My lil' Maggie is soon to turn 5 months old, and since birth I've been using cloth diapers on her.
During this cloth diapering adventure, I have used ALL types of diapers: fitted, prefolds, All-in-Ones, every type of cover on the market and several different brands of diapers i.e. bummies, thirsties, cloth-eez, bum genius, swaddlebees--THE WORKS.
All that to paint the picture for you that I have ruled out certain diapers through the process of elimination. Of course, cloth diapering is a subjective, and each mother has her own favorites or methods.
They are malleable. There are several different folds you can use depending on what works best on your child. I tend to use one fold when I know baby is probably going to go #2 in that diaper, and a different fold, when I know baby is just going to be making peepee.
Fitteds and all all-in-ones are they way they are, plain and simple. Be they too long, too wide, or too tight around the thigh---deal with it. Not a prefold. It conforms. I like that.
Yes, prefolds do take the longest to put on, but it's totally worth it because I find them to be the most effective. Reason being is this: whenever baby has what would normally be a "blowout," it is VERY rare that it should leak out of the prefold, but if it does, the COVER is there to catch it. This means that I've never had to throw out an outfit because it got poop all over it! I have a 2-prong defense against the poop! Yeah my cover may have gotten a bit poopy, but BIG DEAL. I pop that sucker into the diaper pail and pull out another set.
They are the least expensive route to cloth diapering. Fitteds are more expensive for a convenience that is minuscule, and all-in-ones are MUCH pricier, and I've found that they take an ETERNITY to dry--so they suck up even more of my $$ through running the drier over and over.
Look I'm no cloth diapering expert. I'm just a regular mom trying to save a buck and keep my kids healthy. I've not read any scholarly journals or taken classes at Duke University on cloth diapering. I'm just telling you what I've found through my real-world experience. I have friends that SWEAR by all-in-ones. They say they are just like disposables. (I don't find that to be the case. My experience has been that they are prone to leaking.)
Anyway, if you want to be environmentally friendly AND save a few bucks--try prefolds and covers. They take an extra 15 seconds at the changing table, but save a net ton of diapers from entering landfills and keep your hard earned cash in your pocket!
YIKES I didn't even mention the diapers that you have to stuff with those doublers. Those take a LIFETIME to prep. Just buy a prefold and move on :D