You're on an overnight trip and realize you've remembered everything except enough diapers. You look in your diaper bag and see 4 pocket diapers, 6 prefolds and... no covers. The covers are missing! It may seem that there's no alternative to an emergency disposable purchase, but there is a way to use all your diapers and not need any back-up. Instead of using your pockets only as pockets, turn them into covers.
If you look at a pocket diaper, it's not made much differently than some covers, especially all-in-two covers. A layer of PUL, a layer of fleece...that's the same as a Softbums! It's definitely possible to use a pocket diaper as a cover with prefolds, or even with a stay-dry insert like Flip.
To make a pocket diaper work well as a cover, you need a pocket that's generously sized, or a one size diaper (sometimes it's easiest to use it one setting larger than you would with a regular insert). Diapers that run a little larger, like Mommy's Touch, Tiny Tush or Knickernappies, work pretty well. Since the inside is not wipeable, it's a good idea to change before the prefold is soaking, or give it a good airing out. Like other covers, it doesn't take a pocket too long to dry if you like to rinse in between uses.
So, if you can use them as covers, why not reuse pockets? Remember that when used as a cover, the microfleece or suedecloth inner is not touching your child's skin. You want to wash anything that's getting the brunt of the wetting or bowel movement. So, pockets useds as pockets are good for one use only. As with any other cover, if there's poo on it, you've got to wash it before reusing.
We've used pocket diapers as covers on more than one occasion without any problems. Next time you're short a cover, give your pockets a try!