Katie joins us again today to review the Grovia Hybrid system.  Because these made up the bulk of her stash already, she is able to offer a really in-depth and thorough accounting of the system's features!  Heeeeeeere's Katie!

So you've commited to cloth diapering your little one. Now the tough part, convincing your husband that it's totally worth it and will save you money. You know, anything you have to tell your husband to convince him, right? Alright, so the hard part is out of the way now. Well, you thought it was. Now you have to choose the right kind of diaper, but there are so many diapers out there, how will you ever choose?!

This is what happened when I committed to cloth diapering Monkey. My husband and I sat down one night after the little guy was in bed, trying to figure out which diapers we wanted to go with. I planned on going strictly with pockets (after our encounter with prefolds of course) and a few Flip diapers and inserts. While I got my list together, he was in his own little world researching all different kinds of brands and styles. He turned to me and asked what I think of the GroVia Hybrid diapers. I hadn't heard of them, so he showed me a review and told me all about them. Next thing I knew, we were on The Green Nursery's site ordering two of their GroVia Starter Pack Plus packages. Each package came with 4 shells, 8 snap-in soaker pads and 4 doublers. We got all of our shells in the snap closure because, by then, Monkey was able to get the velcro undone. (We have the cutest picture to prove it!) So when TGN asked me to review GroVia's Hybrid system, I took it as a chance to finally try the hook and loop!

GroVia shells come in adorable prints and cute, gender neutral colors. We personally like putting Monkey in the Blackberry (purple) shell. The inside of the shells are made with Polyester Mesh. While some don't like this feature because you can't just wipe it out like you can with the Flip or other  all in two (AI2) diapers, I personally love this feature. Not only can it be used as a regular cloth diaper, you can also use it as a swim diaper.  You simply take the soaker out, put the shell on, and you're good to go!

For this review, I tested out their hook and loop shell. I've heard so many good things about how tough their hook and loop closure is, so I was excited to try it. Hook and loop can be a blessing and a curse. When you have a squirmy toddler who hates to sit still, you can get the diaper on quickly. I keep the few velcro diapers we have in the diaper bag to use when we're out and about so we don't have to fight to get the diaper on. The down side to hook and loop is that if Monkey isn't in shorts or pants, he can undo it pretty easily. As we tested out the hook and loop Grovia shell, it wasn't long before Monkey was able to undo the tab and take his diaper off.  The Grovia hook and loop is tough, though.  The tabs on the few other hook and loop diapers we have stick up, and he's able to get them off much more easily than the GroVia.

With all the experience we have with GroVia, I wanted to touch on the snap closure as well. The snaps are very durable so Monkey isn't able to unsnap them at all. These shells have one row of snaps and no hip snaps, which can be a turn off for some because they're worried about wing droop. We have never had issues with wing droop, so I say don't hesitate to get these!

The Grovia Soakers soakers either come in Organic Cotton or Stay Dry. I tested the Stay Dry soaker and they're my personal favorite. The Stay Dry soakers are made with four layers of hemp and cotton topped with micro-fleece and the outer layer is waterproof TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The soakers both have gussets to help contain the mess. What makes GroVia different than a lot of other Hybrid (AI2) systems is that their soakers snap into the shell.

Prepping the GroVia shell is easy since it only has to be washed one time. The soakers are recommended to be washed at least 5-6 times before your first use, but they will not be fully absorbent for up to 10 washes. To wash the GroVia Hybrids, I just toss them in with my other diapers. There are no special needs that require me to wash them any differently. This is where the GroVia hook and loop diapers differ from other velcro diapers I've used. Other velcro diapers have laundry tabs where you fasten the velcro down and you're done. I've run into the issue (with a Happy Heinys diaper) where the velcro will come undone from the laundry tab, and an insert gets stuck to the velcro. With GroVia hook and loop, you can tuck the tab under the loop and this prevents it from coming undone and sticking to your other diapers! This  is one of my favorite features of the hook and loop shell. When I dry them, I always hang my shells! The soakers usually get put in the dryer because they take awhile to hang dry. If I do hang dry them to get stains out, I usually put them in the dryer for a little bit to finish the drying process.

GroVia Hybrid diapers have an excellent fit on Monkey! They fit well around his thighs where he has the most chunk. They also have a nice fit around his waist, where we have issues with some diapers not fitting because of his big belly. I love how trim these diapers are as well. They fit under all of his pants without any issues. 

I always like to call this diaper a "husband friendly" diaper. They are just so easy to use and even my husband loves them! I asked him what his favorite and least favorite things were about our GroVia Hybrids and they matched up almost entirely with my opinions of the diaper. We love that GroVia's soakers snap into the shell, unlike the Flip system where the insert is just tucked under. This helps keep the soakers in place while Monkey runs and moves around!  Another thing we love about the Hybrid system is being able to reuse the shell more than just one time as long as he hasn't made a mess in it. It's so easy to unsnap the used soaker and snap a clean one in.

We agree that the only thing we don't like about GroVia's hybrid diapers is the absorbency. With Monkey being a heavy wetter, he can wet so much that he soaks the oustide of the shell as well. This might not be an issue for those of you that don't have a super soaker baby, though.
  When we use only the soaker, we usually have to change Monkey more frequently because of how heavy he wets. If we add a booster, they last a little bit longer. For nap time, I can't use the soaker on its own. If I add the booster, it works great for naps! As much as I love using these diapers, there's just no way I could use them at night for Monkey. For nighttime, you could pair the shell with a prefold for your heavy wetter!

I can honestly say that GroVia Hybrids are at the top of my (and my husband's) list of favorites. Not only do I love these diapers, I love the company as well. They have excellent customer service and when I had an issue with the elastic in one of my shells, they were quick to reply to my email and set me up with the necessary paper to fill out to replace my shell. I would recommend these diapers for new cloth diapering parents because of their ease of use. I think they could also be great daycare diapers, as long as you show care providers how easy it is to unsnap the used soaker and snap a new one in. The Hybrids also work really well for diaper bags without having so much bulk. All you need is one or two shells (in case of a messy diaper), a few soakers, and, if you need, a couple boosters. Compare that to taking pockets or all in one diapers with you. It leaves a lot more room left in your diaper bag for snacks or toys.

Brea here again.  I wanted to add that there are also two options for boosters:  organic cotton as well as Stay Dry boosters (organic cotton topped with polyester fleece).  There is a third soaker options as well: the flushable, compostable, biodegradable Bio-Soaker.  The Bio-Soaker can be wonderful while travelling if you don't have access to a washing machine.  Simply dispose of the insert and handwash shells as needed!

The Giveaway
TGN is giving away one Grovia shell in winner's choice of print or color and winner's choice of soaker!  (And, yes, this includes the two brand new colors!!) This giveaway will ship anywhere in the United States.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!  Winner announced Wednesday, May 8th.
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