As you all know I am very lucky to have my very own in-house product tester in the form of Aura who is 21 months old. I test all brands and nappies before stocking them and only sell products that I am passionate about. I understand that each baby is different and not all the products I sell are my favourite nappies for Aura but I absolutely stand behind each of the brands I represent so I know that I can recommend them with complete confidence.
Bells Bumz is a relatively new brand that stormed onto the reusable nappy scene in the summer last year with their pocket nappy at a very affordable price. This new collection sees a massive increase in the product offering with the addition of an AIO, AI2, Wraps, hemp fitted nappies and every shaped insert for boosting!
I have been using the hemp fitted nappy for a few months now but today was the first time I have tried the new AI2 nappy.
As always let’s start with the facts….
- COST : £16.99
- WARRANTY : 12 months
- DRYING TIME : I hang the inserts on a sock hanger above a heated airer with a dehumidifier and the nappy and the inserts dry overnight. If I allow it to completely air dry inside I am closer to 36 hours. The inserts can be tumble dried on a low setting and are dry within 2 hours but not the PUL
- PREPARATION : As the nappies are made from natural fibre and a high percentage of hemp they will take up to 10 washes to reach their best absorbency. I always give them one was and then pop them on and change more regularly. Normally 3 or 4 washes will give you a good level of absorbency though.
- SLIMNESS : Considering there are 9 layers of fabric between both inserts the nappy is super slim on the bum. For this review I only use the ‘z soaker’ (main insert) and not the additional booster so it was a very slim nappy on Aura.
- SIZE : The whole Bells Bumz range I would say is on the more generous size but not overly large. From the brands I use I see the AI2 roughly the same size as the Bear Bott AIO/ AI2 and comparable to Baba & Boo Pockets and perhaps a little larger than LLB and Hippynuts although I find these brands too big but this one goes down to give a lovely fit on Aura.
- INSERT MATERIAL : The Z Soaker (the main insert) has 3 layers of hemp and 2 layers of bamboo and topped with a lovely white fleece stay dry layer. The nappy also comes with the Z booster plus (basically an additional slimmer booster) which is 2 layers of hemp and 2 layers of bamboo. So using both inserts you have as standard 9 layers of natural absorbency, 5 of hemp and 4 of bamboo!
Like their previous collection the brand guidance is to wash the nappies ideally at 40 but a max of 60 degrees and non bio powder is recommended but not essential to maintain the warranty. They also recommend a daily pre wash and a main wash at before 72 hours. The inserts can be tumble dried on a low heat but never the PUL elements so this is probably something to think about if you are considering the AIO.
The AI2 is very easy to put on and looks really comfortable. Aura is 21 months and quite slim but not skinny and we got an excellent fit around the tummy and I especially like the front elastic which stopped any tummy gap we can sometimes get with other brands. It is a slightly larger nappy compared with other AI2 I use but not quite as big as the likes of Little Lovebum or Fudgey Pants in my opinion although I know others who have grown out of LLB and Fudgey and these still fit well.
On the bum the nappy is very slim, I used it today just with the Z Soaker as that already had 6 layers of absorbency and I was keen to test that out before adding the booster.
I do like a smaller nappy for day-time and use the likes of Baby Bare, Fluffy Ducks & Bare & Boho but don’t like to give these to grandparents as they can be a little trickier to fit in my opinion to ensure Aura is comfortable.
This AI2 (without the additional booster) is a super slim nappy but can literally chuck on and achieve a perfect fit with no adjusting or tucking required. I know even the grandparents approve and Craig straight away asked what brand it was as he loved it.
There are 4 rise settings which is fairly standard and and a small cross over waist so they go down pretty small and I can see that we have plenty growth left in the rise and waist tabs so I can see this lasting through to potty training no problem for us.
The last thing to mention on fit is you have a number of options of how it can be used with either just the Z soaker (insert) or with the additional z booster plus (booster) popped on to the soaker and there is a double ended pocket so you can also add additional boosting if required, perhaps for overnight. I have found another way and I really liked it! I put the Z soaker (insert) into the pocket instead of on the top so it was more like a pocket instead of an AI2. It still had the lovely soft fleece layer so was stay dry and the fit was still lovely. I guess the downside is you would miss the ‘double gusset’ this way as the gusset on the insert is hidden inside the nappy but it looked good, fitted well and performed well for us so thought I would put it out there (I am a pocket girl… what can I say!)
So…. How did it hold the wee?!
I only gave the shell one wash and not even the insert actually so it was brand new and we had it on for over 4 hours with no leaks, plenty absorbency left and that was with just the Z soaker insert without the booster so I think that we wont even really need the booster unless trying it overnight. The fit was very good and was still perfectly in place when I took it off. Aura was very dry and nothing had moved inside the nappy (I have seen some AI2 inserts bunch up in the crotch to leave a lot of just exposed PUL with no absorbency but this was still nice and wide on the gusset)
Today we were just playing in the house so it wasn’t tested in the car, on shoulders or at the park which I know can add additional challenges to nappies but I am confident with the number of layers in the insert and the make up of them that they would easily withstand these challenges.
So in summary.
I am super impressed with these nappies. They are fantastic value for money, easy to fit, slim and reliable and will easily give me 4 hours plus without boosting or a hint of dampness and I have no hesitation is recommending you try them out for yourself!
My Favourite Bits
- Super Slim especially when not boosted
- Great absorbency
- Very easy to fit
- Can be washed at 60 degrees if required
- Fantastic value for money at £16.99 and comes with all boosting that would be needed
My Least Favourite bits
- Natural drying time of bamboo in my house is about 36 hours (although this is same for all bamboo nappies)
- You cannot tumble dry the PUL elements (which you can with other brands) so while not a problem with the AI2 if would be something to consider if buying the AIO that drying time would be longer.
- Last ‘least favourite’ for me is probably the current prints, they are not my favourite and I find them a little random in both the prints themselves and the make up of the prints within the ‘collection’ so that’s a draw back for me as I probably wouldn’t but the whole collection (which I like to do!)