I've now tried wool covers and am excited to share my experience. Hopefully more to come.
I ordered the Disana wool diaper cover in green & blue. Since I have lots else to say, I'll get to the point first. :) They are so wonderful! I might use these only, if I had known about them before investing in higher tech shells. As long as we already have an assortment of other shells, I'm using them sometimes under the wool, or instead- the wool covers I ordered are SO big that they goes up to his armpits... can't put this on under overalls, pants, etc.
I'm really happy with the cover's ability to keep my son feeling dry and keeping our bed, blankets, play areas, and clothes dry. This hasn't been a super- conclusive run since he's generally out of a wet diaper really quickly. He lets us know! Also, he generally has been pottying on/near sinks & toilets lately instead of in diapers. He really wants us to get him out of the diaper before he pees & poos. Cheers! (5 month-olds can be potty trained... they just can't walk to the potty. :/)
Most importantly for a diaper cover, I'm SO IMPRESSED by the smell. These diapers have picked up a smell of our house but NO pee/poo smell, even after repeated uses for about a week. I'm using one a day, or if it gets a little wet, switching for the other, and he's wearing them even to bed. I've used them with a shell and insert, or just a pinned prefold, and have had absolutely no concerns about any urine or poo smells, though the prefolds and inserts and even shells sometimes do pick up an odor.
Here's what greenmountain.com says about the sizing: (this is just for the size I ordered)
size 86-92, Medium, 17 - 26 pounds (tag says 12-24 months)
This size is really funny looking on our son, but to be fair I did no felting or washing before wearing. I hope that he'll wear it as long as possible, and two years seemed plenty long, while also fitting his approximate weight. A few weeks ago he weighed 16 lbs.
There's been no difference in the absorbency/wicking between the
covers after I processed them differently- one I soaked and the other I
put directly on, no washing, lanolizing, or even rinsing.
Green Mountain website/printout on diapering and wash suggested I
lanolize if water doesn't just bead and fall off the wool (the wool did
absorb some water on arrival) and to start by soaking.
With the first cover I was uncertain how to proceed. The Disana instructions were that it didn't need washing, should never be soaked and should be minimally washed in general. I soaked it and was preparing to lanolize but didn't feel right about adding soap and/or lanolin. Green Mountain suggested not using Woolite or regular detergent, but
instead to use Ivory or Eucalan. I didn't have these on hand. I'd
premixed lanolin, hot well water, and a bit of peppermint doctor
bronner's liquid castille soap (figuring this would be gentle on baby
skin) but discarded the mixture because: a) the lanolin was "glopping"
on top, and b) I didn't have the heart to add anything to what felt like
a perfect product. It just seemed so right the way it was. When I read Disana's info on their product, I decided it was clean
enough to go ahead and put on. They smell like sheep and I really
like that. I really love natural wool.
So, I pulled it out of the warm soak water, rolled it in a towel to dry, carefully moving it around with my hands supporting its weight underneath so as not to stretch the fibers.
After drying, the one I soaked (and almost washed and lanolized) felt softer than the other, has pilled slightly more, and shows less stretching from pulling on and off our son.
I suppose that rinsing alone may have done it some good, and perhaps soaking, and may do that for the other one, but for now will continue with them as they are just to see how it goes.