Potty training is never easy, so you want training pants that will be as helpful as possible. After having tried out a ton of daytime training pants I can tell you that none are perfect. Most won’t hold those full-bladder accidents that mark the first few weeks of potty training or hold for a surprise nap.
But of the lot, I did find Thirsties to be the best of the worst in terms of absorbency, and they definitely gave my daughter that full-fledged big-kid underwear feeling.
The major downfault for these training pants, and the reason why I gave these only 3.5 ⭐’s out of 5 ⭐ though was that after a few months of light use they came apart a the seam. It’s possible I just got a bad one, but I don’t know. Thankfully, Thirsties is a great brand with great customer service so if I had of taken the time to reach out I know they would have helped me, but still for the price, I expected more.
All-in-all though out of the available options, I would probably recommend these to a friend, just with a big explanation, like I’ll give you below.
- Lots of sizing available
- Can add regular-sized diaper inserts for boosting during naps, etc.
- Look and feel like underwear
- Interior allows for wetness to be easily felt, which helps with training
- Chunky top elastic makes it very easy for little hands to pull up and down
- Good absorbency for daytime accidents
- The waterproof TPU layer is only in the “wet zone”
- Slightly bulkier than other similar waterproof training pants
- Long dry time
- Only five prints are currently available
- Stitching came apart after a few months of light use
How We Rated the Thirsties Potty Training Pant
Here’s a look at how the Thirsties Training Pants earned their Cloth Diapers for Beginners star rating:
1. Absorbency and Effectiveness
The Thirsties training pants have four layers of absorbent GOTS certified organic cotton and a layer of waterproof TPU laminate in the center of the diaper, running close to the top of the diaper in the front and back, but stopping short of the waistband and sides (i.e. what’s often referred to as the “wet zone”). This wet zone allows the toddler to feel when they are wet, which helps with training but keeps that wetness from leaking out onto clothing, etc.
While the absorbency is good, and more than adequate to catch even those larger accidents during waking hours, which is really their main job, I do wish that the waterproof layer was not just in the wet zone, but over the entire training pant. Without a booster, an impromptu nap for a toddler who won’t yet wake up when wet, will likely lead to leaking all around the TPU layer’s edge, especially in the back, as it did for me on more than one occasion.
With that said, all of the waterproof training pants in the same category have this same problem, but the Thirsties trainer had the largest waterproof zone by size (when comparing like-sized training pants) and was the only one with a large enough crotch area to allow the use of a regular sized insert. For these reasons, the Thirsties training pant quickly became my favorite training pant for planned naps (with an extra insert).
With that said, for all the bulk which I will get to later), these trainers should perform that well without the additional insert, which is why I dropped them down a half star in this category.
Though Thirsties says you can add absorbency for nighttime use, unless your little one is potty trained at night and will only have a smaller accident before waking, I don’t see these being adequate for night time use for this same reason. While I found adding an insert would get me through most planned naps, if your little one also takes longer naps, and doesn’t wake when wet, extra precautions like a mattress protector pad should be taken.
A far better option for overnight potty training is the Mother Ease Bedwetting pant, but for daytime, their intended purpose is, Thirsties work well.
2. Adjustability and Fit
While these training pants are of course not adjustable like a cloth diaper, as they’re made to look and feel like “big-kid underwear,” and be easy to pull up and down, one of the best things about the Thirsties training pants is the number of sizes available and the nice overlap in sizing.
Here’s a breakdown of the sizes available:
Small: 20-27 lbs; Waist: 15-19″; Thighs: 9-14″; Rise*: 12.75″
Medium: 26-35 lbs: Waist: 16-23″; Thighs: 9.5-14.5″; Rise*: 14.5″
Large: 33-45 lbs; Waist: 17-26 “; Thighs: 10-16″; Rise*: 15.75”
X-Large: 42-56+ lbs; Waist: 17-27.5″; Thighs: 11-18″; Rise*: 17.75″
*Thirsties says their rise is measured from the top of the pant in front, to the top of the pant in back, through the legs.
I do feel like Thirsties training pants are very big fitting, meaning they aren’t the ones you choose to go under a pair of tights. Other comparable training pants, like AppleCheeks (now discontinued) give a much trimmer fit.
3. Prints and Fabrics
At the time of publishing this update, Thirsties has four prints listed on their site as available and has discontinued two prints (including Unicorntopia my daughter’s favorite print).
I’d love to see more options to keep picky toddlers interested.
The outer layer of the pants are made of 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex. This fabric is very soft to the touch and feels just like a good-quality t-shirt. Unfortunately, like a favorite t-shirt the outer fabric, including the leg bands, does pill a bit with several washes. As mentioned earlier, there are four inner body absorbent layers are made of 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and a middle layer of 100% polyester with waterproof TPU laminate, which is only in the center, not the sides or top inch or so near the waistband.
The waistband is nice and thick, making it easy for little hands to grab onto to pull up and down. The leg bands, however, are made a large loop of fabric with a smaller elastic inside. I believe this was likely a design choice to help with easy pulling up and down, and the strength of the leg elastics is good, but the elastic itself does move around and get twisted inside the fabric during washing, and needs to be checked and re-flattened before use, which is a bit of a nuisance, but not something so bad I considered it a con.
One con to all that absorbance and waterproof layer is that these training pants take a very long time to dry. When deciding how many training pants you’ll need, drying time can mean you’ll need extras, which of course costs more.
The big problem with Thirsties training pants though is the quality. With light use, Thirsties were the only daytime trainers that fell apart on me. Specifically, the stitching in the waistband came apart. The outside fabric also pilled quickly, in a rough way, so that any softness to them was ruined.This is the reason I didn’t give Thirsties any stars in this category.
4. Support and Warranty
Thirsties is a well-known brand that I’ve personally seen offer great customer service and stand by their products. According to their website warranty information page, they offer a one-year limited warranty.
I feel confident in recommending Thirsties as a brand as I have seen them stand by their products time and time again when issues have been raised in cloth diaper Facebook groups.
5. Price and Availability
Thirsties training pants are definitely an investment as they are not cheap. With that said, they are completely on par with the other waterproof training pants in the same category.
Thirsties training pants are available at most cloth diaper retailers and Target. Their wide availability is likely due to the Thirsties brand being so strong and longstanding in the market, as the training pants themselves only came onto the market in 2018.
Reading a lot of product reviews to see if the training pant you’re looking at is as good as it seems is part of the shopping process for a lot of folks, but it can be a pain to search for reviews and read through all the spammy ones or ones that turn out to be about a different product.
To save you the trouble, I’ve combed through the internet and placed below summaries of all the other reputable reviews about Thirsties’ training pants that I could find. To see the full review, you can click on the name of the reviewer below each snippet.
“Thirsties Training Pants are quickly becoming a top favourite of mine….
If you need something absorbent with the sizing flexibility offered by Thirsties, the Thirsties Potty Training Pant is a great choice. The expensive price means they are awesome and you totally go this potty training thing.”
–Simply Mom Bailey
“I know the brand has been working on this creation for quite some time, and I think they got it right. My toddler is very particular, and he is a superfan of these….I highly recommend giving these a go if you’re stuck in the potty training department. Of course, there’s more to it than just the perfect pant, but these Thirsties “undies” make potty training a bit more exciting and comfortable for toddlers. They’ve worked wonders for us, so you better believe we’re celebrating these and giving them a perfect rating.“
–Dirty Diaper Laundry
April DuffyApril is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.
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