When people compare the performance of diaper brands, it generally comes back to absorbency.

For a lot of people, time between changes is the Holy Grail — the less diapers you go through in a day the better, and that means getting the thickest, most absorbent ones you can.

Since adjustable tapes also help a diaper last long, and since pull up styles tend to be thinner in general, it’s no surprise that pull ups don’t get a lot of love on sites where adult diapers are being reviewed. But I thought I’d add my few words in praise of the style in general today:

When you’re out and about for a short, active period of time — going to the grocery store, say, or to a dance class or a nice restaurant — you don’t necessarily need massive, overnight-style padding. And depending on your outfit, that much padding might be embarrassing, uncomfortable, or both.

While I prefer to be thickly diapered at home, just for my own convenience, I generally use thinner pull ups when I’m out in public. They’re a little more discreet, much more comfortable for walking in (there’s less bulk rubbing the insides of my thighs), and the spares are small enough that I can slip them in an inside coat pocket or a small messenger bag.

The big downside? They’re tougher to change in public restrooms if you’re wearing trousers. Not a problem for skirt-wearers, but having to wrestle your pants all the way off if you need a change, rather than just pulling them partway down and taping a new diaper in place, is a hassle.

So there’s a sort of “limited range” in how far from home and how long I’m willing to trust a pull up with. But within that range, I think they’re an under-appreciated tool for diaper wearing adults. My go-to is the Abena Abri-Flex Extra Pull-On L3 — it’s more absorbent than a lot, but still fairly discreet, even when it’s wet.

Your thoughts on pull-up/pull-on diaper styles as opposed to taped briefs or pinned cloth? Please share in the comments!

By |2017-07-17T21:42:06+00:00September 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|17 Comments


  1. ABDL86 September 29, 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

    You make some weary good points here.

  2. Jason September 29, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I’m afraid I hadn’t tried pull-on diapers since the Depend Protective Underwear (pull-ups) came out. I tried them and used them, and was unimpressed with its performance, I kind of swore off pull-ups, even for light wettings.

  3. Dex September 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Since diaper wearing is a choice of mine, I fall in with the group of people who think pull-ups aren’t worth their weight in…anything. I haven’t found one that can stand up to even one full wetting. On the other hand, you make some great points here. I’m sure they fair quite well for a person who isn’t voiding an entire bladder in one go. Thanks for another thought provoking article!

  4. Nicky September 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Pull ups are great for light incont people and not so good for full time users.

  5. Richard September 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Pull ups are comfy and practical provided you don’t sit too long in them ( they get uncomfy as they don’t full cover your backside) and you don’t wet much (they leak quickly). Therefore I have now largely abandoned using them


  6. Will September 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I have never tried the Abena brand, from using there Abri form L4s I bet they work great. During the day I usually use a Per-Fit Breezer There VERY absorbent and not obvious under your work/street clothes. I accidently ordered a box of Per-fit pull-up underwear on Amazon. I thought Ill give these a shot. THEY ARE TERRIBLE they dont absorb hardly anything and the pad dose’t come up far enough in the front if everything is not properly aligned you get wet. Also, If your a large/tall person (like myself) and have bowel incontinence they simply are not adaquite to hold the volume of poop my body can produce when I have an accident. (dont mean to be gross but that just the way things are)

  7. RS September 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I have tried and use Depend Real-FiT. I am really impressed with this brand of pull-ups. They seem to hold one wetting, fit snugly and are comfortable. Great for work and discreet use. I have tried other brands but surprisingly Depends has a REAL winner here as far as pull-ups go that is.

  8. Andy September 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    If you can find them, the abena abri flex SPECIAL pull ups. Best pull up I’ve ever tried! I’ve had problems with the abriflex leaking at the leg gatherers, not with the specials. They are designed for more active people and have extra elastic throughout the whole pull up, not just the waste band.

    I guarantee you’ll like them!

  9. Luis September 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply


    No offense, Adrian, but I love women that wear thick, plain-white disposable diapers! That is the type of diapers that I love the most!

  10. moostermiley September 30, 2013 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I have tried pull ups before and most of them make itch and feel ill-fitting … I have experienced leakage when I wet them. The taped diapers allow me to fit the diaper more comfortably.

  11. CD September 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    I will have to say that for me, pull-ups work since I am not totally incontinent (still partial). Pull-ups have one great advantage for me: if I can hold it long enough to use a restroom, I can stand in front of a urinal and pull them down like regular underwear to go. If I can’t hold it long enough, I will go in the pull-up just enough to relieve pressure then try to put on the brakes so as to not leak. The down side to the pull-ups is having to change into another one. I found a solution that works though…I bought some of the Tena ultra-stretch super briefs and they are easy to change into as well as pull off one side partially to use a urinal.

    Now that I need to wear something pretty much 24/7 I find I prefer to get by with as little as possible during the day and then use the thick protection at night. I use a combination of Depend underwear (cheap and works for me), Depend Real-Fits (pricier but better and more comfortable to go out in), Abri-Flex M1 pull-ups (hold a lot and not as bulky as the M3s) and Tena ultra-stretch briefs (Soft and have two Velcro strips to get on/off. Absorbent too but not so much as the M1s). Wearing diapers 24/7 isn’t practical since my bowel incontinence is very limited and I would wind up voluntarily wetting a good bit of the time during the day. For me, wet skin = unhappy skin.

    Take care,

  12. Ellyn September 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Great article.
    I have used Depend pull-ups and did not like them at all. I use Tena pull-ups when I wear tighter fashions, bathing suit, etc. For me, a pull-up doesn’t last for a very long time and gets uncomfortable quickly. For limited periods of time, they are ok.
    I’m usually in premium disposables or day weight cloth 90% of the daytime hours. At night, unless we are traveling, I’m 100% cloth. I know what works for me and am comfortable with my choices. Laundry isn’t a real problem as I’m urinary incontinent only.
    Like everything, pull-ups have their place, though not a big part of my life. I’ve only tried a few brands and Tena is easy to get and works for the purpose. – limited use.

  13. Ellyn October 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I think I may have offered the wrong impression about pull-ups in my life… The good quality pull-ups are good when there’s a need to be more discrete than normal and when the bulk of a diaper needs to be avoided. Also if going to the doctor, they come in handy. Further, when used with a booster pad, you can literally double the usefulness of the combination with less bulk of a cloth or disposable diaper. Personally, I can generally get away with more bulk as I have chosen a wardrobe that avoids detection. It’s a lifestyle really. For those who truly must wear diapers 24/7, I believe we make adjustments in our lives that makes the the wearing of “protection” as small a deal as possible. If we are lucky, we find ways to make lemonaid from lemons and have a little fun sometimes. Really, they’re not that big of a deal if you accept them as necessary for a normal, rewarding, and fun life.

  14. KalaniDL October 3, 2013 at 1:37 am - Reply

    I found that when Iam only able to use Depends diapers that if I want the feeling of a thick and or I want it to hold more urine that I use a pull up and then put on my Depends. This is also a great idea for the thicker diapers. So far I’ve only been able to try out the Depends and the Unique Wellness Briefs. The Wellness Briefs are good for the thickness but the leak through the plastic.
    Another tip for us male diaper wearers, especially if you are AB or have AB tendencies, I use baby lotion (a decent amount) for two reasons. Helps keep down the smell of strong urine and two keeps my crotch from getting sore from rubbing on a wet diaper.
    Thanks for the post

  15. Ellyn October 9, 2013 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Just a thought…
    If one wears two disposable diapers, both with waterproof backing, how does that increase absorbency? I actually tried this years ago when it was suggested that I cut slits in the first diaper to allow for drainage into the second… This was prior to the easy availability of premium diapers when I was traveling and flooding at night. All this did was make me uncomfortable in a soaked diaper next to my skin as very little urine passed into the outer diaper. The next night, I tried folding a hotel bath towel and placed it inside the (I believe Attends) diaper. This worked out well and all I needed to do was rinse out the towel for the maid. At home I usually use double cloth diapers so this was an easy alternative and “no brainer” for me. When traveling, there’s usually no easy access to laundry service, especially for wet diapers so disposables rule.
    Then came booster pads (I use Abena), which work well in disposables, and keeps things simple and comfortable.

  16. Earl B November 1, 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

    I’m not a big fan of pull up diapers. Problem: It’s not snugly. It’s too loose. It leaks too much. It doesn’t hold much. etc. I use to buy Goodnites XL for older kids. They were great. If I had to make a choice today on just pull up diapers. I choose depends pull ups real-fit for men. They are awesome. I use them as insert in a diaper sometimes. I cut holes on the outside and put a diaper on over it. It works great. I only do this if I party and drink a little too much. I can’t hold my water all night without peeing on myself. I’ll unknowing just pee on myself. It happens all the time. I’m scared of partying with other people because of this. There are some diapers like abri form pull up diapers in the small. They fit me snugly but all together. I don’t wear pull ups that much. If I do it’s going to be Depends real fits. They fit the best.

  17. Sybil Jongsma December 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve read through anything like that before. So good to discover somebody with unique thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


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