Always Infinity Pads (Review)
A Request to Review Always Infinity® Pads
As a member of BzzAgent.com, I was asked to review the new Infinity® sanitary pads by Always. As a fan of Always, I was very curious to see what nifty new direction they'd taken their latest product. They already have great absorbency and their odour guard technology is a dream come true. What more could Always offer customers? I had to know, so I accepted their offer and a few weeks later, I had a tiny package from Proctor & Gamble containing the new Infinity® heavy-flow pads, samples of their Always Maxi regular flow pads, instructions on how they wanted me to test their new product, product coupons and a general description of the Infinity ® pads.
Even though their promotional data declared the new pads were more absorbent than their Regular Ultra Thin pads with wings, the test kit did not include the Ultra Thins. Instead, I received Regular Maxi samples.
I was a little under-whelmed when I read the product description for Always Infinity® pads. Okay. A lot. The big hype is that they're supposedly more absorbent. That's it. The Infinity pads are made with a material they're calling Infinicel™ which they claim can absorb 10 times its weight, absorbing 55% more than their Regular Ultra Thin pads with wings. Apparently, the core is actually two layers; "one that acquires fluid, the other holds it" for up to 8 hours (according to the package).
Um ... yeah. Their superior absorbency is actually one of the reasons I switched to Always many-many moons ago when I was struggling with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone imbalance that has several side-effects, including heavy "monthly visits" that don't stop for weeks or even months. Always won me over with their quick absorbency which had spared me many embarrassing moments over the years. They were already thinner than the other brands which made me feel like I was wearing a mattress and, at the time, were the only brand to make long pads for better protection against over-flow. This was a big concern for night-time peace-of-mind.
I was also disappointed by the instructions. They wanted me to cut up a bunch of pads and do an eye-dropper test with blue-dyed water (dye not included) to show my readers how super-awesome their "space-age" material is. Seriously? We've all seen that crap in tv commercials a billion times! Frankly, I was insulted. However, I'd already given my word that I would do this review for them.
Concerns About This Test
Before starting the test, I was concerned about the validity of it. The Infinity® pads are heavy flow while the Maxi control sample they sent for comparison is regular flow. Also, the Infinity® is a long pad while the Maxi is regular length. How is this supposed to be a fair comparison??
The heavy flow sample I received is presumably designed to soak up more and faster. But, what about those women who don't need heavy flow protection? Do the regular flow Infinity® pads absorb fast enough to prevent spill-over?
Moreover, this test doesn't address the important concern of gushing; that sudden surge that will often overwhelm a pad if it can't soak up fast enough. [Oddly, I addressed this same concern about my baby's diaper being able to quickly absorb the inevitable "surprise piddle" that happens during changing in my review of Pampers vs Huggies.]
Turns out, I didn't need to worry about any of that, as you'll see in the test video.
Always Infinity® Product Test & Review
The eye-dropper test was fairly straight forward and, as you saw in the video, the Infinity® pads failed to do the job, even against a humble regular Maxi. Worse, the "space-age" core fell apart!!!
The real test of a product is to actually use it and, unfortunately, the Infinity® pads came a week too late for me to personally use them before the review deadline. So, I turned to social media and put out a call for feedback on these pads; good, bad or indifferent. The following is what I got back ...
Feedback via Social Media
I posted a call for feedback on Always Infinity® pads on my Facebook profile, Fan Page and in various groups I'm a member of. Even with the offer to share the $1 off product coupons P&G included in my test kit, I only received one reply ...
Peggy Y. is a single mother of a teenage daughter. She has used Always since the mid-80's and wrote:
I have tried other brands but have always returned to Always. I like the variety of sizes and length options. And of course, now I have introduced my favourite brand option to my daughter!
About a year ago, Peggy saw the Infinity® pads on sale and purchased a few boxes.
I figured, "They are Always, how different can they be?" Well, the answer is: A lot. I was extremely disappointed with them ... They looked odd, but I figured as long as they did the job then that would be good ... I thought at first it was just me; maybe I have just become so set in my ways and habits. Until one day my daughter came out and said, "Mom, those new pads are horrible." I returned to our regular Always product and vowed never to pick up Infinity® again.
When asked to comment on the absorbance of the Infinicel™ material, Peggy replied:
The absorption aspect of them [was] not good.
About the promised fit and comfort, she explained:
They didn't [have 'wings'] and were prone to moving after placed, then bunching in the middle. I remember seeing them on sale shortly after that and thinking to myself, "Now I know why!"
Microdots™ and Flexi-Wings® - Fit and Comfort
The company's promotional information also touts that Infinity's® Flexi-Wing® design "adapts to fit the curve of your underwear for secure protection" and its Microdots™ provide super-fast absorption, while an incredibly soft cover adds comfort." While I wasn't able to put these pads through a real-life practical test for absorbency, I was able to test the fit and comfort factors for myself.
The lining was very soft to the touch, as promised. I'd love bed sheets, underwear and dresses that felt as luxurious.
The Flexi-Wings® did their job of holding the pad in place and fit the curve of my underwear properly, as expected. This was a bonus. Not all pads with wings or tabs accomplish that and end up sitting askew or too low for proper protection.
The core feels like a spongy insole; as if Always expects women to endure some sort of high-impact contact during menstruation. Weird. And, Peggy was right; these pads look odd. They have holes and slits cut out of the core. I can only assume that these are the Microdots™ that allow for the "super-fast absorption."
The diagram on the box explains that the slits are "form-fitting channels" which allow the pads to flex for a better, more personal fit. I found the fit in that area the most uncomfortable. In fact, the fit was a little too personal.
Use It or Not?
Do you use Infinity pads?
When I finally to put these to a real test, they fell apart after about an hour of walking. Those stupid slits and dots weaken the core too much!
The absorbency was great for light to medium flow, but couldn't keep up with a heavier flow. I really did enjoy how well the wings secured it in place and eventually got used to the close fit ... sorta.
Although Peggy and her daughter had bad experiences with the absorbency of Always Infinity® pads, the company's claims of comfort, secure fit and adaptable wings held up in a practical test.
If you've had experience with this product and would like share, please post below in the comment section.
© 2013 Rosa Marchisella