Always Maxi Pads Overnight Extra Heavy Flow Review (20ea)
*our best all night protection*
*notre meilleure protection pour toute la nuit*
“unique heavy nights design”
“conception unique pour les nuits de flux abondant”
“Our Longest Pad (15 inches)”
“Notre serviette la plus longue (38 centimètres)”
“Raised core helps fit your body”
“Le centre surélevé s’ajuste mieux à votre corps”
“Extra Wide Back for Night Protection”
“Très grande couvrance à l’arrière pour une protection de nuit”
Holy, that’s one hell of a title eh (Ended up shortening it, full name below)? So here you have it folks, finally the long-awaited (or well I hope long-awaited) review of the Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi Wings (Name officially defined by P&G)! I should mention upfront to my Canadian readers that I have yet to find a local retailer who stocks this product, so you will have to import it from the U.S. just as I have. Even looking on the Always Canada site, you will not find this product mentioned as the highest absorbency which Always makes in Canada is the “Maximum Protection” (red wrapper) ones. I have always found the Maximum Protection one already quite amazing with the coverage area and absorbency rate, but could not fathom them making anything even thicker and longer. Suffice to say, I’ve only seen pads made in Asia have such excess length – guess Proctor & Gamble finally caught up with the times!
Of course you can’t hear it in my voice, but I’m absolutely ecstatic to have opened my package today (which arrived Friday and picked up yesterday) to find the entire order fulfilled properly and clearing customs with no extra changes as promised by the company/courier. What’s more amazing is the site of these packages that I’ve been researching for ages now since they hit-the-shelves in the U.S. but have never had the opportunity to explore beyond what I find on the internet :( Well, I can finally turn that frown upside-down into a :) now!
As excited I am about these pads, they did come with a hefty price tag (or am I just a typical cheap-Asian?). For a pack of 20, these cost me (not including shipping/taxes) $7.45CAD each. The reason why I make note of the currency of CAD is that these products are originally in USD. Henceforth, all dollar values should be considered as CAD unless otherwise stated. For those who follow my blog, you will know that I consider it absolutely ridiculous to pay $7.45 for pads, especially when there are only 20 of them per pack. However, what kind of menstrual blogger would I be if I didn’t man-up sometimes and just bite-the-bullet and buy something expensive for the sake of my readers?
I bought 4 of them and you might ask me why I would waste more money than I already have. First, the shipping is a flat-rate, therefore whether I buy one pack or four, it costs the same amount. Second, I like to share pads/tampons I get with some of my girls so they can help me test them out and just to spoil them every once in a while with “something new.” Third, there was a $4 off coupon for a purchase of 4 or more Always products! I also got lucky and managed to find there was also an additional $1 off coupon for select Always products and this happened to be one of them! For the sake of calculation however, let’s disregard these coupons and do it at face-value. I understand this will be cheaper for those who reside in the U.S. (because of cheaper taxes, shipping and currency), especially if they buy it in-bulk and in local retailers versus us having to order internationally. Each package contains 20 pads and at the rate of $7.45 a package, each pad is 37 cents each. On one of my prior reviews on the U by Kotex – Overnight Pads “All Nighter” I already complained at the fact that they were 32 cents each, so you can imagine how long I contemplated before clicking on the [Confirm Order] button!
All the pictures in this post also link to the “full sized” version, although I took them at 12MP quality I scaled it down so that way it wouldn’t eat up my site’s space allocation or people’s bandwidth. The pictures have been scaled to an “acceptable” but “high quality” resolution for your viewing pleasure!
This box was shipped to my workplace, so you can imagine me rolling my eyes when I noticed the words “Flexiwings, Heavy” hanging visibly off the side of the packing slip. One would imagine they’d take a bit more care to ensure privacy of their customers – but obviously not. Either the mail-room lady didn’t notice or didn’t care, but luckily beforehand I did a bit of lying and told her I “have a shipment coming for my cousin” – LOL.. it’s a good thing I think ahead eh? I thought at least if my box ever had to be opened to be checked, at least it’d be a good alibi, harhar. Actually I don’t think it was a big deal only because the lady at work sees enough packages going through her she doesn’t even care. Some people might wonder why I’d send it to work given the “risk” – but it’s because there’s not someone home all the time to receive (while there is at work 24/7) and because having it delivered to my work is actually safer than to my own house. My mom has this habit of going through my stuff and being nosy, so I’m sure if I had to shipped to my house, she would have opened it :roll:
And then finally, after a long awaited weekend + 1 day, I finally got to open my box of treasures:
I think that package has a pretty nice design and suffice to say, it’s a very “feminine” type look – reminding women that purple is supposed to be a “girly” colour. Given that this particular package was targeted for the U.S., they writing appeared in English, French and Spanish. I must say that this is one of the nicer colours used by Always as it’s a nice cross of purple and lavender.
I must say the design of the package is pretty cool as it can be placed vertically and horizontally on shelves while maintaining a visible presence on the shelves. The above pictures aren’t a play-on-images but in fact, the pad package is designed for fittings of both arrangements which is fairly ingenious. Both methods of shelving placement allows the same information to be displayed towards the customer.
The picture starting from the left is the top-view of the pad package which displays some features of the pad along with a catchy slogan. On the side is a “plastic window” which allows you to see the contents of the package along with contact information and their self-promotion about their Protecting Futures campaign in Africa. On the opposite side there’s more information pertaining to the a “meter” of different absorbency, instructions on how to apply/dispose the product, manufacturer date and as well as the fact it’s “Made in Taiwan” (which is interesting). I should mention while almost all convention pads should not be flushed (obviously as indicated by the instructions), these pads are larger than normal ones so you’re almost setting yourself up to get a clog! The last picture is just the UPC code and branding.
This has been one of the smoothest wrappers that Always has made (that I have laid my hands on) and very similar to the Whisper ones I have found in Hong Kong. While it looks like the typical ones made by Always for the regular, super, overnight, it actually has more of a soft, powdery-type feel to it. When the pad is enclosed in the wrapper, it measures 10cm x 15cm and quite thick, although easily concealable within a bag/purse/pocket.
Most of the Always pads in the self-peeling wrappers take about 2 pulls to open with 3 folds total. However, with the Always Extra Heavy Overnight pad, it actually requires 3 pulls with 4 folds total, one tucked underneath the 3rd-fold. For some, it may be cumbersome to open, but the packaging method allows it to retain the same “form” as the pads in the same line of products and is what most women who use Always are familiar with. Furthermore, the thickness is not tremendously affected by the additional length and the extra fold and is a great way not to have to generate any additional waste to compensate for the greater length of the pad. The pad itself is a lengthy 38cm or 15 inches long!
The above pictures depict the wings of the pad being revealed by gently removing the top-side adhesive strip either towards the back or front of the pad (bi-directional removal). While I mentioned that it is possible for the removal of the strip in both directions, it’s naturally designed for removal from the “front-to-back” as shown in the left-hand picture. The second picture is simply a close-up of the wings revealed as a result of the removal of adhesive strip. The top-side adhesive strip when removed is 25cm long and 7cm wide.
In order to display the wings in a fully-extended fashion, I had to let the adhesive come in contact with the wrapper. Let’s just say the wings are great because it’ll adhere well to fabric! Removing the wings off the wrapper afterward was a pain, which means you can rest assured that the wings will help keep the pad secured to prevent bunching or shifting. The wings are a great size as well, plenty to wrap around the crotch of conventional panties or undergarment. The coverage area from the tip of one wing to another is 16.5cm and considered the “middle” of the pad (where the vaginal opening would be directly above if placed well). The raised core also helps conform to the shape of your body and reduce the gap between the pad and your body, thus, the flow will be intercepted quicker and prevent back-flow or side leaks (unless completely saturated). The design of the pad based on the channels are to prevent the bulk of the absorption in the middle (thickest area), with side-walls prevent leaks off the edges and to channel anything the middle can’t catch towards the back. I take it that the minute holes distributed also helps with absorption speed versus amount which the material underneath takes care of and allows a degree of air-flow for comfort.
What I also noticed was that it tackle odour excellently! Even upon great saturation the pad did not emit its own smell (the material) nor did it emit any other foul odour which may emanate from the pad. This is a big surprize as one would think a pad designed for such heavy flow would undoubtedly be unable to contain the smell – however, this was not the case! This is a big advantage for women who not only have heavy flows, but also flows that you rather not have everyone around you smelling. What added to my surprize over the odour-control was the fact the pad is unscented – so obviously the designers did a great job in that respects.
This is the front portion of the Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pad. The front at its greatest width measure 12cm. Having listened to some feedback, I have heard that given the entire size of the pad, the narrowness of the front was not tremendously accommodating, however, it does provide sufficient coverage, especially because menstrual flow tends to travel backwards (towards the butt) so large coverage area towards the front may not be as heavily required. However, this irked some people since the whole point of this pad was to be the “ultimate overnight protection.” Suffice to say, with the pad placed properly – aligning the winged/centre area directly underneath the vaginal opening will allow speedy and maximum absorption for menstrual flow. I found that flow when directly expelled on the raised-core area was absorbed extremely fast and kept the top of the pad dry. The wings were not a hindrance to the pad’s ability to keep the flow locked in the centre of the core.
To the right of this paragraph is the rear portion of the pad which boasts a one-of-a-kind flanged back coverage, which looks winged-like. The “rear wings” do have some capacity for adhesives and it’s necessary for them to be placed properly on panties/undergarment for maximum effect. I have mixed reviews about these rear wings because they may act as an irritant and also hard to get one, although once aligned and placed, it acts to further ensure the pad does not shift or bunch and will conform to body movement, particularly during night time. The widest part of the rear measures a hefty 17cm!
Given the thickness of the pad at approximately 1cm, it would be assumed that the pad is utterly uncomfortable. While the pad itself would not be considered “thin” by any means, I can certainly say that for such a high thickness level, it is not very noticeable. The picture itself does no justice since it doesn’t really represent it well, but serves only as an FYI or to satisfy an inquisitive mind as to how thick the pad really is and how could a review be complete without such information anyways? The sides of the pad are stitched well and I did not find any great flaws which may indicate poor quality or a potential leak hazard.
Here lies the remainder of the pad wrapper, measuring a length of 44cm!! I must say, the overall review of this pad is fantastic, everything from the comfort to the protection it provides. Although the absorbency is comparable to that of the Always Infinity line, the texture of this pad is better than the Infinity. Where the Infinity had a paper-thin and Infinicel lock-in gel, this pad has a larger coverage area in-mind. Although I been accustomed to seeing the “cottony cover” design by Always (although it always feels plasticky), this pad had a very gracious feel against skin whether dry or wet. The absorbency was incredible as well for a “classic” pad line (non-Infinity) and would leave the top-cover dry almost immediately while providing comfortable air-flow. Furthermore, odour was contained well in the pad.
The length of this pad may be of concern for women (or flow-lovers) of smaller stature – however, it’s undoubtedly the leading pad in North/South America in terms of length and thickness (feel free to let me know if you find others) available. This pad other than for general overnight use is great for post-maternity. I can say I’m completely satisfied with my purchase, even though it came with a price tag that’d hurt most people’s wallet (or well, my credit card for the time being). The rear of this pad can be a bit of a bother if it’s not fully adhered to panties/ungarment as they tend to come up and may scratch against your bottom. Also, the pad takes a bit of getting used to since most people aren’t use to have something wrap all the way up (or at least half-way up) their butts either, unless you’re a frequent user of Sofy or Elis pads that go that far. Simply said for larger-sized women and those who experience tremendous amounts of flow during the night or day, this is a great product to try! If you’re looking for thin and discrete comfort, this is definitely not your pad – but if you’re looking for reliable and long-lasting protection, this is it!
The amount this pad is capable of absorbing before it even begins to show visible signs of saturation is huge. Even when saturated, it holds fluid in very well and keeps the top-cover cool and comfortable. At “later stages” of over-saturation though, my only concern would be the fact the material within the pad at the rear seems to move forward (towards the stomach) a bit, leaving the rear of the pad a bit dangly. This only happened under intense movement such as sports, rapid leg movements (fast-walk) and lots of sitting/standing. Nevertheless, even with all these movements pitted against the pad, there were not even signs of leaks. You don’t see many pads available which offer the rear flared protection like this pad does! Wetness barely even came above the surface under this instance, leaving a very positive overall impression.
The comfort level, albeit the length and thickness, is pristine and there is no abrasion caused by the top-cover of the pad. Like most pads, there are potentially people who may be allergic to the material and composition, but have not seem any cases at-large or experienced any rashing/itchiness through my experimentation. The weight of the pad is questionable for comfort, although if you look at the pad and actually pick it up to feel the weight, it’s considerably less than one might assume. For the size of the pad, I would definitely consider this “lightweight material” which is quite impressive. The wings easily said (both middle and rear) helps keep the pad in place and moves along with your body comfortably.
I can only smile and give me thumbs-up in approval of the Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi Wings. Don’t count on your boyfriend not being able to see that you’re having your period, but you can bet it’ll keep you safe throughout the night or on those really heavy days as I’ve seen reports of some women and even a woman I know who uses these regularly throughout her period. Obviously for some, practicality rules over the comfort of thin pads – but you can bet this one provides you with a sense of security, not only because of the thought itself, but the feeling of physical security knowing that something is there to catch almost anything you can throw at it! This is a great replacement pad as well for women who need to use multiple pads (at a time) during their period to get enough coverage or those who resorted to using incontinence pads large enough to absorb their flow. I understand many women going through menopause also suffer from sporadically heavy flows which this pad may alleviate the stress you endure from worries about leakage.
I hope potential users of this product (or maybe even current ones) have found this review to be useful and will help you make a well-informed decision on whether you want to try or continue using this product! Once again, this is a review for the Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi Wings purchased at www.drugstore.com shipped to Canada, getting the thumbs up from your friends & authors @ MEN in Menstruation!
Posted on July 28, 2010, in Periodtastic, Thumbs Up Reads and tagged Always, Always Extra Heavy Overnight, Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi Wings, Blog, drugstore.com, Feminine Hygiene, Interests, Maxi Pads, Menstruation, Opinion, Periods, Promotions, Review, Sanitary Napkins, Shopping, Taboo, Thoughts, Women's Health. Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.