bowel movements. Those who need heavy bowel control protection should be able to rely on these leak barriers to keep you leak free!


Padding Size, Shape and Thickness

The padding shape on this product is pretty average. As you can see from the picture, the padding is wider at the back with padding out toward the wings and narrower in the front with less padding out toward the wings. This padding also has the mysterious “blue acquisition layer” down the center that, in my opinion makes no difference in skin dryness or absorbency at all. In my opinion, this feature is as useless as an elastic waistband and just adds a few extra cents to the cost of the diaper.


The padding on this product is not all that bulky for it's absorbency. The padding is probably a little thinner than the padding on the Molicare Super Plus Brief. 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 relatively well, although if wet enough, wetness can press out and cause leaks. I would not characterize the absorbency of the padding as a 12 hour diaper like the manufacturer does. In my opinion, this is a risky product for side sleepers due to the lack of padding out toward the wings in the front. It absorbs fast, but I just don't think the front is absorbent enough and the lack of side padding does not help matters. The elastic waist is useless, as I have had these leak from the top when sleeping at night. Maybe a good heavy daytime product, but I just can not definitively recommend it for night time for heavy night wetters.


Hook and Loop Refastenable Tabs

Here is the neat thing about this product but in my opinion, one of its' downfalls as well due to poor design. The product has a landing zone on the front to receive the fuzzy hook and loop tabs to fasten the product instead of sticky tape tabs. This is an absolute novel idea on a plastic backed product and at first I thought it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen! When wearing probably the third diaper out of the first pack, I noted that one of the tabs had come undone so I tried to refasten it. I found this was impossible as the fuzzy surface had completely come off the tab and was still stuck to the landing zone, rendering the tab totally useless and not refastenable. If you like to wear your diaper tight, then these are going to cause you a problem. It appears that the end of the tab, only about 1/3 of the tab length is the fuzzy section and it is glued to the plastic tab. I find this to be a very poor design. The fuzzy section will also come unglued if you unfasten and refasten the tab relatively often to check the diaper, self cat or for other reasons. Like I said…while the most novel feature of this diaper, it can also be the “achilles heel” of the product design.


QUALITY


Here's the deal. These are not the WORST quality diapers I have ever tried, but for the price, they sure are not the greatest. In my first case, I had four that were missing one whole tab…not just the fuzzy hook and loop part, but the whole tab was not ever attached to the diaper! I had one that the whole tab ripped off in my hand while I was putting the diaper on, one where the fuzzy part of the tab ripped off the tab while I was putting it on rendering that tab useless, meaning I had to tape that tab on and two or three with pinholes in the backing that caused wet spots. If you're counting, this is just under a 25% defect ratio in one case! Now, admittedly, in the first bag of this second case, I've only had one diaper that I considered defective and that was because there was not as much polymer in it and it leaked. I can't really hold this against this brand, as I have that trouble with Abena X-Plus on occasion. I'm going to be honest though. For $65.00 to $80.00 per case, I am not so sure about this product. Now, for those who may be worried because these diapers are made in China, I would just let that go. You use more made in China products than you know in your everyday life. Everything from the pen you write with, to the TV you watch, to the parts in the computer screen you are staring at now…all made in China. If we cut out every product made in China in our daily lives, life would almost be impossible. Their quality issues are more due to high speed automation than due to being made in China. They just need to put in a little more work in quality control to make an excellent product! If they were to get a handle on the quality control issue, I would probably use these as my primary diaper due to the velcro tabs and absorbency ratio of the padding for as non bulky as it is.


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, that factor is not there! These diapers are ALL WHITE. They have a very faint blue size/wetness indicator in the center but if you had them on under thin white pants, you would never see it. It would look like you had white underwear on. This white color applies to the small, medium and large sizes. The main part of the hook and loop tab is white with a light blue end, as you can see in the picture above.


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 and falling apart, that is until one of the hook and loop tabs lets go of the hook and loop tab. Skin dryness is good until the padding is about 2/3 capacity, when you can definitely tell that the diaper is wet against the skin. These have pretty good odor control for the most part. Better than cheap products but not quite as good as Molicare Super Plus and the Dry24/7 diaper mentioned in another review. 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 so hours. If you are drinking normally and stay well hydrated though, odor is not a real big issue. Overall comfort is OK.


VALUE FOR THE PRICE


OK, , here's where I have a problem with this product. For now, while they seemingly have some quality issues to overcome, such as pin hole leaks, inconsistent polymer distribution, and tab issues, I think these diapers are a bit on the pricey side. If they were about $0.50 per piece cheaper, I would probably use them quite often, at least around the house. For now though, the quality issue knocks them out of the realm of a premium diaper price like for Molicare, Abena and DryCare. While I would not avoid buying them, I would definitely not count on them for my heavy protection requirements while sleeping or extended protection while out and about.

Provider’s Choice Active Ultra 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 the provider's choice active ultra plus adult diaper
picture of a bag of provider's choice active ultra plus diapers