This has been the most requested review. Charlie Banana cloth diapers are made in Hong Kong and, as of the last year, are now available in the U.S.
Charlie Banana is a pocket diaper. Pretty darn close in look to a Fuzzi Bunz. The big difference being the front pocket.
I like the fit of Charlie Banana sized and one-sized diapers. They are both trim and, not that it matters a ton, but I like the feel of the knit PUL. Call me weird.
Sterling, as you recall, is long and skinny. Months ago I was sent a small hot pink Charlie Banana. Surprisingly, the small fit my then 20lb 18 month old.
More recently, I received a one-sized orbit print Charlie Banana from Toots n’ Tots, a Canadian boutique with tons to offer the shopper that likes to get it all in one place.
After washing the diaper one time I put it on Camden to test out overnight. Probably not the smartest thing to do…put a brand new, never experimented with diaper on at night. However, I will say that the one sized diaper shrinks down lovely to fit my little guy.
Charlie Banana one-sized hybrid diapers have an adjustable leg elastic. I love that the holes in the elastic are numbered. Hallelujah! Trying to get the legs even on a diaper that doesn’t number is annoying!
Even with the legs tightened a lot the diaper was not too bulky. I added one microfiber insert, folded. The waist snaps fastened snug enough to avoid any gaping. I have not tried the one-size on Sterling yet but this would be an excellent diaper to use on more than one child.
I mentioned that it was a hybrid diaper. Charlie Banana is marketing itself as a 2 in 1 diaper system. The front panel pocket is designed to securely hold a disposable insert.
Our first nighttime experience with Charlie Banana was not a 100% success. Camden did leak out the side (he’s a side sleeper) on to my bed. Granted the leaking did not occur until the morning as we were getting up.
I like the idea of using a pocket cloth diaper full time because of its diversity. A pocket eliminates the need to have daytime and nighttime diapers.
We’ll see how the Charlie Banana does the next time I use it at night.
One thing I didn’t love about Charlie Banana cloth diapers is the front pocket. My ideal pocket is a back pocket flush with the back elastic. I suppose everyone has their preferences. The way I change poopy diapers makes a front pocket a mess. So, for me their (diaper makers) rationale that the front pocket allows you to “remove inserts without getting your hands dirty” doesn’t work.
Where the pocket is isn’t a deal breaker for me, performance is what matters.
Probably the biggest benefit to choosing Charlie Banana is the accessibility. You can buy them practically everywhere! Great marketing for sure. They’ve set themselves up to be recognized by the non-cloth diapering parent. I’ve had many readers and friends comment on how Charlie Banana were the first they discovered.
When I set up my baby registry on Amazon, I registered for Charlie Banana :) Amazon is a non-threatening site for non-cloth diaper users.
My overall recommendation is that Charlie Banana is a good buy. No wicking, easy to stuff, cute prints and colors, simple to adjust, moderately priced and widely available.
Thank you, Toots n’ Tots for generously donating a Charlie Banana one-sized diaper for us to try out!
Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ.
What is the advantage of the pocket? If it is wet am i leaving baby in a wet shell and changing a dry insert pad. Ive changed his look 4 times today because each diaper is a different color. Im not sire if i like that. I matched the first 2 to his shirt but then mothimg else matched…we had 2 pees 2 poops. So this last time i just laid the the pad inside the diaper instead of puttingnit in the pocket…i bought a used bag of different ones…combo of charlie bannanna, quamkalu, bum genius, and thirsties. The thirsties are a pocket with a pad also sewn to the diaper. The charlie and quancaku have snaps all the way and the other two have sizing snaps and velcro for fitting. The velcro allows for specific fitting but seems like second hand not the stickiest velcro…ill have to see if there are threads filling the velcro. The quamcalu seem to be the roomiest in the butt but other then this i can tell no difference in how they work. What am i looking for in a diaper? He has been wearing diapers for 15 months he was a micro preemie so he jist graduated to size 3 disposables today and i though he might be big enough for the cloth ones finally…seems i could have started sooner some seemed almost tight already.
Jennifer Reinhardt says
Hi Sarah, Pocket diapers provide a stay dry layer and also a way to use microfiber inserts as they can’t go against skin. They cannot be reused as the inner will be soiled after each use. If you lay insert on top of the liner you may be able to get away with multiple uses if the liner isn’t soaked or soiled.
Anne Johnson says
I have softbums, charlie banana, and am wondering, if you put a microfleece liner on the charlies inserts, could you just lay the inserts in the shell? Maybe get a couple uses out of one shell with a tinkler like mine? I change my daughters diaper every 2 hours and she is 14 months old.
I’m curious about how these performed for you over the long haul.
Based on the reviews I’ve read on Amazon and Target, people love these for the first few months. Then, they lose their wicking ability big time and even stripping/changing detergents/etc. doesn’t seem to help. Just curious if these were isolated events or if a lot of people have the same issues.
Autumn Beck says
I’ve not had any problems long term with them. There are times when companies have a bad batch of PUL go out to distribution but it isn’t a common thing.
Lacie Thomas says
Do pockets have to be washed with every use? I know some pockets are stuffed under a piece of cloth that connects to the liner ( Charlie banana) but other like raga babe and some flip have the liner that clips in and kind of lays across the inside of the shell. How do you know which diapers do what if the don’t show a photo of the inside. And if they do go under the liner like charlie banana wouldn’t you have to wash both the liner and shell every time ? Thanks I’m a newbie
Autumn Beck says
It would be called an all-in-two/AI2/hybrid if you just change out the soaker part.
I became a convert to cloth diapering just over a month ago and appreciate all the “research” I was (and still am) able to do on your site! So far we’ve tried the Bumgenius 4.0 and Charlie Banana OS. I have to say that I like the Charlie’s better. I use them both on my two year old and 5 month old. Personally, I like the front pocket as my youngest is an up the back poop shooter! I’m impressed how both are holding up as we wash nearly all of them every night (and I’m in love with the Rockin Green detergent!). We are really surprised how much we like this whole cloth diapering business after using disposables for the past two years. Thanks for all the info!
Autumn Beck says
You are quite welcome!
Meagan Caton says
I stumbled on this site after typing in a search to see if you can use BumGenius inserts with these diapers. I can’t seem to find it anywhere! I love that you did a little review on these diapers as I’m contemplating buying some but won’t until I know whether I can use other inserts on them. Gah. I am new to this and my son is 13 months old! ;)
If you buy the 6 CB diaper pack, it comes with 12 inserts!
So which are the best? I ‘m setting up my registry soon and I saw charlie banana but I see there are loads of others as well. Anyone with first hand exp with each would b great to hear from.
Hey autumn, I am from the moms loop at dbc. I’m pg with my 4th and am just trying cloth after the last three had horrible diaper rashes throughout their diaper wearing years. So glad you reviewed these! I have ordered 1 bum genius 4.0 and really liked it, then today I found out a boutique sold them locally. They were so soft!!! Would you recommend bum genius over Charlie bananas? Or fuzzibunz? I like the idea of a one size pocket diaper best. Thanks!!!
Autumn Beck says
YES! Bum Genius are much better, imo. Never had red marks, leaks or really any issues with Bum Genius.
Ashley Corby says
I LOVE LOVE LOVEEEE the Charlie Banana’s! I had to come back and review. I personally LOVE that the inserts get put in/removed through the front of the diaper. These diapers are very trim fitting and are super soft. I have not had the one sized, but do enjoy the fitted. The micro-fiber inserts are very, very absorbant. I can change my lil man 3 times total in a day and his lil tush still remains clean and soft. I also like that with 2 inserts Donovan can last 12-14 hours overnight sleeping in the same dipey. These have been a dream come true <33
So…any update as to how these have performed for you?
Autumn Beck says
not my favorite.
I was about to buy some Flips for travel because of their disposables option. However, there is a big sale on Charlie Banana’s and I just noticed they may have a hybrid disposable option also, by using an insert. My question is… is it really like Flips in that the outer won’t get wet? If so, where do you buy the disposable inserts? I can’t seem to find them.
What do you think…I can buy 2 Flips and all the accessories for the same price
I can get 4 Charlie’s (disposable not included-I assume). Which would you choose?
Jessica Welch says
Glad to see this review. Just tried CB’s last week, and put them straight to the test. I washed them 3 times before using (because I was also prepping some Grovia which traditionally are my go to diaper). My 1st time using them was for an afternoon nap after straw-feeding my 9mos old a lot of liquid @ lunch. No leaks. My next test was night time (12 hrs), and no leaks. Super trim, really soft, very thirsty. I agree on the front pocket, eh. I change more pee diapers than poo diapers, therefore the front pocket inserts are always a wet grab. Wish they would have adjustable waist elastic, so maybe I’ll give Fuzzi Bunz a try now that I kind of like this pocket diaper thing.
Nicole Spiegel says
I was very excited when a consultant on Facebook, whom I asked for info on about Charlie Banana, sent me this link. I had seen them on target.com and babies.com but could find any reviews. Even after googling them. So its perfect timing that I am reading a review about them only days after finding out about.these. thanks for all the info and review. I think I will be getting.g some of these, as well as some Swaddlebees and gdiapers.
Megan Samson says
Perhaps you meant to type that you set your registry up on Amazon? I was a little confused at first.
Autumn Beck says
yes, i’m a dork.
Little for Now Cloth Diapers says
Great to read your review. I got a sample of the Charlie Banana one size diaper at a retailer convention last fall. I was very disappointed that it is already way too small for my 30 pound 2 year old. Even on the largest setting, the legs were so tight on her that she refused to wear it even for a few minutes. After less than a minute I took it off and she had red marks on her legs and belly. So, we were never able to test it. While my daughter is big for her age, she still fits nicely in Tiny Tush, BumGenius 4.0, Happy Heiny’s and a number of other one size diapers.
you mean when you set up your registry on Amazon? ;) lol…
Ashley Corby says
How ironic that I get the email for this blog :) I was no longer than an hour ago deciding that I was going to purchase this diaper and give it a shot. I will take it as this diaper was meant to be in my stash and will definitely place an order :-D thanks for the surprise review ;-)