A few weeks ago, I got my hands on the new Always Radiant series of pads at Walmart (they were only $2.97!!!). I haven’t had time to write much, but today I do, so I’m making a mini review. You may think, “Why a mini review? Is it in relation to the size of the pad?” … well no, it’s not, hah, but it’s mini because I’ve written an Always Infinity review here before and the pad itself has not changed considerably, therefore it’d be rather repetitive to write on things that haven’t changed… but rather, I’m going to concentrate on some of the stuff that has changed. I will of course have detailed pictures which may overlap with the previous review for your viewing pleasure. On the 3 insides of the box, they even included $5 worth of coupons for future purchase of Radiant-series products!
Always Infinity has always been a “premium line” of their Always series products. Unless you catch them on a really good deal, they’re pretty hard to match in price when it comes to the number per box versus the traditional bag of Always pads. They haven’t really made the Radiant series anymore “premium” than their original Infinity line so it hasn’t added any additional excitement to the pad…. unless you’re particularly picky with decorations of the pad and box. What I’m happy about is they didn’t do pull a “downsizing” trick like Stayfree did when they went from the normal Stayfree line to the Thermocontrol line. The original Infinity line had 12 overnight sized pads and luckily, the radiant line still continues to have 12.
Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the Infinity Overnight:
Sleep easy with the absorbency of a pad like no other. Always Infinity is made with an incredibly absorbent material called Infinicel, which can hold 10x its weight. Which means it’s absorbent enough for your heavy nights and so thin, you might even forget you’re wearing a pad. Its revolutionary new wings are designed for secure protection and less mess on the sides. The microdots help channel fluid deep into the pad and away from you, helping you feel dry. And the form-fitting channels and soft cover sheet provide comfort and great leakage protection. Rest assured, this pad’s got you covered.
When I first heard the sudden announcement of the Radiant line, menstrual community members as well as myself were really trying to figure out what changes they have/will make to the pad. It seems like there were very few answers and when we did get an “official” answer, it was very lackluster as the changes were all non-performance related changes. For instance, making a prettier box or wrapper doesn’t make the pad any better. The only thing that made it ‘better’ (and not for everyone) was that they have added a light scent to the pad.
Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the new Radiant Infinity Overnight:
Longer than our Radiant Regular pads, NEW – Radiant Overnight Pads help keep your period invisible even while you sleep. Our unique technology allows Radiant Pads to conform to each individual and unique shape and with the premium protection and performance you expect from Always Infinity. With NEW fun,designer packaging and wrapper, Radiant is worthy of your unique stye. Radiant Pads also feature a new backsheet design for an extra feminine touch. And we’ve added a light, clean scent, to help you feel fresh.
What is a really awkward thing about the release of the Radiant series is that (SIGH ONCE AGAIN) the US seems to have more products available than Canada. I’m actually not sure who’s “fault” this is, whether it is Health Canada that prevents them from releasing certain products for sale or whether P&G decides not to make a particular product available here in Canada. In the US, there are 3 Radiant pad absorbency available in-line with the original Infinity series, Regular, Heavy, and Overnight. In Canada, for some reason they only offer the Regular and Overnight absorbency. What kind of crap is this? What now, the Canadian population for some reason only floats between either having a light flow or a super heavy flow?
Though I do lament about the fact there hasn’t been any major performance changes to the pad, one of the change is quite inviting (to the nose at least). I always doubt the “necessity” of scenting pads/tampons because of the chemicals used and being in such close contact with sensitive body parts. However, I loved opening the box and the pad to get a very nice orange-like smell. It’s quite pleasing and it does help reduce odour during/after use. Furthermore, when you store it with other things (pads, tampons or otherwise), it makes everything else smell good! I actually happen to store my stash in a musky old cabinet and it has greatly improved the smell of the cabinet 😆 I thought about in the future when I buy these for my girls, I’m going to have to take a “levy” and use it as air freshener!
It does not appear the pad dimensions or overall build has changed. The pad is still incredibly light, giving foreign pads like “Laurier F” a run for its money to build a pad that is even lighter than your typical ultra thins. Since the pad is not symmetrical and has a very unique design, it’s necessary to clearly differentiate the front and rear of the pad via the wings sticker. The box design does have a shiny, attractive look. Instead of having a “fact and myth” section like the Kotex packaging does, Always has a “Let Your Style Shine” section which has recommendations on using crafts to make a fashion statement.
The back of the box has a new layout with an image of a pair of cute panties and the pad itself. Listed are also the “selling features” of the pad:
+ Made differently so it protects differently.
+ Absorbs 4x more than you may need.
+ Soft, seamless and flexible design to move with you
+ Light, clean scent so you feel fresh
Though I really do like the new scent they added and the pretty design of the box, it’s not enough to “win me over” per se for making it sound like this great new product. So far I haven’t quite seen whether they’re completely transitioning away from the original Infinity line, so we’ll find out in time. I still see both stocked on the shelf, but that may be short-lived if they’re actually phasing it out. Lucky for people who buy it, you’re not being short-changed by any reductions in the equivalent packages by downsizing the number of units per box. The “Radiant” series also extends to the Tampax Pearl line, Pantiliner and Wipes.
I hope you enjoy the scent as much as I did 😛 Unlike when Infinity first unveiled, there’s no need to scramble to your nearest store to buy it, there’s nothing amazingly special unfortunately.
Hi again – and this time, I decided to do a review on a generic brand pad under the name TRULY, found at HBC Zellers (which will soon be taken over by Target). I figured with all the big brands I do out there, I ought to finally do one on a “non big” brand name and you know in Canada, you’re pretty much restricted to the usual “big 3” of pads, Always, Kotex and Stayfree. Rather than giving them publicity more than they already have, let’s give “the small guys” some exposure. I’ve tested my fair share of generic pads before and have already made a post about them before, but these TRULY ones really motivated me into writing this review… so let’s begin! Oh and as usual, all the pictures are thumbnails or shrunk to fit the blog, so you can click on the picture to get a larger resolution of it!
Their “sale” (ok, so it wasn’t THAT cheap) caught my eye in the flyer. Of course the flyer week is already over, so I can’t promise it will be the same price by now. They had assorted Truly regular-sized package pads for $2.50 ($2.63 post-tax). I was glad that unlike retarded Walmart, Zellers only charged me the GST portion of the HST since the 8% PST portion is actually supposed to be exempt from the purchase of feminine hygiene items. If I had caught that when I was buying from Walmart last time, I would’ve gave them shit. It’s not a matter of the few cents, but rather, the principle since living in Canada we get our ass taxed for everything as it stands. Furthermore, if as a male I know that feminine hygiene products are point-of-sale PST rebate-eligible, that female cashier should’ve known that even more!
So this is actually the first time I had exposure with the TRULY pads and they’re quite amazing for a store-brand. The packaging was plastic, just like most conventional packaging – so not exactly the best for the environment, but I don’t think any conventional pads or tampons really are and for the environmentally-conscious people, they opt to use menstrual cups or cloth pads. Nevertheless, with the plastic packaging aside (and probably all the rest of the packaging), where this packaging stands out is the fact that it has another layer of protection. As many people are not aware, the surface of pads or anything that comes in contact with the vagina should be sterile and clean. Over time, pads that are left on the shelf and exposed to elements begin to catch things like humidity, dust and eventually, bacteria formation.
This particular package (and I’d assume the same with the rest of their lines) not only has an outer packaging, but also another bag within. Of course another environmentally rude material, but it adds another layer of protection for the sake of your vaginal health. The only thing I found was that because of how tightly the contents are packed along with the restrictions of having an extra bag within the package (which you can fully remove so that you only have the inner clear-plastic bag left and throw the outer one away) made the pads hard to remove at the start. Obviously once you take out 3-4, it becomes less packed and the pads come out with ease. The only thing that I was not pleased about with general packaging, is the fact the pad wrapper doesn’t seem to seal too well and as I was pulling the pad out from the package, a part of the pad opened up. Now, this could be because I was rather rough with it, but after inspecting the pad wrapper sealing, there wasn’t a lot of adhesive on it.
Part of the pros about not having a very tight adhesive is the fact you don’t get a lot of “tearing” sound. For those extra shy women who are afraid of letting someone hear them opening a pad wrapper, this is for you! I would even dare say that the Kotex ‘silent wrappers’ aren’t as silent as these ones! Of course I haven’t tested Kotex in a while (the North-American ones), so maybe my memory is waning, but when you open a Kotex silent-wrapper pad, you still get quite a bit of noise from the edges tearing… unlike the TRULY ones where you get almost a near silent parting of the edges. These are one of the few pads I will open in my house openly without suppressing the noise, lol – yes, that’s how quiet the wrapper is, even though the downside is that it may be a problem for women carrying it in their purse or bag that jostles the pad around and might “open up” accidentally. I would recommend people carry this a more confined space or where it won’t give the opportunity for the pad to friction against other things.
When you unfold the wrapper, nothing about the pad seems to be impressive. I wasn’t expecting much from a generic-brand pad, but thought after being impressed with the outer packaging that they just might have some secrets lying within, haha. The pad is about 26cm long from the front of the pad to the end. The width of the pad at most parts is about 7.6cm, except for the rear that is wider probably to catch overnight rush-flow towards the rear at roughly 9cm. The pad wrapper unfortunately does not have sticky tab, so resealing the existing or used pad is an issue. On the bright side, the pad on the wrapper adhesive is very strong – which I suppose depending on your strength may be a good or bad thing. Suffice to say, the pad sticks very well to undergarment, although with the stickiness, I’m not sure if it’s even enough to damage clothing material. So far, I haven’t seen it do anything like the U By Kotex where it begins to rip material apart. I’m telling you thought, your pad is not likely to move anywhere while it’s worn with how secure it is!
Now when it comes down to the wings, that’s something yet-to-be-desired. I found that the wings had marginal, if not, no absorbing ability. The wings are there strictly for fastening the pad on undergarment and not so much for “preventing leaks” because it will not do much of that at all. The adhesive on the wings are definitely not as impressive as the one on the bottom of the pad either and does not hold very well. The thickness of the pad is an excellent hybrid between “ultra thins” and “maxi” … akin to the “slim” sized pads found in Asia. This is a great pad to compromise with for those who feel the ultra thins don’t provide a feeling of security (or who prefer greater absorbency) but don’t want the bulkiness of the usual overnight sized maxi pads.
Time to talk about the performance of the pad! When comparing things, I think people like to compare apples with applies and oranges to oranges. Well for me – or at least when it comes to pads and tampons – I like to compare them to the same standards. Pitting this TRULY pad against other brand-name pads, there are still quality-build differences. This pad tend to be floppier than others and you’ll notice it RIGHT as you open the wrapper and then remove the pad form the adhesive. However, this is not an issue in terms of the absorbency capability of the pad. Rather, the pad does experience a bit of crinkling noise, which may be a “deal breaker” for the ladies who want absolute discreteness that you have/are opening/are wearing a pad. It feels flimsy, so I was really worried about testing it because it could be a very messy scenario. However, trying to be professional, I proceeded anyways… to my surprize.
The top layer is super comfortable and would even compare to branded-products! Step aside Always and Kotex, because the comfort level of the top-layer is soft and smooth against the skin. When saturated, it absorbs quick, but leaves a slightly wet feeling. Nevertheless, after a few minutes, the pad surface becomes dry again – so as long as you can put up with momentary feeling of wetness for a minute, you’ll be returned to a feeling of comfort and dryness! The absorbent material underneath the pad surface also seemed loose which added to my worry – that is, until after I tested it that the loose feeling of it still provided great security. If you’re one of those people willing to try new things and sacrifice your peace-of-mind on the first try, then you will realize how incredible this “budget” non-name brand pad is and superior in my opinion to any of the generic pads I have tested. Even after long-term use and saturation, the pad has a comfortable feel and does not become hard/rigid. For a pad of this length, I would have actually considered this a “long” or “super” as opposed to overnight. Nevertheless, given the quality and performance of this pad, I too would label it as being suitable for overnight (unless you’re one of those people with extra heavy night flows).
The channel patterns are nothing special, pretty typical design so there’s not much I can comment about that. However, the absorbent core really does a fine job of pulling in flow towards the middle. You will notice that even if you soil the front or rear of the pad, it eventually ends up in the middle in a reasonable time-frame. This keeps the extremities of the pad, which are more prone to leaks, safer from overflow. Also, due to the “generic”ness of the pad, the front and rears of the pad are not built as tough of a quality as branded pads, nevertheless, as long as a large amount of flow is introduced to the front and rear, the flow is highly contained in the middle where the most material and thought was placed into. As mentioned, I have no goodwill towards the wings of the product, other than the fact they’re there, help provide a sense of security and are large. The “walls” of the pad, particularly between the center of the pad and the wings are thicker and tougher to act as a last-resort effort of keeping flow from running off the pad. Even though it is thicker, it does not feel thicker, so rest assured, the comfort is still there.
All in all, I can’t imagine to having tested a generic pad with such quality and very little area for me to complain about! If they even spent a bit of time refining the wings a bit, I can imagine that this unknown little pad will strike hard into the “big 3” market territory. Unfortunately I would expect their funds and technology are more limited compared to P&G, K.C and J&J, so maybe that’s where some of the lack-of-progression will come into play. I would highly recommend this pad to anyone who are not afraid of trying something new and those who may be on a budget. This is after all, a store-brand pad, therefore you can expect lower prices on a pack when compared to branded product at non-sale prices. I am utterly impressed with this product, particularly because it is not one coming from international and multi-billionaire companies like the “big 3”.
So I finally mustered myself up and started grabbing all the notes on this to write this review. I must say, this pad although my favourite throughout my trip in Hong Kong, was the worst pictures ever. I guess at that point, I was still fiddling around with settings on it and trying to learn how to better utilize all the features, adjustments and gadgets of the camera – that I probably had some settings wrong and really messed up the quality of the picture. I’ve already used Picasa to adjust the pictures to some degree and that’s about as good as they’re going to get. However, without further ado, I present to you, Superguard Max 40cm Sanitary Napkin, designed for super heavy flow/night-use, by Laurier. The package comes with 3 pieces for HKD$13.90 – so you can see, it’s not one you’d want to use every day… well, unless you have a lot of money to spend.
Double-Powerful Absorbent Cushion
1) Centre Absorbent Cushion
Embraces body contours to prevent bunching and twisting. Quick absorbency of sudden flow to Absorbent Cushion core for extended protection even on extra-heavy nights.
2) Back Absorbent Cushion
Fits to hip shape and absorbs back flow quickly
Safety Fit Gather
With high T-shape fit to your body and prevent side leakage in any sleeping position
These are another one of those super-duper huge pads and if anything, Cherrie will be the first one to say, “How do people wear this? This pad is bigger than my underwear!” LOL. That is right, the pad is 40cm and it is definitely thick. I’m not even going to kid you that if you thought the Always Overnight Extra Heavy Flow pads were thick enough, these things are monstrous. As you can see, the package is fairly large and I think the picture may not justify itself when there’s nothing else of-size to compare it to, but as indicated in the corner, just three pads make up this entire package, meaning the contents within are sizable! The front of the pad package gives a quick overview of the 2 outstanding differences compared to other and even their own line of overnight pads, that they have not one, but TWO absorbent cores and also has a wider and longer back-end.
Sophia is probably going to freak out if she looks at the actual content of the pad as I was just ranting to her about gel-based pads the other day. While posting this picture up, I realized there’s a funny spelling mistake 😛 It’s so nice that Laurier has a Hong Kong location and availability – it’d be nice if they brought it to Canada as well! It’s of course important to remind users not to flush the pad and to be aware of any irritation or other maladies while using the pad that one should stop usage.
The “super guard” technology is not specific to night-use pads though and they do offer variations for regular day use. Super guard is one of the best pad technology I’ve seen as the heightened walls truly prevent side leaks unless there is massive overflow. Often, side leaks occur not as a result of the pad not being absorbent enough or overflowing, but rather, because the pad is not close enough to the body and where “gaps” are, menstrual fluid flow out of the coverage-area of the pad and thus, accidents occur. With super guard technology, it catches even “run offs” from skin and provides a seal redirecting any would-be-leak flow back onto the pad for absorption. While many pads and manufacturers use raised edges on their pads to replicate this effect, only the Laurier and Sofy “walls” provide one which is much taller than the usual side barriers or frilly edges.
I found it kind of funny that the picture exaggerates the rear wings so much as it is actually quite small in comparison to other brands. However, with the design of the pad and the super guard edges, it does not need very large rear wings to provide the support to prevent rear leakage. I truly like the packaging in Hong Kong because it is written in both Chinese and English. Although I admit to my weak reading/written Chinese, the wording they use is so complex that it makes buying pads/tampons seem like buying parts for a space shuttle. The English is considerably easier to understand and even many Asian girls I know who have great command of Chinese prefer reading the English and get easily confused by Chinese terminology for sanitary napkins or tampons. Even bebe admits that there’s just “way too many words” when she walks down the feminine hygiene aisle in Hong Kong that it becomes confusing what the pad/tampon features.
You will however notice, that just like the Sofy Soft Body Fit pad I reviewed before, the package is very similar, including the cloth-type wrapper. In order to open the pad up completely, it is folded into 4 sections and again, akin to the Always Overnight Extra Heavy Flow pad. For convenience of the user, the pad wrapper has the length written on it so that if this was mixed with other pads, it would be easy to identify the pad immediately within say, a bin or purse.
You may wonder why I’m so sloppy with extending the pad to get a good picture of it, but it is because of the design of the pad to be “contoured” to conform to the body. The pad is actually impossible to get “flat” or “straight” without using something to hold both ends (which you really don’t want to do, since that destroys the natural curvature of the pad). At the “rear” of the pad (right side), you will notice the adhesive automatically detaches from the side wings and rear wings as you open the pad – quite ingenious and paper-saving. The pad is extremely comfortable and with two absorbent/raised cores, the material and design – it is as comfy as a pillow floating in heaven. Can you tell I’m a big fan of Laurier Super Guard? HAHA. Maybe I should not be writing this review with such positive bias!
I think by looks, the pad appears to be very lumpy when in fact, it is quite comfortable and it “fits” the body perfectly. The raised core provides great contact and coverage to prevent leaks. The pad cores are raised relatively high, which you can see have very deep grooves around the core, thus acting as a “drop zone” and channel flow deep into the pad. With this close up (you will have to click on the thumbnail), it gives you a better view of the “super guard” – or – the raised stretchy edges. These edges are pulled tightly and this is also the reason why the pad won’t go completely flat. Since the crotch area is similar to a “U” shape, the pad is also designed to imitate and follow the body’s natural formation. The wings in comparison to what you would expect for a overnight-designed pad are actually quite short, but also because of the tightness to wrap/hold to the side of underwear. Applying this pad requires more “pressure” and “power” than others because the pad was designed to be very elastic-like and while that’s great from a protection point-of-view, it requires more maneuvering and application of force to get it in the proper place.
As you will note, the rear wings are actually not very prominent, although when the pad is fully applied to underwear, it automatically stretches out and provides considerable protection. The protection is not offered simply by size, but by the overall design of the entire pad, thus slightly obsoleting the rear width. Suffice to say, I think it is very obvious that this pad will likely interfere with most people sitting down. The length of the pad I think would overwhelm the size of most women and thus the recommendation of this pad is not even to consider it for day-use as it almost seems impractical, unless you have a very very heavy period.
Many pads often have a “thinner” rear compared to the thickness found in the front or middle of the pad – but with this pad, it is not the case and it maintains a consistent thickness throughout the pad (with exception of the raised portions).With the rear being JUST as thick, it eliminates almost any gap between the butt and pad. Poh Ching will absolutely love this if she could find it 😛 I actually do believe this version is sold in Malaysia, haha. The super guard portion does eventually taper off as it’d be impossible to extend the walls throughout the entire side of the pad as it would induce a lot of discomfort – or should I say – even further discomfort. Rest assured, with this pad on the job, leaks aren’t very likely!
When testing this pad, the pad held up against a wide range of movements without fail. Because of the elastic-like edges, the pad would easily “become” any shape and also “return” to its original form without issues. The pad itself does tend to restrict or make certain movements difficult and it is also very noticeable – it is hard not to be aware of the existence of this pad! The adhesives provide excellent security and is not overbearing like the “U by Kotex” pads where it practicality destroys fabric upon removal. However, because the stickiness of the adhesive does not run from the front to back of the pad, it may curl at the extremes of the pad if not secured properly in the first place, particularly with the natural tendencies of the pad to curl due to the design. This is NOT a problem if applied correctly and firmly at the start-of-use.
The deep channels in this pad truly allow fast and secure absorption of flow. The dampness of the pad does not surface until prolonged use and in which case, it should be changed anyways. While I would not say this pad has the best stays-dry feeling, it is definitely able to keep the top dry for a sufficient amount of time. However, through prolonged and heavy use, changing is required to keep things comfortable. This is more notable with this pad not perhaps because it is a failure, but rather, because the pad forms a seal around your body and the pad where air-flow is limited and thus, dampness accumulates or is more easily felt. Since this pad is designed for overnight use, the particular discomfort arising from dampness is not an issue as I would assume most change it in the morning. What is important is that upon waking up, there aren’t any stains on underwear or the sheets and the discomfort can be alleviated quickly upon pad removal. Speaking of removal, this pad is in no-way discrete when thrown away. After testing, I actually had to take it and throw it away directly into the building dumpster to avoid it being noticed in the washroom. When it is saturated however, it rolls up well (quite easily due to the natural elastic tension) and becomes quite soft.
I can’t say I was particularly happy with the wrapper in terms of re-usability for wrapping the old pad. This exhibited the same problem as Sofy pad wrappers where the used pad cannot be reliably secured when rolled up and risked dropping out the sides (urg, gross). Although, I guess this pad is a bit better because of the huge size, stickiness and general design that it would be much harder for it to fall out from the wrapper. Nevertheless, the smoothness of the wrapper internal and lack of stickiness of the wrapper-tab, it’d be much easier to wrap it in toilet paper or use an elastic band to secure the saturated/to-be-disposed pad. The pad does also have a tendency to open up since it has elastic edges which try to “force the pad” to return to the original “U” shape form. I’m sure not all-too-many people really want to see a bloody pad unfolding.
All in all, the pad has made leaps-and-bounds since the last time I tested a Laurier pad 2 years ago. Back then, the super guard already amazed me and now the 40cm version even has two cores, one front and one back. The absorbency speed is amazing and you never have the feeling that the pad has “left your body” because of the way it conforms and stays secure. I would dare say that the pad itself without wings would operate just as well!
If you have access to this pad and you have heavy periods that perhaps result in leaks, this is the pad just for you! You’ll be waddling around if you try using it for day time, but it’s not so bad at night when you just want to sleep peacefully and wake up knowing it won’t be a murder-scene.
So this week, Whisper’s IC SLIM WING OVERNIGHT USE-SUPER LONG sanitary napkin is on sale at ParkNShop, so how could I miss the opportunity to test out a product which was recommended to me by my friend Claudia? The purchase price was HKD$14.90 for 10 pieces. As you may have already read, I’m not a particular fan of Whisper because it’s “related” to Always which we have back at home in Canada. Before talking to my friend, it was my intention never to test Whisper again just because I don’t really like their products all that much. Nevertheless, she did rave about how much she loved them and don’t use anything else but that, so SIGH, I gave them another shot.
The packaging is extremely attractive and really makes you want to buy the product 😆 Apparently the new version of the pad is supposed to boast a “1-second absorption” feature to help ensure security and comfort. As much as I was skeptical about Whisper, I have to hand it to them that their claim is pretty good about the speedy absorption. The pads are wrapped in a smooth plastic wrapper and has a very pleasing lavender colour.
Whisper borrows many of its pad technology from Japanese inventions and truly helps build upon their existing technology. This is something I wish North American divisions would take note, that they should be borrowing technologies developed by other manufacturers to improve their product, not simply “reinvent” or stall without progress simply because people need to buy them whether they’re great or not. Yes, I understand adopting technology will cost money, but I also believe that they should strive to better their products, not just “offer it as-is.”
A nice description of all the different types of Whisper sanitary napkin products available. I gotta say, I love the packaging, it’s so cute 😀
It’s a good reminder about changing the pad regularly during your period, it’s at least better than telling women to “have a happy period”… and of course that reminder means using more of their pad and thus earning them more money, at least it’s a hygienically-sound thing to do to ensure fresh pads throughout the day.
The package opens at the top and is very convenient to stash underneath the sink or in a drawer, face up as the pad dispenses from the opened package conveniently. The only gripe I had about it was that the pads tend to shift in the packaging a lot and as you can see, became very “messy” and when pulling a pad out, sometimes it would get stuck/grab the adjacent pads along with it.
The wrapper has an asethically pleasing flower see-through the plastic as a result of the embedded print onto the pad adhesive and like typical Whisper/Always pads, the adhesive is affixed to the wrapper upon pad removal. The blue tab is quite sturdy and even the pad bouncing and scraping around in a purse won’t accidentally undo the pad within.
When I opened the pad, I said to myself, “Gee, this looks awfully like Always pads” and I wasn’t particularly impressed until the testing phase itself. The top sheet while boasting to be “soft” is actually plasticky, similar to my usual complaints about Always pads. In fact, I would say the Whisper top sheet is even more rough/plasticky than Always, I sighed… but hey, the test must go on! With that said though, the top cover and pad as a whole felt much sturdier than Always and at least gave a sense of protection and security, as discomforting as the pad may be. I also noted upon opening the pad that it had a plastic-like smell as well, but upon further inspection, the scent was very neutral and was not too pungent and was actually quite relaxing.
My biggest complain about this pad was the shoddy quality… if you take a look at the above picture, you will know what I mean. This is not only the case with THIS one pad, I have already looked at 4-5 more, all with the “centre core” shifted to one side of the pad. To me, this is totally unacceptable and I think to a menstruating woman, this can be quite detrimental to her protection. While the core itself is not shifted so far off the pad where it’s unusual, it’s definitely “not where it should be” and I doubt it’s “supposed to be like that” because in the advertisements and such, it shows it in the exact center between the two “wall channels” of the pad.
The wings of the pad I will admit is extremely secure and will definitely help keep the pad in place. The wings itself is capable of covering a large area of the crotch of undergarment that it’d be hard-pressed to shift around, although with that said, the adhesives are quite sticky and I would worry that regular use of the pad might wear out undergarment fabric a lot quicker. Because the wings themselves are similar composition to the top layer of the pad, being plasticky, it did not seem to retain fluid very well, acting only to “keep the pad in place” rather than being absorbent. I have to say that it’s a bit perplexing at how “rough” and “plasticky” the wings can be, yet against skin, it does not chafe… I found the wings to be rather comfortable and reliable for keeping the pad in-place.
The pad being designed for overnight use is greatly capable of absorbing large amounts of flow and it sure as hell impressed me with the quick absorption time, whether it’s a large but short burst of flow, or, long-term trickle amount of flow. The speedy absorption helps keep the top layer dry and the biggest thumbs up I’m giving this pad is the ability for it to kill and mask odour, despite its’ very little scented smell. In fact, even after prolonged use of the pad, it did not give off the usual foul odour and kept the fluid within from tainting, even in open-air. You could tell the odour absorbing properties were working very well because the smell of the pad after use is almost the same as when you first opened the pad fresh! This pad is great for those who really find menstrual odour rancid or share the washroom with many people who may find pad odour offensive.
The pores seen distributed throughout the pad help keep air-flow plentiful, reducing discomfort resulting from temperature between the legs and moisture/dryness buildup. Maintaining good airflow for a sanitary napkin ensures a comfortable contact between the legs and discourage bacterial growth. With pores are build into the pad well as you do not feel any lumpiness or a feeling that something is disturbing the smoothness of the pad.
The pad is quite comfortable, albeit the similarity to Always (which I dislike) and also the absorbency is remarkable, maintaining its “1-second absorption rate” even when the pad is highly saturated. The side walls maintain integrity well, ensuring flow is distributed everywhere else, but kept away from the extremes of the pad, redirecting flow to “stronger” areas of the pad, even when large amounts of flow is expelled along the exterior channels at a quick rate. The pad reliably locks fluid within the material, so even touching the top of the pad near saturation still gives a very dry feeling, although obviously some moisture is noticeable. Even when the pad is becoming close to saturation, the pad maintains its form very well and even after undergoing twists, shifts, turns and rapid leg movements, it stays fit to the body and returns to its original shape no matter how much you have moved. Pads often bunch at the rear due to sitting and leg movements, so this also results in much fewer rear pad leaks and sit-down-stand-up peace of mind.
This type of wrapper, because of the reusable sticky tab, allows rewrapping of a to-be-disposed pad. Furthermore, because the adhesive has imprinted flowers on it, it helps prevent the soiled pad contained inside to be easily viewed, also complimented by the dark lavender colour. This is particularly of use when the pad is disposed in an open bin, helping mask the blobs of menstrual flow absorbed by the pad showing through the wrapper. This will probably make the squeamish guys happy not to see their girlfriend or wife’s sanitary trash. A properly wrapped pad poised for disposal will not fall out from the edges of the wrapper since the sticky tab will help keep it in place and luckily, the smooth wrapper does not encourage sliding of the disposed product.
I’m happy that my friend Claudia recommended me to give this pad a shot, because it really was worth reviewing. Although I still have not changed my stance on the Always pad series, I will definitely give Whisper a “take two” the next chance I get. This pad has definitely left me with a positive experience, particularly with its odour control and “1-second absorption” property. Despite my original concerns with the roughness and plastic-like “look” of the pad, it is quick delicate against the skin and indeed keeps skin dry even well on its way to total saturation! Cheers Claudia for your great taste of pads 😛
So today I snuck down to SaSa, a cosmetics and Japanese-import store to purchase Unicharm’s Sofy: Soft Bodyfit Super Night Guard 29cm Sanitary Napkin. You may wonder why I said “sneak” and it’s mostly because SaSa is right underneath the building where I live, making it quite a dangerous venture for running into family… LOL, how can I even explain why I’m buying pads right? It’s not like bebe is here with me where at least I have a reasonable excuse 😆 Oddly enough, I just noticed that the package I got has only 11 pieces while the site says 14… oh well.
I don’t understand Japanese, so I had no idea what everything on the package really says. Hell, I can’t even read the pad instructions on how to use and stuff, so it was all a guessing-game. I was quite surprized that a pad designed for overnight use didn’t have wings, but it wasn’t until later on when I noticed the amazing absorbency that it made sense why it didn’t need wings for it to be effective (or at least the regular side-wings). This pack as HKD$21 or about $2.75CAD. Since these are imported from Japan, I can understand the slightly higher cost for a HK-made equivalent.
From the look of the pad as described on the outside of the package, I had thought it was going to be quite puffy and thick, but that was not the case. I will seriously have to hand it to Sofy, this pad has a right to say it’s a soft body fit because it really is amazingly comfortable – soft against the skin and flexible enough to conform with body contours. At first I was worried it might be flimsy because of the “feel’ of it, but I was proven wrong by excellent pad-technology. The pad for a mere 29cm and slim profile can hold quite the large amount of fluid without carrying the Kotex 41cm sized pad. The coverage area is less, so this pad would be excellent for even day-use for heavy flow-ers, without bulk and excessive length. It feels heavenly against skin and is not abrasive or so soft where it causes irritation or itching.
The pack wrapper is very silent, using cloth-like material where it minimizes pad-opening noise. The material is light enough where the imprinted Sofy branding shows through the wrapper via the wrapper-attached adhesive. The pad is extremely light to hold and more impressive is that the pad wrapper ITSELF feels very comfortable, let alone the pad. Even though Canadian Kotex uses the same idea with the cloth-type wrapper, it is still fairly rough to rub against, but the Sofy wrapper is so soft you could sleep on it! I was a bit intimidated by the thickness of it (as much as I love thick pads), but isn’t show very well because I didn’t take a side-profile shot of it. The sticky tab is labeled with the model length of the pad (290) and can be used to reseal the used pad for disposal.
Unlike what I’m used to seeing, this pad does not have side-wings, but still retain its rear-wings. I’ve never actually seen this design before because it’s usually an all-or-nothing situation, has wings or does not – rather than keeping the rear wings. To be honest, I am starting to think this is ingenious, because side wings can often chafe against the side of the legs and this can be avoided by using rear wings, since they fold towards the rear-crotch of the underwear, thereby reducing regular contact against the inner thighs. Also, I have found these rear wings hold just as -if not better to secure the pad to underwear. Also, rear wings definitely help with sitting as it still provides a comfortable “landing” for the butt and an excellent cushion for the pad pushing up against skin. I did find however that without side wings, there was a small scenario of leakage towards the side where wings normally would be – although I’m not sure if even the side wings would have really prevented that.
The raised core while looking lumpy is actually extremely comfortable… think about sitting on a fluffy pillow, it is so beautiful! The pad stays close enough to the body to absorb flow quickly, while giving plenty of breathing space and comfort. The well-spaced holes on the pad also help lock in and distribute flow quickly, avoiding that damp and uncomfortable feeling of flow “pooling” at the top layer. This is one of the few pads I’ve ever tested where squeezing of legs together and lots of sitting/standing hasn’t caused rapid bunching and flow “coming back up” (yes yes, gross), because most pads are quite prone to leakage under those conditions. Even when the pad is quite saturated, it keeps its form and has not disappointed me yet under testing. The side channels are definitely able to keep flow in the middle of the pad! As flow begins to accumulate and pushes the side channels absorbency to the limit, it pushes begins to distribute the flow towards the rear of the pad.
You might notice an adhesive that’s just hanging from the left side of the above picture, it actually is a release for the rear wings and detaches from the sticky part of the pad as you open the wrapper, therefore eliminating the need to hold garbage other than the entire wrapper as a whole. Kotex White and other pads have wing tabs where you need to dispose of separate and “comes apart”, creating extra garbage you have to manage and manipulate. This wrapper design allows for a single movement opening and then disposal with little management of the resulting garbage. The only downside about the smoothness of the pad wrapper is that after you roll the pad up in the usual “egg roll” form, the old pad might actually slide out completely from the edges if the stickiness of the pad is gone. Obviously this is not exactly appealing if you are not a fan of menstrual fluid all over your hands. 😀 I even rolled it up extra tight, but because of the material, it wasn’t rough enough to prevent the old pad from shifting from side-to-side in the wrapper.
For a non-winged NIGHT USE pad, I’m quite impressed. I had high hopes for Sofy pads and they sure as hell didn’t disappoint me. The price point is definitely higher, but the quality and length-of-use is great. The fact a 29cm length pad is putting up a good fight against a thicker, 41cm pad just makes my jaw drop. The packaging for all the pads and individual pads are quite cute and the colouring scheme suits my taste 😛 I think in a purse or pocket however the pad might be a bit revealing because it can be quite thick due to the way it is folded on top of itself. Also because the material tends to be soft and thus susceptible to being puffy, it might come off as being larger than it really is when fully extended.
I love Sofy pads and plus, they have great commercials with cute girls 😆
I’ve arrived in Hong Kong safely and my first dedication to this blog was to ensure I don’t neglect it during my absence! Although there might be a lack of written content, rest assured, there will be plenty of excellent pictures of feminine hygiene items I find here. Of course as much as I want to type a full out review, there probably won’t be time and unfortunately, I think I’m too biased with how great pads in Asia are, so it wouldn’t be right for me to make accurate reviews of it 😀
While on the plane, I found that Cathay Pacific has continued to use quality brand-name pads, which I found the Kotex White: Dual Cover 2-in-1 Ultra Thin with Wings (21cm) in the sanitary napkin compartment in the washrooms. The resolution is poor since I only had my iPhone camera at my disposal and furthermore, you try taking a picture while maneuvering in a horribly cramped washroom and turbulence, LOL! A pictures are thumbnailed, so you’re welcome to click on them to get a larger picture.
And then today, I had to rush to the closest ParkNShop that opened early because the “sales” change every Friday, so I had to make sure I grabbed the sale on the Kotex White Overnight with Wings 41cm before they changed the prices. The price of it was HKD$20.90 (no taxes) or about $2.75 CAD for 8 pieces.
and the number of choices in stores are massive, particularly for sanitary napkins. Tampons are available… like 2 that they stashed at the bottom corner of the shelves and obstructed by other displays 😆 Poor tampons…
I just finished testing the pad and it was amazing. The absorbency of the pad is huge while maintaining a very comfortable top layer. Although you can feel it is moist and indicates the pad needs to be changed, it is not a degree of uncomfortable dampness. The pad when saturated gets extremely heavy, but this is not unusual as the amount of flow absorbed without leakage is impressive. The pad itself is quite long as the measurement states (41cm) and may be hard to use for women with a smaller stature. Nevertheless, the pad itself is designed for “night use” and will provide reliable and secure overnight protection against even the heaviest of flows. Due to the size of the pad, the disposal profile of the pad is rather large when highly saturated. The pad when not pushed to its maximum flow absorbency actually disposes quite well and that’s amazing given the overall size and length of the pad.
The top cover is extremely comfortable, boasting at cottony-type layer. When sitting or moving with the pad, it does not cause chafing, whether in a wet or dry state. The wings do not cause irritation and both the side and rear wings of the pad secure well onto standard undergarments. The colour and design of the pad is very cute, with the brand and logo of the pad imprinted on the adhesive part of the pad. The wings tab are easily removed and help control the winged adhesives until they are ready to be secured to panties. This pad while having similar length as the Always Maxi Pads Overnight Extra Heavy Flow, it is thinner and does not feel as bulky when worn. I would definitely not recommend this pad be used for daily-use unless flow is extremely heavy or where you cannot change your pad on a more convenient basis.
The channel-design and contours help conform to a rapidly moving body and returns to shape even against the toughest movements. The core channels distribute flow well throughout the pad, thus increasing its absorbency before leakage occurs. Absorption is fast even for gushes of flow, leaving the top layer dry and preventing discomfort created by moisture. Although this pad is unscented, it does a great job of absorbing odour and maintaining an amiable pad atmosphere.
Time to head off to visit family, will be back as soon as I get more tests underway or have something about my vacation to update.
So for those of you who actually read my ANNOUNCEMENTS section, you’ll know that I recently acquired the Stayfree Overnight Maxi Without Wings from a local Walmart. I’m trying to think and other than with my girls or god-sis’, I don’t recall every buying pads or tampons from Walmart – or rather, mainly because I’m not a Walmart fan and don’t shop there a lot other than being dragged in there. What got me there in the first place was because I was early for a meeting and decided to get a coffee from the in-Walmart McDonalds and because I also saw on the flyer there were Stayfree pads on sale for $1.99! The sale notice was quite deceiving, making you think there were several different types that were on-sale and only upon arrival, it was this SINGULAR slot on the shelf that was on sale and it was already all sold out. Judging from the size of the slot, it appeared to be ultra things anyways – bleh.
So I decided to browse around since I was there anyways. It was fairly early in the morning so there were only the senior couples shopping around at such ungodly hours… heck, even the stay-at-home moms or dads wouldn’t be shopping yet since they haven’t dropped off the kids at school. Given the older ladies, it is likely they are well past menopausal and would have little reason to wander down the feminine hygiene aisle, so I had some liberties of being able to refresh my knowledge on what’s on the shelf. There were two products that caught my eye, 1) Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi pads with Flexi Wings, and 2) Stayfree Overnight Maxi pads Without Wings. I had already done a previous review of #1, so I took some time to investigate into #2. In Canada, most places other than Walmart (probably due to their connections with American Walmarts), only offers up to their Stayfree Maxi Long Supers with or without wings. I knew the existence of the “Overnight Maxi” version only from knowledge off of the US Stayfree site. The only “overnight” version of Stayfree available in Canada in-mass is the ultra thin versions. I looked at the price, $6.57, ouch, but hey, my choices to ever get a hold of these were to buy it now or have them shipped from the US which would probably cost more (even with the CAD at par with USD), require shipping charges and potential customs fee.
As usual, all my pictures are set to a slightly smaller thumbnail mode so that it doesn’t explode anyone’s screen – you can click on them to get a larger picture. All the pictures of the package was taken using my iPhone, so don’t expect amazing quality. However, all the pictures taken of the pad itself was done using my beautiful new camera 🙂
The outside packaging doesn’t look far off the typical Stayfree, although in terms of size, the package is considerably larger than the Stayfree Supers that I normally get. I would say that the package is almost twice the size for non-jumbo packs. As you can see, Stayfree has always manufactured their packaging to show “Light”, “Moderate”, “Heavy”, and “Overnight” – but awkwardly enough, Maxi Supers are the only ones thus far offered widely in Canada… and why? I have no idea. On the front of the package, they describe their famous “3-features” – Cottony Dry Core, Anti-leak Core and Absorbency Pillows and also boasting 19 anti-leak channels. I did notice that the packaging was marked “New” so I wonder whether they’re really planning to start selling it widely in Canada or whether that “New” marking was just because the pads were imported for-sale by Walmart in Canada. For those who prefer the french-side… see below:
Just picking up the package alone, I could already smell the scent coming from within. For those who follow along with my blog, you’ll know my biggest gripe with Stayfree is their pungent scent and although admittedly great for covering up odour (or so we assume), the smell itself is so strong and throughout long-term contact with skin, even changes the natural skin/body aroma. I know we all like to smell fresh, guys and girls included, but I’m not a big fan of something that does so much as to even cover natural bodily smell – not just trying to mask the smell of exposed menstrual flow. The top of the package goes into slightly more details as to the benefits of the “Stayfree Triple Defense System” which was explains what each feature component does and how it enhances the pad’s ability to provide peace-of-mind to the user.
At the side of the package, there’s a product-line listing of all the different types of Stayfree pads, from Light to Overnight protection. I was really hoping to get the Stayfree Overnight Maxi with Wings, but for some odd reason, Walmart only seems to offer the non-winged version of this, or there may be import-implications. Nevertheless, the winged version does look a lot cooler, more comfortable and perhaps would allow me to review it a bit more in-depth than this one which is essentially a “longer” and “larger” version of the super. On the bottom of the package, it’s nice to see that Johnson and Johnson Inc. is based out of Markham, Ontario – but don’t like offering their Overnight Maxi’s in Canada… this almost cuases me to shrug my shoulders in confusion as much as the Always Extra Heavy Overnight’s that are made in Canada, but not sold in Canada, LOL! 😆 Hey, if you can find the logic… please let me know…!
Once the pad/wrapper is actually removed from the packaging, you’ll notice it’s pretty much your typical Stayfree pad, just slightly larger to hold. I don’t know, it almost seems like these pads were made for large male hands rather than girl-hands (which are generally smaller). I guess most women would just hold the pad from any of the corners/sides, rather than fully in their palms, but you’d think they would try to compact it a bit for easier handling! When the pad is completely folded within the wrapper, it measures 1.5″ or 3.8 cm high and 4.5″ or 11.5 cm wide.
The pad is folded up into 3 sections, resulting in 2 unfolds to get the pad completely deployed and ready-for-use. Unlike other pads, Stayfree makes their folds very obvious and doesn’t use any intricate technology. Although it is “less impressive” in that sense, it’s also the “least complex”, thus generating less overhead during the manufacturing process as well as avoiding any potential user-error or “oopsies” when the user is removing the pad from the package. As thick and long as this pad may be, it is still very light-weight in comparison to “maxi” sized products. Basically, to stick the pad onto undergarments, there is only the single adhesive strip to remove. In the picture below, the 3 folds are quite visible and while it may seem like the “lumps” created from it would be a disturbance, when worn, the pad resumes it’s body-curving state almost immediately after placement.
As I was posting these pictures, I seriously just noticed the fact I didn’t actually crop them – but no matter, you just get a new view of my wood desk! The pad out-of-the-wrapper measures 11″ or 28 cm long and is 1.5 cm or 15 mm thick. As I mentioned previously, this is literally just a “glorified” – longer, wider and thicker version of the “lighter” Stayfree maxi product line – however, there cotton on it seemed to be even softer than the others, even though logic would say the materials would need to be packed tighter in order to create a larger flow absorbency. The top cover was very smooth and comfortable against skin and the design of the pad is intended to hug the body well while maintaining a “relaxed” feel and allowing it to form to the curvatures of the body.
The pad itself has very visible channels and I must say, they do a fine job of distributing flow so that it doesn’t pool itself in one area. Suffice to say, any pooling of menstrual flow would result in 1 or both of the following, 1) uncomfortable feeling of wetness on the surface, and/or, 2) creating overflowing opportunities from the absorbent material at the bottom. Many of the Stayfree commercials center around the criss-cross design of their pads which help channel flow evenly amongst the absorbent material, creates a wall of protection and also maintain a comfortable feel against skin without chaffing. Stayfree has a “risen” design, similar to pads like Sofy which has a raised center and edges to help contain flow and create a “seal” between the vagina and the pad, thus preventing too much “gaps” between the body where flow could leak on undesirable areas (such as down the butt, legs or underwear). A zoom-in of the pad allows one to see the intricate designs of flow distribution, wall-like-protection and body-hugging features.
Through some testing, it appeared that the pad is almost capable of absorbing 1.5x the amount of flow as compared to the maxi super version. The top sheet under heavy saturation still felt dry enough to prevent discomfort, while it’s noticeable if touched. The pad contained the flow well, but the weakness came to the sides of the pad where leaking was prone as a result of no-wings or if there was poor sitting posture where a lot of pressure was placed on the center of the pad. Leaks would occur if the pad was “pinched” (such as rubbing of legs together while cross-legged sitting or tight walking) – however, this was only the case when the pad was reaching its saturation point.
The anti-leak core did an excellent job of retaining the flow once absorbed and it was very apparent when you went to dispose of the pad – it felt spongey and you could feel confident that the flow would not come back out as you rolled/folded it up for disposal. Under immense pressure (beyond what anyone would use to disposal of a pad), there would be some moisture that seeped out from the edges. I’m not sure this would be prevented or mitigated for the wings version and I won’t be able to say if/when I get access to it. The winged version of the overnight does seem to not follow suit with the general “simplistic and straight” design of the general Stayfree line and seems to be a bit more curvy – narrower at the front, wider in the back.
The general garbage generation from this pad is small. The wrapper is just enough to keep the pad wrapped and the adhesive is a single, thin strip. The wrapper itself is not the “discrete wrappers” that so many brands boast as it is very crinkly and noisy, almost the sound of crunching a small envelope in your hands. I’m not sure how to describe the material of the Stayfree wrappers, but they’re all very thin/light, possibly recycled material (which is fine anyways since you’re throwing it away) and does very little to conceal your wrapping/unwrapping of your pad. When I looked at the pad, it seemed so “fluffy” that I worried the top-sheet material may fall apart or be a catalyst for a leak – but that is not the case at all as the “fluffiness” of the pad creates a very soft and non-itchy feel, while maintaining the integrity of the pad/absorbency.
The stickiness of the pad and adhesive I would call “perfectly sufficient” to do its job. It isn’t weak like dollar-store pads and it isn’t so strong like U by Kotex where it shreds your underwear into bits. I would not call the disposal of the pad “hide-able” either as it’ll stick out in the garbage quite a bit. Of course compared to the Always Extra Heavy Overnights, it has a long way to go to catch up with the disposal-thickness of it, it takes quite some effort and skill to compact it enough to make it less visible when disposed. Because of the gel-like core, when the pad is saturated, the pad is easily manipulated into any given form whereas if the pad was less saturated, it’d be a much “stiffer” disposal. Nevertheless, one must take care not to greatly disturb the absorbed flow internally as it may create some icky accidents onto your hands as your rolling/folding it up.
I didn’t expect any less of Stayfree before reviewing this pad. I’ll still be on the hunt to find the wings version only because it’s very different than their general design of a simply-shaped pad. I guess sometimes simple designs that do the job are enough and that making a quality product doesn’t rely on fancy twist, curves and proprietary technology. Overall, I’m very happy with the comfort, absorbency and value of the Stayfree Overnight Maxi’s. I’m pretty sure it takes up a lot of space in a bag or purse, but it’s great for heavy days (unless every day IS a heavy day for you) and if you didn’t know, many of the super+ absorbency of pads is also created for a small degree of urinary incontinence protection, making it a great 2-in-1 product! At the price which I paid for it, you’re looking at around 23.46 cents per pad.
As much as I’m not a big fan of Walmart and this is the first time I’ve ever bought feminine hygiene products from Walmart on my own, this is so far the only large store I’ve seen in Canada (or more specifically, Ontario) that offers this product. Perhaps if you live in the larger cities, other stores may offer it, but being an avid shopper of these aisles, I have yet to see them elsewhere 😛 I hope my bebe will try this one day… err.. maybe post-pregnancy? LOL. Ya ya, just keep dreamin’ right? 😀
For those who keep up with my blog and have recently read the recent review of Always Maxi Pads Overnight Extra Heavy Flow Review (yes, I’m aware my title above says the name differently – for a reason), I would like to thank you for your support and all the heartwarming feedback I have received. Several of my regular readers and even one-stop-shop ones have expressed to me that I should “consider doing more reviews” and have even taken note that they find how accurate/detailed the reviews are, even for a non-menstruating male reviewing feminine hygiene. Seeing emails like this is what gives me the drive to continue my dedication towards my blog and readers!
For those who regularly post here, please continue to do so! For those who have not, you’re welcome to contribute at any time whether by post or by email as I’m always checking it (in fact, my emails all forward to my iPhone – yes, including MiM ones). I love keeping in touch with my readers, because they are really who inspire me with topics, opinions and make this community possible. Looking at my site statistics, I’m pleased with the hits received for the review and I’m even surprized to see I’m regularly getting hits for the one I did for U by Kotex All Nighter still with a regular influx of traffic. I think to myself all the revenue I could be generating by moving my site off from here onto my own servers where I can use things like AdSense and other money-generating schemes with all my readers – but oh well! Maybe I’ll create enough hype where Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark might want to start advertising their products on my site XD haha… ah dreams!
I just wanted to take this chance to read all my readers, whether you’re a first-timer or my regular group – your support is greatly appreciated and that the blog would not be a success without your visits! Cheers to all the individuals and groups who work to help shed positivity upon menstruation.
*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 🙄
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!
Ok, so it has been a while since I’ve made a periodtastic post and after all, isn’t this why most of us read this blog anyways? … not to read about my life, but to read about the fun of menstruation and feminine hygiene 😀
I wanted to test out the Stayfree Secure that I’ve been reading so much about. According to what I’ve read, Stayfree Secure was supposed to be the “lower-end version” of the regular Stayfree which we are so accustomed to in North America. With the ones I’ve found in the Asian mart’s, they did not appear to be of lower grade, but in fact, had contours and patterns even better than the standard Stayfree. Suffice to say, I really wanted to test them out since I wanted to see how much “lower grade” that it really is, but the version in the picture above is different than the one I had expected. I had found this at a farmer’s store and these ones seemed like the ones you would imagine when maxi pads first became available. They looked like something that your mother or grandmother would have likely used. Even from the package itself, the fact it is still labeled as a “sanitary napkin” (which is rare in Canada) and that they specifically state “beltless” really makes you wonder how old this package really is, haha. The markings on the package says it was packaged in 2004 yet it says best used within 3 years of production. Suffice to say, this would make the package 6-years old. From what I understand, Stayfree Secure is a prominent line of Stayfree products in India, providing a low-cost sanitary napkin solution for women who do not have the money to buy “better grade” menstrual products.
When I got home and took a closer look at the package, I then realized the minor detail, lol. However, I did not feel there were any noticeable quality degradation as a result of being older than the package recommendation. They were selling the package next to laundry detergent, so the pads had a scented smell even though they were unscented natively 😆 Having noticed the fact the package used the terms sanitary napkin and beltless really made me think what I was in-store for when I opened the package – expecting this really flimsy and unimaginable-to-use product. The shape of the pad was quite interesting, resembling a lack of creativity during the design process! All this sanitary napkin is, is seriously a rectangular wad of cotton stuffed between an adhesive bottom and a top-cover. Although I was not overly impressed with the design of the pad itself, I can definitely say that the cottony cover made it worthwhile! I’m sure Maysea and Poh Ching will agree that cottony covers rule too! 🙂
The absorbency and “lock in” feature was quite amazing given the appearance of the quality. I found that this pad would even give some current-day-brand-name pads a run for their money. Their claim of the adhesive system was questionable however. There’s quite a bit of potential movement because the adhesive at the bottom of the pad was, 1) not sticky enough, and 2) did not cover enough area. Should the user be wearing tight underwear, this should not be an issue, but I think its ability to stay-put without wings, tight underwear and good adhesives under rapid activities such as sports would pose quite a leak risk. The tapered end of the pad certainly does help with any front-overflows or rear-overflows. I believe these pads would be inconvenient for use outside of the house though because they are not individually-packaged like we’re all used to, perhaps what one would call a luxury because even when I saw pads for the first time 21 years ago, the pads then were all just out-of-the-package like as shown below. Imagine having to carry a pad in your purse or bag without a separate wrapper and in full-size! Yep, this is definitely the evolution of pads since disposable/beltless pads were made available. The pad is extremely rectangular and it’s literally like a “brick in your underwear” 😆
Although the back of the package gave it away how the pad looks and how serious I was when I say it is “very rectangular” – but here it is… the real-deal.
This is your typical pad you’d find in pad dispensers that dispense “last resort” pads. It has little design and contour, but a huge wad of cotton packed in between the top and low layers. The cottony soft cover feels nice and does not feel abrasive or sticky, even when wet. The thing that seemed to bug me the most was the fact that because the cotton is not packed-tightly like modern pads, when wet, the cotton within shifts around which may cause discomfort and also a potential for menstrual flow to “come back up” or the bunching action may result in uneven distribution of flow/cotton, resulting in an accident. Because of how rectangular the pad is though, after bunching or crunching, the pad does “revert to its original shape” due to the rigidness. Given that this is supposed to be a “low-quality” pad, I certainly cannot be comparing this to brand-name products and expectations. Given that these pads were extremely inexpensive, the comfort and absorbency is definitely on-par!
I’m not quite sure whether the lack of stickiness of the adhesive is as a result of the “expiry” of the pad, but the strip itself is quite thin and would not survive well with loose underwear or rapid movements. This would be a great pad to use at-home since it does not have individual packaging and requires a more watchful eye since the quality may not be as reliable. One thing I will not undermine is the comfort of this particular version of the Stayfree Secure, although I must say this is exactly the type of pad that tampon-users would dub, “feels like wearing a diaper” since it is fairly long, thick and is in the shape of a brick! The pad is not very weighty since after all, it’s just cotton and some light cover material.
Ya, those are my ugly fingers holding it up, haha. But as you can see, this is definitely not a thin pad by any means and would definitely cause a bit of a bulge through underwear (but not visible through pants of course). Let’s just wrap it up and say this pad is definitely worth the cost, but don’t expect miracles out of it. Comfort in terms of thickness is not all that great, but comfort in terms of the feel and texture is excellent. The potential moving cotton within the pad may be of concern, but the absorbency is superior for a low-grade pad. Wrapping the pad for disposal is quite hard due to the lack of adhesiveness and the thickness just compounds the difficulty. It is best just to throw it away as-is, but I’m sure that’d be an unsightly vision for some. Folding it in half also seems like a good way to “cover the mess” but make it compact enough for disposal. I suppose given that these type of pads were more of the 1980’s, early 1990’s development, “getting rid of the evidence” wasn’t on their list of top-priorities when it came to menstrual hygiene.
I can’t wait to get an opportunity to try one of the nicer Stayfree Secure’s that I can get from the Asian mart with the blue/yellow packaging. Those seem to be much closer version of modern Stayfree maxi pads that people use nowadays without the thickness, better contour/design and security through enhanced adhesive and wings.