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!