Flip Hybrid Diapers are basically a cloth diaper shell with the option to use either a washable, reusable cloth diaper insert, or a biodegradable, flushable, non-toxic disposable insert. To cut to the chase, Flip Hybrid Diapers are a fantastic cloth diapering option for traveling babies and toddlers.
I have used cloth diapers since Veda was born, even when we travel out of the country, on road trips, and on vacations. There have been times when I have reverted to using disposable diapers (such as for day-long plane trips), but I always feel bad about it because I feel like 1) I am wasting money, 2) I am subjecting Veda’s bottom to crunchy gel gobs instead of a nice padded cloth thing, and 3) I am putting some really crappy stuff into landfills. So, even on long plane trips I do try to continue using cloth as much as possible.
When I first bought my stash of cloth diapers back in 2010 before Veda was born, I was overwhelmed with all of the choices, which have only grown in the past couple of years since I bought mine. I bought a combination of one-size pocket diapers (FuzziBunz, Happy Heiny’s, and Bum Genius).
If you’re new to cloth diapering, one-size basically means that instead of being a fitted diaper to a particular weight/ size, the diaper is adjustable (either by snaps or elastic) so that the diaper can grow with your baby. That appeals to me because we travel frequently and I don’t want to be stuck with diapers that are too small somewhere in the world where I can’t buy cloth diapers, plus I thought that would be more economical.
Pocket diapers are diapers that come with a waterproof shell, and then have a sewn micro-fiber, fleece, or cotton inside. It has an opening where you can stick 1-2 absorbent inserts (pads) that absorb all the moisture. I preferred this to “pre-folds” because I didn’t want to deal with folding anything, and I preferred this to All-In-One’s (AIO’s) where the inserts are attached because sometimes I travel places where I don’t have a dryer and I think (perhaps I’m wrong) that those would take longer to line dry.
I was pretty determined to keep using the original diapers I bought through multiple children, and I still am. But, I broke down and ordered some Flip Hybrid Diapers last week. I wanted to see how well these diapers would work with my frequent baby’s traveling bottom, and now, even for day trips, the Flips are what gets packed in the diaper bag. I think I probably will order one more six-pack.
Here’s why Flip Hybrid Diapers are fantastic cloth diaper options- for anyone that travels with babies or toddlers, and for anyone that’s cloth-diaper curious but not quite ready to make the leap to cloth:
1) Flip Hybrid Diapers are extremely affordable and economical. You can buy a six-pack for US$49.95, which comes with two shells and six cloth inserts (the shells are re-used so that’s six diapers). That’s $8.33 per diaper. The cloth inserts have an organic option, too (add $10 to the pack). First, this is astronomically cheaper than the majority of cloth diapers that cost anywhere from $15.95- $35.95 brand new per diaper. Right now Veda basically goes through six diapers per day, so I’ll probably buy one more pack so that I have a fresh set when the others are being washed. (If you buy the Flips one at a time they are twice the price at $15.95, so it definitely saves to buy the six pack).
Second, if you buy disposable diapers where a large supply (186) of a leading brand is about the same cost ($49.95) you’ll make up the cost of diapers in one month. That’s a LOT of savings if you consider how many months baby is in diapers.
2) Flip Hybrid Diapers are space savers. Because the shells are reusable and not very bulky and the cloth inserts are slim compared to other cloth diapers, they take up about half the space in my diaper bag than other cloth diapers. This makes it easier for me to carry them around with me, whether in the city or traveling on a plane. The set of six cloth diapers takes up about as much space as the same number of disposable diapers, so I can’t justify using disposable when traveling for space saving reasons.
3) Flip Hybrid Diapers are one-size and adjustable. That means they can be used from birth to potty trained. However, I have not used these on a newborn, and looking at even the smallest setting, I think they would be pretty big on a new born. The G diapers, which are similar hybrid diapers, come in fitted sizes rather than one size, but they do have a newborn size I am contemplating purchasing for the next baby (Veda was in newborn sized rented cloth diapers until she was 6 weeks old when she fit into one-sized diapers). I personally like the one-size, though, for reasons mentioned above.
4) Flip Hybrid Diapers have an easy to clean reusable shell. Instead of stuffing my other pocket diapers, I just have to lay a fresh cloth insert into the shell. The shell can be wiped clean, if necessary, after it has been used, and then a fresh insert can be laid back in. This, as I mentioned, saves a lot of space for diaper bags, packing, and lessens the laundry.
5) Flip Hybrid Diapers provides a semi-disposable option. Right now when we are in transit or out and about with cloth diapers, I simply carry small cloth diaper wet bags in my diaper bag where I stuff soiled diapers. Eeeeeewww, carrying around poo and pee? Actually, it’s really not that big of deal. The wet bags contain the smell, and I just dump them in my larger dirty cloth diaper bag in my laundry room when we get home. The Flips, though, let me save dirty diaper space with less bulky outer shells to carry around.
The Flips also provide the option of using the biodegradable, non-toxic, flushable inserts instead of the reusable ones. I think this might be a great option for long flight days where I sometimes would have used disposable diapers. That way I don’t have to carry around too much dirty stuff (just a few shells that can be easily rinsed and put in a wet bag).
For those of you cloth-diaper curious, it might be worth giving them a try with the disposable inserts. You can just hand wash the shells, and throw away or flush the disposable insert. At $5.95 for 18 disposable inserts, that breaks down to $0.33 per “diaper” after the small sunk cost of the cloth shells, which is about comparable to buying disposable diapers, anyway.
6) Flip Hybrid Diapers are reliable and effective. They fit well without leaking on my very lean 19 month old. The snaps ensure a great fit, and they are just as effective as my Bum Genius pocket diapers that are the exact same size. I haven’t used them for night time yet, but my favorite cloth diapering resource, All About Cloth Diapers (Autumn Beck), also has great reviews of the Flips, and says they work great overnight, too (possibly doubling up on the inserts).
Check out Autumn’s review of Flip Diapers here, and all of her other fantastic cloth diapering recommendations.
The only thing that I don’t like about the Flip Hybird Diapers is that they don’t come in fun prints. They have numerous solid color options to choose from, but I have to admit that I really enjoy seeing my daughter run around in cow and giraffe prints in some of her more fun diapers. But, the practical side of me shrugs this off pretty quickly, since she does usually have clothes covering her diaper, anyway.
EDITED: A reader also suggested that the GroVia shells can be bought and used with Flip inserts or other tri-fold inserts, which are more pricey ($16.95 for the shell only), but do come in cute prints- like owls, as well as Best Bottoms (also for $16.95 for the shell only as well) which comes in fun prints like giraffes :).