cloth diapers is completely subjective. When I started to cloth diaper full time I bought every type of diaper. I had the pocket, AI2, AI1, prefolds, hybrids and fitteds. I gave every type a chance and fell in love with pockets. However, I did see a place for hybrids in my stash.
I live outside of Houston, TX about 50 miles away from either airport. My husband is originally from the Panhandle of Texas where the closest Wal-Mart is in Liberal, KS…yes 2 states away. The drive to good old Perryton, TX is 12 hours and we never leave the state. I am sure people are thinking…well why don’t you fly? The closest airport to Perryton is in Amarillo, TX…2 hours away and there are limited direct flights. So once you do the math it would take us 12 hours to fly or 12 hours to drive. Regardless of whether we drive or fly you are still limited to the amount of fluff you can bring. A suitcase can only carry so much. This is why hybrids can be a wonderful thing!
Now my experience has only been with GroVia, but I am sure they all are very similar. The GroVia hybrid has a wonderful shell that one can use biodegradable inserts, reusable soaker snap inserts or prefolds/flats. The snap inserts are about as big as socks, the biodegradable inserts would be like packing disposables and prefolds/flats are like folding up a t-shirt. The shells can be used more than once, so one wouldn’t have to use an entire suitcase to pack a dozen or so diapers. The shells can be hand washed very easily and dry time is nothing. The hybrid also works wonderfully if a family is traveling and won’t have access to a washer and dryer. This diaper makes traveling a synch!
I have read that some people have an issue with throwing away biodegradable inserts and I completely understand and respect that. The great thing about the hybrid is one doesn’t have to use the “throw away” liner it is just an option. The snap in soakers work just as well and still don’t take up a lot of space.
One may be wondering why I don’t use hybrids all the time. My little girl is a mover and shaker. She is constantly moving and the soaker bunches up in the front of the diaper. It doesn’t seem to bother her, but if I go to long between diaper changes we may have a leakage problem. We do use the GroVia’s when we are at home, but not running around town. The snap in soakers also take a long time to dry, but they do clean up nicely.
Finally, I would be remiss without mentioning a brand that isn’t classified as a hybrid, but works very similarly. The Hiney Liney diaper is a great addition to cloth diapering. They also have a great outer shell that can be used multiple times with their own snap in soaker or a prefold/flat. They have a stay dry liney that wicks away the moisture from your little one. One great feature of the stay dry liney is it is brown and I haven’t had a stain yet.
What may work for me may not work for another family. That is the beauty of choice! Unfortunately we do not own a hybrid car, but we do own hybrid diapers.