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bumGenius 4.0 vs. Freetime Cloth Diaper Review and Comparison: Which is better?

Updated on March 22, 2014

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Which is your preferred diaper; 4.0 or Freetime?

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bumGenius Jules Print
bumGenius Jules Print

Why Choose bumGenius Cloth Diapers?

Whether you are completely new to cloth diapering or a seasoned pro, you have probably realized that there are a bunch of different brands and types of cloth diapers. As far as styles go, there are one-size, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pocket style, fitted, hybrid, prefold, covers, and probably other styles that I don't even know about. bumGenius primarily produces all-in-one and pocket-style, one-sized diapers. Depending on which brand you buy, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $8-$30 for an all-in-one diaper and $8-$20 for a pocket-style diaper. While bumGenius is on the higher end of the range, with their 4.0 style typically selling for around $18 and Freetimes selling for around $20, the quality was worth it for me. I knew that I wanted a one-size diaper that would see my child from about 6 weeks old through potty training. There are great fitteds available for newborns, but it was not worth it for me investment-wise. I am also a bit too lazy to mess with covers separately, so I focused on all-in-ones, all-in-twos, and pocket diapers. I tried out a variety of diapers when first starting out and honestly felt a little bit like Goldielocks. Some diapers felt too small, some felt like too much material, some felt too cheaply made, some got messy when on for a while, some leaked, etc. With bumGenius though, the size felt right (not too big or small), the quality of the material is excellent, and leaks are rare. After narrowing down to BG though, I knew that I did not need the organic Elemental style, but I had a hard time choosing between Freetimes and 4.0. Below is a break down of my pros and cons for each style after extensive trials by me and my little one.

bumGenius One-Size Feature

bumGenius Diaper Size Guide
bumGenius Diaper Size Guide
Outside of 4.0 + one-size insert
Outside of 4.0 + one-size insert
Unstuffed Inside of bumGenius 4.0
Unstuffed Inside of bumGenius 4.0
Pocket on bumGenius 4.0
Pocket on bumGenius 4.0
Stuffing bumGenius 4.0
Stuffing bumGenius 4.0
Stuffed and Ready bumGenius 4.0
Stuffed and Ready bumGenius 4.0

What is the bumGenius 4.0? Description, Pros and Cons Analysis

The bumGenius 4.0 is a one-size, pocket diaper. The one-size feature means that it is designed to fit babies from 8-35+ pounds. You adjust the size by utilizing snaps in the front to condense or expand the length of the diaper. The "pocket diaper" portion means that there is a water-proof polyurethane outer shell with a microfiber "pocket" lining on the inside where you can stuff diaper inserts. The diaper comes with 2 microfiber inserts. One insert is labeled as a "newborn insert" which is a smaller, thinner insert. The other insert is the "one-size" insert which is thicker and can be adjusted to fit the length of the diaper at each size level. You can also utilize both inserts together for added absorbancy.

bumGenius 4.0 Pros (vs. Freetime)

  1. The diaper is cheaper than the Freetime. Each diaper will save you $2, which equals a $60 savings on a stash of 30 diapers.
  2. The diaper dries faster than a Freetime. The diaper itself is thinner, so it dries quicker. Also, the inserts can be placed in the dryer while the Freetimes can never go in the dryer.
  3. It is easier to clean poo off of the diapers since the outer portion of the pocket is one sheet of material. In the Freetimes, you can sometimes get poo on three separate portions of the diaper, causing a lot of mess and longer cleanup.
  4. You can switch out the inserts. If you have a preferred brand of inserts or if you prefer another material, like bamboo, you can easily change the inserts. Also, if an insert gets damaged, you can replace it fairly inexpensively.
  5. You can increase the absorbancy easier. With the 4.0 it is easy to stuff extra inserts in the pocket if your child is a heavy wetter or if you need extra night protection. With the Freetimes, you can add another insert on top of the sewn in ones, but it may slide around on your child.

bumGenius 4.0 Cons (vs. Freetime)

  1. The diapers need to be "stuffed" after each wash. While this may not seem like a big deal, if you have a lot of diapers, it is very time-consuming to stuff each diaper after the laundry finishes...especially if you have a baby that requires a lot of attention.
  2. The diaper inserts should be removed for the wash. Not only does this take a small amount of time, but you are needing to remove inserts from a soiled diaper, which is not the cleanest of jobs.
  3. A little more confusing for alternate care-takers to figure out. Freetimes are pretty self-explanatory, but have you had a husband or care-taker try to figure out stuffing a diaper for the first time? Yikes!

Outside of bumGenius Freetime
Outside of bumGenius Freetime
Inside of Freetime with inserts expanded
Inside of Freetime with inserts expanded
Inside of Freetime with one insert folded
Inside of Freetime with one insert folded
Inside of Freetime with both inserts folded and ready to use
Inside of Freetime with both inserts folded and ready to use

What is the bumGenius Freetime? Description, Pros and Cons Analysis

The bumGenius Freetime is a one-size, all-in-one. Like the 4.0, the Freetime's one-size feature allows the diaper to fit babies from 8-35+ pounds. The "all-in-one" portion means that there is a water-proof polyurethane outer shell with two microfiber inserts attached the the sides of the diaper. The inserts fold on top of each other to create extra absorbancy. Since everything that you need for your diaper is attached, it is called "all-in-one".

bumGenius Freetime Pros (vs. 4.0)

  1. The diaper is really a grab-and-go system. You don't have to worry about remembering various parts of the diapering system since it is all attached / all-in-one.
  2. Pre and Post-laundry is quicker since there is no stuffing and unstuffing.
  3. Daddy's, grandparents, and other care-takers seem to have an easier time figuring this one out.
  4. Resale value is slightly higher than on 4.0s

bumGenius Freetime Cons (vs. 4.0)

  1. The diaper is about $2 more expensive than 4.0s which can add up to a lot of money in a big stash.
  2. The diaper has to be completely air-dried which can take a little extra time.
  3. Poo can spread out into both attached inserts and under the inserts, leaving you with 3 surfaces to spray off.
  4. If an insert gets damaged or wears out, it is harder and more expensive to replace.
  5. The attached inserts can sometimes shift around when trying to diaper your child. Sometimes they even shift around on your child if child is very active.

Experience with Freetimes and 4.0 Diapers

Ultimately, I found that if I didn't mind stuffing the diapers, I would have all 4.0s in my stash. Once stuffed, they are more versatile and more manageable, in my opinion. However, I just don't have the time to stuff 30 diapers, so the majority of my stash are Freetimes. I keep a supply of about 10 of the 4.0 diapers for nighttime and because 10 is about all I have the patience to stuff! There is no rule saying you can't have some of each diaper, but try them both and see what works best for you and your needs.

Please feel free to share your experiences with bumGenius diapers or ask questions in the "comments" section below. I'd love to hear from you!

Which Diaper Should I Buy? bumGenius 4.0 or Freetime

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      5 years ago

      I wouldn't trade my 4.0s for anything. My husband and I both think they're great! I don't find stuffing them to be an issue at all. Instead of stuffing them all right out of the laundry, we stuff them as we need them which isn't nearly as time consuming. At our changing station we keep a basket of inserts and a basket of diapers. When it's time for a change, we sing our baby a song and prepare the diaper. I've tried a couple different diapers, and the 4.0s our my favorite.


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