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Pampers Cruisers vs. Pampers Swaddlers

Updated
Which one should you use, Swaddlers or Cruisers?

It’s not until you become a parent that you realize how many choices there are to make when it comes to diapers. Do you use cloth or disposables? Which brand keeps your child the driest? But even then, you have to decide which line of which brand to choose.

Luckily, we have changed a diaper or two between us, so here’s our experienced take on the differences between Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers. Plus we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of each and a quick rundown of the most frequently asked questions about them.

Pampers Swaddlers vs. Cruisers: Which Should You Choose?

With their super-soft liner, Pampers Swaddlers are the best for newborns and older babies with extremely sensitive skin. Meanwhile, once they’re mobile, Pampers Cruisers’ snug design is the way to go.


Pampers Swaddlers Vs Cruisers Comparison Chart

Product Pampers Swaddlers Pampers Cruisers
Price Check Price Check Price
Best Newborns & sensitive skin Active kiddos
Number of sizes Eight sizes, N – 7 Five sizes, 3 – 7
Smallest size N = <10 lbs 3 = 16 – 28 lbs
Largest size 7 = 41+ lbs / 6 = 35+ lbs. 7 = 41 lbs+
Guaranteed overnight dry No, but says < 12 hrs of dryness. 12 hrs
Wetness indicator Yes, all sizes Yes, all sizes since 2020
Umbilical cord notch Sizes N – 2 only None
Our rating 4.8 / 5 4.8 / 5

Product Overviews

Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Cruisers have the same basic inner construction. They have leak guard barriers around the leg cuffs, lock away channels to draw wetness away from your baby’s skin, and will keep your baby dry, according to the information, for up to twelve hours.

However, there are also plenty of differences.

1. Pampers Swaddlers

Best for Newborns and Sensitive Skin

Pampers Swaddlers are certified by The Skin Health Alliance as meeting a series of standards set by an international panel of dermatologists, independent of any brand claims.

So, you can be assured that Swaddlers are soft, safe, and highly unlikely to cause any damage or irritation to even the most sensitive newborn skin.

Swaddlers also have an umbilical notch at the front of the diaper. This ensures the sensitive area around your newborn’s belly button and cord stump are left exposed to the air and not irritated by the diaper’s edges.

Finally, Swaddlers have a wetness indicator to help you know when your baby has peed, and the diaper needs changing.

Pros

  • Umbilical cord notch to prevent irritation to your newborn’s cord stump.
  • Wetness indicator to help you know when it’s time for a change.
  • A soft outer shell ensures your newborn’s skin is not irritated.

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive per diaper than Pampers Cruisers.
  • The wetness indicator can be difficult to see in low light during nighttime changes.

Additional Specs

Number of sizes Eight sizes, from N, or newborn, up to size 7
Smallest size N = <10 lbs
Largest size 7 = 41+ lbs. However, some places on the Pampers website list Swaddlers as up to size 7, while others list them as up to size 6, 35+ lbs.
Guaranteed overnight dry No, although they do say you get up to 12 hours of dryness.
Wetness indicator Yes, all sizes
Umbilical cord notch Sizes N to 2 only
Average Amazon rating 4.8 / 5

2. Pampers Cruisers

Best for Active Kiddos

Pampers Cruisers come in two different styles.

There is only one difference between the two Cruiser styles. The standard Pampers Cruisers have tab closures like regular disposable diapers. The Cruisers 360 are the same diaper build as the traditional Cruisers style, but instead of having diaper-like closures, they are shaped like disposable pants, without side tabs.

For the purposes of this comparison, we looked at regular Pampers Cruisers and not the Pampers Cruisers 360.

Pros

  • Excellent at preventing leaks when babies are mobile.
  • Available for babies up to 41+ lbs.
  • Pampers 360 pant-like design is brilliant for quick changes.

Cons

  • May not keep the most giant babies dry for 12 hours overnight.
  • Waist can be snug on chunkier babes.

Additional Specs

Number of sizes Five sizes from size 3 – 7
Smallest standard size 3 = 16 to 28 lbs
Largest standard size 7 = 41 lbs+
Guaranteed overnight dry 12 hours
Wetness indicator Yes, on all sizes since the end of 2020
Umbilical cord notch None
Average Amazon rating 4.8 / 5

In-Depth Comparison

Fit

Diaper fit can be the make or break feature, so which one fits best?

We look at how snuggly the diaper fits around the waist and legs. This is important for preventing leaks and the associated problem of stripping down and redressing your little one.

We also consider how big and bulky the diaper is between the legs when both wet and dry.

Swaddlers have an excellent fit but are slightly more prone to leg gaps once your baby is mobile. On the other hand, once your baby is mobile, the elasticated, multi-directional stretch of the Cruisers helps prevent leaks.

Winner

Tie

Absorbency

You might not think there’s much difference in absorbance between the two styles. We poured 1⁄4 cup of water onto a Pampers Cruiser and a Pampers Swaddler diaper. Then we timed how long it took for the fluid to be absorbed.

Although the results were close, Pampers Cruisers edged slightly ahead. Although both diapers held all of the fluid, the Cruisers absorbed it more quickly, meaning a shorter window of time where the urine may be touching the skin.

Liner

The liner is the part of the diaper that’s up against your baby’s skin; which one is the softest?

Both liners are soft, and we were happy for both to be up against our baby’s bottoms. However, testers felt that between the two, the Swaddlers felt softer.

In addition, on the Pampers website, they specifically state that Swaddlers are certified by The Skin Health Alliance, but there is no such statement about the Cruisers.


Pampers Cruisers vs. Swaddlers: Which Would You Choose?

Which diaper do we think reigns supreme?

Choose Swaddlers Cruisers for Babies Under Six Months

When choosing between Swaddlers or Cruisers for younger babies, Swaddlers are our diaper of choice. They come in smaller sizes, have all of the absorbance you need, and the fit is ideal for a baby who is not yet particularly active.

Swaddlers Cruisers Are Best for The Mobile Baby

However, once our little ones become more mobile we prefer to switch over to Cruisers. The three-way stretch keeps them snug at the thigh without being too tight, preventing leg-gap blowouts—meanwhile, they remain flexible enough for your little explorer to discover the world.


FAQs About Pampers Swaddlers vs. Pampers Cruisers

These are the questions we hear most often about Pampers Cruisers.

What Age Are Pampers Cruisers For?

Rather than being for a specific age, Pampers Cruisers are for mobile babies. If we had to pin down an age, we’d say six months as this is the average for crawling.

Are Pampers Cruisers Good for Overnight?

Pampers Cruisers are excellent for overnight use. Three channels steer fluids away from your baby’s skin. In addition, the elastic leg cuffs and waistband keep the diaper close, minimizing leaks caused by movement.

Are Pampers Cruisers Better Than Swaddlers?

Pampers Cruisers are better than Swaddlers for older, more mobile babies. However, for younger babies, those who are not yet mobile, and those with exceptionally sensitive skin, Pampers Swaddlers are the better choice.


Pampers Swaddlers vs. Pampers Cruisers: The Verdict

Do knowledgeable parents go for Swaddlers or Cruisers?

Pampers Swaddlers: The Verdict

Pampers Swaddlers are ideal for newborns and older babies who are not yet pulling themselves up and moving around. They are also an excellent choice for older babies with exceptionally sensitive skin.

Pampers Cruisers: The Verdict

Once a baby is on the move, Pampers Cruisers are the clear winner. The three-way stretch minimizes leaks, and the fast absorption means there’s a smaller window in which fluids can escape.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.